Reflections on George Monbiot’s “Heat: How to stop the planet from burning”


Reflections on George Monbiot’s “Heat: How to stop the planet from burning”


If you want to read a thoroughly researched book on Global Warming and the steps we can take to avoid it Heat is it. 

Monbiot works with targets on the more stringent side of spectrum as he tries to remain optimistic about our ability to limit the amount of green house gases we release in to the atmosphere. 

The required cuts in greenhouse gas emissions are necessary to prevent certain other feedbacks in the climate system that will accelerate global warming.  If we aren’t able to limit the amount of CO2 and other pollution in the atmosphere the consequences are reminiscent of those found in the book of revelation:  Massive loss of sea life, failed forests, rivers drying up, intense heat, global conflict etc…

The solutions he purposes would require such a radical transformation of our society it is hard to believe any nation would have the stones to do it.  It isn’t that we couldn’t make the changes, we could.  It would require an operation larger than the global effort to defeat the Axis powers in WWII.    The changes required run smack against our individualism and materialism.  I’m betting most people don’t want to give up their cars for public transport and 90% of their air travel.

It seems nigh unto impossible with all the factors at play.

Most of the populace is too busy thinking about themselves and their next purchase
Certain elements of the oil industry have managed to confuse the issue
Our governments have the testicular fortitude of a neutered gnat.

As I weighed all this in my mind my emotional response has been something like Private Hudson in the movie Aliens.

“thats great, thats just &*%$ great man, now what the $%&* are we supposed to do, were in real pretty (*&% now man…that’s it man, its game over man, its game over, what the *&%$ are we going to do now?  what are we going to do?”

The immortal words of Bill Paxton haunt us as he asks the question of the hour.  What are we going to do?  Most of the people I’ve talked to remain in a vaguely sceptical form of comfortable inertia.  They aren’t convinced global warming is a problem nor have they studied the issue to the point of arriving at an informed opinion.  Some live in denial choosing to accept the soothing words of oil industry shills.  Some are clouded by the perception that this is a left wing issue put forward by left wing moonbats.  Yet some others grudgingly accept the reality of global warming but choose not to think about it.

I don’t normally directly appeal to the people that read this blog but you need to get informed on this issue.  If you are sceptical then read both sides and read the rebuttals on each point.  We can’t ignore this issue because the consequences of being wrong are horrible.  If the general public remains comfortably disengaged  on this issue we are screwed.

  1. #1 by Jadon on July 17, 2007 - 11:35 pm

    A recent Star Phoenix editorial mentioned that people in Saskatchewan use more pesticide and use their cars more because of our population density, so they don’t feel the effects that Toronto or Montreal do.

    I think that’s part of the problem. Saskatchewan people often get too comfortable and too reluctant to do anything substantial.

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