Climate Peril (2014)

The Intelligent Reader’s Guide to Understanding the Climate Crisis

CLICK TO ORDER NOW ON AMAZONClimate Peril: The Intelligent Reader's Guide to Understanding the Climate Crisis, by John J. Berger. Introduction by Paul R. and Anne H. Ehrlich

The world is experiencing accelerating global climate change. The planet is at increasing risk of triggering strong amplifying positive feedback processes
inherent in the climate system.  Once initiated, no conceivable human action can arrest these processes, no matter how devastating the consequences become and no matter how earnestly we may wish to do so or how desperately we may try.  Time is running out to protect the equable though altered climate we still have and to avoid further climate disruption.

The central questions of our time are how long it will take before humanity is able to revolutionize its energy production systems to slow the pace of climate change, and whether we can we do so before we have irrevocably committed the Earth to radical climate change. Such change could commit half the species on the Earth to extinction, destroy major ecosystems like the Amazon rain forest, degrade the oceans, and subject vast areas of the Earth to drought and intolerable heat, not to mention more frequent extreme weather events.

The book clearly documents the causes and consequences of rapid climate change in a short, authoritative presentation ordinary readers can understand.  It examines how and why the climate normally functions, and warns of the perilous economic, national security, environmental, public health, and oceanic consequences of disturbing the climate with heat-trapping gases.

Climate Peril also identifies the main obstacles to climate protection and describes strategies for overcoming them.  The book is the second of a three-book series.  Volume 1, Climate Myths, focused on the political campaign waged against climate science, and volume 3, Climate Solutions, shows how to create a climate-safe world by radically transforming global energy, transportation, and land use practices.

CLICK HERE to view Climate Peril Table of Contents.


Early Praise for Climate Peril

A brilliant book, and one that might just change the world. By far the best overview of climate science and its implications for our planet that I’ve ever read.

– Dr. Tim Flannery
Chief Concillor
Australian Climate Council

Climate Peril provides a comprehensive and accurate, yet very readable account of the climate change threat.  If you are aware of the problem, but not yet convinced that it presents a near and present danger, read this call to arms. You’ll understand why it is that our ongoing burning of fossil fuels, left unchecked, will imperil our health, access to food and fresh water, national security, and the stability of our environment.  And you’ll see why there is still time to act to avert a global catastrophe.

– Michael E. Mann
Distinguished Professor of Meteorology, Penn State University
Director of the Penn State Earth System Science Center
Author of The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars

John Berger has produced a critically needed and eloquent compendium of not only the crisis of global warming, but of the many interdependent shortages and crises — of financial risks, and of land, water, cultural preservation and of economic opportunity for the poor — that all exist today and that conspire to challenge us to be better stewards of the planet.

– Daniel M. Kammen
Distinguished Professor of Energy
University of California, Berkeley

Climate Peril is an excellent primer on the causes and effects of climate change, which, as John Berger notes, imperils our very existence and that of all natural systems on which we depend.

– Lester R. Brown
President, Earth Policy Institute
Author of Full Planet, Empty Plates

I applaud Climate Peril for showing so clearly that climatic disruption is the consuming issue of our time and our response in the next few years will determine the fate of this civilization.  At some point not far away, the corporate and political venality Climate Peril characterizes so clearly becomes criminal neglect of duty as costs of the disruption soar and effects become irreversible.

– George M. Woodwell
Founder, Director Emeritus, and Senior Scientist, Woods Hole Research Center

Climate Peril should be required reading for the remaining climate skeptics—if, indeed, there remain any whose views are not shaped purely by the sources of their paychecks.  In the second volume of his trilogy, John Berger continues to probe the climate issue with unusual insight and clarity.

– Denis Hayes
President, Bullitt Foundation

Climate Peril is precisely what is needed: a clear-eyed, accessible account of climate change and its implications for the future of life on Earth and for that matter, of civilization itself. This should be required reading for all who care about future generations.

– Thomas Lovejoy
University Professor of Environmental Science and Policy,
George Mason University
Senior Fellow, The United Nations Foundation

Climate Peril is a lucid primer on what may be the greatest challenge human beings have ever faced. If we make no further moves against climate change than the timid steps taken so far, the world is due for something potentially as catastrophic as a slow-motion nuclear war. Even if we do do everything we possibly can, we’re still in for big trouble. John J. Berger has done a great service by describing what confronts us in a thorough, careful way that a lay person can understand.

– Adam Hothschild
Cofounder, Mother Jones
Lecturer, Graduate School of Journalism, UC Berkeley

Seven billion of us–growing by 200,000 net per day, and increasing their demands for consumption at an even faster rate–are driving the climate upward rapidly and unpredictably. This book, and the work of which it is a part, clearly illuminate the dilemma that we face together, its severe effects on biodiversity and the functioning of our planet. Climate Peril thus lays the foundation for understanding the actions we must take to begin building a sustainable world for the future. Highly recommended!

– Peter H. Raven
President Emeritus, Missouri Botanical Garden

Never has a book been so vitally important. Politicians are looking the other way while global warming is staring them in the face. We the people urgently need to become fully informed, rise up as one to challenge, educate and pressure our elected representatives so they will exert ultimate responsibility for the future of our children, grandchildren, and 30 million species that co-habit the planet. Read Climate Peril, then act.

– Dr. Helen Caldicott, M. D.
President, The Helen Caldicott Foundation
Physicians for Social Responsibility (former president)

Climate Peril is a compelling, accessible, and accurate summary of the climate crisis. Highly recommended!

– Jonathan G. Koomey
Research Fellow, Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance, Stanford University
Author, Cold Cash, Cool Climate: Science-based Advice for Ecological Entrepreneurs

Read Climate Peril and you will become well informed about what probably is the greatest threat ever faced by civilization.

– Paul R. Ehrlich and Anne H. Ehrlich
President (Paul) and Associate Director (Anne), Center for Conservation Biology, Stanford University
From the Introduction to Climate Peril

Understanding Climate Change