Engaging Methuen Readers

Climate change: we CAN stop it!

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The scientific community agrees that climate change is caused by humans pumping smoke into the air at a breakneck rate, which we’ve been doing since the 1800s. Common sense tends to agree: you can’t dump that much stuff into water or soil without messing it up, so why should the air be any different?

But human beings have trouble dealing with three types of things: things that
are too big to comprehend, things that are invisible, and things that make us feel guilty. Oh, and mortality – that’s a biggie, too. Climate change fits all of those to a T. It’s the perfect storm of stuff we all have a hard time talking about.

That’s why Nevins Library is inviting Jeremy Shakun, an assistant professor at Boston College and climate researcher, to talk us through climate change and what average people can do about it. The talk will take place at our library on July 12 at 7:00pm. This program is free of charge, so please invite as many interested friends and family as you’d like. Jeremy will be answering questions at the end of his talk.

Meanwhile, please write down your questions and feel free to use the library for research. Try the books we recommend below to start. This is a huge, hard issue, but there ARE things we can do to save it, our planet…and ourselves.


Image of itemSix Degrees: our future on a hotter planet by Mark Lynas

The IPCC predicts that burning carbon fuels could raise the planet’s temperature by up to 10 degrees. At one degree, the glaciers will melt and the coral reefs will die. At three, the rain forests and arctic poles will collapse and the American Midwest will become a desert. At six, little of the natural world will be able to support life as we know it. This important book makes a compelling case for ending the practice of burning fossil fuels for power as quickly as possible.


Image of itemThis Changes Everything: capitalism vs. the climate by Naomi Klein

There is one way to stop global warming: make it more profitable to be green. Because if there’s one thing a free market has taught us, there are no problems but economic problems, and likewise no solutions except economic ones.



Image of itemHot, Flat and Crowded: why we need a green revolution — and how it can renew America by Thomas L. Friedman

Going green doesn’t have to be an onerous economic chore. In fact, it probably won’t be: greening America can create jobs and head off the worst ecological disaster in history. And, it could add another point to America’s world-saving resume.



Image of itemThe Sixth Extinction: an unnatural history by Elizabeth Kolbert

Welcome to the Anthropocene: the age of humans. Many animals won’t get out of it alive unless we dramatically change our ways…including, possibly, the one that walks on two legs.



Image of itemMerchants of Doubt: how a handful of scientists obscured the truth on issues from tobacco to global warming by Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway

There’s a lot of controversy about climate change in the media – I imagine that there may be some controversy over this very post – but there’s evidence to suggest that some of that divisive opinion may be artificially manufactured.Who doesn’t love a good conspiracy theory when the fate of the world is at stake?


Author: Anna

Anna is a reference librarian and computer nerd at the Nevins Library. She is a fan of all speculative fiction.

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