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Irish Astronomical Journal

Stephen Drury

Stepping Stones

With today's worry about climate change and other environmental problems it is vital for people to have some background knowledge of the workings of the earth and its environment. Stepping Stones by Stephen Drury has the potential to fulfil this requirement, providing a grand overview of the history of the earth. It starts with the Earth's formation, and takes the reader through the origins and motions of continents as well as the evolution of life. All the while Drury looks at the effects of these changes on the climate, explaining how methods such as isotope ratios give us pretty detailed knowledge of what was happening hundreds of millions of years ago. I have to say though that I feel the book fails in its task.

The reason for this is Drury's style of writing. It's not too technical, so it should be accessible to a wide readership, but I still found it to be almost unreadable. It seems like he just wrote things down as he thought of them, with little attempt to structure his thoughts - too many sentences change direction half way through. The style does improve a bit as the book progresses, so if you can wade through the muddled bits then you might find a lot to interest you. However, I think that Drury has missed an opportunity with this book.  |  Chronon Critical Points  |  Recent Science Book Reviews