Himalayan snow melt, worldwide bee colony collapse, increasingly acidic oceans: these are just some of the consequences of climate change, writes Jeff Nesbit in the alarming This Is the Way the World Ends: How Droughts and Die-Offs, Heat Waves and Hurricanes Are Converging on America. And the planet is poised, he continues, to see much worse. The executive director of Climate Nexus and a former White House senior communications official, Nesbit draws from years of experience studying climate change to explain in clear and urgent prose how the Earth is changing and what solutions exist to tackle the problem.
Most impressive is Nesbit's ability to show that seemingly disconnected events are actually closely linked because of climate change. The migration patterns of multiple species are changing, he writes, because of warming temperatures. And these changes result in others that affect "every single type of plant or animal." The reason more people don't see these links is because scientists struggle "to shrink a lifetime of work into a brief statement that conveys instant meaning to a mass audience." Nesbit's book, though not brief, is a profound work that makes climate science accessible to the general public.
Unlike many recent books on climate change, This Is the Way the World Ends also offers hopeful solutions. Nesbit's blueprint for a "path forward" includes "more efficient resource use, infrastructure investment, and innovation" across public and private sectors. This is a vital book, not only for environmentalists, but for anyone who cares about future generations. --Amy Brady, freelance writer and editor