- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Penguin (7 Jun. 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0141026626
- ISBN-13: 978-0141026626
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.8 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 98,620 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Heat: How We Can Stop the Planet Burning Paperback – 7 Jun 2007
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'cunning...winning...buy it...read it' -- Nicholas Lezard, Papberback choice, The Guardian
About the Author
George Monbiot studied zoology at Oxford, and has spent his career as a journalist and environmentalist, working with others to defend the natural world he loves. His celebrated Guardian columns are syndicated all over the world. He is the author of the bestselling books Captive State, The Age of Consent, Bring on the Apocalypse and Heat, as well as the investigative travel books Poisoned Arrows, Amazon Watershed and No Man's Land. His latest book, Feral, was shortlisted for the Great Outdoors Book of the Year award. Among the many prizes he has won is the UN Global 500 award for outstanding environmental achievement, presented to him by Nelson Mandela.
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Top Customer Reviews
A great many ideas are discarded, but this is ultimately a book of solutions, and there are all manner of things that will work. Efficiency measures, tighter planning laws, improved coach travel, combined heat and power, hydrogen fuel cells, tele-working, internet shopping. There is no single answer, but dozens of helpful avenues that will trim carbon from our current lifestyles.
As well as the solutions, the book spends some time exploring why it has been so hard to get climate change onto the political agenda. The findings here are fascinating. A lot has been said about climate change denial and conspiracy theories. I don't have a whole lot of time for that, or for environmentalist martyrdom, but anyone tempted to dismiss those theories entirely should read Monbiot's chapter on `The denial industry.' Obviously not everyone who disagrees with climate science is in the pay of the oil companies, but a shocking number are, and there is plenty of evidence here to prove it.
As always, Heat is well researched, thorough and rational. As a guide to what can practically be done about climate change, as a society, this is second to none.
The book begins by summarising the state of scientific knowledge at the time of its initial publication in 2006, and how this bears on the reductions of greenhouse gas emissions required in a country such as ours in order to make a fair share in reducing the risk of damaging global climate change. The result appears to be a reduction of 90% by 2030. Before moving on to the important questions of how this can be achieved, Monbiot takes time out for an entertaining look at what he terms the "denial industry". Publications such as the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail seem to be the leading sites for those who are keen to rubbish climate change, among the authors he cites are leading climatologists Melanie Phillips, Peter Hitchens, and most disturbingly of all for those of us who have fond memories of him from childhood, David Bellamy. Bellamy is apparently now a campaigner who vigorously denies the possibility of climate change, some of the information cited in his Daily Mail Article ("Global Warming? What a Load of Poppycock!Read more ›
There is a problem for the general non-academic reader with this book, however, since the subject matter demands an earnest approach, complete with minutely researched statistical corroboration. Such worthiness can become daunting and sometimes makes for a slow and difficult read. That is not necessarily a bad thing, of course, but I suspect it might close the book off to the very audience which neeeds to read and absorb it, i.e. the layman.
That said, there is a great deal of value in here; the use of Marlowe's "Dr. Faustus" is a clever but ultimately misplaced leitmotif and the (deliberately?) quirky suggestion that the future of public transport is the coach will be a little diffcult for many to swallow, but those caveats apart, this is one which rewards the effort it demands of the reader.
In this uncompromising thesis on global warming, he takes the view that carbon emissions need to be reduced by a whopping 90% if we're to avoid hitting the "tipping point" which will accelerate us towards global disaster. Having laid that on the line and debunked the oil industry- funded naysayers, he goes on to point the finger at the ones who are really responsible - us.
It's our inertia, he says, that keeps emissions so high, because once we're used to our gas-guzzlers, our long-haul flights and our out-of-season luxuries, we're far too loath to surrender them in the name of collective survival. And as long as industry keeps on burning the midnight oil, why should we bother with energy-saving lightbulbs?
Monbiot prescribes a diet of privation. If we want to avoid a forcible return to Neolithic hunter-gathering, we need to elect to ration ourselves: and cutting our energy consumption to the bone is the only way ensure a positive outcome. That means eating what's locally available, keeping our cars in the garage and evolving a workable system of public transport and food deliveries. And most of all, it means an end to globetrotting - because there's no fat and effective way to travel that's acceptably carbon-neutral.
As always, though, everyone is waiting for everyone else to act. "Everyone has to move, or no-one moves," says one supermarket boss. "If we do it and nobody else does, we're lost.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am deeply impressed by both the quantity and quality of the research that has gone into this tightly-argued and well-thought-through book. Read morePublished on 15 April 2013 by Forager
I have a strong interest in environmental issues and found a lot of good ideas in this book such as the ideas for reworking the UK coach service infrastructure and the fundamental... Read morePublished on 17 Nov. 2012 by hhodkinson
George Monbiot, renowned for his capable and coherent work for The Guardian, managed to produce a text of exemplary quality. Read morePublished on 29 May 2012 by L. S. Bozhinov
Great book , found it hard to put down and will buy the others in the series also.
It is a massive eye opener and a tremendous review of information on the subject of climate change. I would thoroughly recommend this text to anyone interested in this important... Read morePublished on 15 Nov. 2010 by Rossanna06
Heat: How to stop the planet burning, by George Monbiot, Allen Lane (Penguin), 2006, 304 ff.
Another book on climate change! Read more
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