A Blueprint for a Safer Planet:

16 July 2009

A Blueprint for a Safer Planet: How to Manage Climate Change and Create a New Era of Progress and Prosperity
by Nicholas Stern

 

The argument about climate change is over.  This book is about policy: how we go about enabling a global deal to reduce the impact of disastrous events by a world renowned economist. Further substantial climate change is unavoidable and the risks to the natural world, the economy and our everyday lives are immense. What we do  in the next thirty years – how we invest, use energy, organise transport and treat forests – will determine whether these risks become realities.  Although this book does take a rather gloomy view, Lord Stern is optimistic that if we make the right deal, we can avert the most critical effects of a disrupted climate.  At a low cost - his original Review published in 2006 estimated 1-2%  of world GDP per decade would ameliorate the damage of climate change.  He has since revised this to 4%, even so, this is a very small amount of money to avert a global catastrophe.

He is still a "markets provide solutions" thinker, but recognises that markets have failed substantially to truly price the availablity of carbon from fossil fuels.  So our era has spent too freely the bonus energy contained in them. Unfortunately Stern is still a free marketeer and speculates that if there was a large market in renewables and low-carbon manufacturing the economy could continue to grow.  On a finite planet, the diminution of non-renewable materials looks set to put an end to that theory.

Stern says, "..there is so much we can do to manage the risks, and if we act sensibly, to make a much better world."   Though he is an economist he is forthright about the science of human generated Global Warming. At one point he likens Climate Change Deniers to those who denied the association between HIV and AIDs or smoking and cancer.

The last part of the book concnetrates on policy matters and setting an example, and how to broker a global deal.  This is enormously important. This book should be read by every policymaker, particularly those going to the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit later this year to create a replacement for the Kyoto Treaty. 

A Blueprint for a Safer Planet: How to Manage Climate Change and Create a New Era of Progress and Prosperity by Nicholas Stern

Price: £16.99  pp246

Publisher Bodley Head

http://www.rbooks.co.uk/product.aspx?id=1847920373

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