Wild Weather

The other day a book arrived from Dr. Reese Halter entitled Wild Weather; The Truth Behind Global Warming.

My first pass was that I have a reading list that is already swollen. And I’m supposed to be writing my own book. And I’ve read enough books about global warming. But all grumpy rationalizations aside, I plunked down and started reading.

It was a treat. It was a delightful break from those things I am supposed to be doing.

He starts out with a riveting description of Katrina’s storm surge, and proceeds to lay out all forms of weather events. He’s a tree scientist by training, and his deep love of trees and knowledge of how they work was fascinating.

Apparently Reese writes childrens books and hosts television shows when he is not working at Humboldt State University in California.

I’m not a weather guy. I don’t follow it. With the exception of drought. I keep a close eye on drought because of my own botanical projects about the place, and because sometimes my well sputters.

Readers of Jared Diamond are not going to learn anything new from Wild Weather. And fans of Tim Flannery will be ahead on the global warming front.

But this book is a delightful survey that would make a great introduction to everything from wild fire seasons to bark beetles to the ascent of the mosquito.

It reminded me a bit of the work of David Suzuki. Straight ahead explanations for the layperson by a scientist who is merely laying out facts. This was a fast read.

Tropical depression Barry rolled into town last night and provided an ideal cool spell for the Poetry Slam over at Chatham Marketplace. This morning I awoke to the first gentle rain we have had in a month, and I was delighted to see my rain water barrel full to the brim for the first time all summer.

We had a house full of children-multiple sleep overs last night-and this morning as the children ran wild, I snuck off to the sleeping porch, which is up in the canopy surrounded by ancient cedar trees, and I finished Wild Weather as the rain from Barry kept coming.

It’s hard not to reflect on the irony of our weather situation here in North Carolina. On the one hand our zone is changing. I had two edible banana trees survive last winter outdoors. On the other hand it seldom rains anymore.

The absence of rain turns “gardening,” into “watering,” which is pretty much what we now do to stay even. Which means we long for weather events. The same weather events we fear.

They say this is going to be an active hurricane season. I need a hurricane to fill up my ponds. But I hope they are wrong in their predictions. Because rebuilding is no fun.

After finishing Wild Weather, I have a much better understanding of how weather works, and I will have the book available for checkout from Industrial’s library tomorrow morning. Anyone looking for a light read at the beach ought to throw this one into their book bag.

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6 Responses to Wild Weather

  1. Martinn Mandles says:

    I second your motion — this book is beyond excellent!

  2. chris says:

    Great review.
    I’d like to recommend:

  3. Dave Pollock says:

    After reading Wild Weather, it confirmed my own analysis regarding the far reaching potential detrimental consequences that global warming has in addition to just merely raising the temperature a little bit everywhere.

    Hopefully this excellent book will help motivate others into doing something tangible to fix the problem before the problem fixes us.

    Dave Pollock, member of Society of Environmental Journalists

  4. tes says:

    ready to not do something I’m supposed to be doing to read it! is it in the PBI library?

  5. Dr Reese says:

    Wild Weather – The Truth Behind Global Warming is available at some libraries.

  6. Lyle says:


    Gary has checked it out. Back soon. I’ll hit him with a stick for you.

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