Thursday, 17 June 2021

Inside Bubble Earth: Climate Change


Inside Bubble Earth: Climate Change

Des Hunt (2021)

One Tree House

56 pages, paperback NZ$40

ISBN 978-0-9951176-8-6


‘By now it should be obvious that holding your breath until your face turns blue isn’t going to save you or Bubble Earth. But there are other things we can do …’

Des Hunt is a writer who needs no introduction. His novels and non-fiction books are in every school

library. Inside Bubble Earth: Climate Change is his explanation of climate and climate change for young readers.

He begins by summoning up a tuatara’s-eye view of the history of climate patterns on earth and the possibility that the tuatara may face mass extinction as a very early victim of our current climate crisis. Along the way readers will be fascinated by his account of how the sex of tuatara eggs is determined by the temperature as eggs incubate. If the temperature three months after laying is above 22.5℃ all eggs will hatch as males! Hunt takes this possibility and uses it to explain the importance of variation in survval. Colourful diagrams and illustrations help to make his points.

As a former teacher and a full-time science explainer, Des Hunt does a good job of explaining the scientific method and applying it to climate change and its significance for ‘Bubble Earth’. Starting with the basic building blocks of life – atoms – he works through photosynthesis (how plants get energy) and respiration (how we breathe) to describing the nature of light and the perils of the greenhouse effect. This brings the reader to carbon dioxide, fossil fuels and the part played by our farms. There is also a simple analysis of six renewable energy sources.

Des Hunt always has a lovely conversational writing style.  ‘Now is the time to talk about the scary stuff,’ he warns before listing the consequences if we do nothing, Some grim examples of extreme weather events follow, although many of us have already had a mild taste of these lately. The dangers threatening our oceans and our environment are sketched in. Will we allow the human race to be the next example of mass extinction?

It won’t be Des Hunt’s fault if we do. He also offers young readers a couple of pages of actions they can take personal responsibility for to help save Bubble Earth. These are: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rethink.

There are two pages of Activities, four pages of Glossary and two pages of suggested Websites, as well as a solid index. The book design is by Vasanti Unka.


Trevor Agnew

18 June 2021


No comments: