Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Book Recommendation: Storm Chaser

I don't often get sent books to review - I do recommend books that I like on my own writing site, and Glen Hiemstra and I both occasionally recommend books on Glen's site (and I will cross-post this there in the future with comments on a few other books, mostly obtained in the usual way, by paying money in a bookstore). If I don't like a book, it doesn't matter who sends it; I just stay quiet. There are enough critical reviewers. Anyway, publisher Harry N. Abrams, Inc. sent me two books that deal very directly with global warming, and I liked them. I waited patiently for the holidays to end before talking about them (who wants a Christmas gift about the scariest things happening in the world?).

Anyway, I'm digressing. Today, I want to recommend a stunning narrated photography book called Storm Chaser, A Photographer's Journey, by Jim Reed.

Storm Chaser relates well to my last few posts, where I discussed weird weather. The book is a series of beautifully presented professional photographs of storms, and might be worth buying just for the photos. But it's real strength is in the straightforward narrative about global warming and climate change. Storm Chaser is organized by season, and each season includes a discussion of storm chasing and of the beauty and mystery of that season. This discussion - and the accompanying photos - show how climate change is now a central thread for people fascinated by powerful weather. It is the elephant in the sky that can't be ignored.

Amazingly, I still run into skeptics when I talk about global warming. Most of the skeptics have desk jobs. People who are close to the land - farmers and cowboys and hikers and outfitters -are not skeptical. A storm chaser is close to land and sea and sky, to wind and rain and flood and drought, to tornado and squall and rainbow. So who better to understand and document our changing atmosphere than a storm chaser?

Anyway, Jim Reed did it well. Consider Storm Chaser recommended reading.

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