Five new books on urban climate change, past mass extinctions, tropical rainforests, religious anti-science, and the end of Arctic ice
Ecosocialist Bookshelf is an occasional feature. We can’t review every book we receive, but we will list and link to any that seem relevant to Climate & Capitalism’s mission, along with excerpts from the publishers’ descriptions. Titles listed here may be reviewed in future.
Please note: Inclusion of a book does not imply endorsement, or that we agree with everything (or even anything!) the book says.
The Perils and Promise of Urban Life in the Age of Climate Change
Cities are ground zero for climate change, contributing the lion’s share of carbon to the atmosphere, while also lying on the frontlines of rising sea levels. Today, the majority of the world’s megacities are located in coastal zones, yet few of them are adequately prepared for the floods that will increasingly menace their shores. Instead, most continue to develop luxury waterfront condos for the elite and industrial facilities for corporations. These not only intensify carbon emissions, but also place coastal residents at greater risk when water levels rise.
THE ENDS OF THE WORLD
Volcanic Apocalypses, Lethal Oceans, and Our Quest to Understand Past Extinctions
Using the visible clues that past extinctions devastations have left behind in the fossil record, Brannen tells the story of each extinction, and introduces us to the researchers on the front lines who, using the forensic tools of modern science, are piecing together what really happened at the crime scenes of the Earth’s biggest whodunits.
ON THE EDGE
The State and Fate of the World’s Tropical Rainforests
Club of Rome, 2015
Claude Martin, an eminent scientist and conservationist, integrates information from remote imaging, ecology, and economics to explain deforestation and forest health throughout the world. He explains how urbanization, an increasingly global economy, and demand for biofuels put new pressure on rainforest land. He examines the policies and market forces that have successfully preserved forests in some areas and discusses the economic benefits of protected areas. Using evidence from ice core records and past forest-cover patterns, he predicts the most likely effects of climate change.
The Christian Right’s War on Reality
New York University Pres, 2017
Christian Right leaders see conspiracies within the scientific establishment, with scientists not only peddling fraudulent information, but actively concealing their true motives from the American public and threatening to destroy the moral foundation of society. By rejecting science, Christian Right leaders create their own alternative reality, one that does not challenge their literal reading of the Bible.
A FAREWELL TO ICE
A Report from the Arctic
Penguin Allen Lane, 2016
Rapid feedbacks in the Arctic region are accelerating change there more rapidly than almost all scientists have previously realised, and the dangers of further acceleration are very real. A report from the frontline of planetary change in the Arctic and Antarctic by a leading authority, presenting incontrovertible scientific data, but always in clear language which the layman can easily understand.