Coming to U.S. bookstores in March 2006 are two new global warming titles from a couple of heavyweight authors: Tim Flannery's The Weather Makers is already on the shelves in the author/scientist's home country of Australia -- the only industrialized country other than the United States not to ratify the Kyoto Treaty. In the words of the American publisher (Atlantic Monthly Press) the book is both "an urgent warning and a call to arms." Guns, Germs and Steel author Jared Diamond calls it "a clear and readable account of one of the most important but controversial issues facing everyone in the world today."
The other title is journalist Elizabeth Kolbert's Field Notes from a Catastrophe. The book reportedly grew out of a three-part series on global warming ("The Climate of Man") which Kolbert produced for the New Yorker magazine, where she is a staff writer. In an interview about that series, Kolbert was asked to comment on the disconnect between the scientific community and the general public on the issue. She answered:
I think there is a surprisingly large—you might even say frighteningly large—gap between the scientific community and the lay community’s opinions on global warming. ... I spoke to many very sober-minded, coolly analytical scientists who, in essence, warned of the end of the world as we know it. I think there are a few reasons why their message hasn’t really got out. One is that scientists tend, as a group, to interact more with each other than with the general public. Another is that there has been a very well-financed disinformation campaign designed to convince people that there is still scientific disagreement about the problem, when, as I mentioned before, there really is quite broad agreement. And third, the climate operates on its own timetable. It will take several decades for the warming that is already inevitable to be felt. People tend to focus on the here and now. The problem is that, once global warming is something that most people can feel in the course of their daily lives, it will be too late to prevent much larger, potentially catastrophic changes.