Our Choice

Written by: Al Gore

Published By: Rodale Books

Reviewed by Dorothy Doremus

            Al Gore, the climate specialist, expert and overall guru on anything environmental is back with his latest novel, Our Choice.  Al has spent practically a lifetime learning about how global warming is effecting every aspect of life on earth and how earth is responding to this crisis. 

            In his new book, Mr. Environment takes us through a journey of what carbon is, how it is created and what are some alternatives to the processes we use now to create energy, products and food.  The book is technical so please be aware that while you don't need a science degree, it will require some thought.   

            Al starts us off with, of course, some dramatic photographs, as only he can do.  Some of the stunners are of waders in the village of Villahermosa in southern Mexico and the melted ice standing alone in the ocean that would have once been a giant ice sheet.  These photos make the written word that much more moving, so please take the time to look as well as listen to the warnings. 

            Al starts off with energy, how we use coal, oil and gas which all release carbon into the atmosphere resulting in the trapping of CO2.  This in turn doesn't allow the atmosphere to cool off and hence gives us trapped heat, which melts glacial communities and will effect us in the not so distant future as scientists are warning. 

            The book also stresses that the science has been distorted by past governmental administrations as a way of allowing big oil, gas and coal to operate as business as usual, allowing these companies to continue to pollute as they have in the past.  Well, thanks to this book explaining the reasoning behind these practices it really allows you to realize why progress in the research areas of environmental change was halted for so long. 

            What is really nice about each chapter in this masterpiece is that you are given the reason why such items as farming produces pollution - in this case, the waste products from the animals is washed into local rivers.  Then, the science of what happens to the area is explained. Last but not least, a solution of how to fix the problem is given with visual examples and graphs showing others who have used the methods for correcting the issue. 

            I think that is one of the reasons Al Gore's books become as popular as they are - sound scientific evidence.  Everything is explained but not so technically that you need a bio-science degree, and the photos really make everything come to life.  If you haven't read any of Al's books, I would say Our Choice is a great one to start with.


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