The Burning Question Book Summary - The Burning Question Book explained in key points

The Burning Question summary

Mike Berners-Lee and Duncan Clark

We can’t burn half the world’s oil, coal and gas. So how do we quit?

3.8 (29 ratings)
16 mins

Brief summary

'The Burning Question' by Mike Berners-Lee and Duncan Clark explores the heated debate around climate change, tackling the tough questions and offering solutions for a sustainable future.

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    The Burning Question
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    Climatic change is not a scientific theory anymore – it’s a fact.

    To this day, many people still believe that global warming is a theory that has yet to be proven. Fact is, the climate of our planet is changing. And it’s happening a lot faster than we anticipated.

    In the last couple of years, the whole world has reported a rapid change in weather.

    Moreover, in June 2012, Saudi Arabia reported that, despite a temperature of 43 degrees Celsius (109 degrees Fahrenheit), it had actually rained in Mecca, making it the hottest rainfall in the history of the planet! And the list goes on: at the end of that year, England had announced that it’d had the wettest year on record, and Australia suffered from such a severe heat wave that it had to add two new colors to its temperature maps.

    These reports aren’t coming from scattered sources: every single reputable scientific institution in the world agrees that our planet is getting warmer, and that greenhouse gases emitted by human activity are almost certainly the main cause.

    In fact, we’ve known since the nineteenth century that additional greenhouse gases in the air, such as carbon dioxide and methane, will warm the planet. And over the last century, we’ve been releasing those gases into the atmosphere, where they’ve been continuously accumulating. One study performed at Lancaster University even showed that our man-made carbon dioxide emissions are exponentially rising.

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    What is The Burning Question about?

    The Burning Question deals with our generation’s most pressing problem: climate change. The book discusses why it’s important to make drastic changes in our politics, markets and society, and what we have to do to achieve a sustainable future for ourselves and our grandchildren. The authors not only explain how we’ve failed so far but also point towards the source of the problem.

    The Burning Question Review

    The Burning Question (2013) is a thought-provoking exploration of the climate crisis and the urgent need to tackle carbon emissions. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • It offers a deep and thorough analysis of the environmental impact of burning fossil fuels, shedding light on the complexity of the issue.
    • The book presents solutions and alternatives to reduce carbon emissions, giving readers hope and inspiring them to take action.
    • With its engaging and accessible writing, it keeps readers hooked, making the subject of climate change surprisingly interesting, rather than overwhelming.

    Best quote from The Burning Question

    If were seeing what were seeing today at 0.8 degrees Celsius, two degrees is simply too much.
    (Thomas Lovejoy)

    —Mike Berners-Lee and Duncan Clark
    example alt text

    Who should read The Burning Question?

    • Anyone interested in the science of climate change
    • Anyone who wants to know how they can help stop climate change
    • Anyone interested in how business can prevent progress

    About the Author

    Duncan Clark is a journalist and author who specializes in climate change. He works as a consultant editor at The Guardians environment desk and co-runs Kiln, a company that creates new ways to tell stories and disseminate information about environmental issues.

    Mike Berners-Lee is a leading expert in carbon footprinting and director at Small World Consulting. He is also the author of How Bad are Bananas The Carbon Footprint of Everything.

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    The Burning Question FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Burning Question?

    The main message of The Burning Question is the urgent need to address climate change and reduce our carbon emissions.

    How long does it take to read The Burning Question?

    The reading time for The Burning Question varies depending on the reader's speed, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is The Burning Question a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Burning Question is a thought-provoking book that offers valuable insights into the climate crisis. It is definitely worth reading.

    Who is the author of The Burning Question?

    The authors of The Burning Question are Mike Berners-Lee and Duncan Clark.