Released: 1st October 2015
Published by: Black Dog Books
Genre: YA Environmental Non-Fiction
My Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Goodreads | Bookworld | Booktopia
Thank you to Walker Books Australia for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
Atmospheric is an insightful piece of multimodal non-fiction which really makes you think twice about the environment around us and how we care for it. This is a book which is both easy to read and yet deeply informative about not only the history and science of our atmosphere, but the far reaching effects of climate change and how it may impact on us further in the future.
With a mixture of personal anecdotes, tables, diagrams, photographs, spotlight biographies and references to contemporary environmental issues, Atmospheric may sound like your average textbook. But it certainly is not. No, this is not a book you're going to get bored of reading facts and a whole bunch of information overload. Instead it's cleverly set out to both pack a punch and explain how the earth and its climate has has changed from millions of years ago to now, in a simplistic way which anyone could understand. This is something which would definitely be relatable to teens and adults alike, as there are sections from young adults' perspective alongside the facts.
The many headings throughout and short sections give a useful snapshot into the world both past and present, with references to scientists like James Hansen to your normal student Vincent Dwyer. It's this range of diverse perspectives and historical accounts which provide a dynamic depiction of how the issue of climate change has been perceived through the years, Plus, even if you get a little stuck on some of the more technical scientific terms, there's a handy glossary at the back to revamp your vocabulary.
I can definitely say I learnt a lot of new things from reading this book, and am now more aware of how what I do impacts on the environment. We can all take something from Atmospheric, especially in today's situation where climate change and global warming don't just exist as the features of a dystopian novel - they are making an impact right now.
*Guest Post by Carole Wilkinson*
The S-word. What does sustainability have to do with you?
Sustainability is a word that we hear all the time, and yet it’s hard to find a clear definition.
This is what I’ve come up with:
Sustainability is living in a way that doesn’t damage the planet and its atmosphere, now or in the future.
If you think sustainability has nothing to do with you because you’re too young, too poor or it’s someone else’s problem, think again.
You may not be in a position to put solar panels on your roof or change your light globes to LEDs, but you can definitely do something.
The truth is, we can all live in a sustainable way.
And the bonus? It will save you or your family money.
Here are my top five tips for making your life sustainable.
1. Turn things off
91% of electricity in Australia is made by burning coal and gas, producing millions of tonnes of greenhouse gases.
Turn off lights when you leave a room. Don’t leave appliances on stand-by 24/7. One of my pet hates? Leaving the TV on when no one’s watching it.
2. Don’t use the clothes dryer
It is a criminal waste of electricity to throw things into the dryer when the sun is shining outside. The ultraviolet in sunlight also kills bacteria that make your clothes and sheets smelly even after you’ve washed them.
Don’t have space for a clothesline? Dry things inside. A spare room or a bedroom during the day is a great place for a clothes drying rack.
3. Buy less stuff
All manufacturing uses up energy (electricity, gas) and produces greenhouse gases. Recycling is great, but it’s better if we buy less stuff in the first place. Check out secondhand shops and garage sales for clothes etc. Repair and mend things, don’t just throw them out. Don’t buy anything that is disposable after one use, or things with three layers of packaging.
4. Food waste
Up to half of what we put in our rubbish bins is food waste. Not only is it a waste of resources and your money, when it goes to the rubbish dump, it decomposes in a way that produces methane (a greenhouse gas with 28 times the global warming ability of carbon dioxide.)
Compost your food waste or make a worm farm. Don’t buy large amounts of fruit and veg so that it goes limp and rotten before you use it. If you make too much spaghetti sauce don’t leave it at the back of the fridge until it goes mouldy. Freeze it for another day.
5. Use the car less
Every time you get in the car, you’re producing greenhouse gases and dangerous pollutants. Think about each trip you make. Could you cycle, walk, or use public transport instead? You’ll be healthier too.
You might think that the reduction in greenhouse gases from one person doing these things is too small to worry about. It isn’t. When we all do it together it has an impact.