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Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity Hardcover – December 8, 2009
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Starred Review. Hansen, director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, lays all the cards on the table in this thorough, detailed analysis of the history, science and politics of climate change, a Silent Spring-style warning cry that predicts "a rough ride" for our grandchildren. Using numerous charts and graphs alongside accessible explanations, Hansen presents copious climate data for a broad audience. After discussing the recent history of global warming science, from the Climate Task Force of 2000 to his up-to-the-minute carbon dioxide limit of 350ppm, Hansen provides recommendations for achieving greenhouse gas reduction, as well as strategies for reducing or eliminating fossil fuel use: "For the sake of our children and grandchildren, we cannot allow our government to continue to connive with the coal industry in subterfuges that allow dirty-coal use to continue." The most significant step, he says, would be creating a cost structure that escalates cost as carbon emissions increase. With of-the-moment discussion of topics such as climate vs. weather (addressing in particular the cool U.S. summer of 2009), cap-and-trade vs. fee-and-dividend, and climate change politics as well as activism, this is certain to be as controversial as it is informative. Hansen's message is stirring as well as urgent, and should be required reading for anyone involved in public policy.
*Starred Review* Climatologist Hansen, director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and an internationally renowned global-warming expert, became even more famous when he was censored by the Bush administration. After decades of studying the role fossil fuels play in global warming and witnessing the federal government’s failure to take action to lower carbon emissions, he felt compelled to write his first book out of concern about the potentially catastrophic future facing his grandchildren. Hansen condemns governmental “greenwashing” and the undue influence of more than 2,300 energy lobbyists, and attempts to close the gap “between public perception and scientific reality” by lucidly explaining the dynamics of global warming, its acceleration, and how a slight rise in temperature can lead to disastrous consequences. He then boldly declares that the way to solve the climate crisis is to “rapidly phase out coal emissions.” How will we meet our energy needs without coal? Hansen tells the “secret story” of the jettisoned “fast” nuclear reactor, a safer and more efficient reactor than those currently in use, and advocates for its resurrection. Rich in invaluable insights into the geopolitics as well as the geophysics of climate change, Hansen’s guaranteed-to-be-controversial manifesto is the most comprehensible, realistic, and courageous call to prevent climate change yet. It belongs in every library. --Donna Seaman
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We have killed millions to bring about a consumerist society that supports corporations and leaders that wait out the need to act out of money or to bring about an end result. So I guess people are here then to watch the world die . Anything we come up with, will not be compare to the mystique and wonder that was seen by Thoreau,Emerson, and Muir. It will be gone out of stupidity and elected leaders that abuse power, serving or believing in whatever creation that they created that is so much more important than the planet. If humans had as much focus on the planet as being politically correct or going to work, I'm sure this issue would have been resolved ages ago. It's a self-mutilation while others watch or don't care because there is texting, watching television, and jobs to go to. Meanwhile, it will happen in their life time. The window is closing. They will want an answer. Come up with a good one if we are still alive and the planet isn't Venus.
Thanks for your effort James
I also learned about CCL (Citizens Climate Lobby) through Dr. Hansen. CCL supports a carbon "fee and dividend" where those who emit carbon pay a fee and that fee is given directly to every U.S. citizen in the form of a monthly dividend. Conservatives are warming up to the idea since the fees don't go to the government.
Dr. Hansen is a true hero.
Hansen has been correct in his predictions for 30 years, while everyone else said he was on the fringe and too radical.
If a stock broker could be as accurate as James, everyone would be his client.
Dr. Hansen has given us a carefully researched description of what is going to happen as a result of our failure to halt the use of fossil fuel, which we can ignore only at our children's and grandchildren's peril, but ignore it I am very much afraid we will.
James Howard Kunstler, in two non-fiction volumes, The Long Emergency and Too Much Magic: Wishful Thinking, Technology, and the Fate of the Nation, and two novels, World Made by Hand and its sequel The Witch of Hebron, has presented his view of what America will be like by about 2050 when the world's supply of fossil fuels is exhausted (except for those which would require as much or more energy to extract and refine as could be supplied by the refined product). The combination of non-fiction description and fictional portrayal is highly effective in getting his point across. Dr. Hansen has given us a brief (8½ page) fictional look at Earth some centuries after the fall of civilization described and portrayed by Kunstler, when the positive feedback of greenhouse gas buildup has taken its course, and it is not a pretty picture. There is a novel by John Barnes, Mother of Storms, which gives an excellent portrayal of a super-storm such as Dr. Hansen tells us will become commonplace with a few more degrees of global warming. It complements this book quite nicely, and I recommend that, after reading this, you read Barnes.
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I have given copies to friends and others who need to know.
Thank you for helping us understand the climate chaos, and for taking...Read more
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