Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change

Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change✈ [PDF / Epub] ✅ Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change By Elizabeth Kolbert ✸ – Jobs-in-kingston.co.uk Long known for her insightful and thought provoking political journalism, author Elizabeth Kolbert now tackles the controversial and increasingly urgent subject of global warming In what began as grou Long known for her insightful and from a Epub ß thought provoking political journalism, author Elizabeth Kolbert now tackles the controversial and increasingly urgent subject of global warming In what began as groundbreaking three part series in theNew Yorker, for which she won a National Magazine Award in , Kolbert cuts through the competing rhetoric and political agendas to e. As the effects of global warming becomeanddifficult to ignore, will we react by finally fashioning a global response Or will we retreat into ever narrower anddestructive forms of self interest It may seem impossible to imagine that a technologically advanced society could choose, in essence, to destroy itself, but that is what we are now in the process of doing Elizabeth Kohlbert, the concluding paragraph of this book, published in 2006.This book, Field Notes from a Catast As the effects of global warming becomeanddifficult to ignore, will we react by finally fashioning a global response Or will we retreat into ever narrower anddestructive forms of self interest It may seem impossible to imagine that a technologically advanced society could choose, in essence, to destroy itself, but that is what we are now in the process of doing Elizabeth Kohlbert, the concluding paragraph of this book, published in 2006.This book, Field Notes from a Catastrophe Man, Nature and Climate Change by Elizabeth Kolbert, was as I just said published in 2006 so know it is not precisely up to date, but I have been slowly and painfully been reading The Uninhabitable Earth, by David Wallace Wells, had some time in the car I could not read a physical book, so decided to listen an abridged version of this book 4 hours to see what came out of the dire warnings it gave us 15 years ago and kind of compare it in my head to what Wallace Wells has to say I had read when it came out the award winning three part series she wrote for The New Yorker, of which this book is an expansion.The book s primary audience is I think mild climate skeptics, maybe including some smart but right wing politicians, or those just wanting to see just how serious this global warming stuff really might be Kolbert, whoserecent book The Sixth Extinction I have also been reading but not yet reviewed, traveled to the melting Alaskan permafrost to talk with long time scientists about the effects of CO2 on global warming and her report is absolutely devastating, though she is an elegant writer in communicating the scientific facts and consensus on these issues She, from my perspective, is not sensationalistic she doesn t engage in what some people deride as climate change porn In giving a picture of her time, at the turn of the century, she also draws parallels to lost civilizations, and she clearly indicts Big Oil and Big Biz in especially the U S who have steered politicians into doing nothing about climate change, in spite of the direst warnings Politicians we have elected and continue to re elect In the 2016 Presidential debates, there was not a single question directed to the candidates, not even on the political radar, the Kyoto and Paris accords genocidally ignored, so I already have a clear sense of where things have gone since then, but I just wanted to remind myself of the trajectory of events I have kids I teach I am still alive and facing the future, though many fewer years than my past We have to face the quantitative nature of the challenge, he told me one day over lunch at the NYU faculty club Right now, we re going to just burn everything up we re going to heat the atmosphere to the temperature it was in the Cretaceous, when there were crocodiles at the poles And then everything will collapse I repeat This was written 15 years ago, when it was already the hottest time on record, and it has only gotten hotter each year Trump, even worse than Bush, only turns back environmental protections, does nothing to address the crisis Andthan 40 % of the U.S population as of today would still vote for him Not a good sign for the planet Elizabeth Kolbert was, still is I think, the main environmental writer for The New Yorker, though she writes of other things too, nowadays This book was one of the first books I read on climate change, and is particularly convincing as it is based on actually observing what was going on in the Arctic, not on climate models, theoretical projections, or any such things as these though I imagine that some of this stuff is mentioned in the book, I don t recall.Kolbert is a fine writer, and althou Elizabeth Kolbert was, still is I think, the main environmental writer for The New Yorker, though she writes of other things too, nowadays This book was one of the first books I read on climate change, and is particularly convincing as it is based on actually observing what was going on in the Arctic, not on climate models, theoretical projections, or any such things as these though I imagine that some of this stuff is mentioned in the book, I don t recall.Kolbert is a fine writer, and although I suppose the book is somewhat out of date by now the things she writes of have gone from bad to much worse it is still a good introduction to climate change from the point of view of the Arctic, where things are changing fastest This book, Field Notes from a Catastrophe Man, Nature and Climate Change by Elizabeth Kolbert grew out of a three part series she wrote for the New Yorker In this slim volume, Elizabeth Kolbert methodically explains the science of climate change and the warming temperatures of the earth I think one of the most startling aspects of this book, for me, was learning that the study of climate change as it relates to the burning of fossil fuels actually dates back to the 19th century This isn This book, Field Notes from a Catastrophe Man, Nature and Climate Change by Elizabeth Kolbert grew out of a three part series she wrote for the New Yorker In this slim volume, Elizabeth Kolbert methodically explains the science of climate change and the warming temperatures of the earth I think one of the most startling aspects of this book, for me, was learning that the study of climate change as it relates to the burning of fossil fuels actually dates back to the 19th century This isn t new Ms Kolbert starts with the history of the scientists who matter most in the study of the warming of the planet The first scientist to make a contribution was an Irish physicist named John Tyndall In the latter part of the 1850s, he began to study a variety of gases and is the person who identified what is now called the natural greenhouse effect A Swedish chemist named Svante Arrhenius picked up the research where Tyndall left off Arrhenius began painstakingly working out the effects of carbon dioxide CO2 on global temperatures He had been observing the rapid industrialization which was occurring across the world and began calculating how the earth s temperature would be affected by changing CO2 levels Arrhenius recognized that industrialization and climate change were related and that the burning of fossil fuels over time would lead to the warming of the planet He proposed an estimate of just how many years he thought it would take for this warming to occur he thought it would take 3,000 years of coal burning Sadly and unfortunately, he was off in his calculations only by about 2,850 years Building on the science she provided, Elizabeth Kolbert then takes the reader on a journey with her to a number of places across the globe She begins in the interior of Alaska, speaking with scientists about the thawing of the permafrost and how this is an indicator of global temperatures She also travels to the ice sheets of Greenland and the jungles of Costa Rica once again collecting data from scientists scientists who methodically describe the observations they have been making over time painting a downright shocking picture of just how quickly the earth is warming and what the consequences will be for the many species who are on the brink of extinction and of course, for man and the world as we know it.Although the information in this book is dated the book was written almost a decade ago which tells me that things aredire than this book demonstrates , I wanted to read it because it is an excellent source for understanding the science behind what has oddly become a controversial subject This book was easy to understand written in language which is highly accessible to people like me who are far from proficient in science If you have an interest in understanding this topic, I would highly recommend this book as a starting place.My favorite quote It may seem impossible to imagine that a technologically advanced society could choose, in essence, to destroy itself , but that is now what we are in the process of doing This washard science than rhetoric which was welcome Kolbert lays out the argument convincingly and compellingly Because she is not daunted by the science, the argument comes across measured and deliberate maybe even a bit understated at times making it all theeffective For anyone still harboring doubts about global warming, I d like to think this book may well challenge their current thought processes.Kolbert takes us on a voyage across Iceland and Greenland, glaciers in Alas This washard science than rhetoric which was welcome Kolbert lays out the argument convincingly and compellingly Because she is not daunted by the science, the argument comes across measured and deliberate maybe even a bit understated at times making it all theeffective For anyone still harboring doubts about global warming, I d like to think this book may well challenge their current thought processes.Kolbert takes us on a voyage across Iceland and Greenland, glaciers in Alaska andtemperate zones in Western Europe to describe the already substantial effects of climate change She claims, with admirable clarity, the consequences can already be felt on every continent, every country, by plants and animals alike She also takes us on a brief history of the science of climate change and the political agendas that have followed.There is the odd note of potential optimism towards the end Overall, though, and especially if you read the edition with the updated 2009 afterword, you can t help but feel an overwhelming sense of despair, dread even, when you consider how little has been done to date and how very little is likely to be done in the near future to reduce the effects of global warming It s abundantly clear there s no stopping it It s impressive how well Kolbert avoids doom and gloom Neither does she understate the issue She navigates the polemic that s been made false polemic , debunks the myths, observes from ground zero, outlines plans of action It s an excellent primer, well researched and grounded But ultimately, yeah this was written ten years ago and we re still not paying attention Soon what happens next won t be up to us. It may seem impossible to imagine that a technologically advanced society could choose, in essence, to destroy itself, but that is what we are now in the process of doing This quote demonstrates the overwhelming message that Kolbert is trying to convey in writing this book She urges people to recognize the growing changes that are occurring on our planet and the need to address issue before for it is to late Kolbert s book provides unique facts and observation that allow her to come to the It may seem impossible to imagine that a technologically advanced society could choose, in essence, to destroy itself, but that is what we are now in the process of doing This quote demonstrates the overwhelming message that Kolbert is trying to convey in writing this book She urges people to recognize the growing changes that are occurring on our planet and the need to address issue before for it is to late Kolbert s book provides unique facts and observation that allow her to come to the conclusion that global climate change is happening She gathered information through a number travels throughout the world, various research projects, and with the help many experts The wide variety of sources used demonstrate the enormous amount of effort she made in order for this book to serve as scientific research that should not go unread Throughout the book, Kolbert goes in depth on variety of issues that factor into global climate change and separates them into two distinct sections The first part of book addresses how nature is affected by global climate change She effectively starts the book talking about how different cultures and regions have been affected by an increase in temperatures She gives many examples of these changes ranging from the increase in melting sea ice to the warming of permafrost around the Arctic She explains the consequences and possible outcomes of these changes by describing their effects on the world Then she clarifies how global climate change is not just a recent fad but has been studied since the middle of the nineteenth century This allows the reader to understand that scientists have been developing the case for global climate change for hundreds of years and its possible negative affects if not dealt with it After explaining the history of climate change she moves intocontemporary issues she discovered in her travels and research One place she traveled was to a Swiss research camp on the Greenland ice sheet During her time at the camp she learns how the temperature has been increasing steadily for the past ten years consequently melting the glacier at alarming rates The conclusions she makes through her studies show the reader how climate change affects nature and what will happen in the future if there are no reforms While the first part of the book stresses the impact of global climate change on nature, the second section of the book discusses how mankind has and continues to cause global climate change First, Kolbert talks about how ancient civilizations have been driven to extinctions because of climate change She shares this information almost in way to scare the reader that our society could be next But Kolbert calms the nerves by emphasizing that our technology advancements will allow for us to adapt to these climate changes Although technology advancements could potentially save us, she argues that as society and technology continues to progress thedamage we do to the environment In support of her argument she stresses that emission levels need to be put into check by using new energy sources that areenvironmental friendly One way to combat emission is through the Kyoto Protocol but the United States rejected its proposal when President Bush said global warming neededresearch and was not a sound science This angered Kolbert because she believed the facts were sufficient in stating that the United States produces nearly a quarter of the worlds total greenhouse gases Through these examples it suggests that Kolbert wants the reader to understand that mankind is largely responsible for global climate change It is through our ignorance and denial that is causing dramatic changes to our Earth In conclusion, Kolbert uses the Dutch chemist Paul Crutzen s theory that humans are no longer live in the Holocene era but rather the Anthropocene era or the age of man She rightly justifies this claim by the way humans have been transforming the earth to in order to fit our self interests She contends that if this philosophy is not reversed, the Earth will continue to spiral out of control Overall, Kolbert intended Field Notes from a Catastrophe for the layperson in order to inform them about the realization of global climate change and she succeeded This book seems poorly proportioned It spends too many pages shoring up the existence of anthropogenic climate change and not enough time talking about the implications Anyone open to the scientific premise isn t going to need 100 pages of proof before getting into the interesting part Between assessments of the present and forecasts for the future, Kolbert also never pauses to explain exactly why this is a problem I m not a climate change skeptic by any means, but my biggest frustration is This book seems poorly proportioned It spends too many pages shoring up the existence of anthropogenic climate change and not enough time talking about the implications Anyone open to the scientific premise isn t going to need 100 pages of proof before getting into the interesting part Between assessments of the present and forecasts for the future, Kolbert also never pauses to explain exactly why this is a problem I m not a climate change skeptic by any means, but my biggest frustration is people who don t lay out the argument for why changing the earth at a geological level is either morally or practically unacceptable Is it because it will dislocate coastal communities Because it will wipe out animal species that are important to the ecosystem Because it will lead to the extinction of man Any or all of these might be true, but I d like for people not to just take the catastrophic nature of global warming as an article of faith and tell me so The most interesting takeaway from this book is that there are a number of positive feedback cycles and trigger points that make the natural human tendency to think of global warming as a steady, linear process very dangerous Kolbert makes a thorough case for why stored carbon in permafrost, the ice albedo feedback loop, and other things will make the effects of global warming farirregular and sudden than we appreciate It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it Upton Sinclair, I, Candidate for Governor And How I Got LickedThat famous quote from Upton Sinclair seems highly appropriate to any discussion of climate change in this country Entrenched, very powerful economic interests control our political system and, to a great extent, our media, and those interests are determined that business as usual shall prevail in the production and distrib It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it Upton Sinclair, I, Candidate for Governor And How I Got LickedThat famous quote from Upton Sinclair seems highly appropriate to any discussion of climate change in this country Entrenched, very powerful economic interests control our political system and, to a great extent, our media, and those interests are determined that business as usual shall prevail in the production and distribution of energy In other words, petrochemical companies should be allowed to operate unchecked and unregulated That this is a recipe for worldwide catastrophe is made quite clear in this slim book by science writer Elizabeth Kolbert Kolbert organizes her narrative as a series of travelogues to various parts of the world where the effects of global warming are made most evident And so we visit the Alaskan interior, Iceland, and the Greenland ice sheet, as well as the mountains and meadows of Britain and Europe and the jungles of Costa Rica We also get to meet the researchers in all these places who are working hard to understand the effects of a warming climate.Kolbert also takes us back to the beginning of the study of climate and climate change in the 19th century where we meet Irish physicist John Tyndall who studied the absorptive properties of various gases and came up with the first accurate account of how the atmosphere functions.We also meet Swedish chemist Svante Arrhenius, who picked up where Tyndall left off and who later would win the Nobel Prize for his work on electrolytic dissociation Arrhenius became curious about the effects of carbon dioxide on global temperatures He was apparently interested in whether falling levels of carbon dioxide might have caused the ice ages He calculated how the earth s temperature would be affected by changing carbon dioxide levels He was able to declare that rising levels of carbon dioxide would allow future generations to live under a warmer sky Kolbert reviews some of the cultures that have suffered from or been destroyed by climate change in the past for example, the classical Mayan civilization of the Yucatan and, even earlier, that of Akkad between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers.This is all fascinating stuff for those of us who are interested in this issue, an audience which should include the entire human race The information is presented in a comprehensive and succinct manner and in highly readable form Kolbert has a knack for making complicated topics understandable The book was first published in 2006 in the middle of the George W Bush presidency and one of the saddest chapters of the book is entitled The Day After Kyoto which begins with a conversation with Bush s Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs, Paula Dobriansky Dobriansky attempts to explain and defend the adminstration s policy on climate change What she actually does is repeat the same talking point over and over again.Indeed, the history of the United States handling of the problem of global warming has been mostly downhill since President George H.W Bush acknowledged the problem and signed the U.N Framework Convention on Climate Change in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 It has mostly been a history of denial of basic science and a refusal to act or to lead, as perhaps best exemplified by climate change denialist Sen James Inhofe of Oklahoma.In an afterword written in January 2009, Kolbert makes clear that business as usual continues and without U.S leadership the problem of climate change cannot be solved It seems unlikely that that will happen in the foreseeable future The warnings of scientists like James Hansen continue to go unheeded and Earth continues to heat up I finished this book feeling very depressed about the future prospects for survival of the human race Field Notes From A Catastrophe is an interesting book that calmly lays out the evidence to support the fact that the earth is now the warmest it has been in the past 420,000 years She then goes on to talk about differing scientists viewpoints of what this might mean At the core, all of the important scientists in the field agree that the warming means that the planet is on the edge of a major climate change The main point of contention seems to be the time frame in which that will happen and Field Notes From A Catastrophe is an interesting book that calmly lays out the evidence to support the fact that the earth is now the warmest it has been in the past 420,000 years She then goes on to talk about differing scientists viewpoints of what this might mean At the core, all of the important scientists in the field agree that the warming means that the planet is on the edge of a major climate change The main point of contention seems to be the time frame in which that will happen and how much longer we have before that outcome is irreversible.Very nicely done without the alarmist tone that many writers on the subject develop probably because the potential outcomes are alarming The only thinghope killing than reading Elizabeth Kolbert on climate change see also The Sixth Extinction An Unnatural History is reading one of her books several years after publication, knowing no progress has been made What she writes is impossible to deny This book was published before The Sixth Extinction, then re issued in 2014 with a few updates that only confirm the bad tidings Trying to sum up the book here I went back to what I said about Sixth Extinction q.v. Though this bo The only thinghope killing than reading Elizabeth Kolbert on climate change see also The Sixth Extinction An Unnatural History is reading one of her books several years after publication, knowing no progress has been made What she writes is impossible to deny This book was published before The Sixth Extinction, then re issued in 2014 with a few updates that only confirm the bad tidings Trying to sum up the book here I went back to what I said about Sixth Extinction q.v. Though this book precedes it, the pair summed leave me in 20o18 in despairLasciate ogne speranza, voi ch intrate

Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate
  • Paperback
  • 225 pages
  • Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change
  • Elizabeth Kolbert
  • English
  • 06 October 2019
  • 1596911301