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78 of 94 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On the actual book
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...
Published on December 28, 2009 by cm

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Hope is fine
He is dreaming unfortunatelly
Published 29 days ago by Enrique Castellanos


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78 of 94 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On the actual book, December 28, 2009
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. Ironically, the value of 66 is not an "actual" value; it comes from a mathematical analysis, and does not refer to any particular study of an actual power plant. The book correctly presents the actual values from scientific studies, which range from 1-255. This full explanation is given on p. 2941 of the technical review that was referenced, which is free online: [...]
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171 of 249 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Our Choice: the Solutions Sequel, November 3, 2009
By 
L. John Doerr (Palo Alto, CA, USA) - See all my reviews
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Our Choice is wonderfully accessible and pragmatic. Its eighteen chapters are a lavishly illustrated menu of choices which is at once expansive and credible. Our Choice clearly conveys the scope of solutions to the climate crisis, solutions which are promising, practical and potent. The solutions taken together meet the challenge, with speed and at scale.

It is the perfect sequel to An Inconvenient Truth.

I'm particularly struck by Gore's tone in Our Choice: he is sober and thoughtful and opinionated but not pedantic. This is not a superficial, how-to "101 Ways to Go Green," or an encyclopedic compendium of mind-numbing minutiae.

Rather, Our Choice is a survey at just the right level of detail. It covers our sources of energy, how we use it, and the obstacles we must overcome. An important highlight is the discussion of living systems, our forests, soil, and population, which is missing in most writing about climate crisis.

Gore's work comes at a crucial moment in time. The U.S. is vigorously debating climate legislation. Policy makers and parents, students and teachers, entrepreneurs and scientists are all energized. For example, fully one-third of the faculty at MIT wants to work on clean energy technologies. Our Choice will tempt and magnify those passions. It is a manual and manifesto for change, a good guide with a clear view of both the forest and the trees. It comes on the road to Copenhagen, but its best use is the path beyond.

OK, I'll admit (with pride) I'm a huge fan of Al Gore's. But not withstanding our friendship, this remarkable work IS the real thing. It is the product of countless hours of research and interviews, reading and listening, writing and rewriting, debate and critical thinking.

My daughter said "Dad, your generation created this problem. You'd better fix it." Our Choice is the Field Guide to fixing the climate crisis, a set of solutions worthy of your consideration.

Read this book. If you must, burn (and sequester) the others. And recycle the rest!

When mankind confronts and conquers the climate crisis it will be because one man made Our Choice clear.
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11 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Gold Standard of Climate Change Books, January 6, 2010
By 
E. David Swan (Denver, Colorado USA) - See all my reviews
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Climate change should never have become a political battle but when money is on the line I suppose it's inevitable. On one side of the debate we have Al Gore authoring an excellently written, intellectually stimulating, visually stunning and easy to understand book on the threat of climate change. On the opposite side is Sarah Palin who Twitters, "Earth saw clmate chnge4 ions;will cont 2 c chnges.R duty2responsbly devlop resorces4humankind/not pollute&destroy;but cant alter naturl chng," (yes, that is a real Palin tweet). The effort that Al Gore has expended in researching climate change is quite evident in this book and equally evident is the amount of effort Palin has taken in developing her views. The debate reminds me of the days when tobacco companies would work to convince the public that smoking has no link to lung cancer except in this case it's the entire planet being put at risk. Unless there really is an enormous multinational conspiracy by climatologist around the world to scam us all global warming is likely the greatest challenge humanity has ever faced.

Trying to inform people to the threat of global warming is a very delicate balancing act. On the one hand you want to make people aware of the danger but you don't want to leave people feeling hopeless and paralyzed. Al Gore is able to thread that needle by presenting a book that is both optimistic and dire. The book carefully and methodically lays out the science behind climate change as well as ramifications and most importantly solutions. I read another book recently that focused more on the debate and about how the public is being manipulated by large corporations, PR firms and politicians. The information is important but I question how effective it is in swaying the public. "Our Choice" addresses this misinformation campaign but only after laying out a rock solid foundation for understanding the cause of climate change and means of combating it.

To those who accept the existence of global warming as a man made crisis it is incredibly frustrating to listen to people who simply dismiss all the science and claim that it's a big liberal conspiracy. Rather than cast aside deniers as hopeless or sling disparaging labels Al Gore does his best to reach out and try and speak their language. Global warming is a problem that has grown out of control because of distortions in the market. The actual price of our current fossil fuel based energy system is being hidden and so a true comparison of cost with a sustainable alternative energy system cannot be judged properly. The market only functions as designed when investors are able to analyze information accurately. One brilliant argument that Al Gore uses was something I had never considered before. There have been documents released showing that the oil industries own scientists concluded that global warming is a man made threat but company executives decided this information wasn't conducive to their business and buried it. But as Gore points out, publicly traded companies are legally required to present an honest assessment of the value of their stocks. Gore draws an analogy with the collapse in the value of subprime due to their lack of transparency. Likewise, the value of fossil fuel stocks are likely to be vastly overinflated because of an intentional effort to hide information damaging to their business model and although Gore never comes out and says it that sounds like a criminal offense to me. This is more than a lack of transparency; this is an active and ongoing suppression of information done to maintain stock values.

Even if you put aside global warming, modifying buildings to be energy efficient and creating a modern "smart grid" is a tremendous money saver that would pay for itself in a matter of a few short years. Moving towards clean energy would be a huge job creator and that should be appealing to just about everyone regardless of political leanings unless they literally work for oil and gas or take their money.

As someone who is a firm believer in the threat of global warming I am naturally inclined to look favorably on a book like this but I seriously do think it is extremely well done. Al Gore has a talent for relaying information without appearing preachy or accusatory. There will always be those who believe that Al Gore is a world class liar and discount anything he says but Al Gore cleverly appeals to peoples own self interest to convince them to give alternative energy a chance. There were a ton of surprising facts in the book that caught me by surprise. For instance I had no idea that the soil in rainforests is only nutrient rich on a thin top layer. It would seem to me that in an area so teaming with life that the soil would be thick with nutrients but apparently the denseness of the trees causes all the energy to get absorbed into the canopy. I found that fascinating and I found much of the book fascinating. The point is this book seems to hit its target in every way possible. It is about as entertaining as a book can be given the frightening subject matter. I unreservedly recommend this book to anyone who cares the least about the future of our planet.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Detailed Look At Climate Solutions, April 2, 2010
By 
Skip08 (California) - See all my reviews
This is a great book for a detailed look at the climate issues and climate solutions that are in front of us today. It can be at times, a bit tedious as it is a very analytical fact driven piece. However if you want a detailed look at the issues facing energy (solar, wind, nuclear, etc.) and our environment (soil, oceans, forests, etc.) then this is really what you need. Although a smaller touch, I really enjoyed the quotes and and insight offered periodically throughout the book. I definitely encourage anyone who is concerend about global warming and climate issues to read this book. In the end the book is an optimistic look at what is possible, and at the same time a sober reminder of what could be if we fail to act.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Solutions to Problem!, April 23, 2014
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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, January 28, 2014
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This review is from: Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis (Paperback)
This is a wonderful book, packed full of insightful information on both the scientific as well as political levels. Great to visualize the factors involved with climate change, which will aid in memory, as well as useful for ready reference.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting to compare with the app., January 11, 2013
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The paperback came out in 2009, and the app version came out in 2011. It's interesting to compare the two versions. Regardless of what you think of Gore or the topic of climate change caused by humans, the app in particular is interesting.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Choice is Slipping Away, December 22, 2014
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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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13 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read, May 11, 2010
By 
D. McAllister "D Mac" (Lake Oswego, OR United States) - See all my reviews
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I wager that the majority of the semi-literate reviewers who gave this book one star did not read it, but were merely parroting what they heard on Fox News or Rush Limbaugh about climate change, or engaging in ad hominem attacks on Al Gore. This is a very good read and a hopeful guide to our energy future. Why all the hate? Even if, through ignorance and anti-intellectualism, you don't agree that humans are causing global warming, why be against new technologies? Why oppose clean energy like wind, solar, and geothermal, that could reduce our dependence on foreign oil and reduce the likelihood of oil spills like the current one in the Gulf of Mexico? What reason is there to be against progress and entrepreneurs and new ideas? I don't get it - these alternative sources of energy make sense no matter what. Unless you work for an oil company, I suppose.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great information about global warming, March 9, 2014
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Al Gore certainly did his homework when it comes to global warming. This book has lots of great information about why we must act on it to change what we are doing to our environment.
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Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis
Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis by Al Gore (Paperback - November 3, 2009)
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