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Check It Out: The Parrot and the Igloo: Climate and the Science of Denial by David Lipsky

This is Michael Maxwell with the Sioux City Public Library and you’re listening to Check It Out.

Today, I am recommending The Parrot and the Igloo: Climate and the Science of Denial by David Lipsky. Although I’m a big nonfiction reader, I often shy away from reading about climate change because of the anxiety it spikes in me. Still, I know that it’s important to learn more about this issue precisely because of the anxiety it causes, and so I picked up The Parrot and the Igloo after reading several glowing reviews of it.

Well, the reviews were correct. This book does some amazing things to help readers like me break the issue down into a manageable layperson’s narrative spiked with just the right amount of humor to give a dark subject some badly needed levity. This is a history of science denial, and it reads like a historical survey, so I never felt like I was bogged down with a bunch of scientific jargon and academic minutiae either.

Lipsky takes readers all the way back to the days of Edison and Tesla before bringing us up to our present by telling the story of a lot of bad science that has happened since then. Before readers even reach climate change, they learn all about Big Tobacco and that industry’s efforts to curtail regulations in the 20th Century. Once cigarettes fall out of fashion and the link between smoking and cancer becomes clear, the scientists hired by Big Tobacco need a new job. Enter climate denial.

One of the most shocking insights I took from this book was the fact that many of the individuals involved in covering up tobacco’s harms are the very same people working to discredit climate science.

Readers learn all about these scientists for hire and their personal idiosyncrasies that led them to such a career path.

Check out The Parrot and the Igloo: Climate and the Science of Denial by David Lipsky and other books about our environment at the Sioux City Public Library today!

Support for Check It Out on Siouxland Public Media comes from Verde Outdoor Media.

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