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The Climate Book, created by Greta Thunberg review – an angry call for action

The environmental activist curates a supergroup of climate experts in a valuable set of essays, which at times risk overwhelming the reader Being Greta Thunberg is no picnic. Still not yet 20, she has fame but not wealth and an army of obsessive detractors who cannot seem to decide whether she is a puritanical fanatic, a gullible puppet or an attention-seeking hypocrite and therefore call her all three. What they hate most, I think, is her effectiveness. A teenager from Sweden has succeeded in dramatically escalating the discourse around the climate emergency. Global heating is not a dire possibility but a present reality; reducing it is no longer just a question of looking after the planet but of preserving human civilisation in a recognisable form. Thunberg is unusual (but should not be) in speaking and behaving in a manner appropriate to what the science tells us, ripping away the standard sticking plasters of reassurance and consolation to leave only raw urgency. She is often dismissed as a Cassandra but, of course, the whole point of the Cassandra story is that she was right. The Climate Book coincides with COP27, just as the UN environment agency has acknowledged that there is “no credible path” to keeping global heating below 1.5 degrees celsius above pre-industrial levels. The current figure is 1.1; at the present rate of carbon emissions, it could go as high as 3.2 by the end of the century. As Thunberg writes: “Hope is something you have to earn.” Continue reading...

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