Hell and High Water: Global Warming--the Solution and the Politics--and What We Should Do

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9780061172120: Hell and High Water: Global Warming--the Solution and the Politics--and What We Should Do

Global warming is the story of the twenty-first century. It is the most serious issue facing the future of humankind, and American energy and environmental policy is driving the whole world down the path of global catastrophe. Hell and High Water is nothing less than a wake-up call to the country. It is a searing critique of American environmental and energy policy and a passionate call to action by a writer with a unique command of the science and politics of climate change.

We have ten years, at most, to start making sharp cuts to our greenhouse gas emissions or we will face catastrophic consequences. The good news is that there is something we can do—but only if the leadership of the U.S. government acts immediately and asserts its influence on the rest of the world—in particular such emerging powers as China and India—to join an international effort to stop global warming.

Joseph Romm, an expert in the science, business, and politics of climate change, lays out a plan of action that involves:

  • reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by midcentury
  • adopting a California-style energy-efficiency effort nationwide
  • embracing high-mileage, advanced "hybrid" cars that can run on both electricity and biofuels

Unfortunately, the required government policies and spending are strongly opposed by conservatives, who have blocked serious action on climate change and continue to publicly deny the dire warnings of scientists. Never before has there been such a sharp divergence between what top scientists know and what policymakers, the general public, and the media believe. And, sadly, never has so much been at stake.

Romm, who ran the largest program in the world that was concentrated on climate solutions, offers an authoritative dissection of this disastrous policy. Hell and High Water goes beyond ideological rhetoric to offer pragmatic solutions to avert the threat of global warming—solutions that must be taken seriously by every American.

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About the Author:

Joseph Romm is the founder and executive director of the Center for Energy and Climate Solutions and a fellow at the Center for American Progress. Under President Clinton he was acting assistant secretary at the Department of Energy, heading the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. The author of the award-winning The Hype About Hydrogen, he holds a Ph.D. in physics from MIT and lives in Washington, D.C.

From Booklist:

Physicist Romm, a veteran of the Department of Energy and founder and director of the Center for Energy and Climate Solutions, presents a clear and effective primer on climate science. But the most salient aspects of this provocative expose involve Romm's documentation of what he calls the Bush administration's irresponsible and backward energy policies, the censorship of legitimate and urgent information pertaining to global warming, and the threats rising temperatures pose to "the health and well-being of this nation and the world." Romm explains that we already possess the technologies and know-how we need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; what we lack is the will to act. As Romm analyzes the "miscoverage" of global-warming realities in the press, especially the facts pertaining to dire changes already affecting plants, animals, and humans, he laments the perversity and folly of politicizing a global crisis. We must recognize, Romm asserts, that "ideology trumps rationality" all too often in public discourse, preventing us from doing what needs to be done to avert still preventable catastrophes. Donna Seaman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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