Bloke who took to audiobooks in order to beguile long hours on the road travelling to photography gigs across his home state. Now addicted!
In the early part of the 21st Century few figures have been as respected, and simultaneously reviled, as Jim Hansen.
Perhaps only his colleague Michael Mann has surpassed him as a target of the so-called climate 'skeptic' community - many of whom, sadly, fail to live up to their self-assumed name.
Many would have you believe that the man is a fanatic, an environmental extremist, a zealot - even a scientific incompetent and/or fabricator of facts!
Can I suggest that if you give this book a fair hearing - literally in the case of the audiobook - you simply cannot justly hold these claims to be true.
That Hansen is a sincere man is undoubtable. That he presents a compelling case for recognising the risks we are collectively running in conducting a radical experiment on the one atmosphere we possess is also beyond dispute.
Hansen, director of NASA'a Goddard Institute of Space Studies, has been doing this for a long time, and is one of the pioneers of the field of climatology, and is certainly the first internationally-known advocate of the phenomenon we know as Global Warming.
Certainly one can argue with some of his prescriptions; though a rapid phase-out of our reliance on coal can hardly be questioned if we accept the evidence, whether we should embrace nuclear power or adopt a tax-and-dividend strategy - as opposed to the market mechanism of cap-and-trade (now, ironically, opposed by many 'Free Traders', who tend to deny the reality of anthropogenic climate change) - will remain much more open to debate.
But these are exactly the points we should be discussing in the face of such a crisis, and nobody is a greater authority on the predicament that we are in than Hansen himself.
Hansen presents himself, convincingly, as a centrist, small 'c' conservative type of fellow, who really would be quite happy to just do the Science and avoid the abrasive scrutiny of the limelight, were it not for the fact that he feels he owes his grandchildren a livable future.
He presents the dangers graphically and clearly. He has concluded that 350 ppm of atmospheric CO2 is the maximum safe target - this, Dear Reader, is already well surpassed, and receding further into the distance with every day that passes. This suggestion of Hansen's has been the inspiration for Bill McKibben's climate action group, 350.org.
Beyond 350ppm we enter dangerous waters indeed. Hansen is certainly the most prominent qualified authority to warn of the most dire consequences, with regard to future sea-level, extreme weather events - the eponymous 'storms' - and even runaway feedback mechanisms leading to genuinely catastrophic consequences.
One can only hope things will never be that bad - but we ignore such voices, merely because what they are saying triggers our defensive 'that could never happen to me (or my children!)' reflex, at our peril.
The excursion into a short, pedagogic science-fiction story based on a future hyper-warmed Earth towards the end of the book constituted the only really jarring note in the story itself for me.
I also found the reading by John Allen Nelson to be mildly jarring - rather too uninflected for my taste, and somewhat monotonous.
But neither of these mild reservations is sufficient to mar my enthusiastic endorsement of this audiobook.