Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years

Mark Hertsgaard, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $24 (352p) ISBN 978-0-618-82612-4
A new father, Hertsgaard (Earth Odyssey) was growing increasingly anxious and despondent about climate change and the world his child would inherit. His new book is his investigation into the techniques that could allow his daughter and her generation "to survive the challenges ahead." This readable, passionate book is surprisingly optimistic: Seattle, Chicago, and New York are making long-term, comprehensive plans for flooding and drought. Impoverished farmers in the already drought-stricken African Sahel have discovered how to substantially improve yields and decrease malnutrition by growing trees among their crops, and the technique has spread across the region; Bangladeshis, some of the poorest and most flood-vulnerable yet resilient people on earth, are developing imaginative innovations such as weaving floating gardens from water hyacinth that lift with rising water. Contrasting the Netherland's 200-year flood plans to the New Orleans Katrina disaster, Hertsgaard points out that social structures, even more than technology, will determine success, and persuasively argues that human survival depends on bottom-up, citizen-driven government action. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 09/13/2010
Release date: 01/01/2011
Genre: Nonfiction
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