Earth: The Operators' Manual

Richard Alley, Norton, $27.95 (416p) ISBN 978-0-393-08109-1
In this companion book to the PBS television series of the same name, Alley, a Penn State professor of geology who served as a member of the U.N. climate change committee, presents a primer on combatting global warming. The book begins with a history of how fuel—from trees, whale oil, and petroleum—has been instrumental to civilization and how we tend to exhaust our sources. He goes on to explain how scientists study climate change and why the evidence is convincing, and ends with a call to action and an overview of possible solutions. Laden with professorial jokes, unexpected similes (studying climate change is like watching kindergarten soccer; stabilizing the atmosphere is comparable to sewage treatment), photos of the author's daughters, and exhaustive responses that should demolish any and all misinformation about global warming circulating around the U.S., this optimistic book ought to convince even the most obstinate climate-change denier. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/07/2011
Release date: 04/01/2011
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