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Book Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth about the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity

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Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth about the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity

3.5 (2014)

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth about the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Hansen James(Author)

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In STORMS OF MY GRANDCHILDREN, Dr. James Hansen, the nation's leading scientist on climate issues, speaks out for the first time with the full truth about global warming: the planet is hurtling even more rapidly than previously acknowledged to a climatic point of no return. Although Hansen was Al Gore's science advisor for "An Inconvenient Truth," his recent data shows that our situation is even more dire today. But politicians haven't made the connection between the policy and the science. He shows why Gore's solution, cap and trade, won't work, why we must phase out all coal, and why 350 ppm of carbon is a goal we must achieve in the next two decades if our grandchildren are to avoid global meltdown and the storms of the book's title. This urgent manifesto bucks conventional wisdom (including the Kyoto Protocol) and is sure to stir controversy, but Hansen-whose climate predictions have come to pass again and again, beginning in the 1980s when he first warned Congress about global warming-is the single most credible voice on the subject worldwide.

Hansen paints a devastating but all-too-realistic picture of what will happen in the next year, and ten years from now if we follow the course we're on. But he is also an optimist, showing that there is still time to do what we need to do. Urgent, strong action is needed, and this book, released just before the Copenhagen Conference in December 2009, will be key in setting the agenda going forward to create a groundswell, a tipping point, to save humanity-and our grandchildren--from a dire fate more imminent than we had supposed.

2.3 (10894)
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Book details

  • PDF | 304 pages
  • Hansen James(Author)
  • Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (8 Dec. 2009)
  • English
  • 6
  • Science & Nature

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Review Text

  • By Tony Wrench on 21 April 2014

    James Hansen has devoted his life to the study of climate change, and this book tells to a lot of useful science that we don't hear much about, especially the concepts of energy imbalances and climate forcing. We must leave the coal in the ground by putting a fee on carbon and share out the proceeds. His proposals are simple and doable. Well woth a read and share.

  • By Lee Stone on 16 November 2014

    This is simply the most important book anyone can read. If you want to do something to prevent catastrophic climate change before it's too late (you have about 16 years), then you need to tell your politicians to stop coal being burnt by the energy industry. This is the only way and there is a proven alternative. This book explains how. If enough people demand this change, politicians will listen. Their careers depend on it. And your grandchildren's lives depend on it.

  • By Mamanez on 16 April 2017

    Bought as a gift and went down well

  • By Alan Neale on 10 January 2013

    The storms in this book's title refer to the extreme weather conditions the author's (and our) grandchildren will have to endure if business continues as usual. They might just as well refer to the political storms that brew up whenever anyone challenges the vested interests that keep business operating as usual, particularly in relation to energy production and use.The further one gets into the book, the clearer it becomes why James Hansen is seen as a bit of a maverick by some of his colleagues, and why he has become such a thorn in the side of the US political and corporate establishment. As a scientist, he combines rigour with breadth in developing an understanding of the complexity of climate systems and how they might change. And, unusually for a scientist, he is prepared to to follow up on that understanding and get involved in policy debates. You get a real sense of someone who is committed not only to uncovering the truth, but also to getting involved in the political process of making sure that the truth is acted upon.Confronted as we so often are with accusations that the predictions of climate models are unnecessarily alarmist, it is refreshing to read Hansen's assessment of their limitations. Far from being alarmist, he suggests, they systematically underestimate the risks of continued CO2 growth, by taking insufficient account of amplifying feedbacks and potential tipping points. He draws on palaeoclimatic evidence to identify areas where rapid climate change occurred in the past, and could recurr in the not too distant future - Greenland and Antarctica in particular. Here, Hansen argues, ice sheets could melt much faster, and produce much higher sea levels, than the linear trends suggested by the climate models on which IPCC projections have been based.Hansen's political journey started with attempts to convince US politicians of the urgency of the climate crisis, and he describes a number of high level presentations and discussions to which he contributed. What he came to realise was that the politicians would listen selectively - the more he emphasised the overwhelming importance of the link between fossil fuel consumption and climate instability, the more they would focus on some other aspect of his evidence, like the need for methane capture. Disillusion with the corrupting power of fossil fuel lobbyists soon set in, and he turned his attention to raising popular awareness, and getting involved with direct action against coal extraction.The book's policy proposals are often controversial, and always thought-provoking. Hansen's argument that fee-and-dividend is a better basis for carbon emission controls than cap-and-trade is a compelling one. More problematic, in my view, is his reluctance to consider measures to reduce energy demand (other than via efficiency improvements), or to manage demand in such a way as to balance the intermittency of most renewables. What he doesn't challenge is energy-intensive Western lifestyles. It is in this context that his pro-nuclear stance can be understood - if renewables are incapable of meeting the needs of those lifestyles, then, he argues, nuclear would be less damaging than coal or gas in filling the gap.I was also inspired by what the book revealed about James Hansen the human being. His commitment to the scientific process, and to ensuring the implications of its discoveries are heeded. The effort he puts into meeting the challenges of communicating complex ideas to an unresponsive and often suspicious public (including, towards the end of the book, a brief but illuminating sci-fi tale). The quiet pleasure he experiences, returning home from an operation for prostate cancer, to discover that the habitat he has created, with his grandchildren, to help Monarch butterflies on their long migration journey has been successful. And, above all, the responsibility he feels to do what he can to ensure that the environment his grandchildren will inherit as adults will be a livable one.'Storms of my grandchildren' was published 4 years ago, and climate science is a fast moving field, so some of the material can seem a bit dated now. But Hansen has set up a website, referenced at the end of the book, which regularly updates the key material. Taken together, book plus internet updates, this is definitely a 5-star package.

  • By David J Warden on 22 February 2014

    I researched this subject as thoroughly as I could in 2008 in order to give a layperson's talk on the subject. I read both sides of the debate - Monbiot, Lynas, Pat Michaels, Neil Lawson, Lomborg, Fred Singer, Roy Spencer, Robert Henson, James Lovelock and so on. It seemed to me at the time that the 'contrarians' (as Hansen dubs them) had the most persuasive case. Unfortunately, Hansen's 'Storms of my Grandchildren' was unavailable at the time. Hansen's book is very persuasive. He doesn't rely on climate modelling although he says these can be useful. Instead, his case is based on the paleoclimate record and he draws particular attention to the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum event 55m years ago when global warming of between 5-9 degrees Celsius occurred. Apparently one of the major forcings that led to this event was the subcontinent of India crashing into Asia. Hansen is quite certain that the climate is highly sensitive to increases CO2. He argues that if we continue 'business as usual' and burn every last drop of fossil fuels then melting of the ice sheets is inevitable. He writes that they are already being 'softened up' and that an ice-free planet means that sea level will rise 75 metres - 250 feet. This means that future generations will still be able to see the dome of St Paul's Cathedral (365ft) if that is any consolation. This rather puts the January 2014 floods into perspective. Hansen paints an even more dramatic picture of the future of Earth as a Venus-type planet with boiling oceans, as a result of all the amplifying feedbacks. Hansen argues that we need to switch to 'fourth generation' nuclear as quickly as possible and that we have billions of years supply of the necessary fuel. I note that another reviewer on here has contested Hansen's claims on nuclear. What next? I have another book on my shelf by Roy Spencer 'The Great Global Warming Blunder' (2010). Spencer is another NASA scientist who argues that burning fossil fuels may be beneficial. So there is no scientific consensus as yet. No wonder politicians talk green but act dirty on the climate. One thing I am sure about - it does no good to condemn your opponents as 'denialists'. Let's keep the debate going and move as quickly as possible to rational solutions, if indeed homo sapiens is rational enough to save itself and its own habitat.

  • By Charlie on 22 July 2014

    An extraordinary man and life. This book was a difficult, terrifying read but anyone who cares about the future, who has children they want to have a life for, then this book is required reading.Everyone I know is too tired, busy and overworked, chasing small economies and big luxuries, to care about the impending climate disaster. This book is a call to action.

  • By John Wilson on 1 February 2010

    A very honest plea from a man who knows probably better than most, the likely price the world will have to pay if we insist on 'business as usual'. If you want to understand the science, read this book. If you want to understand the unfortunacy of our 'democratic' system in action, read this book. If you are looking for an antidote to torpor and inaction, read this book.If you prefer a quiet life without challenging questions and confronting dilemmas, DON'T read this book.


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