Atmosphere of hope Searching for solutions to the climate crisis

Tim F. Flannery, 1956-

Book - 2015

Explains the fast-approaching climate crisis while drawing on the latest scientific findings to outline promising clean technologies involving soft geo-engineering.

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New York : Atlantic Monthly Press [2015]
Main Author
Tim F. Flannery, 1956- (author)
Physical Description
xix, 245 pages ; 24 cm
Includes bibliographical references (pages 217-238) and index.
  • Introduction
  • Part 1. Climate Science
  • Chapter 1. The Weather Makers: Right or Wrong?
  • Chapter 2. The Waters of a Warming World
  • Chapter 3. Ominously Acidic Oceans
  • Chapter 4. How Are the Animals Doing?
  • Chapter 5. The Great Climatic Event Horizon
  • Part 2. The Knife Blade We Perch On
  • Chapter 6. The Great Disconnect
  • Chapter 7. Coal: Decline of a Giant
  • Chapter 8. What Future, Oil?
  • Chapter 9. Gas: Last Hurrah or Bridge to the Future?
  • Chapter 10. Divestment and the Carbon Bubble
  • Chapter 11. Where's Nuclear?
  • Chapter 12. Sunlight and Wind: Winning the Race
  • Chapter 13. At Last, EVs
  • Part 3. Fight for the Future
  • Chapter 14. Adapting?
  • Chapter 15. Geoengineering: A Way Out?
  • Chapter 16. The Gigatonne Challenge
  • Chapter 17. Silicate Rocks, Cement and Smart Chemistry
  • Chapter 18. The New Carbon Capture and Storage
  • Chapter 19. The 2030 Challenge
  • Chapter 20. Deadline 2050
  • Chapter 21. The Growing Power of the Individual
  • Envoi
  • Organisations Fighting for a Better Climate
  • Acknowledgements
  • Endnotes
  • Index
Review by Booklist Review

When it comes to climate change, the writing on the wall is increasingly difficult to ignore. With extreme summers in Europe, the drought and wildfires in the American West, and seesawing weather patterns around the globe, sneak peeks at worst-case scenarios are already making headlines. Scientist and prolific writer Flannery (An Explorer's Notebook, 2014), who was head of the Australian Climate Change Commission until he was fired by the conservative government, then reinstated as the country's chief climate spokesperson by a crowd-funded, social-media-fueled coalition, suggests a third way set of solutions that capitalizes on the earth's own carbon-capture possibilities as a path out of the crisis. Seaweed farming as a carbon-sequestration technique is just one of many examples. Although the distinction between this third way approach and geoengineering is fuzzy at times, this is an informative tour of promising multipronged approaches to one of humanity's biggest challenges. Flannery's solution-focused quest is especially timely with the UN Paris summit being held later this year, in which the political will to do the right thing will be severely tested.--Apte, Poornima Copyright 2015 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review

Flannery, author of the best-selling Weather Makers, which addresses what global warming may bring, revisits in this book the most important of these issues, and in addition, deals with ways that their deleterious effects can be ameliorated or even improved upon. He reviews the coal, gas, oil, wind, electric vehicle, and solar energy industries, ruminates on their futures, and offers a wealth of specific facts. Thus, he is an articulate generalist yet also provides particulars. Much of his description of methods to combat the buildup of CO2 and other chemicals is technical. Terms such as gigawat, albedo, cell grazing, biochar, anthropocene, the third way, and many others are explained when they first appear, but there are enough so that a glossary seems necessary. Also, some of the solutions -Flannery proposes, such as seeding the entire stratosphere using an array of approaches, are so vast, complex, uncertain, and expensive that the reader may see them as fantasies, though granted, there may be no easy answers to the problems the author investigates. VERDICT Highly recommended for all concerned with environmental problems, climate change, geology, pollution, business and corporations, weather, chemistry, and related fields.-Henry T. Armistead, formerly with Free Lib. of Philadelphia © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

Flannery (An Explorer's Notebook: Essays on Life, History, and Climate, 2014, etc.) argues for renewed optimism in human capabilities to reverse the destabilizing effects of climate change.For years, the author has been in the forefront of spreading the warning of climate change's dire consequences to a broad audience. "This book describes in plain terms our climate predicament," he writes, "but it also brings news of exciting tools in the making that could help us avoid climate disaster." Flannery sees a decided change in governmental responsibility since the Copenhagen Accord of 2009, which suggested the possibility of international political cooperation, and the marginalization of the deniers, whom he finds "perverse. Even grotesque." The author makes it abundantly clear where we standthat we are far from achieving the 2 percent solution to global warmingbut that there is also diverse, effective, and innovative activity toward cutting carbon dioxide emissions. This is occurring on the individual frontthrough digital interconnectedness and direct action such as disinvestment campaignsand through the adoption of a long-view, "third way" of implementing projects that stimulate natural systems to draw the gas out of the air and oceans at a faster rate than we produce it. Flannery crisply outlines what is now known and conjectured about the human influence on climate change, exploring the long ragweed season, the nutritional degradation of crops, and the acidification of the oceans. There are roadblocks to alternative energy sourcesas Ralph Nader noted, "the use of solar energy has not been opened up because the oil industry does not own the sun"but Flannery also finds that money will drive the wind and solar power sources as they rapidly become more efficient. He also puts fracking under great scrutiny, and he makes an intriguing case for the capture and storage of the byproducts of the damage already done. A sharp summary of energy potentialities, where the good and the bad reside in human hands, hearts, and minds. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.