George Monbiot “Heat – How to Stop the Planet Burning”

ISBN978 0 7139 9923 5. “Heat – How to Stop the Planet Burning” by George Monbiot. Published by Penguin in 2006. This eagerly awaited book by George Monbiot is investigative journalism at its best. He sets himself a target, a 90% cut in UK CO2 emissions by 2030. Then he sets out to see how this can be done, in his words “without insurrection”. For it is this central thesis – how to make the necessary changes without everyone living in tree houses – that bothers us all. If you are reading this page then it bothers you. For the first time ever somebody actually deconstructs our modern economy and our hectic lives to see what can be done. He casts a critical eye over our homes and our industries, our transport and our energy supplies. He has dug up some fresh new ideas and been very thorough. However, he is, afterall, just a journalist better known for his writings in The Guardian. There are few better known trendy lefties out there. This is the real deal and he proves quite likeable even to those of us with a distinctive non-lefty background. So he evades criticism through his thoroughness. His attention to the science and engineering is to be commended. However, in the very last chapter he blows it. After giving a reasonably rational and level headed assessment of the state of the world it all unravels. Lo! His baby daughter was born and he gets all weepy. Then he gets angry. Instead of venting his spleen at the inaction of Politicians he turns on Carbon-reduction Investments. At this point you will recall the George has a few shady dealings with the folks over at www.planestupid.com – normally we quite like their web site but we have to take them to task for their irrational hatred of that wisdom-spending we used to call ‘offsetting’. We know offsetting is not going to save the planet but it will contribute. If you have a problem with HOW people are motivated to invest in such schemes then you have lost the plot. So, after a quite enlightened read we have to wrap up with impassioned gibberish about burning trees. Oh dear. Own goal. But the rest of the book is fine. A great source book. Recommended.

About post-carbon-man

A passionate advocate of a peaceful transition to a sustainable political-economy, Mark hails from a working class farming background. Today he is a Company Director and Chairman of the Low Carbon Chilterns Co-operative. Whilst at University (Engineering Masters) he was active in Conservative Student politics but has had no affiliation since. He has travelled widely on business covering the USA, Europe, Middle East and Central Asian Republics. In 2007 Mark founded Post-Carbon-Living and a year later co-founded Transition Town High Wycombe. He lives with is wife & daughter in a home they retrofitted to be carbon-neutral. Today he blogs about surviving politics on a shrinking planet and is passionate in his rejection of Nationalism.

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