The Weather Makers by Tim Flannery
The method of the book reminds me of Jared Diamond’s Collapse in that he reviews the work of other scholars and amasses the data points necessary to convince the thinking person that he or she must (1) take personal steps to cut carbon emissions and (2) vote for lawmakers who are determined to make the changes necessary—even to the exclusions of other issues they may or may not support. It’s that critical.
There’s a wealth of information on the effects of excess CO2 as well as a wide variety of proposed solutions and partial solutions. I was convinced before I read it that climate change was real, but if you’re not, it will probably make you take the whole set of problems and possible solutions a lot more seriously. One extremely encouraging part of the book is the success story he tells about cutting down on chloro-fluoro-carbons (CFCs) and reducing the effect on the ozone layer. Like the Kyoto Protocol, this was an international agreement, and it worked. And the author does not despair of Kyoto in spite of the fact that neither the US nor Australia has yet signed on.
Like Collapse, this book is likely to galvanize you into doing something. Wish I could afford to buy a Toyoto Prius—went to Shakespeare in the Park with a friend who had a new one the other night. Pretty cool car. I have switched to the renewable energy company and turned my A/C up to 81 though.