Seven Years to Save the Planet!

If apocalyptic literature is you bag, then you will love this. Bill McGuire, a volcanologist (I kid you not) turned climate change expert and member of the Aon Benfield UCL Hazard Centre wrote this book in 2008, to tell us how little time we had, and five years on not much has changed. Was there something wrong with the message? Well if his intention was to scare the pants off everyone and hope that this was going to galvanise them into action, then he got it wrong. His facts are right(ish) insofar as apocalyptic facts can ever be. I enjoyed reading the book because it made me feel good about being alive and still being able to get to work, when doom was just around the corner. I think that the device of summarising each chapter, which are already only a few pages long was a strange thing to do, a sort of Digested Read at the beginning of each chapter, presumably for the really lazy environmentalists who only want the headlines. I would buy this book if I were you and I would read it for the information that it contains and to help you to acquire a sense of urgency (if for some reason you don’t already have one). But don’t expect to be uplifted or galvanised by it.

One passage struck me as ironic, I quote it here in full. On the subject of EU efforts to support microgeneration he says:

It seems that the UK, however, is still in the dark ages. Inefficient centralised energy generation remains utterly dominant, with micro-generation strangled at birth by government cutbacks, to the extent that homeowners once interested in the idea have now given up in disgust. Bill McGuire Seven Years to Save the Planet.2008.

Plus ca change….


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