Fivetime Climate Progress blogger (and former Time magazine reporter) Eric Roston has just published The Carbon Age: How Life’s Core Element Has Become Civilization’s Greatest Threat.
He will be appearing on The Colbert Report tonight at 11:30. I hope he fares better than the Sierra club’s Carl Pope.
If Time magazine can call it “engaging” with a “powerful conclusion,” then I can certainly testify it is the definitive book on the most vital — and most dangerous — element in the universe. Publisher’s Weekly says:
Roston, a former Time writer on technology and energy, positively revels in the chance to dig deep into the ubiquitous, life-enabling carbon. He begins his first book with the science of this element: how the element first appeared when stars burned helium into carb on; how, before there was life on earth, plate tectonics drove the planet’s carbon flow through the atmosphere, land and oceans; and how the development of the earliest organisms reshaped the carbon cycle. Turning to humans’ use of carbon and consequent speeding up the carbon cycle, Roston is a whirlwind, explaining carbon’s role in the formation of everything from DNA to Kevlar bulletproof vests and, finally, carbon’s role in the earth’s climate. This is what Roston cares passionately about, and the sum of the parts of his energetic explanations of carbon’s uniqueness brings, for dedicated and attentive readers, a crystal-clear understanding of the global warming process. Roston never scrimps on explaining even complicated chemical processes, and the result is a convincing argument that the earth is at a crossroad, the time for denial has passed and the time for smart, innovative solutions has arrived.
Here are some jacket quotes:
“If you thought oxygen was important, wait till you read this brilliantly researched tale of carbon, the element that makes possible diamonds, the ‘lead’ in your pencil, even ‘you’– and the element that is likely to occupy many headlines in the years ahead because we can’t live without it and we may not be able to live with it.”–Norm Augustine, former chairman and CEO, Lockheed Martin Corporation
“Carbon, the citizen king of elements, governs who we are and what life is–but the king is going mad! Citizens, revolt against the despots, or all may be lost!”–James E. Hansen, director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies
“A most accessible and thoroughly enjoyable way to gain real insight into a series of profoundly important subjects including, notably, the hellish risks we now face with climate change. I liked this book and plan to read it again.”–James Gustave Speth, dean of Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
And here are Roston’s blog posts: