Field Notes from a Catastrophe

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change today released a much-anticipated report that analyzes whether human activity is driving global warming. When the same report was issued in 2001, man-made greenhouses gases were believed at 66% certainty to be responsible. The new report is 90% certain. You can get your socks knocked off here, though I recommend starting with an impressive piece of journalism by New Yorker staff writer Elizabeth Kolbert.

Kolbert scales back the daunting facts and figures of climate change and talks about the issue in the context of individual stories in her book, Field Notes from a Catastrophe. She describes residents of an Alaskan fishing village who are forced to choose whether to stay on their melting island or move to the mainland. She criticizes the U.S. for refusing to sign the Kyoto protocol, while praising U.S. cities for working to curb emissions.

You can hear an interview with Kolbert on Sierra Club radio, by clicking through the links here to the archived edition, 1-13-2007.

You can also hear Kolbert live at the Witherspoon Cinema at NC State University, February 26 at 7 pm.

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