Book Review: Hot Air

Sorry for the late post everyone.  I’m sick today .  Also this week is a little weird.  Today is more of Green Spot post so I can do my net worth post tomorrow.

Well if you ever really wondered where Canada’s Kyoto target came from or why we did nothing since signing onto Kyoto you should read the book Hot Air by Jeffrey Simpson et el.

The book basically has two main parts.  Part 1 is all about how we got into this mess.  It mainly discusses some of the science, but more of the politics of where we are now.  It does give me a nice feeling of disgust of our political leaders over the last two decades and a nice confirmation that I was right to think that all of them are idiots when it comes to climate change and doing anything significant.

Part 2 of the book deals with options on getting out of this mess.  What’s different about this book them most if the explanations of what to do are more policy based rather than a specific here’s what to do.  So it’s rather a handbook for the government or lobbies to direct people to certain policy types.  The end reason we have failed on Kyoto was we tried volunteer targets and ineffective tax incentives instead of any type of policy with teeth like a carbon tax, cap and trade or any sort or regulation with a significant penalty involved.

Perhaps the most interesting part of this section is the realization that both environmentalists and politicians are to blame.  Environmentalists have been saying “We can make Kyoto!” for such a long time they are denial that it really is impossible now.  So rather than moving along and doing something they keep saying the same old stuff which is just ignored.  Also with so many different groups providing feedback to government it really was easier for government to make grand statement, but really have no plans.

In the end I did enjoy reading this book to just have the history of how we got here and some ideas on policy to actually do something positive now.  A carbon tax doesn’t have to ruin the encnomy if you do it slowly enough.  The trick is to get started now to actually make some changes.