• RRP: £10.99
  • You Save: £0.31 (3%)
FREE Delivery in the UK.
Only 6 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
The Burning Question: We ... has been added to your Basket
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Expedited shipping available on this book. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

The Burning Question: We Can't Burn Half the World's Oil, Coal and Gas. So How Do We Quit? Paperback – 15 Apr 2013

4.5 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
£4.27 £1.12
Note: This item is eligible for click and collect. Details
Pick up your parcel at a time and place that suits you.
  • Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
  • Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
How to order to an Amazon Pickup Location?
  1. Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
  2. Dispatch to this address when you check out
Learn more
£10.68 FREE Delivery in the UK. Only 6 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Special Offers and Product Promotions

Frequently Bought Together

  • The Burning Question: We Can't Burn Half the World's Oil, Coal and Gas. So How Do We Quit?
  • +
  • How Bad are Bananas?: The Carbon Footprint of Everything
  • +
  • Sustainable Energy - Without the Hot Air
Total price: £39.62
Buy the selected items together

Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Profile Books Ltd; Main edition (15 April 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781250456
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781250457
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 141,276 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


Praise for How Bad Are Bananas?

'It is terrific. I can't remember the last time I read a book that was more fascinating and useful and enjoyable all at the same time

(Bill Bryson)

An engaging book that manages to present serious science without preaching (New Scientist)

Enjoyable, fun to read and scientifically robust. A triumph of popular science writing (Chris Goodall)

The image of scientists and academics used to be one of calm people mildly watching the world of data and prodding it now and again. Today, the frustration among many is palpable. This book shows why. The gap between evidence, policy and practice is yawningly wide. And widening. This book tries to bridge that gap, offering a reasoned account of the problem and suggesting where and how we might change as consuming societies. In my own area of food, this seems to point one way - culture change. Read this and it'll help you think about the options for how to do that (Timothy Lang 2013-03-15)

The issues explored in The Burning Question are hugely important. Policymakers and the public urgently need to be engaging in this kind of big-picture conversation (Jim Hansen 2013-03-15)

It's terrifyingly simple. Burning carbon made our modern industrial world. Now we've got to stop burning it. We've got to stop drilling for oil and gas, and leave the coal in the ground. We've got to prick the carbon bubble, write off half the assets of the world's biggest industry, break the infrastructure and mental lock-in that is preventing viable new energy technologies from taking over. This is the big-picture story of why and how that must happen. And why, so far, we are abjectly failing. Brilliant. (Fred Pearce, , author of The Last Generation, How nature will take her revenge for climate change)

This is a book that needs to be written: it asks the right question then seeks the most effective ways of answering it. It's an essential contribution to our thinking about climate change (George Monbiot)

An extremely clear-sighted, highly readable account of the factors fanning the flames of climate change with plenty of practical suggestions how to set about extinguishing them. It left me more determined than ever to keep trying to spread ripples of disruption through the fossil fuel industry until they get the message that things must change and rapidly (Bryony Worthington)

Durwood is a bigwig in global climate/environment policy and the leading light pushing for action on methane, soot and the other fast-acting gases (Durwood Zaelke)

At a time when we're making the climate debate 'small', a series of bite sized chunks each to be 'smuggled' through a resistant policy system, Berners Lee and Clark remind us that the debate is actually 'huge' in its global scope, it's likely impact and, most importantly of all, the solutions we need to adopt (Mike Barry)

The Burning Question' is a fascinating examination of the forces that have led to our current predicament and it presents an important framework for a sustainable future. I recommend it highly.
The climate crisis is a challenge unprecedented in its scale and complexity. We simply must confront this existential challenge and stop making it worse. That will require the awakening and activism of people all around the world.

(Al Gore)

Mike Berners-Lee and Duncan Clark have lit a beacon for the wayward, listing ships of climate thinking ... This is number-crunching and synthesis at their best, richly informed by realities political and psychological as well as scientific. Berners-Lee and Clark are clear-eyed ... and their strategy for action is nuanced and evidence-based. For those who, like me, witnessed the climate stalemate at Copenhagen in 2009, this is a book we have been waiting for (Richard Van Noorden Nature 2013-07-12)

Probably the best synthesis of the key arguments over climate change that I've read.
As well as being an accessible, easy read, the authors have successfully avoided getting side-tracked or bogged down with any of the wonkery that too often surrounds the debate about global warming ... Clark and Berners-Lee have managed to bring a refreshing new clarity to the debate.

(Joss Garman Greenpeace 2013-07-08)

Book Description

Take one complex scientific discipline. Add the future of energy, economics and geopolitics. Season with human nature ...

See all Product Description

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Global Warming: The Human Contribution
The Burning Question is a most thought provoking book and is extremely well written for the general reader and should be compulsory reading for the policy makers of this world. It is a most welcome addition to the literature of global warming which suffers greatly from many books written by extreme sceptics who merely demonstrate their ignorance of the underlying science. I read the very clear ebook version.
We are reminded that the IPCC recommends that a global mean temperature rise since the beginning of the Industrial Age should not be more than 2°C, i.e., an extra 1.2°C above the 0.8°C that has already occurred. The authors deal with the difficulties involved with efforts to restrict fossil fuel emissions to another 565 gigatonnes of CO2 before the `danger' level is achieved. They point out that there is more than enough fossil fuel in the ground to produce sufficient warming. The burning of the known reserves would be more than enough and that would present problems to the producers who would no longer need to do any further exploration.
In part 2 the counterintuitive ways in which the global economy absorbs efficiency improvements are described. This section is particularly important and needs to be spread far and wide. For example, if cars are made more efficient so that more distance can be covered for the same amount of fuel the outcome is not necessarily any saving of fuel and its essential emission of CO2. The tendency would be for people to live further away from their workplace, to live in the countryside in cheaper houses and cause more facilities and schools to be built... IT has not led to energy savings.
Read more ›
2 Comments 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very readable account of the challenges around fossil fuel use over the coming decades.

It begins by outlining the history and current state of carbon dioxide emissions from man's use of fossil fuels. It explains how, despite high certainty in climate science and increased awareness of this, we are still on a 'business as usual' trajectory for fossil fuel use over the coming years. The immense political challenge with changing this is realistically appraised, as are the current role of increased energy efficiency and growth in renewables. It concludes with some thoughts on the role that everyone can play in bringing about meaningful action.

The book succeeds in putting across both the fairly depressing gravity of the problem and of the solution. It also succeeds in inspiring the reader to think about their responsibilities and how action at all levels of society is needed. Throughout it is well referenced and seems a balanced representation of consensus views. I would highly recommended it.
Comment 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The main problem identified in the book is that the vast majority of people simply don't want to believe that climate change is threatening life on this planet, and that it is a man made problem that mankind needs to react to now. The book gives very clear summaries of how the problem has arisen, the hurdles we need to cross to alleviate the problem (its already too far gone to stop), and the risks to our descendants if we don't act now. This book should be compulsory reading for every school in the world in the hope that a knowledgeable young generation will force an end to the horrific complacency that abounds today, fuelled by vested interests and climate deniers.
Comment 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I used to be sceptical about climate change but the more I read, for and against, the more I started to believe that we face a devastating problem that could destroy the world as we know it.

This book starts really strong and pulls together the reasons why there is little talk and even less action to correct the carbon emissions into the atmosphere.

As the book says, it's hard to imagine a less convincing argument than the future of the world will be destroyed by something that we can't see, taste or hear but gradually, second by second, the problem builds.

Then there are the vested interests with the big wallets (the existing carbon industries) who are able to buy political and media power far in excess of the climate change campaigners.

Then add in the fact that we have a natural tendency to avoid talking about bad, scary stuff. It's more comforting to pretend that a problem doesn't exist than to recognise it and face up to making changes needed.

Those changes are mainly negative in the short term, sacrificing the way of life we know and want to carry on.

This makes it hard for any politicians with moral fibre to act in the right way. Until the groundswell public opinion builds to be strongly in favour of acting on the climate change problem, it's hard for our leaders to lead.

The book doesn't mention it but one fundamental issue is that the problem, on the surface sounds trivial. The idea that a temperature increase of just two degrees centigrade must be stopped doesn't sound serious.

As someone who feels the cold badly and is rarely warm enough in Britain, an increase of 2C sounds very modest and without the scary end of the world stuff, I'd vote for a 10C increase. Then we might have proper summers.
Read more ›
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Look for similar items by category