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The Burning Question: We Can't Burn Half the World's Oil, Coal, and Gas. So How Do We Quit?by Mike Berners Lee
Synopses & Reviews
The Burning Question reveals climate change to be the most fascinating scientific, political and social puzzle in history. It shows that carbon emissions are still accelerating upwards, following an exponential curve that goes back centuries. One reason is that saving energy is like squeezing a balloon: reductions in one place lead to increases elsewhere. Another reason is that clean energy sources don't in themselves slow the rate of fossil fuel extraction.
Tackling global warming will mean persuading the world to abandon oil, coal and gas reserves worth many trillions of dollars and#151; at least until we have the means to put carbon back in the ground. The burning question is whether that can be done. What mix of politics, psychology, economics and technology might be required? Are the energy companies massively overvalued, and how will carbon-cuts affect the global economy? Will we wake up to the threat in time? And who can do what to make it all happen?
"Although constrained by brevity, this book serves as an introductory discussion of the great pressing issue of our era. In the first four sections, carbon emissions researcher Berners-Lee (How Bad Are Bananas?: The Carbon Footprint of Everything) and environmental journalist Clark (The Rough Guide to Green Living) describe the crisis-available reserves of fossil fuels contain more than enough carbon to force the global climate in new and almost certainly destructive directions if burned. Combined with our apparent determination to burn every possible ounce of fossil fuel and our proven ability to sabotage mitigation efforts, this is ominous news for humanity and many of the species sharing the planet with us. The fifth section details some steps that might succeed in limiting the scope of the consequences of our actions. The authors' prose is clean and clear and their organization is sensible and well documented, backed up with a detailed index. Unfortunately, this short book denies the authors the opportunity to develop their arguments in the depth they deserve. More appetizer than main course, it is nevertheless recommended to those new to this topic. "
Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Mike Berners-Lee is a leading carbon consultant and author of How Bad Are Bananas. Duncan Clark is a Guardian environment journalist and author of various successful books, including The Rough Guide to Green Living. Both live in the U.K.
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