Not a top-notch anything, but pretty good for a freebie. The focus of Heatstroke is the effects of global warming on larger mammals in nature preserves such a Yosemite, Yellowstone, and other places including Kroger National Park in South Africa and somewhere else in Peru. Barnovsky is mostly concerned with large animal extinction. So the book is part memoir, because he has studied and done field work in many of these places, part history of the areas and people and part polemic, but it’s all related to the issue of global warming and its effect on the earth and its larger creatures – especially in relation to humans coming into the environment – that’s a biggie.
Parts read like an elementary school text, other parts like some science journal, it gets a bit clumsy. Still there are a lot of good parts and they all make for a good whole. It should be noted that the book is dedicated to some high school students so perhaps the style is right on.
Interesting to note:
Extinctions seem to have followed the human pathways – after people arrived in Australia extinctions dramatically increased. The same thing occurred in North and South America – probably other places. Barnovsky emphasizes this to an extent.