Time of Useful Consciousness

BWB Texts

Book 32
Bridget Williams Books
Free sample

‘The speed with which the storm is gathering leaves little time for complacency or half-hearted action if we are to retain a democratic future.’

Our climate is changing, in ways that will have long-term impacts for us and for our children. Yet still we fail to take meaningful action. Why? And when will it be too late?

Ralph Chapman argues that we have only ‘a small and shrinking window of time’ before the pressures from climate change become too great for us to address them coherently. This BWB Text is a practical call to arms for New Zealand citizens and policy-makers alike, identifying actions that are urgent and critical for the creation of a green economy and a sustainable future.
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About the author

Dr Ralph Chapman is Associate Professor and Director of the Graduate Programme in Environmental Studies at Victoria University of Wellington. He is a frequent writer and speaker on the policy implications of climate change for New Zealand, particularly in the areas of energy, transport, housing and urban policies. His experience includes being a negotiator of the Kyoto Protocol for the New Zealand government. Ralph was a member of the research team which was presented with the 2014 Prime Minister’s Science Prize.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Bridget Williams Books
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Published on
Aug 7, 2015
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Pages
120
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ISBN
9780908321421
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / Public Policy / Environmental Policy
Science / Environmental Science
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Decisively cutting through the hyperbole on both sides of the debate, distinguished NASA climatologist Claire L. Parkinson brings much-needed balance and perspective to the highly contentious issue of climate change. Offering a deeply knowledgeable overview of global conditions past and present, the author lays out a compelling argument that our understandings and models are inadequate for confident predictions of the intended and unintended consequences of various projects now under consideration to modify future climate. In one compact volume, Parkinson presents a coherent synopsis of the 4.6-billion-year history of climate change on planet Earth—both before and after humans became a significant factor—and explores current concerns regarding continued global warming and its possible consequences. She ranges over the massive geoengineering schemes being proposed and why we need to be cautious about them, the limitations of current global climate models and projections, the key arguments made by those skeptical of the mainstream views, and the realistic ways we can lessen destructive human impacts on our planet. While discussing all of these polarizing topics, the author consistently shows respect for the views of alarmists, skeptics, and the vast majority of people whose positions lie somewhere between those two extremes. The book clarifies some of the most contentious points in the climate debate, and in the process treats us to a fascinating discussion interweaving Earth history, science, the history of science, and human nature. Readers will be rewarded with a genuine understanding of a complex issue that could be among the most important facing humankind in the coming decades.
Analyses of the international climate change regime consider the challenges of maintaining current structures and the possibilities for creating new forms of international cooperation.

The current international climate change regime has a long history, and it is likely that its evolution will continue, despite such recent setbacks as the decision by President Donald Trump to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement of 2015. Indeed, the U.S. withdrawal may spur efforts by other members of the international community to strengthen the Paris accord on their own. This volume offers an original contribution to the study of the international political context of climate change over the last three decades, with fresh analyses of the current international climate change regime that consider both the challenges of maintaining current structures and the possibilities for creating new forms of international cooperation.

The contributors are leading experts with both academic and policy experience; some are advisors to governments and the Climate Secretariat itself. Their contributions combine substantive evidence with methodological rigor. They discuss such topics as the evolution of the architecture of the climate change regime; different theoretical perspectives; game-theoretical and computer simulation approaches to modeling outcomes and assessing agreements; coordination with other legal regimes; non-state actors; developing and emerging countries; implementation, compliance, and effectiveness of agreements; and the challenges of climate change mitigation after the Paris Agreement.

Contributors
Michaël Aklin, Guri Bang, Daniel Bodansky, Thierry Bréchet, Lars Brückner, Frank Grundig, Jon Hovi, Yasuko Kameyama, Urs Luterbacher, Axel Michaelowa, Katharina Michaelowa, Carla Norrlof, Matthew Paterson, Lavanya Rajamani, Tora Skodvin, Detlef F. Sprinz, Arild Underdal, Jorge E. Viñuales, Hugh Ward

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “The Uninhabitable Earth hits you like a comet, with an overflow of insanely lyrical prose about our pending Armageddon.”—Andrew Solomon, author of The Noonday Demon

It is worse, much worse, than you think. If your anxiety about global warming is dominated by fears of sea-level rise, you are barely scratching the surface of what terrors are possible. In California, wildfires now rage year-round, destroying thousands of homes. Across the US, “500-year” storms pummel communities month after month, and floods displace tens of millions annually.

This is only a preview of the changes to come. And they are coming fast. Without a revolution in how billions of humans conduct their lives, parts of the Earth could become close to uninhabitable, and other parts horrifically inhospitable, as soon as the end of this century.

In his travelogue of our near future, David Wallace-Wells brings into stark relief the climate troubles that await—food shortages, refugee emergencies, and other crises that will reshape the globe. But the world will be remade by warming in more profound ways as well, transforming our politics, our culture, our relationship to technology, and our sense of history. It will be all-encompassing, shaping and distorting nearly every aspect of human life as it is lived today.

Like An Inconvenient Truth and Silent Spring before it, The Uninhabitable Earth is both a meditation on the devastation we have brought upon ourselves and an impassioned call to action. For just as the world was brought to the brink of catastrophe within the span of a lifetime, the responsibility to avoid it now belongs to a single generation.

Praise for The Uninhabitable Earth

“The Uninhabitable Earth is the most terrifying book I have ever read. Its subject is climate change, and its method is scientific, but its mode is Old Testament. The book is a meticulously documented, white-knuckled tour through the cascading catastrophes that will soon engulf our warming planet.”—Farhad Manjoo, The New York Times

“Riveting. . . . Some readers will find Mr. Wallace-Wells’s outline of possible futures alarmist. He is indeed alarmed. You should be, too.”—The Economist
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