I just finished reading Tim Flannery’s excellent book, The Weather Makers. For those of you not familiar with Tim Flannery he’s a scientist, conservationist, a writer, and is the director of the South Australian Museum. A very busy guy. I read one of his earlier books, the Future Eaters, a number of years ago while in Australia and really enjoyed it.
The Weather Makers outlines the history of climate change focusing on many high-profile weather events such as powerful hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico and the first South Atlantic hurricane, and the hottest European summer ever recorded. He also looks at the strengthening El Niño weather pattern and warns of that it could become “semi-permanent” bringing increased rainfall across to Peru and southeastern US, with drought like conditions to places like Indonesia and here in the American Southwest.
The science of global warming is presented in an understandable but far from simplistic way, and several possible future scenarios are examined. Most of them are rather depressing and some are quite frightening. But rather than leaving the reader distressed, a passionate call to action closes the book on a high note. Flannery suggests things that all of us can easily do, such as contacting the local power company and signing up for special programs that provide electricity from renewable sources. (The U.S. Department of Energy has a listing of Green Power Markets.) Ideum has signed up for such a program, more on that in another post.