Skip to main content

Heat – A Book On Global Warming

Today I found an interesting summary review of the recently released book – Heat: How to Stop the Planet From Burning – about which David Suzuki said:

This book is a brilliant and terrifying critique of the crisis of human-induced climate change, and the prospects of stabilizing temperatures before catastrophic runaway warming ensues.

George Monbiot brushes aside our rationalizations to maintain the status quo, shallow targets and mechanisms, and the empty promises of political rhetoric and corporate PR spin, to examine the real opportunities and what has to be done to achieve up to 90 percent reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by the industrialized nations.

Source: Amazon.com: Heat: How to Stop the Planet From Burning: Books: George Monbiot

The review /summary I found is split over two good length posts by David Pollard and gives a good taste for where the author is going with his argument, from the first post…

From the outset, Monbiot makes clear that he’s not looking for a subsistence solution: He doesn’t believe any such solution can be ‘sold’ to the majority of the people in affluent nations, so he doesn’t propose to try. We need to retain, he says, our creature comforts, our political and economic freedoms, our right to health care and education and security and freedom from fear. The deadline for effective action to curb global warming, he argues, is 2030, and by then we need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 90%, nothing less.

Heat prescribes the least difficult and least painful means to do so. This includes:

  • dramatically improved ways to build homes and other buildings
  • the optimal mix of feasible renewable and non-renewable means of supplying energy to those buildings
  • radical changes to land transportation without significantly reducing mobility
  • a significant curtailing of air travel, since it is a major greenhouse gas contributor for which no satisfactory way of reducing emissions by 90% is available
  • mechanisms to reduce greenhouse gas emissions of the retail and cement industries by 90%

Source: How to Save the World

In the second post, David Pollard gets into some of the detailed aspects of the suggestions of the book.  All in all, a great summary review of a very topical book, and as Pollard notes, the solutions given are in all probability some of the best options available to the world to reduce the impacts of global warming and green house gas emissions, but in reality have no chance of being adopted. From an Amazon review, it appears that the book is fairly UK based in it’s position.

Head over to Amazon to order this one, it’s on my wishlist.

Mike Thomas

Mike Thomas P.Eng. ENV SP, is the author of UrbanWorkbench.com and Director of Engineering at the City of Revelstoke in the Interior of British Columbia, Canada. If I post something here that you find helpful as you navigate the world of engineering, planning and building communities, that’s wonderful. But when push comes to shove: This is my personal blog. The views expressed on these pages are mine alone and not those of my employer.