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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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
Environmental journalist Hertsgaard traveled the world to assess green issues just over a decade ago and wrote Earth Odyssey (1999). The birth of his daughter in 2005 sent him back out into the field with a new sense of urgency. What will the world be like when she attains adulthood? As Hertsgaard reports on his conversations with scientists, business executives, politicians, and regular folks, he explains with defining clarity and aplomb why now is the crucial time for mitigation, reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, and for adaptation, taking action to reduce our vulnerability to the impact of climate change, which is already under way. Innovative adaptation is Hertsgaard's main focus, from vanguard projects in Britain and the Netherlands to impressive achievements in Chicago and Washington State's King County and a quiet green miracle in Africa. His analysis of the impact of global warming on industries as different as winemaking and insurance is intriguing, and his well-supported conclusion that social change can beat back climate change is inspiring. Hertsgaard's rigor and concern make for an exceptionally productive approach to a confounding reality.--Seaman, Donna Copyright 2010 Booklist
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
In Hot, author/journalist Hertsgaard makes a meticulous effort to describe the effect global warming will have on people at a very personal level. The book does not detail scientific evidence, nor immerse the reader in graphs and data. The author begins with the simple premise of trying to describe how climate change will affect the life of his daughter, and other young people, growing up with the onus of a warming world. Though Hertsgaard accents many problems associated with climate change, he is careful to highlight the work of people who seek to minimize the impact through plans to mitigate and adapt to the changing climate. He broadly covers projected global impacts such as sea level rise and food shortages, while spending a great deal of time on specific local efforts to address these challenges. While this reviewer disagrees with this approach, it does serve the author's purpose. This is not a scientific text, but more a book meant to give readers a sense of what climate change will mean in their personal lives. It is a narrative about people in the midst of an alarming situation--a vision we all need to consider. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower- and upper-division undergraduates, two-year technical program students, and general readers. M. Schaab Maine Maritime Academy