by Matthys Levy
One of my main goals when I read is to learn and I hate to go too long without a "informational" book. That's the reason I requested this book from The Online Publicist.
Why the Wind Blows is definitely informative but I'm still not sure whether I like it or not ...
- It's brief (just under 200 pages) but educational.
- The science of weather is paired with stories of weather in action. A few examples: explanation of the monsoon is followed up with the tale of how early seafarers learned to use this changing weather pattern to explore new lands ~ a look at polar ice caps and glacial calving leads into the story of the Titanic and it's history clash with the iceberg ~ a discussion of global wind patterns is better understood with the story of transcontinental global balloon flight ~ a chapter on clouds and precipitation is followed by the disastrous account of the Donner party.
- The stories I mentioned above are quite entertaining. They were my favorite parts of the book.
- I learned lots of little things as I read. For example: the first balloon flight around the world spanned 29,000 miles (46,400 km) and took 20 days ~ Heat "doesn't exist. [...] When we feel a rise in temperature, we are in fact feeling an increase in the speed of molecules around us." (p80) ~ most of Antarctica is actually below sea level due to the immense weight of the ice pressing down on it.
- Remember when I said I liked the pairing of science with history (above)? In some chapters it just didn't work. I didn't understand how the stories related to the science.
- More illustrations would be helpful. There are a few, but for someone like me who is completely unfamiliar with the way winds, weather, oceanic currents, etc. work you can never have too many visual aids.
- Global Warming is still a difficult subject for me (see below) and this book didn't really help me in any way.
I don't know exactly what to believe about global warming. I do believe that people can have a huge and long-lasting effect on the environment and that each of us must be responsible caretakers of our world. But where I stand on the spectrum of global warming as a product of our current civilization is a harder spot to determine.
Below is a list of website on both sides of the issue. Maybe they will give you information that you haven't already heard. If you have other sites you want to share please post them in the comments.
What the "Majority" Says
For more info about this book visit the author's website: www.matthyslevy.com/books.htm
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The Inside Cover