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Heat: How to Stop the Planet From Burning Paperback – March 1, 2009
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A GLOBE & MAIL BEST BOOK OF 2006
“Each furious chapter in Heat throws out more intellectual challenges by the page than the Canadian media does in a year. . . . Uncompromising in its message, intelligence and honesty. Parents. . . should consider it required reading.”
—The Globe and Mail
“Heat is funny and fully aware of its own self-delusions. . . . [Monbiot] understands that any campaign for a renewable and sustainable energy future is really a campaign against ourselves and the ways we choose to live our lives.” —Boston Globe
“The great thing about this book is that, while it contains much useful information about the cowardice and futile gesture-making of our elected politicians, it doesn't paint a completely bleak picture. . . . [Monbiot] does this all in a most winning way. For a doom-and-gloom merchant (which he isn't unless you have vested interests), he has quite a perky sense of humour. This is more than just a pleasant stylistic filigree. It shows that he can sympathise with the ordinary human reaction.” —The Guardian
“Heat is a well-written and well-argued attack on pernicious corporations, governmental spin and individual complacency and shows that the only possible solution is a drastic reduction in our consumption of carbon-intensive products and services.” —Observer
“Heat is a solidly researched manifesto for change. . . . The combination of practical detail and creative thinking is immensely impressive.” — Guardian (UK)
“Heat is a comprehensive and compelling examination of the measures needed to deal with this, our most pressing environmental problem.” —The Scotsman
“A cogently argued book that is easily the best of the latest climate-change crop.” —Observer (UK)
“Monbiot’s research, complete with an up-to-date forward to the Canadian edition, is thorough, footnoted and detailed. This is not just another attempt to convince you global warming is happening and leave you there. In an engaging and accessible way, Monbiot outlines what can and should be done about it.” — Edmonton Journal
“A book that anyone who thinks they know what should be done about global warming must read.”
—John Gray, in The New Statesman
“I was hooked right away. It's by far the best single source on climate change that I've read: rigorously researched, honestly argued, and very well written.”
— Ronald Wright, author of A Short History of Progress
“With a dazzling command of science and a relentless faith in people, George Monbiot writes about social change with his eyes wide open. I never miss reading him.”
— Naomi Klein, author of No Logo
“This book is a brilliant and terrifying critique of the crisis of human-induced climate change, and the prospects of stabilizing temperatures before catastrophic runaway warming ensues. George Monbiot brushes aside our rationalizations to maintain the status quo, shallow targets and mechanisms, and the empty promises of political rhetoric and corporate PR spin, to examine the real opportunities and what has to be done to achieve up to 90 percent reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by the industrialized nations.”
“George Monbiot has written a stunning book. It could easily be titled The End of Hypocrisy, because Monbiot systematically unveils the denial, deceit, and self-delusion that are our common responses to the enormous challenge of global warming. . . . Then with a step-by-step plan grounded in the latest research he explains how we can achieve a 90 percent reduction–in our vehicles, factories, retail centres, and homes–without wrecking our standard of living. When it comes to global warming, it’s time to stop being hypocrites and get on with saving the planet, and this book shows us how.”
—Thomas Homer-Dixon, author of The Ingenuity Gap and The Upside of Down
“Monbiot is ahead of the pack. Instead of just warning us about climate change, he lays out clearly and engagingly what we can still do to stop it. This powerful book is for anyone serious about confronting what appears to be the most urgent crisis of our time.”
—Linda McQuaig, author of War, Big Oil, and the Fight for the Planet: It’s the Crude, Dude
"An engaging, lively, and sometimes fiery analysis of the possible technological and political responses to the crisis of climate change, that starts where so much of the debate remains stalled. To those who say that the requirements of the Kyoto protocol are impossible to meet, Monbiot responds not only that it is possible to hit far, far more ambitious targets, but that it is urgently imperative that we do so. And then he shows how.”
—David Chernushenko, deputy leader, Green Party of Canada, and climate change critic.
“Avoiding disastrous climate change is the central challenge of our time. George Monitor addresses it with wit, verve, and rigor. He shows that all of our excuses for inaction are just that — excuses. If you care about the future of the planet, you should read Heat, and then give a copy to a friend.”
—Elizabeth Kolbert, author of Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change.
Praise for George Monbiot’s work:
“George Monbiot knows not only that things ought to change, but also that they can change. . . . At last, the global movement has found a vision as expansive and planet-wide as that of the American neoconservatives.”
—Independent on Sunday
“As he well says, if we do not like his ideas, then think of better ones. He believes that leaving things as they are is not a serious option.”
“Monbiot is a writer of eloquence and passion. . . . The most astute political and ecological cartographer of his time.” —Observer
“Appealing, provocative and idealistic … shows that alternatives are possible.”
“We need people like Monbiot more than ever before.”
“Not only challenges us to question the status quo, but also inspires us to want to change it.”
“The originality of this thought makes him uniquely influential.”
—The Times (London) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Inside Flap
We know that climate change is happening.
We know it could, if the worst predictions come true, destroy the conditions which make human life possible.
Only one question is now worth asking:
Can it be stopped?
George Monbiot shows it can.
For the first time, Heat demonstrates that we can achieve the necessary cut--a 90% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030--without bringing civilization to an end. Though written with a "spirit of optimism," Monbiot does not pretend it will be easy. Our response will have to be immediate, and it will have to be decisive.
With dazzling intellect and ample wit, Monbiot supports his proposals with a rigorous investigation into what works, what doesn't, how much it costs, and what the problems might be. He shows us how we can transform our houses, our power, and our transportation systems. By showing that we can save our biosphere without losing our comfort and security, he sweeps away the perpetual excuse for doing nothing: that it would be too painful and expensive to sustain life on Earth. And he is not afraid to attack anyone--friend or foe--whose claims are false or whose figures have been fudged. His exciting, disturbing ideas expose corporate disinformation campaigns, inflated expectations for emerging technologies, and the cowardice of our politicians.
Monbiot observes, "We are the last generation that can make this happen, and this is the last possible moment at which we can make it happen." There is no time to waste.
Inspiring, original, burning with fury and disgust, this book could change the world. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Since writing this review I have come across another very important book on energy policy -A Question of Balance: Weighing the Options on Global Warming Policies by the Yale economist, William Nordhaus. This book looks at the trade-offs of various approaches to ameliorating global warming using computer modeling to forecast the cost and results. A gradually increasing carbon tax, maximal participation by all nations and industries and support for alternative energy research come out best. The Gore approach (which is similar to Monbiot's) of stringent carbon restriction from the start ends up costing much more to reach the same results which surprised me.
He examines electricity production, transportation, housing and in some case examples, retail stores and concrete production. Relying on government reports, think tanks and other sources he discovers that it may "just" be possible, so long as a society we approach it like we did WWII, with a massive and focused effort and some sacrifices. Except for long distance travel (by air, train or ship), everything else it should be possible, says Monbiot, to reduce by 90%.
Monbiot mainly addresses England. However, England is one of the worlds best organized countries politically and economically, so anything difficult for England is going to nearly impossible for other nations - can Georgia or Belarus or Chile or China reduce carbon emissions by 90%? It is a global problem and Monbiot doesn't look beyond England and the US, thus it is difficult to see how the entire world can turn around in such a short period of time. There are big areas that Monbiot does not address, such as agriculture. He also does not look at "climate surprises" or tipping points, where a little CO2 increase by humans triggers a massive CO2 release in nature (see Fred Pearce With Speed and Violence: Why Scientists Fear Tipping Points in Climate Change).
Monbiot is optimistic solutions are available, but I found his solutions so politically difficult to implement, and nearly impossible globally, I came away even more depressed about our prospects. However, one thing is clear, we have no choice but to try.
Most recent customer reviews
the whole world should read this book
when will we wake up???
addresses all the effects of global warming
a must read
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