Book reviews

Waking the Frog

by Bryan Walker November 12, 2014

Canadian Tom Rand is an enthusiastic promoter of the clean technologies which are fully capable of saving us from the worst ravages of climate change. He’s also an investor in the field – a capitalist, he happily acknowledges. And importantly for his readers he’s a lively and thoughtful writer with a knack for striking observation. […]

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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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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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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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Living in a warmer world

by Gareth March 3, 2014

This year really has started with a bang. An unusual concatenation of weather extremes — Britain’s stormy and wet winter – the wettest since records began, 250 years ago – the warm winter in Russia and Alaska, drought in California and Australian heatwaves — has caused many people to consider the role that climate change […]

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The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction: Nate Silver on the climate numbers

by JasonK January 19, 2013

Nate Silver is a math pundit who founded the fivethirtyeight blog now over at the NY Times. That blog was all about the presidential election and over there he used a series of polls to predict (very successfully) the results of both the 2008 and 2012 US elections. An integral part of Nate’s approach is to use […]

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Rising Sea Levels

by Bryan Walker October 29, 2012

Of all the consequences of human-caused global warming, sea level rise has always held special alarm for me in its inexorability, its extension into the future, and the enormous disruption it threatens to centres of high population and essential infrastructure. Scientist Scott Mandia (blog) and writer Hunt Janin have teamed to produce for the general […]

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