From the book jacket: A
brilliant examination of the most challenging
environmental and political crisis this civilization has
ever faced; Gelbspan shows not only the seriousness of
climate disruption, but also how it could be deflected
at huge savings to the public.
Comment: To see that global warming is effecting our weather patterns, look at the insurance industry. During the 1980s insurance companies in the USA lost an average of $2 billion a year to weather extremes, but this rose to an average of $12 billion a year in the 1990s. The United Nations estimate that in this decade the annual losses to the global economy from climate impacts will approximate $150 billion a year.
Climate change is not an issue for tomorrow but something that is effecting the world today, and is integrally connected with most of the key economic issues facing the world, such as disease and terrorism. Across the world increasing temperatures are leading to growth in diseases - for example, malaria, and other mosquito borne diseases, are spreading outside their normal territory as winter temperatures fail to fall low enough to kill the larvae, eggs and adult mosquitoes. Renewable energy would dramatically reduce our dependency on the Middle East, an area that will likely become more volatile as oil reserves start to be exhausted. Also, more locally generated energy would make the electricity grid a far less strategic target for terrorists.
So what is the world doing about global warming? Outside the US the debate as to whether humanity is having an effect on global warming is pretty much over, and countries have moved into action. For example Holland plans to cut emissions by 80% in 40 years, the UK and Germany have committed to cut emissions by 60% in 50 years. So what is the USA government doing? The short answer is othing; actually worse than nothing. The good news is that the federal government doesn't hold all the power and many states in the union are taking things into their own hands. More than thirty states have either developed--or are already implementing--programs to reduce their carbon emissions; and in 2003 seven states actually filed a lawsuit against the federal government for refusing to regulate carbon dioxide through the Environmental Protection Agency.
As always, don't take my word for it, instead form your own opinion by reading the extensive (and I believe exclusive to BookBrowse) excerpt from Boiling Point.
This review is from the November 9, 2005 issue of BookBrowse Recommends. Click here to go to this issue.
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