Book Review/Global Warming

The Ravaging Tide, Strange Weather, Future Katrinas, and the Coming Death of America?s Coastal Cities, by Mike Tidwell (in paperback from Free Press)

Journalist Mike Tidwell has traveled extensively, especially in coastal Louisiana and Mississippi, and, based on his travels, studies and observations, he predicted a hurricane exactly like Katrina?complete with that storm?s disastrous human and material effects?in his 2003 book: Bayou Farewell.
But no horrifying, sinister tale ever invented (except descriptions of fire and flood in the Old Testament?Revelations in the New Testament and similar ancient tales of world-wide cataclysm) could compare with the story Tidwell has written here. And that?s because it?s real, its happening right now and its only going to get much worse before (and if) it ever gets better.

I haven?t seen Al Gore?s film, An Inconvenient Truth, and this is the first book I?ve read on global warming. But its all the information I need to be aware of what many other people already know? The world (and, sadly, typically, with the USA leading the pack) is murdering itself? Every living thing on the planet is in danger of extinction from global warming and this book gives you the incontrovertible facts?based on pure science and written clearly and passionately by a long-time, experienced journalist.

Using Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans as an example of a man-made disaster, Tidwell then gives you all the history, current facts, and the terrible predictions of what is happening and will continue to happen world-wide; all of it, again, based on overwhelming scientific evidence. And the greatest portion of it?the widening, severe, droughts, rising sea-levels, an increase in number and violence of hurricanes, the vast damage to crops and animal life?is the result of human beings burning carbon fuel for the last couple of hundred years.

However, after describing an almost incomprehensible scenario of chaos and suffering, Tidwell finally holds out some hope. He tells you about his personal efforts to do something about what?s happening, his devotion to energy conservation in his own life, his use of alternative fuels, and his joining cooperative efforts with other, like-minded people? (Tidwell is founder and director of the U.S. Climate Emergency Council, based in Tacoma Park, Maryland: www.climateemergency.org ).
He details other country?s (and even some of our own states?) efforts to conserve energy and use sources of alternative energy (wind, solar, geothermal, and other forms of energy production, use of various bio-fuels, etc.).
Tidwell says that the world still has a chance, but needs to act immediately and globally before the inevitable tipping point is reached in the next 20 or so years and it?s too late for the planet.

As I mentioned, our own country leads the way in creating this approaching Armageddon, burning more carbon fuel than any other country and, of course, fomenting and carrying out wars to grab more oil and gas. But we?re certainly not the only ones officially to blame here? Most of the world?s increasing energy production (China and India are catching up quickly with the USA) is based on burning carbon fuel. Still, our country is the only major consumer of energy that has?to date?turned its back on the Kyoto Protocol.
George Bush may want to speed up the Last Days, may long to see Jesus coming down in final retribution against the unbelievers? And Dick Cheney and friends, no less mad, may want to destroy the world to get even richer off oil and gas. But do the rest of us want to join them in this mad dash to destruction?

Of course, its not just governments and corporations?the usual suspects?it?s the rest of us as well; especially those of us who are used to the luxuries (which, certainly, a lot of us in this country see as necessities) that require consuming so much energy (And God knows I?m just as guilty as the next energy guzzler? As I write this, my air-conditioner is blasting away).

Best I can do right now (after having just purchased my long-lasting light-bulbs) is recommend reading this book. At the very least, you will know what?s been going on for the last century and more, what the situation is right now, and what will certainly happen if the humanity keeps behaving the way it does.
Does the world?do you and I?have the will to rescue ourselves and everything else on this planet from certain destruction? Who knows? But after all the sober, horrifying facts, it is inspiring and encouraging to read The Ravaging Tide and know that complete and utter extinction is not absolutely a done deal.

– Mike Feder (New York City – July 15, 2007)

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