"A landmark study in the struggle to contain climate change, the greatest challenge of our era. I urge everyone to read it." Bill Clinton, 42nd President of the United States of America
Since it first appeared, this book has achieved a classic status. Reprinted many times since its publication, it remains the only work that looks in detail at the political issues posed by global warming. This new edition has been thoroughly updated and provides a state-of-the-art discussion of the most formidable challenge humanity faces this century.
If climate change goes unchecked, the consequences are likely to be catastrophic for human life on earth. Yet for most people and for many policy-makers too, it tends to be a back-of-the-mind issue. We recognize its importance and even its urgency, but for the most part it is swamped by more immediate concerns.
Political action and intervention on local, national and international levels are going to have a decisive effect on whether or not we can limit global warming as well as how we adapt to that already occurring. However, at the moment, argues Giddens, we do not have a systematic politics of climate change. Politics-as-usual won't allow us to deal with the problems we face, while the recipes of the main challenger to orthodox politics, the green movement, are flawed at source. Giddens introduces a range of new concepts and proposals to fill in the gap, and examines in depth the connections between climate change and energy security.
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About the Author
Anthony Giddens is the former director of the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is now a member of the House of Lords. His many books include The Third Way and Europe in the Global Age.
Table of Contents
1 Climate Change, Risk and Danger
2 Running Out, Running Down?
3 The Greens and After
4 The Track Record So Far
5 A Return to Planning?
6 Technologies and Taxes
7 The Politics of Adaptation
8 International Negotiations, the EU and Carbon Markets
9 The Geopolitics of Climate Change
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Humanity's response to global climate change will be a combination of mitigation and adaptation. How much each will weigh in the mix will be a function of political decision making. Science will establish the boundary conditions, but not the path in between. In The Politics of Climate Change, Anthony Giddens provides an in-depth analysis of global and national political currents with respect to climate change. As former Director of the London School of Economics, Giddens speaks with authority to the interface between global climate and the social sciences. Unlike some of the dreamier, naive forays by climate scientists into the political realm (such as those of the late Stephen Schneider and, currently, by James Hansen), Giddens is a realist with a concrete grasp of the science fundamentals- the object of his arguments is on schemes that work both technically and politically. But, in the final analysis, Giddens remains refreshingly positive about humanity's future prospects. Other than a few occasional lapses in prose style, there is little to find fault with in The Politics of Climate Change, except, perhaps, too little emphasis on the political implications of climate change adaptation and an under-appreciation for the potential impact of reactionary U.S. politics on the course of climate-change mitigation . Giddens properly concludes that the course of global climate change mitigation is not likely to be achieved by endlessly setting emission goals, although such goals need to be set as a background for actions. Real responses in the present economic/political climate will be the consequence of self-interested reduction in greenhouse gas emissions such as those resulting from energy-security schemes and the pressure of the insurance industry. And, in the final analysis the state will continue to have the ultimate responsibility for empowering meaningful response to climate change. This book is the antithesis of the many "You too can help avert global climate change disaster" books. Those have their place, but The Politics of Climate Change uniquely fills an essential need for an authoritative, unbiased analysis of the climate change political scene. Richard R. Pardi Environmental Science William Paterson University