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We are the Weather Makers: The Story of Global Warming Paperback – 7 Jun 2007

4.3 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (7 Jun. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141034076
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141034072
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 1.7 x 18 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,534,392 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


'If you are not already addicted to Tim Flannery's writing, discover him now: this is his best book yet' -- Jared Diamond

'It would be hard to imagine a better or more important book' -- Bill Bryson

'This is a magnificent book; exciting, poetic, passionate' -- Redmond O'Hanlon --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Tim Flannery is an internationally acclaimed scientist, explorer and conservationist, described by Sir David Attenborough as being 'in the league of the all-time great explorers like Dr David Livingstone’.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
"Not another book on climate change!", you lament. Readers may feel surfeited by the rash of books on "global warming" appearing in the past few years. The feeling is understandable. The situation should be considered an indication of how serious the problem is for all humanity. In this case, the author introduces a little-considered aspect. Tim Flannery, whose keen eye and bountiful wit always offers something new presented in a easily readable way, will not leave you jaded nor have your head nodding in ennui. Although Flannery does address some questions dealt with elsewhere, he adds the most significant topic of all - the future of life.
As a zoologist, Flannery has extensive field experience in the forests of New Guinea and elsewhere. He's written of human impact on large animals in North America and Australia. Here, he writes of human impact on all life. Instead of hunting animals to extinction, humans are modifying the entire biosphere through pollutants and gases. This indirect imposition has already killed off at least one species, he demonstrates. In explaining how the Golden Toad went extinct, Flannery sets the scene expansively. The Toad wasn't just a local phenomenon, but died out due to wide-ranging changes in ocean temperature, air mass movements and changes in rainfall. This combination of influences resulted in what appeared to us as a minimal change in habitat. To the Golden Toad, that "minimal change" proved catastrophic. The object lesson is clear. How much change will the species humans rely on for survival tolerate? Flannery, citing James Lovelock's "Gaia" hypothesis of the biosphere as a tightly woven "system", argues that the tolerance for change is meagre. And human-induced change is squeezing the tolerance downward.
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By A Customer on 12 Mar. 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book clearly sets out the facts and science of climate change and is easy and enjoyable to read.
Climate change has the potential to have a major impact on each of our lives either as individuals, consumers, business men/women, investors etc.
This book gives you a clear picture of what is actually happening through examples and clearly taking you through the science behind it. It gives the different possible outcomes and gives you an idea of what to expect and how soon to expect it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you want to know the latest facts, and the full history about climate change, it's all here in this book.
Tim Flannery leaves no hiding place for those with doubts, or 'clever' responses based on spurious science.
If I can quote one set of facts from the book which should chill every reader, it is this:
In 1800 CO2 was about 280 parts-per-million in the atmosphere, and had been around that figure - or below - for 55 million years.
The Keeling Curve - based on Charles Keeling's measurements on thr summit of Mt Mauna Loa, Hawaii - shows an inexorable rise from 1959 to the present, from around 315 ppm to around 380 ppm in 2005.
Tim Flannery spells it out: at 280 ppm there is about 586 gigatonnes of CO2 in the atmosphere. Today the figure is about 790 gigatonnes, increasing by about 13.3 gigatonnes per year.
The aim should be to set a ceiling - a budget - of 6 gigatonnes per year.
That's less than half current emissions.
Keep those figures in mind and you will have the yardstick by which to judge politicians - like Energy minister Malcolm Wickes - who said only the other day:
" ... the world is going to be burning lots of carbon, particularly loads and loads of coal, for 100, 200 years to come. The environmentalists may not like that but tough, it's going to happen"
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Format: Paperback
The author carefully discusses the various potential futures for the planet, looking at the different scenarios in a scientific reasoned way. He looks at the changes likely for a wide range of habitats and species, showing that most parts of the Earth will be badly affected by even low rises in average temperature.
He then looks at the causes - and there are some horror stories of political lobbying by the various Carbon Power businesses (rather like the tobacco industry's attempts to thwart scientific investigation of the links to cancer in the pursuit of profit at the expense of human life).
Finally he looks at the ways that we, or rather, (unfortunately) our politicians, can do something about it. Individually we can make a small change, but it needs consistent, combined efforts by our governments to save the planet from a new "Dark Age" brought on by extreme weather conditions.
A well written, balanced view of the Earth's future. If only all politicians of all nations would read this, then the planet would have a chance.
The alternative is to go and live in a small-holding in the North of England, grow your own food, and have your own wind and solar power generators. Unfortunately, as most of us live packed into cities, this will only be available for a few - and the rest of the population will no doubt turn to anarchy...
Ah well, we've had a good run for our money - the 60's and 70's were probably the final golden age of civilisation on the planet. Now, unless a miracle happens and the Power Lobby and the Car Manufacturers get a radical change of heart, we are heading inexorably towards the new Dark Ages.
So, in the words of the great Douglas Adams, "So long, and thanks for all the fish..."
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