Heat: Life and Death on a Scorched Planet

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‘When heat comes, it's invisible. It doesn't bend tree branches or blow hair across your face to let you know it's arrived…. The sun feels like the barrel of a gun pointed at you.’

The world is waking up to a new reality: once-in-a-century floods are now happening three times a year; bushfires are the new norm. The surface area of the Arctic's polar ice caps is rapidly decreasing, while Antarctica's largest ice shelf is crumbling. These are effects of the planet's increased temperature.

Extreme heat is the most direct and deadly consequence of our hellbent consumption of fossil fuels. It is a first order threat that drives all other impacts of the climate crisis. And as the temperature rises, it will reveal fault lines in our governments, our politics, our economy, and our values.

This book is about the extreme ways in which our planet is already changing. It is about why spring is coming a few weeks earlier and fall is coming a few weeks later and the impact that will have on everything from our food supply to disease outbreaks. It is about what will happen to our lives and our communities when typical summer days go from 30° C to 43°C. A heatwave, Goodell explains, is a predatory event – one that culls out the most vulnerable people. But that is changing. As heatwaves become more intense and more common, they will become more democratic.
Jeff Goodell an award-winning journalist who has been at the forefront of environmental journalism for three decades. This may be his most provocative book yet. Masterfully reported, mixing the latest scientific insight with on-the-ground storytelling, Goodell tackles the big questions and uncovers how extreme heat is a force beyond anything we have reckoned with before.