Heat

How to stop the planet burning

By George Monbiot. Published October 2006 by Allen Lane, Penguin Press.

We know that climate change is happening. We know that it could, if the worst predictions come true, destroy the conditions which make human life possible. Only one question is now worth asking: can it be stopped? In Heat, George Monbiot shows that it can.

For the first time, he demonstrates that we can achieve the necessary cut – a 90% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 – without bringing civilisation to an end. Combining his unique knowledge of campaigning and environmental science, he shows how we can transform our houses, our power and our transport systems. But he also shows that this can happen only with a massive programme of action which no government has yet been prepared to take.

His exciting, disturbing ideas expose the cowardice of our politicians. By showing that we can save the biosphere without losing our comfort and security, Monbiot sweeps away their perpetual excuse for doing nothing: that it would be too painful and expensive to sustain life on earth.

In every case, he supports his proposals with a rigorous investigation into what works, what doesn’t, how much it costs and what the problems might be. He wages war on bad ideas as energetically as he promotes good ones. He is not afraid to attack anyone – friend or foe – whose claims are false or whose figures have been fudged. HEAT also contains a breath-taking new exposure of the corporations trying to stop us from taking action. Inspiring, original, burning with energy, this book could change the world.

Monbiot has also launched a new website, linked to the book, exposing the false green claims made by corporations, politicians and celebrities: www.turnuptheheat.org

Quotes from early reviews:

“The combination of practical detail and creative thinking is immensely impressive.” PD Smith, The Guardian

“By far and away the single most effective environmental campaigner at large today in Europe and arguably the world, Monbiot is endowed with the three gifts of passion, clarity and scrupulous attention to the known facts …. one often reads reviews exhorting that “everyone should read this book”. In the case of Heat, everyone should do just that. Everyone under 80 years of age, and particularly everyone with children. The quality of their lives will ultimately depend on it.” Stephen Price, Sunday Business Post

It provides comprehensive and helpful presentations of possible energy futures – backed up with many tables and references. It is the best book I know that succintly presents stark facts coupled with a broad, balanced and practical perspective of the technical and political challenges ahead.” Sir John Houghton (former chief of the Met Office), BBC Focus magazine.

“Nothing else I’ve read about global warming and how we might respond to it comes close to this book. In a subject riven by ideology and wishful thinking, Monbiot is articulate, rigorous and realistic.” Brian Eno

“The man has done his homework, and his capacity for processing and making sense of science compels awe.” Tom Fort, The Spectator“Monbiot is one of the best-informed people on the planet about climate change, and Heat is a comprehensive and compelling examination of the measures needed to deal with this, our most pressing environmental problem.” John Burnside, the Scotsman

“George Monbiot tries to bring the debate about climate change closer to known facts and reasonable conjecture, avoiding the woolly thinking that is so prevalent on the subject. The result is a book that anyone who thinks they know what should be done about global warming must read.” John Gray, The New Statesman

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