© 2013 Climate Central
Global Weirdness is a climate briefing for the civic body; short, well-organized, and to the point. Produced by Climate Central, the book is divided into three parts; the first reviews the science of climate change, considering not just greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and water vapor, but contributors from Earth itself. A second section examines what effects of climate change we are currently witnessing, and the final part makes tentative guesses about what changes we might see in the future. Weirdness, despite its playful title, is a serious and cautious work. The authors’ essential point is that we on Earth are in the midst of a climate change, a gradual heating; the trend is long term, and not defied by the vagaries of daily weather. The trick is that the Earth is a massive place, and its climate enormously complicated; the chaos-wheel set in motion by one factor has consequences we cannot predict. What is clear is that the Earth as a whole is getting warmer, and its weather more unstable; increased stress is inevitable for both humans and especially the global ecosystem. More disturbingly, there’s not a great deal we can do about it; even if the global civilization suddenly stopped emitting greenhouse gases on an industrial scale, the planet would still continue to heat for a hundred years thereafter because of delayed actions. There exists presently no silver bullet; none of the alternative energy sources are particularly attractive. Weirdnessis a call to awareness that we are in for a rough century.