Stormy Weather: 101 Solutions to Global Climate Change by Guy Dauncey with Patrick Mazza (New Society), 288 pages, $27.95 paper. Rating: NNNNN
the publication of any book thatclearly identifies the forces assaulting our planet while providing practical remedies to speed its healing should be a cause for celebration. Guy Dauncey's Stormy Weather is one such work.It comprehensively illustrates sources of ecological havoc and devastation. Clear-cut logging of earth's remaining old-growth forests, for example, threatens to dump carbon that forests would otherwise be absorbing into the atmosphere. Global warming adds to the problem with massive forest fires in Canada's boreal forests, harbingers of future destruction of the Amazon rain forest.
In discussions of these and other eco-disasters, Stormy Weather makes the often mind-boggling science of climate change understandable and compelling. Most shocking is the detailed account of sensible measures to protect the environment that are currently commonplace in Europe but banned in North America.
The Greenfreeze, a 100-per-cent environmentally safe refrigerator designed by Greenpeace, is now the dominant fridge in northwestern Europe but is being kept out of North America by the chemical industry and its manufacturing allies.
Not a single North American city has adopted the Car-Free Days now widespread in Europe. Nor has any region on this continent enacted measures similar to the Irish Republic's ban on big box stores and shopping centres.
Dauncey demonstrates that research-and-development measures to reduce the cost of renewable energy are important and inexpensive, but it's the political obstacles to green power that are huge. The coal mines and utilities of North Dakota, for example, have kept clean wind power and its potential to meet most of our continent's electrical needs out of the state.
What Stormy Weather needs is a 102nd solution: promoting the extension of democracy and human rights around the world, most infamously in Nigeria, but also in Mexico, Russia, Kenya, Chad and Cameroon, where environmentalists are persecuted by repressive governments dependent on oil wealth. Dauncey's struggle for the earth must be combined with a quest for freedom. He gives a talk at City Hall tonight (Thursday, November 22). See listings.