The best science books

Jorge Daniel Taillant Author Of Meltdown: The Earth Without Glaciers
By Jorge Daniel Taillant

The Books I Picked & Why

The End of Ice: Bearing Witness and Finding Meaning in the Path of Climate Disruption

By Dahr Jamail

The End of Ice: Bearing Witness and Finding Meaning in the Path of Climate Disruption

Why this book?

Dahr Jamail’s End of Ice threads his life experiences as a prized reporter, mountaineer, and climate activist, sharing personal human stories and experiences that reveal the difficult, cold, and hard evidence showing us that our cryosphere is irreversibly changing before our eyes. His easy-to-read prose, supported by well-researched and irrefutable science, gives us a unique introspection into the Anthropocene, chronicling the profound changes we are witnessing to Mother Nature and the demise of our frozen resources. I was enthralled by Jamail’s reflections on the end of ice.


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The Swamp: The Everglades, Florida, and the Politics of Paradise

By Michael Grunwald

The Swamp: The Everglades, Florida, and the Politics of Paradise

Why this book?

As a Florida resident that has crossed the dozens of canals running east to west across the state hundreds of times along Highway 95 without a thought, I was blown away by Michael Grunwald’s The Swamp. It was a history of Florida I really did not know. Even Florida residents don’t quite understand just how destructive man has been to this otherwise natural paradise (which is no longer). Driven by the quest to conquer Nature, immigrants to Florida from Northern states and from around the world, aided by the fantastical but cataclysmic plans of the Army Corps of Engineers to drain the swamp, forever changed what once was a veritable paradise, the Everglades.

This swampy region of the world once served as one of the Earth’s most significant carbon sinks but is now merely a fraction of its glorious past and we continue to try to tame it. Grunwald thoroughly researched Florida’s lamentable political history around the Everglades, which is essentially, a story about destroying nature for the comfort of people. It is a lesson everyone should learn to avoid repeating. 


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High Tide On Main Street: Rising Sea Level and the Coming Coastal Crisis

By John Englander

High Tide On Main Street: Rising Sea Level and the Coming Coastal Crisis

Why this book?

John Englander brings rising tides to our dinner table discussions. As a Florida resident living 5 minutes from the beach, this is a very real issue to me. But no matter where you live, sea-level rise will change your lifestyle, whether it’s because of the changing coastline, or due to entire economies that will change as the oceans advance over land, because of affected property values across entire countries and regions, or because of the waves of climate refugees that will have to seek new homes.

Entire countries like Maldives, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu are already planning a mass move to new terrain. Englander masters climate science to show us just how the seas have, are, and will continue to change in our currently accelerating climate warming.


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The Long Thaw: How Humans Are Changing the Next 100,000 Years of Earth's Climate

By David Archer

The Long Thaw: How Humans Are Changing the Next 100,000 Years of Earth's Climate

Why this book?

As a climate activist and lover of glaciers and glaciation, I took a special interest in David Archer’s book, The Long Thaw. Archer takes us in and out of ice ages, explaining with surprisingly understandable prose just how ice ages are formed, their predictable cycles, why they’re important, and how with current climate change trends and impacts, we just may have missed the onramp to the next one. That could put us into a Hothouse Earth scenario not seen since the times of the dinosaurs. Archer masterfully brings science to the layperson. If we think that the year 2100 is a marker in the sand for climate change, think again. Archer reveals that the chilling (or heating) reality of climate change just might be forever. 


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A Farewell to Ice: A Report from the Arctic

By Peter Wadhams

A Farewell to Ice: A Report from the Arctic

Why this book?

Ice ice ice. The Arctic region of the world is heating much faster than the rest of the planet. That means that ice is melting fast and radically changing this delicate polar region. Going through a history of ice on the planet, the cycle of ice ages, the impacts of greenhouse gases, and the consequence of rapidly melting ice, Wadhams warns us of the looming death spiral of climate change from methane gas release from permafrost and from self-reinforcing feedback loops that take us deeper and deeper into climate collapse. This is a must-read if you are a climate activist, a scientist focusing on climate change, or if you simply want to learn about how climate change is completely destabilizing our planetary ecosystem. He ends with a list of actions that we can take to slow this process down and stabilize our climate.


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