More than 850 book reviews

Tag Archive for ‘global warming’

Overpopulation in fiction and on film

Make Room! Make Room!, by Harry Harrison @@@ (3 out of 5) In 1973, American filmgoers were shocked by a film entitled Soylent Green, starring Charlton Heston and Leigh Taylor-Young. The film depicts New York City in 2022 with a population of 40 million. The streets are crowded with homeless people, but those few with… Read More ›

A colony on Mars? Really?

A review of Beyond: Our Future in Space, by Chris Impey @@@@ (4 out of 5) A colony on Mars? Really? Some of us grasp the existential crisis humanity faces today, and fear that global climate change, an asteroid collision, a super volcano, a viral pandemic, or some other easily imaginable catastrophe could put an… Read More ›

What makes social change happen?

A review of The Social Labs Revolution: A New Approach to Solving Our Most Complex Challenges, by Zaid Hassan @@@@ (4 out of 5) “Planning based-approaches — so common across government, civil society, and even business — represent a neo-Soviet paradigm” and have long been shown to be at best minimally effective in fostering meaningful… Read More ›

Do vegetarians love animals more than people?

Eating Animals, by Jonathan Safran Foer @@@@ (4 out of 5) I am not now, nor have I ever been, a vegetarian. However, living as I do in Berkeley, California, from time to time I find myself in the minority at dinners and potlucks. So, as you might imagine, over the years I’ve come to hear… Read More ›

Are we living through the Sixth Extinction?

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, by Elizabeth Kolbert @@@@@ (5 out of 5) You probably know that you and I — actually, all of us collectively, homo sapiens the species — are responsible for a truly alarming reduction in the number of other species on Planet Earth. But apart from occasional stories in the… Read More ›

My five favorite books of 2013

A popular local website called Berkeleyside had asked me to pick my five favorite books for the year just ending. This proved to be a tough assignment. Of the 50 or so books I’d read so far in 2013, the easy route would have been to turn to familiar writers whose work I nearly always… Read More ›

Books That Make Great Gifts

Here’s a baker’s dozen of recent books, both fiction and nonfiction. What they’ve got in common is that they’re all well written, and I found every one of them engrossing. Any one of these will make a great gift for the right person. They’re arranged in alphabetical order by title, with a link to my… Read More ›

Barbara Kingsolver writes about climate change

A review of Flight Behavior, by Barbara Kingsolver @@@@@ (5 out of 5) Here is Barbara Kingsolver, weaving together the themes of climate change, feminist coming-of-age, rural poverty, family relations, and love into a tautly organized, suspenseful, and compelling story. Because of the author’s unique qualifications — she lives on a farm in Appalachia, is… Read More ›

Will solar energy replace fossil fuels? An expert seems to think so

A review of Rooftop Revolution: How Solar Power Can Save Our Economy — and our Planet — from Dirty Energy, by Danny Kennedy. @@@@ (4 out of 5). Overview of the present and future prospects for solar energy, brought to life in an engaging conversational style by one of the avatars of the solar industry.

Will the human race survive climate change and a mass extinction?

A review of Scatter, Adapt, and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction, by Annalee Newitz. @@@@@ (5 out of 5). A science journalist takes a hard look at humanity’s chances of long-term survival and proposes proven strategies to ensure our race does not go extinct.