|Amazon.com – Amazon.ca|
By Tom Rand
ECW Press, 2014
245 pages, $29.95
You've probably heard the story before.
A frog leaps into a pot of water that happens to be sitting on a stove. Being coldblooded, he lazes away, oblivious as the temperature creeps up from cold, to warm, to hot.
Only as the water nears the boiling point does he register danger. But by then his muscles have been paralyzed by the heat.
The water boils. The frog dies in agony. End of story.
That's the gruesome metaphor that frames Canadian climate activist Tom Rand's analysis of the pot we're stewing in as a civilization thanks to climate disruption – the result of anthropogenic (we did it) global warming – and the froglike fallibilities of human psychology, our destructively “free” markets and our ineffectual political systems.
Rand chooses the expression “climate disruption” in favour of the familiar “climate change” hoping it will bypass the frog's powerful denial mechanism. “The term,” he explains, “helps circumvent the nonsense that this warming is part of a natural cycle and emphasizes our contribution to the coming changes and the speed at which they are approaching.”
Rand brings a versatile skill-set to a subject usually tackled by more specialized writers (climate scientists, environmentalists, science writers).