Unsettled Summary

"Unsettled is a remarkable book—probably the best book on climate change for the intelligent layperson—that achieves the feat of conveying complex information clearly and in depth." 
Claremont Review of Books

"Surging sea levels are inundating the coasts."

"Hurricanes and tornadoes are becoming fiercer and more frequent."

"Climate change will be an economic disaster."

You've heard all this presented as fact. But according to science, allof these statements are profoundly misleading.

When it comes to climate change, the media, politicians, and other prominent voices have declared that "the science is settled." In reality, the long game of telephone from research to reports to the popular media is corrupted by misunderstanding and misinformation. Core questions—about the way the climate is responding to our influence, and what the impacts will be—remain largely unanswered. The climate is changing, but the why and how aren't as clear as you've probably been led to believe. 

Now, one of America's most distinguished scientists is clearing away the fog to explain what science really says (and doesn't say) about our changing climate. In Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn't, and Why It Matters, Steven Koonin draws upon his decades of experience—including as a top science advisor to the Obama administration—to provide up-to-date insights and expert perspective free from political agendas. 

Fascinating, clear-headed, and full of surprises, this book gives readers the tools to both understand the climate issue and be savvier consumers of science media in general. Koonin takes readers behind the headlines to the more nuanced science itself, showing us where it comes from and guiding us through the implications of the evidence. He dispels popular myths and unveils little-known truths: despite a dramatic rise in greenhouse gas emissions, global temperatures actually decreased from 1940 to 1970. What's more, the models we use to predict the future aren't able to accurately describe the climate of the past, suggesting they are deeply flawed. 

Koonin also tackles society's response to a changing climate, using data-driven analysis to explain why many proposed "solutions" would be ineffective, and discussing how alternatives like adaptation and, if necessary, geoengineering will ensure humanity continues to prosper. Unsettled is a reality check buoyed by hope, offering the truth about climate science that you aren't getting elsewhere—what we know, what we don't, and what it all means for our future.

Book Reviews


Unsettled Review5 star

The best book I have ever read on the topic of Climate Change. The author does a great job of breaking it down for the non-scientist and I feel like I really learned from this book55


One book about climate science to read and understand . . .5 star

What this book does well is it gives a basic overview of climate science in a way the average reader can understand, and allows us to think about the subject more effectively in order to make informed decisions with great care about the future of Earth.55

Antigravity Paint

Compelling, rigorous, highly informative5 star

A science-based dissection of how popular science and media, “The “Science,” so drastically and misleadingly depart from the actual science they purport to represent. From one of America’s leading and most fearless scientists. Utterly without polemics or hyperbole, Dr. Koonin shows through detailed analysis how the complex and imperfect climate models and data underlying UN and US reports do not support the Consensus among politicians and climate scientists that mere mortals may not challenge. A must read for any non-scientists serious about truly understanding the state and reliability of climate science and projections.55


Masterpiece5 star

For years now if you question even one wildest predictions about climate change you’re thought of as a knuckle-dragging, Trump-supporting climate change denier. Koonin is not a climate change denier, but he is a disciplined scientist who is not afraid to look at the data and provide meaningful insight into the problem of man-made climate change and what to do about it. Given that our global leaders are poised to spend trillions of dollars and in the process, change the quality of life on the planet, the least we can do is listen to Koonan and the science.55

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