In 2011, Goodrich, retired head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Observation and Monitoring Program, traded his office chair for a bike seat and set off cross-country seeking a more personal look at the questions that occupied his science career: whether climate change is man-made and what can be done about it. He quotes Jane Goodall: “The only way I’ve found to change people’s minds is to tell them stories.” His cycle tales—gleaned from pedaling over 4,500 miles through gas-drilling Pennsylvania, tornado-prone Missouri, drought-ridden Kansas, and wildfire-choked Montana—aim to convince people that the planet is in danger. But Goodrich finds that it’s a hard sell in many places. He peppers his narrative with historical anecdotes, environmental science asides, and lots of travel details. The result is quaint but not earthshaking. Too often, the chapters read like a travelogue of where he ate and slept. His most interesting observation is that small-town America has its head in the sand regarding climate change. Across the country he discovers that “you could talk about the weather, but not the climate.” Had Goodrich pumped his subject as willfully as his pedals, this may have become a more meaningful book. Maps & photos. Agent: John Silbersack, Trident Media. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/24/2017 Release date: 06/01/2017 Genre: Nonfiction
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