Gail Herman’s book, What is Climate Change?, provides a basic introduction to the subject for young readers 8-12 years old. Beginning with a brief introduction to climate change and the geological history of the earth, Herman turns to the changes in the way people live brought about by the Industrial Revolution and how these changes affect the atmosphere. Throughout the discussion the author emphasizes the interrelationship of all the factors that cause climate change and shows how scientists have studied them. Herman makes the point that because climate scientists don’t agree on all the details of global warming, some people question everything climate scientist say and then goes on to describe the political aspects of the issue. Final chapters deal with the results of climate change on the physical environment as well as with the impact on human activities.
Written in an easy to read, non technical style, What is Climate Change? address the major issues of the topic accurately and fairly with arguments on both sides so the readers can evaluate the facts and come to their own conclusions. Key concepts such as renewable energy, greenhouse gases, and ozone layer are explained, and the work of scientists such as Roger Revelle, Dr. Michael E. Mann, and Charles David Keeling, is described. Inserts sprinkled throughout the book add information on subjects like the role bark beetles, volcanoes, and the Environmental Protection Agency. Black and white line drawings as well as black and white photos enhance the text and help to liven the narrative. This is an excellent introduction to climate change for children and might teach adult readers something too, For example, did you know that a significant amount of the greenhouse gas methane is released into the atmosphere by thawing permafrost? I am impressed that such a full book can be offered for sale at a such a low price!
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