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Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth about the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity [Paperback]

James Hansen
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
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Book Description

4 Jan 2011

Dr James Hansen, the world's leading scientist on climate issues, speaks out for the first time with the full truth about global warming: the planet is hurtling to a climatic point of no return. Hansen - whose climate predictions have come to pass again and again, beginning in the 1980s when he first warned US Congress about global warming - is the single most credible voice on the subject worldwide.

He paints a devastating but all-too-realistic picture of what will happen if we continue to follow the course we're on. But he is also a hard-headed optimist, and shows that there is still time to take the urgent, strong action needed to save humanity.

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Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth about the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity + Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet + The Vanishing Face of Gaia: A Final Warning
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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Paperbacks (4 Jan 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408807467
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408807460
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 32,984 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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'When the history of the climate crisis is written, Hansen will be seen as the scientist with the most powerful and consistent voice calling for intelligent action to preserve our planet's environment.' (Al Gore)

'Anyone concerned about the world our children and grandchildren must inherit owes it to themselves to read this book' (Irish Times)

'James Hansen gives us the opportunity to watch a scientist who is sick of silence and compromise; a scientist at the breaking point - the point at which he is willing to sacrifice his credibility to make a stand to avert disaster' (LA Times)

'Few people know more about climate change than James Hansen ... This unnerving and fluently written book is the definitive one to read' (BBC Wildlife)

Book Description

An urgent and provocative call to action from the world's leading climate scientist.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fact from fiction for the future 1 Feb 2010
A very honest plea from a man who knows probably better than most, the likely price the world will have to pay if we insist on 'business as usual'. If you want to understand the science, read this book. If you want to understand the unfortunacy of our 'democratic' system in action, read this book. If you are looking for an antidote to torpor and inaction, read this book.
If you prefer a quiet life without challenging questions and confronting dilemmas, DON'T read this book.
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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
James Hansen's book is very easy to read even for the general public, except for some scientific parts he warns his readers for. Compared with other books about global warming, this book is written by an author with personal experience both in the top climate science and in the politics around climate change. The scientific details are very complete with references to even more detailed articles on his website. The books leaves me with a complete overview about all the dimensions of the science of global warming, and it further completes the picture of global warming for me. A new frightening dimension I learned about is the possibility, even on the short term, of severe storms due to an increasing air humidity and an increasing difference between warm and cold air systems.
It also scares me to read the how political appointees at the US president offices determine about the future of our grandchildren by controlling and censuring climate science. And even with the Obama there is not much hope......
The additional value of this book is in its very personal touch by the author.
However, to me there is still one essential piece of the climate puzzle missing. Even Hansen assumes that humanity will continue to live as we are doing now, he only addresses the population problem, in the same consumerism lifestyle and global economic system that are proving not to be sustainable. We are not only emitting greenhouse gasses but we are also depleting other resources and we live in system of intrinsic social injustice at a massive scale.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Important Book 28 May 2013
I saw the hardback of this book in a charity shop in October 2010 and was surprised, because I remembered James Lovelock writing that Dr. Hansen was too busy doing the science to have time to write a book. When I got home and opened it I saw the photo of a child and understood: as he writes,he didn't want his grandchildren to say: "Opa understood what was happening, but he did not make it clear"(p.xii).

He conveys the science in a way that is broadly understandable to a non-scientist like myself, and makes clear his frustration with the political/ big business interests that he finds himself fighting against: 'Larry King... was sympathetic, but upon hearing that the major impacts of current bad policy would occur several decades in the future, he declared, "Nobody cares about fifty years from now."(p.131)

He warns in the book of destabilizing frozen methane on the tundra and continental shelves, and at present is working full-time against the development of tar sands oil, which he believes will be catastrophic for our futures. Scary stuff, I'm glad he went to the trouble of writing this book.
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alarming, not alarmist 1 Jan 2010
Impressive overview of what the huge global scientific effort has learnt us on climate change over the past years. Strong wake-up call from one of the top scientists in the field. Must read!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From scientific enquiry to political action 10 Jan 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The storms in this book's title refer to the extreme weather conditions the author's (and our) grandchildren will have to endure if business continues as usual. They might just as well refer to the political storms that brew up whenever anyone challenges the vested interests that keep business operating as usual, particularly in relation to energy production and use.

The further one gets into the book, the clearer it becomes why James Hansen is seen as a bit of a maverick by some of his colleagues, and why he has become such a thorn in the side of the US political and corporate establishment. As a scientist, he combines rigour with breadth in developing an understanding of the complexity of climate systems and how they might change. And, unusually for a scientist, he is prepared to to follow up on that understanding and get involved in policy debates. You get a real sense of someone who is committed not only to uncovering the truth, but also to getting involved in the political process of making sure that the truth is acted upon.

Confronted as we so often are with accusations that the predictions of climate models are unnecessarily alarmist, it is refreshing to read Hansen's assessment of their limitations. Far from being alarmist, he suggests, they systematically underestimate the risks of continued CO2 growth, by taking insufficient account of amplifying feedbacks and potential tipping points. He draws on palaeoclimatic evidence to identify areas where rapid climate change occurred in the past, and could recurr in the not too distant future - Greenland and Antarctica in particular. Here, Hansen argues, ice sheets could melt much faster, and produce much higher sea levels, than the linear trends suggested by the climate models on which IPCC projections have been based.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Persuasive
I researched this subject as thoroughly as I could in 2008 in order to give a layperson's talk on the subject. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mr. D. J. Warden
5.0 out of 5 stars Global warming
this is a book well worth reading - I cannot say I understood every thing but I did understand the wayour guvs are trying to mislead us !
Published 11 months ago by Mrs. D. I. Denby
4.0 out of 5 stars Alarming but Sound
I came away from reading this book feeling profoundly pessimistic, yet I cannot fault the science - it's whether human attitudes can change sufficiently quickly to undo (some of... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Frank Mitchell
4.0 out of 5 stars Climate science intertwined with political frustrations
James Hansen is a leading scientist in the field of climate and climate change. This book sets out the science behind global warming and explains why it is dangerous. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Simon
3.0 out of 5 stars Very dull, but I am sure it is thorough.
This is more like a court testimony absolving him from guilt after a massacre has occurred. As such it is hard to get into and very putdownable. Read more
Published 18 months ago by The Italian Job
3.0 out of 5 stars Two books in one
Jamie Osborne makes the valid point that this book is about frustration AND science... which is a pity, I think. Read more
Published on 14 Jun 2011 by Andrew Muir
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent on Climate Science. Naive on Remedies
Like Censoring Science and the The Rough Guide to Climate Change, this is an outstanding book on climate science, and on policies to prevent catastrophe (levy-dividend versus... Read more
Published on 4 April 2011 by Bernhard
5.0 out of 5 stars Leaves no room for continued debate.
These are the words of an expert who is sick of having his message filtered and manipulated by politicians and media. Read more
Published on 24 Feb 2011 by Jamie Osborne
5.0 out of 5 stars Alarming and convincing
James Hansen's scientific arguments for the necessity of global weaning off fossil fuels in general and coal in particular are convincing and highly readable for laymen. Read more
Published on 14 Aug 2010
4.0 out of 5 stars End of the World
Books are good value when you look at all the work that goes into them and this one is no exception. Read more
Published on 10 Jun 2010 by Ronald Arthur Dewhirst
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