Book reviews

MiSTORY

by Bryan Walker October 17, 2014

Anyone who follows the science of climate change knows that we are heading for environmental and social turmoil along our current path. In his new novel MiSTORY author Philip Temple imaginatively pictures what that turmoil might mean decades on from now. New Zealand is in a political mess. Conflict abroad and conflict within. A long-lasting […]

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This Changes Everything

by Bryan Walker October 6, 2014

Naomi Klein’s new book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate places the battle against climate change firmly in the context of the struggle for social justice. Fighting climate change means reordering the ways our economies are structured. The pillars of the reigning economic paradigm – privatisation, deregulation and lower taxation paid for by cuts […]

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Reason in a Dark Time

by Bryan Walker September 3, 2014

Dale Jamieson is a philosopher long acquainted with the work of climate scientists. His recently published book was begun 25 years ago, “an avocation that became an obsession”. He used to joke when asked why the book wasn’t appearing that he was waiting to see how the story ended. Then it dawned on him after […]

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Climate Change and Human Development

by Bryan Walker August 15, 2014

It has been clear for some years that climate change is affecting poorer populations sooner and more gravely than it is economically developed societies. There is little sign that the wealthy nations are much disturbed by this fact, and no sign that it has any braking effect on the inexorable drive to find and exploit […]

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Adventures in the Anthropocene

by Bryan Walker July 28, 2014

Science journalist Gaia Vince left her desk at Nature and spent two years visiting places around the world, some of them very isolated, where people were grappling with the conditions of what is sometimes described as a new epoch, the Anthropocene. It dates from the industrial revolution and represents a different world from the relatively […]

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Antarctica: An Intimate Portrait of a Mysterious Continent

by Bryan Walker July 15, 2014

Science journalist Gabrielle Walker’s book Antarctica: An Intimate Portrait of a Mysterious Continent (Bloomsbury, 2012) tells an absorbing story of the wide variety of scientific work undertaken in Antarctica and the support services that maintain it. It also attempts to capture the human fascination of the continent, not least for the author herself in her […]

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The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View From The Future

by Bryan Walker July 3, 2014

Science historians Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway, co-authors of the acclaimed Merchants of Doubt, have joined forces again to produce a striking short fictional work The Collapse Of Western Civilization: A view From The Future. It purports to be an essay written by a Chinese historian three hundred years after the collapse of western civilisation […]

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The Sixth Extinction

by Bryan Walker June 16, 2014

Elizabeth Kolbert’s recent book The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History is science journalism of a high order. As with her earlier notable book on climate change, Field Notes from a Catastrophe, she includes lively narrative accounts of her visits to places around the world where scientists are at work and communicates the import of their […]

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Climate Change and the Course of Global History

by Bryan Walker June 3, 2014

The title in the Kindle Store was irresistible: Climate Change and the Course of Global History: A Rough Journey. American historian John L Brooke is the author, and the book is notable for its attempt to integrate climate science with the study of human history. In his acknowledgements the author brackets climate scientists with historians […]

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The Moral Challenge of Dangerous Climate Change

by Bryan Walker April 22, 2014

The combination of a recently acquired desktop video magnifier and a kindle has for the time being restored some ease to my reading. Hence this review. I was drawn by the title The Moral Challenge of Dangerous Climate Change: Values, Poverty and Policy, since I can’t see the resistance to energy reform mounted by powerful […]

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