A brilliantly edited and curated guide to the climate crisis, from the science to mitigation to adaptation to responses, “The Climate Book” is a surprisingly readable tome of impeccable timing. Greta Thunberg masterfully guides the narrative, using her amazing, laser-sharp perspective, by interspersing her own eighteen editor’s/activist’s essays. A spectacular roster of over eighty scientists, professionals, policymakers, and activists (I like the fact that their superb credentials are listed only in the table of contents, when we read them, we’re expected to know who they are) provide the encyclopedic coverage of all the data and issues.
Zeke Hausfather is as lucid as ever covering methane, Katharine Hayhoe sums up the growing frequency and dangerousness of heatwaves, Fredericke Otto tells us about climate change attribution, Peter Gleick shares his insights as the pre-eminent expert on water threats, and Tamsin Edwards sketches out the likely outcomes at 1.5º, 2º, and 4º. The most chilling “hot off the presses” (at least to me) news comes from one of the most passionate, eloquent, brilliant climate scientists, Johan Rokström, warning us that “we have reached an existential fork in the road.” The issue is tipping points. Two decades ago “we still thought that the risk of irreversible changes with large impacts was very low, and that there was only a serious risk at 5–6°C of warming. … Today, our best understanding is that even at 1.5°C, and certainly between 1.5 and 2°C, we are taking enormous risks.” Gulp!
Right here, right now, The Climate Book is an essential compendium and action manual regarding the climate crisis. Everyone is obliged to read it.