Though the science behind global climate change can be made simple, its scientific complexities go a long way toward putting the impending catastrophe into context. A Farewell to Ice does an excellent job of laying out and explaining these complexities in all of their nuance, going so far as to include climate math.
All this information is couched in the context of Arctic ice, but even so, the book can be considered a good introduction to the technical mechanics of climate change. While it is denser than most climate-change primers, it is also clear enough that nonscientists who are familiar with the basics will easily grasp the particulars. Coupled with in-depth historical analysis of global temperature fluctuations, this makes the book surprisingly versatile for an academic tome.
However, the content is also highly opinionated, criticizing the scientific community for relying on climate-change models rather than observation. The existence of this schism may be new information even to longtime climate-change activists, and it may constitute an important factor in a person’s ability to assess information about climate change. Even scientists already familiar with the issue should consider this book a worthwhile read.
While explicitly not written for the skeptic, this book may possess the power to sway entrenched points of view. Its presentation of global climate history does much to put the current crisis into perspective without seeming hysterical or toeing a party line. By sounding a call to action at the conclusion of the book, A Farewell to Ice ameliorates some of its grim message by presenting concrete options for nonscientist climate warriors. For this reason, it should be considered an excellent motivator and wake-up call for moderate believers in climate change.
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