Saturday, September 08, 2007
Book on Climate Tipping Points Makes the Point
For those who still don't feel a sense of urgency to take action when climate scientists such as James Hansen from NASA warn us that if he don’t start reducing greenhouse gas emissions very soon we will pass climate tipping points that will propel us into disaster it might be a good idea to read With Speed and Violence: Why Scientists Fear Tipping Points in Climate Change by Fred Pearce, a former editor at New Scientist. If this book has a clear message it is “don’t mess with Mother Nature on a global scale.” The book of course will be lost on those souls who truly believe that global warming is a left wing conspiracy to take over the world via United Nations carbon police, but for all others this book is one more reality check as it is chocked full of possible ways that small changes can be rapidly amplified by various positive feedback climate mechanisms to result in the climate flipping from one state to another. The science seems clear enough, but the big question that remains is will we soon reach the tipping point for meaningful action. There are no answers to that in Pearce's book.