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Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis Paperback – November 3, 2009
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“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
Top Customer Reviews
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: [...]
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.
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.