Carbon Shift

Carbon Shift

How the Twin Crises of Oil Depletion and Climate Change Will Define the Future

Book - 2009
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Publisher: Toronto : Random House Canada, c2009.
ISBN: 9780307357182
Characteristics: ix, 230 p. :,ill. ;,24 cm.
Additional Contributors: Homer-Dixon, Thomas F.

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Sep 24, 2015

Several authors of differing backgrounds contribute chapters to the book, offering perspectives on energy use and climate change. This balanced approach lends credence to the necessity for societal change in order to ensure quality of life for present and future generations.

Mar 11, 2013

This book is a collection of essays by 6 Canadian authors, plus an introduction and conclusion by Thomas Homer-Dixon. Each of the essays offers a different perspective on the twin threats of climate change and energy shortage facing our civilization. All the authors agree that climate change is a threat that must be dealt with. Some think that if we address the impending problem of peak oil, we will simultaneously solve much of the climate change problem. Others think that peak oil is not an issue, that we are running out of conventional oil but not out of hydrocarbon energy, that market forces and technology will provide energy for decades into the future, largely by exploiting unconventional oil and liquefying coal. How to achieve that without increasing greenhouse gas emissions has not been convincingly addressed. David Keith, David Hughes and Mark Jaccard all focus on the issue of fossil fuel supply, the feasibility of exploiting unconventional oil (tar sands, shale oil) and the effects of market mechanisms on supply, demand and development of alternative energy sources. Jeff Rubin analyses the regional distribution of consumption and problems with distribution infrastructure. William Marsden addresses the effect of exploiting the Alberta Tar Sands on greenhouse gas emissions, climate change and other ecological damage, and looks at how Alberta has dribbled away its Heritage Fund. Jeffrey Simpson addresses the political ramifications, nationally and internationally, of attempting, or not attempting, to limit greenhouse gas emissions and looks at the role the voting public plays in creating political will.

This book makes interesting, informative and thought-provoking reading. The essays are all quite well written and easily readable. However, they were all written in 2009. They addressed the effects of the 2008 economic crisis but this is a fast-moving field so some of the information is already out of date. In spite of this, it is well worth reading the book to acquire a broad overview of the issues.

Mar 31, 2010

Another excellent contribution from Thomas Homer-Dixon. Here he is the co-editor of a slim volume of articles on the twin crises of Oil Depletion & Climate Change. His conclusion is stark.
"A carbon shift is coming We can see it in front of us. If we continue to deny, delay and dissemble-and simply hand the energy-climate problem, unsolved and likely vastly worse, to our children-they will no one but us to blame."

May 25, 2009

The David Keith chapter alone makes this book worth reading. Difficult to see an easy solution to the conflict between energy needs and environmental consequences, good compilation of views

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