REVIEW: Waking the Giant: How a Changing Climate Triggers Earthquakes, Tsunamis and Volcanoes

Book by Bill McGuire

by Andrew Stobo Sniderman

REVIEW: Waking the giantMcGuire is a “geophysical hazard specialist,” meaning he studies the history of killer waves and earthquakes. His conclusion—that rising human carbon emissions will expose us to more and worse natural disasters—is not novel, but his scientific detective work is impressive. The book is designed more to edify than persuade, although McGuire also does his best to make ancient geology exciting—we encounter a “feisty” volcano, an “incarcerating” landslide, a “slow dance” of tectonic plates and the “trespass” of rising tides. Nor is he above making geological threats to those who shrug at climate change.

The connection between tsunamis, earthquakes and landslides, and the carbon that slithers out of our cars is complicated, but not impenetrable. As the Earth warms, ice melts and tides rise. The new distribution of water shifts weight off one place on to another. Newly unburdened areas “bounce back.” The Earth shifts, magma escapes, mayhem ensues. When most of us look down, we see the ground. McGuire sees a delicate crust encasing an unruly giant. Still, he dismisses any human causation of recent disasters like the 2011 Japanese tsunami as “unlikely in the extreme.” Sea levels haven’t changed that much yet. But when they do, and they will, McGuire expects more consequences from our environmental fiddling, as indicated by the results during a comparable period of geological upheaval between 5,000 to 20,000 years ago.

Two pages before the book’s end, the author delivers his assessment: “In the course of drawing together and evaluating all the evidence, I have been persuaded that it would be remarkable if unmitigated [man-made] climate change failed to elicit a conspicuous and salient response from the surface and interior of our planet.” A polemicist, McGuire is not. This will come as a relief to those who are bored of hearing hyperventilated claims of impending doom. We have a while yet—there is still plenty of time to whistle past graveyards.

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REVIEW: Waking the Giant: How a Changing Climate Triggers Earthquakes, Tsunamis and Volcanoes

  1. Remember, it was news editors who essentially paid off the lab coat consultants for 26 years of needless CO2 panic by encouraging the scientists to keep the finger on the panic button of “unstoppable warming”. Exaggeration is not a crime, yet.
    -Occupywallstreet does not even mention CO2 in its list of demands because of the bank-funded carbon trading stock markets run by corporations.
    -Julian Assange is of course a climate change denier.
    -Obama has not mentioned the crisis in the last two State of the Unions addresses.
    -Canada killed Kyoto with a newly elected climate change denying prime minister and nobody cared, even the millions of scientists.
    Since supporting climate change fear any longer is like giving Romney the keys to the White House, we need to blame the lazy copy and paste news editors for enticing the lab coat consultants to legally exaggerate climate change to being; “real and happening”. That is all they agreed on and now this shameful era of CO2 insanity will be remembered for being not about a changing climate, but rather about CONTROLLING a changing climate by taxing the air we breathe with bank funded and corporate run carbon trading stock markets ruled by politicians and offering Human sacrifice of lifestyle to the angry weather gods.
    I think we can all agree that unstoppable warming is an exaggeration and besides, all of the scientists have unique views on “effects” anyways so consensus of unstoppable warming is impossible and does not of course exist then. They all say “it is real” but in a million different ways leaving not only consensus being exaggerated, but climate change crisis being irrelevant. You can’t have a little crisis. We are NOT killing the planet with SUV gas and my proof is 5 billion years of evolution and 26 years of failed IPCC predictions of “UNSTOPPABLE” warming. Yes pollution is real but death of the planet from Human CO2 has given us 26 years of needless panic. I consider it a war crime.

  2. Wish I had recorded the expression on Bill Nye “The Science Guy’s” face as he listned to a CNN anchor, late on the night after the Christmas tsunami of 2004, ask him if it had been caused by global warming. Before reaching for a chair to throw it into the TV I shut it off, vowing to never turn it on again.

    This book is SO loaded with evidence against his own premise that it might not be possible to gauge how much he would understand how unintended they might be!

    CLIMATEGATE – (now I & II plus FAKEGATE) – the revelation that the pseudo-scientists at East Anglia University know just as much about the atmosphere as Harvard (and now Georgetown) law professors know about the Constitution

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