Our Biggest Experiment by Alice Bell

Our Biggest Experiment: An Epic History of the Climate CrisisOur Biggest Experiment: An Epic History of the Climate Crisis by Alice Bell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

There’s nothing particularly wrong with this book, but it wasn’t what I was hoping for. The author delivers what the title promises – a history of the climate crisis. I like science and I’m very interested in the climate crisis and what we can do to prevent it getting worse or deal with what can’t be changed. But I’m not a fan of history. The book sets forth when, why, and how the climate crisis began and when and how it came to be recognized for the crisis it is. Scientists and amateurs alike are named and credited. That much I expected and was willing to plow through, but I expected it to be brought right up to the current day and to discuss what is being done to deal with it. Unfortunately, near the very end the author comes out and says that as a historian she shouldn’t be writing about anything within the last ten years because there’s no perspective, so she stops there. What!? She does end with a chapter of her own views and speculations, but it tends to be more along the lines of assigning blame and discussing policies and politics, not cures or hopeful avenues being explored. In other words, it’s all history, not science.

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