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Now or Never: Why We Must Act Now to End Climate Change and Create a…

de Tim Flannery

Séries: Quarterly Essay (Nº 31)

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Offers a powerful argument for immediate action on climate change, discussing issues ranging from balancing energy demands and food supply in India and China to the possibility of a viable electric car that could spell the end of big oil.
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Thought provoking to say the least! ( )
  red.yardbird | Jul 20, 2010 |
Some good essays, but I preferred The Weathermakers. ( )
  juliana_t | Feb 19, 2010 |
This pretty much starts out with some Gaia-speak that comes close to justifying the good Cardinal Pell's occasional assertions that the environmental movement is a form of neo-paganism: human beings collectively form the brain of Gaia and the purpose of our existence is to bring consciousness to her processes. (Actually, that's pretty close to how I understand things, only I'd prefer less theological ways of expressing it.) Theology out of the way, the essay has an unflinching look at the dire state of the Earth, and the urgency of the challenge from global warming. It argues that what is actually missing is vision, political will and leadership to rise to the challenges, and puts forward a number of hope-inducing proposals and examples, ranging from farming approaches that have already been tried and found extraordinarily effective in reducing greenhouse emissions to a possibly mad but nonetheless enticing vision of a new city, to be called Geothermia, near the Cooper Basin in South Australia, which would potentially supply all Australia's energy needs from environmentally friendly, carbon-neutral thermal.

I started the essay expecting to be plunged into gloom and despair. Instead, I find I'm left with something approaching optimism about our chances.

As always, a fair proportion of this issue (39 of its 106 pages) is taken up with correspondence about the last one. Given that Nº 30, Paul Toohey's Last Drinks, could reasonably be described as having attacked a number of public figures, it's striking that only of those figures, Rex Wild, has taken up the right of reply and he doesn't address Toohey's central, scathing criticisms of the Little Children Are Sacred report, of which he was co-author, but restricts himself to defending the aspersions cast on his behaviour as director of the NT Office of Public Prosecutions. He says near the start of his piece, 'I have been hesitant in accepting the editor's invitation to respond to Paul's essay as, among other things, I see he has a right of reply.' What on earth does that mean? And does it in some way account for the resounding silence from all the others, including the Aboriginal leaders repeatedly characterised (arguably defamed) in this correspondence as proponents of victimology. I find the whole thing baffling and disturbing, even more so given that Toohey's reply consists of nine lines, including this: 'My view is that I've had my go and now it is over to those who want to have their say to have it.' Hopefully QE #32 will resolve some of this. ( )
  shawjonathan | Sep 21, 2008 |
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Offers a powerful argument for immediate action on climate change, discussing issues ranging from balancing energy demands and food supply in India and China to the possibility of a viable electric car that could spell the end of big oil.

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