I want to wish all visitors to this site, those that celebrate Christmas or any other event during these days, a very happy holiday. Myself, this is a cherished opportunity to spend time with my wife and two young daughters, to relax, to reflect on the year and consider the future, and to… well, eat lots of food. I also get a chance to read things other than newspapers and blogs and Internet news sites. I just finished reading John Steinbeck’s classic The Grapes of Wrath and enjoyed it immensely. Talk about struggle and the importance of family. The book also illustrates in great detail how humans, even during the 1930s, can ruin the land and how vulnerable we are to the weather. In a way, the book is also a lesson for conservation during times of struggle. The Joads — the family in the book — let nothing go to waste.
Reading this book, you can’t help but feel tremendously fortunate — and guilty — for the way we live. We are wasteful, parasitic creatures who take far too much for granted.
Another book I just started reading is an advance copy of Joseph Romm’s Hell and High Water, which is about global warming and follows after other works that include The Hype about Hydrogen. The book is officially released on Dec. 26th — Boxing Day — and I expect it will get a lot of coverage. I interviewed Romm before heading away for the holidays and will have a podcast of that interview posted on New Year’s Day, complemented by a Clean Break column that discusses the main points of the book. Unlike The Weather Makers, Romm doesn’t go into great detail discussing the scientific evidence behind global warming — it’s a given as far as he’s concerned. The book seems to focus more on the politics of inaction in the United States and what could be done, if there was the political will, to curb emissions and at least minimize the inevitable damage and devastation to come. I’ll tell you one thing: Romm doesn’t hold any punches or sugarcoat the situation. We’re in deep trouble, as far as he’s concerned, and the U.S. will become a global pariah if it doesn’t wake up and take serious action soon.