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Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet Paperback – 4 Jan 2008

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Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet + Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth about the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity + The God Species
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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial (4 Feb. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007209053
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007209057
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.5 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 90,497 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

‘Scientists predict that global temperatures will rise by between one and six degrees over the course of this century and Mark Lynas paints a chilling, degree-by-degree picture of the devastation likely to ensue unless we act now…“Six Degrees” is a rousing and vivid plea to choose a different future.’ Daily Mail

‘The saga of how, in the world as imagined by thousands of computer-modelling studies, global warming kicks in degree by degree. “Six Degrees”, I tell you now, is terrifying.’ Sunday Times

‘Brilliant and higly readable.’ Sunday Times

From the Publisher

WINNER OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY SCIENCE PRIZE 2008

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. Nicholson on 16 Dec. 2009
Format: Paperback
I was given this by a friend who accidently purchased two copies with her Amazon 'one click'! I took it on holiday to Brasil with me (!) and loved it. I thought it was a well written book that presented some otherwise impossible to understand data in an entertaining and enjoyable way (if reading about how the end of the human race might look like can be called enjoyable). It is meant to be an emotive book as the author does want you to get off your behind and do something about it - and to do it NOW. So I guess he has picked and chosen research to back up his beliefs. I don't have a problem with this and thought the author was honest about the fact that no one really knows what is going to happen and the models aren't predictions but are just possible scenarios. The information I found most interesting was about when/how oil was formed (and how this cooled the earth all those years ago) and how by burning it we are basically reheating the planet. If anything this book made me feel less guilty about forgetting to recyle every scrap of cardboard or taking a long haul flight for a holiday, and made me more aware that if governments through-out the world keep putting economic growth first on their agenda then quite frankly it's not looking good.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sue on 16 Dec. 2013
Format: Paperback
I've just finished reading the book and think it should be required reading for all politicians worldwide (some hope!)

The author has scoured scientific research to find out what may happen if the world warms by an average of 1°C, or 2°C, etc up to 6°C, beyond which there's apparently no scientific opinions. The scenarios are often based on geological evidence of events many thousands of years ago, so nothing is a guaranteed outcome, but it makes scary and compelling reading.
Opinions vary as to whether it's possible for us (as a species) to reduce our carbon dioxide emissions sufficiently to save ourselves from the more extreme temperature rises although I would agree that it does seem doubtful, and it seems to boil down to whether major disruption on human societies will happen within our lifetime, or that of our children's (it seems that it will be noticeable before our grandchildren's).

The scary thing is not only thinking that, as an individual, I many not be able to do much more to reduce my own carbon footprint, but that when the disruption starts, I will have no control over what happens with my environment. Imagine a Hurricane Haiyan happening every week, for example -- international aid would soon dry up, and people would have to relocate, putting more pressure on countries and food production etc where the people migrated to. And flooding and desertification could create so many migrants that even people in "safe" areas come under threat from the societal changes as a result of large refugee influxes.

Think I'm painting a depressing picture? Check it out and see what YOU can do to prevent these scenarios from becoming reality. It's as much a commentary on human society as it is on environmental change, and that's what I find is the really scary part! Nothing is certain, except that some warming will happen and we are causing it. It's a riveting read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By rhysthomashello on 15 Oct. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've read many climate change books and this is up there with the best. I initially distrusted the book because it was written by a journalist and not a scientist but it soon becomes clear that this is far more a science book than a ranting journo. The author skilfully draws together his research into a terrifying format of a world affected by first one, then two, then three degrees warming. By the time you get to what would happen at six degrees of warming you are pretty much desensitised to the horror.

One of the good things about the book is the author's honesty. Where the science is sketchy he makes it clear. At five and six degrees how the world will react is impossible to say at the moment but Lynas makes this absolutely clear to the reader, explaining that this is almost uncharted territory and that his ideas are more speculative. At this level of warming he delves into past climates to find analogues in earth's history for what might happen.

Another good thing that I particularly liked is the final chapter. Most climate change books cop out by saying that there's still time to change things. Lynas does try to offer hope but also points out how unlikely it is that anything will stop the mess that man has caused, and continues to cause. He talks about the nature of man here, how he can deny or justify anything and this is fascinating. It's also the crux of the climate change problem.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Acts5v29 on 10 Mar. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book attempts to show how different rises in temperature for the century will affect us.

It is readable and informative, and thought-provoking. It's flow, however, is interrupted by continual references to the same consequences which were mentioned in previous (degree) chapters, and give the impression that the references were inserted in a slightly tired manner. As the book concentrates on temperature rise, the parallel topic of domino-dynamics effects is a shade sidelined. The climate crisis is far more than "mere" warming, so it was inevitable that this - more specifically focused book - would lack in some areas, or risk becoming (another of many) all-encompassing tome and fail in its aim to spark fresh interest in the reader.

If there is a real disappointment, it is a feature common with Environmental Scientist writers - through their concern, I stress, rather than through neglect - that they provide a good and graphic depiction of the climate crisis, then sadly veer toward how to solve it. This is to walk into the quicksand of political intransigence and (most probably) hopeless expectation of movement from the powers that be. It tends to come across as a desperate plea juxtaposed against their fine portrayal of climate crisis science and its consequences, and I believe the book would have benefitted by omitting this portion in favour of leaving the reader to ponder on the very worrying future which it quite vividly portrays.

I would recommend this book, the reader would benefit from its approach and vision.
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