Climate Code Red: The case for emergency action

We raved about Climate Code Red when it first came out as a report, and we’re not going to stop now that it’s a book. And the fact that the book is hard to get in the US doesn’t make much difference. Get a friend in Australia to send it to you! Or go to the book site and try your best. Here’s what we said about the original report:

David Spratt and Philip Sutton, the two Australian climate analysts behind this report, insist that we’ve already crossed the line, and that the problem now is to engineer an emergency global mobilization and to “cool the earth” as quickly as humanly possible. Their argument, alas, is not a rhetorical one that will be easy to deny. In fact, it’s for the most part quite measured. It’s certainly strongly rooted in the science (much of which has come out since the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report) and almost entirely free of gratuitous political spin.

We cant say that James Hansen for this paper begins as a digest of the tumult and measured alarm that emanates like a shock wave from Hansens team is certainly right. But we find no obvious flaw in his recent argument that weve already passed the tipping point, and commend Climate Code Red to all those who would see the implications of this claim drawn to their logical conclusion.

That conclusion is that it’s past time for business as usual. That it’s time to face the facts, to ring the alarm, to invent a politics of emergency mobilization. Obviously, it’s an inconvenient conclusion, and to justify it the focus shifts from Hansen’s science to Churchill’s blunt talk, and ultimately it’s the latter mans pugnacious presence that seals the deal. Which isnt to say that Climate Code Red is an artifact from the past, as if World War II was a sufficient metaphor for the coming challenges. Spratt and Sutton arent fighting the last war, but preparing for the next. As must we all.

Full disclosure: Climate Code Red, by the way, has some nice words for Greenhouse Development Rights. See page 138.