Preserving the stuff of phobias • 10 November 2007 • The SnowBlog
Preserving the stuff of phobias
I'm reading a very good book about climate change at the moment, called The Weather Makers by Tim Flannery. I've spent a while studying various sciences and a while trying to get the hang of writing, and whatever my successes or otherwise in those areas, one definite effect has been to make me a snob about the science writing I'll read. But Tim Flannery needn't worry. He does a fine job with his material. My only complaint... in fact it's not even a complaint, it's a niggle, a quibble... in fact if I'm honest it says more about me than Prof. Flannery... it's just that he begins a section on the detrimental consequences of climate change by talking about the precarious future of the alpine habitats of New Guinea. And, professional zoologist that he is, he eulogises over the fauna, specifically the way the myriad of webs catch the morning light and illuminate the burrows of the Mallomys Gunung. He's undoubtedly right and it's a precious habitat the loss of which will be a tragedy. It's just that a landscape teeming with spiders that's home to a meter-long woolly alpine rat wouldn't be the first thing I'd lose sleep over. But then I'm not a zoologist. That childish observation aside, it is a lively and illuminating read. Deux fois encore.