In The Climate War, Eric Pooley, deputy editor of Bloomberg BusinessWeek, does for global warming what Bob Woodward did for presidents and Lawrence Wright did for terrorists. In this epic tale of an American civil war, Pooley takes us behind the scenes and into the hearts and minds of the most important players in the struggle to cap global warming pollution, a fight in which trillions of dollars and the fate of the planet are at stake.
Why has it been so hard for America to come to grips with climate change? Why do so many people believe it isn’t really happening? As President Obama’s science advisor John Holdren has said, “We’re driving in a car with bad brakes in a fog and heading for a cliff. We know for sure that cliff is out there. We just don’t know exactly where it is. Prudence would suggest that we should start putting on the brakes.” But powerful interests are threatened by the carbon cap that would speed the transition to a clean energy economy, and their agents have worked successfully to deny the problem and delay the solutions.
To write this book, Pooley, the former managing editor of Fortune and chief political correspondent for Time, spent three years embedded with an extraordinary cast of characters: from the flamboyant head of one of the nation’s largest coal-burning energy companies to the driven environmental leader who made common cause with him, from leading scientists warning of impending catastrophe to professional skeptics disputing almost every aspect of climate science, from radical activists chaining themselves to bulldozers to powerful lobbyists, media gurus, and advisors in Obama’s West Wing–and, to top it off, unprecedented access to former Vice President Al Gore and his team of climate activists.
Pooley captures the quiet determination and even heroism of climate campaigners who have dedicated their lives to an uphill battle that’s still raging today. He asks whether we have what it takes to preserve our planet’s habitability, and shows how America’s climate war sends shock waves from Bali to Copenhagen. No other reporter enjoys such access to this cast of characters. No other book covers this terrain. From the trenches of a North Carolina power plant to the battlefields of Capitol Hill, Madison Avenue, and Wall Street, The Climate War is the essential read for anyone who wants to understand the players and politics behind the most important issue we face today.
“Eric Pooley has written a riveting tale, the very first account of the epic American campaign to get serious about global warming. This story has heroes, like my friend Al Gore, and it has some villains. What it doesn’t have is an ending; that part is still up to us. Which is why anyone who worries about the future of our nation–or wonders why it has been so hard for us to deal with climate change–should read this book –President Bill Clinton “The Climate War offers a behind-the-scenes look at the most consequential political battle of our time. It’s a compelling–and often disturbing–read.” –Elizabeth Kolbert, Author of Field Notes from a Catastrophe “In the ever-expanding literature on climate change, this is the first book to put a human face on the problem by getting into the heads of the people who are trying to solve it, deftly revealing the messy entanglement of idealism and realism that ultimately results in progress.” –Michael Oppenheimer, Albert G. Milbank Professor of Geosciences and International Affairs, Princeton University “If the science is so clear and compelling–the way we use energy is dangerously overheating the planet–the how come it’s so agonizingly difficult for America to face facts and lead the way toward a global solution? Finally, I have a good idea why, thanks to Eric Pooley’s lucid chronicle of the long-running struggles–political, personal and above all, economic–to define the world that our children and grandchildren will inhabit.” –Kurt Andersen, Author of Heyday and Reset and Host of public radio’s “Studio 360” “The first great campaign book about the political battle over climate change. Eric Pooley brings us inside this epic struggle in which science, business, and politics all come together. The characters are fascinating and the stakes are enormous.” –Walter Isaacson, President and CEO, The Aspen Institute and Author of Einstein: His Life and Universe “The legislative process revealed: Eric Pooley paints the personalities, the strategies, and the intrigue of climate politics in vivid detail. A page turner and a must-read for anyone who cares about the climate, and about America’s continued ability to tackle problems and lead.” –Katie McGinty, Former Chair, White House Council on Environmental Quality “Eric Pooley’s The Climate War is a painstakingly researched account of how climate change grew to become one of the defining political issues of a generation. As progressives in America and around the world fight to head off climate disaster, Pooley’s book presents a much-needed history of the campaign for climate protection, and reminds us, once again, why urgent action is so necessary.” –John Podesta, President and CEO Center for American Progress “The Climate War is a great book not just because it chronicles the bloody political fight to save the planet, but because it’s the best argument I’ve ever read for how a single policy idea–cap and trade–can change the world.” –Jeff Goodell, Author of How to Cool the Planet “Journalism with principles: epic in scale, masterful in narrative and detail, with well-paced winks at the tragic absurdity of it all.” –Eric Roston, Author of The Carbon Age
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