Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Book Review, Storms of My Grandchildren, The Truth About The Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity, by James Hansen
The two sub-titles of this powerful book will be, I think, enough to make you sit up and take notice. If you don't have time to read all the 300+pages, I suggest you read at least the preface and the first two chapters, then skim the next several parts, which are loaded with graphs and scientific data that give the rationale and prove the truth of the claims and warnings that the author gives us. Then read the last half carefully, returning to the parts skimmed if you doubt any of Hansen's assertions or think his urgent warnings and predictions are unfounded.
Hansen's including the names and photos of his own grandchildren gives the book a personal touch, and surely most of the readers have grandchildren or know children of that age. Now is a good time to think of the future and to take seriously the predictions and warnings given by scientists such as James Hansen and others throughout the world. What they say is often prefaced by "when" and not "if." In our day the number of people is growing who are finally waking up to the reality of global warming and climate change, especially as reports of vicious storms, deaths and destruction fill the media. But the slowness to take action is motivated by the lack of "political will", with politics and governments listening more to large corporations such as those dealing with oil, coal, or other fossil fuels than to world scientists whose assertions are based on fact. These corporations devote a large portion of their wealth on employing armies of highly paid lobbyists whose "mission" is to convince government leaders, (who have the power to change present practices), to continue "business as usual, " than to scientific facts. The principal motivation is money.
Hansen gives a devastating view of what will happen in the near future, mere decades and years from now, if we follow the course we're on. For the readers who are not directly involved in government, the best action we can do is threefold: to decrease our own "carbon imprint" and to demand our government leaders to be instrumental in radically influencing (even forcing) our large corporations to conform to the norms that will necessarily be forthcoming. Offer support to President Obama's attempts to follow world scientists' recommendations, rather than to Republican opposition. Our votes do count.