Book Review Just Cool ItClimate change is a hot topic and whether you believe in it or not, knowing something about both sides of the debate is an important way to intelligent, knowledgeable voting and living. Just Cool It by David Suzuki and Ian Hanington , take a hard look at the nature of the problem and many of the possible solutions to it. With an optimistic outlook, the authors present a strong argument for the ability of people to take the necessary steps to ensure a cleaner and safer world.

The first part of the book deals with the nature of the crisis and includes a review of the scientific knowledge regarding climate change, its consequences, and the barriers to resolving the crisis. We hear a lot about the drought in California and the loss of wildlife habitats, but less about the effect of climate change on political conflict and refugees. The authors explore these consequences and more. In a similar fashion, the authors consider a wide variety of obstacles and barriers to solving the climate change problems including international trade agreements, real and perceived economic barriers, and the inevitability of population growth.

The second part of the book deals with the more optimistic aspects of the crisis, i.e. the solutions. Starting with personal solutions like riding a bike and reducing the amount of unneeded “stuff” we all buy, the authors move to agricultural solutions such as using “dark earth” and growing foods in cities. They then present technological solutions like the increased use of geothermal sources and biofuels, and finally institutional solutions that include a carbon tax and feed in tariffs. The authors admit that the price of fighting climate change is high but the alternative is disastrous, causing extreme hardships and costing more in the long run. They suggest creating a new economic vision that both cares for the planet and supports the right of all people to live in a healthy environment.

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By Karen