Climate Change: What It Means for Us, Our Children, and Our Grandchildren

Overview

Most of us are familiar with the terms climate change and global warming, but not too many of us understand the science behind them. We don't really understand how climate change will affect us, and for that reason we might not consider it as pressing a concern as, say, housing prices or the quality of local education. This book explains the scientific knowledge about global climate change clearly and concisely in engaging, nontechnical language, describes how it will affect all of us, and suggests how ...

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Climate Change: What It Means for Us, Our Children, and Our Grandchildren

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Overview

Most of us are familiar with the terms climate change and global warming, but not too many of us understand the science behind them. We don't really understand how climate change will affect us, and for that reason we might not consider it as pressing a concern as, say, housing prices or the quality of local education. This book explains the scientific knowledge about global climate change clearly and concisely in engaging, nontechnical language, describes how it will affect all of us, and suggests how government, business, and citizens can take action against it. If people don't quite understand the seriousness of climate change, it is partly because politicians and the media have misrepresented the scientific community's strong consensus on it--politicians by selectively parsing the words of mainstream scientists, and the media by presenting
"balanced" accounts that give the views of a small number of contrarians equal weight with empirically supported scientific findings. The science is complex, couched in the technical language of sinks, forcing, and albedo, and invokes probabilities, risks, ranges, and uncertainties. Policy discussions use such unfamiliar terms as no regrets policy, clean development mechanism, and greenhouse-gas intensity. Climate Change explains the nuts and bolts of climate and the greenhouse effect and describes their interaction. It discusses the nature of consensus in science, and the consensus on climate change in particular. It describes both public- and private-sector responses,
considers how to improve the way scientific findings are communicated, and evaluates the real risks both to vulnerable developing countries and to particular areas of the United States. We can better tackle climate change, this book shows us, if we understand it. We can use this knowledge to guide our own behavior and pressure governments and businesses to take action.Joseph F. C. DiMento is
Director of the Newkirk Center for Science and Society, Professor of Planning, Policy, and Design,
and Professor of Law and Society at the University of California, Irvine. He is the author of The
Global Environment and International Law and other books. Pamela Doughman is Assistant Professor of
Environmental Studies at the University of Illinois at Springfield and an energy specialist at the
California Energy Commission.

The MIT Press

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A lucid argument for the importance of small, individual steps in the effort to combat global warming, as well as global policy changes." Deborah Donovan Booklist

The MIT Press

Elizabeth Desombre

"A lucid argument for the importance of small, individual steps in the effort to combat global warming, as well as global policy changes." Deborah Donovan Booklist

The MIT Press

"This book gives a great overview of the science and politics of climate change,
from the causes and effects of climate change, to what we know and do not know about the science and how that knowledge has become politicized, to the many political efforts at all levels of governance to address the issue. Climate Change is written by acknowledged experts and yet reads with one voice; written in a way that will be accessible to novices and also appreciated by scholars. It gives both accurate information and hope. If you're only going to read one book on climate change,
this one would certainly be a good candidate."--Elizabeth R. DeSombre, Frost Associate
Professor of Environmental Studiesand Associate Professor of Political Science, Wellesley
College

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Joseph F. C. DiMento is Professor of Law and former Director of the Newkirk Center for Science and Society at the University of California, Irvine. He is the coauthor of Environmental
Governance of the Great Seas: Law and Effect
and Changing Lanes: Visions and
Histories of Urban Freeways
(MIT Press).

Pamela Doughman is an Energy Specialist with the California Energy Commission.

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Table of Contents


Series Foreword     vii
Acknowledgments     xi
Introduction: Making Climate Change Understandable   Joseph F. C. DiMento   Pamela Doughman     1
A Primer on Global Climate Change and Its Likely Impacts   John Abatzoglou   Joseph F. C. DiMento   Pamela Doughman   Stefano Nespor     11
Climate-Change Effects: Global and Local Views   John Abatzoglou   Joseph F. C. DiMento   Pamela Doughman   Stefano Nespor     45
The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change: How Do We Know We're Not Wrong?   Naomi Oreskes     65
Climate Change: How the World Is Responding   Joseph F. C. DiMento   Pamela Doughman     101
Climate Change as News: Challenges in Communicating Environmental Science   Andrew C. Revkin     139
Climate Change and Human Security   Richard A. Matthew     161
Climate Change: What It Means for Us, Our Children, and Our Grandchildren   Joseph F. C. DiMento   Pamela Doughman     181
Glossary     197
List of Contributors     207
Index     209
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