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Selbstverbrennung: Die fatale Dreiecksbeziehung zwischen Klima, Mensch und Kohlenstoff
Selbstverbrennung: Die fatale Dreiecksbeziehung zwischen Klima, Mensch und Kohlenstoff
von Hans Joachim Schellnhuber
  Gebundene Ausgabe
Preis: EUR 29,99

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5.0 von 5 Sternen Ein außergewöhnliches Buch!, 11. Mai 2016
Verifizierter Kauf(Was ist das?)
Obwohl es mit seinen fast 800 Seiten eher an der oberen Grenze dessen liegt, was ich als Buch normalerweise lese, muss ich doch sagen, dass ich den Kauf und die Lektüre zu keinem Zeitpunkt bereut habe. Dies ist kein rein wissenschaftliches Werk, obwohl es von einem Wissenschaftler, einem der bekanntesten Klimaforscher Deutschlands mit internationalem Renommee, verfasst worden ist.

Kurz zusammengefasst (obwohl ich dem Werk damit sicherlich Unrecht tue) erwartet den geneigten Leser ein Parforceritt durch die gesamte Geschichte der Klimaforschung von den Anfängen bis heute, mit Ausflügen in verwandte Wissenschaften wie (in alphabetischer Reihenfolge) Biologie, Chemie, Geologie, Ökologie, Paläontologie, Physik, und weiteren. Bei so viel Naturwissenschaft darf natürlich die Mathematik nicht fehlen. Aber keine Angst: Im gesamten Buch befinden sich lediglich acht Gleichungen, und diese sind für das Gesamtverständnis nicht einmal notwendig. Hauptaugenmerk liegt natürlich auf der Klimaforschung und hierbei insbesondere auf dem stattfindenden Klimawandel, der in Form einer globalen, durch den Menschen hervorgerufenen, Erwärmung der Erde seit Beginn des Industriezeitalters uns alle betrifft. Dabei wurde die "harte" Wissenschaft auf ein Minimum reduziert, die grundlegenden Fakten jedoch klar und nachvollziehbar dargestellt. Insofern ist das Anliegen des Autors, uns, den Nicht-Wissenschaftlern, die Problematik nahezubringen meines Erachtens voll erfüllt. Die Thematik ist unglaublich komplex, der Text ist es glücklicherweise nicht.

Der Pfad der reinen Naturwissenschaften wird aber auch immer wieder verlassen, zu Gunsten einer weiteren Sicht auf die Dinge, die zum Klimawandel geführt haben. Dass zum Beispiel Sklavenhandel und Webstuhl-Technologie einen nicht unerheblichen Beitrag zur Industrialisierung geleistet, und damit die unsägliche Technologie der Verbrennung fossiler Energieträger vorangetrieben haben, war mir in dieser Form nicht bewusst. In wie weit Klimaereignisse in der Vergangenheit Brüche in der Menschheitsgeschichte bewirkt haben und den Aufstieg und Fall von Kulturen ermöglichten, ist ebenfalls ein faszinierendes Thema. Auch hier kann man sich als Leser noch bequem zurück lehnen, und den Ausführungen des Autors mit Interesse folgen.

Gleich im ersten Kapitel jedoch, in dem eine rein persönliche Erfahrung des Autors geschildert wird, tauchen schon gewisse Schatten auf. Wenn dies ein Roman wäre würde ich von einer unguten Vorahnung sprechen. Diese Vorahnung wird im Laufe des Buches immer mehr zur Gewissheit: Wir, die Menschheit, werden uns selbst verbrennen, wenn es nicht gelingt, die Erderwärmung auf ein noch erträgliches Maß zu begrenzen. Der Autor spricht hier von der 2°C Leitplanke. Gemeint ist, dass die Durchschnittstemperatur der Erde verglichen mit der des vorindustriellen Zeitalters um nicht mehr als 2°C steigen sollte. Ansonsten können wir als Konsequenz den Laden am Ende dieses Jahrhunderts wohl zumachen. Dass dies im Grunde keiner beabsichtigt, sollte eigentlich klar sein. Trotzdem passiert nichts, oder nur wenig. Der Autor ist neben seiner Tätigkeit als Wissenschaftler auch Politikberater und hat in dieser Eigenschaft auch an zahlreichen Klimakonferenzen teilgenommen. Hierüber berichtet er in einigen Kapiteln, die, zum großen Teil sehr persönlich, von seinen Erfahrungen dort berichten. Als Leser möchte man manchmal schmunzeln über soviel "Palaver" mit so wenig Ergebnis, wenn es nicht so ernst, so dringlich wäre. Das Buch wurde übrigens kurz vor der letzten Klimakonferenz in Paris 2015 veröffentlicht, so dass deren Ergebnisse noch nicht eingeflossen sind. In diesen und weiteren Abschnitten verlässt der Autor den Weg eines Wissenschaftlers, und wird zum Ge-Wissenschaftler. Er nimmt kein Blatt vor den Mund, nennt die Dinge und teilweise auch Personen beim Namen. Ich finde, das steht ihm auch zu nach über 30 Jahren Forschung auf diesem Gebiet, deren Erkenntnisse von 97% aller Experten geteilt werden. Die restlichen drei Prozent, die "Merchants of Doubt", wie sie in einem anderen Buch bezeichnet werden, haben es tatsächlich geschafft, Zweifel am menschgemachten Klimawandel in der Bevölkerung zu sähen, und das Problem viel kleiner darzustellen, als es in Wahrheit ist. Diesen Zeitgenossen (und anderen, wie etwa der Öl/Gas/Kohle-Industrie) muss der Kampf gelten, und das vorliegende Buch trägt hierzu bei. [Scheinbar tut dies sogar die Natur selbst, denn dass ausgerechnet die Hauptstadt der ekligen Ölsand-Förderung, Fort McMurray in Kanada, dieser Tage von einem verheerenden Waldbrand heimgesucht wird, halte ich für eine bittere Ironie]

Die Begrenzung der Erderwärmung auf zwei Grad festzulegen ist eine Sache. Ein andere ist es, dieses Ziel auch zu erreichen. Selbst wenn alle Entscheidungsträger am gleichen Strang ziehen würden, bliebe immer noch ein unglaublicher Kraftakt zu bewältigen. Auch hier liefert das Buch umfangreiche Informationen zum Stand der Dinge in allen Bereichen und erörtert mögliche Szenarien für die Zukunft. Letztere sind natürlich spekulativer Natur.

Ich könnte noch viel mehr Themen des Buches nennen, aber das würde den Rahmen hier wohl sprengen. Außerdem sind die Themen nicht alle ausführlich behandelt. Aber überall werden Verweise auf weiterführende Literatur gemacht. Überhaupt ist die Bibliographie mit über ihren 36 eng beschriebenen Seiten eine der umfangreichsten, die ich bisher gesehen habe.

Der einzige kleine Wermutstropfen für mich waren die Grafiken. Diese waren, obwohl inhaltlich informativ, nicht leicht für mich als Brillenträger zu entziffern. Kurzum: Sie sind vielfach einfach zu klein. Hier würde ich mir wünschen, dass vielleicht insbesondere die Diagramme und Weltkarten noch einmal auf einer separaten Webseite in ihrer vollen Größe veröffentlicht werden.

Alles in allem ist dies ein Buch, welches kaum Wünsche offen lässt, und wo diese doch entstehen, gibt es immerhin Hinweise darauf, wo sie befriedigt werden.


Alice, der Klimawandel und die Katze Zeta
Alice, der Klimawandel und die Katze Zeta
von Margret Boysen
  Gebundene Ausgabe
Preis: EUR 21,90

5.0 von 5 Sternen Seriouser and seriouser!, 30. April 2016
Sometimes I wonder if we could stop climate change and global warming simply by stopping spam mails and cat pictures on the internet? The energy savings would be enormous!

Joking aside. Alice lives! I suppose Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass must be two books of which the most homages, parodies, and re-writings exist. This is another one.

Her latest adventure takes Alice on a school field-trip to the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK for short). Alice is bored with the lectures of her teacher and is looking around the area, when she –miraculously– discovers a white rabbit who wears a waistcoat and has a golden watch. She follows the rabbit and lands in a shaft that leads her directly into the institute. There she meets a climate research scientist who invites Alice to dive into the fascinating world of climate models, and she starts her journey by climbing through the panel of a computer monitor (obviously times have changed since the Looking Glass). This leads her directly into the simulation grid of the last ice age and from there it goes on and on: she sees the Arctic as well as the Antarctic, the rain-forest and other places. She attends a performance at the Impact Theatre and visits the Library of Truth (highly recommended!) where the best companion you can bring is your own imagination. And of course she meets a bunch of curious characters, like Lord Waterlow, the Grand Duke Albedo with his radiant white robe, and the model sisters Ultra Simplicia and Ultra Sophistica. Furthermore there are a quite a few animals along the way, who –miraculously– all can speak: A walrus, a flying pig with a corkscrew trunk named EMIC, and, last but not least, a mathematical-metaphorical cat named Zeta (my hypothesis being that the cat’s former owner was a man named Riemann). The whole thing ends –not surprisingly– at a Mad Tea Party, only this time it’s a world climate conference held by some quite narrow-minded animals.

The special aspect of this otherwise rather fun- and punful Alice-story is the grave and serious background. The reading of this book makes it all too clear. The scientific findings regarding climate change and global warming, especially the ones made by the PIK, are the broccoli of the story. A certain understanding of the processes that, in the end, will affect us all, is certainly helpful while reading, although even without it, the book is worth your attention. At the end of the book there is a 36-page section explaining topics that are addressed in the various chapters, along with references to other publications. These are intended for the laymen. A much longer bibliography is also found, but these are mainly articles in scientific magazines and probably not an easy read.

A highly recommended book for everyone to whom it (the future of mankind) may concern!


The Seventh Glitch: A Standalone LITRPG Cyberpunk Novel (English Edition)
The Seventh Glitch: A Standalone LITRPG Cyberpunk Novel (English Edition)
Preis: EUR 4,27

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5.0 von 5 Sternen Superb!, 15. April 2016
Verifizierter Kauf(Was ist das?)
A glitch-free cyberpunk novel, deeply set in the heart of The Game. Put on your Mindware™ full-body VR suit and enjoy the ride through the dreamscape and seven rifts of pure entertainment: Fantasy, Wild West, Sci-Fi, Racing, Adventure, Life S(t)imulation, and, last but not least, WAR!

The writing is superb. The characters (which I should probably better call avatars) are distinct and anything but flat, and their dialogue is just great. The different worlds emerge before your eyes.

This sounds like a lot of fun to read, and it is. The main issues, however, the giant undertow that will suck us all in sometime, is deadly serious: Big corporations, the intelligence community, governments, and other authorities watching our every step. Ronel Van Tonder did a fine job in making that clear–chapter by chapter, rift by rift. It’s indeed some kind of ugly Game we (the ordinary guys) are forced to play against those Molochs and big data grabbers and stealers, or any kind of authority for that matter.

This is a fast-paced novel that even non-gamers like me are going to love.


The Lovers' Tango (English Edition)
The Lovers' Tango (English Edition)
Preis: EUR 3,76

4.0 von 5 Sternen Another gem from the Rubinstein workshop, 3. Juni 2015
Verifizierter Kauf(Was ist das?)
Crime writer Bill Shaw met actress Nora Reyes when she performed the Tango. They both fell in love, got married, were happy and successful. Fifteen years later Nora's been afflicted by a debilitating disease and eventually dies. Now Bill is accused of murdering his beloved wife and he has to stand trial.

The major part of this novel is set in the courtroom. Although the protagonists mostly sit or stand this is a fast paced thriller nonetheless. The lawyers perform their own kind of dance, although this is not one of the loving kind. For me it was most interesting to see the US jury trial at work, from the selection of the jurors to the final verdict. <em>Truth</em> and <em>justice</em> is what they seek ... officially. What they actually uncover and by what means is another matter entirely. A further complication arises because the real circumstances of Nora's death are not entirely dissimilar to the fictional content of the current book, Bill Shaw is writing. There's much room for speculation, which is exploited heartily by the lawyers.

As a psychiatrist who has also appeared as an expert witness in court, Mark Rubinstein has a lot of experience. Notably in his book "Love Gone Mad", and even more so in "The Lovers' Tango".

Unconditional recommendation for readers of this genre!


Derailed Conscience: A dark psychological thriller (English Edition)
Derailed Conscience: A dark psychological thriller (English Edition)
Preis: EUR 2,99

4.0 von 5 Sternen Mind Games, 12. Mai 2015
Verifizierter Kauf(Was ist das?)
Understanding of the brain by the brain is a tough job, even for psychologists. Jonathan Farrell's work as a psychologist's assistant leads him to a small town where a harmless visit to a tea-shop (we're in England after all) leads to a disturbing incident. Back in London, strange events accumulate and Farrell eventually doubts his own sanity.
Through the eyes of the protagonist in this suspenseful and riveting story we witness his gradual mental decline. But being paranoid doesn't mean no one is stalking you! I think I don't give away too much when I tell you that what's obvious isn't always what's true. The story takes an unexpected turn, and then another, and then one more. Or maybe not? But who can you trust? Farrell? The author? This reviewer?
This is a novella of high quality, which clearly belongs to the psych-thriller genre. But you also find – and this is the only small caveat to me – some elements of Sci-Fi. Those elements seem a little factitious. For the most part they are not essential to the story, and could have been left out, without loosing too much.
A recommended read that shows once again: Indie Authors are able to cut it.


The Squirrel that Dreamt of Madness (English Edition)
The Squirrel that Dreamt of Madness (English Edition)
Preis: EUR 4,49

5.0 von 5 Sternen How does it feel?, 9. März 2015
Verifizierter Kauf(Was ist das?)
How does it feel
To be without a home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?

This books is going to answer this question – at least partially. I already know the hero and narrator, Colossus Sosloss, from Craig Stone's other autobiographical novel Life Knocks. In The Squirrel that Dreamt of Madness Colossus quits the job he can't stand, flees from his flat, and is going to pursue the dreams he stands for. With two bags, and a sleeping bag tugged in a third bag, he sets forth to live in a park ...

"Gladstone Park is a peaceful oasis in the middle of North London. Much of its charm comes from the tree-lined avenues crisscrossing the green expanse and dating back to the turn of the 20th century. It's definitely possible to while away a couple of hours wandering down these paths, stopping off en route to feed the ducks, admire the colourful flowers, [...]" (from [...])

... and becomes a homeless man — a bum — by choice (in contrast to whoever Bob Dylan is singing about). It turns out the above description of the park doesn't fit for everyone alike:

My sleeping bag is too big for its bag, I'm cold, tired, my bed has bird poo on it, my skin is itching, fat flies sporadically land on my forehead, and a park keeper is walking in my direction.

In addition to these "little things" he is in constant fear of the other homeless men. These could be murderers, or madmen, or mad murderers. Especially at night when every shadow becomes the silhouette of a haunter and every rustling twig a breaking bone, Colossus has to drop the last bit of romantic notion he might had had about his new life.

At this point I should mention Craig Stone did exactly that. His dream was to become a writer at some point.

"I quit my job, left my flat and walked into a park with a sleeping bag and a pen. I thought that without the phone ringing, and without making coffees I would never drink for others, and the pointless excel spreadsheets, and the people sitting around being safe but living out failures - without all those things, if I just gave it all up, maybe I would make it. Maybe I would write that book that's been on my mind since school. So I did." (from Craig Stone's profile)

So you have to add pen and notebook to the above list of items, I guess.

I'd say the story in this book is neither character- nor plot- but location-driven. Gladstone Park, as seen through the narrator's eyes, its trees and bushes, the duckpond and an abandoned (haunted?) house, is the story's secret kingpin. Needless to say I'm going to visit this park (during day-time!) the next time I'm in London. The reader is sitting right behind the eyes of the narrator. Sometimes looking back to see his brain working, dreaming, nightmaring, other times looking at the world through his lenses, witnessing the most surreal scenes. This story has some brutally funny moments, triggered by the author's virtually immeasurable treasures of similes. It has also many deep though-provoking philosophical sentiments, most of which I just had to mark in my Kindle, to read them over and over again. But it also has dark and disturbing descriptions of deterioration of our furred and feathered friends. Be warned: Those parts are quite intense!

I don't know what image you produce in your mind when reading the book's title The Squirrel that Dreamt of Madness, but I'll bet you dollars-to-dumplings it's the wrong one. Two interludes, engrossing short stories in their own right, lead to the solution of this "puzzle".

Craig Stone's writing is original and unique (as fas as I can tell from the books I read so far in my life), and he deserves particular attention. Do yourself a favor and check out his books. All of them are great. Alas, now I run out of Craig Stone books. I hope for a new one soon.


The Last Teacher (The Great De-evolution) (English Edition)
The Last Teacher (The Great De-evolution) (English Edition)
Preis: EUR 0,99

5.0 von 5 Sternen Great De-evolution appetizer, 3. März 2015
A story set in the world of Great De-evolution. I made acquaintance with Chris Dietzel's concept of a dystopian world through the first novel THE MAN WHO WATCHED THE WORLD END and it blew me away. Then came the second, and the third, and it never left me.

But you don't have to read all of these books to appreciate this story. One nice feature of the books is that they can be read in any order. Each book highlights different aspects, and introduces a different cast of characters. This story make no difference. If you're new to the Great De-evolution you can use it as an appetizer, and if you're a veteran "De-evolutionist" (like me), you would want to read it anyway.

In this story a teacher named Ray faces a big problem: She slowly runs out of students. Each day there are less of them in the classroom. There are also certain tensions among teaching staff about what they should teach the children and how. Ray has her own way of dealing with this situation.

It's impossible for me to nail down the feeling that I got while reading this story (or any of the other books in the series). I don't know if there is a single name for it. It's a strange mixture of sadness, melancholia, tranquility, composure, and pride. I even smiled at certain points even though the subject isn't the least bit funny. And I recalled this quote, which is assigned to Martin Luther: "Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree."

Do yourself a favor and read this story and get introduced to The Great De-evolution. It's never been easier.

I got this story delivered for free to my virtual door prior to its official release, because I subscribed to the author's monthly newsletter.


The Folded Man
The Folded Man
Preis: EUR 2,37

4.0 von 5 Sternen Demanding - rewarding, 16. Februar 2015
Verifizierter Kauf(Was ist das?)
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Folded Man (Kindle Edition)
Brian, wheelchair-bound and ugly, in Manchester, in 2018, together with Noah, his old buddy, his old pal, his old drug dealer. Manchester in ruins after riots. Beetham tower laid down. Police raids, skin-heads plunder. No good time to walk or wheel alone. Brian and Noah, on a spying job, get hold of a mysterious box and things are getting really rough for them. A change, a metamorphosis, a nightmare, and then possibly a dream.

Spartan language, dialogs without tags (Saramago style), Northern England idioms. All this made it a hard read. I almost gave up after a third, thinking the language barrier is just too high for this ESL reader. Like surmount a road blockade on a wheelchair, this was. But – I managed, tuned in somehow. Still don't know exactly what it's all about, but I really do like it. Brian, the folded man, demands a re-read.


Crimson Dawn: A Dystopian Post Apocalyptic Novel (Exilon 5 Book 3) (English Edition)
Crimson Dawn: A Dystopian Post Apocalyptic Novel (Exilon 5 Book 3) (English Edition)
Preis: EUR 4,17

5.0 von 5 Sternen Sound solution, 18. Oktober 2014
Verifizierter Kauf(Was ist das?)
The colonization of the planet Exilon 5 by the World Government is now only a matter of time. But opinions differ largely on this matter. It's also not clear how to deal with the indigenous people of the planet. And although the Indigens face a possible destruction of their society, they are also struggling with different problems.

In general, this book is loaded with numerous conflicts. And that's what has made it well worth reading for me. I find it remarkable that the "good guys" are not only good in this book, and the "bad guys" are not 100% evil. Who is on which side is not entirely clear to the reader, not even for the characters involved. I can even comprehend the selfish motives of the über-evil guy, although I cannot approve of his means. From this perspective, the question arises, what actually constitutes being good or evil?

I think Eliza Green has created a sound conclusion to the Exilon 5 trilogy. The ending is satisfactory, although it's not one of the they-lived-happliy-ever-after kind. I appreciate this, because there's is no such thing in real life. Severe social problems can only be solved by finding compromises.


The Hauntings of Playing God (The Great De-evolution) (English Edition)
The Hauntings of Playing God (The Great De-evolution) (English Edition)
Preis: EUR 3,63

5.0 von 5 Sternen A different type of End-Of-The-World, 27. August 2014
Verifizierter Kauf(Was ist das?)
So that's it. The end of the end of humankind. Chris Dietzel delivers the final installment of the Great De-evolution trilogy.

All that remain are the Blocks - people who neither move nor communicate, nor can think(?) and who are condemned to death without help from outside - as well as some caretakers, who have submitted themselves to this self-sacrificing task. One day Morgan, who worked for decades as a caretaker, is suddenly alone, facing sixty-four Blocks that can only live while she is there for them. No easy task when you consider that Morgan herself is already over 90 years old. This is about how the story begins.

The novel is essentially a one-person drama. Morgan's thoughts and decisions dominate the action. But she is not really alone, as she is definitely in dialog with herself and others. The author has made sure of that with quite a clever trick. The tension of this book is drawn from the question of what will Morgan do to accomplish her Herculean task. One thing is clear: If Morgan dies, so do the Blocks, because there is no one else left to replace her. On this day it will all be over, basta, finito, the end.

If the trilogy of the Great De-evolution were a music symphony in three movements, I would subtitle the last one with "adagio ma non troppo", because this book is not particularly fast. But that doesn't mean it's soft. On the contrary. It's actually quite "fortissimo" in parts. Those of you who are interested in their own reality in the world, the difference between living and merely being alive, the faith in some higher power (or lack thereof), or the questions of "what comes next?" should definitely read this book. Naturally there are no definitive answers here, but there is plenty of food for thought. This is also true for the other two installments by the way, THE MAN WHO WATCHED THE WORLD END and A DIFFERENT ALCHEMY.


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