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2030: Confronting Thermageddon in Our Lifetime

by Robert Hunter

Author and Greenpeace co-founder Robert Hunter is at his angry best in 2030 when drawing out the scientifically proven (yes, proven) causes of climate change and the disastrous consequences we may already be facing. Think floods; think famine; think bad, bad news for most people across most of the Earth. Hunter also exposes the disinformation campaign waged by the oil industry and sympathetic governments, with the help of the few scientists who deny climate change is occuring.

While passionately delivered, 2030 avoids apocalyptic eco-babble and stern lecturing. The range of material here is wide, and complex scientific terms like albedo (the reflectivity of the earth) and thermocline circulation (an ocean current system) are prudently summarized. Hunter even provides a synopsis of the rise of the petroleum and automobile industries. Here he balances the drier, statistical material with his own controversial assertions, including a convincing argument that General Motors set out to destroy public transit in the Los Angeles region in the 1920s.

Less successful are the lengthy stories of Hunter’s childhood antics and Greenpeace actions. The ancecdotes take too long to arrive at their point, however interesting the point may be, and belong in another book. As well, apostrophes to Hunter’s grandson Dexter (his generation being the inheritors of our potentially scorched earth) are used too infrequently and feel too contrived to be moving.

Still, Hunter denounces the oil lobby, skewers Canada for its awful environmental record, and offers climate change solutions for everyone from suburbanites to the United Nations in this provocative, gutsy book. It won’t make him many friends within Imperial Oil or the Chrétien cabinet, but 2030 is a solid achievement by one of Canada’s most important environmentalists.


Reviewer: Andrew Kett

Publisher: McClelland & Stewart


Price: $36.99

Page Count: 288 pp

Format: Cloth

ISBN: 0-7710-4238-8

Released: Apr.

Issue Date: 2002-5

Categories: Science, Technology & Environment