The topic of climate change is one of those contentious subjects that gets people so puffed up they can literally blow their stacks during what started out as a gentle discussion on changes in the weather pattern.
The central points of reference in Wilkinson’s book are the atmosphere’s importance to us and the way we have treated it. It is Wilkinson’s contention – backed up by a truckload of evidence – that we use our atmosphere like a rubbish dump, putting into it whatever we feel like, without thought of consequences: treating the atmosphere as we would a sack of recycling rubbish. Once we can no longer see it, we don’t give a poke.
This is not new behaviour, as Wilkinson points out: humans have been polluting the atmosphere for a very long time, especially in an industrial sense. Damage has been done and we need to take responsibility for cleaning it up and changing our behaviour, as individuals and as a society, whether in a home/school or work situation. The atmosphere so affects the quality of the life we live, we would be foolish not to care.
We need to educate and we need to start that educating from the get go. Preschools and Primary Schools are introducing and teaching ways and means right across the curriculum to do this throughout New Zealand, we need to support this as much as possible and introduce the lessons the children can teach us in our home/work space.
This is a well-written, easy-to-read-and-understand book, with great illustrations. While directed at the YA market, there should be a copy of this book in every School and Public Library as it is an excellent resource for children from Primary School onwards and for adults as well.
Reviewed by Marion Dreadon
Atmospheric: The Burning Story of Climate Change
by Carole Wilkinson
Published by Black Dog Books