Superbly Organized and Presented: Midwest Book Review (Oregon, WI USA):
Climate issues are where science and politics often clash because of the conflict between objective science and subjective corporate interests, between concerns for the long term conditions of the earth and the short term advantages of electoral profits and corporate vested interests with respect to the specific phenomena of global climate change. That's why it is so important for not only the scientific community but the non-specialist general reader that titles like ‘Climate Change Science and Policy’, the collaborative work of Stephen H. Schneider (Melvin and Joan Lane Professor for Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies, Professor of Biology, and a Senior Fellow, Woods Institute for the Environment, at Stanford University); Armin Rosencranz (Founder and former President of Pacific Environment); Michael D. Mastrandrea (Consulting Assistant Professor, Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University); and Kristin Kuntz-Duriseti (Managing Editor, Climatic Change) addresses not only the science behind what is more accurately described in its pages as the global climate change which is now in progress, but the national and international governmental policy implications as well. Of special note is the introduction to this informed and informative 544-page compendium by John P. Holdren (Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy). Superbly organized and presented, "Climate Change Science and Policy" is a seminal body of work and a strongly endorsed addition for academic, governmental, and community library Environmental Studies reference collections, and supplemental reading lists for non-specialist general readers concerned about environmental issues in general, and climate change in particular.
Climate scientist Stephen H. Schneider (who died in July, 2010) and his co-editors have organized 49 essays from noted experts to explore the state-of-our-knowledge of "global climatic disruption" and potential related policy initiatives. The essays are scholarly and, in some cases, quite technical, with charts, maps, and detailed sourcing.
There are five main sections. "Impacts of Climate Change" ranges over extinction, ecosystems, water, hurricanes, wildfires, forests of Amazonia, crop production and food security, human health, and unique and valued places. "Policy Analysis" looks at economic impacts, assessment modeling, risk perceptions, political feasibility, carbon taxes/trading/offsets, and the economic cost of reducing COs emissions. "International Considerations" include treaties, EU climate policy, population, inequities and imbalances, ethics and rights, developing countries, the Clean Development Mechanism, and climate change and policy in China, India and Australia. There is a large section (9 essays) on the United States, including an interesting look at California's approach to combating climate change and at the role of media and public education in shaping policy. The fifth section, "Mitigation Options to Reduce Carbon Emissions", discusses renewable energy, hydrogen and nuclear energy, coal capture and storage, "avoided deforestation" policy for tropical forests, and the pros and cons of engineering the climate.