Tim Flannery, “We can’t let oil companies cook the planet.”

On Thursday I was a guest of Bullfrog Power at a talk by Tim Flannery, author of The Weathermakers, a comprehensive look at the state of climate science.

It was held at the OISE auditorium in Toronto, and was sold out with over 700 in the audience. Bob MacDonald, of CBC’s Quirks and Quarks interviewed Flannery on stage, after being introduced by Jack Layton.

In a powerful introduction, Mr. Layton said that he had given a copy of the book to Stephen Harper in his first meeting with him. In his second meeting, he asked how the reading assignment was going. The book was on his desk, but had yet to be opened. Let’s hope he gets to it.

Flannery said that his generation asked their fathers what they did during the war. Our kids will ask us what we did about climate change.

It was a remarkable evening. 700 people gave a standing ovation to Tim Flannery and Bob MacDonald. I think it was not for the power of the presentation. It was for the power of the message.

It is clear to me that the people are way ahead of the politicians on the issue of climate change.

The following is a review of the book.

The Weathermakers, Tim Flannery, Harper Collins publisher.

This is the single most comprehensive and readable book on climate change there is. Australian author Tim Flannery brings together all aspects of climate science in a hard hitting book, that outlines the great danger humans face if we ignore this challenge.

From the tragedy of the extinction of Costa Rica’s golden toad, to drought and famine in the Sahel region of Africa, to the salinization of millions of acres of wheat fields in Western Australia due to changing rainfall patterns, to the vanishing mountain glaciers with their impact on drinking water supply, to the 2005 hurricane season, Flannery makes a compelling case that climate change is real, that it is happening now, and that the evidence is building that it will be worse than the experts are currently predicting. (Expert opinion is governed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which issues reports based on scientific consensus – surely a recipe for conservatism).

The book touches on solutions, but only in a cursory way. But the book’s value is in building a compelling case for taking action at both a personal and governmental level. The solutions are for others to articulate. But know this: They are there.

This is the book that reportedly caused the Prime Minister of Australia to change his mind about climate change. A must read for all citizens concerned about the future of the planet, and ourselves.

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