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A Hole in the Wind: A Climate Scientist's Bicycle Journey Across the United States

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After a distinguished career in climate science as the Director of the UN Global Climate Observing System in Geneva, David Goodrich returned home to the United States to find a nation and a people in denial. Concerned that Americans are willfully deluded by misinformation about climate that dominates media and politics, Goodrich thought a little straight talk could set thi After a distinguished career in climate science as the Director of the UN Global Climate Observing System in Geneva, David Goodrich returned home to the United States to find a nation and a people in denial. Concerned that Americans are willfully deluded by misinformation about climate that dominates media and politics, Goodrich thought a little straight talk could set things right. As they say in "Animal House," he decided that "this calls for a stupid and futile gesture on someone's part, and I'm just the guy to do it." Starting on the beach in Delaware, Goodrich rode his bike 4,200 miles to Oregon, talking with the people he met on the ultimate road trip. Along the way, he learned a great deal about why climate is a complicated issue for many Americans and even more about the country we all share. Climate change is the central environmental issue of our time, but A Hole in the Wind is also about the people Goodrich met and the experiences he had along the way, like the toddler's beauty pageant in Delaware, the tornado in Missouri, rust-belt towns and their relationship with fracking, and the mined-out uranium ghost town in Wyoming. As he rode, Goodrich discussed climate with audiences varying from laboratories to diners to elementary schools. Simple, direct, and honest, A Hole in the Wind is a fresh, refreshing ride through a difficult and controversial topic and a rich read that makes you glad to be alive.


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After a distinguished career in climate science as the Director of the UN Global Climate Observing System in Geneva, David Goodrich returned home to the United States to find a nation and a people in denial. Concerned that Americans are willfully deluded by misinformation about climate that dominates media and politics, Goodrich thought a little straight talk could set thi After a distinguished career in climate science as the Director of the UN Global Climate Observing System in Geneva, David Goodrich returned home to the United States to find a nation and a people in denial. Concerned that Americans are willfully deluded by misinformation about climate that dominates media and politics, Goodrich thought a little straight talk could set things right. As they say in "Animal House," he decided that "this calls for a stupid and futile gesture on someone's part, and I'm just the guy to do it." Starting on the beach in Delaware, Goodrich rode his bike 4,200 miles to Oregon, talking with the people he met on the ultimate road trip. Along the way, he learned a great deal about why climate is a complicated issue for many Americans and even more about the country we all share. Climate change is the central environmental issue of our time, but A Hole in the Wind is also about the people Goodrich met and the experiences he had along the way, like the toddler's beauty pageant in Delaware, the tornado in Missouri, rust-belt towns and their relationship with fracking, and the mined-out uranium ghost town in Wyoming. As he rode, Goodrich discussed climate with audiences varying from laboratories to diners to elementary schools. Simple, direct, and honest, A Hole in the Wind is a fresh, refreshing ride through a difficult and controversial topic and a rich read that makes you glad to be alive.

30 review for A Hole in the Wind: A Climate Scientist's Bicycle Journey Across the United States

  1. 5 out of 5

    Katie Atmakur

    This book is so incredible i love every page of it the author of it is so talented!!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lori Grecco

    Part travelogue, part history lesson and part scientific study, A Hole in the Wind provides an incredibly accessible look at climate change and its everyday impact in our country. Thankfully Goodrich's message resonates with hope and good humor. I'm not a cyclist, but this book had me browsing the websites of local bike shops. I will definitely be recommending this read to others. *I received a copy of this electronic ARC from NetGalley*

  3. 4 out of 5

    Booknblues

    I am a sucker for travel books and especially those involving slow travel of walking, bike riding, kayaking, rowing or walking with a donkey. I've recently discovered a sub-genre of these, of people traveling long distance for a cause as Walk to Beautiful: The Power of Love and a Homeless Kid Who Found the Way , Jimmy Wayne walks across the US to highlight the needs of foster children, andTrespassing Across America: One Man's Epic, Never-Done-Before (and Sort of Illegal) Hike Across the Heartlan I am a sucker for travel books and especially those involving slow travel of walking, bike riding, kayaking, rowing or walking with a donkey. I've recently discovered a sub-genre of these, of people traveling long distance for a cause as Walk to Beautiful: The Power of Love and a Homeless Kid Who Found the Way , Jimmy Wayne walks across the US to highlight the needs of foster children, andTrespassing Across America: One Man's Epic, Never-Done-Before (and Sort of Illegal) Hike Across the Heartland, Ken Ilgunas walks the length of the Keystone Pipeline to bring attention to it and the environmental dangers. A Hole in the Wind: A Climate Scientist's Bicycle Journey Across the United States by David Goodrich is one such book. Upon retirement Goodrich decided to bike across America to see for himself how climate change was effecting the country and get grassroots impression of people's reaction to it: Climate’s not really that complicated, and I thought that I could explain it if given the chance. As I approached retirement, the idea came that maybe I could just ride my bike across the country and talk with people. My inspiration came from the movie Animal House: “This situation requires a really futile and stupid gesture on somebody’s part, and we’re just the guys to do it.” To be clear Goodrich is no light weight he has had a long and distinguished career in climate science. As his publisher states, "David Goodrich worked at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and served as the Director of the UN Global Climate Observing System in Geneva, Switzerland. He retired as head of NOAA's Climate Observations and Monitoring Program. In addition to his cross-country bicycle trip, he has ridden down the Appalachians and across Montana, South Dakota, France and Spain. He lives in Maryland.." It is great reading a book written by an expert, but perhaps as important is the ability to spin a good yarn and describe scientific details in such a way that it is easily understandable to the lay person and Goodrich pulls that off with ease. By riding along with Goodrich we can see the effects of climate change from the erosion and disappearance of the barrier islands on the Atlantic coast, the increasing frequency of storms in the midwest, the heightened summer temperatures in the great plains, the dying off of lodgepole pines in the Rockies and the increasing number of fires in the west. Along with that we get an interesting look at America on bicycle. The one element which I marked the book down for a bit was that he included a few other bicycle trips which he took in the book and it was not immediately clear that he either moved forward or back in time from his Trans-am trip in 2011. For anyone who is interested in climate science, I would encourage you to read this book. It made the Forbes list of important ecological books to read this year.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Brady

    Wanted so badly to like this book, but was disappointed. Who edited this thing? I can't really blame the author - he's a climate scientist who had a good idea. The editor couldn't put it together very coherently. Would have loved to have a better mix of climate science (both the author's observations from his ride as well as the actual science and data behind it) woven in with info about the ride. It was too disjointed and unfocused. The author was very interested in some Native American history Wanted so badly to like this book, but was disappointed. Who edited this thing? I can't really blame the author - he's a climate scientist who had a good idea. The editor couldn't put it together very coherently. Would have loved to have a better mix of climate science (both the author's observations from his ride as well as the actual science and data behind it) woven in with info about the ride. It was too disjointed and unfocused. The author was very interested in some Native American history and the Underground Railroad, but it derailed any momentum he was building about the climate science. In my opinion, that's the editor's problem more than his. He also interspersed observations from several other distance rides he'd done over the course of 16 years. Again, this could be interesting information in building a story, but it felt like it was haphazardly pieced together to the point I was having trouble keeping track of which trip he was referring to. It's too bad - this book had a tremendous amount of potential but never lived up to it. Maybe there wasn't enough meat to his stories from the road - I have no idea. But it could have been so much more. The appendix at the end where he really gets into the climate science is great stuff - if he could have woven that more into the book, I think it really would have had a great impact.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Helen Marquis

    I feel tempted to buy several copies of this book and send it to all the idiots in the White House who just withdrew the US from the Paris Agreement, but I guess they'd just dismiss it as fiction, and then make a big bonfire out of them, thereby increasing their pollution output... This is a factual account of one climatologist's journey from the East Coast of the US to the West Coast on a bicycle, during which he bears witness to the irreparable damage that mankind is exacting upon our planet. F I feel tempted to buy several copies of this book and send it to all the idiots in the White House who just withdrew the US from the Paris Agreement, but I guess they'd just dismiss it as fiction, and then make a big bonfire out of them, thereby increasing their pollution output... This is a factual account of one climatologist's journey from the East Coast of the US to the West Coast on a bicycle, during which he bears witness to the irreparable damage that mankind is exacting upon our planet. From sea level rises submerging parts of the East Coast, to a new Dust Bowl developing in the flyover states, to forest devastation, to fracking, to waste management, all the evils that man does are encapsulated here. This book should act as a screeching alarm that the time to act is now. Climate change is real and happening now. In lieu of strong leadership, the onus of responsibility now remains with the people. If you want your children to have a planet that is still inhabitable. An extremely timely essential read.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mubeen Irfan

    A climate change scientist, who has worked in Geneva for a UN observatory, and an avid bicyclist decides to ride from east coast to the west coast with an aim to ask people on the way as to what they think about changing climate, while experiencing impacts of weather on his ride. Global warming, ocean warming & acidification, tornadoes, rising sea levels, flooding, rampant wild fires, insects cleaning out forests etc are all those impacts which the CO2 increase has brought to the world. But the A climate change scientist, who has worked in Geneva for a UN observatory, and an avid bicyclist decides to ride from east coast to the west coast with an aim to ask people on the way as to what they think about changing climate, while experiencing impacts of weather on his ride. Global warming, ocean warming & acidification, tornadoes, rising sea levels, flooding, rampant wild fires, insects cleaning out forests etc are all those impacts which the CO2 increase has brought to the world. But the author has not given up on this world, yet. If the world can mend the depleting ozone layer through sheer will and enforced policies, we can do the same with global warming. It's an easy read which is a part travelogue where the author touches American history of the towns and states he passes through. Solid 4 stars.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Erhardt Graeff

    This is a charming travel book that makes you want to try long distance adventure cycling, perhaps for the meditative experience but mostly for the chance to earn a fraction of the stories the author David Goodrich collects about the changing face of small town America, the American landscape, and our global climate. As a retired climate scientist with decades of experience at the intersection of climate science and policymaking, David is well positioned to connect the reality of climate change This is a charming travel book that makes you want to try long distance adventure cycling, perhaps for the meditative experience but mostly for the chance to earn a fraction of the stories the author David Goodrich collects about the changing face of small town America, the American landscape, and our global climate. As a retired climate scientist with decades of experience at the intersection of climate science and policymaking, David is well positioned to connect the reality of climate change to the small and large impacts it's having across the United States. He offers some of the best break downs of what climate change is and how to understand the way it is changing the weather and the day to day experience of people connected to the land in deep ways (hint: this is all of us in the end). He ends the book with a reality check about contemporary political debates and what we can and should be doing to address humanity's role in accelerating global warming. I'm really pleased with this choice for Olin College of Engineering's 2019 summer reading.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kristi

    Part memoir about cross-country bike trips, part historical reference, and part climate change book. The day-to-day things the author sees drive home the point that our world and climate are changing right now.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Doug Gordon

    As a cyclist, I had high hopes for this book, but was ultimately disappointed. For one thing, although he made his main cross-country trip in 2011, there were several other shorter trips in the past few years. He would often digress into talking about one of these and I occasionally got lost as to which trip he was talking about. Also, as soon as he disclosed the time of year and direction he was riding (east to west), I automatically knew what he was in store for, so had a bit less sympathy for As a cyclist, I had high hopes for this book, but was ultimately disappointed. For one thing, although he made his main cross-country trip in 2011, there were several other shorter trips in the past few years. He would often digress into talking about one of these and I occasionally got lost as to which trip he was talking about. Also, as soon as he disclosed the time of year and direction he was riding (east to west), I automatically knew what he was in store for, so had a bit less sympathy for his days and miles of fighting headwinds, and his later struggles over the mountains that occurred toward the end of the trip instead of the beginning. The book, though, was mainly about climate change as he saw it occurring across the country. This was interesting at first, but soon became repetitive and a bit heavy-handed. I know a good bit about this and don't need to be convinced, so a lot of this was a bit tiresome to keep reading. What I did enjoy were some of his shorter trips with a historic theme, such as following the trail of the Nez Perce Indians. This was where I did find something new and of interest since I was not familiar with the details of that story. Someone new to cycling and/or climate issues might find this book to be more interesting than I did, and would rate it higher.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Long trail cyclists will enjoy the trail stories the author shares. He includes side trips from other rides, which can throw the reader off the East to West narrative. There is some about climate change, but as the author finds out, people don't want to talk about it- but will share their weather change observations.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Preston Pendergraft

    I absolutely loved this book. I don’t give hardly any 5 stars but this book is really that good. Loved the part about the guy running out in the street with the mask and pitchfork. I laughed for 15 mins over that. Learned a lot about climate change too without boring/dry technical writing. Really like the author and his writing style, hope he writes another book!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Tony Valente

    So there I was, in a small book store, just before the Seattle to Portland. Ghese days I prefer to read on Kindle. But I love small independent book stores. So when I stumbled on a book that combined two of my passions, science and cycling, the book just jumped into my hands. Damn I am glad it did... n 2011, David Goodrich retired from being a Climate Scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Some people at retirement look for a rocking chair, others look for an R So there I was, in a small book store, just before the Seattle to Portland. Ghese days I prefer to read on Kindle. But I love small independent book stores. So when I stumbled on a book that combined two of my passions, science and cycling, the book just jumped into my hands. Damn I am glad it did... n 2011, David Goodrich retired from being a Climate Scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Some people at retirement look for a rocking chair, others look for an RV. David decided to ride across country from Maryland to Oregon on a bicycle. Being one who is approaching his mid 50s, I love stories like this. But there is more... Being a climate scientist, he tool the trip to document the effects of climate change and, when possible, help educate people about it.  Some may think this is a strange combination. Why would someone use a bike to do this? Well, first off, there is no better way to see and experience the world than from the back of a bike.  Hemmingway once said:  “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them.” Given his past vocation, he had traveled much of the Untied States in the past, on and off the bikes. This trip on a bike allowed him to see the effects of the warming climate as well as talk to people along the way. He spoke to high school science classes as well as mid-west farmers. He wove in science with his battles with headwinds. In short this was a book that was at the same time entertaining, educational and thought provoking.  He fully admits that there are people, mostly of the same political influence, who will flat deny that humans have any effect on climate. These same people, though, can provide anecdotes of the vast changes that have happened in a very short time. Dryer hotter years, more severe storms, longer droughts, and major crop failures.  He points out time and time again that YES climates do go through changes. They always have. But these changes take centuries, not decades! The Carbon Dioxide we keep pumping into the air makes it worse, and will continue to do so. As Goodrich points out, the winters are shorter, the snowpack is less, and the fire season continues to get longer. All due to Climate change. He also goes into great detail about the trees dye offs due to bark beetles. The winters simply are not cold enough to kill them anymore. It is devastating the trees in the rockies, and has worked its way into Idaho. How long till it hits my Cascades? He is not a doom and gloom. He points out that the world came together in 1987 to sign the Montreal Protocol. This ended the use of the chemicals that were killing the ozone layer. If we can do this once, we can do it again. (AKA Paris Accords...). If we don't, though, I worry my grandkids will not enjoy the snowcapped Mt Rainier I grew up with.  I myself have seen how far the Nisqually Glacier has receded since I was a kid of the 70s. Goodrich tells that its probably too late to save the glaciers in Glacier National Park, but maybe we can keep the Cascades white in the winter. David is an excellent story teller. He is able to tell the story of this trip, while comparing it to later rides, as well as historical events. He weaves in Lewis and Clark, the Underground Railroad as well as gold rush and the pioneers. He succeeded in teaching more about the climate than I ever knew, as well as making me want to ride cross country on the bike.  In short, this is an excellent cycling and science book! I invite anyone who has ever considered a cross country ride, or wants to know more about what we are doing to the world to read this. I give it 5 stars! 

  13. 4 out of 5

    Christina

    Finally, an informative yet entertaining and accessible book about climate change that allows lay readers like me to understand how climate change is affecting the lives of real people all across the United States. The author knows his subject. He also spent over 25 years studying this subject for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, including career-capping stints as the head of the U.S. Global Change Research Project in Washington, D.C., and as the director of the UN Global Clim Finally, an informative yet entertaining and accessible book about climate change that allows lay readers like me to understand how climate change is affecting the lives of real people all across the United States. The author knows his subject. He also spent over 25 years studying this subject for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, including career-capping stints as the head of the U.S. Global Change Research Project in Washington, D.C., and as the director of the UN Global Climate Observing System office at the World Meteorological Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. Most of the material for his book, though, comes not from his studying the topic. Rather, the book chronicles the authors 4200-mile bicycle tour across the United States from Maryland to Oregon in 2011 and his encounters with people affected by climate change. It has updates on the Dakota Access pipeline (which I feel like I understood for the first time) and the current administrations decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord. Whenever I read these stories, whether its sailing around the world or climbing Mt. Everest, Im always fascinated by the mechanics of how they did it. This book as all of that, too, and will have special meaning for bicyclists. One of his most fascinating chapters is an appendix detailing how he packed his bicycle for a three-month excursion. Goodrich is a history buff, too, and his adventure is filled with historical anecdotes along the way. He traveled along portions of the Underground Railroad, and he tells the story of a shawl worn by a free black man who died in John Browns raid at Harpers Ferry, which according to the story he was told, would eventually swaddle Langston Hughes. He recounts the stories of Lewis and Clark, the massacre at Wounded Knee, and Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce. Cyclists, adventurists, historians, and naturalists all will enjoy this book, whose larger message is something each of us needs to read.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Joshua

    A fabulous book! Written in spare and elegant prose, this thoughtful story brings the reader along on the journey of a lifetime as the author (a retired climate scientist) pedals his way from sea-to-shining-sea, starting at Marylands Eastern Shore and riding all the way to the Pacific coast of Oregon. On the face of it, the ride is about observing our changing world in an era when rising temperatures are transforming the face of the land and the sea, and challenging our every notion of what the f A fabulous book! Written in spare and elegant prose, this thoughtful story brings the reader along on the journey of a lifetime as the author (a retired climate scientist) pedals his way from sea-to-shining-sea, starting at Marylands Eastern Shore and riding all the way to the Pacific coast of Oregon. On the face of it, the ride is about observing our changing world in an era when rising temperatures are transforming the face of the land and the sea, and challenging our every notion of what the future holds for our communities and our planet. Beneath, however, is the tale of a humble man who through endless tenacity and a well of patience struggles through rain and cold and heat and fierce winds, minutely observing all that he sees to bring us an up close and personal view of the state of our world. Along the way, he gathers what he calls land storiessome poignant, some uplifting, some deeply worryingbut all remarkable for what they teach us about our fellow citizens, our shared history, and this global ecosystem which must be protected if it is to sustain generations yet to come. The book is full of meticulously researched scientific information, wry observations, witty insights, and just enough daring-do to keep a reader turning the page. I felt like I was along for the ride, soaking up from the comfort of my armchair the feel of the Chesapeake Bay in winter, the thigh-burning inclines of the Alleghenies, heart-pumping encounters with unpredictable canines, and glorious views of hills and plains and barrier islands. This book is a must-read for anyone who wants to get past the rhetoric of the global climate change debate to understand at the county, community, or even individual level what global warming means for health and livelihoods and environmental preservation.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mike Koob

    My local newspaper, The Frederick News-Post (Maryland) published my letter: Author talk at The Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center last week was so relevant to our urgent task to care for our common home.  Climate scientist and long distance bicyclist David Goodrich wrote “A Hole in the Wind” in which he describes the many ways and places we are ruining or seeing ruin of our planet including the fracking abomination conducted in Pennsylvania.  Thank goodness Maryland decided this last legisla My local newspaper, The Frederick News-Post (Maryland) published my letter: Author talk at The Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center last week was so relevant to our urgent task to care for our common home.  Climate scientist and long distance bicyclist David Goodrich wrote “A Hole in the Wind” in which he describes the many ways and places we are ruining or seeing ruin of our planet including the fracking abomination conducted in Pennsylvania.  Thank goodness Maryland decided this last legislative session to ban hydraulic fracturing for gas.  That was a fantastic decision.  A proposed fracked gas pipeline under the Potomac River near Hancock connecting pipes in Bedford, PA to Winchester, VA is now in review.  There are unique water quality risks in the porous rocks this pipe would be buried in.  There is no reason to construct what we in tax work call 35 year property for a 20th century fuel. We need to rapidly build clean renewable energy. We need to electrify our energy and leave fossil fuels in the ground. Governor Larry Hogan has the authority to deny the 401 Water Certification Permit under the Clean Water Act for the Potomac Pipeline.  He ought to deny that permit.

  16. 5 out of 5

    John

    I read Dr Goodrich's book on a sunny Sunday afternoon in our backyard. It felt like watching a good movie. Dr Goodrich's book is entertaining. But I also learned a lot about climate change, about riding a bicycle across the United States and about the kindness of strangers. There is something very appealing about riding your bike through this vast country. Dr Goodrich makes it clear that it is a safe and satisfying endeavor. He is not sugarcoating his experience. On his journey he had some close I read Dr Goodrich's book on a sunny Sunday afternoon in our backyard. It felt like watching a good movie. Dr Goodrich's book is entertaining. But I also learned a lot about climate change, about riding a bicycle across the United States and about the kindness of strangers. There is something very appealing about riding your bike through this vast country. Dr Goodrich makes it clear that it is a safe and satisfying endeavor. He is not sugarcoating his experience. On his journey he had some close calls. Inclement weather, dehydration, exhaustion. This book is for bike lovers and climate change activists alike. It will educate you about what climate change is doing to this country, about how to find inner strength in the face of adversity, about receiving unexpected help from strangers. You will also get to know Dr Goddrich, a truly remarkable person. I wish I had enough gumption to ride my bike across country. This book makes you want to.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    Part travelogue, part history book and part call to action, David Goodrich's book was truly a delight to read - especially right now when most of us aren't going anywhere. I lived vicariously through him as he cycled his way across the United States, and introduced me to diners, coffee shops, and terrible-sounding motels in small towns along the way. I appreciated that he grounded his travelogue in the history of the land, its people, and quite often the horrors and injustices of colonization. M Part travelogue, part history book and part call to action, David Goodrich's book was truly a delight to read - especially right now when most of us aren't going anywhere. I lived vicariously through him as he cycled his way across the United States, and introduced me to diners, coffee shops, and terrible-sounding motels in small towns along the way. I appreciated that he grounded his travelogue in the history of the land, its people, and quite often the horrors and injustices of colonization. Many quotes felt prescient for our current time and challenges. I also enjoyed the final chapter's summary of climate change, the challenges associated with making real and important headway toward reversing the warming trend, and the overall sense of hope and optimism that Goodrich has in humanity. I'm going to go adjust my air conditioner, and you should go pick up this book.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Brett

    A Hole in the Wind is a refreshing look at the impact of climate change on our country. Neither preachy nor political, scientist Goodrich eloquently presents us simply with what he sees on his bicycle journey across the nation. As we ride along, Goodrich pumps the reader full of current fact, rich American history, and a scrapbook of American lives touched by the economic, social, political, and scientific issues of our changing climate. Rarely is a book so full of fact a page-turner, but this o A Hole in the Wind is a refreshing look at the impact of climate change on our country. Neither preachy nor political, scientist Goodrich eloquently presents us simply with what he sees on his bicycle journey across the nation. As we ride along, Goodrich pumps the reader full of current fact, rich American history, and a scrapbook of American lives touched by the economic, social, political, and scientific issues of our changing climate. Rarely is a book so full of fact a page-turner, but this one is just that. The authors warm humor and journalistic eye for detail make this a very readable and enjoyable book. "Sometimes," says Goodrich, "a glimpse of the past can provide us a clue to the future."

  19. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    A Hole in the Wind is a refreshing look at the impact of climate change on our country. Neither preachy nor political, scientist Goodrich eloquently presents us simply with what he sees on his bicycle journey across the nation. As we ride along, Goodrich pumps the reader full of current fact, rich American history, and a scrapbook of American lives touched by the economic, social, political, and scientific issues of our changing climate. Rarely is a book so full of fact a page-turner, but this o A Hole in the Wind is a refreshing look at the impact of climate change on our country. Neither preachy nor political, scientist Goodrich eloquently presents us simply with what he sees on his bicycle journey across the nation. As we ride along, Goodrich pumps the reader full of current fact, rich American history, and a scrapbook of American lives touched by the economic, social, political, and scientific issues of our changing climate. Rarely is a book so full of fact a page-turner, but this one is just that. The authors warm humor and journalistic eye for detail make this a very readable and enjoyable book. "Sometimes," says Goodrich, "a glimpse of the past can provide us a clue to the future."

  20. 4 out of 5

    Donna Charlevoix

    A story of the journey of a cyclist from Delaware to Oregon, mainly focused on the process of riding across the U.S on a bicycle and also interspersed with observations on the state of climate in each state he passes through. The book is a relatively quick read with chapters organized by the states he passes through. He keeps out mundane detail but provides enough background setting to recognize the challenge (and fun) of riding every day for 3 months. The narrative is intermingled with his meet A story of the journey of a cyclist from Delaware to Oregon, mainly focused on the process of riding across the U.S on a bicycle and also interspersed with observations on the state of climate in each state he passes through. The book is a relatively quick read with chapters organized by the states he passes through. He keeps out mundane detail but provides enough background setting to recognize the challenge (and fun) of riding every day for 3 months. The narrative is intermingled with his meetings with local folks who often talk to him about the weather and how it's changing of late. I was less of a fan where he veers off to talk about previous rides and where he provides some historical detail around why he's chosen some of those previous rides.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Hella Comat

    Loved this account by a climate scientist who cycles by himself from Delaware to Oregon, noting the effects of climate change as he travels. Lots of adventures and disturbing facts about how our earth is changing due to temperature increase, e.g. warmer winters have allowed the mountain pine beetle to survive and as a result, decimate old growth forests throughout the Rockies. Also how rising ocean levels are destroying low lying lands on the east coast, accelerated by ever increasing storms. Th Loved this account by a climate scientist who cycles by himself from Delaware to Oregon, noting the effects of climate change as he travels. Lots of adventures and disturbing facts about how our earth is changing due to temperature increase, e.g. warmer winters have allowed the mountain pine beetle to survive and as a result, decimate old growth forests throughout the Rockies. Also how rising ocean levels are destroying low lying lands on the east coast, accelerated by ever increasing storms. The title refers to the author's attempt to find respite from the constant headwinds from the west. He rode in this unpopular direction to replicate early homesteaders' journeys.

  22. 4 out of 5

    David

    This was an interesting combination of adventure bicycling (20%), rural America history/storytelling(30%) and the impact of climate change on the country (50%). The bicycle portions made me dream of riding my bike across the country some day. It also kept me drawn into the story and made me open to hearing the climate change information. I was impressed that the author created an environment in his book that allowed him to get across the important information about climate change almost in a “ste This was an interesting combination of adventure bicycling (20%), rural America history/storytelling(30%) and the impact of climate change on the country (50%). The bicycle portions made me dream of riding my bike across the country some day. It also kept me drawn into the story and made me open to hearing the climate change information. I was impressed that the author created an environment in his book that allowed him to get across the important information about climate change almost in a “stealth” manner - as part of the overall, very engrossing story. A wonderful book for adventure cyclists but equally as readable by people who don’t ride bikes.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Carol Wakefield

    In actuality I would score this as a mixed bag. 2 stars for organization and editing, 5 stars for science and adventure. Enjoyed very much the bicycling adventure, territory covered, encounters along the road, analysis of climate change on local phenomena. Climate information apropo and interesting for specific areas once, a little less the second read and scannable for further reads. Where were your editors? And another nitpick, organization. I realized— as I read on — that you were covering se In actuality I would score this as a mixed bag. 2 stars for organization and editing, 5 stars for science and adventure. Enjoyed very much the bicycling adventure, territory covered, encounters along the road, analysis of climate change on local phenomena. Climate information apropo and interesting for specific areas once, a little less the second read and scannable for further reads. Where were your editors? And another nitpick, organization. I realized— as I read on — that you were covering several trips. At first 2 and eventually 4 or 5. I repeatedly became lost between trips. Why was I in Montana when I thought I was leaving Idaho for Oregon. All too disconcerting.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Edward Warner

    What's not made clear until you dive into this book, is that the cross country journey is more than 10 years old; in fact, the book covers several of his longish bike trips including the XC one. So, it jumps around quite a bit as a result and that can be confusing, in terms of which trip he's recalling at any point. In addition, it's interleaved with relevant -- and current -- info on climate change and how it's affecting the areas he rode through, and this is interesting -- but perhaps only if What's not made clear until you dive into this book, is that the cross country journey is more than 10 years old; in fact, the book covers several of his longish bike trips including the XC one. So, it jumps around quite a bit as a result and that can be confusing, in terms of which trip he's recalling at any point. In addition, it's interleaved with relevant -- and current -- info on climate change and how it's affecting the areas he rode through, and this is interesting -- but perhaps only if you're not already aware of the impacts expected from sea level rise or the spread of tree-destroying pests.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Karl

    A thorough review of the problems facing the Great Lakes...and all those that depend on the lakes for recreation, transportation and not least of all......fresh water. The problems of the lakes and the steps to address those problem show how we can so easily screw up an ecosystem and screw up it further when trying to fix it. But most importantly, it shows how even small business interests take precedent over environmental concerns and how a little concern now can result in huge savings in the f A thorough review of the problems facing the Great Lakes...and all those that depend on the lakes for recreation, transportation and not least of all......fresh water. The problems of the lakes and the steps to address those problem show how we can so easily screw up an ecosystem and screw up it further when trying to fix it. But most importantly, it shows how even small business interests take precedent over environmental concerns and how a little concern now can result in huge savings in the future (a great lesson in the battle to limit climate change).

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mrshawn10100

    This book wends its way through multiple long bike tours wrapped around the axis of a trans-american tour in 2011, combined with climate change along the way. Having taken a few five day bike tours on my own, the story carried me to the end in a satisfying way. I would not have picked up a book about climate change on its own, but carried through the stories and observations worked in with thematic points along the route, also to a satisfying end. I would say perfect measures for both. A very ni This book wends its way through multiple long bike tours wrapped around the axis of a trans-american tour in 2011, combined with climate change along the way. Having taken a few five day bike tours on my own, the story carried me to the end in a satisfying way. I would not have picked up a book about climate change on its own, but carried through the stories and observations worked in with thematic points along the route, also to a satisfying end. I would say perfect measures for both. A very nice read, interesting, educational, and thought provoking.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Patricia

    What is not to like here? The guy is likable, his effort to educate all of us (and, perhaps, especially the doubters he meets along the way) is laudable, and it is a ROAD TRIP--a road trip across the country, using 2-lane roads. It was, obviously, right up my alley. I'll keep the book as a reference for cool places to stop on my next trip across. I was impressed by his non-confrontational approach with the climate-change-deniers, and will try to mimic his style, next time I'm in the same positio What is not to like here? The guy is likable, his effort to educate all of us (and, perhaps, especially the doubters he meets along the way) is laudable, and it is a ROAD TRIP--a road trip across the country, using 2-lane roads. It was, obviously, right up my alley. I'll keep the book as a reference for cool places to stop on my next trip across. I was impressed by his non-confrontational approach with the climate-change-deniers, and will try to mimic his style, next time I'm in the same position.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Abby

    I liked the author’s writing style, and I feel that, as a result of reading this book, I now have a more cohesive and comprehensive understanding of climate change. The author, as an experienced climate scientist, is a very credible and knowledgeable source for the information. His journey across the country via bike was also admirable and full of crazy stories. I liked this book but I never found myself completely hooked, most likely due to the large history component of the traveling, which I I liked the author’s writing style, and I feel that, as a result of reading this book, I now have a more cohesive and comprehensive understanding of climate change. The author, as an experienced climate scientist, is a very credible and knowledgeable source for the information. His journey across the country via bike was also admirable and full of crazy stories. I liked this book but I never found myself completely hooked, most likely due to the large history component of the traveling, which I am less interested in.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Eric

    Goodrich paints a grim tableau of a world reeling from climate change. The book recounts his cross country venture to witness firsthand the ever worsening effects of climate change, from coastal communities and small islands like Tangier Is. being inundated to forests in the Rockies ravaged by the pine bark beetle which is no longer controlled by less frequent winter cold temps. On a lighter note, Goodrich’s description of his cross country bike ride is instructive for anyone who plans the same. Goodrich paints a grim tableau of a world reeling from climate change. The book recounts his cross country venture to witness firsthand the ever worsening effects of climate change, from coastal communities and small islands like Tangier Is. being inundated to forests in the Rockies ravaged by the pine bark beetle which is no longer controlled by less frequent winter cold temps. On a lighter note, Goodrich’s description of his cross country bike ride is instructive for anyone who plans the same. This is a very important read for anyone who cares about people and the health of the planet.

  30. 5 out of 5

    John

    How often does a science-oriented book keep a non-scientist interested? This is the first one I can remember. David Goodrich tells an entertaining story of his bike ride across the USA and introduces us to the characters and places he finds as he goes. We feel as if we are biking at his side. At the same time, we are learning a great deal about climate science without even realizing we are doing so. Thoughtful but humorous and wise, this is a book that everyone should read.

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