As a reoccurring feature on the Sustainability Roundtable blog, we will post reviews of books related to sustainability. Interested in submitting your own review to the blog? Contact August at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to Prepare for Climate Change: A Practical Guide to Surviving the Chaos by David Pogue
Book Review by Kacper Jarecki
This book was released just recently so I wanted to take a look. First of all, a note about the author David Pogue. He is a correspondent on CBS Sunday Morning and NOVA on PBS. He is the author of books such as Mac Unlocked, Windows 10: The Missing Manual, Opera for Dummies, Magic for Dummies, Pogue’s Basics: Life, and a bunch more. David Pogue definitely seems to have a lot of diverse interests and his career doesn’t solely focus on sustainability. That being said, he does bring some unique perspectives and interesting suggestions for how to survive in different catastrophic situations. Some chapter titles include Preparing for Flood, Preparing for Drought, and Preparing for Hurricanes and Tornados.
This is a book that you don’t necessarily read straight through: each chapter stands on its own so you can read whatever topic interests you at the moment. There is a chapter about the best places to live with coastal cities like NYC where I live, not being ideal with rising sea levels. There is a list of the top 15 cities that will be least affected by global warming in the US: with Madison, Wisconsin taking the number 1 spot – 5 lakes, 260 parks, 11 beaches, and 200 miles of hiking and biking trails. Portland, Oregon is on the list too – and that is the site of the PLA (Public Library Association) Conference in March 2022, so I hope I can go to the conference and take a look around in the city J There are also chapters about how to build your home so that it withstands different catastrophes better, where to invest your money, and what plants to grow in your garden.
David Pogue gives a lot of suggestions including many out of the box ones. For example, there is a section about whether or not to have kids: being child-free keeps “9,400 tons of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere,” but additionally also frees up time to “work on the planet’s behalf.” He lists what to have in an emergency bag, including cigarettes because if you’re a smoker because “the last thing you need is the stress of withdrawal when you’re living through trauma.” And he says applying antiperspirant to the back of your neck will help keep cool in the summer. He even recommends that atheists join a local church or temple, if at the very least to cultivate a supportive social network.
As evidenced by the past year with the pandemic, we are definitely living in some special times. It’s helpful to think and plan about different possible situations that may come up in our lifetime. How to Prepare for Climate Change definitely gives a lot of food for thought.
1. What are some possible ways climate change can affect your current living area?
2. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live? What are some features that are important to you (i.e. living by the beach, being next to a park, etc.)?
3. What are some things you can do right now to get prepared in case of an emergency?
4. Which of David Pogue’s suggestions stood out to you the most?
5. Do you have any tips for surviving a catastrophe that you’d like to share?