Author: Michael E. Mann
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Release Date: 2013-10-01
The ongoing assault on climate science in the United States has never been more aggressive, more blatant, or more widely publicized than in the case of the Hockey Stick graph—a clear and compelling visual presentation of scientific data, put together by Michael E. Mann and his colleagues, demonstrating that global temperatures have risen in conjunction with the increase in industrialization and the use of fossil fuels. Here was an easy-to-understand graph that, in a glance, posed a threat to major corporate energy interests and those who do their political bidding. The stakes were simply too high to ignore the Hockey Stick—and so began a relentless attack on a body of science and on the investigators whose work formed its scientific basis. The Hockey Stick achieved prominence in a 2001 UN report on climate change and quickly became a central icon in the “climate wars.” The real issue has never been the graph’s data but rather its implied threat to those who oppose governmental regulation and other restraints to protect the environment and planet. Mann, lead author of the original paper in which the Hockey Stick first appeared, shares the story of the science and politics behind this controversy. He reveals key figures in the oil and energy industries and the media front groups who do their bidding in sometimes slick, sometimes bare-knuckled ways. Mann concludes with the real story of the 2009 “Climategate” scandal, in which climate scientists’ emails were hacked. This is essential reading for all who care about our planet’s health and our own well-being.
Author: Bruno Latour
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Release Date: 2017-09-05
The emergence of modern sciences in the seventeenth century profoundly renewed our understanding of nature. For the last three centuries new ideas of nature have been continually developed by theology, politics, economics, and science, especially the sciences of the material world. The situation is even more unstable today, now that we have entered an ecological mutation of unprecedented scale. Some call it the Anthropocene, but it is best described as a new climatic regime. And a new regime it certainly is, since the many unexpected connections between human activity and the natural world oblige every one of us to reopen the earlier notions of nature and redistribute what had been packed inside. So the question now arises: what will replace the old ways of looking at nature? This book explores a potential candidate proposed by James Lovelock when he chose the name 'Gaia' for the fragile, complex system through which living phenomena modify the Earth. The fact that he was immediately misunderstood proves simply that his readers have tried to fit this new notion into an older frame, transforming Gaia into a single organism, a kind of giant thermostat, some sort of New Age goddess, or even divine Providence. In this series of lectures on 'natural religion,' Bruno Latour argues that the complex and ambiguous figure of Gaia offers, on the contrary, an ideal way to disentangle the ethical, political, theological, and scientific aspects of the now obsolete notion of nature. He lays the groundwork for a future collaboration among scientists, theologians, activists, and artists as they, and we, begin to adjust to the new climatic regime.
Weather, Macroweather, and the Climate is an insider's attempt to explain as simply as possible how to understand the atmospheric variability that occurs over an astonishing range of scales: from millimeters to the size of the planet, from milliseconds to billions of years. The variability is so large that standard ways of dealing with it are utterly inadequate: in 2015, it was found that classical approaches had underestimated the variability by the astronomical factor of a quadrillion (a million billion). Author Shaun Lovejoy asks - and answers - many fundamental questions such as: Is the atmosphere random or deterministic? What is turbulence? How big is a cloud (what is the appropriate notion of size itself)? What is its dimension? How can we conceptualize the structures within structures within structures spanning millimeters to thousands of kilometers and milliseconds to the age of the planet? What is weather? What is climate? Lovejoy shows in simple terms why the industrial epoch warming can't be natural - much simpler than trying to show that it's anthropogenic. We will discuss in simple terms how to make the best seasonal and annual forecasts - without giant numerical models. Above all, the book offers readers a new understanding of the atmosphere.
Author: Michael E. Mann
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Release Date: 2016-09-27
The award-winning climate scientist Michael E. Mann and the Pulitzer Prize–winning political cartoonist Tom Toles have been on the front lines of the fight against climate denialism for most of their careers. They have witnessed the manipulation of the media by business and political interests and the unconscionable play to partisanship on issues that affect the well-being of billions. The lessons they have learned have been invaluable, inspiring this brilliant, colorful escape hatch from the madhouse of the climate wars. The Madhouse Effect portrays the intellectual pretzels into which denialists must twist logic to explain away the clear evidence that human activity has changed Earth's climate. Toles's cartoons collapse counter-scientific strategies into their biased components, helping readers see how to best strike at these fallacies. Mann's expert skills at science communication aim to restore sanity to a debate that continues to rage against widely acknowledged scientific consensus. The synergy of these two climate science crusaders enlivens the gloom and doom of so many climate-themed books—and may even convert die-hard doubters to the side of sound science.
Author: Seamus McGraw
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Release Date: 2015-04-15
Climate change has become one of the most polarizing issues of our time. Extremists on the left regularly issue hyperbolic jeremiads about the impending destruction of the environment, while extremists on the right counter with crass, tortured denials. But out in the vast middle are ordinary people dealing with stronger storms and more intense droughts than they’ve ever known. This middle ground is the focus of Betting the Farm on a Drought, a lively, thought-provoking book that lays out the whole story of climate change—the science, the math, and most importantly, the human stories of people fighting both the climate and their own deeply held beliefs to find creative solutions to a host of environmental challenges. Seamus McGraw takes us on a trip along America’s culturally fractured back roads and listens to farmers and ranchers and fishermen, many of them people who are not ideologically, politically, or in some cases even religiously inclined to believe in man-made global climate change. He shows us how they are already being affected and the risks they are already taking on a personal level to deal with extreme weather and its very real consequences for their livelihoods. McGraw also speaks to scientists and policymakers who are trying to harness that most renewable of American resources, a sense of hope and self-reliance that remains strong in the face of daunting challenges. By bringing these voices together, Betting the Farm on a Drought ultimately becomes a model for how we all might have a pragmatic, reasoned conversation about our changing climate.
Author: John S. Dryzek
Publisher: OUP Oxford
Release Date: 2013-10-24
Genre: Political Science
This book is an original, accessible, and thought-provoking introduction to the severe and broad-ranging challenges that climate change presents and how societies can respond. It synthesizes and deploys cutting-edge scholarship on the range of social, economic, political, and philosophical issues surrounding climate change. The treatment is introductory, but the book is written "with attitude", for nobody has yet charted in coherent, integrative, and effective fashion a way to move societies beyond their current paralysis as they face the challenges of climate change. The coverage begins with an examination of science, public opinion, and policy making, with special attention to organized climate change denial. The book then moves to economic analysis and its limits; different kinds of policies; climate justice; governance at all levels from the local to the global; and the challenge of an emerging "Anthropocene" in which the mostly unintended consequences of human action drive the earth system into a more chaotic and unstable era. The conclusion considers the prospects for fundamental transition in ideas, movements, economics, and governance.
Author: Henry Shue
Publisher: OUP Oxford
Release Date: 2014-06-12
Genre: Political Science
The fruit of twenty years of moral reflection on the emerging greatest challenge to humanity of the 21st century, these far-sighted and influential essays by a pioneering practical philosopher on the tangled questions of justice between nations and justice across generations confronting all attempts at international cooperation in controlling climate change sharply crystallize the central choices and offer constructive directions forward. Arguing that persistent attempts by U.S. negotiators to avoid the fundamental issues of justice at the heart of persistent international disagreement on the terms of a binding multilateral treaty are as morally misguided as they are diplomatically counter-productive, Henry Shue has built a case that efforts to price carbon (through cap-and-trade or carbon taxes) as a mechanism to drive down greenhouse gas emissions by the affluent must, for both ethical and political reasons, be complemented by international transfers that temporarily subsidize the development of non-carbon energy and its dissemination to those trapped in poverty. Our vital escape from climate change rooted in the dominance of the fossil fuel regime ought not, and in fact need not, come at the price of de-railing the escape of the world's poorest from poverty rooted in lack of affordable energy that does not undermine the climate. The momentum of changes in the planetary climate system and the political inertia of energy regimes mean that future generations, like the poorest of the present, are vulnerable to our decisions, and they have rights not to be left helpless by those of us with the power instead to leave them hope.
Carbon Politics and the Failure of Kyoto charts the framework and political evolution of the Kyoto Protocol negotiations and examines the ensuing failure of the international community to adequately address climate change. The focus is not on the science or consequences of climate change but on the political gamesmanship of the major players throughout the UNFCCC negotiation process. More than an updated history of the subject matter, this book provides a detailed study of the carbon targets which became the biggest influencing factor on the reaction of nations to Kyoto’s binding agreements. The book provides an in-depth analysis of the leading nations’ motives, including the US, China and Germany, in entering the negotiations, in particular, their economic interests. Despite the effort to combat climate change in politics that the negotiations represent, the book concludes that an agreement which requires almost 200 very different nations to agree on a single protocol is doomed to failure. The book offers a novel contribution to our understanding of this failure and suggests alternative frameworks and policies to tackle what is arguably the most complex political issue of our time.
Author: James Lawrence Powell
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Release Date: 2014-12-23
Over the course of the twentieth century, scientists came to accept four counterintuitive yet fundamental facts about the Earth: deep time, continental drift, meteorite impact, and global warming. When first suggested, each proposition violated scientific orthodoxy and was quickly denounced as scientific—and sometimes religious—heresy. Nevertheless, after decades of rejection, scientists came to accept each theory. The stories behind these four discoveries reflect more than the fascinating push and pull of scientific work. They reveal the provocative nature of science and how it raises profound and sometimes uncomfortable truths as it advances. For example, counter to common sense, the Earth and the solar system are older than all of human existence; the interactions among the moving plates and the continents they carry account for nearly all of the Earth's surface features; and nearly every important feature of our solar system results from the chance collision of objects in space. Most surprising of all, we humans have altered the climate of an entire planet and now threaten the future of civilization. This absorbing scientific history is the only book to describe the evolution of these four ideas from heresy to truth, showing how science works in practice and how it inevitably corrects the mistakes of its practitioners. Scientists can be wrong, but they do not stay wrong. In the process, astonishing ideas are born, tested, and over time take root.
Author: Michael Mann
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Release Date: 2015-05-05
Periodic reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) evaluate the risk of climate change brought on by humans. But the sheer volume of scientific data remains inscrutable to the general public, particularly to those who may still question the validity of climate change. In just over 200 pages, this practical text presents and expands upon the essential findings of the IPCC's 5th Assessment Report in a visually stunning and undeniably powerful way to the lay reader. Scientific findings that provide validity to the implications of climate change are presented in clear-cut graphic elements, striking images, and understandable analogies.