Books

“The End of Plenty “  by Joel K. Bourne 2015 Scribe Publications – The biggest near term threat from climate change is the collapse of nations unable to feed their people. Written by an agronomist turned writer for National Geographic the narrative pulls you along easily even though it is packed with facts. Bourne achieves a rare balance of pragmatism and compassion. A really important book.

“ This Changes Everything” by Naomi Klien 2015 – A hopeful book about driving change from the bottom up. A shot in the arm for activists and captures the growing ground swell dragging politicians to reality. Unfortunately it is a slog to read and relies too heavily on opinion and anecdote. Better to see the film now available on DVD. The website is a real trove of activist stories and ideas.

“Atmosphere of Hope” by Tim Flannery 2015 – Useful overview of where we need to go and canvases some options including geoengineering.

“Windfall-The Booming Business of Climate Change” Mackenzie Funk 2014 – Looks at how big business is exploiting climate change to move into food production and geoengineering. Largely anecdotal and pessimistic. A wake up to what is going on but not a balanced perspective.

“The Future” – Al Gore 2013 – Global overview of converging challenges

“Soil Water and Agronomic Productivity”  Rattan Lal 2012 – Academic tome with 60 expert contributors outlining the disastrous depletion of global ground water reserves.

“Climate Change: Science and solutions for Australia” CSIRO 2011 – Written by committee. Detailed but conservative.

“The End of Progress” GP Maxton 2011 – An examination of the failure of the market mechanism and how economic theory has been distorted to suit the interests of big capital.

“Meat : A benign extravagance” Simon Fairlie 2010 – An examination of the facts and exaggerations about the environmental footprint of meat consumption. Two thirds of agricultural land is not suitable for crops and grass is inedible to humans but feed lotting can be very wasteful.

“How to Cool a Planet” Jeff Goodall 2010 – Journalists review of Geoengineering by interviews with proponents and opponents. No modelling or technical analysis.

“Requiem for a Species” Clive Hamilton 2010 – Overview written in the cheeky style

“Water – the epic struggle for wealth power and civilisation” Steven Solomon 2010 builds a historical picture of how critical water is to our civilisation and how critical it will be in the coming age of water scarcity.

“Adapting Agriculture to Climate Change” 2010 CSIRO Stokes & Howden – A very detailed review for different industries with useful analysis and ideas but reads more like a report to government than a guide. The effect of extremes and particularly the shortening recovery period between extremes is inadequately covered due to lack of sufficient trend data at time of writing.

“Storms of my Grandchildren” James Hansen 2009 – An impassioned plea that does not pull punches or hide prospective impacts behind conservative estimates.

A Question of Balance” William Nordhaus 2008 – Economic modelling of Global warming policies. An examination of discount rates, environmental services, trading systems and carbon taxes

 

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