Category Archives: Climate and Energy

October Book: Storms of Our Grandchildren by James Hansen

by Olivia Dorothy

Join the Environmental Book Club on October 24 at 7PM at River Action in Davenport to discuss Storms of Our Grandchildren by James Hansen.

In Storms of Our Grandchildren, famed climate scientist James Hansen recounts his personal journey from low-profile researcher to climate activist.  Hansen’s rise to fame came during his time as a public servant at NASA where he was involved in several high-profile reports on climate change.  His public service work understanding climate change and its impacts began in the 1980s and continued into President Obama’s Administration.  He was thrust into the public spotlight when he challenged the Bush Administration’s efforts to manipulate government studies that revealed the magnitude of the climate change threat.

His dogged efforts to blow the whistle on the Bush Administration’s effort to politicize climate change came at great professional risk.  Inspired by the thought of his grandchildren and their future world, Hansen weathered the storms, challenging bad public policies and explaining the science behind climate disruption for the public at large.

Hansen’s book, Storms of Our Grandchildren, recounts his life in the spot light.  He reflects on his many political mistakes, like being out maneuvered by politicians like Dike Chaney and the emotional trauma of being on a losing campaign.  Woven into easy to understand scientific explanations of different climate phenomena, Hansen explains what we knew when and the brutal fight to get that information to the public.

Of course, the fight is far from over and Hansen has lessons for us all to learn about endurance in the face of seeming insurmountable political pressure.  A great read for today’s political climate.  Join our discussion on October 24 at 7PM at River Action in Davenport.


August Book Club: Rain

By Olivia Dorothy

Rain:  A Natural and Cultural History by Cynthia Barnett dives deep into the history of our relationship with the ultimate life-giving force, rain.   Going back billions of years to when water first washed over the planet through today’s changing rain patterns over the globe due to human caused global warming.

Barnett takes readers on a journey through some of the rainiest places on the planet, including India and England where rain is an integral part of their cultural identities.  She tells the story of the American Dust Bowl and the myth that perpetuated that disaster, that rain followed the plow.

Like many books that deeply explore the history of a single thing, Barnett’s stories about deluges and droughts enrapture readers as unusual antidotes and facts are brought to light.  Like why fingers prune when wet (to improve grip!) and how the US military sought to weaponize weather.

Read the book and join the discussion on August 22 at 7PM at River Action.