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Author: Steven E. Koonin
File Size: 30 MB
Language: English, Francais, Italiano, Espanol, Deutsch
Available formats: PDF, ePub, Mobi, Kindle, audiobook
“Surging sea levels are inundating the coasts.”
“Hurricanes and tornadoes are becoming fiercer and more frequent.”
“Climate change will be an economic disaster.”
You’ve heard all this presented as fact. But according to science, all of these statements are profoundly misleading.
When it comes to climate change, the media, politicians, and other prominent voices have declared that “the science is settled.” In reality, the long game of telephone from research to reports to the popular media is corrupted by misunderstanding and misinformation. Core questions — about the way the climate is responding to our influence, and what the impacts will be — remain largely unanswered. The climate is changing, but the why and how aren’t as clear as you’ve probably been led to believe.
Now, one of America’s most distinguished scientists is clearing away the fog to explain what science really says (and doesn’t say) about our changing climate. In Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn’t, and Why It Matters, Steven Koonin draws upon his decades of experience — including as a top science advisor to the Obama administration — to provide up-to-date insights and expert perspective free from political agendas.
Fascinating, clear-headed, and full of surprises, this book gives readers the tools to both understand the climate issue and be savvier consumers of science media in general. Koonin takes readers behind the headlines to the more nuanced science itself, showing us where it comes from and guiding us through the implications of the evidence. He dispels popular myths and unveils little-known truths: despite a dramatic rise in greenhouse gas emissions, global temperatures actually decreased from 1940 to 1970. What’s more, the models we use to predict the future aren’t able to accurately describe the climate of the past, suggesting they are deeply flawed.
Koonin also tackles society’s response to a changing climate, using data-driven analysis to explain why many proposed “solutions” would be ineffective, and discussing how alternatives like adaptation and, if necessary, geoengineering will ensure humanity continues to prosper. Unsettled is a reality check buoyed by hope, offering the truth about climate science that you aren’t getting elsewhere — what we know, what we don’t, and what it all means for our future.
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1. Reading is good for your brain
“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” Joseph Addison penned this quote roughly 300 years ago, before modern science and research equipment could back up his claim. Today, however, scientific studies show that reading does make you smarter. Reading a novel, for example, increases the blood flow and improves connectivity in the brain.
2. Reading introduces you to new ideas and invites you to solve problems
Have you ever solved a case in a mystery book before you read the conclusion or predicted a turn of events in a novel? Your analytical thinking was stimulated merely from reading. Reading helps you detect patterns, solve problems, and assimilate new information as if you were living in the characters’ shoes.
3. Reading makes you a better writer
When you read, your brain absorbs good writing techniques and vocabulary. In your own writing, you will unconsciously copy the writing styles of books that held your attention. Reading also enhances your vocabulary and spelling. New words appear in their natural context and you can deduce meaning from the surrounding words, while visually imprinting their spelling for accurate recall.
4. Reading improves your conversational skills
Because reading increases your vocabulary and your knowledge of how to correctly use new words, reading helps you clearly articulate what you want to say. The knowledge you gain from reading also gives you lots to talk about with others. I love talking to people — especially little kids — who read a lot. Their conversation tends to be deep, and it makes me grin when little ones use fancy words they found in a book.
5. Reading strengthens worldview and convictions
When you read a book with a concurring worldview, it reinforces your convictions. If you read a book with an opposing worldview, it broadens your perspective and causes you to examine your beliefs and search for truth.
6. Reading improves your self-discipline and consistency
With the modern barrage of media and instant technological information, our attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. Reading a book, unlike skimming a web page, forces you to focus. To get the most out of a story, you must fixate on the plot and complete the book. In doing this, your brain forms deep connections and practices concentration.
7. Reading increases your knowledge of history
Reading can teach you historical politics, customs, cultures, economics, and intellect. Often these facts are set in a context of a story, making history easy to remember. When I was in middle school, history was not my favorite subject. The dates and events didn’t capture my attention when they came from a history book. Historical fiction, however, was a different matter. I loved reading about the past in story form, and I effortlessly learned historical facts and concepts while reading. I appreciate and understand the people and cultures of the past so much more than if I’d read only factual history books.
8. Reading increases cultural knowledge (without an expensive plane flight)
Reading books set in cultures different from our own provides knowledge of those cultures and the emotional and spiritual lives of the people who live there. I hope to travel the world someday, but until then I’m exploring through books. I’ve gained a deeper understanding of cultures through reading: stories of hammock beds, cannibals, burqas, and Uganda’s red dirt stand out stark in my brain. I’ve not yet been to these cultures, but I understand them better because of reading.
9. Reading challenges your imagination
As you read, you put yourself in the characters’ shoes. Your brain goes beyond the words on the page, imagining details such as appearances, emotions, and surroundings. William Styron wrote, “A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading.”
10. Reading increases your skill in an area of interest
Reading about your specific field or interests can improve your success in your field. You’ll gain factual knowledge and learn from others’ experiments and mistakes. Several years ago I became interested in herbs and natural medicine and turned to books since I didn’t have an herb garden. For months I pored over herb books, drinking in knowledge. When I was able to grow my own herbs, I avoided multiple experiments and failures because of my reading. I knew that peppermint is good for upset stomachs and comfrey heals cuts. So I made tea with my peppermint and a salve with the comfrey.
11. Reading inspires you
Reading a good book is like being around an inspiring person. You observe inspiring actions, feel contagious passion, and desire to live a better life.
12. Reading reduces stress
Reading about something you enjoy or losing yourself in a good novel is an excellent way to relax. It can ease tension in your muscles and heart while letting your brain wander to new ideas and live in someone else’s shoes. Reading is a mini vacation for your brain!
As you can see, reading is good for you — very, very good for you. It can improve your academic, social, physical, and mental life. With these persuasive facts running through your mind, it’s the perfect time to dive into your 2021 reading goals! Here are some ideas to get you started.