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The Science and Politics of Global Climate Change
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Book description

This third edition has been comprehensively updated to reflect the large changes in scientific knowledge and policy debates on climate change since the previous edition in 2009. It provides a concise but thorough overview of the science, technology, economics, policy, and politics of climate change in a single volume. It explains how scientific and policy debates work, outlines the scientific evidence for the reality and seriousness of climate change and the basic atmospheric science that supports it, and discusses policy options and the current state of the policy debate. By pulling these elements together, the book explains why the issue can be so confusing and provides guidance on practical routes forward. Anyone interested in climate change, the global environment, or how science is used in policy debates should read this book. It is the ideal textbook for undergraduate or graduate courses in environmental policy and climate change.


'This updated edition of a highly acclaimed book on the complex issues of climate change, societal implications, rational policy options and political challenges, is skillfully written for readers of all backgrounds. The presentation strikes the right balance by giving enough technical detail to explain the scientific evidence while candidly describing the remaining uncertainties and addressing the objections of the climate skeptics and deniers. I highly recommend it as a graduate and undergraduate textbook and as a book that should be high on everyone’s reading list, including policy makers - the issues are that important.'

Neal Lane - Rice University; former science advisor to President Clinton; former director of the U.S. National Science Foundation

'Our children are angry with us for the climate crisis we have created. They are looking for heroes - but mitigating and adapting to climate change is going to need a lot more than heroes. Whomever steps forward, whatever is done, will require negotiating a tangled web of politics, science, economics, entrepreneurship and social justice that has been spun up by runaway global heating. No book comes even close to Dessler and Parson’s zen-like mastery of what needs to be done if we are to address the climate crisis before it is too late. Fortunately, Dessler and Parson write with a crisp clarity that is intellectually sophisticated without showing off, or hiding behind jargon. If you care about climate change, there is no excuse for not reading this book.'

Peter Kareiva - Director, and Pritzker Distinguished Professor in Environment and Sustainability, University of California, Los Angeles

'The authors do a great service with a book that manages to be both readable and succinct but also comprehensive in its analysis of the science, politics and policy of climate change. I highly recommend it to beginners who want to grasp the overall problem, and experts who want depth on specific topics. I will keep this book at close reach on my bookshelf.'

Ken Kimmell - President, Union of Concerned Scientists

'The Third Edition of The Science and Politics of Global Climate Change is a superbly up-to-date, balanced, and lucidly written treatment of this crucially important topic. Any thoughtful person seeking a deeper grounding on global climate change would be well advised to get this book.'

John P. Holdren - Harvard University; Former Science Advisor to President Obama and Director, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

'Expertly organized and presented, The Science and Politics of Global Climate Change: A Guide to the Debate by Andrew E. Dressler (Texas A&M University) and Edward A. Parson (University of California - Los Angeles) is the ideal textbook for undergraduate or graduate courses in environmental policy and climate change - and an unreservedly recommended addition to community, college, and university library Contemporary Environmental Studies collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, environmental activists, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject.'

James A. Cox Source: MBR Bookwatch

From review of previous edition:‘Dessler and Parson's book is a must for those who want to move beyond the rhetoric and understand the relationship between climate science policy, and also for those seeking an interdisciplinary outlook on the management of global environmental issues. … This book will be most useful to undergraduates and post-graduates in the fields of environmental science, sustainability and international politics … as a primer that brings together global climate change science and politics it succeeds very well indeed.'

Source: Times Higher Education Supplement

From review of previous edition:'This is an excellent way into the subject for the beginner … one of the most lucid and readable introductory accounts of the topic that has been published in some while. As such it should be seen as a 'must-buy' and an essential addition to the library.'

Source: TENews

From review of previous edition:‘… an absolute 'must' for every reader of this journal.'

Source: International Journal of Meteorology

From review of previous edition:'… does exactly what the title and subtitle promise, providing insights into the causes and effects of the contributing meteorological phenomena and into why it has been so hard to get consensus among governments … copies should be shipped to anyone who doubts the reality of climate change.'

Source: New Scientist

'I found this book a rich source of information and it will help any interested reader to better understand the complexities of climate change science and politics. In sum, the authors have made an important and much-needed step in bringing climate science and politics together in a single, accessible volume which will be of value to a wide range of readers.'

Anna Pigott - Swansea University

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