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The Winds of Change: Climate, Weather, and the Destruction of Civilizations

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The Winds of Change: Climate, Weather, and the Destruction of Civilizations Cover

ISBN13: 9780684863535
ISBN10: 0684863537
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The Winds of Change places the horrifying carnage unleashed on New Orleans, Mississippi, and Alabama by Hurricane Katrina in context.

Climate has been humanity's constant, if moody, companion. At times benefactor or tormentor, climate nurtured the first stirrings of civilization and then repeatedly visited ruin on empires and peoples. Eugene Linden reveals a recurring pattern in which civilizations become prosperous and complacent during good weather, only to collapse when climate changes, either through its direct effects, such as floods or drought, or indirect consequences, such as disease, blight, and civil disorder.

The science of climate change is still young, and the interactions of climate with other historical forces are much debated, but the evidence mounts that climate loomed over the fate of societies from arctic Greenland to the Fertile Crescent and from the lost cities of the Mayans in Central America to the rain forests of Central Africa. Taking into account the uncertainties in both science and the historical record, Linden explores the evidence indicating that climate has been a serial killer of civilizations. The Winds of Change looks at the present and then to the future to determine whether the accused killer is on the prowl, and what it will do in the future.

The tragedy of New Orleans is but the latest instance in which a region prepared for weather disasters experienced in the past finds itself helpless when nature ups the ante. In the closing chapters, Linden explores why warnings about the dangers of climate change have gone unheeded and what is happening with climate today, and he offers perhaps the most explicit look yet at what a haywire climate might do to us. He shows how even a society prepared to absorb such threshold: crossing events as Katrina, the killer heat wave in Europe in 2003, or the floods in the American Midwest in the 1990s, can spiral into precipitous decline should such events intensify and become more frequent.

The Winds of Change places climate change, global warming, and the resulting instability in historical context and sounds an urgent warning for the future.

Synopsis:

The Winds of Change places the horrifying carnage unleashed on New Orleans, Mississippi, and Alabama by Hurricane Katrina in context.

Climate has been humanity's constant, if moody, companion. At times benefactor or tormentor, climate nurtured the first stirrings of civilization and then repeatedly visited ruin on empires and peoples. Eugene Linden reveals a recurring pattern in which civilizations become prosperous and complacent during good weather, only to collapse when climate changes — either through its direct effects, such as floods or drought, or indirect consequences, such as disease, blight, and civil disorder.

The science of climate change is still young, and the interactions of climate with other historical forces are much debated, but the evidence mounts that climate loomed over the fate of societies from arctic Greenland to the Fertile Crescent and from the lost cities of the Mayans in Central America to the rain forests of Central Africa. Taking into account the uncertainties in both science and the historical record, Linden explores the evidence indicating that climate has been a serial killer of civilizations. The Winds of Change looks at the present and then to the future to determine whether the accused killer is on the prowl, and what it will do in the future.

The tragedy of New Orleans is but the latest instance in which a region prepared for weather disasters experienced in the past finds itself helpless when nature ups the ante. In the closing chapters, Linden explores why warnings about the dangers of climate change have gone unheeded and what is happening with climate today, and he offers perhaps the most explicit look yet at what a haywire climate might do to us. He shows how even a society prepared to absorb such threshold-crossing events as Katrina, the killer heat wave in Europe in 2003, or the floods in the American Midwest in the 1990s can spiral into precipitous decline should such events intensify and become more frequent.

The Winds of Change places climate change, global warming, and the resulting instability in historical context and sounds an urgent warning for the future.

Synopsis:

The Winds of Change places climate change, global warming, and the resulting instability in historical context and sounds an urgent warning for the future.

About the Author

andlt;bandgt;Eugene Lindenandlt;/bandgt; is the author of seven books and for many years wrote about global environmental issues for andlt;Iandgt;Time.andlt;/iandgt; He has contributed to andlt;Iandgt;The New York Times, Foreign Affairs, National Geographic, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Fortune,andlt;/iandgt; and andlt;Iandgt;Slate.andlt;/iandgt; Linden has won numerous journalistic awards, including the American Geophysical Unionand#185;s Walter Sullivan Award. He was named by Yale University in 2001 as a Poynter Fellow in honor of his work in environmental journalism. He lives in Washington, D.C.

Table of Contents

Contents

Preface

Part One

Opening Arguments

1. A Matter of Emphasis

2. The Deep Past: Climate as Creator

3. Destroyer

4. The First Victim

5. Weapons of Mass Destruction: Disease, Migration, Conflict, and Famine

6. Empty Promises of Water: The Collapse of the Mayans

7. The Little Ice

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Betty Watson Peterson, January 3, 2011 (view all comments by Betty Watson Peterson)
The Winds of Change, by Eugene Linden, is a masterful anthology of climate and how it affects humanity past and present in a story-telling readable fashion. Linden talks about an ah ha moment he had when he first saw the earth from space and how awe inspiring that event was for him; reading Linden's work is my most recent ah ha moment. My vision of the world is forever changed through Linden's imaginative weaving of weather and history as well as its effects on civilizations throughout history.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780684863535
Author:
Linden, Eugene
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Subject:
Earth Sciences
Subject:
Weather
Subject:
World - General
Subject:
Climatic changes
Subject:
Earth Sciences - Meteorology & Climatology
Subject:
World History-General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Publication Date:
June 2007
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
line art as chapter openers
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.12 in 13.125 oz
Age Level:
Five Hundred Years of Climate Chaos <P> <big><cent

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » World History » General
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » Climate Change and Global Warming
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » General
Science and Mathematics » Physics » Meteorology

The Winds of Change: Climate, Weather, and the Destruction of Civilizations New Trade Paper
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Product details 336 pages Simon and Schuster - English 9780684863535 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , The Winds of Change places the horrifying carnage unleashed on New Orleans, Mississippi, and Alabama by Hurricane Katrina in context.

Climate has been humanity's constant, if moody, companion. At times benefactor or tormentor, climate nurtured the first stirrings of civilization and then repeatedly visited ruin on empires and peoples. Eugene Linden reveals a recurring pattern in which civilizations become prosperous and complacent during good weather, only to collapse when climate changes — either through its direct effects, such as floods or drought, or indirect consequences, such as disease, blight, and civil disorder.

The science of climate change is still young, and the interactions of climate with other historical forces are much debated, but the evidence mounts that climate loomed over the fate of societies from arctic Greenland to the Fertile Crescent and from the lost cities of the Mayans in Central America to the rain forests of Central Africa. Taking into account the uncertainties in both science and the historical record, Linden explores the evidence indicating that climate has been a serial killer of civilizations. The Winds of Change looks at the present and then to the future to determine whether the accused killer is on the prowl, and what it will do in the future.

The tragedy of New Orleans is but the latest instance in which a region prepared for weather disasters experienced in the past finds itself helpless when nature ups the ante. In the closing chapters, Linden explores why warnings about the dangers of climate change have gone unheeded and what is happening with climate today, and he offers perhaps the most explicit look yet at what a haywire climate might do to us. He shows how even a society prepared to absorb such threshold-crossing events as Katrina, the killer heat wave in Europe in 2003, or the floods in the American Midwest in the 1990s can spiral into precipitous decline should such events intensify and become more frequent.

The Winds of Change places climate change, global warming, and the resulting instability in historical context and sounds an urgent warning for the future.

"Synopsis" by , The Winds of Change places climate change, global warming, and the resulting instability in historical context and sounds an urgent warning for the future.

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