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This book must not be ignored. It really is our final warning.
Mark Lynas delivers a vital account of the future of our earth, and our civilisation, if current rates of global warming persist. And it’s only looking worse.
We are living in a climate emergency. But how much worse could it get? Will civilisation collapse? Are we already past the point of no return? What kind of future can our children expect? Rigorously cataloguing the very latest climate science, Mark Lynas explores the course we have set for Earth over the next century and beyond. Degree by terrifying degree, he charts the likely consequences of global heating and the ensuing climate catastrophe.
At one degree – the world we are already living in – vast wildfires scorch California and Australia, while monster hurricanes devastate coastal cities. At two degrees the Arctic ice cap melts away, and coral reefs disappear from the tropics. At three, the world begins to run out of food, threatening millions with starvation. At four, large areas of the globe are too hot for human habitation, erasing entire nations and turning billions into climate refugees. At five, the planet is warmer than for 55 million years, while at six degrees a mass extinction of unparalleled proportions sweeps the planet, even raising the threat of the end of all life on Earth.
These escalating consequences can still be avoided, but time is running out. We must largely stop burning fossil fuels within a decade if we are to save the coral reefs and the Arctic. If we fail, then we risk crossing tipping points that could push global climate chaos out of humanity’s control.
This book must not be ignored. It really is our final warning.
An eye-opening and vital account of the future of our earth and our civilisation if current rates of global warming persist, by the highly acclaimed author of ‘High Tide’.
Picture yourself a few decades from now, in a world in which average temperatures are three degrees higher than they are now. On the edge of Greenland, rivers ten times the size of the Amazon are gushing off the ice sheet into the north Atlantic. Displaced victims of North Africa's drought establish a new colony on Greenland's southern tip, one of the few inhabitable areas not already crowded with environmental refugees. Vast pumping systems keep the water out of most of Holland, but the residents of Bangladesh and the Nile Delta enjoy no such protection. Meanwhile, in New York, a Category 5-plus superstorm pushes through the narrows between Staten Island and Brooklyn, devastating waterside areas from Long Island to Manhattan. Pakistan, crippled by drought brought on by disappearing Himalayan glaciers, sees 27 million farmers flee to refugee camps in neighbouring India. Its desperate government prepares a last-ditch attempt to increase the flow of the Indus river by bombing half-constructed Indian dams in Kashmir. The Pakistani president authorises the use of nuclear weapons in the case of an Indian military counter-strike. But the biggest story of all comes from South America, where a conflagration of truly epic proportions has begun to consume the Amazon…
Alien as it all sounds, Mark Lynas's incredible new book is not science-fiction; nor is it sensationalist. The six degrees of the title refer to the terrifying possibility that average temperatures will rise by up to six degrees within the next hundred years. This is the first time we have had a reliable picture of how the collapse of our civilisation will unfold unless urgent action is taken.
Most vitally, Lynas's book serves to highlight the fact that the world of 2100 doesn't have to be one of horror and chaos. With a little foresight, some intelligent strategic planning, and a reasonable dose of good luck, we can at least halt the catastrophic trend into which we have fallen. But the time to act is now.
'Fluent, persuasive and surely right.' Evening Standard
Mark Lynas was one of the original GM field wreckers. Back in the 1990s – working undercover with his colleagues in the environmental movement – he would descend on trial sites of genetically modified crops at night and hack them to pieces. Two decades later, most people around the world – from New York to China – still think that 'GMO' foods are bad for their health or likely to damage the environment. But Mark has changed his mind. This book explains why.
In 2013, in a world-famous recantation speech, Mark apologised for having destroyed GM crops. He spent the subsequent years touring Africa and Asia, and working with plant scientists who are using this technology to help smallholder farmers in developing countries cope better with pests, diseases and droughts.
This book lifts the lid on the anti-GMO craze and shows how science was left by the wayside as a wave of public hysteria swept the world. Mark takes us back to the origins of the technology and introduces the scientific pioneers who invented it. He explains what led him to question his earlier assumptions about GM food, and talks to both sides of this fractious debate to see what still motivates worldwide opposition today. In the process he asks – and answers – the killer question: how did we all get it so wrong on GMOs?
'An important contribution to an issue with enormous potential for benefiting humanity.' Stephen Pinker
'I warmly recommend it.' Philip Pullman
What effect are you having on the environment? If you buy Kenyan green beans what is the CO2 cost? What about your journey to work, your fridge or your clothes? The Gem Carbon Counter is your portable instant green reckoner.
This handy little book includes:
• Introduction by Mark Lynas author of Hide Tide: News from a Warming World
• Welcome to the Greenhouse: Explains what the Greenhouse effect actually is, all the issues surrounding global warming and your carbon footprint?
• Your Carbon Footprint: Measure your own carbon footprint covering all aspects of your life from your food shopping to your work, holidays and clothes. Starting with your home gas and electricity supplies and usage, the handy green reckoner takes you through each part of your life and helps you add up the impact you are making on the environment. So, in turn, it allows you to identify the key parts of your life which you’ll need to adapt to reduce your carbon footprint: from which coffee you drink to how often you go on holiday.
• Sustainability: How do you measure up in comparison to the average person’s carbon footprint? What can you do to generate your own energy and therefore reduce your footprint and what sort of targets can you set yourself?
• Helpful Appendices: Includes information on carbon emissions for journeys by car, train and plane. A list of corporate companies, their emissions and what they are doing to reduce their carbon footprint so that as a consumer, you can make decisions on who you support. A helpful carbon diary where you can record your carbon footprint for the year. Useful websites where you can read more about green issues.
The No Logo of climate change – a book that shows how global warming is not a theory we should still debate, but something that has already happened on a global scale.
Climate change is not a concern for the future. It's happening right now. In this book – based on the latest scientific evidence – the author takes us around the world to show the impact of global warming already being felt in people's lives.
From sand-buried houses in China to thawing Alaskan plains, the author witnesses some of the worst effects of climate change at first hand. Some, like the floods in the UK, are near home. Others – like the drowning Pacific island of Tuvalu – are a world away from the exhaust pipes and factory chimneys that are actually causing global warming.
But this isn't simply an inventory of disaster, it's a wry look at how people around the globe are coping as their world changes at unprecedented speed. In the process, the author eats whale blubber in Alaska, swims in shark-infested waters off the Great Barrier Reef and struggles to the top of Andean peaks in Peru. An adventure with a conscience and an argument with an urgent purpose, High Tide is an extremely important book.
But from the water cycle to the circulation of nitrogen and carbon through the entire Earth system, we are coming dangerously close to destroying the planetary life-support systems that sustain us. In this controversial new book, Royal Society Science Books Prize winner Mark Lynas shows us how we must use our new mastery over nature to save the planet from ourselves.
Taking forward the work of a brilliant new group of Earth-system scientists who have mapped out our real 'planetary boundaries', Lynas draws up a radical manifesto calling for the increased use of environmentally-friendly technologies like genetic engi- neering and nuclear power as part of a global effort to use humanity's best tools to protect and nurture the biosphere.
Ecological limits are real, but economic limits are not, Lynas contends. We can and must feed a richer population of nine billion people in decades to come, whilst also respecting the nine planetary boundaries - from biodiversity to ocean acidification - now identified and quantified by scientists.
Ripping up years of environmental orthodoxy, he reveals how the prescriptions of the current green movement are likely to hin- der as much as help our vitally-needed effort to use science and technology to play God and save the planet.