Monday, October 01, 2007

The Weather Makers


My sister gave me a copy of Tim Flannery's The Weather Makers for my birthday (thanks!) but it sat in my reading queue for half a year. I packed it when travelling last week and once picked up, was not put down. I wouldn't say this is a happy or hopeful book to read, but it is important. I'm glad this is a best seller, but I'd be happier if we see that translated into action.

I guess the three facts of importance
  1. that climate change is upon us - we have reached the tipping point

  2. that the change is for the worse - the only disagreement being about the specific effects our planet will need to endure

  3. that while human activity is not the only contributor, we know that it is a factor, and more importantly we know ways in which our impact can be lessened
So the question is no longer "should we act" but "will we?"

I particularly liked the quotes that Mr Flannery uses to introduce each chapter. For example from Alfred Russel Wallace:
It is amongst those nations that claim to be the most civilised, those that profess to be guided by a knowledge of laws of nature, those that most glory in the advance of science, that we find the greatest apathy, the greatest recklessness, in continually rendering impure this important necessity of life...
The astonishing point to note is that this is from 1903. It is sobering to realise that the warning bell has been ringing for well over a century, but humanity is nothing if not a master of allowing short term goals undermine the future. Of course, it has always been quite valid to answer the question of climate change with a "Pish!" Well, that is until 2005 when finally we had the published, refereed scientific proof that global warming is in fact, fact.

Read this before it is too late!

PS: my soundtrack recommendation for reading this is Gwen Stefani's Don't Get It Twisted from The Sweet Escape
..don't get it twisted, don't get clever, this is the worst craziest shit ever..


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