Ground truth A guide to tracking climate change at home

Mark L. Hineline

Book - 2018

Before you read this book, you have homework to do. Grab a notebook, go outside, and find a nearby patch of nature. What do you see, hear, feel, and smell? Are there bugs, birds, squirrels, deer, lizards, frogs, or fish, and what are they doing? What plants are in the vicinity, and in what ways are they growing? What shape are the rocks, what texture is the dirt, and what color are the bodies of water? Does the air feel hot or cold, wet or dry, windy or still? Everything you notice, write it all... down. We know that the Earth's climate is changing, and that the magnitude of this change is colossal. At the same time, the world outside is still a natural world, and one we can experience on a granular level every day. Ground Truth is a guide to living in this condition of changing nature, to paying attention instead of turning away, and to gathering facts from which a fuller understanding of the natural world can emerge over time. Featuring detailed guidance for keeping records of the plants, invertebrates, amphibians, birds, and mammals in your neighborhood, this book also ponders the value of everyday observations, probes the connections between seasons and climate change, and traces the history of phenology--the study and timing of natural events--and the uses to which it can be put. An expansive yet accessible book, Ground Truth invites readers to help lay the groundwork for a better understanding of the nature of change itself.

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Subjects
Published
Chicago ; London : The University of Chicago Press [2018]
Language
English
Physical Description
xiii, 229 pages : illustrations, maps ; 23 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references (pages 219-224) and index.
ISBN
9780226348131
022634813X
9780226347943
022634794X
Main Author
Mark L. Hineline (author)
  • Intimate and momentous
  • Seasons and circulations
  • Lilacs and passing time
  • Noting with a climate eye
  • Bedrock and baselines
  • The green world
  • Wriggles, buzzes, and calls
  • Feathers and phenophases
  • Warm blood and live birth
  • The atmosphere at home
  • Ground truth.
Review by Choice Reviews

The enormity of climate change, combined with the fact that many people have not experienced its effects personally, contributes to society's pervasive tendency toward inaction when it comes to climate matters. Hineline (history of science, Michigan State Univ.) presents ways to counter this problem. He calls on readers to practice phenology: to observe and record—in their own backyards—how things grow and change in the course of a year. The book is divided into three parts: the first provides an overview of the global geophysical processes that both shape and are affected by climate change; it traces the history of phenology and its uses in predicting climate change's effects and instructs readers on how to make phenological observations. The second part offers specific guidance on making climate-related observations using different flora and fauna. The final section demonstrates the role of localized activities in the larger global issues related to climate change. Written in a narrative style, the book lacks formal citations but does include a further reading list. An alternative to the many books that paint dire scenarios, this book appeals to readers with an interest, but not a strong background, in the science related to climate change. Summing Up: Recommended. All readers.--E. G. Harrington, Universities at Shady GroveEileen G. HarringtonUniversities at Shady Grove Eileen G. Harrington Choice Reviews 56:05 January 2019 Copyright 2018 American Library Association.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Advises readers on how to live in a world where nature is changing dramatically, including how to keep records of the plants, invertebrates, amphibians, birds and mammals in their neighborhood.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Before you read this book, you have homework to do. Grab a notebook, go outside, and find a nearby patch of nature. What do you see, hear, feel, and smell? Are there bugs, birds, squirrels, deer, lizards, frogs, or fish, and what are they doing? What plants are in the vicinity, and in what ways are they growing? What shape are the rocks, what texture is the dirt, and what color are the bodies of water? Does the air feel hot or cold, wet or dry, windy or still? Everything you notice, write it all down. We know that the Earth’s climate is changing, and that the magnitude of this change is colossal. At the same time, the world outside is still a natural world, and one we can experience on a granular level every day. Ground Truth is a guide to living in this condition of changing nature, to paying attention instead of turning away, and to gathering facts from which a fuller understanding of the natural world can emerge over time. Featuring detailed guidance for keeping records of the plants, invertebrates, amphibians, birds, and mammals in your neighborhood, this book also ponders the value of everyday observations, probes the connections between seasons and climate change, and traces the history of phenology—the study and timing of natural events—and the uses to which it can be put. An expansive yet accessible book, Ground Truth invites readers to help lay the groundwork for a better understanding of the nature of change itself.