Tip for Reading List: Striking a balance on climate change

Can we strike a balance on climate change? New book says humans are ill prepared to cope with emerging challenges.

Amid the many books on the climate change apocalypse, here's one that brings hope - sort of. Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out? by environmentalist Bill McKibben starts out by declaring "This volume is bleak."

A little later, however, he says: "I think we're uniquely ill prepared to cope with the emerging challenges. So far we're not coping with them. Still, there is one sense in which I am less grim than in my younger days. This book ends with the conviction that resistance to these dangers is at least possible."

A review in The New York Times pides the book into three parts - the first elaborating the dangers to civilisation from climate change, the second discussing the "forces opposing solutions to the problems laid out in the first part", and the third, offering reasons for hope - "foremost among these are solar panels".

McKibben's book is "much more about grounds for fear, which take up some 18 chapters, than about grounds for hope, which take up five"; however, it is possible, says review, that his book would strengthen the motivation of those who already believe that all is still not lost.