“The greatest danger we face is not technological hubris, but human apathy.”
Through years of research, acclaimed author and investigative journalist Jeff Goodell has established himself as an expert on the coal industry, geoengineering, and climate change. As the price of oil soars and the seas rise, as energy independence and global warming become ever more urgent political and ecological priorities. Goodell offers a vital perspective on what the stakes are and how to stem the tide of environmental disaster.
In his highly regarded book Big Coal: The Dirty Secret Behind America’s Energy Future, Goodell takes a frank look at coal, which has been hailed as the cheap energy solution of the future. Building on exhaustive research on the history of the U.S. energy industry and the environmental, political and economic issues underlying coal, Goodell exposes its many hidden costs—greenhouse emissions, pollution, toll on the environment, miners and mining communities, industry collusion that stifles innovation—and discusses how we, as well as developing nations like India and China, will have to confront these pressing problems as global energy demand surges. Big Coal is also the subject of a feature documentary called Dirty Business.
“Long after we have run out of oil and natural gas, we will still have coal. As Jeff Goodell compellingly documents, this is a blessing that is also a curse. Big Coal should be read by anybody who owns a microwave, or an iPod, or a table lamp, which is to say everyone.”
—Elizabeth Kolbert, author of Field Notes From A Catastrophe
How to Cool the Planet: Geoengineering and the Audacious Quest to Fix the Earth’s Climate established a disturbing truth: climate change may well be the biggest crisis humanity has ever faced, and at this point simply reducing greenhouse gas emissions may not be enough to prevent climate catastrophe. We may have to turn to geoengineering, a field which governments and corporations are already researching aggressively.
How to Cool the Planet focuses on the scientists who are trying to minimize the devastating impact of global warming. But they’re not designing hybrid engines or fuel cells or wind turbines. They’re trying to lower the temperature of the entire planet with huge contraptions that suck carbon dioxide out of the air, machines that brighten clouds and deflect sunlight away from Earth, and even artificial volcanoes that spray heat-reflecting particles into the atmosphere.
His next book, The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Reshaping of the Civilized World, is a deeply reported look at how the global crisis of rising seas is drowning cities like Miami and remaking the civilized world. Based in science and on-the-ground reporting, it will tell the story of the coming great drowning, in the vein of environmental classics like The World Without Us.
Jeff Goodell is a contributing editor at Rolling Stone and a frequent contributor to The New York Times Magazine and Yale University’s Environment 360. He covers environmental issues including the Gulf Oil Spill and is the author of New York Times bestseller Our Story: 77 Hours That Tested Our Friendship and Our Faith, based on the terrifying hours nine Quecreek miners spent trapped underground.