The Hot Topic – How to Tackle Global Warming and Still Keep the Lights On, Gabrielle Walker & Sir David King, 2008, Bloomsbury Publ;ishing, ISBN 9780747593959, 300 pg, £9.99
David King through experience as UK government advisor provides important information in Parts 2 & 3 on the scientific opportunities for reducing greenhouse emissions and the progress of interntaional politial progress to bring this about.
Part 1 of the book starts with three over-simplified chapters on the basics of climate change. Chapter 4 is more useful and Chapter 5 provides another powerful summary of the consequences of climate change and how far short we are all falling from effective action.
The major flaw in this book is the disjunction between the position stated clearly in Chapter 5 and the impression of complacency of the immediately following Parts 2 and 3. We need to find out from books like this what technological developments and international political agreements might achieve to reduce greenhouse emissions over the decades to come but the task, as Chapter 5 set out – demands a much more urgent and substantial response and that means accepting major changes now in our lifestyles and our expectations with the personal commitments and the political will to bring those about in the teeth of vested interests. If this book gives anyone the opposite impression it is dangerous.