Reviews

Review of Other Inconvenient Truths Beyond Global Warming

Al Rozich hits one over the outstretched gloves of the Climate Denier infield. Reasoned, Rational and Accessible
By:  David Lahaie

This is the most comprehensive guide to the infrastructure realities of climate change ever written. From policy to service providers, this is a must read.

Jake Paltrow’s film, “The Young Ones”, was screened at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and I was lucky enough to see it. The films a western saga set in a water scarcity like “Cadillac Desert” future. It depicts the march of folly of our current climate policy. It stars among others Paul Shannon as a father and farmer struggling to the last drop of water to realize what has long since become a defunct way of life. Water in a real way is the currency of life or death and the political and societal divide between those who have and those who have not. Technology can’t help you. Its too late.
In Dr. Al Rozich’s book, “Other Inconvenient Truths Beyond Global Warming” he addresses the fragile balance of systems that work together to support our current concepts of growth, success and sustainability. Real world examples of Water Resource scarcity are evident today. The water constrained lives of the characters in The Young Ones are foretold through the examples of the compounding commodity resource failures Dr. Rozich describes. He writes that we are watching as the ends and edges of scarce resource infrastructure for water supply and allocation disappear making the core fabric much more vulnerable. Dr. Rozich uses color graphs and graphics and large print in easy to understand narrative to show the true strain of atmospheric impacts on energy and growth policy. Key Concept Summaries are included at the end of each chapter as well as ample References. While the fabric of society made up of water, energy and transportation infrastructure are changing biological systems at unprecedented rates, Dr. Rozich’s book discusses the issue of the shear impossibility of building and maintaining the resource infrastructure affected by climate change.
In the mid 1980′s I worked as a Engineer supporting an early climate research project. For a dreary month in the North Pacific Ocean Dr. Victoria Fabry tested her ideas about the impact of atmospheric gases on the ocean. Dr. Fabry’s project required the collection of tiny coffee bean shaped organisms called pterapods. Every day during transit by ship between the Hawaiian and Kodiak Islands we dove in the open ocean in teams of four from a zodiac supported by a mother ship. Long days in cold wet suits lugging scuba gear brought little joy. Dr. Fabry theorized that pterapod with its fragile calcium carbonate shell would dissolve in response to ocean acidification. In fact her work showed that pterapods declining population numbers were an early indication of what has since been shown in more visible ways through the death of fragile coral reefs.
Dr. Rozich’s book asks the question, “What are the implications of arguing whether Climate Change is real while the impacts on land, atmospheric and ocean resources are pushed past a tipping point in their ability to support the delicate balance of life.” His insights about large water infrastructure for drinking, irrigation and industrial use is playing out today. I don’t want to revisit the premise of unsustainable water infrastructure problems in the Western US however I think it important to touch on those problems while discussing the book Dr. Rozich has written to help us understanding the monumental cost required to rebalance energy, water, waste water, agriculture, petrochemicals and carbon.
By taking a resource allocation approach Dr. Rozich shows the true cost of ignoring a carbon constrained reality. In Dr. Rozich’s book current thinking around finance, political will and public health meet the realities of sustainable growth. Dr. Rozich states a renewable resource might be defined as something like this: “any resource that can be replenished or recovered within one year or less of its consumption and whose replenishment or recovery has a smaller carbon footprint than comparable traditional “non-renewable”, resources.” Projected infrastructure costs alone require heavy investment in innovation to replenish water from its increasingly polluted and scare sources. Carbon Capture and Sequestration lacks the R&D funding to store or reuse the accelerants of global resource depletion. Rebuilding of the electrical transmission grid is required to accommodate renewable energy in its intermittent form.

Dr. Rozich’s Chapter on “The Agriculture, Water and Energy Nexus”, comes later in the book after ample preparation. He ties together the daunting cost of resource infrastructure upgrades created by climate change. Dr. Rozich is quietly transforming the world of energy and water through the results of his innovative insights into where these worlds conjoin. Biological systems through technological innovation will be key to making the changes needed to sustainably produce Food and Energy. Far from a March of Folly, it’s a good and important read.

The book I wish would keep the world’s leaders up at night
By: Tunnelpet “justindr660″

“Other Inconvenient Truths” is the book I wish would keep the world’s leaders up at night. Similar in scope to Paul and Anne Ehrlich’s “One With Nineveh”, it is a state of the world’s environment and human civilization’s present status in relationship to such. It is a great overview of our current, rather serious challenges. In fact I found the book to be a rather sobering, if not alarming read. However, this would be an excellent book for people in influential positions to have when they get a chance to help steer us on a better course. Solutions are offered and a great little philosophical breakthrough in that we are “tenants” of the earth not “stewards”.

HUGELY Valuable Book 
By: Robert David STEELE Vivas

This is one of the most useful, most intelligent, best presented and most timely books I have ever held in my hands. I am astonished by the affordable price in relation to both the substance and the cosmetics of the book. This is a focused holistic book that is a joy to read — easy to read — and it offers the single best text I have found for both graduate and undergraduate reading, and book clubs as well as government employees struggling to understand the lies and mis-representations of those seeking to avoid or undermine regulatory oversight.

The print size and use of white space is complemented by something I have never seen in a mass market paperback, full color photographs, full color diagrams, and the selective use of yellow highlighting embedded across the book.

This is a book steeped in integral consciousness, with a clear understanding and articulation of the fact that global warming is a symptom, not a root cause, and that global warming is but one of multiple inconvenient truth, all of which much be understood as a whole.

This is a very up-to-date book, with references at the end of each chapter coming up to 2013. The book frames problems and provides executable actions within each chapter. It also provides — and I am a technical idiot — the science and the technology is explanations with diagrams that I can understand. This is a book on the art and science of reconciling humanity and the Earth that anyone can appreciate. It is a multidisciplinary book replete with ethics at every point.

The tri-fecta is energy, water, and waste emissions from a combination of agriculture and economy.

QUOTE (71): “The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.”

I am stunned to find that Walmart shines in this book, working rapidly toward 100% renewable energy for its stores, and having achieved a 70% reduction of waste from its various processes. I also recollect reading elsewhere that Walmart pioneered the use of batteries in its long-haul trucks so the drivers would not idle their fossil fuel engines while sleeping or resting in their trucks, and this saved Walmart tens of millions in fuel costs while also stopping that portion of its emissions.

The biological and chemical chapters that would normally leave me with eyes glazed over are superb, crystal-clear, ably illustrated (in color, I love it), and segue into ten environmental success stories followed by fourteen renewable options for humanity.

Chapter 10, focused on the nexus of agriculture, water, and energy is fascinating and could be pulled from the book as a partial reading for students at any level from advanced high school to graduate school.

QUOTE (497): “The continued functionality of human society is at a pivotal point.”

I certainly agree with that. The ten high level threats to humanity identified in A More Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility–Report of the Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change include, in this order, 01 Poverty, 02 Infectious Disease, 03 Environmental Degradation, 04 Inter-State Conflict, 05 Civil War, 06 Genocide, 07 Other Atrocities, 08 Proliferation, 09 Terrorism, and 10 Transnational Crime. While this book focused on threat #3, it is actually relevant to ALL of the threats, for contrived scarcity along with institutionalized corruption are the root of most of our ills.

The book ends with a Glossary-Thesaurus of 115 terms of art and science, each explained in a paragraph. The index is not complete. Tesla, for example, appears in the book but not in the index.

As it happens I have spent a lot of time in this arena, and am a fan of Dr. Herman Daly, father of ecological economics, and many others. My lists of lists of my Amazon reviews are easily found by searching for them as listed below:

Worth a Look: Book Reviews on Climate Change

Worth a Look: Book Reviews on Disease

Worth a Look: Book Reviews on Environmental Degradation (Other than Emissions)

Worth a Look: Book Reviews on Peak Oil

Worth a Look: Book Reviews on Poisons, Toxicity, Trash, & True Cost

Worth a Look: Book Reviews on Water

I find only two gaps in this book. First, I find the author to be overly enamored of super-grid concepts for addressing energy needs. While he does mention micro-grids, I would have preferred to see more emphasis on the importance of decentralized resilience. Second, despite being up to date as of 2013, the book does not offer insights into the wealth of new energy options such as Sepp Hasslberger has been curating for us all on physics, economy, new energy, and more.

I strongly recommend this book. As the author himself notes, no amount of public policy or private investment will suffice to overcome ignorant citizens. Informed engaged citizens are the heart of the matter. This book is a major contribution to the latter end.

Best wishes to all,
Robert David STEELE Vivas
INTELLIGENCE for EARTH: Clarity, Diversity, Integrity, & Sustainability


Outline of a resource crisis

By: Brian Allen

This book reads like a college research paper or thesis. It is very comprehensive and well annotated in addition to having a good collection of graphs, images and tables to visually support the material. I found it to be interesting at times but also a bit tedious. I often had to set it down and come back refreshed a few days later to dive back in reading the facts and details about phosphate shortages, critical water issues, energy budgets etc. This is not a difficult read and not over the head of anyone that made it through high school science, it’s just a big long book with a lot to digest. Well worth the read and excellent for a reference.