Global Climate Change: A Primer

Global Climate Change: A Primer


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An internationally recognized expert on the geology of barrier islands, Orrin H. Pilkey is one of the rare academics who engages in public advocacy about science-related issues. He has written dozens of books and articles explaining coastal processes to lay readers, and he is a frequent and outspoken interviewee in the mainstream media. Here, the colorful scientist takes on climate change deniers in an outstanding and much-needed primer on the science of global change and its effects.

After explaining the greenhouse effect, Pilkey, writing with son Keith, turns to the damage it is causing: sea level rise, ocean acidification, glacier and sea ice melting, changing habitats, desertification, and the threats to animals, humans, coral reefs, marshes, and mangroves. These explanations are accompanied by Mary Edna Fraser’s stunning batiks depicting the large-scale arenas in which climate change plays out.

The Pilkeys directly confront and rebut arguments typically advanced by global change deniers. Particularly valuable are their discussions of “Climategate,” a manufactured scandal that undermined respect for the scientific community, and the denial campaigns by the fossil fuel industry, which they compare to the tactics used by the tobacco companies a generation ago to obfuscate findings on the harm caused by cigarettes.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780822351092
Publisher: Duke University Press Books
Publication date: 06/30/2011
Pages: 160
Sales rank: 604,062
Product dimensions: 7.50(w) x 9.40(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Orrin H. Pilkey is James B. Duke Professor Emeritus of Geology at the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University, and Founder and Director Emeritus of the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines, based at Western Carolina University. Pilkey has written and edited many books, including, most recently, (with Rob Young) The Rising Sea and (with Linda Pilkey-Jarvis) Useless Arithmetic, an indictment of mathematical models used to predict environmental change. He is the author or co-author of many books in the Living with the Shore book series that he co-edited for Duke University Press. Pilkey is the recipient of numerous honors, including the Francis Shepard Medal for excellence in Marine Geology, the Priestley Award for distinguished contributions to environmental science, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the North Carolina Coastal Federation, and the Outstanding Public Service Award from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Pilkey lives in Hillsborough, North Carolina.

Keith C. Pilkey is an attorney with a longstanding interest in geoengineering and corporate influence on science policy. He lives in Johnson City, Tennessee.

Mary Edna Fraser is an artist who highlights environmental concerns in large silk batiks, which are often based on maps, satellite images, and the photographs that she takes while flying her family’s 1946 propeller plane. Deemed a “pilot with a palette” by Michael Kilian of the Chicago Tribune, Fraser has exhibited widely, including at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Reviewing that show, Hank Burchard of the Washington Post declared that “the batiks amount to visual poetry.” Fraser and Orrin H. Pilkey are the co-authors of A Celebration of the World’s Barrier Islands. She lives in Charleston, South Carolina.

Table of Contents


1. Global Changes and the Greenhouse Earth

2. The Impact of Global Changes

3. Doubts, Uncertainties, and Qualms

4. The Manufacture of Dissent: The Global Warming Denial Lobby

5. The Future of Ice

6. Global Change in the Oceans

7. Disappearing Civilizations

8. Global Change in the Biosphere

9. Plan B: Geoengineering to the Rescue?

About the Art



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