The Science and Politics of Global Climate Change: A Guide to the Debate / Edition 2

Paperback (Print)
Rent from
(Save 75%)
Est. Return Date: 07/28/2015
Buy Used
Buy Used from
(Save 37%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 96%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (26) from $1.99   
  • New (10) from $29.98   
  • Used (16) from $1.99   


"The second edition of Dessler and Parson's acclaimed book provides an integrated treatment of the science, technology, economics, policy, and politics of climate change. Aimed at the educated non-specialist, and at courses in environmental policy or climate change, the book clearly lays out the scientific foundations of climate change, the issues in current policy debates, and the interactions between science and politics that make the climate change debate so contentious and confusing. This new edition is brought completely up to date to reflect the rapid movement of events related to climate change. In addition, all sections have been improved, in particular a more thorough primer on the basic science of climate change is included. The book also now integrates the discussion of contrarian claims with the discussion of current scientific knowledge; extends the discussion of cost and benefit estimates; and provides an improved glossary"--Provided by publisher.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
‘This timely, informative and well-written book does an excellent job of explaining, in language accessible to everyone, the scientific basis for our current understanding of global warming and climate change, as well as societal implications and the political barriers to sound, rational policy. Its co-authors are well recognized experts in science and in public policy. I recommend it to anyone who wishes to gain a better understanding of this complex issue – what the debate is all about – and as a core textbook for introductory courses on the environment, climate change, or public policy.’ Professor Neal Lane, Malcolm Gillis University Professor and Senior Fellow of the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy, Rice University. Former Science Advisor to President Clinton and former Director of the U.S. National Science Foundation

‘As the scientific evidence on human induced climate change becomes stronger and more widely accepted, voices that question it appear to get louder and seemingly more coordinated. In a complex area such as climate change, politics inevitably runs into conflict with the domain of science. This book is a timely analysis of the scientific evidence of climate change as well as the political forces that question its full acceptance. Dessler and Parson have produced a remarkable piece of work that is relevant for the scientific community in understanding the political implications of their work and for politicians and the public at large to understand not only the overwhelming scientific evidence that has emerged in recent years, but also the remaining uncertainties that need to be addressed in future scientific endeavor. This feature alone and the simple and readable manner in which the book is written make it essential reading for scientists as well as the concerned public at large.’ Dr R. K. Pachauri, Chairman, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Director General, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), India

'… there is a real need for a comprehensive book on climate change … The Science and Politics of Global Climate Change is it. It does exactly what the title and subtitle promise, providing insights into the causes and effects of the contributing meteorological phenomena and into why it has been so hard to get consensus among governments … copies should be shipped to anyone who doubts the reality of climate change, starting with presidents in denial.' New Scientist

'… requires no specialised knowledge, but is accessible to any educated general reader who wants to make more sense of the climate change debate. It also sheds light on how science is used in policy debates.' The Chemical Engineer

‘Each of the key aspects of global climate change is covered, with up-to-date and well-referenced information throughout. Its impressive breadth and the provision of succinct overviews of source material in the further reading sections of each chapter mean that teachers, lecturers and researchers will all find this book a useful starting point for in-depth study. There are now numerous taught masters courses on 'global change issues', and this book constitutes a must-have addition to their reading lists. … read the book in its entirety - it is well worth it. … [This book] is an excellent attempt at deconstructing the confusion that surrounds the climate-change debate. This reviewer has been waiting some time for a book such as this to appear. … The science and politics of climate change are brought together quite seamlessly, … Dessler and Parson's book is a must for those who want to move beyond the rhetoric and understand the relationship between climate science policy, and also for those seeking an interdisciplinary outlook on the management of global environmental issues. … This book will be most useful to undergraduates and post-graduates in the fields of environmental science, sustainability and international politics. Each of the key aspects of global climate change is covered, with up-to-date and well referenced information throughout. its impressive breadth and the provision of succinct overviews of source material in the further reading sections of each chapter mean that teachers will all find this book a useful starting point for in-depth study. … as a primer that brings together global climate change science and politics it succeeds very well indeed.' Times Higher Education Supplement

'This is an excellent way into the subject for the beginner … one of the most lucid and readable introductory accounts of the topic that has been published in some while. As such it should be seen as a 'must-buy' and an essential addition to the library.' TENews

'This is a book which all scientists and the educated general public should read and reflect upon before it is too late to halt the apparently inevitable progress to Armageddon.' Chromatographia

'… a useful compendium of the current debates in the science and politics of climate change … succinct and consistent book … Ensure[s] fluent reading for non-expert, yet educated, citizens. The book is logically structured and it should become a key reading and teaching source in georgaphy and environmental sciences. It can also be valuable to doctoral students and senior researchers interested in learning about climate change science and politics. Overall it is a book worth having on one's shelf.’ Environmental Sciences

'As more and more extreme weather events around the globe are being associated with climate change, it is sometimes difficult to be able to see the wood for the trees, but this book takes the reader very clearly through the 'maze' of claims and counter-claims. … if only government leaders would read, digest and follow up some of the suggestions in the last chapter, there would be optimism that the problem can be overcome. As always with Cambridge University Press, the book, which is illustrated with diagrams, charts and boxes, is impeccably produced, and is an absolute 'must' for every reader of this journal.' International Journal of Meteorology

'Written by an atmospheric scientist and a law professor with extensive public policy experience, the book effectively tackles the rough-and-tumble intersection of science and policy that has led to confusion and inaction … The scholarly value of [the book] is indisputable. Dessler and Parson independently possess significant authority on both the science and the politics of climate change. Their treatment of the subject illustrates the complexity of the problem with remarkable ease and clarity … the carefully thought-through recommendations make this book critical reading for policymakers … considering action on the issue.' Maria Ivanova, The College of William and Mary

'… coverage and presentation of climate science and policy [is] commendable … a good candidate for a primer for multidisciplinary classes devoted to climate policy …' Randall M Wigle, Wilfrid Laurier University

"This book would make a very good supplemental resource for an environmental science course, and it would be a good entry point for students who want deeper knowledge of climate change issues." W.E Williams, St. Mary's College of Maryland

"...the book treats this contentious field clearly, dispassionately, and logically. ...Highly recommended." CHOICE

"[This] refined second edition offers one of the best summary backgrounds of this complex topic now available. They carefully describe what we know about the science of climate change, and why we can make some overall global forecasts with confidence." Oceanography

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521737401
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 3/31/2010
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 230
  • Product dimensions: 6.80 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrew Dessler is a professor in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at Texas A&M University. He received his Ph.D. in chemistry from Harvard in 1994. He did postdoctoral work at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (1994–1996) and then spent nine years on the research faculty of the University of Maryland (1996–2005). In 2000, he worked as a Senior Policy Analyst in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, where he collaborated with Ted Parson. Dessler's academic publications include one other book: The Chemistry and Physics of Stratospheric Ozone (Academic Press, 2000). He has also published extensively in the scientific literature on stratospheric ozone depletion and the physics of climate.

Edward Parson is Joseph L. Sax Collegiate Professor of Law and Professor of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan. His research examines international environmental policy, the role of science and technology in public policy, and the political economy of regulation. Parson's book, Protecting the Ozone Layer: Science and Strategy (Oxford University Press, 2003), won the 2004 Harold and Margaret Sprout Award of the International Studies Association. His academic articles have been published in Science, Climatic Change, Issues in Science and Technology, the Journal of Economic Literature, and the Annual Review of Energy and the Environment. Parson has led and served on several senior advisory committees for the U.S. National Research Council and U.S. Global Change Research Program, and has worked and consulted for the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, the United Nations Environment Program, the Office of Technology Assessment of the U.S. Congress, the Privy Council Office of the Government of Canada, and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, where he collaborated with Andrew Dessler. In 2005, he was appointed to the National Advisory Board of the Union of Concerned Scientists. Parson spent twelve years on the faculty of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. He holds degrees in Physics from the University of Toronto and in Management Science from the University of British Columbia, and a Ph.D. in Public Policy from Harvard.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

1 Global climate change: a new type of environmental problem 1

2 Science, politics, and science in politics 31

3 Human-induced climate change: present scientific knowledge and uncertainties 61

4 Climate change policy: impacts, assessments, and responses 112

5 The state of climate policy and a path forward 160

Glossary 197

Bibliography 205

Index 208

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)