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The Politics of Climate Change

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  • Posted April 24, 2012

    Humanity's response to global climate change will be a combinati

    Humanity's response to global climate change will be a combination of mitigation and adaptation. How much each will weigh in the mix will be a function of political decision making. Science will establish the boundary conditions, but not the path in between.
    In The Politics of Climate Change, Anthony Giddens provides an in-depth analysis of global and national political currents with respect to climate change. As former Director of the London School of Economics, Giddens speaks with authority to the interface between global climate and the social sciences. Unlike some of the dreamier, naive forays by climate scientists into the political realm (such as those of the late Stephen Schneider and, currently, by James Hansen), Giddens is a realist with a concrete grasp of the science fundamentals- the object of his arguments is on schemes that work both technically and politically. But, in the final analysis, Giddens remains refreshingly positive about humanity's future prospects.
    Other than a few occasional lapses in prose style, there is little to find fault with in The Politics of Climate Change, except, perhaps, too little emphasis on the political implications of climate change adaptation and an under-appreciation for the potential impact of reactionary U.S. politics on the course of climate-change mitigation . Giddens properly concludes that the course of global climate change mitigation is not likely to be achieved by endlessly setting emission goals, although such goals need to be set as a background for actions. Real responses in the present economic/political climate will be the consequence of self-interested reduction in greenhouse gas emissions such as those resulting from energy-security schemes and the pressure of the insurance industry. And, in the final analysis the state will continue to have the ultimate responsibility for empowering meaningful response to climate change.
    This book is the antithesis of the many "You too can help avert global climate change disaster" books. Those have their place, but The Politics of Climate Change uniquely fills an essential need for an authoritative, unbiased analysis of the climate change political scene.
    Richard R. Pardi Environmental Science William Paterson University

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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