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Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis Paperback – Bargain Price, November 3, 2009

3.7 out of 5 stars 101 customer reviews

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Paperback, Bargain Price, November 3, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Nobel laureate Gore is dedicated to one of the most important missions on the planet: educating humankind about the causes and consequences of global warming and offering solutions to the looming crises implicit in the changes to the earth’s climate and habitability that are already well under way. No one is more qualified than Gore to lead the collective movement beyond fossil fuels, given his command of the science and politics involved, his invaluable global connections and resources, and his sensitivity to our reluctance to face the “magnitude and gravity of the climate crisis.” As he did in An Inconvenient Truth (2006), Gore matches clear and ringing explanations and commentary with superb supporting diagrams and illustrations and striking photographs from around the world, documenting the dramatic impacts of human industry and climate change. He begins by providing the straight facts about the sources of the pollutants causing global warming and the disastrous energy inefficiency of our buildings, vehicles, appliances, and industrialized agriculture. Here, too, is the searing truth about the campaign of climate change denial via disinformation and ridicule orchestrated and paid for by oil and coal corporations. But after spending three years convening “solution summits” and assessing the fruits of those productive discussions, Gore turns away from blame and despair and toward answers and encouragement. The result is a veritable catalog for a better world and a practical guide to solar, wind, and geothermal power and smart “super grids,” endeavors China is already pursuing. Gore also eloquently explains how the harnessing of renewable energy sources will solve an entire matrix of global traumas. Our Choice is an inviting and momentous compendium of environmental discovery (with 100 percent of its earnings going to the Alliance for Climate Protection) that addresses one of the greatest threats our species has encountered with intelligence, knowledge, wisdom, and faith in human empowerment. This is a book that should be displayed and talked about everywhere. --Donna Seaman

Review

"In a new book that marks an evolution in his thinking, Al Gore recognizes that the debate over climate change can be more about doing well while doing good."
—John Meachan, Newsweek
 
"Authoritative, exhaustive, reasoned, erudite."
 —Sharon Begley, Newsweek
 
“The clarity of his argument and the fissile power of his analysis combine to elevate Our Choice into the top-ranking environmental books of our time."
 —Financial Times
 
"There is no greater champion of the climate imperative than Al Gore. [He] distills his mastery of the topic into clean, readable prose, and illustrates it with gorgeous glossy photos and accessible -- and eye-opening -- charts. After you read Gore's book, you will see why the choice must be made right now."
 —Huffington Post
 
"Ken-Burns-meets-global-warming, with vivid diagrams of how technologies work and lavish color photos."
—Philadelphia Inquirer
   
"Besides being informative, Our Choice is a truly beautiful book page after page, and I highly recommend it, particularly for those who want a broad overview of the key strategies for preserving a livable climate. This [is] a must-read book for those who want a primer on all the key solutions countries will be considering at Copenhagen."
 —Dr. Joseph Romm, Climateprogress.com
 
"It’s the grand compendium of all that we know about how to undertake this most difficult of transitions. Gore’s new volume is the indispensable one-stop shop for the cutting edge thinking about how we’re going to solve this problem."
 —Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature
 
“No one is more qualified than Gore to lead the collective movement beyond fossil fuels, given his command of the science and politics involved, his invaluable global connections and resources, and his sensitivity to our reluctance to face the ‘magnitude and gravity of the climate crisis.’ As he did in An Inconvenient Truth (2006), Gore matches clear and ringing explanations and commentary with superb supporting diagrams and illustrations and striking photographs from around the world, documenting the dramatic impacts of human industry and climate change… Our Choice is an inviting and momentous compendium of environmental discovery (with 100 percent of its earnings going to the Alliance for Climate Protection) that addresses one of the greatest threats our species has encountered with intelligence, knowledge, wisdom, and faith in human empowerment. This is a book that should be displayed and talked about everywhere.”
—Booklist
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books; First Edition edition (November 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594867348
  • ASIN: B005B1AEHC
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,298,946 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Most of the "reviews" on this site are simply political arguments (with varying degrees of relevance to the book's subject matter) by people who either agree or disagree with Al Gore from a political standpoint. I would like to present a review of this book on its own merits.

1) The author has a lot to say in this book, and some of it takes time to read and comprehend. A book club might be helpful for many readers.
2) My favorite aspect of this book (from a literary standpoint) is the format. It is an interesting blend between textbook-style presentation of data, coffee-table-style presentation of main ideas, and textual exposition of a complex thesis. I think this format, while unconventional, fits the author's writing style. The downside of the format is that it could be too accessible, possibly enabling skimming or cherry-picking in lieu of reading.
3) There are minor grammatical errors that do not appear to obscure the meaning. Grammatical errors are common in scientific texts, because the majority of proofreading is done by technical experts. Also, artistic license is taken in some of the artistic renderings and poetry (and has been criticized in some reviews on this site). Both of these could be blown out of proportion by political opponents, but are legitimate in the context of the genre.
4) One of the reviews on this site claims that there is an "error" on the nuclear bar in the graph on p. 165. A range of 1-255 is given in the graph. The reviewer claims that the "actual" value in the reference is 66, but the reference itself gives the range from 1-255 *and* states that 66 is the mean value obtained upon a weighted average.
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This is a great book by the former Senator and Vice President. It offers many, many solutions to for energy policies in this country & the world. Al Gore's genius is highly under rated. He's been widely misquoted as claiming that he "Invented the Internet". He in fact wrote the High Speed Computing Act of 1991, which led to the modern Internet as we know it. Anyway, the book is very good and offers many alternative solutions to fossil fuels.
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Our Choice examines the science, politics, causes and consequences of climate change. More importantly it gives solutions for fixing the dilemma we find ourselves in. Al Gore's book gives hope that we can and will reverse the course of global warming if we as a collective civilization recognize the danger before its too late. The problem is that humans are like the experiment where you put a frog in a beaker of water. If you heat the water up quickly, the frog will recognize the danger and jump out. If, on the other hand, you slowly, gradually heat the water up, the frog will remain in the water until it boils to death. Scientists are telling us, "The water is starting to boil let's turn the heat down." While politicians bought by the CO2 lobby are telling us, "Come on in the water's fine." Who you gonna believe?
While I'm not particularly a big Al Gore fan, this is a beautiful book with pictures and graphs that supplement the information given, and despite my misgivings about Gore, he is sincere and his science is valid and this book is worth the read. Even though the book is dated now, I'm glad I read it.
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Al Gore challenges the human race to end the climate crisis. It seems like it would be difficult or even impossible, but throughout Our Choice, Gore lays out simple solutions. If you are interested in climate change and how to stop global warming, this is the book for you!
Solar, wind, geothermal, plant, and nuclear are the most feasible renewable energies to us right now. Geothermal is the most inexpensive, but nuclear provides us the most amount of energy. Solar and wind are the most convenient but require a continuous source; otherwise it is difficult to acquire the energy. Gore makes it seem easy to switch our source of energy, but it would be expensive and take awhile.
Using renewable energy will stop the emissions of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and stop global warming. Another benefit of renewable energy is that it is free and limitless! As long as the sun is shining, we can generate energy! Why are we not doing this then? There are many political walls in the way and Gore goes more in depth regarding this problem. Our country has been running on oil for far too long and politicians claim it would be too expensive and inconvenient to switch.
Gore gives us an ultimatum in Our Choice. We either decide to do something about the climate change, or we continue as we are, deplete our resources, and leave the future generations to deal with the problem.
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Format: Paperback
Gore's book deserves five stars just for this quite unique statement of our challenge: "We should feel a sense of joy that those of use alive today have … the chance to undertake an historic mission worthy of our best efforts." He convincingly describes how the transition to renewable energy sources will be a boon to our economy. He also describes cutting edge developments in the major technologies, and, as another reviewer has already pointed out, done a creditable job on the generally neglected topic of land use and climate.

In a completely objective review, I would give this book four stars, as I found the presentation not entirely consistent with the subtitle, "A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis." The plan was not always clear. In addition, this, along with An Inconvenient Truth, is often US-centric, to the detriment some of the significant global programs.

But so many of the low ratings are clearly mindless, to put it kindly, that it's only fair to add a star as a little compensation. Oh, and don't feed the trolls.
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