Book Review: The Water Will Come

“If you’re still questioning the link between human activity and climate change, you’re reading the wrong book,” environmental journalist and Rolling Stone contributing editor Jeff Goodell states at the beginning of his essential read about the water world to come.

But it is the climate change-denying politicians, columnists and billionaires who need to read this, although they won’t, as Goodell spells out a future where cities such as Miami and Venice will drown as the seas are now rising at more than twice the rate of last century. This will create generations of “climate change refugees that will make today’s Syrian War refugee crisis look like a high school production”.

Unfortunately most of what Goodell brilliantly reports from rising water hot spots across the world will seem like a sermon to the faithful or just a detailing of a future that people don’t want to think about.

The Water Will Come is not all doom and gloom. There are rays of light. The problem? There is a long way to go according to former Secretary of State John Kerry because “we still have people in the United States Senate who even deny its existence [global warming]. How do you mobilise your government in a democracy when part of your democratic process is gridlocked, frozen and, in some cases, ignorant?”

A year after this quote a man who spent a career denying the risks of climate change, Rex Tillerson, was in Kerry’s seat. And Tillerson’s boss (before he was dismissed)? Donald J Trump, a man who called global warming a Chinese hoax.

This gridlock isn’t just relegated to the US. Think of our own right wing politicians and columnists who trumpet the glory of coal and lampoon those preparing for a world impacted by man-made climate change. Goodell reports that most know what’s coming but are ill prepared to deal with the consequences of global warming due to politics. One day politics will be too late.

The Water Will Come is an urgent read for an urgent time. A devastating warning to politicians of all stripes.

Author: Jeff Goodell
Publisher: Black Inc

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