Climate Change Book
Can someone recommend a good book about climate change?
The political season has once again reminded me why I will likely always remain an independent. After all, what is the likelihood that an individual citizen with his/her own interests and opinions would align with broad platform of a polarizing political party in a national bipartisan system?
It particularly bothers me that the current prevailing conservative position is not only skepticism to climate change and sensible energy policy but open hostility. I’ve started to think that it’s just parroting of well funded powerful fossil fuel company propaganda. But I hear this from media members and intelligent citizens who are not on the payroll. No one even cares at this point that these positions are predominantly corporate as long as they are popular and polarizing.
What information sources, in addition to Crash Videos, can I point to to argue that climate change reversal, environmental conservation, and sustainable clean energy development should be the positions any intellectually honest conservative AND liberal should adopt?
Just saw your question here. What sort of knowledge about the climate change are you looking for? There are a host of books out there. Here are the one's I recommend to my students that primarily explain the basics of the subject. Note, the subject is continually evolving with much new science on the subject every year.
(a) Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis by IPCC. 2013. Cambridge University Press. This is the source for the latest synthesis on climate change and it is currently driving global policy. Note, you can access this for free in pdf form at http://climatechange2013.org/images/report/WG1AR5_ALL_FINAL.pdf (b) Burroughs W.J. 2007. Climate Change: A Multidisciplinary Approach (second edition). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K. 378pp. Excellent overview of the materials we will cover and the best, though not required, auxiliary text for the course. (c) Global Warming: The Complete Briefing (Fourth Edition) by John Houghton. 2009. Cambridge University Press. This is the Reader’s Digest version of the 3 IPCC Working Group documents(2007 AR4 versions). It condenses about 3,000 pages to a mere 438…. (d) The Rough Guide to Climate Change by Robert Henson. 2008. Rough Guides Ltd. This is a breezier overview than the Houghton book but gives a broad coverage of climate change issues (there is an updated 2011 version). (e) What We Know About Climate Change by Kerry Emanuel. 2007. MIT Press. This is the shortest book of any worth you are likely to find on climate change! It’s not comprehensive but it still manages to be useful, informative and readable. (f) The Discovery of Global Warming by Spencer R. Weart. 2008. Harvard University Press. If you want to know the history of the whole climate change debate then this is the book you want. It is relatively light on the science but it does give you a good idea of who did what, when and why.
Beyond these there are no end of 'popular' type books that give aspects of the outcomes likely from climate change. If you want I can give you a different list for that.
In case you haven't discovered it, we have the "The Definitive Global Climate Change (aka Global Warming) Thread — General Discussion and Questions" thread which has covered the science and debates quite extensively over the last few years, including perspectives from those who dispute that climate change is happening, or is that important. I invite you to come over and participate.
I bought Hansens bok "Storms of my Grandchildren". While the matter is obviously weighty I found his writing style too ponderous for my tastes.
In the interest of "balance" I also bought some other professor's scriblings who took the opposing view. My error was quickly exposed when I found out he was the chairman of some Australian Coal mining lobby. I must confess to a fit of pique.
How do you rate Professor James Lovelock's work, Mark? I like his books because he has lots of glossy pictures and interesting graphs. He also addresses the 20% increase in solar output over its 4 bllion year and the biosphere's response to it. He also raises the fact that this negative feedback loop is failing because we are scrubbing the last of the CO2 out with C4 plants.
"I have never regarded nuclear radiation or nuclear power as anything other than a normal and inevitable part of the environment. Our prokaryotic forebears evolved on a planet-sized lump of fallout from a star-sized nuclear explosion, a supernova that synthesised the elements that go to make our planet and ourselves."