Where to start? In my twenty years of reporting on climate change for New Scientist magazine and others, innumerable scientists (and not a few editors and fellow journalists) have helped me get things mostly right. To all of them, thanks. I hope this book brings their work together in a form that many of them will find enlightening.
My greatest debt is to the synthesizers within the scientific community—the people who have tried to see the whole picture and to put their work into what seems to me an ever more frightening context. Their names recur throughout this book. But those who have specially helped me in person include Jim Hansen, Paul Crutzen, Jim Lovelock, Wally Broecker, Peter Cox, Peter Wadhams, Mike Mann, Richard Lindzen, Will Steffen, Richard Alley, Lonnie Thompson, Terry Hughes, Jack Rieley, Sergei Kirpotin, Euan Nisbet, Peter Liss, Torben Christensen, Crispin Tickell, Richard Betts, Myles Allen, Meinrat Andreae, Tim Lenton, Chris Rap-ley, Peter deMenocal, Joe Farman, Gavin Schmidt, Keith Briffa, John Houghton, Dan Schrag, Bert Bolin, Jesse Ausubel, Drew Shindell, Stefan Rahmstorf, Mark Cane, Arie Issar, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, and the late Charles Keeling and Gerard Bond.
One always gets ideas from fellow writers. So thanks, too, to John Gribbin, Mark Lynas, Bill Burroughs, Doug Macdougall, Mark Bowen, Jeremy Leggett, Gabrielle Walker, and two historians of the climate change debate, Gale Chris tianson and Spencer Weart, whose books I have referred to in preparing this work. Thanks also to the organizers of the Dahlem conferences for making me welcome at an important event; to Carl Petter Niesen, in Ny-Alesund; and to the many people who have helped turn a germ of an idea into a completed book, including my agent, Jessica Woollard, and the editors Susanna Wadeson and Sarah Emsley.
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Disasters: Why No ones Really 100 Safe. This is common knowledgethat disaster is everywhere. Its in the streets, its inside your campuses, and it can even be found inside your home. The question is not whether we are safe because no one is really THAT secure anymore but whether we can do something to lessen the odds of ever becoming a victim.