I try to balance my reading between light, religious and political and so following on from Stevie G's autobiography, A Short history of Tractors in Ukrainian and Spirituality Revolution I'm now reading Heat- How to Stop the Planet Burning, by George Monbiot.
Monbiot closes his introduction by writing,
'I have one purpose in writing this book: to persuade you that climate change is worth fighting. I hope I have been able to demonstrate that it is not... too late. I hope to prompt you to...force our government to reverse their policies.
Failing all that, I have one last hope: that I might make people so depressed about the state of the planet that they stay in bed all day, thereby reducing their consumption of fossil fuels.'
The subsequent chapter is terrifying and if you are not that bothered about climate change or worse naively contest its existence, you need to read this chapter. Although my work is committed to the development sector I'm increasingly thinking that global warming should be the primary concern of humanity. Monbiot argues convincingly that unless greenhouse gases are cut by 90% by 2030 the planet will begin to shutdown; glaciers will disappear, lands will flood, essential crops will not grow, ecosystems will fail and disease will spread on an unprecedented scale.
The problem is that the negative effects of global warming are distant but the consequences of showing environmental concern are immediate (sacrificing those holidays, walking the extra mile etc) and people are simply not willing to make the sacrifice. For the first time in the history of humanity we (the west) have all the resources we need and do not need to search or fight for energy; why would we give all this up?
Anyway, the book is a really important read. Not only does Monbiot know his stuff, he also has a plan of action about where we should be headed and how we can realistically cut emissions by 90%, making this not just a good book, it's a manifesto!