Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Blueprint for a Safer Planet: How We Can Save the World and Create Prosperity, by Nicholas Stern

Lord Stern doesn’t want us to despair in the face of climate change, but reading A Blueprint for a Safer Planet after the debacle of the Copenhagen summit is nothing short of terrifying. We have been “gambling the planet” for decades and as a consequence have but “a short window of opportunity” to avert disaster, argues the author, who prepared The Stern Review for the Government in 2006. His mantra in this immensely informative book is that everything will be all right provided there is effective global action to avert disaster. Gulp. This unprecedented “cooperation across nations” will herald “a new era of internationalism”, he confidently predicts; and because the US and China are the world’s two largest emitters of greenhouse gases, he is heartened by the strong commitment of President Obama and the Chinese leadership to reaching a constructive deal in Copenhagen in December 2009. Oh dear. Never has a paperback been so in need of a new foreword, the first sentence of which might go something along the lines of “We’re all doomed!”

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