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by Jonathan Mingle
A searching, sobering, sometimes-scary look at an overlooked carrier of climate change.
Since time immemorial, humans have been burning fires. As science journalist Mingle notes in this earnest first book, at some point during the day, each of us will spark a fire of some kind, burning coal and other substances to fuel our cellphones and cook our food … All these fires produce black carbon, something that, Mingle writes, is very real and very dangerous; the melting glaciers are liquefying in good measure because of the soot that is its measurable and visible manifestation. The best parts of the book are the on-the-ground reports, beginning in a remote Himalayan village and ending in the halls of the Capitol … If you weren’t worried about climate change before, this is just the book to kindle your angst. A promising debut.
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