- Hard Science
Title: Wild Weather: The Truth Behind Global Warming
Author: Dr. Reese Halter
Publisher: Altitude Publishing
Web Page: www.amazingstoriesbooks.com
Reviewed by: Les Chappell | View Bio
Global warming is unquestionably – and ironically – one of the hottest issues in the world today. Failed presidential candidates have turned it into their pet project, celebrities make us feel bad for not doing more and every time I scan the newspaper I find myself saturated with tales of doom and threats that within a few years nothing will be the same.
This saturation means that a lot of information gets swept up and promoted as part of the global warming solution, a trend that produces books such as Dr. Reese Halter’s “Wild Weather: The Truth Behind Global Warming.” Though it brands itself as a “contemporary insight” on how weather changes and affects us, it reads more as a series of lectures on Earth’s natural disasters.
Each chapter is split in two parts, with half of the focus on the science behind a natural disaster and half on stories of what these disasters can do. Some of these stories are relevant to our current conditions – hurricanes, tornados, ice storms and firestorms – but even more come from a time when “forecasting was in its infancy,” and we did not have the early warning systems we do now. One story in particular, covering the “Children’s Blizzard of 1888” comes off more as a warning to bundle up than anything relevant for the present.
And here we see the main problem with “Wild Weather:” most of the information it presents is information we already have. The disasters Halter describes have been around long before global warming occurred, and while the excess carbon dioxide in that atmosphere is accelerating their occurrence they are not unique events. The book tries to scare readers with upcoming threats, but levels it out with the idea that on some level these are still natural.
The book does have some occasional flares of useful information, particularly around the last few chapters. A whole subsection of one chapter explains how mosquitoes are adjusting their biological clocks in the face of global warming, creating an additional danger in allowing them to spread disease further. We are also warned about the current state of our forests, which between insect population and poorly managed growth are ripe for another firestorm. These are the details readers need the most, and they are somewhat slim here.
“Wild Weather” is a mildly interesting introduction to the mechanics of a natural disaster, but is wrongly branded: it’s more a mix of meteorology and history lessons than the truth behind global warming. The book’s information is valid, but it’s nothing that hasn’t already entered public eye.
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