Brian Fagan is one of the world's leading archaeological writers and an internationally recognized authority on world prehistory. He is a Distinguished Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the author of several widely read books on ancient climate change. He has lectured about the subject to audiences large and small throughout the world. His latest book is Fishing: How the Sea Fed Civilization (Yale University Press, 2018). Nadia Durrani is a Cambridge University-trained archaeologist and writer, with a PhD from University College, London, in Arabian archaeology. She is the former editor of Current Archaeology and Current World Archaeology magazines and has a very wide experience in writing about archaeology for wider audiences. She is co-author of several text books with Brian, and the forthcoming trade books What We Did in Bed: A Horizontal History (Yale University Press, 2019) and Bigger Than History: Why Archaeology Matters (Thames and Hudson, 2019).
Climate Chaos: Lessons on Survival from Our Ancestors by Brian Fagan and Nadia Durrani is a tour de force because of its relevance to deal with global climate change. The authors ask, what can we learn from past successes and failures? The takeaway are six major lessons critical for our survival. Their clearly written and concise book includes [hi]stories beginning 30,000 years ago up through the Anthropocene. Case studies cover the cold (Ice Age) and the hot and dry (ancient Egypt) and hot and humid (the Maya), from nomadic hunters (early Africa and Europe) to empires (Rome), from megadroughts (American Southwest) to monsoons (Angkor). --Lisa Lucero, professor of anthropology, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana Climate change is happening right now--but has happened many times before, too. Climate Chaos tells an astonishing story of thousands of years of wildfires, megadroughts, cataclysmic cyclones and floods, decades-long heat waves and sudden regional ice ages. As we respond to contemporary climate change, our great advantage over our ancestors is scientific knowledge. Will we use that knowledge wisely? Climate Chaos shows how. --Gregg Easterbrook, member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and author of The Blue Age It is often said that those who fail to study history are doomed to repeat it. Human-caused climate change constitutes the greatest challenge we have yet faced as a civilization, and we must learn from our past if we are to meet that challenge. I can think of no better source than Climate Chaos by Brian Fagan and Nadia Durrani, which explores how our ancestors coped with the challenges of natural climate instability, offering some lessons along the way for how we can avert a climate crisis. --Michael E. Mann, distinguished professor of atmospheric science at Penn State University and author of The New Climate War