4.5 out of 5 stars

A copy of this was provided free of charge from the publisher in return for an honest review.

Regardless of what the oil industry-funded climate change deniers would have you think, the climate of this tiny blue dot that we inhabit is changing in ways that we can only speculate on. It feels like we are just about at a tipping point too. Recently the temperatures in Europe have reached the highest levels ever recorded, there have been wildfires and for the first time ever rain rather than snow has fallen in part of Greenland.

There is a lots of political noise and talk about changing the way that we do things. However, vested interests and a concerted effort from the oil industry spread enough doubt to get parts of the population to question everything. (It is well worth reading Merchants of Doubt). All of this could change should the Earth begin one of its violent phases again, but at the moment we are the instigators behind these changes.

In this book, Dyke reminds us of the ancient geological history of our planet by looking at how events have shaped it and both brought forth life as well as eradicating it. However, the focus is really about what we are doing to it.  In between each of the overviews are little essays about a particular event that happened along with a photo relevant to it. The events are a huge as Snowball Earth to the 1976 heatwave, the Chicago Fire in 1871, Hurricane Katrina, floods from all around the world, wildfires and even the stuff we can’t always see, like coral bleaching.

I can’t say that I truly liked this book. It does have a cruel beauty and a stark and unequivocal warning. The images within of a planet suffering are beautiful and disturbing in equal measure. Dyke’s writing is not gloating at all, rather the words are a considered response to the unfolding catastrophe that is climate change. This book and the events of the past few months are a reminder that it is not coming anymore.


It is here now.

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