... a thorough study of human history, as seen entirely through the impact of climate ... They do touch on climate science, but because of the complexity and fast-changing nature of the discipline, they chose instead to focus on archaeology and history, to great effect. Theirs is not a typical work of popular world history; it’s fresh and new, and, unlike similar titles, marvelously eschews specificity in favor of generality and universality. The authors create thought-provoking connections and draw striking conclusions that will interest even the most climate-savvy of readers ... Complete with maps and illustrations, this wide-ranging historical survey is international in scope, while remaining accessible. A title for every reader, no matter their academic background.
The book really digs into the significance of different food systems, and how the benefits each offered to different segments of society ... Fagan and Durrani succeed in highlighting the importance of including archeological research in the conversation as the world comes to terms with the current climate crisis, as some solutions and lessons have been learned by humans many times before. The work is also accessible and easily understood, however the information is still dense; Climate Chaos is far from a page turner ... Climate Chaos contributes a great deal of information to the climate change discourse that has been neglected from the mainstream, and is a welcome addition to bookshelves of those who are interested in the intricacies of how society can move forward against a monumental threat.
... a fascinating study of human species’ adaptation through cycles of drought and flooding in pre-industrial and post-industrial times ... the authors aptly show us that local solutions were key and simple societies, who could easily move to better locations, who relied on kinship and reliable leadership, and who passed down their environmental knowledge were able to adapt ... By the time the authors bring us to climate history in North America, the observant reader will notice a pattern developing—local adaptations firmly based on traditional experience and knowledge with 'conservative strategies that minimize risk, combined with flexibility and opportunism, ensured survival in diverse and semiarid landscapes.'
Turning back to look at the past may not come so naturally when everyone else seems to focus on the future. And yet, Climate Chaos does exactly that: it recalibrates the reader’s attention and it encourages us to take a look at the past ... Climate Chaos also touches on what our past can teach us regarding surviving strategies and coping mechanisms in a world of existential climatic crises: these, among many others, are the valuable lessons from our past that the book shares with the reader.Whether you are a history aficionado, simply curious about past climate adaptations, or would like to know more about what we can learn from our past, Climate Chaos will be an informative read, with a focus on lessons from the past that can feel like a breath of fresh air in a plethora of environmental literature mostly focused on what our future may hold.
The authors round things out with a handful of 'brutally simple' lessons ... Educational and earnest, Fagan and Durrani’s work offers an original historical perspective. Climate-minded readers will find much to consider.