Book Review: Now Or Never by Tim Flannery, author of The Weather Makers
The “fall of civilization as we know it”. Once upon a time, under its acronym “focawki” this dreadful event was regularly predicted by members of a certain Compu$erve forum, simply because other members were allowed to be members. The 1980′s. Looking back it seems in retrospect almost an innocent time. Tim Flannery’s Now Or Never also warns passionately about impending “focawki”. The trouble this time is climate change and a growing number of scientists, like Flannery, say we’re very almost out of time to fix the mess we’re in.
In a very concise and easy to read 110 pages, Flannery very simply explains the latest observations of where planet earth is in terms of climate change and quite clearly and convincingly argues that the earth is between a “tipping point” at which the effects of climate change begin to be felt and a “point of no return” at which it will be too late to act to make the planet all of us humans call home hospitable for us and our posterity. Flannery’s theme is, honestly, rather frightening.
Back in 2005, Flannery wrote a much more detailed book about global warming, titled The Weather Makers. This book was well-received, though those who read that previous volume should be aware that Now Or Never is a short and sweet appeal for urgent response that is necessarily many times over more simplistic than The Weather Makers. An interesting feature of Now Or Never is that eight prominent thinkers– from the worlds of business, politics and science have provided a series of “reactions” to Flannery’s essay, after which Flannery is given a final word in a section labeled “reply”. The most interesting of these discussions is with another climate scientist who believes that human beings will save the planet from global warming, not by a just in time drastic change of our fossil fuel habits, but by using our ever increasing knowledge of how earth and its climate work to manipulate things directly to suit our needs.
I don’t know how realistic this last bit is, but I do believe that Tim Flannery has made a very clear and compelling case for all of us to take action immediately to re-mediate climate change. Honestly, it’s Now Or Never– Very Highly Recommended