Book review


Book Review: The Global Climate and a Defense of Beef

, scientific adviser, Climate and Energy

Defending Beef, by Nicolette Hahn Niman, paints a picture of a better beef system, less damaging to the climate and the environment generally than the current system is. This is a vision I applaud, and one that my colleagues in the UCS Food and Environment program are researching. However, the book also raises scientific issues that I feel are worth exploring, since the dominant beef production system we have in place today, both globally and domestically, has some real problems. Read more >

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A Brief History of Electric Cars: What A Long, Electric Trip It Has Been

, Senior vehicles engineer

This week, thousands of people across the U.S. are checking out the future of driving at National Drive Electric Week events. You can find events near you—and get a chance to ride in or drive an electric car—by checking the event website. The event has grown since the first Plug-in Day in 2011 as the number of electric models on sale has gone from 3 to about 20.

So how did we get here? Electric cars have seen big advances in the past five years, but the journey to today’s electric cars stretches back a century, and it’s a fascinating story. The details are laid out in the new book “Car Wars” by John Fialka, a former Wall Street Journal reporter and the founder of ClimateWire. Read more >

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Book Review: How Culture Shapes the Climate Change Debate by Andrew Hoffman

, former science communication officer

A few years ago, my colleagues and I worked with Andrew Hoffman, the director of the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise at the University of Michigan, to host a forum on increasing public understanding of climate change. The event sticks with me because the participants came from so many different backgrounds: environmental justice, Creation care, energy production, social science, media, climate science, and service in Congress.

Hoffman has condensed the myriad approaches to climate communication we discussed that day — and much more — into an indispensable guide. At a slim 100 pages, Hoffman’s book offers a fine distillation of the growing body of social science that explains our curious and conflicting approaches to climate issues. In addition to identifying the problematic ways we often approach climate change, he also suggests several potential ways forward that can restore the climate debate to what he calls a “more civilized plane.” Read more >

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