The Global Warming Reader: A Century of Writing About Climate Change [NOOK Book]


Our most widely respected environmental writer brings together the essential voices on global warming, from its 19th-century discovery to the present

With the rise of extreme weather events ...
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The Global Warming Reader: A Century of Writing About Climate Change

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Our most widely respected environmental writer brings together the essential voices on global warming, from its 19th-century discovery to the present

With the rise of extreme weather events worldwide--witness the devastation wrought by Hurricanes Sandy, Irene, and Katrina, and the sustained drought across the American West--global warming has become increasingly difficult to deny.

What is happening to our planet? And what can we do about it? The Global Warming Reader provides more than thirty-five answers to these burning questions, from more than one hundred years of engagement with the topic. Here is Elizabeth Kolbert's groundbreaking essay "The Darkening Sea," Michael Crichton's skeptical view of climate change, George Monbiot's biting indictment of those who are really using up the planet's resources, NASA scientist James Hansen's testimony before the U.S. Congress, and clarion calls for action by Al Gore, Arundhati Roy, Naomi Klein, and many others. The Global Warming Reader is a comprehensive resource, expertly edited by someone who lives and breathes this defining issue of our time.

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Editorial Reviews

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As John McCain has written, "We have many advantages in the fight against global warming, but time is not one of them." In thirty-five diverse articles, Bill McKibben's The Global Warming Reader addresses the problem, its history, and controversies about its possible solutions. An inexpensive trade paperback and NOOK Book original.

Vicki Powers

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101577219
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 3/27/2012
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 626,659
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

Bill McKibben
Bill McKibben is the author of The End of Nature, and The Age of Missing Information. He is a frequent contributor to such publications as Outside, The New York Times, and The New York Review of Books, and a former staff writer at the New Yorker.
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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2012

    This is a great second book to read about climate change

    I found this to be both interesting and informative, with many aspects of climate change covered in the readings that are either excerpted or included in their entirety. (And I apologize for immediately voicing a gripe, but it is sometimes annoying that McKibben does not always make it clear which is the case for any given paper. For example, the first reading is from Arrhenius's seminal 1896 paper on the role of carbon dioxide in the greenhouse effect, and in his introduction to the reading McKibben makes a point of how close the paper's estimate of the temperature rise caused by carbon dioxide is to the modern one, but then one is surprised to find that the reading says nothing about this! I checked the original source, and discovered that McKibben had omitted the early part of Arrhenius's paper where this was covered, probably for good reason due to its technical nature, but McKibben still should have warned us. To pick a nit, McKibben also should not have repeated that purported quote by Arrhenius about "evaporating our coal mines into the air" without knowing that it is a modern invention, not something Arrhenius ever said or wrote; see the paper by Pilsen, Ambio 35, 130 (2006).)

    The three sections of the book sort the papers into ones covering science, politics, and impact, and there is much to be learned from this book in all three areas. However, as the title of this review indicates, I would not recommend this to someone confused about the current pseudo-debate on climate change who is looking for enough information to sort the matter out, until they have read at least one other book on the subject that states the case more dispassionately. I actually agree with McKibben's position on almost all matters related to the urgency of dealing with climate change, but whenever I read his work I get a bit uncomfortable with his sometimes messianic tone. (Note, for example, the first of the two readings in this volume from his own work, titled "This is F***** Up -- It's time to Get Mad, Then Busy". I replaced those letters with asterisks; McKibben was more frank.) This may work well as a rallying cry for the already committed, but can turn off the intelligent person whose politics may not agree with McKibben's but who is getting worried about what is happening to the planet and wants to know more about it. A better first read for that person would be, say, Spencer Weart's marvelous book "The Discovery of Global Warming". Be sure to get the revised and expanded edition.

    But McKibben does give time to the opposition. This is the first place I've read an actual portion of James Inhofe's Senate speech in which he made that oft-quoted statement about global warming being such a great hoax. For the student who is at least a few weeks into first-term calculus, here is a homework assignment: Find the hilarious blunder that completely invalidates the conclusion Inhofe draws from it. For extra credit, explain why, even if he had not confused a function with its derivative, the time frames he cites would invalidate his conclusion anyway.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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