The Weather Makers: The History and Future Impact of Climate Change

Tim Flannery

The Weather Makers
The History & Future Impact of Climate Change
by Tim Flannery

Most of us suspect that climate change is happening, but is it a terrible threat to our world or an exaggerated beat up? Or is it something in between - an issue that humanity must eventually face, but not yet?

In this groundbreaking and essential new book, Tim Flannery argues passionately for the urgent need to address - NOW - the implications of a global climate change that is damaging all life on earth and endangering our very survival.

This book is unimpeachable in its authority, deftly and accessibly written in its vision for what each of us can do to avoid catastrophe. It is a global call to arms, laying out plainly if not controversially what we know, what we think might happen, and what tools we have available to us to make a difference. The Weather Makers will change your life.

It is a difficult subject and hard for people to evaluate dispassionately because it entails deep political and industrial implications, and because it arises from the very core processes of our civilisation's success. Right now our fate is in our hands, for we are the weather makers and we already possess the tools required to avoid catastrophic climate change.


The Weather Makers wins Book of the Year

At this year's NSW Premier's Literary Awards, Tim's book on climate change won the top prize. See report.


Edited extracts from The Weather Makers

Three edited extracts from the book have appeared in the press.

Extract: Beat up or threat Extract: Taking it personally Extract: On Nuclear power

Praise for The Weather Makers

The great importance of The Weather Makers lies in its capacity to publicise climate change and its catastrophic consequences at a time when media are scrutinising the trends behind massive cyclones, melting polar caps, the defrosting tundra and retreating glaciers. Flannery is passionate about educating us about global warming in the hope of disrupting our - and key decision makers' - lethal complacency.
His skills as a writer and ability to stir up public debate are widely recognised and, here, keenly deployed. Like Jared Diamond and Stephen Jay Gould, he has the ability, rare in Australia, to take complex ideas and - seemingly effortlessly - make them accessible. This is his most powerfully engaged book and contains some of his finest prose. Employing a broad vision of geological time, Flannery explains the mechanisms that have driven the planet's climate.
This book captures your imagination through its extraordinary range of argument, its vivid imagery, its wealth of research, quick wit and richness of detail. It succeeds where equally worthy but more prosaic recent books have failed.
Given the span of issues - the origins of fossil fuels and the composition of our atmosphere; theories of ice ages past, the possibilities of a new ice age and the potential sources of climate catastrophe; the extinction of mammals in the New Guinea highlands; the future of the Great Barrier Reef; geosequestration and emissions trading; the future of hydrogen power, geothermal power, wind power and much more - you need to read it carefully, twice.

Full review in the Sydney Morning Herald

An authoritative yet accessible presentation of the scientific evidence that climate change is happening; a clear delineation of what global warming has done and could do to life on our planet; and an urgent call for action ... For the non-specialist, he deftly untangles the meanings of "greenhouse effect," "global warming" and "climate change" as he explains their connections and illustrates the importance of the atmosphere to earth's well-being ... His closing chapter spells out specific steps that individuals can take to substantially reduce carbon-dioxide emissions. A powerful and persuasive book, sure to provoke strong reaction.


While it sounds an appropriately urgent warning about the impact of climate change on ecological systems, Flannery's is not in any sense a narrow book. Indeed, as well as being clear and readable it is heroic in scope, ranging from the physical and biological sciences to electoral politics and practical remedies. It concludes on a positive note with the small things we can all do to slow down the changes before they become catastrophic ... If you are not yet convinced of the gravity of the problem, or our capacity to solve it, you should buy and read this compelling book.

Full review in the Age

Catastrophic weather seems to be occurring more frequently - and the technology to cut CO2 emissions exists now. Is there a global will to do so? With The Weather Makers, Tim Flannery delivers an almighty wallop to that debate. The general reader can absorb it and feel enlightened; the scientific reader can, and must, use it as a springboard for further research.

It would be hard to imagine a better or more important book.

Mammologist and paleontologist Flannery (The Eternal Frontier), who in recent years has become well known for his controversial ideas on conservation, the environment and population control, presents a straightforward and powerfully written look at the connection between climate change and global warming. It's destined to become required reading following Hurricane Katrina as the focus shifts to the natural forces that may have produced such a devastating event. Much of the book's success is rooted in Flannery's succinct and fascinating insights into related topics, such as the differences between the terms greenhouse effect, global warming and climate change, and how the El Nino cycle of extreme climatic events "had a profound re-organising effect on nature." But the heart of the book is Flannery's impassioned look at the earth's "colossal" carbon dioxide pollution problem and his argument for how we can shift from our current global reliance on fossil fuels to a hydrogen-based economy. Flannery consistently produces the hard goods related to his main message that our environmental behavior makes us all "weather makers" who "already possess all the tools required to avoid catastrophic climate change."


At last here is a clear and readable account of one
of the most important but controversial issues facing everyone in the world today. If you are not already addicted to Tim Flannery’s writing, discover him now: this is his best book yet.


This is the book the world has been waiting for – and needing – for decades. At last, a book that sets out, for the general public, the irrefutable evidence that climate change is already happening, and we need to become very serious about it – fast.


Until The Weather Makers, nobody since Bill McKibben had told the tale of what this global warming beast will be like as it awakens. Super hurricanes are understood as omens as Flannery weaves the science, politics and the economics together in a tale as frightening as it must have been when Hitler was marching across Europe. When he writes, 'there has been little reason for our blindness, except perhaps for an unwillingness to look such horror in the face and say, "You are my creation," ' I believe he will inspire us to destroy this creation before it destroys us.


In his previous books, Tim Flannery took us on compelling journeys into the human and nonhuman past. Now he brings his wit, wisdom, and eloquence to bear on our future as a civilisation, a future we have recklessly undermined by may still be able to secure. Thoroughly researched, closely reasoned, and eloquently written, The Weather Makers is a book of the utmost importance to everyone on Earth. It is essential reading for the halls of power, especially in Canberra, Texas, and Washington.


This is a magnificent book; exciting, poetic, passionate – and full of knowledge we all need and can act upon before it’s too late.


With his usual outstanding writing, Tim Flannery has introduced us to a whole interconnected world of climate change, one that has been much debated but little understood. It is difficult to misunderstand the convincing connections presented in this landmark book, which should be read by everyone concerned with the world’s future. Climate change is the single most important driving force that will negatively affect the future of the human race unless we do something about it now. Tim Flannery makes it clear why this is so and provides a blueprint for getting ahead of the curve and creating a sustainable world for the future.


Of the doomsday clocks ticking toward midnight, climate change is the most fearful. To learn what is known, one cannot do better than read Tim Flannery's eloquent and authoritative account in The Weather Makers. Understanding is the first step toward salvation.


The finest account of the overwhelming science behind global warming. Flannery gives us a terrifying glimpse of the future.


This concise and elegantly written book arms us with the facts we need to change our ways (and the calamitous ways of our handlers. Tremendously informative. Essential reading.


With The Weather Makers, Tim Flannery, himself a creative scientist, adds a blend of poetical writing and historical perspective to an amazingly clear and comprehensive tour of the complex climate change world. He starts in early Earth history and brings us to the present predicament – and names names of who is primary responsible – us, especially via careless management, crass consumerism, corporate greed, political corruption and media indifference. This is a beautifully written guide for anyone interested in the increasingly serious climate change problem to learn what is going on.

Tim Flannery, author of The Weather Makers

Tim Flannery is one of the world's leading writer-scientists and thinkers in environmental science. More

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Tim Flannery toured across the US in 2006, from Boulder to New York, from Tampa to New Orleans.

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