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The Science and Politics of Global Climate Change

The Science and Politics of Global Climate Change
A Guide to the Debate


  • Date Published: January 2006
  • availability: Replaced by 9780521737401
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521539418


Replaced by 9780521737401
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About the Authors
  • Climate variability has become the primary environmental concern of the 21st Century. Yet, despite the scientific community's warnings of the imminent dangers of global warming, politicians world-wide have failed to agree on what to do about this potentially devastating environmental problem. This introductory primer informs scientists, policy makers and the general public by clarifying the conflicting claims of the debate.

    • Combines the authors' respective expertise in the areas of atmospheric science and environmental policy
    • Sorts through the conflicting claims made by scientists, economists, policy makers and the media
    • Looks at how science is used and presented in policy debates
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    "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 oint for in-depth study."
    David Reay, Edinburgh University

    "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."

    "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 geography 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

    "provides perhaps the most comprehensive and comprehensible analysis of the debates around climate change and is likely to become a foundational text for students, scholars, policymakers, and citizens seeking clarity on this topic. The scholarly value of The Science and Politics of Global Climate Change 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. By juxtaposing the scientific and the political processes, they enrich the academic literature which has traditionally separated the two and open up new avenues for exploring policy solutions. Scientists will find value in the discussion of how their work is used by policymakers. Those knowledgeable about the politics of climate change will find value in the discussion of the science."
    Global Environmental Politics

    "Excellent overview of an increasingly critical issue."
    Future Survey

    "I found the book quite well written, with a good explanation of a suitable range of relevant scientific, "political" and economic concepts...I believe it is a good candidate for a primer for mulitdisciplinary classes devoted to climate policy..."
    Canadian Public Policy, Randall M. Wigle, Wilfrid Laurier University

    "It explains scientific and policy debates, discusses areas of knowledge and uncertainty regarding climate change, and offers possible policy options."
    American Meteorological Society

    "[Dressler and Parson] open with a powerful organizing principle for the climate and their book: to clearly distinguish between objective understanding (i.e., what we know) and subjective value judgment (i.e. what we believe should be). As a framework for thinking, this holds great promise: it curbs the potential to use ignorance to manipulate the debate, but also acknowledges the limits of scientific understanding."
    Paul A. T. Higgins, Senior Fellow, AMS Policy Program

    "...Dessler and Parson succeed in making both science and policy accessible to a wide readership. As someone working at the interface of science and policy, I could comfortably recommend this book to friends and colleagues. The book--which is well illustrated with easy-to-grasp figures, and which has summary tables provided at several key junctures--would also make an excellent resource for a high school or college-level survey course in either environmental studies or public policy. - Wendy S. Gordon, EOS

    "If you teach an environmental science course and need a short glimpse at the issue of global warming, this book is worth examining." -Ecology

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2006
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521539418
    • length: 200 pages
    • dimensions: 246 x 174 x 12 mm
    • weight: 0.405kg
    • contains: 18 b/w illus. 4 tables
    • availability: Replaced by 9780521737401
  • Table of Contents

    1. Global climate change: a new type of environmental problem
    2. Science, politics, and science in politics
    3. Climate change: present scientific knowledge and uncertainties
    4. The climate change policy debate: impacts and potential responses
    5. The present impasse and steps forward

  • Authors

    Andrew E. Dessler, Texas A & M University
    Andrew E. Dessler is a Professor in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at Texas A&M University. He received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Harvard University in 1994. He did postdoctoral work at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (1994–1996) and then spent nine years on the 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 three books: The Chemistry and Physics of Stratospheric Ozone (Academic Press, 2000), The Science and Politics of Global Climate Change: A Guide to the Debate (with Ted Parson, Cambridge University Press, 2006, 2010) and Introduction to Modern Climate Change (Cambridge University Press, 2012). He has also published extensively in the scientific literature on stratospheric ozone depletion and the physics of climate.

    Edward A. Parson, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

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