- Paperback: 328 pages
- Publisher: OUP USA; 1 edition (26 November 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0190250178
- ISBN-13: 978-0190250171
- Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 3 x 7.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #87,480 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Climate Change: What Everyone Needs to Know Paperback – 26 Nov 2015
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This is, for my money, the best single-source primer on the state of climate-change science a wide-ranging survey organized into bite-size chapters that covers both the present tense of warming and what is possible down the road. (David Wallace-Wells, New York Magazine)
Climate Change, What Everyone Needs to Know is a must-read for those who want to become climate literate and join the growing conversation about the greatest threat humanity faces today (John Abraham, The Guardian)
Romm provides a useful primer on the drivers of climate change, the ways that the world might achieve that target, and the obstacles to moving away from business as usual... [the book] is full of useful information and accessible analysis. (Foreign Affairs)
About the Author
Joseph Romm, Ph.D., is one of the country's most influential communicators on climate science and solutions. Romm is Chief Science Advisor for "Years of Living Dangerously," which won the 2014 Emmy Award for Outstanding Nonfiction Series. He is the founding editor of Climate Progress, which New York Times columnist Tom Friedman called "the indispensable blog." In 2009, Time named him one of its "Heroes of the Environment," calling him "The Web's most influential climate-change blogger." In 2009, Rolling Stone put Romm on its list of 100 "people who are reinventing America." Romm was acting assistant secretary of energy in 1997, where he oversaw $1 billion in low-carbon technology development and deployment. He is a Senior Fellow at American Progress and holds a Ph.D. in physics from MIT.
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Top customer reviews
Well researched and written book which has hundreds of citations from NOAA, NASA, Royal Society and leading magazines like Nature, Science, Lancet. But it has more details on the extreme events which will affect temperate countries of North America and Europe in future. So little has been discussed about the problems being faced by countries in tropics.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Joe wrote this book to help you understand the risks of and resolutions to climate destabilization, while saving you immense time having to track down this knowledge. Within 100 questions Joe covers the gamut. Romm includes both the state of knowledge, which has witnessed rapid insights and new news in just the past 36 months, as well as a new piece of information yet to get proper attention: "Also, this is the first book to examine one of the most important climate questions of all: “Does carbon dioxide at exposure levels expected this century have any direct impacts on human health or cognition?”
I find Joe's engaging writing style a real asset, which avoids unnecessary academic verbiage, or experts' technical jargon, or political grandstanding that has gripped so many politicians. This book is for any and all citizens to read, discuss, share, and seize opportunities. It is so highly informative it is worthy of being an integrated curriculum guidebook for educational classes of all levels, serving as a rich go-to reference book. I certainly hope many CEOs and public leaders of all persuasions make use of Romm's book, learn how they can play important and immediate roles, and encourage their staff and customers to pick up the book.
As Romm points out, climate change will have more of an impact on humans, including you, than even the Internet. It is an existential issue. Romm acknowledges that some of these impacts are already happening, but that future impacts are likely to be very significant. Over the last 10 years or so, we have seen remarkable superstorms, significant drought, notable wildfires, and killer heat waves. These events have made people sit up and take notice. For this reason, more people want to know more about climate change, and indeed, everyone should know something about this problem. Climate Change: What Everyone Needs to Know® is an effort to provide that information to the average person.
Romm’s book is divided into major sections: Climate Science Basics, Extreme Weather and Climate Change, Projected Climate Impacts, Avoiding the Worse Impacts, Climate Politics and Policies, The Role of Clean Energy, and Climate Change and You. Each of these chapters is divided into a number of bite-sized mini-chapters covering the larger topic in logical sequence, with helpful illustrations.
To me, one of the most significant contributions of this book is Romm’s discussion of severe weather and climate change. This is an emerging area of science. In my view, the weather related impacts of climate change have been visible since about 1980, but have increased more recently, even in the last five years or so. It is very difficulty to study these changes because severe weather events, while common, end up being rare when you divide them by region, season, kind of impact, and kind of climate related cause. Also, meteorologists, who are in the trenches when it comes to severe weather, have been reluctant in recent years to openly acknowledge climate change (especially among the “presenters” or TV meteorologists, as they are called in different countries). This is said to be because they are part of the press, which is in large part funded by the corporate world, and you don’t want to piss off your corporate sponsors. Romm’s sections on climate change and extreme weather are well thought out, well documented, and well presented.
Another area of strength is Romm’s treatment of energy alternatives. Romm is detailed and specific in his discussion of energy and suggestions about the needed changes.
Romm’s section on “Climate Change and You” is a unique contribution to the growing literature on this topic.
Romm points out that many Americans, when they decide to retire, consider moving to a place that is near a coast line, or a place that is relatively warm, or both. Bad idea. With sea level rise and increasing heat, one should really re-think that strategy. He talks about the impending crash in coastal property values (something I’ve been yammering about for some time now … the current value of land that will be inundated by sea level rise is actually almost zero, though the market has not adjusted yet!). He also covers what students who want to be prepared for a role in a climate-changing world should study, investment strategies, necessary changes in diet, and how one can (and should) reduce one’s own carbon footprint.
My own expertise is on climate solutions, and on these issues I find Romm to be almost invariably on the mark (as I would expect from a physicist with a Ph.D. from MIT and decades of experience studying these issues).
The professional literature on climate (like that summarized in the IPCC) is not generally approachable for the lay reader. Romm's book translates that literature for interested non-experts in an accurate, comprehensive, and authoritative way. There is no better introduction to climate science and solutions. Highly recommended.
Full disclosure: I was a prepublication reviewer for this book.
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