- MP3 CD
- Publisher: Tantor Media, Inc; Unabridged edition (2 Oct. 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1400163862
- ISBN-13: 978-1400163861
- Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.5 x 18.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1 customer review)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,883,819 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Now or Never: Why We Must Act Now to End Climate Change and Create a Sustainable Future MP3 CD – Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged
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"Shocking . . . [Flannery] writes for a general audience with passion and clarity." -- Jim Hansen --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Tim Flannery's volume has the advantage of a less than normal path to publication compared to many books, but this does not make it a better book for all that. The book itself comprises 3 sections. The first (the bulk of the book) is a 100 page essay which first appeared in The Quarterly Essay in 2008. The second section is a series of comments on that essay, which have been published in the same journal. Only the short third section seems new - and this is limited to about five pages.
This really does sum up the problem with this book. Although it is written in Flannery's normal lucid style, it is not really a book at all. It is a short opinion piece and some responses. None of the sections of the book really seem to have enough space to fully develop the arguments presented or to provide much in the way of evidence.
The main part of the book is a strange mixture of justifiable alarm at the rate and extent of climate change, optimism about our ability to deal with these issue and what seems (at least to me) as a strange willingness to embrace the New Age aspects of Gaia.
Flannery suggests the humans are the force that Gaia has produced to allow conscious manipulation of systems, so that the climate change catastrophe can be averted. Well, I have my doubts about this - given that Gaia must have started this project a few million years ago at least. If only our politicians could be so far sighted!
Much of the rest of the book is much stronger than this, and while the Australian context may be unfamiliar to many, the central message remains clear.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
"The climatic tipping point is the point at which the greenhouse gas concentration reaches a level sufficient to cause catastrophic climate change. The point of no return is reached when that concentration of greenhouse gas has been in place sufficiently long to give rise to an irreversible process. Humanity is now between a tipping point and point of no return."
(So my question that begs an answer: when will we reach the point of no return?)
The above quotation comes from this slim, riveting book by Tim Flannery. Flannery, a professor at Macquarie University (in Sydney, Australia), is a scientist (mammalogist, palaeontologist), explorer, and conservationist. He is chairman of the Copenhagen Climate Council (an international climate change awareness group), the Australasian representative for the National Geographic Society, and a director of the Australian Wildlife Conservatory.
QUESTION: what does this book (which Flannery calls a "essay") prove? ANSWER: we have entered a new geological era of our own making. After the Pleistocene (the period of the ice ages) and the Holocene (the ten thousand years of interglacial warmth that followed), we have entered the Anthropocene (the climate of man).
Using recent data, Flannery takes us on an eye-opening tour of the environmental challenges we face and their possible solutions. Is the situation hopeless? NO. Flannery believes that "a sense of hopelessness is just as great a danger to our future as the bankrupt philosophies of the recent past."
After Flannery's main narrative is concluded, there is a final section consisting of six responses of people who have read this book. (One response is written by two people.) These people respectively are a scholar; an entrepreneur; a professor of bioethics; the president and director of the Environmental Defence Fund; a freelance journalist and lecturer on international affairs; and a former environmental journalist.
After these six responses are concluded, there is one brief reply to all of them by Flannery.
Finally, the only problem with this book is that it has no index. Yes, this book is slim so perhaps it doesn't really need an index. However, Flannery packs so much information (and new information) into each page that I feel an index would have been a helpful addition.
In conclusion, this book combines Flannery's passion for this subject with his interdisciplinary scientific precision. I leave you with Flannery's answer to the question that I posed in parenthesis above:
"I think that there is now a better than even risk that, despite our best efforts, in the coming two or three decades Earth's climate system will pass the point of no return. This is most emphatically not a counsel of despair; it is simply a statement of my assessment of probability."
(first published 2009; forward by David Suzuki; 10 chapters; main narrative 105 pages; notes; 6 responses; 1 reply)
<<Stephen Pletko, London, Ontario, Canada>>
It's a relatively quick, science-based, and powerful read on the urgent challenges we face globally as well as possible solutions (including changes in land management from the tropics to grasslands). Flannery explains the complex science in easy-to-comprehend language (especially welcome in this day of political bickering and obfuscation). It builds on his previous excellent book on climate change "The Weather Makers: How Man Is Changing the Climate and What It Means for Life on Earth."
While many ecologists believe that all too many bird and other wildlife species may not be able to adapt to accelerating global environmental changes over the decades ahead (including climate change, land use changes, pollution, invasive non- native species and fresh water diversions), there are opportunities to make a big difference- for wildlife and for humanity.
The key, according to Flannery, is that we must get our planet back to a "stable" concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere - especially CO2 (~350 ppm down from our current 387+) in the decades ahead.
As he highlights, strategies for CO2 removal from the atmosphere necessarily include changes in land-use management strategies from the tropics poleward. A weakness in his essay is that he does not address the issue of water-- how that is fundamental to the ecosystem processes that will drive our ability to implement habitat management strategies to significantly increase nature's ability to permanently soak up carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.
Nonetheless, this is vital reading.
The book has a bonus-- commentary from several environmental thinkers and leaders globally. Their comments and criticisms of Flannery's essay are well worth reading but some, in my view, are surprisingly limited in view. Flannery's essay --and the accelerating climate crisis itself -- demand bold, creative, out-of-the-box thinking and leadership -- as only rarely seen in human history.
Flannery makes his message clear in a compelling, scientifically-valid and hope filled manner: we have no time to lose but we can make a difference if we act now.
Get a copy of the book and read it today. It may just change your life.... and the lives of billions of other living creatures on our lone planet.
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