Read Climate Wars: The Fight for Survival as the World Overheats by Gwynne Dyer Online


Dwindling resources, massive population shifts, natural disasters, spreading epidemics, drought, rising sea levels, plummeting agricultural yields, crashing economies, political extremism - these are just some of the expected consequences of runaway climate change in the decades ahead - and any of them could tip the world towards conflict. Bold, unflinching, and based on eDwindling resources, massive population shifts, natural disasters, spreading epidemics, drought, rising sea levels, plummeting agricultural yields, crashing economies, political extremism - these are just some of the expected consequences of runaway climate change in the decades ahead - and any of them could tip the world towards conflict. Bold, unflinching, and based on exhaustive research, Climate Wars grippingly reveals how world leaders are likely to react, and promises to be one of the most important books of the coming years....

Title : Climate Wars: The Fight for Survival as the World Overheats
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ISBN : 9781851687428
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 288 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Climate Wars: The Fight for Survival as the World Overheats Reviews

  • Antonomasia
    2019-03-18 10:32

    [4.5] Fancy some bigger concerns as a distraction from the horrid new homepage?I won’t be the only person whose Goodreads shelves aren’t an accurate reflection of all their interests and opinions, but it still seems weird that I only have ten “environment” books – it’s just a subject that since I was a kid in the 80s, I’ve mostly read about in newspapers and journals, as books go out of date so quickly. My knowledge has become bitty over the years: a lot of recent models seemed to be showing more pessimistic results, but I didn’t really have an overall sense of where things may be going. Since the Brexit vote, probably by way of displacement or catharsis, I’ve been watching and reading a fair bit about natural disasters, climate change, about the absurd lengths US preppers go to, and relishing episodes of the BBC historical farm series I hadn’t got round to. (Strange that that obscure 2005 thing Tales From the Green Valley, one of my most-watched DVDs, eventually spawned a whole set of similar programmes millions love. Yes, but I like their first album best, and I got it when it was newly released.) Wartime Farm proved to be one of the most thought-provoking things about climate change I’ve ever encountered – because it’s not directly about it, but it does show how a society organised to deal with multiple shortages, and where the strains were and could be: that if the war had lasted a year or two longer, there could have been people starving; that fields were becoming worn out because of constant cultivation and the lack of manure following the cull of livestock. Then watch the Tudor one and consider that that was a society starting to run short of wood with the number of people it had even then, which is why coal slowly became more popular…The very existence of these series, that our current society has capacity for people to reconstruct these sites and activities for the sake of entertainment and academic interest, started to seem incredibly poignant and decadent, something that could only happen in a fleeting and unusually comfortable place and age, like the indoor flight of Bede’s sparrowMost of the recent environment books that interested me were expensive, so I ended up scrabbling around on Scribd, looking at various titles around 5 years old. I’m really surprised how good this book was, given its disaster-movie cover. It appealed to me in a trashy kind of way and I started it expecting a bunch of hard cli-fi short stories - not something with such solid research foundations and pragmatic examinations of different possibilities. Outside fiction, there still isn't much in book form that looks at how climate change might interact with geopolitics, other than saying there would be wars because of water shortages, and that's what this book, by a military historian and journalist addresses, often basing his hypotheses around studies that were commissioned by the US and UK military, and international organisations. I would like to see more historians examining climate change and other future scenarios, as they are already trained in looking at a bigger picture behind events, whereas other types of specialised commentators tend to miss out multiple important factors unrelated to their field, or contain a sort of fluffy emotive pleading with which I’ve got limited patience (e.g. Naomi Klein). Climate Wars contains potential scenarios occurring at different severities of climate change over the next hundred years - all pretty brief, with a lot more space given to discussion of the science behind them than to hypothetical political events. Here there is way more than I expected about different feedback mechanisms, uncertainty, meticulous examination of the theories about various prehistoric extinctions, the history of IPCC models and how those have been conservative compared with actual change - and especially about ppm carbon dioxide levels, their correlation with past climates and ice cores. In various contexts, Dyer says something which isn't mentioned often enough, that reducing carbon emissions is a long game: due to the complexity of the system and what has already been emitted, things will not start getting better that quickly, and indeed may get worse for a while before stabilising. Only now are there signs of the ozone layer starting to repair itself, twenty years after CFCs were banned and nearly thirty since environmentally-minded westerners started to stop using them, but going by past patterns, melted ice and permafrost might not be back in similar form to the early twentieth century for thousands of years. Some people are impossible to convince satisfy politically because this is about trying to prevent things, and if they can't see the damage happening, they don't believe. But if it does happen beyond a certain point, it’s not something that can be reversed within a single lifetime, let alone a few years. Geoengineering is rarely mentioned in single-topic articles about climate change, and I've never actually sought out papers about it. So it was great to get an overview of some of the main types. I am also a big fan of the author's balanced attitude and presentation to it. I am instinctually a dark green, but I've never really been able to live like one, largely due to health issues. Besides, in pretty much all aspects of life I've seen how much compromise is necessary; I don't think there's a job around where a person doesn't have to put some principles to one side. My friends tend to be bright greens as that fits with their temperaments generally. On a gut level I dislike the possible technological solutions they favour, feeling that humans as a species need to get the fuck over themselves and accept that some things are bigger and more important than they are, but I also accept that geoengineering projects are pretty likely. Yet Dyer has made me accept them with almost no grudgefulness – a major change in the way I’ve thought all my life. Perhaps it’s because this book, just like most of the up-to-date climate science, suggests things are getting worse faster than we used to think they would - and it's easy to see leaders from my own generation having to decide whether to deploy solutions like putting particles into the atmosphere for temporary cooling until the world has genuinely and substantially cut emissions. This stuff may be needed at least 50 years sooner than I used to think it would be. He has sympathies with a dislike of these projects – but he also values the progress in knowledge, social equality and co-operation that has occurred over the last hundred years or so. I still think humans are too self-important, but I also think those enlightened attitudes of modern society which have only really developed over the past hundred years or must be preserved for human life to have any decent quality. I am not sure how much technology is sustainable, but I always want people to know stuff - to understand why things such as disease or weather might be happening (and not ascribe it to religion or scapegoated minorities) regardless of whether they [can] do anything about it. It's probably obvious to a lot of people that women made social progress because of technology such as labour-saving devices (having just spent ten days without washing machine and dishwasher, some of that with no hot running water either, I'm particularly cognisant of the time and work these things save) - but it’s not just that. It was in the 1960s, when people in the West became less constrained than ever, that emissions rose most sharply. And before machine power, as the author points out, huge numbers of people were servants and slaves – drudge work for powerful elites was how most large projects, buildings and empires, were accomplished - and it seems plausible that in a society returning to lower technology, such systems could again emerge after the demise of the generation or two that were acculturated to a freer and more equal way of life, as the population would be way more dense than could be supported by a hunter-gatherer way of life. I don’t really have a horse in the race: I know I’m fucked anyway if much goes wrong, much as I’d like to be a resourceful rugged survivor, and I’m not going to have any descendants around. So maybe it’s odd to care. But this book has shifted my outlook towards a sense that trying to reduce climate change is important for preserving some semblance of equality in the future - not just, or maybe more than, because of feelings about the greater importance of the Earth and environment that are something like a faith.I also like the author’s interest in trying to understand how the other side thinks, rather than condemning them outright, this about sociological research by Donald Braman: When you provide the conservative or individualistic-type folks with the condition that says we want more regulation of pollution, they see red. This is a disaster. They despise the suggestion that that is a solution; but then, moreover, if you ask them how severe they think the global warming problem is, they say: not very severe at all. First, we don’t really think it’s happening. Secondly, if it’s happening, it’s not because humans are involved. And thirdly, if there are consequences, they’re likely to be mixed. Some of them will be good, some of them will be bad, it’s hard to say on balance that this is something that’s terrible or to be avoided. But show them the solution of deregulated nuclear power, and all of sudden global warming is a real problem, and we need to deal with it now. Not only is it a threat to us very soon, but humans are contributing to it, and sure enough the consequences are going to be dire. [One solution] resonates with their preferred vision of how society should work: private orderings, deregulation, scientific knowhow overcoming the threat of environmental harm. [The other solution] is the polar opposite from their perspective: increased regulation, clamping down on private enterprise. And their perception of the risks that are associated [with climate change]—risks that shouldn’t have anything to do with either of the solutions—really fluctuate quite a bit. He also has a surprising benevolence about human nature. Considering how warlike human society has been through most of history, it’s actually pretty amazing that it has become able to co-operate on such a large scale, though by no means perfectly, in the last 70 years or so via organisations like the United Nations; that it managed not to blow itself up during the Cold War; and although the climate agreements from Rio, Kyoto, Copenhagen, Paris etc needed to be stricter, it’s quite remarkable that people have actually made a start considering that not so long ago the same leading powers were just plundering colonies for their own gain. This doesn’t do anything to change the actual results of those agreements, but it was nice to go “actually, yeah!” and be positive about these achievements for a while.Knowing nothing about the author at the start of the book, I had assumed a military historian would have obvious right-wing values, so I was really surprised how much this book chimed with my own concerns, right down to a sense that he prizes personal freedom but sees communal solutions as necessary to deal with the challenges of climate change. He also quietly accepts that large-animal conservation projects are unlikely to be successful in the longer term. As several GR friends will have heard me complain, I’m perenially exasperated by the lack of joined-up thinking in futurology. I'm glad Dyer makes a small attempt to mesh another strand that's increasingly talked about: by the 2020s, we may be plunged into a struggle over the proper role of artificial intelligence.... But he doesn't, and I'm not sure anybody has, co-ordinated projections about "robots will take all our jobs" with dwindling oil, and climate worsening and the attendant political upheavals. (If the climate projections here, from the likes of James Hansen, are any way correct, I'm thinking maybe a decade or two of automation before it starts to stall / unravel?)The biggie I think Dyer misses out is how society will manage without plastics and other petrochemical products. I have reservations about the "keep it in the ground" slogan - really I think it needs to be "save it for later" – also a principle that may communicate better with conservatives: we know how to produce energy without oil (and there's some really good stuff in this book about making renewables into huge transnational grids so they can make energy available at all times, quoted from George Mobiot’s Heat) but what about the equipment that is making the renewable energy, the turbines, solar panels - or common items used in medical care that governments are likely to regard as essential priorities for these materials long after iPhone replacement gets rationed? Fertilisers are mentioned: "we are literally eating oil" - but in the more optimistic conclusion to the book, there's little extrapolation about how bllions of people might be supported in, say, 200 years’ time without those. There is an allusion half way through to the over-optimism of some geo-engineers and bright greens who figure humans will fix everything before it gets too late, even though they don't really know how this might happen, but I feel the author [or editor?] finds it difficult not to end on a high note and ends up resorting to this himself in his conclusion. The book grabbed me from the first because of prescient elements in some of the future scenarios, which seemed like they might have been written just now, not six or eight years ago. (Book first published 2008, revised 2010). In at least two of the scenarios, the US puts up a fence or wall along the Mexican border. And as an escalation of much of what we're seeing now, the following is fairly spine-chilling, such that it makes you wonder if the purely political aspects of this would take as long as twenty years:Scenario 1, 2045, Average global temperature: 2.8 degrees Celsius higher than 1990. Global population: 5.8 billion. [This is one of the nastier ones.]SINCE THE FINAL COLLAPSE of the European Union in 2036, under the stress of mass migration from the southern to the northern members, the reconfigured Northern Union (France, Benelux, Germany, Scandinavia, Poland and the old Habsburg domains in central Europe) has succeeded in closing its borders to any further refugees from the famine-stricken Mediterranean countries. Italy, south of Rome, has been largely overrun by refugees from even harder-hit North African countries and is no longer part of an organised state, but Spain, Padania (northern Italy) and Turkey have all acquired nuclear weapons and are seeking (with little success) to enforce food sharing on the better-fed countries of northern Europe. Britain, which has managed to make itself just about self-sufficient in food by dint of a great national effort, has withdrawn from the continent and shelters behind its enhanced nuclear deterrent. Russia, the greatest beneficiary of climate change in terms of food production, is the undisputed great power of Asia.(Although right now, one wouldn't be inclined to place Poland with those.)There are others which don't feel so prescient based on current news, including the nearest: 2019, a "Colder War" in which a years-long standoff is happening between Russia, Canada, the US and a Europe-backed Norway, over territorial and oil rights in the Arctic. Although no missiles are launched, the tension delays international co-operation on emissions and climate change, leading to greater warming and desertification in the long run.I doubt that Western governments decades hence would remain as opposed to geoengineering as 'Scenario 7: 2042' suggests, where they won't countenance particles resembling volcanic eruptions being put into the stratosphere. This was by far the most sensationally SFF of the scenarios: not long after a coalition of East Asian countries started to release the particles without global approval, there is unfortunately a massive volcanic eruption, of Mount Toba. Yup, the same volcano thought to have caused a human population bottleneck c. 70 000 years ago. This eruption is only a sixth that size, but still 3 times the 1815 Tambora eruption that was among the biggest in the last 4000 years, a twice-a-millennium level event that was responsible for the "year without a summer" exactly 200 years ago. This implausibly bad luck may match the book’s tabloidesque cover, but doesn't belong with projections otherwise based on good quality climate science and informed political observation, or with his analogy that in our world, the possibilities for fairly disastrous climate scenarios need to be faced to the same extent that a homeowner should consider the possibility of fires or burglaries, and take appropriate precautions. A smaller eruption of the Mt. St Helens / Pinatubo size would have got the point across fine in this story. Dyer had no way of forseeing Fukushima and how that would make many countries more wary of nuclear power than they had been even a year earlier - and it sounds like it may also be uneconomic now, as well as the Tories being suspicious of China. If only he had had been right about Islamic fundamentalists, whom he feels loom too large in IPCC predictions as an American obsession of the 00s, one that he thought would soon wane in geopolitical importance, and whom he assumed would have little traction in Europe. Which is not to say that the Middle East is ignored: in some scenarios, countries attack one another due to water shortages but because world oil consumption is much lower by this point, it has far less impact outside the region, and they are left to themselves. The following is easy to say with hindsight, but history should indicate that people at the time don't always feel a conflict is about the same things that historians will later identify as macro / underlying causes: when was the last time you saw a news report describing the conflict in Syria as being caused by a drought? Elsewhere in the book Dyer identifies all the requisite factors, but happens to have missed a trick on the particular issue of Islamic extremists which sadly now dominates the headlines. [IPCC report author Leo Fuerth] suggests that massive social upheavals will be accompanied by intense religious and ideological turmoil, in which the principal winners will be authoritarian ideologies and brands of religion that reject scientific rationalism. - or in another of the future scenarios: The Great Awakening of the 2040s (the third in American history, actually) was largely a response to the disillusionment and helplessness many Americans felt in the face of these multiple disasters. Science, engineering, conventional politics—none of these seemed to make even a dent in the permanent crisis people found themselves trapped in, and many turned to extreme forms of religion. Militant sects proliferatedthe indisputable fact is that people (or at least people in the small-scale societies that anthropologists study) always attack the neighbors before they starve. Would that be true of large, developed societies, too? How badly do we want to find out? Because even some relatively rich countries are going to have trouble feeding their people as global warming progresses, while some countries nearby will still have food.[final paragraph is in comment 1]

  • Ken
    2019-02-23 15:24

    Gwynne Dyer is a syndicated columnist who write on international affairs. His inquiry in this book is what are the likely scenarios should current predictions about climate change happen. Many people talk about climate change and what that will mean for the planet, but few have a clear-eyed view of what the implications of that are for individual countries, international relation, immigration, and the internal politics of the various states now on the globe. He looks to military planners and others for information about what they believe the outcomes might be and how they are preparing for them, if at all. A very scary book indeed because he is looking at things that most people don't want to see and don't want to think about.

  • Carey
    2019-03-07 16:44

    Consider this a study guide to learn about climate change. It provides some fairly outlandish scenarios (and historically defendable in premise) to guide the discussion and explain the history and research of the difficult topic. It should be read in light of other sources, however, to insure the dramatic license taken by the author does not deter the reader from internalizing its main points. It leaves recommendations of policy to us to determine for the future, but it effectively argues the necessity of doing something.

  • Randy
    2019-03-19 10:34

    The title "Climate Wars" hints at Dyer's contention that global warming will not be a benign phenomenon where things will continue as before. Rather like the human body, where a fever of only three and a half degrees Celcius is potentially fatal, an increase of only a few degrees can potentially cause massive changes in the earth's climate. The earth's biosphere appears to be more fine-tuned and fragile than we thought, and we have unknowingly pushed it far toward making the earth a far less habitable place for humans to live. He believes that irreversible changes are coming at a rate higher than even recent generally accepted predictions, so that the goal, for example, of the U.S. and British governments to achieve 80 percent cuts to emissions by 2050, is not enough. To illustrate what may be coming, then, he creates a number of fictitious scenarios, set at various times in the relatively near future. These scenarios are possible futures he imagines in a world increasingly under stress from the effects of climate change. They illustrate his point that global warming is not the relatively easy problem that, for example, CFC's and the ozone layer was, where the world could simply rally together and deal effectively with it. Though there are technological hurdles to be overcome, they are not insurmountable, and could largely be dealt with in the next couple of decades if the international community, with a single mind, made a decision to move away from oil and coal energy sources and develop alternatives. Of course that would include, among other projects, building five million wind turbines around the world in the next five years - quite an undertaking, but certainly doable, especially if you consider that the world builds 65 million cars a year. He believes that we could achieve 80 percent cuts in carbon dioxide emissions by 2020, if the political will were there. And politics is the arena where the game will be decided. It is political will, not technological solutions, that that will limit our response to the coming crisis.As the effects of climate change manifest themselves it will become clear why the international community will not be of a single mind. Developing nations, such as India and China, will not agree to curb their emissions to the same degree as the old, fully industrialized nations, at least not at first. They will consider it a matter of basic justice that they be allowed to catch up in economic development before making their cuts, and that the West will have to take the initiative and actually accept deeper cuts initially than if everything were across-the-board. This is going to be an extremely hard sell with voters in the developed countries, who will certainly object to paying for benefits that will be spread to countries that not only are not paying for them but are continuing to belch out greenhouse gases. Another feature of climate change that can lull policy makers to inactivity is the huge amount of latency between cause and effect. There is roughly a 40 year lag in seeing the effects of current levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide. So at the time when we need to act (now), climate effects are only beginning to be felt, and we don't feel the sense of urgency that we ought. And to make it worse, thirty years from now when we're really working hard to address the problem, it will seem that it isn't helping, because things will actually be getting worse, even though we would then be mitigating the effects for a future generation. So the difficulty is not only in getting started, but in staying the course. This forty-year lag in climate effect means that regardless of what we do now, there will be at least some negative changes felt in mid-century. These changes, including drought and sea-level rise, will cause some countries to suffer a lot more than others. The one critical, indispensable, sine qua non of reducing and then eliminating greenhouse gas emissions is international cooperation. And we see that even today, when things are relatively good, that is hard to achieve. But when climate change starts causing food shortages and mass displacement of people, any chance of international cooperation will vanish. Climate treaties will not be much of a priority for especially the developing countries as all their efforts will be focussed on maintaining order and feeding their people. Conflict over dwindling resources and access to food will intensify as, after all, Dyer notes grimly, "people always raid before they starve."There is general agreement that we need to keep warming below 2 degrees Celcius so that feedbacks don't kick in that would make warming a self-sustaining process. Dyer thinks we won't make emissions-reducing deadlines to prevent that. So it will be necessary, today, to begin preparing, for future use, geo-engineering strategies which would produce a cooling effect, allowing us the time to stop carbon dioxide emissions and then bring atmospheric concentrations back to a safe level, while keeping the temperature from rising more than 2 degrees. One such technique, mimicking the action of volcanoes, could be the release of sulphur dioxide into the upper atmosphere, producing a temporary "global dimming." Dyer's dark forecast is more extreme than the views held by most policy makers and climate scientists, but it is not implausible. Plausibility factors much into of our lives, for example our decision to buy fire insurance even though it is not likely that we will ever experience a house fire. As so much is at stake in the uncertain predictions of climate change, to err on the side of caution can hardly be called foolish. And as worldwide oil resources dwindle and prices skyrocket, we are going to have to make massive changes away from oil-based economies anyways. We ought to consider ourselves fortunate that we are only now facing this coming crisis, and not fifty years ago when we had no alternatives to fossil fuels.

  • Cara
    2019-03-09 10:40

    Eight possible future scenarios, all based on solid scientific research, form the basis of this well written book by Gwynne Dyer, a respected journalist and military historian. Climate Wars imagines the future geopolitical consequences of climate change, and speculates how this will impact on societies around the world. War, famine, and mass population movements are all probable outcomes of a 2 degree plus rise in global temperatures. One very interesting point made early on is that the Bush administration for years was actively denying human caused climate change or that it was going to have any dramatic affect, but behind-the-scenes the Pentagon was already working to deal with the probable effects of climate change. Dyer spent a year interviewing a wide range of people, including scientists, politicians, academics, businessmen and high-ranking military officials for Climate Wars, quoting them as part of his analysis. The depth of research is clear in both his speculative scenarios and in his conclusions, which are backed up by current scientific studies and IPCC reports. Make no mistake, this is a chilling read. While humanity continues on its wasteful and destructive path, there is little optimism that our civilisation will survive in it’s present form. Yet there is some hope, albeit presented with caution, particularly where radical engineering solutions are concerned. A lot will depend on politicians worldwide setting aside their local interests and working together for the benefit of humanity and the planet as a whole. A highly recommended read for anyone concerned about climate change, but especially those in positions of power and influence.

  • Peter Levi
    2019-02-22 13:21

    I wish Dyer had used a less lurid title, but this is a fascinating book that looks at the military and political possibilities and outcomes of climate change. Dyer interviewed top generals and military experts from around the world (all of whom accept the reality of global warming) to see what the fallout might be.

  • Paul Sedlock
    2019-03-05 09:28

    I read Climate wars & then Six Degrees, which also warned of climate change. While both present the extreme of what may happen without preventative action even a warming of 2-4 degrees will significantly alter our daily weather.We are obviously too many who consume too much. As developing countries ape our lifestyles the sustainability of human life on earth become tenuous at best. Both books are a chilling look into a not too distant future. I gave four stars, as there is no four and a half.

  • Stephanie Matthews
    2019-03-11 14:22

    Absolutely blooming terrifying, blood curdling and bone chilling. If this doesn't scare the bejaysus out of you, you must already be dead. And it's not even fiction! Brilliant book, one of the best I've read so far this year.

  • Andy Gibb
    2019-03-18 09:22

    ...with the emphasis on survival. “Global society will live or die as a high-energy enterprise” in the closing hopeful (i.e. hope in the sense of someone else will sort it out) chapter drives home where Gwynne Dyer is coming from. Business as usual, with technology (or innovation) patching up the damage, will somehow deliver the same energy punch as cheap oil.It's doubtful that any of coal, hydro, wind, sun, biofuel, geothermal (fill in the latest fad here) will suffice. Even the combination of all the above is unlikely to cut it. Our high-energy days are surely numbered and whisper it not that billions of the walking dead may truly have to die as this input falters.And say that it doesn't falter. That it continues to drive our unsustainable lifestyle further down the road of climate change, soil depletion, water drawdown and species extinction.However, Climate Wars is what it says on the tin. So let's judge the book on its cover and ignore the Unholy Trinity of Bottlenecks - oil, soil and water. Even so, the book's message is that we're fucked if we're relying on politicians, government or the free market. It paints several grim pictures of industrial civilisation imploding.None of this will be new to forward thinkers. New to me in the penultimate chapter was Canfield Oceans. The first of these existed some billion or two years ago as an oxygen-free sea. Then oxygen got going and that should have been that for the Canfield Ocean.But they seemed to crop up again and again coincident with most mass extinctions. And the mechanism that caused their return was... global warming. But you didn't need me to tell you that. They spewed toxic hydrogen sulphide into the atmosphere, much as volcanoes do, but by orders of magnitude more.The good news is that one isn't about to happen any time soon. Dyer oddly claims that it's our only extinction threat. Industry's wholesale destruction of nature, i.e. our support system, springs to mind as just one other candidate.A compelling read and well written, Climate Wars is a fine addition to the futurology canon. Just remember to factor in the missing roadblocks.

  • Mike Smith
    2019-02-22 10:43

    This is a sobering look at the geopolitical implications of global warming. Dyer takes as given that global warming is happening. If you don't accept that premise, you may find the book a waste of time. His main concern is that, on top of the physical changes (such as rising sea levels, changes in rainfall patterns leading to crop failiures, etc.), the political ramifications (such as massive migrations of refugees, breakdowns in global cooperation, and maybe even wars) could prevent us from working together to counter global warming, and working together is the only way we're going to come through global warming with our civilization more or less intact.Dyer believes we have or soon will have the technology to reduce our carbon dioxide emissions and control the early, modest effects of global warming through geo-engineering (because it's already too late for reducing emissions alone to prevent some global warming). It's a case of building the political will to make the necessary investments.There are many "ifs" and "maybes" in this book, but can we afford to take the chance that he's wrong?

  • Graham Mulligan
    2019-02-21 13:30

    Climate WarsGwynne Dyer, Random House, 2008Reviewed by Graham Mulligan Gwynne Dyer’s projections of geopolitical scenarios set in the near future under the effects of disastrous climate change are scary reading. Increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere plus an average increase in global warming above 2 degrees Celsius will combine with numerous negative consequences for human society. Current CO2 level is 380 ppm (parts per million) – Kyoto (1988) (1997)EU (European Union) ‘never exceed’ limit is 450 ppmDyer travelled the globe to interview a variety of sources to discover the military plans of different nations in the face of this global threat. His hunch was correct. All the big military establishments have plans ready. Rising sea levels, food shortages and population stress will lead to instability and possible wars as nations compete to survive in a changed world.You can see Dyer’s address to the BC Hydro Forum here:

  • Marius Marsh
    2019-03-10 17:20

    Gwynne Dyer is a well known expert on war and the forces that lead to war. In this book he presents potential scenarios that could result from the climate changes that are occurring, as per the International Panel on Climate Change predictions. I say are occurring, as it is now absolutely obvious that climate change is occurring, and that it is also now abundantly clear that man made emissions are playing a very significant role in that change. Although MR. Dyer's scenarios may seem unrealistic or far fetched at times, they have a solid basis to them from both the climate change perspective, and its effects on global water and food resources, as well as from the perspective of how people and governments are known to react to such disasters, and need to be taken very seriously. People the world over, and especially our political "leaders", need to take note of the potential catastrophic effects that are likely to result if we don't change our ways in the very near future.

  • Dwight
    2019-03-08 13:41

    It is scaring me more than anything that Stephen King ever wrote, but for entirely different reasons; Mr Dyer tells what is happening, how, and why, and goes on to explain that even though we have all the means necessary to correct the problem available to us now, nothing will be done in time to prevent disaster beyond imagination, simply because of political will and the human species' natural tendency to defer corrective action unless immediate results can be gained. I am of the opinion that this book should be part of every grade 11 high school curriculum (in the world), and (very seriously) thinking that a fund should be raised to buy a stock that can be given to all elected government officials, and all beaurocrats of middle-management status and up.

  • Lisa
    2019-02-24 11:29

    Ok for those who haven't read much about climate change, but a bit repetitive if you have. Also, I almost feel like the speculative scenarios about the sociopolitical reactions to the changing environment don't belong in non-fiction. Beyond 10 or 20 years out (and sometimes not even then) such speculation is fairly useless. Case in point: even 5 years before the fall of the Berlin Wall, most Serious People pooh-poohed the idea of the Soviet Union breaking up. I would have been much happier with a book that stuck to the science and painted in broad strokes when talking about the social implications instead of the fanciful scenarios about specifics in this country or that country.

  • Alastaire Henderson
    2019-02-25 14:14

    Gwynn Dyer is clear-eyed and unafraid to articulate what many are too fearful to face: that climate change will utterly transform our world in frequently violent,destructive ways. At the same time, he recognizes that there are so many variables - including a closing window in which to act to forestall the worst - that his scenarios are only that. The most disturbing of his predictions is that effective mitigative action is so politically difficult that we are going to need to undertake geo-engineering projects to buy us time to bring our greenhouse gas emissions down before we trip positive feedback loops.

  • Philippa Dowding
    2019-03-09 17:32

    This book was recommended to me by my brother, as the one book that anyone should read if they are interested in the issue of climate change. Drawing on 25 years of award-winning journalism and study, Gwynne Dyer tells us how the world is changing now, and then hypothesizes the changes in store for everyone in the next 10, 20, 30, 40+ years. The book is a riveting, terrifying, and probably all-too-accurate glimpse into the crystal ball of our environmental future. According to Dyer, there's still time, just, to make real change ...

  • Carey
    2019-03-15 15:41

    Worth your timeConsider this a study guide to learn about climate change. It provides some fairly outlandish scenarios (and historically defendable in premise) to guide the discussion and explain the history and research of the difficult topic. It should be read in light of other sources, however, to insure the dramatic license taken by the author does not deter the reader from internalizing its main points. It leaves recommendations of policy to us to determine for the future, but it effectively argues the necessity of doing something.

  • Jack
    2019-03-16 11:28

    This is the most important book I have read in the last 5 years. I would recommend this to any and everybody on the planet that can read it outlines I'm number of different future scenarios of how will government and the people in this nation states will respond to climate change. Incredibly comprehensive scary and I could not put it down. Go out and buy this book right now. This is important for the left wing and the right wing and everybody in between. I accidentally stumbled across this book and I am so thankful I took the time to read it

  • Terry Moore
    2019-02-19 09:25

    Surprisingly incisive analysis of our climate crisis and the urgent need to decarbonize the global economy. Highlights the fact that the US military is miles ahead of US politicians in understanding the dangers in not addressing GHG induced global warming and the environmental crises that will be unleashed as the climate gets more extreme. Reviews a number of scenarios for how climate wars will play out in the absence of real decarbonization action. This book will chill you to the bones,i f your not already there.

  • Ursina
    2019-02-25 17:35

    This is one of the few climate books that I really liked for its presentation of facts. The author is not forcing his ideas on anybody and has clear back-up evidence. There is references and more than one opinion. A great book for anybody that can handle the truth about our world. The predictions don't scare me that much anymore, it's my future. Most people I know have moved on from "is global warming real or not" to "whats in store for us" and "how do we stop/slow it down". A great book.

  • Gagne
    2019-02-20 10:43

    Many people have stress what climate change will do to the earth, but not many stress what it will do the political borders of our countries and ideologies. Climate Wars, discuss possible scenarios that mass population, shifting eco systems, and changing mindsets will trigger. Also offers alternative views on how to prevent total disaster. Spoiler, most of his scenarios don't have a happy ending.

  • uh8myzen
    2019-03-21 15:28

    Gwynne Dyer is one of my favorite historians, and his exploration into coming Climate Wars was enlightening and frightening.Gwynne Dyer is a historian who not only knows his stuff, but knows how to write about it in a way that is not only interesting and thought-provoking, but also accessibly. So many historians have brilliant insights that get lost in an over technical and cold writing style, but this is never the case here.

  • Garth Moore
    2019-02-20 13:16

    Four stars because Chaps 2 and 4 are worth a read for anyone who needs an understanding of why there is an urgency with addressing climate change; the global ramifications are immense. Some of the doomsday scenarios are a bit much (I did like an elderly George W. Bush using a video blog to plead for reason and ease Mexico/US tensions ... that would be mildly amusing). But overall, I enjoyed this book.

  • Jacquelyn Negraiff
    2019-03-05 15:22

    So far so good. There is alot of information, numbers, quotes, data. But once you get into it, it's hard to put down. He's a good writer, and I saw him speak on a book tour in 200...8? (before it was released), I like that he is a journalist, and a pretty objective guy.Well worth the read, opens ones eyes to the situation at hand on our planet, whether you 'believe in the science' or not.

  • Carolyn
    2019-03-06 16:29

    I enjoyed the predictions of what would happen socially in the future. But a lot of the book discussed the science, which I already know. I was looking for different information about global climate change, but was disappointed. If you don't know very much about climate change, then this is probably a good book.

  • stinaz
    2019-02-21 10:35

    Goes where others fear to tread by postulating about what might happen in a global and local political sense as countries and states react to the impact of climate change in the 21st century. A very interesting read that will open your eyes to more than just environmental consequences to our changing climate.

  • Bryan457
    2019-03-06 15:23

    A fairly insightful book on the potential interactions of climate change and politics. Dyer uses eight very interesting future scenarios to introduce political issues surrounding and affecting climate change.

  • Mark Earle
    2019-03-14 16:28

    7 years on (since this book was written). Paris is finished. Where are we going and how will we get there? Dyer gives us some clues and never shrinks from the cold reality that we are only human. Highly recommended.

  • Bill
    2019-03-16 09:21

    "People always raid before they starve". Dyer summarizes the science and posits hypothetical scenarios where mankind's dwindling resources leads to war. So pessimistic that he dismisses his own rosy scenario as a fantasy. He's probably right.

  • Sven
    2019-03-12 15:43

    Een beschrijving van een mogelijke toekomst der mensheid indien we blijven voortdoen zoals we bezig zijn. De komende oorlogen zullen dan rond voedsel en water draaien, waarbij het vooral ieder voor zich zal zijn. Een toekomst waar we niet in willen leven.