Overheated: The Human Cost of Climate Change

Overheated: The Human Cost of Climate Change

by Andrew T. Guzman


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Deniers of climate change sometimes quip that claims about global warming are more about political science than climate science. They are wrong on the science, but may be right with respect to its political implications. A hotter world, writes Andrew Guzman, will bring unprecedented migrations, famine, war, and disease. It will be a social and political disaster of the first order.

In Overheated, Guzman takes climate change out of the realm of scientific abstraction to explore its real-world consequences. He writes not as a scientist, but as an authority on international law and economics. He takes as his starting point a fairly optimistic outcome in the range predicted by scientists: a 2 degree Celsius increase in average global temperatures. Even this modest rise would lead to catastrophic environmental and social problems. Already we can see how it will work: The ten warmest years since 1880 have all occurred since 1998, and one estimate of the annual global death toll caused by climate change is now 300,000. That number might rise to 500,000 by 2030. He shows in vivid detail how climate change is already playing out in the real world. Rising seas will swamp island nations like Maldives; coastal food-producing regions in Bangladesh will be flooded; and millions will be forced to migrate into cities or possibly "climate-refugee camps." Even as seas rise, melting glaciers in the Andes and the Himalayas will deprive millions upon millions of people of fresh water, threatening major cities and further straining food production. Prolonged droughts in the Sahel region of Africa have already helped produce mass violence in Darfur.

Clear, cogent, and compelling, Overheated shifts the discussion on climate change toward its devastating impact on human societies. Two degrees Celsius seems such a minor change. Yet it will change everything.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780199360727
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 11/01/2014
Pages: 280
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Andrew T. Guzman is Professor of Law and Associate Dean for International and Executive Education at the University of California, Berkeley. His books include How International Law Works and International Trade Law, among others.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Kerplunk! and Planet Earth
Chapter 2: A Message From Climate Scientists
Chapter 3: Deeper Waters
Chapter 4: A Thirsty World
Chapter 5: Climate Wars: A Shower of Sparks
Chapter 6: Climate Change is Bad For Your Health
Chapter 7: Where Do We Go From Here

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Overheated: The Human Cost of Climate Change 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Overheated paints a picture of real threats to our lives and the consequences for real families in the US and around world. Guzman brings the climate change debate and its consequences home. Overheated is aimed at the reader who wants to understand the consequence that humans face in the era of global warming. Humans will be displaced, food and water shortages will trigger conflicts or wars, famine, and humanitarian crisis. All these results are neither remote nor consequences only for countries far away from our sheltered homes. As an example, we can expect massive hurricanes and drought occurring in the U.S. Despite the book’s grim outlook on climate change, it encourages us to act and to demand political action from politicians and regulators. After presenting a series of chilling realities, Guzman explains in clear and simple terms what has to be done. Although, a warmer world is now inevitable, we still have the opportunity to act and make things better. Overheated is a truly inspiring and empowering book that provides a positive agenda in the face of climate change. Andrew Guzman has changed my perspective on climate change.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
AKRogue More than 1 year ago
This books contains nothing but fraudulent data designed to sell books to the easily propagandized masses.