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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Book choice

The Real Global Warming Disaster: Is The Obsession With `Climate Change` Turning Out To Be The Most Costly Scientific Blunder In History? is published by Continuum Booker. RRP £16.99

From the publisher:
‘Christopher Booker’s tome considers how in the 1980s a handful of scientists came to believe that mankind faced catastrophe from runaway global warming, and how today this has persuaded politicians to land us with what promises to be the biggest bill in history.’

The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money and Power is published by Simon & Schuster Ltd. RRP £15.99

From the publisher:
‘The struggle for wealth and power that has surrounded oil for decades continues to shake the world economy, dictate the outcome of wars and transform the destiny of men and nations.

The Prize is as much a history of the twentieth century as of the oil industry itself. The canvas of this history is enormous — from the drilling of the first well in Pennsylvania through two great world wars to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and Operation Desert Storm.

The cast extends from wildcatters and rogues to oil tycoons, and from Winston Churchill and Ibn Saud to George Bush and Saddam Hussein. A major contribution to understanding our century, Daniel Yergin’s book is one of extraordinary breadth, riveting excitement — and great importance.’

Why We Hate the Oil Companies: Straight Talk from an Energy Insider is published by Palgrave Macmillan. RRP £17.99

From the publisher:
‘As president of Shell Oil, John Hofmeister was known for being a straight shooter, willing to challenge his peers throughout the industry. Now, he’s a man on a mission, the founder of Citizens for Affordable Energy, crisscrossing the country in a grassroots campaign to change the way we look at energy.

While others scaremonger, offer false new promises of green energy independence, or flatly deny the existence of a problem, Hofmeister offers an insider’s view of what’s behind the energy companies’ posturing, and how politicians use energy misinformation to get and stay elected. He tackles the energy controversy head-on, without regard for political correctness.

He also provides a new framework for solving issues that have seemed insoluble, identifying solutions that will lead to a future of comfortable lifestyles, affordable and clean energy, environmental protection and sustained economic competitiveness.’

Solar by Ian McEwan is published by Jonathan Cape. RRP £13.99

From the publisher:
‘Michael Beard is a Nobel prize-winning physicist whose best work is behind him. Trading on his reputation, he speaks for enormous fees, lends his name to the letterheads of renowned scientific institutions and half-heartedly heads a government- backed initiative tackling global warming. A compulsive womaniser, Beard finds his fifth marriage floundering. But this time it is different: she is having the affair, and he is still in love with her.

When Beard’s professional and personal worlds collide in a freak accident, an opportunity presents itself for Beard to extricate himself from his marital mess, reinvigorate his career and save the world from environmental disaster.

Ranging from the Arctic Circle to the deserts of New Mexico, Ian McEwan’s Solar is a serious and darkly satirical novel, showing human frailty struggling with the most pressing and complex problem of our time.’