Book Review: Greenhouse: The 200-Year Story of Global Warming, by Gale E. Christianson

 

Reviewed by Bruce Rhodes

 

November 27, 2003

 

Excellent book on a sobering subject

 

I highly recommend this well-written, exhaustively researched history of global warming. The author takes us on the path of energy use by Western societies, in particular Britain and Europe, that began about 200 years ago with the insatiable burning of coal. Back then, for a while, at least, people acted out of ignorance when it came to consuming carbon-generating energy sources, although the asphyxiating fogs that beset some British cities ought to have been a wake-up call at the time.

 

Today, according to the author (and I agree), there is sufficient evidence that we are continuing to warm the planet at an alarming, unsustainable rate. Christianson offers a balanced, intellectual rather than emotional treatment of the greenhouse gas emission issues. I pray that at least some of the world's leaders in government and industry read this book, or allow themselves to be influenced by others who accept Christianson's story and what it portends.