Together in Spirit

An online reading group ('TIS a reading group!) to bring together friends, and friends of friends, who aren't able to be in a conventional reading group due to constraints of time or geography.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Climate, the science

Elizabeth Kolbert's book can hardly be said to be enjoyable, but it is a lively and concise account of the fairly current science behind the climate change concerns. Much of the information is found in the DVD by Al Gore, An Inconvenient Truth. Both highlight the problems of getting America and its soul mate Australia to cooperate. Both author and presenter are American. Interestingly, the American population are beginning to take their own initiative to change behaviours, maybe in a small way, in spite of their government. She presents a very persuasive argument to encourage us to take the almost overwhelming problem seriously. One could feel quite hopeless when the huge increase of coal to fuel the burgeoning Chinese economy is considered. However, I was left with the feeling that China has not closed its mind to seeking out solutions while still growing economically, so the scientists are on to it and solutions there are likely to be. But then, the irreversible temperature rise already in the pipeline could cause major flooding and extreme weather and....

It is a sobering thought that while we are in danger of thinking that whatever we do will be negated by China's economic expansion which is creating so much carbon dioxide, we happily allow our businesses to outsource to China for economic reasons, thus increasing the output of their coal burning power stations. A touch hypocritical I fear.