With narrative sweep and a superb eye for character, Lipsky unfolds the dramatic narrative of the long, strange march of climate science. The story begins with a tale of three inventors—Thomas Edison, George Westinghouse, and Nikola Tesla—who made our technological world, not knowing what they had set into motion. Then there are the scientists who sounded the alarm once they identified carbon dioxide as the culprit of our warming planet. And we meet the hucksters, zealots, and crackpots who lied about that science and misled the public in ever more outrageous ways. Lipsky masterfully traces the evolution of climate denial, exposing how it grew out of early efforts to build a network of untruth about products like aspirin and cigarettes.
Lipsky’s book is a project of maximum ambition. He retells the entire climate story, from the dawn of electricity to the dire straits of our present day. It’s well-trod ground, but Lipsky...makes it page turning and appropriately infuriating ... Otherwise dry proceedings of back-room history are given a juicy injection of drama and humor. We get tales of vanity, fame and money — and at least one God complex ... Every new face (and there are many!) is important ... Cinematic.
A tour guide to the vicissitudes of climate change ... The tone and language of this book bounces between inviting (it is an excellent, approachable primer on the science of global warming) and irritating (the informality is at odds with the urgency of the argument). That almost certainly reflects how infuriating it must have been to trace the evolution of an idea that is a challenge to human survival ... The virtue of this volume lies in Lipsky’s dizzying account of how long we have known so much about an issue that means so much, how long we have ignored a problem that has begged not to be ignored, how much time we have wasted when time was of the essence, how clear the danger was when the opponents repeatedly asked for further clarity, how undeniable and how urgent the threat is now due to the peregrinations of the deniers