Top critical review
Could have been better!
Reviewed in India 🇮🇳 on 5 January 2022
Well, let's face it. Climate change is the elephant in the room and it is slowly growing in size to loom large over the future of us humans. It may or may not wipe us all out, but it will definitely bring some not so pleasant changes to our lives. If you're aware and awake, I am sure you have already noticed its impact on the world around. Our summers are getting hotter and drier, winters bring in more chill, our storms are worsening and the rainfalls cause deluges all around. Reason? Climate change, caused by the accumulation of what are called 'greenhouse gases' in our atmospheric layers, preventing the Sun's heat from being radiated back into the void of the Universe. It is both a serious and urgent topic that more and more of us should be aware of. So, when I thought of learning about it, I let the aura of Bill Gates decide my choice and bought this as the first book on this topic. Alas, if only Bill Gates could write books as well as he could write software!
To begin with, this book doesn't justify all the negative opinions surrounding it. Bill Gates is neither the evil billionaire who wants the whole world to do his bidding nor has he written this book to earn extra income. Come on! After all this is a man that earns upwards of $20000 per minute, more than what many of us can earn over a year! So, minting some extra money on the side could not be his motivation. Two, he has obviously invested in many of the companies that are working on climate change solutions. If his intention is to raise more funds for his companies, he can simply dial up people like Buffetts and Ambanis, who are all in his phone's contact list for sure. I don't think he needed the effort of publishing a book to raise money.
Now that we have cleared it, Gates for sure has written the book with the good intention of creating awareness about climate change. His execution comes a cropper though. He has done many things right – trying to explain the impact of rise in mercury, how emissions cause that increase, causes of those emissions, current ground realities, ways in which we can reduce emissions and the challenges ahead that could thwart our efforts. But he does so in a less than perfect style. First, there are times when he sounds a bit repetitive. As a result, the writing style sags in many places. Two, he has written it with a view on how corporates and governments can bring in changes and not on how we as individuals are contributing to the problem and how we can solve it. Agreed that such a gargantuan problem threatening the whole world will not be solved by individual efforts alone, but the individual is what makes the world and I would have loved to see a couple of steps on how we can contribute more, in our daily lives. May be, that is just me expecting too much from a well-intentioned book. Finally, in the book’s introduction, he promises not to name the companies he is involved in, to avoid giving an appearance of favouritism, but ends up doing it page after, chapter after chapter, which justifies the criticism a little.
But trust me, this is a good book, written with the good intention of spreading awareness about climate change. Just that it didn’t thrill me much. But if you are looking to understand the topic at a general level, this book is a good primer for sure. 3.5 stars!