By Thomas Homer-Dixon
"We are actually so abusing the Earth that it will probably upward thrust and circulation again to the recent nation it used to be in fifty-five million years in the past, and if it does, so much folks, and our descendants, will die."
-James Lovelock, top weather professional and writer of The Revenge of Gaia
"I do not see why individuals are so anxious approximately international warming destroying the planet - top oil will look after that."
-Matthew Simmons, strength funding banker and writer of Twilight within the Desert: the arriving Saudi Oil surprise and the realm financial system
The dual crises of weather switch and peaking oil creation are converging on us. in the event that they aren't to prepare dinner the planet and topple our civilization, we'll want proficient and decisive rules, clear-sighted innovation, and a lucid realizing of what's at stake. we are going to want to know the place we stand, and which path we must always start in. those are the questions Carbon Shift addresses.
Thomas Homer-Dixon, writer of The Ingenuity Gap and The Upside of Down, argues that the 2 difficulties are rather one: a carbon challenge. we rely on carbon power to gasoline our complicated economies and societies, and while this very carbon is fatally contaminating our surroundings. to unravel this sort of difficulties would require fixing the opposite whilst. In different phrases, we nonetheless have an opportunity to take on enormous demanding situations with one cutting edge answer: fresh, low-carbon power.
Carbon Shift brings jointly six of Canada's world-class specialists to discover the query of the place we stand now, and the place we would be headed. It explores the economics, the geology, the politics, and the technology of the main issue we discover ourselves in. And it supplies each one professional the opportunity to deal with what they suspect are crucial aspects of the complicated challenge sooner than us.
There aren't any specialists in Canada greater situated to provide an explanation for the realm that awaits us simply past the horizon, and no larger consultant to that destiny than this selection of their concepts. Densely choked with info, yet accessibly written and powerfully well timed, Carbon Shift will be an quintessential guide to the tricky offerings that lie forward.
David Hughes is a former senior geoscientist with the Geological Survey of Canada
David Keith is Canada examine Chair in strength and the surroundings, college of Calgary
Jeff Rubin is leader Economist, leader Strategist and handling Director, CIBC global Markets
Mark Jaccard is professor of environmental economics within the institution of source and Environmental administration at Simon Fraser college and a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on weather switch (IPCC)
William Marsden is an investigative reporter and writer of Stupid to the final Drop: How Alberta Is Bringing Environmental Armageddon to Canada (And does not appear to Care)
Jeffrey Simpson is a Globe and Mail nationwide columnist and writer, with Mark Jaccard, of Hot Air: assembly Canada's weather switch problem
With a foreword via Ronald Wright, writer of A brief heritage of growth and What is America?
From the Hardcover edition.
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Extra info for Carbon Shift: How Peak Oil and the Climate Crisis Will Change Canada (and Our Lives)
Transit ridership in urban centres soared, while house prices fell fastest in the suburbs, because many suburbanites decided they couldn’t cope with the cost of multi-hour commutes. Municipalities tried to cover higher fuel prices by cutting back on street and park maintenance, community centres’ hours of operation, and emergency services. Meals on wheels programs were cancelled. In these countless large and small ways, business as usual seems to be ending. — But even if we can afford to pay for fossil fuels, can we afford to burn them?
And Mark Jaccard, energy economist and former IPCC member, takes a different view, arguing that economics rather than geology will define our energy future. As long as we can provide markets with the right price signals, Jaccard contends, we can count on them to keep our complex systems running. Economist Jeff Rubin, a globally recognized voice on the threat of oil depletion, argues on the other hand that shifting patterns of oil demand are challenging our long-held economic assumptions. Rich countries are no longer driving petroleum markets, but are just along for the ride as rapidly industrializing poor countries, like China and India, push their accelerators to the floor.
On the other hand, new petroleum extraction technologies can dramatically boost reserves. To take just one example, recent breakthroughs in horizontal drilling and the use of high-pressure water to shatter rock have allowed drillers—in the last three years—to start extracting enormous amounts of natural gas from what previously were unexploitable oil shales in North America, reversing what had otherwise been a steady decline in the continent’s gas production. On balance, though, the longer-term global challenge looks truly formidable, especially when it comes to oil.