The author leads readers on a fast-moving journey through the Industrial Revolution on into the twentieth century, dropping names both familiar and forgotten ... The expansive research involved is laudable, while the packed narrative moves so rapidly it serves as a survey rather than an historical treatise. Bell’s overview of how industrialization led to the climate crisis is a good match for those seeking a brisk approach to the subject.
[A] thorough and sweeping history of the climate crisis ... Bell makes a convincing case that in order to effectively deal with climate change, people must understand how the world got to this point ... Impressive in scope, this deserves wide readership.
Her narrative zigzags among the Enlightenment and the present and points between, tracing how ideas about the climate as a world system came to be codified. Some of the narrative feels like a data dump, but the author’s account takes on greater force in her discussions of the near past and present, when inescapable evidence mounts to indicate how badly we’ve erred in overlooking the deleterious effects of fossil fuels ... A touch scattered but of interest to anyone concerned with climate change and our long, lamentable history of ignoring it.