A new book from professor Steven Earle of Thompson Rivers University’s Open Learning division aims to help educate current and future generations about the natural and human-influenced climate change — and the need for each person to do what they can to minimize their carbon footprint.
More than 4.6-billion years of Earth’s climate evolution has been condensed into Earle’s new book, A Brief History of the Earth’s Climate, which is available in bookstores and online through New Society Publishers, Chapters Indigo and other retail sites.
Earle, who has taught earth science for almost four decades, looks at myths and facts around the processes that affect climate change, such as volcanic eruptions, plate movement, continental collisions, ocean current changes, volcanic eruptions, a warming sun and more.
The illustrated book is a myth-busting guide to the natural evolution of the Earth's climate, including how and why human-caused global warming and climate change is different and more dangerous and how to counter skeptics and deniers with sound science.
Earle, author of the university textbook Physical Geology, now in its second edition, felt that his experience and expertise in earth science enabled him to deliver a unique and essential perspective on the subject.
“I have this understanding of how the Earth has evolved in the past and how that has changed our climate in various different ways,” he told KTW. “I have this sort of inside information on how the way the Earth works.”
Earle said it is important for people to have an understand understanding of human-caused climate change.
He pointed to events such as the heat dome British Columbia experienced in June and July — leading to all-time record hug temperatures in many areas — and the rise in frequency and intensity of tropical storms across the southern U.S. states as just two examples of abnormal environmental behaviour.
Earle was careful, but clear, when asked if he believed a connection existed between the historic wildfires across British Columbia and climate change.
“Correlation doesn’t mean there’s a cause there, but it certainly does make sense that as the forests dry out, they become much more susceptible to burning, and so on,” he said.
According to Earle, though, humanity still can fix the mistakes which were and are still being made, as they relate to climate change.
“A lot of people think, ‘What can the government do now to make a difference>’ or, ‘What can corporations do to change things?’ But really, it’s us that needs to change, every one of us,” he said.
Earle suggests small changes that he feels can make a huge difference.
In B.C., for example, driving is the single-greatest source of CO2 emissions.
“So, yeah, drive less,” he said. “If you have to drive, drive something smaller, and if you can, drive an electric car.”
Earle added that riding a bike, taking a bus and walking are also excellent and alternatives to fossil-fuelled vehicles.
A Brief History of The Earth’s Climate: Everyone’s Guide to the Science of Climate Change, is now available in many major book retailers, as well as online through New Society Publishers, Amazon, and other retail sites.
About A Brief History of The Earth’s Climate: Everyone’s Guide to the Science of Climate Change
As well as recent human-induced climate change and an overview of the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for climate change, the book delves into such areas as:
• Understanding natural geological processes that shaped the climate;
• How human impacts are now rapidly changing the climate;
• Tipping points and the unfolding climate crisis;
• What we can do to limit the damage to the planet and ecosystems;
• Countering climate myths peddled by climate change science deniers.
In addition to his teaching and writings, Earle participates in climate-change research and community engagement with climate-change solutions, including low-carbon transport initiatives, heating systems and land stewardship.