This sweeping magnum opus is not only a rigorous, innovative, and fascinating exploration of how the climate affects the human condition, but also a clarion call to recognize our species' utter reliance on the earth as it is. The first few chapters give the reader all the relevant background knowledge needed. I hadn't heard of the Nipah virus, transmitted by fruit bats fleeing forest fires to pigs via fruit orchards, and from pigs to their handlers. Imagine life without in the summer without cooling as the temperatures rise. Although he doesn't claim that geography is the only reason, some careless readers may jump to that conclusion since Diamond doesn't remind the reader often enough to avoid blaming geography for everything under the sun. The relevant question is: what additional change to the climate are humans now superimposing on the ever-present natural background changes? The simplest is to deny such a thing exists.
Its power derives from synthesis. They can, but so can cooling. True to his legacy, McMichael puts people front and center in the story. Summary chapter really adds the same as others like Stern, Gore, the Dalai Lama - but if we don't keep saying it. McMichael makes a similar error in his book. The dumb thing is, even though I am familiar with all the individual pieces McMichael lays out here, the way it is brought together and puts time into perspective still gave me near-vertigo.
Jared Diamond is an expert geographer. If the increasingly sheltered, artificial, net-dependent society is to survive it will have to prepare; Superstorm Sandy is one example of what is to come. He then gives a brief overview of how catastrophic failures of civilisations tend to occur - war, famine, pestilence and disease - since his concern as an epidemiologist is the effect of climate change on human health. Heatwaves cause deaths, such as 500,000 deaths in Europe during 2003 as well as forest fires and lost harvests. From Cambrian Explosion to first farmers: how climate made us human 5.
All other actions are helpful, but not nearly as powerful. As McMichael shows, the break-up of the Roman Empire, the bubonic Plague of Justinian, and the mysterious collapse of Mayan civilization all have roots in climate change. This book shows the myriad ways in which human life on this planet is interconnected with the surrounding environment, which in turn is ruled by climate. For example, a couple of years ago, we learned that 3-4% of non-African humans have Neanderthal genes. Other species are migrating up mountains after fast-shrinking glaciers, or in South Africa, down to the toe of the continent. Others will admit that the climate has changed in the past, but they'll insist that it was always glacially slow; now is the only time it's ever been swift. We have a far more detailed picture of the rise and fall of Roman, Mayan, and Anasazi civilizations, and, later, of the Little Ice Age ca.
And if we are successful, as we must be, Tony McMichael's contributions will live on as a vital part of that legacy. McMichael, a renowned epidemiologist and a pioneer in the field of how human health relates to climate change, is the ideal person to tell this story. And the ocean currents, thermohaline as we now call them, circulate heat and salt or fresh water. As McMichael shows, the break-up of the Roman Empire, the bubonic Plague of Justinian, and the mysterious collapse of Mayan civilization all have roots in climate change. From the very beginning of our species some five million years ago, human biology has evolved to adapt to cooling temperatures, new food sources, and changing geography.
As McMichael shows, the break-up of the Roman Empire, the bubonic Plague of Justinian, and the mysterious collapse of Mayan civilization all have roots in climate change. Giant cells in constant motion opposite to one another keep the atmosphere moving and shedding or gaining moisture; the Polar cell, the Ferrell cell and the Hadley cell at the equator. Keeping track, so humans can remember, heal, and live in healthy and happy reciprocity with all living things. Offering hindsight as well as foresight, McMichael makes a strong argument for sustainability. This is not just about the extinction of a number of animal or plant species — it is about the continuation of the human species.
The author McMichael looks back over climate shifts in the past, warmer and cooler periods, to see how they affected social order, health and the fate of nations. During the twentieth century the world population quadrupled to six billion. The monsoon in India was seen around 1900 by a man called Walker who studied records, to be a result of a larger climactic pattern from the El Nino. Each chapter ends with several pages of notes and references, and the later chapters look more at agriculture, our prehistoric past and evolution, the Nile valley and Eurasian Bronze Age, the Romans, the bubonic plague, the Anasazi in southern North America, the Little Ice Age, which caused famine, deaths and social instability leading to the Hundred Years' War, the nineteenth century's potato blight, before going back to the long look at the Holocene. When the earth warms, won't that create more jobs in Canada and Alaska? Other records have been discovered in ice cores, soil deposits, tree rings, cave speleothems like stalactites, coral growth and lake and seabed sediments. Global warming is disrupting this balance, just as other climate-related upheavals have tested human societies throughout history. McMichael with Alistair Woodward and Cameron Muir.
The reality of the earth is that the climate is always shifting and changing and has naturally since it's birth. McMichael, a renowned epidemiologist and a pioneer in the field of how human health relates to climate change, is the ideal person to tell this story. However, they rarely point to the one that would have the most long-term impact: our population growth. As societies began to form, they too evolved in relation to their environments, most notably with the development of agriculture eleven thousand years ago. Climate-related upheavals are a common thread running through history, and they inevitably lead to conflict and destruction.
I am sure experts love to champion their own version but McMichael says the warming of the seawater in the Gulf of Mexico drives the North Atlantic Conveyor, whereas I have seen elsewhere that the plunge to the depths of the light saline water when it meets the cold, dense melting freshwater from the Arctic is the engine dragging water north across the sea surface. Eurasian Bronze Age: unsettled climatic times 7. Bushfire smoke caused breathing problems in Sydney which also suffered dust storms. I was pleased to see the rubber ducks which washed off a cargo transport ship in 1992 mentioned, as these provided invaluable evidence about global currents. It is extremely vulnerable to attack. Climate variability, both temperature and precipitation, are what the book is really about — its history and many of the mechanisms by which it has wreaked havoc. This splendid book is a call to action.