Global Warming Gridlock: Creating More Effective Strategies for Protecting the Planet

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Overview

Global warming is one of today's greatest challenges. The science of climate change leaves no doubt that policies to cut emissions are overdue. Yet, after twenty years of international talks and treaties, the world is now in gridlock about how best to do this. David Victor argues that such gridlock has arisen because international talks have drifted away from the reality of what countries are willing and able to implement at home. Most of the lessons that policy makers have drawn from the history of other international environmental problems won't actually work on the problem of global warming. Victor argues that a radical rethinking of global warming policy is required and shows how to make international law on global warming more effective. This book provides a roadmap to a lower carbon future based on encouraging bottom-up initiatives at national, regional and global levels, leveraging national self-interest rather than wishful thinking.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Mr Victor is broadly versed in climate change, good on the science, the energy-related business and the politics as well as the policy, and [an] engaging writer...Mr Victor has delivered one of the most thought-provoking analyses of policy responses to climate change for some time."
- The Economist

"David Victor's voice on how to do successful climate diplomacy and policy is one of the most distinctive in today's world. It is a voice that needs to be listened to. Global Warming Gridlock exposes the myths, failures and naiveties of two decades of climate diplomacy. No prisoners are taken - diplomats, scientists, campaigners and engineers alike are placed in the firing line. Instead, and drawing upon his own profound analysis and experience of international environmental law, diplomacy and policy, Victor presents a convincing case for a pragmatic, incremental and credible approach to climate policy, in stark contrast to the idealistic, radical and incredible approach which has so feebly failed. Global Warming Gridlock adds its voice to the 'new realism' surrounding climate change science, discourse, politics and policy which is gaining important momentum following the scientific and diplomatic debacles of 2009/10." - Mike Hulme, University of East Anglia

"Uncertainty over global climate negotiations is impeding investment into the low-carbon economy. But policy gridlock is not inevitable. In his lucidly argued and timely new book, David Victor gives a pragmatic roadmap to help policymakers navigate their way around the current climate impasse." - Lord John Browne, Partner, Riverstone Holdings LLC and former CEO BP Plc

"In Global Warming Gridlock, David Victor combines a devastating critique of the prevailing UN-based process with a politically sophisticated argument for an alternative strategy based on climate clubs and deals. To understand the politics of climate change, read this book!" - Robert O. Keohane, Professor of Public and International Affairs, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University

"The book covers a vast and in depth landscape of diplomatic history and is written in a compelling and engaging style. I particularly welcome Victor's focus on the need for better strategies to engage with emerging economies, such as India, that are making serious proactive contributions to mitigation, and adaptation, demonstrating that while they have not caused the problem, they will be part of the solution. His analysis takes to task, the existing diplomatic process, which he argues has not been designed with the needs of emerging countries in mind." - Jairam Ramesh, Minister of State (Independent Charge), Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India

"I cannot claim to have read all the books on global warming and climate change, but I've read enough, in the thirty years that I have been studying the subject, to assure you that it is exceedingly unlikely that there's another one out there that is as good, let alone better, than David Victor's. He is up to date on the science; he has more than two decades of experience in policy-making, especially international environmental policy-making; he is patient and fair-minded; and he writes in plain English. If you want to know what book to read, this one is it." - Thomas C. Schelling, Nobel Laureate in Economics, University of Maryland

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521865012
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 3/31/2011
  • Pages: 392
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

David Victor is a professor at the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies at the University of California, San Diego, where he also leads the Laboratory on International Law and Regulation. His research has covered a wide array of topics related to international environmental regulation, energy markets and international law. His previous books include Natural Gas and Geopolitics (Cambridge University Press, 2006), The Collapse of the Kyoto Protocol and the Struggle to Slow Global Warming (second edition, 2004) and Technological Innovation and Economic Performance (2002).

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Table of Contents

List of figures; List of tables; Preface and acknowledgements; Hard truths on global warming: a roadmap to reading this book; Part I. Setting the Scene: 1. Introduction and overview; 2. Why global warming is such a difficult problem to solve; Part II. The Three Dimensions to Climate Policy Strategy: 3. Regulating emissions part 1: the enthusiastic countries; 4. Regulating emissions part 2: engaging reluctant developing countries; 5. Promoting technological innovation; 6. Preparing for a changing climate: adaptation, geoengineering and triage; Part III. Putting It All Together: 7. Explaining diplomatic gridlock: what went wrong?; 8. A new strategy; 9. Climate change and world order: implications for the UN, government, industry and nature; Bibliography; Notes; Index.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 1, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Nations are paralyzed after decades of failing to cut emissions

    Nations are paralyzed after decades of failing to cut emissions or to slow the pace of climate change. International law expert David G. Victor argues that the only way to break this gridlock is to craft politically feasible policies. He offers solutions based on old-fashioned national self-interest. Though Victor's writing style is academic, he argues persuasively that the environmental framework used by global-warming diplomats will not solve the world’s climate emergency, because that crisis is economic, not environmental. getAbstract recommends Victor’s sophisticated insights into the complicated world of climate-related international diplomacy.

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