David Bristow’s latest volume begins with a warning to conspiracy theorists, creationists and climate-change denialists who learn all they know from TV and social media: This is not for you.
There are two reasons for its importance. First, it deals with 20 topics that everyone living and hoping to survive on Planet Earth needs to know. Second, it’s written so accessibly and engagingly that you can read it with pleasure in a single sitting. There’s no way to misinterpret its warnings.
As an environmental scientist, adventurer, travel writer (he was editor of Getaway magazine) and author of 20 books, David Bristow is the sort of person you’d hope to meet around a campfire, beer in hand, and in a storytelling mood. His knowledge of just about anything is encyclopaedic.
One imagines his office – and maybe a passage and part of a lounge – lined with filing cabinets full of interesting facts, photographs and newspaper clippings. But of course these days they are more than likely in little blue folders on his desktop.
Either way, there must be an awful lot of information he’s collected to write the sort of books he does. They’re absolutely filled with references to history,…