The Great Geoengineering Publishing Smackdown of 2010

By Chris Mooney | April 13, 2010 11:54 am

As discussed on the latest episode of Point of Inquiry (stream, download), Eli Kintisch’s Hack the Planet isn’t the only book just out on this subject. There is also How to Cool the Planet by Jeff Goodell, author of Big Coal and a writer for Rolling Stone.

This in and of itself is a phenomenon–the two books were clearly racing each other and ended up coming out at about the same time. The question is, is that timing right?Hack the Planet

I have no doubt we are going to have a big public debate about geoengineering at some point in the future. At that time, one or both of these books could be considered essential reading.

However, thus far, neither seems to be having its big publishing breakout moment. Indeed, neither has any reviews yet on Amazon.

I myself can’t speak to the books’ comparative quality: I was only sent, and have only read, Kintisch’s, and it’s excellent. For all I know, Goodell’s is equally worthy. If you’re interested, I recommend that you buy both of them.

But you are not the general public. And as we’ve learned, 97 percent of Americans have no clue what geoengineering even is. They all ought to be reading these books, but the subject has not been put on their radar yet. So that is a challenge for both authors.

How to Cool the PlanetAnother thing that I discussed with Kintisch on the latest episode of Point of Inquiry (stream, download),was the idiocy of certain rightwing embraces of geoengineering, by folks who don’t even seem to believe in climate change. In particular, we discussed the SuperFreakonomics authors, who essentially embarrassed themselves on this subject, and misrepresented a leading climate and geoengineering scientist (Ken Caldeira)–but sold lots and lots of books.

In my view, it would be really tragic if Kintisch’s and Goodell’s books fail to receive a wide readership, so that instead, the reading public gets its ideas about geoengineering from the Superfreaks.

So, to that end, once again….I can’t urge you enough….buy the new geoengineering books. Buy both of them!

Comments (2)

  1. I have an idea that might help solve the global warming crisis.

    All of the top scientific organizations in the world should band together, take up a collection, and hire Bill Nye the Science Guy as their spokesperson.

    Perhaps he can do for the NAS what Charlton Heston did for the NRA?

    Honestly, who could possibly not trust the Science Guy?

    Read: Patrick Michaels is a Buffoon

    http://harryhammer.wordpress.com/2010/03/29/patrick-michaels-is-a-buffoon/

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About Chris Mooney

Chris is a science and political journalist and commentator and the author of three books, including the New York Times bestselling The Republican War on Science--dubbed "a landmark in contemporary political reporting" by Salon.com and a "well-researched, closely argued and amply referenced indictment of the right wing's assault on science and scientists" by Scientific American--Storm World, and Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future, co-authored by Sheril Kirshenbaum. They also write "The Intersection" blog together for Discover blogs. For a longer bio and contact information, see here.

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