The Burning Question: We can't burn half the world's oil, coal and gas. So how do we quit?

Mike Berners-Lee & Duncan Clark. Greystone Books (HarperCollins Canada, Canadian dist.; PGW, U.S. dist.), $16.95 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-1-77164-007-7
Although constrained by brevity, this book serves as an introductory discussion of the great pressing issue of our era. In the first four sections, carbon emissions researcher Berners-Lee (How Bad Are Bananas?: The Carbon Footprint of Everything) and environmental journalist Clark (The Rough Guide to Green Living) describe the crisis—available reserves of fossil fuels contain more than enough carbon to force the global climate in new and almost certainly destructive directions if burned. Combined with our apparent determination to burn every possible ounce of fossil fuel and our proven ability to sabotage mitigation efforts, this is ominous news for humanity and many of the species sharing the planet with us. The fifth section details some steps that might succeed in limiting the scope of the consequences of our actions. The authors' prose is clean and clear and their organization is sensible and well documented, backed up with a detailed index. Unfortunately, this short book denies the authors the opportunity to develop their arguments in the depth they deserve. More appetizer than main course, it is nevertheless recommended to those new to this topic. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 11/18/2013
Release date: 10/01/2013
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