Book Review: No Place to Hide, by Jim Flynn

Available now in bookshops nationwide.

cv_no_place_to_hidJim Flynn encourages the reader of his book to “critically examine” what he has written about the climate debate, not elevating it to “the status of scripture, but assess[ing] everything I say”. He, himself, set out to discover the true facts after, as he puts it, “being assailed by contradictory opinions that ranged from nightmare scenarios to reassurance”.

In his extensively researched book, Flynn comes to the sobering conclusion that at a certain date, likely as early as 2050, global warming may become a self-sustaining process – a state of no return. The greatest illusion, he states, is that the nations will agree to cut their carbon emissions in time to avoid this point of no return.

He sums his findings up with two propositions that were put forward by climate change observers in past studies. The first is that even if current emissions were cut immediately by 20, 50 or 80 percent, 2050 would still be the point of no return where the melting of the polar glaciers, the acidity of the oceans and the amount of carbon in the atmosphere will mean new higher temperatures that will persist for thousands of years.

Secondly, there is no way of de-carbonising the world’s economy that is viable within the next fifty years. For various reasons, all thoroughly explored, conversion of dirty technologies to cleaner ones will initially raise emissions, as the infrastructures of the latter are created and put into place.

The staggering amount of research Flynn has done in producing this book, gives the reader an idea of the complexities of the situation we find ourselves in. There are many factors involved, all interrelated in ways that add to the effects of the damage our planet is sustaining.

Writing before the results of the election in the US were known, Flynn comments – “If the Republicans win the election in 2016 you can kiss American carbon targets goodbye”. He further states that “even if a sane president is elected…” the pressure from the coal, gas and oil lobbies will make it extremely unlikely that the phasing out of the use of fossil fuels will be on the political agenda.

In the last chapter, Flynn puts forward suggestions founded on various studies, of possible solutions, which, in light of his preceding conclusions, seem almost like wishful thinking, a clutching at straws with little hope of seeing a fulfilment. He concludes by asserting that global planning is needed. Clean energy and climate engineering are fundamental to any effective long term strategy. 2050 need not be the point of no return if governments stop making gestures and face reality.

As a reader I feel his earlier words are more likely, that the greatest illusion is that all nations will agree to cut carbon emissions. But one thing this book does is inform those who take the time to read it, of the immensity of the problems facing us as we head into the future.

Reviewed by Lesley Vlietstra

No Place to Hide
by James Flynn
Published by Potton & Burton
ISBN 9780947503246

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3 thoughts on “Book Review: No Place to Hide, by Jim Flynn

  1. According to the satellite temperatures that, according to NASA, are the most accurate, the world has not warmed measurably for the last 18 years even though carbon dioxide levels have increased. World temperatures are now 0.5° below the levels predicted by the climate models. Climate models are worthless and carbon dioxide does not cause dangerous man-made global warming – the biggest hoax in the history of the world.

  2. What nonsense from Flynn. Start at the start … Has credible evidence been presented by anyone to show that CO2 emissions might pose a threat? No, not even from the IPCC whose reports have the opinions of their authors (are any not on the gravy train?) and claims based on the output of climate models models run with and without greenhouses gases, this despite the reports saying that the models are seriously flawed (eg. the latest report said that 97% of model runs predicted greater warming 1998-2012 than the temperature data indicates, one suggested reason was that the models exaggerate the influence of greenhouse gases).
    Flynn’s book is based on an unproven notion and therefore should be dismissed as fantasy. No place to hide for an embarrassed author now.
    PS. “Carbon emissions” are not “carbon DIOXIDE emissions” – one is sooty particles, the other an invisible gas.

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