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We are the Weather Makers: The History of Climate Change    by Sally M. Walker & Tim Flannery order for
We are the Weather Makers
by Sally M. Walker
Order:  USA  Can
Candlewick, 2010 (2009)
Hardcover, Softcover
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

We are the Weather Makers: The History of Climate Change For the generation who will act on global warming is a YA edition of Flannery's 2005 adult title, The Weather Makers. Contents are in two parts - Earth and the Carbon Connections and Endangered Habitats. At the end of each chapter is a Call to Action, suggesting something that any reader can do immediately, such as Start a Low-Carbon Car Diet Today.

In their Intro, the authors offer their book as a 'best effort, based on the work of thousands of scientists, to outline the history of climate change, how it will unfold over the next century, and what people like us can do about it.' They succeed admirably in explaining how 'Earth's great ocean in the sky might prove to be the Achilles' heel of our fossil-fuel-addicted civilization' and why 'speed is every bit as important as scale when it comes to climate change.'

Were you aware that 'Despite the inroads made by oil and gas on coal's empire, more coal is burned today than at any time in the past'? News to me. The authors warn that since 1986, 'we have been running the environmental equivalent of a deficit budget', that by 2050 'the burden of human existence will be such that we will be using nearly two planets' worth of resources - assuming they can be found', and that the impacts are already there in consequences to plant and animal populations.

Part of the reason people don't react as strongly as they should to all this is the perception that it's happening so slowly and steadily. Not so? Near the end of their book, Flannery and Walker discuss Three Tipping Points that might 'cause sudden snaps in Earth's systems', one of which ('Methane release from the Seafloor') 'may have been responsible for the biggest extinction event of all time.' Scary prospect!

The Calls to Action spread through the volume are emphasized at the end by We Took Action examples of people and organizations who have already done something to 'control their carbon impact on Earth's environment.' Flannery and Walker conclude their very thought provoking and informative book with the question to readers, 'Now it's your turn. What will you do to save the planet today?'

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