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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hell and High Water, December 22, 2009
This review is from: Hell and High Water: The Global Warming Solution (Paperback)
Very informative, although already a little outdated, this book makes a clear case for the urgency of action to avert catastrophic climate change and explains factors which have kept most people confused about the subject.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Let us remember where we are, July 29, 2011
Stephen A. Troutt (Murfreesboro, TN United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hell and High Water: The Global Warming Solution (Paperback)
This a really a very good book - well written and factual. Its very clear the global warming is a very big problem NOW and its only going to get worse. And the steps laid out to deal with surviving global warming make good sense - its all stuff we could do now IF we had the will to do them.
And thats the rub. The US populace seems oblivious to the climate changes that are happening now to the point of being frankly delusional. And the time to starting making changes was yesterday. I fear that it is all too little, too late.
And thats what drives me crazy about the deniers - where do they think that we can go if they are wrong - and they are undoubtedly wrong.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fine book on the climate wars by an expert, May 15, 2011
Joseph Romm, who is an expert on energy (author of The Hype about Hydrogen: Fact and Fiction in the Race to Save the Climate (2004), which I highly recommend), holds a PhD in physics with an emphasis on the physics of weather. Consequently he writes from a position of knowledge about climate change that few others can match. He is also politically savvy, having worked in the Department of Energy in the Clinton administration. His hair is on fire because the danger to the planet from global warming is frighteningly real, and it appears that nobody is going to do anything about it until it is too late.

Part I is devoted to both making it absolutely clear that global warming is caused by human activities, in particular the burning of fossil fuels, while giving some considerable data on just what the consequences of global warming will be for the planet and in particular for the US. A number of meany-mouthed nay-sayers have suggested that a little warming won't be so bad, especially for the US. Romm lays this mythology into its grave by showing that the most recent scientific projections show that unchecked global warming will be a disaster for the US, inflicting enormous damage to our costal areas, burying much of Louisiana, Florida and other parts of the US under water, and creating dust bowl conditions in the Midwest far worse than experienced in the 1930s.

The real meat of this book however begins in Part II, "The Politics and the Solution," and in particular in Chapter 5, "How Climate Rhetoric Trumps Climate Reality."

Have you ever asked yourself why conservative politicians are in a state of denial about global warming? I have, and Romm is the first one to explain it to me. Simply put, "ideology trumps rationality." Romm spells it out: "Most conservatives cannot abide the SOLUTION to global warming--strong government regulations and a government-led effort to accelerate clean-energy technologies into the market." (p. 107) Therefore they become what Romm calls "Denyers and Delayers." They are indulging in political purity--but at what price?

In this connection I was intrigued and frankly amazed to find out that many conservatives are in the thrall of novelist Michael Crichton who wrote a novel entitled "State of Fear" in which the villain is a scientist who "falsifies scientific studies to justify draconian steps to curb global warming." Romm notes that President George W. Bush was a big fan of Crichton's book, and ignored "every major study by the world's leading climate scientists," and instead invited Crichton to the White House where they "talked for an hour and were in near-total agreement" (quoting Fred Barnes, p. 102). It appears that not only does Bush practice "faith-based" foreign policy, he gets his science not from scientists but from misinformed writers of science fiction!

In Chapter 10, "Missing the Story of the Century," Romm takes the media to task for not getting the global warming story straight. Fearful of criticism by right-wing think-tank pundits sponsored by the likes of Exxon-Mobil and others with a vested interest in fossil fuels, the media has given more than equal time to a few bought "scientists" who think that global warming is the result of natural causes. This is to the relative exclusion of the many thousands of scientists who have made it clear that global warming is being caused by human activities, most directly by the burning of fossil fuels. It's the Big Lie as practice by the Bush administration whose attitude toward global warming is to wait and see, and meanwhile business as usual. Romm's point is that we can't afford to wait. Conservatives who are afraid of intervention by government are foolish since if we don't act now we will get Big Government (and worse) with a vengeance down the road when "hell and high water" are upon us.

Romm outlines an eight-point program (fully stated on pages 22-23) that will successfully counter and then reverse the trend toward catastrophic global warming. It includes performance-based efficiency programs; efficiency gains from industry and power generation through "cogeneration" of heat and power (instead of wasting the heat, which is what we do now); building wind turbines; capturing carbon dioxide from proposed coal plants; building nuclear plants to generate electricity without CO2 waste; greatly improving the fuel economy of our vehicles using "plug-in hybrid" drives; increasing production of high-yield energy crops; and stopping tropical deforestation while planting more trees.

The compelling thing about this program is that it can be implemented with existing technology and will led to the end of dependence on foreign oil and will create energy-sector jobs here at home for millions of Americans.

Will our head-in-the-sand politicians listen? Not while Bush is president they won't; but if we, as Romm urges, become "one-issue" voters, we can in November 2008 usher in an enlightened administration that will immediately begin work on saving ourselves and the planet from a catastrophe worse than any we have ever faced.

[Note: a dozen of my books are now available at Amazon. My latest, "I Think We Survived the Nightmare: Political, Social and Economic Reviews" by Dennis Littrell will be available soon.]

The World Is Not as We Think It Is
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Hell and High Water: The Global Warming Solution
Hell and High Water: The Global Warming Solution by Joe Romm (Paperback - January 8, 2008)
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