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An outstanding overview on global warming--and what we can do about it--from a distinguished world-class authority
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Despite its off-putting title, this book presents a clear-eyed and well-documented overview of global warming, and an optimistic but practical plan for avoiding the worst of the damage. Drawing on scientific consensus, Hillman, Fawcett and Rajan describe the havoc global warming will likely wreak in 20 to 100 years if we do not act : a rise in infectious diseases and outbreaks of desert across the American plains and western Europe, as many as 150 million environmental refugees and possibly 95% species extinction. Their conclusion: to keep atmospheric carbon dioxide to a safe level, U.S. citizens will have to cut their carbon emissions by 80% by 2030. With governments and individuals in a ""near-universal state of denial"" on the topic, the authors propose what they consider the only realistic and fair solution. Each person on earth would be given an equal, tradable ""carbon allowance"" that would steadily shrink over time, they suggest, to keep atmospheric carbon dioxide in check to avert unacceptable climate change. Environmental activists may already be familiar with these ideas, but this comprehensive, concise and beautifully organized overview of an undeniably important issue make it a must-read for anyone even slightly concerned about our future on this planet. (Apr.)
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Hillman, a British architect and environmental public policies expert, and Fawcett, of Oxford's Environmental Change Institute, (coauthors of How We Can Save the Planet, 2004), with input from climate-change scholar Sudhir Chella Rajan, attempt to persuade readers that the dangers of global warming mitigate all current efforts to curb the growing catastrophe. In stark prose heavily dependent on statistics and figures, they posit that little in current plans to decrease global warming is effective. They express particular concern over America's car culture and fossil-fuel dependence, and focus on a carbon allowance card system, a solution Hillman and Fawcett have studied in depth. As this card would require national registration and tracking by the federal government, it seems unlikely that Americans would find the solution acceptable, but perhaps the alarm this suggestion arouses will induce more interest in increased fuel efficiency. Clearly a lot of work went into the crafting of this book's arguments and the gathering of its wealth of information, however off-putting the perspective and conclusion may be for some readers. Colleen Mondor
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- ISBN: 9780312353551