The sky is falling, and no one seems to be noticing.
At least, no one around these parts. According to British journalist Lynas, “a 2001 survey found that only 15% of US citizens correctly identified fossil fuel-burning as the primary cause of global warming—far behind Mexico, with 26% getting the right answer, and just behind Cuba, with 17%.” Despite the gainsaying of First World governments and rightist think tanks, global warming is, Lynas argues, an indisputable reality: there is no other good way to explain phenomena such as the disappearance of Oceanic atolls, overwhelmed by rising seas, and the ongoing inundation of the British Isles, swept by flood-inducing rainstorms at levels not seen since the time when weather records were first kept. Is there a smoking gun? Perhaps no readily visible one, Lynas admits, but the circumstantial evidence points strongly to Western industrial lifestyles. Traveling the globe, calling on places such as Aberdeen, Tuvalu, Beijing, and Tallahassee, Lynas gathers opinions, evidence, and sightings, talks with atmospheric scientists and ordinary citizens, and assembles some disturbing arguments: at the end of the present century, he prophesies, the world sea level will have risen by a meter, flooding fertile river deltas and putting millions, and possibly billions, of people at risk. “Although the most valuable real estate in places like Manhattan or Miami is likely to be protected by sea walls for the foreseeable future,” he wryly notes, “it will be impossible to enclose all the world’s affected areas with concrete.” And what is to be done? There are no surprises in Lynas’s recommendations: approve and enforce the Kyoto Protocol, stop drilling for oil, reduce the industrial production of greenhouse gases, drive less—and make sure everyone knows that the sky is falling.
For all environmental activists/educators—and those new to the ongoing debate about global climate change.