This is a revolutionary book.
Ross Garnaut was commissioned by the (Australian) state governments and the Federal Opposition in 2007 to review and report on the climate change challenges facing Australia. He delivered it in 2008 and reviewed it in 2011. This book is based on a series of lectures in 2019 delivered at University of Melbourne.
This man has been looking at the challenges of climate change and transitioning economies in the face of it for years, intensely, and working at a national policy level. And he is still optimistic that we can rise to the occasion and save future Australians from the worst effects of climate change. It means being involved in the global effort, seriously. It will require visionary leadership and courage at all levels of society. He sees massive opportunities for rural and regional Australians into the future in a zero-emissions world.
The alternative, which he spends little time over, is catastrophic disruption economically, environmentally, socially, with national security imperilled.
Garnaut comes to the subject as a person who gives weight to the science of climate change and who sees opportunities if change is implemented soon enough. It is more than a matter of sheer survival: he sees the possibility of Australia becoming a global leader with a de-carboinised economy, and prospering.
Some parts of this book bored me to tears – I am no economist – but he writes in such a way that I could follow his reasoning and his narration of the historical circumstances all the same. Quite an achievement, really.
I wish everyone with an interest in this subject would read this book. I don’t know enough to see the holes in his arguments if there are any, so I look forward to the public discussion.