The definitive history of the modern climate-change era, from an award-winning writer who has been at the centre of the fight for more than thirty years
In 1979, President Jimmy Carter was presented with the findings of scientists who had been investigating whether human activities might change the climate in harmful ways. "A wait-and-see policy may mean waiting until it is too late," their report said. They were right – but no one was listening. Four decades later, we are haunted by the consequences of this inattention, and the years of complacency, obfuscation and denialism that followed. Today, the staggering scale and scope of what we have done to the planet are impossible to ignore: the seasons of fire and flood have crossed into plain view.
Fire & Flood is a comprehensive, compulsively readable history of climate change from veteran environmental journalist Eugene Linden. Linden retells the story of the modern climate change era decade by decade, tracking the progress of four ticking clocks: first, the reality of climate change itself; second, advances in scientific understanding; third, the spread of public awareness; and fourth, the business and finance response. Like no previous writer, Linden has drawn together the elements of the biggest story in the world, in a book that is gripping as history, as economic investigation, and as a scientific thriller.
Eugene Linden is an award-winning journalist and the author of The Parrot's Lament, The Future in Plain Sight, Silent Partners, and several other books on animals, the environment, and other issues relating to humanity's place in the natural order. His previous book on climate change, The Winds of Change, received the Grantham Prize Special Award of Merit. He has consulted for the U.S. State Department, the UN Development Program, and he is a widely travelled speaker and lecturer before audiences ranging from the intelligence community to the congregation of the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine. He lives in the Hudson Valley, in New York.
"Fascinating [...] This will be a telling story for a long time to come (assuming we're around to hear it)"
– Bill McKibben
"Urgent, meticulous [...] Linden pulls no punches"
– Publishers Weekly