2017 Reading List: Six Degrees
3. Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet, by Mark Lynas (HarperCollins, 2008)
Oh boy, what a week. The Doomsday Clock got updated (see previous posts on this blog) and there are a lot of factors behind the Bulletin of Atomic Scientist’s decision to move the time to 2.5 minutes to Midnight, the closest the clock has struck since 1953. One of the factors is climate change.
Six Degrees is an alarming look about how climate change will alter our world. It doesn’t seem like a major temperature change, but a 6 (C) degree rise in the Earth’s average temperature would be catastrophic. This book leads the reader about the devastation the world faces at each degree increase. By the time we get to the 2 degree world, things are already pretty bad. Some parts of the world will suffer drought, famine, leading to a huge flux of climate refugees. As the polar regions melt, other areas will experience extreme flooding. There will be extreme weather and the food chain will fall apart as the changes bring about mass extinction.
This book was written in 2008, so I’d like to follow up and see how far into the timeline presented we are– are we already in the 1 or 2 degree world? After presenting the apocalyptic 6 degree world, Lynas ends with a chapter titled “Choosing Our Future” in which he pleads for people to look forward and try to reverse our downward spiral by curbing greenhouse emissions, investing in renewable energy, and reducing the carbon footprint however possible. In that regard, the United States is the biggest offender. Sadly, it looks like our new administration has absolutely no interest in addressing this threat and has some trouble even admitting the issue is real. That is bad news for planet Earth as action needs to be taken on climate change, like yesterday.
I’m going to try to let my mind settle on this book and then I’m going to start reading another title on climate change tomorrow.
The Apocalypse Blog explores the topics of Tea Krulos’s third non-fiction book, which is about doomsday predictions, prepping, and pop culture. It’ll be published in 2018 (if the world survives that long). His first two books, Heroes in the Night (2013) and Monster Hunters (2015) are available from Chicago Review Press here: http://www.chicagoreviewpress.com/krulos–tea-contributor-296670.php