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Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet Paperback – 19 Mar 2007
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‘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
'Buy this book for everyone you know: if it makes them join the fight to stop the seemingly inexorable six degrees of warming and mass death, it might just save their lives.' New Statesman
'An apocalyptic primer of what to expect as the world heats up…it's sobering stuff and shaming too. Despite its sound scientific background, the book resembles one of those vivid medieval paintings depicting sinners getting their just desserts.' Financial Times
'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.' The Sunday Times
'A chilling read.’ Socialist Review
‘Mark Lynas…has time-travelled into our terrifying collective future…Go with him on this breathtaking, beautifully told journey…I promise that you will come back…determined to alter the course of history.’ Naomi Klein, author of ‘No Logo’
‘Clear, lucid and informative.’ New Statesman
‘A thoroughly engaging and well-researched book.’ Times Literary Supplement
'Written with passion and packed with an impressive amount of information.' The Guardian
'In this highly accessible book, Lynas lays out just what we can expect with each progressive temperature rise, before stating exactly what needs to happen regarding decreasing carbon emissions, among other things. This stuff used to be the preserve of scientists and governments. As Lynas makes painfully clear, it is now our problem, too.' Metro
From the Publisher
WINNER OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY SCIENCE PRIZE 2008
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Top customer reviews
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.
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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