Wednesday, February 01, 2006

BOOK REVIEW: The Weather Makers: How we are changing the climate and what it means for life on earth by Tim Flannery

"Earth's thermostat is a complex and delicate mechanism, at the heart of which lies carbon dioxide...."

Tim Flannery poses the question, "Is climate change a terrible threat or a beat-up?" A compelling premise for his new work, The Weather Makers: How we are changing the climate and what it means for life on earth.

Climate change has become a "hot button" issue in most western countries and the challenges to clear-headed debate are addressed near the beginning of this work: "...climate change is difficult to evaluate dispassionately because it entails deep political and industrial implications, and because it arises from the core processes of our civilization's success."

The central character of climate change is CO2--carbon dioxide. Everything we do on earth results in the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Humans now are weather makers by their very existence and growth as a species. Flannery authoritatively explains the interconnectedness of everything on the earth, likening it to the interconnectedness of the organs in a body. In such a system, pollutants cannot be forgotten for they continually work on the whole, degrading its health.

Flannery has combined his years of research and observation with the work of leading scientists. The result is an eloquent work that is readable yet not "dumbed down." The message is clear and compelling: what our species has done to the earth cannot be easily shunted to the side and forgotten. As he states, "the most important thing to realize is that we can all make a difference and help combat climate change at almost no cost to our lifestyle. And in this, climate change is very different from other environmental issues such as biodiversity loss or the ozone hole."

The Weather Makers is an important work for anyone interested in the future of our planet and should be required reading for today's political leaders.

See the review as it appears at Armchair Interviews - The Weather Makers

1 comment:

Lotus Reads said...

2005 saw some highly unusual weather patterns the world over and according to forecasts, 2006 will see more of that unusual weather. With that in mind, this book does seem very topical and I just might make a request for it at the local library.