South End Press 2007
Date finished: 2008-06-08
This book is a hard look at how much carbon emissions need to be cut and how society would need to be restructured. Monbiot focuses on the UK, and cites many studies and statistics from the UK government and NGOs. His findings are depressing: we need a 90% cut in emissions, but those cuts will be very difficult to achieve. Improving the efficiency of homes is possible with careful and extensive engineering; ground transportation may be feasible, but it'll require significant new public transport organized more optimally. Air travel seems impossible to fix: it burns so much carbon, and there's no good substitute for either the air travel or the kerosene it requires. Most likely it will simply become very expensive, something that takes years to save up for.
From my description the book might sound dry -- all facts and figures. The text is mostly facts and figures, but they're interesting ones to consider and setting out the problem like this makes you think of what solutions are required. (Is there an ad hoc way for people, possibly strangers, to coordinate car trips together? Will we shift back to eating fruit and vegetables in season?) The book is an excellent choice for suggesting the work of reducing emissions: planning years ahead, engineering work, and rearranging our lives will be needed.
%T Heat %S How To Stop The Planet From Burning %A Monbiot, George %@ 2008-06-08 %G ISBN 978-0-89608-779-8 %P 269pp %K weather, climate change %I South End Press %C Cambridge, Massachusetts %D 2007