Robert Manne, over at The Monthly, reviews Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything.
There is nothing in history even remotely as momentous as what humankind is now doing in full knowledge of the facts – gradually destroying the habitability of large parts of the Earth for humans and other species by burning fossil fuels in ever-increasing quantities to meet our ever-increasing energy needs. Judging by present behaviour, our generation, while living in unprecedented material comfort, is leaving the task of adapting to an Earth four or six degrees hotter than the one that existed before the industrial revolution to the generations yet unborn. If nothing changes, our legacy will be a world of rising sea levels, droughts, floods, famines, furious heatwaves; of disappearing glaciers, coral reefs and tropical forests; of acidic oceans and mass extinctions. Unless it turns out, through a miracle, that virtually the entire cadre of the world’s scientists who work in the area of climate are fundamentally wrong, the only people these future generations will be able to look upon with respect are those who saw the monstrousness of what we were doing and who gave their lives to the climate cause.