31.01.2018

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As weather extremes mount in many countries, climate change is receiving increasing attention. A new book that has been published in Australia takes a look at the prospects of halting global warming.

Visiting the COP23 Climate Summit in Bonn, Germany, in November 2017, Frances Namoumou, Climate Officer for Fiji for the Pacific Church Conference, emphasised that the two-degree limit to global warming referred to in the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement was “more like a death sentence” for her people, and warned that her nation could only survive if a 1.5 degree limit was achieved. But a year earlier, commenting on the Paris goals, professor of international relations David C. Victor, formerly a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, stated that “warming probably can’t be stopped at those levels – the world has dithered for too long, and must now brace for the consequences”. And much further back, in his 1999 Millennium report, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan wrote: “We must face up to an inescapable reality: the challenges of sustainability simply overwhelm the adequacy of our responses. With some honourable exceptions, our responses are too few, too little and too late.”

A call for action

Such daunting assessments are certainly reflected in Geoffrey Maslen’s “Too Late.

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