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Climate Strikes Back

February 23, 2023

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. That’s right. February 19-25 is Severe Weather Week here in Tennessee. Visit these sites (NWS Nashville, Severe Weather Awareness Day) to see all the weather events happening in our area. Then check out some of these great nonfic reads to keep you in the weather frame of mind. But watch out for Mother Nature. Sometimes she gets rowdy.

I read about this in another book I was perusing, and with my penchant for weather books, knew I had to read it. It covers the 1906 SanFran earthquake, the Halifax explosion, the big 1985 Mexico City earthquake, 9/11, and Katrina. I thought these were good picks, and was especially glad to read about Halifax, which I’d never heard of before (short version: boat filled with massive amounts of explosives during WWI blows up in the harbor). My only complaint is that this book is a little dated at this point. Not the book or author’s fault, it was published in 2009. My fault for not finding it sooner. I loved the author’s premise that good things come out of horrible circumstances. I would love to hear what the author would think about things post-COVID. A lot of bad happened in 2020, but I think if we tried hard enough perhaps we could find some good as well?

I can’t remember how I found out about this exactly, but I’m so glad I did. You know I love me a good book about wildfires (see also: this post). Stuart Palley is a wildfire photographer. He doesn’t do that exclusively, but that is his main subject matter. Good thing he lives in California, fires fertile playground. I have a lot of respect for Palley’s methodology. He went through all kinds of fire fighting training, as well as purchasing lots of fire safety gear - Nomex suit, respirator, and other PPE. He would also try to embed himself with fire crews, in order to find the safest routes into, and out of, the fire zones. He didn’t just throw himself at the fire. I’m also interested in his first book of fire photography, called Terra Flama. For this you will need to go through ILL, but it is worth it. Palley is a climate change activist because of all he’s seen fire due over the course of his career and this book has such fascinating stories.

Matthew Cappucci is a storm chaser, so naturally I follow him on Twitter. He’s always posting videos of the weather in DC - where he works as a meteorologist on Fox5. I’d followed him for a long time before I ever knew he had a book out. The book is everything I love about storm chasing. Matthew’s not quite as rowdy as Reed Timmer, but he definitely gets after it. And he chases everything - tornadoes, hail, hurricanes. Even just cool clouds. He’s also safety conscious. If you chase with him, he makes you read a pamphlet he created - much like the safety card in your seat pocket when you fly. Love it. I highly enjoyed this and wish there was more. Until then, I’ll have to console myself by watching Matthew online.

So those are my favorite recent weather finds. I’m always looking for great weather read, and you know when I find them, I’ll be sure to share.

Happy weathering…
:) Amanda

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Amanda is a classically-trained pianist who loves to read. Like any good librarian, she also has two cats named after Italian cities. Amanda spends her free time sitting in Nashville traffic, baking, and running the Interlibrary Loan office at the Nashville Public Library.

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