The Burning Question

We Can't Burn Half the World's Oil, Coal, and Gas. So How Do We Quit?

by Mike Berners-Lee, Duncan Clark,

The Burning Question reveals climate change to be the most fascinating scientific, political and social puzzle in history. It shows that carbon emissions are still accelerating upwards, following an exponential curve that goes back centuries. One reason is that saving energy is like squeezing a balloon: reductions in one place lead to increases elsewhere. Another reason is that clean energy sources don't in themselves slow the rate of fossil fuel extraction.

Tackling global warming will mean persuading the world to abandon oil, coal and gas reserves worth many trillions of dollars at least until we have the means to put carbon back in the ground. The burning question is whether that can be done. What mix of politics, psychology, economics and technology might be required? Are the energy companies massively overvalued, and how will carbon-cuts affect the global economy? Will we wake up to the threat in time? And who can do what to make it all happen?
  • Greystone Books; September 2013
  • ISBN: 9781771640084
  • Read online, or download in secure ePub format
  • Title: The Burning Question
  • Author: Mike Berners-Lee; Duncan Clark; Bill McKibben (other)
  • Imprint: Greystone Books

In The Press

The Burning Question is a fascinating examination of the forces that have led to our current predicament and it presents an important framework for a sustainable future. I recommend it highly."Al Gore, 45th Vice-President of the United States

"There have been many books on this issue but The Burning Question lives up to the urgency of its title. Clearly set out, steely with the numbers but fair and humane in its assessments of human strengths and weaknesses, it is >b>a book to reignite the debate.” Peter Forbes, The Guardian

"sensible and well documented...recommended to those new to this topic."—Publishers Weekly

The issues explored in The Burning Question are hugely important. Policymakers and the public urgently need to be engaging in this kind of big-picture conversation
Jim Hansen, Director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies

This is a book that needed to be written: it asks the right question then seeks the most effective ways of answering it. An essential contribution to our thinking about climate change.”
George Monbiot, Writer and campaigner

About The Author

Mike Berners-Lee is a leading carbon consultant and author of How Bad Are Bananas. Duncan Clark is a Guardian environment journalist and author of various successful books, including The Rough Guide to Green Living. Both live in the U.K.