Environment, Climate, Extinction.
Subtitled ‘The Life (or Death?) of Planet Earth’, this extensively researched book was written by a man who has worked for 35 years at the BBC Natural History Unit, often working with David Attenborough. So, someone who has personally witnessed the decline of nature all over the world.
The nineteen chapters are illustrated, mostly with his own pictures, and captions, some humorous to lighten the very serious message contained within the pages.
This is an important contribution to the continuing debate about both climate change and the coming mass extinction. Both topics that should be at the top of every school curriculum and every Parliamentary debate. There is a simple message here, among the many facts, details, and accounts he presents; if we fail to address these two issues seriously, nothing else will matter from the point of view of humanity, as we will almost certainly render the planet uninhabitable for our species (and many others). Yes, it is as stark as that.
We have run out of time for discussion about ‘if and suppose’. We have already reached some of the first tipping points predicted by those who first started investigating these matters way back in the middle of the last century. It is now known that the fossil fuel industry has long known of the detrimental effects their activities have upon both climate and the natural world. But, just like the Tobacco Industry did with their injurious product, the oil, coal, and gas industries have buried their evidence for decades.
This is a book everyone should read. Certainly, every politician, business tycoon, millionaire, and billionaire should read it. They, after all, are a prime cause of the problems. There are other organisations to blame, too: religions that demand their followers reproduce heavily to increase their sect numbers, ignoring the fact that human overpopulation is a prime mover in climate change and the decline of the natural world; various national states with similar policies of population increase; and the many frightened, ill-informed, selfish, deluded deniers, including those with a vested interest in maintaining the status quo regardless of the cost to humanity and many, many other species.
The book is well set out, and divided into sections dealing with the many different aspects of the coming emergencies. It is written in an accessible ‘chatty’ style, but the research that has gone into it is anything but casual. Having performed similar research for my own novel, I’m fully aware of the very real dangers humanity faces if we fail to make serious, considered, essential changes to our lifestyles, and to do so now. We have run out of time to speculate, argue, debate, or to simply ignore the situation and hope it will ‘go away’.
I’ll present you with just one simple prediction made by the United Nations General Assembly: By 2030 (8 years from now) 40% of the world’s population will have insufficient fresh water for drinking or to grow food. That’s around 3,172,000,000 people. Does anyone imagine these people are going to simply lie back and die without a fight? The obvious result of such a shortage is war, probably on a global scale. It really is that simple.
You can obtain a copy of this book free if you live in the UK, at a cost of £5 P&P for the rest of Europe, and £10 P&P for the Rest of the World.
[Any review is a personal opinion. No reviewer can represent the view of anyone else. The best we can manage is an honest reaction to any given book.]