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Forecast: The Surprising--and Immediate--Consequences of Climate Change First Edition Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
The latest communiqué from the emerging genre of traveling the world in the footsteps of climate change is an intelligent, nuanced report on the complex relationships between increasingly unstable weather patterns and politics, ecology and lifestyles. Journalist Faris shows how the genocide in Darfur has roots in desertification and may be a canary in the coal mine, a foretaste of climatically driven political chaos, and how the resulting emigration of Africans to Europe is causing economic pressures that are being met with fascistic movements in Italy and Britain. Locals are abandoning Key West and New Orleans due to unsustainable insurance premiums; Bangladesh is likely to be flooded out of existence; and drought may wipe out the Amazon rain forest within 70 years. Faris cites a study predicting a world depicted by Mad Max, only hotter, with no beaches and perhaps with even more chaos. But, depressingly, he admits that his travels researching this book released nine times an average person's annual carbon use and that the world many have opened its eyes to climate change, but we're far from taking effective action. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
A journalist concerned with on-the-ground evidence of global warming, Faris reports on what he learned in visits to various regions around the world. A global climatic component is involved in local environmental situations, Faris finds, the details of which he expands in presenting the explanations of scientific or policy experts. What counts most in this work, however, are the impressions of climate change Faris gathered from his interviews with local inhabitants. They make tangible the abstractions of the issue in Sudan, Key West, Brazil, California, Canada, and India. In addition to covering local people’s observations about desertification, coral bleaching, and the temperature-sensitive wine-making industry, Faris looks into local political ramifications, especially those concerning people forced to move because of environmental stresses. He presents background to the violence in Darfur and notes the concerns of insurers about America’s hurricane-prone southern coasts. Faris’ reportorial techniques work well in his narrative, priming readers for his recommendation for urgent action on climate change. --Gilbert Taylor --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The book shares structure and perhaps a "type" with Jared Diamond's Collapse: a series of chapters illustrating different aspects of a larger phenomenon. It does not pull off the same grand abstract sense of wonder that Diamond is capable of, but it has a greater warmth.
I found the sections on Dafur, Bangladesh, and Kashmir chilling: the book does a great job of describing the political/social situation on the ground, sketching out how these complex and fragile places are particularly susceptible to climate change, and then talking about the terrible consequences that are already playing out. In the US, the book describes the reaction of the insurance industry to our increasingly chaotic weather, and how that effects communities like New Orleans and the Florida Keys. The section on how the wine industry is being effected by warming was interesting: tough luck France, I guess.
It's a post-Inconvenient Truth treatment that doesn't analyze or speculate but describes. This isn't about the far future, but changes already underway that are bound to increase in the next few decades: "impacts that range from the subtle and sometimes benign to the horrific and potentially catastrophic...Yet we don't have to guess at the consequences of a warming world...The future of our planet can be found now, on the frontiers of climate change."
My one note of warning is that dealing with the effects of the climate crisis, as described in this book, are going to become more and more important. But it is just as crucial to continue trying to deal with the causes, so that there aren't much, much worse consequences for the future.
That said, if you read just one book on the climate crisis this year, "Forecast" should be it.
Because I am a physical scientist who reads several scientific journals; I was aware of most of the facts and expected impacts presented. However, I don't know that anyone has put it altogether so nicely without any inclusion of politics. So, I hope a lot of people read it.