The Politics of Climate Change / Edition 2

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Overview

Climate change differs from any other problem that, as collective humanity, we face today. If it goes unchecked, the consequences are likely to be catastrophic for human life on earth. Yet for most people, and for many policy-makers too, it tends to be a 'back-of-the-mind' issue. We recognize its importance and even its urgency, but for the most part it is swamped by more immediate concerns. Politicians have woken up to the dangers, but at the moment their responses are mainly on the level of gesture, rather than being, as they have to be, both concrete and radical.

Political action and intervention, on local, national and international levels, are going to have a decisive effect on whether or not we can limit global warming, as well as how we adapt to that already occurring. However, at the moment, argues Giddens, we do not have a systematic politics of climate change. Politics as usual won't allow us to deal with the problems we face, while the recipes of the main challenger to orthodox politics, the green movement, are flawed at source. Giddens introduces a range of new concepts and proposals to fill in the gap, and examines in depth the connections between climate change and energy security.

This book is likely to become a classic in the field. It will be of appeal to everyone concerned about how we can cope with what amounts to a crisis for our civilization.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"As readers of Gidden's previous works might expect, he is lucid and precise in outlining potential courses of social action."
Science

"One of those rare seminal works that will likely influence policy-makers over the next several generations."
Journal of World Energy Law & Business

"Giddens' is a simple message, argued with great clarity and power, that brings a new dimension to the debate."
Book of the week in the Times Higher Education

"A very useful introduction to the issues, and crucially shifts the focus away from targets and environmentalist frames towards the substance of economic and energy security interests, technology, state intervention and the limitations of the formal international climate negotiations."
Public Policy Research

"As well as providing a useful summary of a number of current debates in climate change policy - from the robustness of carbon markets and green taxes through to the role of government in fostering new technological solutions - Giddens makes a powerful contribution to the emerging debate."
Progress

"The Politics of Climate Change stands out in the crowded terrain of climate change publications by placing politics - rather than science or economics - at the center of the analysis ... there is much to recommend this book. It is up to date, with discussions of the recent global financial crisis and the change of leadership in the US. It takes a multilevel governance perspective on climate change governance and attempts to think about how the various components relate to one another. The book is accessible for the nonspecialist, making it appropriate for use in the classroom."
Environment and Planning C

"How do you create, maintain and renew majorities that encourage people, organisations and institutions to behave responsibly and well, especially when they have become accustomed to behaving irresponsibly and badly? This key question ... underlies everything in Anthony Giddens' important new book, The Politics of Climate Change. Giddens is clear that politicians make things worse by the tactic - much used by Brown in the economic field too - of simultaneously dramatising the threat and then pretending to have the unique measure of it, as the G20 may show."
Martin Kettle, The Guardian

"In challenging the standard criteria used by policy-makers to think about climate change, and by offering an alternative set, Giddens shows how a real national and European debate can finally occupy the political foreground."
Times of Malta

"The prospect of disruptive climate change should be high on the international agenda: it raises issues of politics, economics and equity that are even more complex than the science. This balanced and comprehensive assessment by a distinguished author should be widely read by politicians and policymakers."
Martin Rees, President of the Royal Society and Master of Trinity College, Cambridge

"An incisive and highly original contribution."
Ulrich Beck, University of Munich

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780745655154
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 11/22/2011
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 957,280
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements vii

Introduction 1

1 Climate Change, Risk and Danger 17

2 Running Out, Running Down? 35

3 The Greens and After 49

4 The Track Record So Far 73

5 A Return to Planning? 91

6 Technologies and Taxes 129

7 The Politics of Adaptation 162

8 International Negotiations, the EU and Carbon Markets 182

9 The Geopolitics of Climate Change 203

Afterword 227

Notes 231

References 243

Index 253

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • 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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