Wednesday, October 24, 2018

This is the Way the World Ends by Jeff Nesbit

If you do not think that climate change is an immediate and deadly problem for humans, you need to read this book. And if you don't think humans are instrumental in the changes happening, you need to read this book.

The oceans are 30% more acidic now than they were at the beginning of the industrial revolution. (42) That's because the oceans have absorbed 525 billion tons of carbon dioxide since then. (41) That came home to where I live in the Pacific Northwest as it has meant problems in oyster production. (46) Coral reefs are in trouble. Half of them have been lost in the last 30 years. (77) That's serious as the reefs are home to a quarter of all marine species. (77)

The arctic sea ice has declined by 30% in the last twenty five years. (54) “More than half of the world's wetlands have disappeared.” (141) Fresh water is ending up in the sea. We are seeing more and more refugees because of lack of water and arable land. Water scarcity is leading to armed conflict.

Greenhouse gases are at levels never seen before in human history. The last four years were the hottest in human history. Rainfall and drought patterns are changing with extreme heat and extreme precipitation. Animals and plants are moving to the poles. (233)

Warnings from scientists are often ignored by U.S. politicians. (7) Perhaps that is because the U.S. is just beginning to see the effects of climate change. “The evidence is overwhelming and irrefutable,” Nesbit writes. (7) “...[C]limate change is happening and humanity is the primary cause.” (8)

I highly recommend this book. We Americans need to understand what is happening in the rest of the world.

Jeff Nesbit was the director of public affairs for two federal science agencies and a senior communications official at the White House. Now the executive director of Climate Nexus, he is a contributing writer for The New York Times, Time, U.S. News & World Report, Axios, and Quartz. He is the author of Poison Tea as well as dozens of novels. He lives in New York.

St. Martin's Press, 336 pages.

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