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A Hot Mess

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Member Reviews

Thank you to netgalley for providing an e-galley for review. Jeff Fleischer's "A Hot Mess" is more of an overview of each of the major climate change topics than just focusing on one, not that this is a bad thing, it's all connected and the connections come through clearly in this book. What I really found surprising were some of the implications of climate change that I never really thought of before, but make a lot of sense when they are explained, like the increase of war and aggressions. When there are declining resources, everyone will fight for themselves. It's a very eye-opening and scary book, but with some ideas for how to stop the effects in the last chapter.

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We all have to come to terms with the way the world is changing.

Extremely easy to read and understand, A Hot Mess discusses the difference between weather and climate, the changes the earth is already experiencing, and how the changes affect everything in a domino effect.

This is one of the best books I've read concerning climate change because it is so clearly written and documented about the very things we have witnessed over the years, though some of it may have escaped our notice at the time. The extreme weather events--hurricanes, droughts, floods, and wildfires--are unavoidable results of a changing climate that we can't ignore. Everything is connected. The loss of insect species and amphibians eventually disturb the food chain and those changes in the food chain reach, gradually, but inevitably, all the way up to humans.

Fleischer details how all of these events are connected and how the droughts, floods, and rising sea waters impact first one species and/or landscape, then another, and continue to move up the chain. Much of it is common sense, but for some reason, many would rather avoid looking to the future and the way these changes are going to alter the way we live and the effects it will have on our children and grandchildren. The scientists have known for years, have warned of the consequences, have been ignored.

A Hot Mess should be required reading for all politicians, from mayors to senators, and for all of the young people who will be most at risk. While the book also gives ways that anyone can make choices that are helpful, it is the responsibility of governments and big business to make the adjustments and adaptations that will make the biggest differences.

COP26 makes it clear that even the governments that realize the danger are still unable or unwilling to make the hard decisions that will be necessary.

If more people come to believe what science has been saying for decades, they can influence the outcome by making their opinions known. How many devastating hurricanes and fires and coasts lost to rising sea levels will we need to endure before that happens?

A Hot Mess is fascinating reading and written for for teens and young adults, but one of the most concise and readable books I've read on the topic.

Highly Recommended. If you are participating in Nonfiction November, give this one a try.

NetGalley/Lerner Pub. Group/Zest Books

Nonfiction/Climate. Aug. 1, 2021. Print length: 192 pages.

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There is much need to take action to slow down climate change and reverse its course. A Hot Mess by Jeff Fleischer is a book about climate change geared toward middle-grade and young adult audiences — the generation that will have to deal with a threat long in the making.

The author has done a great job explaining the concepts for the target age group, and the book is full of well-researched data, realistic predictions, and relatable examples. Moreover, the text contains sidebars, pictures, and graphs to drive the points home. Overall, the writing style resembles what one would find in science magazines for that audience.

As an activist involved in climate education, I found this book very informative, but there's definitely some room for improvement. First, it is pretty heavy on “doom and gloom” but very light on the solutions and actions that the audience can take (covered in the last chapter, which is approximately 22 pages). Much has been written within the past few years about how focusing primarily on the looming social, and environmental impacts of climate change paralyzes the public and leads to inaction, such as in this article: Long story short, most experts and climate education organizations strongly recommend using a solution-based approach, which empowers people to take action. Hence, this book would better serve its audience if the solutions and actions were expanded and dispersed throughout the book whenever a problem was introduced. Also, the “Further Information” section didn't contain some essential sources/organizations such as “Project Drawdown” or “Young Voices for the Planet.”

Still, this book contains valuable information and is a good introduction to climate change and its issues.

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