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Climate Change

What It Means for Us, Our Children, and Our Grandchildren

Joseph F.C. DiMento

Publication Year: 2014

Most of us are familiar with the term <I>climate change</I> but few of us understand the science behind it. We don't fully comprehend how climate change will affect us, and for that reason we might not consider it as pressing a concern as, say, housing prices or unemployment. This book explains the scientific knowledge about global climate change clearly and concisely in engaging, nontechnical language, describes how it will affect all of us, and suggests how government, business, and citizens can take action against it. This completely revised and updated edition incorporates the latest scientific research and policy initiatives on climate change. It describes recent major legislative actions, analyzes alternative regulatory tools including new uses of taxes and markets, offers increased coverage of China and other developing nations, discusses the role of social media in communicating about climate change, and provides updated assessments of the effects of climate change. The book first explains the basic scientific facts about climate change and its global impact. It discusses the nature of scientific consensus and the strong consensus of mainstream science on climate change. It then explores policy responses and corporate actions in the United States and the rest of the world, discusses how the communication of climate change information by journalists and others can be improved, and addresses issues of environmental justice -- how climate change affects the most vulnerable populations and regions. We can better tackle climate change, this book shows us, if we understand it.

Published by: The MIT Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-iv


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pp. v-vi

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Series Foreword

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pp. vii-x

The debate over climate change continues, and reconciling diverse and conflicting interests remains as challenging as it has been for the past decade. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns that the risks and costs of climate change...

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pp. xi-xiv

This work came about from the collective contributions of a number of people to whom we owe significant thanks. The original idea for the book evolved from a program of the Newkirk Center for Science and Society at the University of...

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1. Introduction: Making Climate Change Understandable

Joseph F. C. DiMento and Pamela Doughman

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pp. 1-14

Over the centuries, humans have tried to change the weather. People have prayed, danced, seeded clouds, and used other strategies to get more rain, stop the rain, decrease the heat, and warm things up a bit. Seldom have we deliberately tried...

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2. A Primer on Global Climate-Change Science

John T. Abatzoglou, Joseph F. C. DiMento, Pamela Doughman, and Stefano Nespor

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pp. 15-52

The earth’s climate system includes a series of checks and balances that, in the past, have worked together to maintain a stable climate. However, mounting evidence suggests that this balancing act has been tested over the last century and a half...

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3. Climate-Change Effects, Adaptation, and Mitigation

John T. Abatzoglou, Crystal A. Kolden, Joseph F. C. DiMento, Pamela Doughman, and Stefano Nespor

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pp. 53-104

Modeling of climate provides information about the physical manifestation of climate change at many levels, from the global to the local. In order to understand these changes, additional steps are needed to translate physical changes into climate effects...

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4. The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change: How Do We Know We’re Not Wrong?

Naomi Oreskes

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pp. 105-148

In December 2004, Discover magazine ran an article on the top science stories of the year. One of these was climate change, and the story was the emergence of a scientific consensus over the reality of global warming. National Geographic similarly...

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5. Climate Change: How the World Is Responding

Joseph F. C. DiMento and Pamela Doughman

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pp. 149-226

Scientists warn that it is too late to avoid climate change, but we can act now to ease the problem for our children and grandchildren. A large part of the United States population has come to this understanding. A 2006 Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg survey found that almost half of Americans think global...

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6. Climate Change as News: Challenges in Communicating Environmental Science

Andrew C. Revkin

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pp. 227-256

A few decades ago, anyone with a notepad or camera could have looked almost anywhere and chronicled a vivid trail of environmental despoliation and disregard. Only a few journalists and authors, to their credit, were able to recognize a looming...

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7. Climate Change and Human Security

Richard A. Matthew

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pp. 247-294

In this chapter I argue that in much of the world today, the prospects for human security are linked to the trajectory of climate change. Unfortunately, rather than bringing the world together around a robust global action plan, this growing linkage...

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8. Climate Change: What It Means for Us, Our Children, and Our Grandchildren

Joseph F. C. DiMento, Pamela Doughman, and Suzanne Levesque

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pp. 295-318

Climate change is a complex challenge, perhaps one of the largest the world has ever faced. This book has presented some important findings about climate-change science and related social and policy issues. We have described changes in climate, including those caused...


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pp. 319-330


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pp. 331-334


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pp. 335-344

Series Page

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E-ISBN-13: 9780262322300
E-ISBN-10: 0262322307
Print-ISBN-13: 9780262525879

Page Count: 360
Publication Year: 2014

Edition: Second Edition

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Climatic changes -- Social aspects.
  • Climatic changes -- History.
  • Communication in science.
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