March 13, 2006
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The Weather Makers: How Man Is Changing the Climate and What It
Means for Life on Earth (Hardcover)
Terrorists, as we noted last week, aren't likely to do nearly the harm to the inhabitants of earth -- us -- as our destruction of the environment will. That is why we offered "Field Notes from a Catastrophe" last week, and today we are recommending "The Weather Makers," the best-selling book on destructive climate change by Australian Professor Tim Flannery.
Jared Diamond, who knows a thing or two about how external factors can cause the downfall of civilizations, says of "The Weather Makers," "At last, here is a clear and readable account of the most controversial issues facing everyone in the world today." No, he isn't speaking of the Bush/Cheney diversionary "war on terror"; Diamond is talking about something far more potentially destructive -- the lethal payback an environment gone awry is likely to give us.
This is why we should be setting up a crisis world task force, if there is still time. But, if you have non-reality-based Republicans running the only superpower on earth, our descent into ecological destruction is accelerating, not increasing.
A recent newspaper review noted: "Last month, Canadian scientists reported some scary news from the Arctic. Each year, sea ice cover is shrinking by nearly 30,000 square miles -- an area larger than Lake Michigan. Within 15 years, the Arctic could be ice-free in the summer for the first time in more than 1 million years.... But while global warming may be on the back pages of the newspapers, and on the way-back burners of the Bush administration, the topic fortunately isn't being ignored by book publishers... Among the scariest is The Weather Makers, by Tim Flannery, a writer, a scientist and an explorer. The book was a best seller in Flannery's native Australia, and it influenced the government there to change its environmental policies."
In a nation where fear mongers have played us like a fiddle, the "Weather Makers" details that they -- the global reality deniers -- are exacerbating the problem that could devastate not just America, but the entire earth.
Flannery is quite blunt, "If humans pursue a business-as-usual course for the first half of this century, I believe the collapse of civilization due to climate change becomes inevitable."
At one time, championing the environment was as American as apple pie in the United States. But due to a combination of Armageddon "It's All Going to End" right-wing religious fanaticism and "K Street" lobbying success with both parties, we find ourselves facing a ruinous future that few on Capitol Hill want to talk about. The White House is in deep, greedy denial -- and doing everything possible to prevent the likely catastrophe from becoming the subject of political debate.
Climate change will wreak havoc that Osama bin Laden could only dream about, yet Bush's "Ostrich" policies exacerbate the problem rather than trying to forestall it.
BuzzFlash is offering two superb and compelling books in a row on the looming environmental disaster that we will face.
As the jacket to the "Weather Makers" notes, "With one out of every five living things on this planet committed to extinction by the levels of greenhouse gases that will accumulate in the next few decades, we are now reaching a global climactic tipping point."
We continue to ignore this peril to our planet and ourselves.