How Innovation Has Been The Twist In Our Climate Change Story

"A book can change your life," says Elizabeth Kolbert, author of The Sixth Extinction and a New Yorker writer. "One might assume she gives a wink and a nod with these words." In fact, Kolbert is referencing another book, The Two-Mile Time Machine, by Pennsylvania State University glaciologist Richard B. Alley.

But Alley's book told a history of climate change dating back more than a thousand years, while Kolbert's book, The Sixth Extinction, has documented the global ravages of climate change since it was first published in 1999, Kolbert tells Strategy+Business.

"Alley's book offered confirmation that global warming was the big story Kolbert had been looking for, and set her on a path that eventually turned her from a political reporter into a renowned climate observer and commentator," Kolbert says. "So, in the Anthropocene, human impacts are now on a geological scale," she adds. "We have changed the climate already in a way that will be visible many millions of years from now in the record, in the rocks."
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