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17 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stormy weather warning, 11 Jan 2010
This review is from: Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity (Hardcover)
After the huge anticlimactic (so to speak) disappointment of Copenhagen, politicians worldwide should be locked in a room with James Hansen's inspiring book and not allowed out until they've (a) read it and (b) promised solemnly to instigate its recommendations immediately. There are other thought-provoking books out there, like George Mombiot's 'Heat' and Mark Lynas's '6 Degrees', but 'Storms of My Grandchildren' has the extra authority of authorship by a real climate scientist; one whose message this reviewer, anyway, can trust.
A professor and director of the NASA Goddard Institute of Space Studies, Dr Hansen is one of those almost legendary figures in environmentalism (but not of the hippy persuasion) like Rachel Carson ('Silent Spring') before him. Full of scientific detail gleaned from his long career, the book is occasionally heavy going, but it's message is horrifically fascinating. Although it's basically a simple one: the climate clearly is warming, the biggest fossil fuel culprit is coal, burning it must stop now, before we pass a 'tipping point' after which uncontrollable runaway warming will kick in, and the world's politicians, in spite of much 'greenwashing', have so far done very little about it.
But it's not (quite) too late, Dr Hansen says, to rescue the situation, and he suggests ways in which future disaster can be averted, given a sea change by policy makers demanded by all of us. James Hansen is not a scintillating writer - he's more at home writing scientific papers - and he often apologises for the fact, but he leavens things a bit at one point by switching to science-fiction mode and imagining a world utterly ruined, a passage that I found quite moving. And a short, beautiful passage at the end is quite heartbreaking.
This should be compulsory reading, particularly for young people. After all, it'll be their children who could reap a bitter harvest. A frightening, compelling but ultimately hopeful book.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 28 Nov 2012 12:03:16 GMT
Johan RF says:
A school child could tell you there is no "tipping" point for "runaway" warming. if there was then dinosaurs would not have had almost 200 million years to plot about unhindered. Its totally illogical to think that the Earths balance systems would break down simply due to the CO2 cycle(s). Scientists who think so have forgotten many fundamental principles in their feverish quest for gravy train money, A bit like NASA has forgotten to check its satellite data by referencing the real world ( in the summer of 2011 they were showing an ice free harbour to the inhabitants who still had their boats stranded in 1 kilometer of sea ice ). Just because someone worked for NASA ( a company with extremely poor rigour at times and many dead astronauts to show for it ), it does not mean their word is fact. I urge you to research the palio CO2 cycles, also look at some of the longer term methane cycles in the palio record and then think again about this "tipping" point. Its obsolete rubbish and you will find few current high profile scientists agreeing with it.
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