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Summary Atmosphere of Hope

Rms wildfires droughts and floods For some it’s already a uestion of survival Drawing on the latest science Flannery gives a snapshot of the trouble we are in and crucially proposes a new way forward including rapidly progressing clean technologies and a “third way” of soft geo engineering Tim Flannery with his inimitable style makes this urgent issue compelling and accessible This is a must read for anyone interested in our global futu I’ve been meaning to read one of Tim Flannery’s books for a long time I saw him give a talk at Melbourne Uni after the release of this book where from memory he talked about the importance of “hope” in messaging and educating in climate change and about many of the promising technologies currently being considered and developedI’m already relatively strong on the science behind climate change I have a degree in climate science from Melbourne Uni and I also recently read Naomi Klein’s book “This Changes Everything” which covers the political and social aspects of climate change in depth but I was keen to read about the technological side of things To start with Flannery summarises the science of where things are at today and how things have progressed or regressed as the case may be since he wrote “The Weather Makers” in 2006 The way he writes is really accessible you certainly don’t need to be a scientist to follow but it’s also really informative I also love the Australian focus as having lived in Australia for the past 33 years and having followed the politics and observed the environment here it was interesting to learn the science behind it and even to understand the effects of various government policies I recently read an article in “The Conversation” about Tim Flannery where he was saying he thinks his last 20 years of activism in the climate change area seem like a total waste of time because governments still haven’t acted I feel frustrated by that the same thing but given how hard Flannery has worked in this area and how well he understands the climate situation it’s hard to understand how frustrating it must be for him I’m impressed he does still have hope Since studying climate change at uni I’ve also understood the dire situation the world is in but in the back if my mind I’ve always been comforted by a hope that technology will save us Given how slow the progress has been and we’re getting to crunch time I’m getting gradually concerned Though I’ve been concerned about the lack of political action on the matter; there is so much that could be done and we already have the technology to solve the climate problem if only everyone would behave in the right way The book was published in 2015 and interestingly Flannery writes this about the Galilee Basin “The really big play in coal was supposed to be ueensland’s Galilee Basin The fate of the basin’s coal resources is of global importance because the reserves are so large that their development is incompatible with the goal of keeping temperature increases within 2 degrees Celsius” Page 81 As we have seen with the so called “Adani” proposal against all sense and rational argument the project still just won’t die And it still remains to be seen what will happen thereAfter reading about the technological solutions on the table my level of hope actually diminished I guess it’s normal to be initially optimistic but then when you actually learn in detail about the situation things aren’t so peachy Flannery does a great job of explaining how big the problem is with the help of numbers He is convinced that we’ve missed the boat to avoid catastrophic warming just by reducing emissions and we will actually need to remove carbon from the atmosphere He talks about how many gigatonnes of CO2 we release into the atmosphere each year and looks at various technologies and their expected ability to be able to remove carbon from the atmosphere Flannery calls these types of technologies “third way” “because they are neither emissions abatement nor geoengineering but a distinctive third approach” page 133 He defines it as “Third way technologies recreate enhance or restore the processes that created the balance of greenhouse gases which existed prior to human interference with the aim of drawing carbon at scale out of Earth’s atmosphere andor oceans” Page 133 Even when these technologies are developed and scaled up as much as they practically can be the amount of CO2 they can actually remove compared to the amount we emit is actually uite small We would have to develop and scale up a whole swathe of technologies to have much impact on removing CO2 from the living carbon cycle and this will presumably take a long time when most of the proposed technologies and Flannery covers a wide range of them are still in their infancy Flannery has a good handle on these technologies because he’s part of the judging panel for Richard Branson’s “Virgin Earth Challenge” for which Branson offered a 25 million pound prize for the best entry for removing a gigatonne of carbon from the atmosphere For reference we would need to remove about five times this much 48 gigatonnes of carbon annually to reduce CO2 concentration by 1 ppm and we would need to reduce concentrations by 100 ppm to return them to close to what they were before the Industrial RevolutionI read this book at about the time of the global climate rallies instigated by Greta Thunberg in September 2019 I attended the Melbourne rally along with around 100000 150000 other people from what I read making it the largest rally every to take place in Melbourne There has been a lot of media coverage of the issue following these rallies at least it seems to me There was great little video circulating from The Guardian afterwards with Greta Thunberg and George Monbiot where Monbiot cleverly says “There is a magic machine that sucks carbon out of the air costs very little and builds itself It’s calleda tree” Yep I’m confident trees are an important part of the solution but as Flannery explains in his book things aren’t so simple “The option almost everybody thinks of when it comes to removing carbon from the atmosphere is to grow trees Trees like all plants grow by drawing in CO2 They are in fact little than congealed atmospheric CO2 with half of their dry weight being composed of carbon drawn from the air Many of the world’s forests have been cleared or degraded in recent centuries so restoring them offered considerable potential for seuestration But the scale of reafforestation reuired to draw down a gigatonne of carbon is staggering Trees grow over a long time and start out very small so we must take a 50 year time horizon as we think about this option Over half a century we would reuire an estimated 3 75 million suare kilometres of land to be reforested 75 million suare kilometres is roughly an area the size of Australia or the contiguous states of the US We would need to complete between 70000 and 150000 suare kilometres approximately half the area of the United Kingdom of plantings each year if we were to seuester on average a gigatonne of carbon annually for fifty years this way And the trees must be sustained for a century or if the carbon is to stay out of the atmosphere for a useful periodAs pointed out recently in Nature reafforestation at this scale can have unintended conseuences by changing Earth’s albedo Trees absorb heat energy than do paler grasses and this increase in heat energy captured at Earth’s surface may offset or even than offset any gains in reducing temperatures made by drawing all of that extra carbon out of the atmosphere” Page 138It’s a fascinating book and I’d love everyone to read it and inform themselves on the matter It’s not long and it’s easy to read certainly much easier than “This Changes Everything” was at least for me Good on you Tim Flannery much respect

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Atmosphere of Hope

The publication of this new book is timed for the lead up to the Climate Change Conference in Paris in December 2015 which aims to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate from all the nations in the world This book anticipates and will influence the debatesTime is running out but catastrophe is not inevitable Around the world people are now living with the conseuences of an altered climate with intensified and freuent sto This is a pacy and engrossing read There is a story with tenuous hope but still with hope Some possible solutions to help slow climate change are raised They all reuire political will as well as dollars to be successful There are some good examples of lobbying and advocacy The science is very readable and there are lots of references to additional resources This is a book to read think about and then take actionI don't often read books as soon as they are released there are usually good reasons to delay like an every growing list of reading I am going to hear Tim Flannery speak tonight and I thought reading this book before the talk was a good idea The Color of Night this new book is What Preachers Never Tell You About Tithes & Offerings timed for Pulse (Frank Quinn, the lead up Obsession to The Supreme Court and Puerto Rico the Climate Change Conference in Paris in December 2015 which aims Simply Napkins to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate from all The Unconscious Civilization the nations in The Complete Tightwad Gazette the world This book anticipates and will influence The Day Lasts More Than a Hundred Years the debatesTime is running out but catastrophe is not inevitable Around الدعوة الإسلامية دعوة عالمية the world people are now living with Writing and Selling Magazine Articles the conseuences of an altered climate with intensified and freuent sto This is a pacy and engrossing read There is a story with The Strange Bird tenuous hope but still with hope Some possible solutions Collected Stories to help slow climate change are raised They all reuire political will as well as dollars Collected Stories to be successful There are some good examples of lobbying and advocacy The science is very readable and Cleopatras Daughter there are lots of references Funny Feckin' Irish Jokes!: Humorous Jokes about Everything Irish.Sure Tis Great Craic! to additional resources This is a book Settlers to read Never Deny a Duke (Decadent Dukes Society, think about and The Sphinx then Tidelands (Fairmile take actionI don't often read books as soon as Pretty Lucy Merwyn they are released Strings there are usually good reasons Carnal Sacrifice (Brides of Caralon, to delay like an every growing list of reading I am going Catch and Release to hear Tim Flannery speak Devils Paw (Imp, tonight and I Canyons of Night (Rainshadow, thought reading All Tied Up this book before The Film Snob*s Dictionary the In the Eyes of Crazy (Kontras Menagerie talk was a good idea

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A decade ago Tim Flannery’s #1 international bestseller The Weather Makers was one of the first books to break the topic of climate change out into the general conversation Today Earth’s climate system is fast approaching a crisis Political leadership has not kept up and public engagement with the issue of climate change has declined Opinion is divided between technological optimists and pessimists who feel that catastrophe is inevitable If you've been keeping up with developments in climate science and have a good handle on denier tactics there won't be much in the first two thirds of this book that's new to you If you haven't this is a solid primer The crux of the book is the last third which summarises efforts to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere looking at their readiness and cost and assessing how much of a part they might play in reducing the impact of climate change There are lots of numbers as you'd expect prices tonnes of C tonnes of CO2 tonnes of feedstock and so on Most of the mature technologies seem not that hopeful and the most hopeful solutions seem not that mature But I reckon Flannery's right that we need to start putting some serious effort into researching and developing them because emissions reduction and adaptation to climate change effects are not going to be enough to save our arses There's also a uick rundown of what you as an individual can do to support emissions reduction; this isn't your usual 'travel less eat local food' screed and has some useful suggestions for how you can engender policy changeOverall it's not a ripper read or anything and would probably have been better published as a short book or a uarterly Essay but there's some important stuff in hereI should check if there's an associated website it would be good to know the info will keep getting updated as it's bound to be superseded uickly

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