Fixing Climate

27 June 2008

By Robert Kunzig and Wallace Broecker

This book is three things in one: it is an engaging biography of leading climate scientist Wallace Broecker, Newberry Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University, by popular sicence writer Robert Kunzig of Discover magazine, and voyage of discovery through the history of climate science; finally it is an analysis of how we could remove CO2 from the atmosphere by extracting it, particularly featuring the researches of Klaus Lackner (see Air Scrubber Invented article in this Carbon News).

The style is easy to read, Kunzig is careful to humanise the many scientists featured by giving anecdotes about their adventures in icy expeditions or their penchant for practical jokes.

It is thorough and comprehensive, explaining how by theory, experiment and luck scientists gradually uncovered the mysteries of climate; the dawning horrific realisation from many climatologists that we were involved in a vast, uncontrolled experiment with the planet we are living on is a grippingly described. The amount of significant factual detail should silence any “Climate Change Denier”.

However it is a little unsatisfactory. The title is a misnomer. It is mostly about what we are doing to “unfix” the climate by wrecking it. To rely on one invention which hasn't been proven to work yet, is not “Fixing Climate”.

Although this is an interesting read, it is probably more for the completist, rather than the ordinary person interested in the problem.£10.99 pp288

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