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Feeling the Heat: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Climate Change [Paperback]

by From the Editors of E/The Environmental Magazine, Jim Motavalli
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 19, 2004 0415946565 978-0415946568
For an increasing number of people, global warming is not an academic and scientific debate, but a matter of survival. As the planet warms at a rate of four degrees Fahrenheit per century, violent storms are increasing in frequency, icebergs are melting, sea level is rising, species are losing their habitats, and temperature records are being broken. Feeling the Heat consists of chapter-length visits by well-known authors to actual world "hot" spots, where people are already coping day-to-day with the consequences of climactic disruption. The locations for the book were strategically chosen because each represents a separate and important global warming impact, such as rising tides, melting glaciers, evolving ecosystems and air pollution. Feeling the Heat takes global warming out of the realm of armchair speculation and arcane scientific debate, revealing the process of climate change to be ongoing, serious and immediate.

Editorial Reviews


This disturbing report, by a brilliant team of environmental journalists, portrays an industrial civilization on the verge of destroying its own conditions of existence. We are all captives, the authors warn us, on a runaway train. Can we change drivers soon enough to avoid the largest catastrophe in the last 10,000 years?.
–Mike Davis, author of Ecology of Fear and Dead Cities

About the Author

Jim Motavalli is the editor of E: The Environmental Magazine, an award-winning bi-monthly, and author of the books Forward Drive and Breaking Gridlock. He writes on environmental subjects for The New York Times, Salon, and many other publications. He also hosts a public affairs radio show and teaches journalism in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (March 19, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415946565
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415946568
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,721,122 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Learning by example September 6, 2004
It is usually easier to understand multifaceted issues through specific case studies and illustrations. Climate Change and Global Warming are very complex concerns indeed. Many people do not want to see the realities confronting us. Many skeptics argue that climate change is a phenomenon of nature and/or something delayed to the future. Indications from far away places need not concern us. Raising temperatures by 0.6 degrees C is hardly worth thinking about. If it means that we have warmer weather for a few weeks longer, that can only be comfortable for people living in northern climes.

Not so, argue Jim Motavalli and his colleagues. The intricacies of climate change and recent warming trends in remote places such as Alaska and the Antarctic reveal that the warming of the planet impacts us all already. In a selection of "dispatches" compiled by the editors of E/The Environmental Magazine, a distinguished group of environmental reporters traveled the world - from Australia to the Pacific Northwest, from China to Europe, to record scientific assessments and human experiences. What can we learn from their observations?

A case of severe human impact on the environment is vividly explored in "The Cost of Coal" in Mark Heertsgard's report from China. Rapid economic development comes at a very high price. For the time being, the prime energy source there remains fossil fuels, resulting in extreme air pollution. Thick smog covers the cities and people suffer from respiratory and other health problems. Yet, if the alternative is to freeze in unheated houses or slowing down the industrial advances, Chinese see no choice.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A"Wake-Up Call for Global Climate Change!" June 15, 2004
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Editor Jim Motavalli has done an outstanding job of putting together a keleidoscopic picture of Global Climate Change by presenting a coherent and incisive selection of captivating essays, from a variety of scientific and jouranlistic perspectives. Even the most hardened skeptic could not help but be convinced that unless we act swiftly to wean ourselves from our obsessive addiction to Fossel Fuels, clean up our act in terms of Environmental Pollution, and shift our present Ways of Living and Thinking into a Sustainable Framework, the present and future inhabitants of Spaceship Earth are in for a rude awakening! If there were a New York Times Bestseller List for Ecological Books, this book would most certainly be included. For anyone interested in keeping abrest of the latest scientific evidence for Global Warming, buy this book and read it...from cover to cover! Elliott Maynard, Ph.D., President, Arcos Cielos Research Center, Sedona, Arizona.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A set of thought-provoking, chilling facts June 4, 2004
One would anticipate a discourse on climatic change to be a dry, scientific presentation relatively weighty for lay readers: not so with compiled and editor Jim Montavalli's Feeling the Heat: Dispatches from the Frontlines of Climate Change, which provides articles written by articulate contributors drawn from the front lines of the world's 'hot spots' where serious climate shifts are already in progress. From a 2003 European heatwave which killed 10,000 in France alone to the rising of the sea level in California, Feeling The Heat provides a set of thought-provoking, chilling facts.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glimpsing our globe's grief August 30, 2004
The human aspect of climate change is finally emerging into general view. Long dominated by measurements and struggles to pinpoint sources, this book describes how people are affected when weather becomes chaotic. As a collection of "dispatches from the frontlines" it chronicles what our neighbours [and ourselves] are experiencing. How are people coping with rising sea levels, shifting landforms and waning resources? This outstanding anthology of essays may be rightly equated with "war reporting" since it covers the battles for survival we are now engaged in. The only missing elements are generals to lead the fight and strategies to apply. Both are sadly lacking.

In but ten essays, the various authors portray changing local environments around the planet. Asian, European, North American and Pacific conditions are reported and comparisons offered. In Europe, Denmark stands as a bastion against polluting energy sources while enjoying continued prosperity. There, wind energy is being utilised to curb fossil fuel power station emissions. The turbines are finding markets in other EU nations, particularly Spain and Germany - each of which have greater windpower capacity than that of the United States - a telling statistic.

North Americans are slow to see the reality of conditions elsewhere. Asia, with its still burgeoning population, relies heavily on polluting fuels. Wood, pressed coal, even dung, all remain major fuels for heating and cooking - fundamentals in daily life. Such fuels produce soot and dust, which have produced a cloud over the Indian Ocean covering 10 million square miles. More than just an irritant - "you get used to it", one author relates - the cloud interrupts the food chain at sea.
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