Inconsistent Bordering On Hypocritical. This book is divided into just five chapters – Climate Change, Volcanoes, Earthquakes, Hurricanes, and (effectively “Other”) Rogue Waves, Landslides, Rip Currents, Sinkholes, and Sharks. Thus, there really is a considerable amount of detail put into explaining each phenomenon and purportedly what is known and unknown and wished to be known about each. The analysis is largely lacking, however, and Prager tends to blame everything on climate change, which she speaks of in absolutist terms. (Indeed, at least twice she outright claims there is “no credible scientific debate” on the issue, despite there being quite a bit.) She tends to blame the rising costs of coastal damage in particular on her preferred bogeyman, despite at least one other work published within the last year (Geography of Risk by Gilbert Gaul) building a compelling case that it is actually an increase in coastal development that has led to much of the rising cost of coastal damages – quite simply, there wasn’t much on the coasts a century ago to *be* damaged. But Prager doesn’t even consider this factor at all.
Where she seemingly is unaware of her inconsistency bordering on hypocrisy is when she claims repeatedly that we have more than enough information in the historical record to “confirm” climate change… yet claims with near the same frequency when discussing volcanoes and earthquakes that we simply don’t have enough information in the *geologic* historical record to be able to make any significant determinations. Hmmm…
Recommended for the mostly detailed discussions, but be prepared to have about a boulder of salt in some passages.
(I don’t remember if this publisher requested it, but just in case, some legalese that I despise but try to tag on when requested: This book publishes in March 2020 and I am writing this review 10 days before Christmas 2019. Thus, this is very obviously an Advance Review Copy. All opinions are completely my own and freely given.)
This review of Dangerous Earth by Ellen Prager was originally written on December 15, 2019.