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3.7 out of 5 stars
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on 22 July 2013
The contents of this book are very interesting but the quantity of information is low. Some pages contain only one sentence. I feel this could have been produced as an extended pamphlet rather than a book. I find it ironic that the production of this book has contributed to problems the book is addressing. If anyone wants to know about global warming and climate change, I would advise spending an hour researching it on the Internet rather than spending eight odd quid on this book.
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on 16 July 2013
This very short book predicts doom. It is not clear whether the lack of balance is for sensationalism or out of ignorance. Emmott's Wikipedia entry does not mention any obviously relevant past academic experience. It is difficult not to conclude that some of his statements are deliberately misleading. Global fertility rates have fallen year on year for fifty years. He does not mention that. There are better books.
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on 12 July 2013
This is more a pamphlet than a book and you will find it alarmingly thin if you are expecting a proper book with a coherent argument based on a deep understanding of the evidence. This is more like a manifesto. The author is anxious to convince us of his case and doesn't allow anything to appear that is at all contradictory for fear that it might just blur the issues. So there are no shades of grey or any alternative analysis to be found. This inevitably weakens the work and the result is over simplistic and in the end somewhat bland. I'm sure the author is a sincere and well meaning individual but these important issues require much more serious and penetrating discussion than anything being offered here.

ON almost every page there are 'facts' but carefully selected facts to present us with a one dimensional and unvarying doom-laden prognosis.

Although there are 198 pages there are very few words on each page, the script is large, sometimes even in bold for further emphasis but in the end shouting is always less convincing than reasoned discussion. It won't take more than an hour to read and seems designed for nine to twelve year olds.
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on 2 July 2013
As someone once said "If I had more time, I would have written less." - And therein is the lesson of good communication.

With Stephen Emmott making a strong case against the mixed and muddled messages delivered to us by modern media about climate change challenges he has done the right thing in laying things on the line in no uncertain terms and not getting wrapped up in unnecessary debates.

I already know all the facts and figures presented here from following the climate change debates over the last decade and no doubt you do too. What Emmott is doing here is making them unequivatable and when you add that to what he does as a day job - advanced computer-based modelling - then you can't help to take notice.

Here is someone who has a big Microsoft funded crystal ball and he wants others to share the fear and anger it has clearly created in him. Such 'I have a fear' dialogue coming from the likes of politicians is more likely to work against behaviour change than encourage it but as Emmott is fundamentally a researcher who has some tangible ideas that could really make a difference to the challenges we face I am personally more inspired by the blunt message than by the many hollow words I hear and read elsewhere.
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on 20 September 2013
Oh how I wish that this was required reading for the population as a whole. And then translated into every language on the planet.
Most importantly into the language of politics, the press and broadcasting. Simple statements (devoid of spin or should I call that by their true title, Lies) that paint a bleak truth about man and his place on earth, and the potential consequences. I fear that the lobby groups of the world will be pooh poohing madly as they always do, when someone tells bald truths. it tends to diminish their strident garbage and show it for its true nature; self seeking, single issue, unbalanced and flawed disinformation.
Stephen Emmot should join with others like David Attenborough to lead a world movement against the nonsense and to truly bring awareness and from it action across the world.
It will be difficult as we live in a culture that prefers to lie to itself than face up to the unpalatable.
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on 20 November 2013
Whilst this book is not badly written and makes some good points, I am really surprised that it can be described as 206 pages. I read it in just over an hour, it contains endless pages of single paragraphs or lines, one page was a single word. If it were condensed it could probably fit on to 70 or so pages of large font size text. A large section of the book is also lacking proper referencing. For example in one section there are some pretty sensational claims about how much water it takes to produce certain things, without any explanation. I wouldn't, having read the book, think of it as a book. Its more of a (admittedly interesting and mostly well written) dissertation. Its a frame for what really needs far more in depth explanation and discussion. Some good points, but it lost my trust as soon as I realised it had been a little mis sold. I could spread this review over 80 pages, but it would hardly be an 80 page book. Ultimately this was unfortunately not worth the money.
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on 17 December 2015
This book sums up the situation we are in. The author makes his case in a concise and rational manner. Chris Packham ( of spring watch etc) in his role as visiting professor of Lincoln University made it a core text of his unit and it should be required reading for all. He comes to stark conclusions but you can't help but agree and he's right to do so.
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on 16 July 2013
I found the book to be far too brief.
One sentence per page in some cases.
I read it in half an hour.
But I guess the author is trying to make these pressing environment issues as digestible and accessible as possible. He certainly does that.
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on 21 June 2015
When I started this book I thought it was just more politically motivated bias and opinionated rhetoric; but the evidence presented demonstrates this view as simplistic and convincingly argues that runaway human population and consumption is more deeply entwined in all the problems facing the biosphere than most of us ever imagined.

Before reading this book I was sceptical of the role humans play in climate change, and now accept that it would be short-sighted to believe we do not make a significant contribution. However, regardless of the root cause of climate change, whether that be fluctuations in solar energy output or direct human cause & affect, the primary concern must be to acknowledge the climate is changing and that failure to adapt will be catastrophic for life on the planet. The author, who is a credible UK scientist and academic, does a good job of showing that human population is integral to the problems faced by the biosphere and that if we stand any chance to reverse the bleak path we are on, then we must radically change our behaviour. After a summary of the futile efforts that governments and green energy campaigns have come up with, the blunt truth is we either all need to take our head out the sand NOW and grasp a last slim chance to avert a disaster for our species and life on the planet; or continue oblivious and face the consequences.

This is a short book that can be read in one sitting, with sometimes only a short paragraph on each page. However, it does the job admirably, conveying all necessary information in a straight-forward and concise manner - any more would just be superfluous. While I wasn't too happy with the layout at first, thinking it a bit odd, in hindsight I think it was a good choice.

Yes, this is doom & gloom, probably won't cheer you up after reading it, and may well follow the lead of some contemporary pessimists and politically motivated doom-mongers like Al Gore; but only an idiot could completely deny that the detrimental human impact on the health of the planet is not sustainable for much longer.
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on 16 February 2014
This book does not make pleasent reading but it is not intended to be a slushy novel with a happy ending. It gives a scientific analysis of all the world's problems and places the blame exactly where it belongs, inthe hands of the human race. Those who breed like animals will live like animals and die like animals.
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