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Last Chance: Preserving Life on Earth (Speaker's Corner) Hardcover – September 1, 2009
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Americans need to realize that the threat from global warming is real and they need to support green-energy options, the head of a national wildlife organization said Thursday. Larry J. Schweiger, president and chief executive of the National Wildlife Federation with 4 million members, sais that "the world is in a very dangerous place" and too many Americans are unaware of the potential consequences. Schweiger said that he was not trying to be an alarmist but the science of global warming- more than 10,000 studies in all, he said- is "alarming...and a very disturbing trend." "It's not conjecture on my part," he said. "It's real science." If Americans continue to rely heavily on oil and gas, the threat of global warming grows, but those consequences will be less severe if people move toward green-energy options, including solar, wind and geothermal, said Schweiger, author of a new book, "Last Chance: Saving Life on Earth." Global warming will have a big effect on wildlife, too, Schweiger said. Between 20 and 30 percent of animal and plant species are at risk if annual average temperature increases 2.2 to 4 degrees. If the temperature increases by more than 7.2 degrees, the world would lose 40 to 70 percent of its species, he said. Schweiger asks us to support the American Clean Energy Act, which soon will be up for debate in the Senate, and called for American support for an international agreement on climate change in Denmark later this year. --Akron Beacon Journal (August 21, 2009) of Akron, OH by Bob Downing
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Top customer reviews
It's not, he argues, that the Earth will destroyed but rather our lifestyles are in danger, with no one to blame but ourselves.
He examines what has happened to various ecological systems around the world, including the Great Lakes and Greenland, and concludes that we hae the power to at least mitigate the worst damage, even if we can't fully stop climate change. Using Lake Erie as one small example, he notes that industrial activities, which fed our economy for many years, also left behind severely damaged ecosystems, harming fish, poisoning the water and air and making the waters often unusable for healthy purposes. A mix of science and advocacy based on fact, combined with a lack of hyperbole makes this book all the more powerful. The writing is clear, as is his message: act now or leave behind a planet, and its people, in far worse condition than we found it.
Anyone wishing to really understand global warming should start with this enjoyable, easy to read and well researched book. It is neither right nor left leaning, but scientific and beautifully heartfelt. If you read it - and especially if you take a little time to read some of the studies he mentions - you will have a solid understanding of the issue, without the politicized garbage politicians and talk show hosts spew on the topic.
Schweiger quotes Proverbs "A good man [person] leaves an inheritance for our children's children". Last Chance is a must read for anyone who cares about the world we will leave to them.
Larry Schweiger - LAST CHANCE
Larry Schweiger is a much respected environmental leader. He is known for taking on epic battles. Global climate change is certainly the largest battle of our times. In LAST CHANCE the battle lines are clear - they extend from every human to the systems that sustain life on earth. While the complexity of climatic variables like feedback effects are imperfectly known, climate scientists are overwhelmingly and alarmingly of one mind - humanity is in trouble. Many of my colleagues in the science community believe it is the scientist's job to report the facts and nothing but the facts. But what is the scientist to do when the preponderance of evidence clearly suggests that the planet is in trouble? Schweiger's book provides the answer. It is time for everyone to act - the scientist, the politician, the consumer, the activist, the parent and every person interested in a sustainable future. It may well be our last chance.
I finished reading Larry's book last night. It is the optimum mix of precise science, engaging storytelling, political history, and above all the orbital view required to see the critical interconnections of planetary systems. Lest anyone still believe that global climate change will result in simple sea level rise and more storms in the coastal regions, Larry documents the fundamental disruptions that will rip the ecosystem anchors from their complex moorings. These disruptions will leave no major ecosystem intact.
For years, I have been mystified why the science is so clear and yet 53% of Wyoming citizens [my home state] still don't see the connections between their extravagant energy use and the melting glaciers of the Wind River Range. This book explains the mystery.
What a writer! What a book! Last Chance is not just another pessimistic environmental diatribe but an action guide that conveys optimism and direction. Absent from most of the debate on global climate change is hope for our children. LAST CHANCE heralds the hope for our children and a sustainable biosphere. The denizens of denial will realize the truth and power in this book. It is our responsibility to first spread this message as far and as wide as we can.