Geoffrey Ozin and Mireille Ghoussoub
University of Toronto Press
2020 | 280 pages | € 26.99
ISBN 9781487506360

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The story of CO2 explores not only the science behind climate change and global warming and how we can better use technology to combat them, but also the political and societal aspects surrounding these issues. The book reminds me of a textbook, which makes it easy to navigate. But unlike so many textbooks, the well-written prose perfectly complements the concepts discussed. When I picked up the book, I just couldn’t put it down, which I can’t say of any textbook.

The authors talk about the importance of public relations and science communication in the fight against climate change, with this book being a perfect example of good science communication. The chapters are well designed and each contain important takeaway messages. Practical definitions along the way so that those who may not have had a thorough science education can get the most out of the book. There are just the right amount of pictures and illustrations to complement the text nicely. The overall design of the book means that it is accessible to everyone, regardless of your background.

Through the pages you can feel the authors’ passion for the topic, which somehow makes every tidbit jump out of the page – be it the number of gigatons of CO2 We need to remove from the atmosphere to ensure that warming does not increase by more than 1.5 ° C, or the sheer amount of resources required to make something as seemingly simple as fertilizer.

I really enjoyed learning more about how we as chemists can have a positive impact on our environment. I see this book as a call to action to all scientists as we all have a responsibility to share our understanding and knowledge in order to dispel any misinformation we encounter. If you’re only reading one book on climate change this year, do this.


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