cover image The Climate Book: The Facts and the Solutions

The Climate Book: The Facts and the Solutions

Edited by Greta Thunberg. Penguin Press, $30 (464p) ISBN 978-0-593-49230-7

Humanity must decarbonize or die, according to this impassioned anthology of writings on climate change. Climate activist Thunberg (No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference) gathers essays from scientists, journalists, and activists, starting with lucid and accessible explanations of the science of global warming and its possible effects. Other pieces include upbeat assessments of solar and wind energy by eco-pundit Bill McKibben and recommendations for vegetarianism and shifting from cars to bicycles and mass transit. Economists Lucas Chancel and Thomas Piketty call for redistributive taxes on carbon, while journalist Naomi Klein insists that “as we get clean, we must begin to redress the founding crimes of our nations. Land theft. Genocide. Slavery. Imperialism.” Thunberg’s own essays scold politicians for foot-dragging on decarbonization (“They read stock-market analysis to the waves of the ocean, like fools”) and call for “immediate, drastic, annual emission reductions on a scale unlike anything the world has ever seen.” While many authors sound an apocalyptic note, their doomsaying often relies on models with myriad variables, as when oceanographer Stefan Rahmstorf notes that “we have enough ice on Earth to raise sea levels by 65 metres,” a process that may unfold “over centuries and millennia to come.” Still, this is a comprehensive and articulate shock to the system. Illus. (Feb.)