Rainer Maria Rilke

"Live a while in these books, learn from them what seems to you worth learning, but above all love them. This love will be repaid you a thousand and a thousand times, and however your life may turn,-it will, I am certain of it, run through the fabric of your growth as one of the most important threads among all the threads of your experiences, disappointments, and joys."--Rainer Maia Rilke

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Thursday, January 5, 2012

An Important,Guilty Read

Field Notes from a Catastrophe:  Man, Nature and Climate Change by Elizabeth Kolbert

On the inside front cover of the book, there is this claim:  "The Most Important Book About Life on Earth in Over Forty Years".  I expect it has lived up to that. 

This nonfiction book is an extremely scientific look at our mother plant with measurements, tables and data.  Be prepared to study and cogitate with this read.  It reminds me of Al Gore's prize-winning film, An Inconvenient Truth.

The book was published in 2006 and was dire news even then.  Consider these sobering stats:
  • 15 to 37% of plants and animals could go extinct by climate change and man taking over their areas of habitation
  • Drought is considered 'severe' across the US and likely to continue to deteriorate
  • US policy is embarrassing and ridiculous and any strides made in 2006 have since been mostly repealed and/or abolished.
How much worse is it today?  A quote from the book, "It may seem impossible to imagine that a technologically advance society could choose, in essence, to destroy itself, but that is what we are now in the process of doing."

The book made me cringe, alternating between shame at my species and shame at my own personal laziness.  After reading it, I have changed my slovenly way and have vowed to do more of my own personal share to change this earth, including reading more books like this one and doing more research.  If you know of others, send them my way.

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