“The Heat Will Kill You First” – Book discussion for Earth Day – April 28

The non-fiction reading group (NFRG) with the Green Sanctuary team are hosting an all-church book discussion on Sunday, April 28th at 11:45 am. The book that we have chosen is The Heat Will Kill You First by Jeff Goodell. We encourage you to read this book, but if you haven’t read it or finished it, you are also welcome to attend and join the discussion.

The world is waking up to a new reality: wildfires are now seasonal in California, the Northeast is getting less and less snow each winter, and the ice sheets in the Arctic and Antarctica are melting fast.  Heat is the first order threat that drives all other impacts of the climate crisis.  And as the temperature rises, it is revealing fault lines in our governments, our politics, our economy, and our values. The basic science is not complicated: Stop burning fossil fuels tomorrow, and the global temperature will stop rising tomorrow. Stop burning fossil fuels in 50 years, and the temperature will keep rising for 50 years, making parts of our planet virtually uninhabitable.  It’s up to us.  The hotter it gets, the deeper and wider our fault lines will open. 

The Heat Will Kill You First is about the extreme ways in which our planet is already changing. It is about why spring is coming a few weeks earlier and fall is coming a few weeks later and the impact that will have on everything from our food supply to disease outbreaks. It is about what will happen to our lives and our communities when typical summer days in Chicago or Boston go from 90° F to 110°F.  A heatwave, Goodell explains, is a predatory event— one that culls out the most vulnerable people.  But that is changing.  As heatwaves become more intense and more common, they will become more democratic.  

As an award-winning journalist who has been at the forefront of environmental journalism for decades, Goodell’s new book may be his most provocative yet, explaining how extreme heat will dramatically change the world as we know it.  Masterfully reported, mixing the latest scientific insight with on-the-ground storytelling, Jeff Goodell tackles the big questions and uncovers how extreme heat is a force beyond anything we have reckoned with before.