Book Reviews: Environmental, Military and Political
Heat by George Monbiot
Read by Tracy in June 2011
Tracy recommends as a positive look at addressing climate change
With a recent explosion in books discussion climate change, global warming and the catastrophe the world faces, it is interesting to read a book that attempts to answer the question of “what do we do to stop it”. Monbiot does not believe there is one solution and he doesn’t attempt to come up with one, instead he works within our economic and political boundaries that ensure we have the freedom to make our own decisions. A lot of papers indicate that 2030 is the year for decision action to be decided and taken in relation to our planet but in the meantime there are some easy steps we can take that have a huge impact i.e. building efficiently, optimal mix of renewable/non-renewable energies, transportation initiatives and strong government to impose changes as voluntary actions have been far from encouraging. Interestingly Monbiot is not always on the side of green industries arguing against some of their philosophies as unrealistic and idealistic. The aim of the book is to get people to push government to introduce the required measures earlier rather than later. I did my Masters in Carbon Trading, and Monbiot’s ideas about a second currency for carbon rationing may be a little altruistic, but I believe we need multiple systems to provide an affordable global option. I also fundamentally believe that the construction and building industry can make significant changes by implementing quality standards and enforcing them correctly i.e. mandated use of heat exchanges, glazing standards, energy efficiency standards in addition to a myriad of common sense decisions in relation to energy use within buildings. The best thing about the book is that it isn’t all doom and gloom and civilisation will not end, it will just be slightly changed.
For a very detailed review of the book, check out the Energy Bulletin.