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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Book on Subject
The Rough Guide to Climate Change is very good introduction to the most serious issues facing the human race. This book is science-based and succeeds in explaining the current situation with background information along with possible solutions. The guide looks at: visible symptoms of change from a warming planet; how global warming works; the evolution of our atmosphere...
Published on 21 Jan 2007 by Mr. R. J. Harrington-vail

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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good writing, but unbalanced
Robert Henson is a dedicated writer with a very pleasant and clear style. He also is extremely knowledgable about climate, both from a technical as well as from a social/political angle. Henson combines both of his talents in his book "A rough guide to climate change". The layout of the book is refreshing, with lots of illustrations and featured items in extra text boxes...
Published on 11 Mar 2010 by sluning


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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Book on Subject, 21 Jan 2007
By 
Mr. R. J. Harrington-vail "Ray HV" (Isle of Wight) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Rough Guide to Climate Change (Rough Guides Reference Titles) (Paperback)
The Rough Guide to Climate Change is very good introduction to the most serious issues facing the human race. This book is science-based and succeeds in explaining the current situation with background information along with possible solutions. The guide looks at: visible symptoms of change from a warming planet; how global warming works; the evolution of our atmosphere over the last 4.5 billion years; what computer simulations of climate reveal about our past, present, and future; the sceptics: Who are they? What are their grounds for disagreeing with the crowd? Battle of the titans: the oil industry vs the global commons; global warming in the media: A review of the last few decades; global solutions: What governments and scientists are doing to try and solve the problem; and lots more. The guide also includes lifestyle advice and tips for consumers who want to make a difference in tomorrow's climate, and comes complete with a glossary of websites for further information. Written in an easy to understand way, by a scientist who has a deep knowledge of the subject and practices what he preaches - he is a keen cyclist and you will be surprised to learn is American.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Rough Guide to Climate Change, 4 Dec 2006
By 
M. J. Polaine "MattP" (Cambridge, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Rough Guide to Climate Change (Rough Guides Reference Titles) (Paperback)
This is my area of work within a very large corporation. Usually references in this topic are either of the too broad hug-the-planet type or too focussed technical analysis. This strikes a good middle ground. The sources are 'safe' and given, and where there is debate over causes of certain events this is given an airing in a balanced way. I wasn't expecting this to be up to much, being a Rough Guide. How could anyone write a rough guide on climate change? But Robert Henson has done just that. It is rough, but mostly there.

Bare in mind that for every page you read, there is a whole army of researchers in heated debate and analysis on the topic. It is a light overview OK for bedtime/train reading, but a very good introduction to the most serious issues facing the human race. Puts petty human conflict into perspective.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Encyclopaedic, yet readable, 9 Mar 2007
By 
Stephen A. Haines (Ottawa, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Rough Guide to Climate Change (Rough Guides Reference Titles) (Paperback)
It seems almost extravagant to publish yet another book on climate change. This one, however, bears the benefit of being almost extravagantly comprehensive. Henson has assembled a wealth of data, presenting it in a superbly organised and accessible account. Although the term "Rough Guide" might imply a superficial approach to the topic, this book is anything but that. In slightly over three hundred pages, the author covers the current conditions, the history leading up to those and what processes are in place to influence climate. He also deals with how the sciences investigating climate change work, and why we should pay attention to them.

His analysis of policies addressing climate change, in particular his descripton of the Kyoto Protocols, is unsurpassed. He even includes how the arts, well and poorly, have adopted climate themes into their productions. Although he recognises the failings of such films as "The Day After Tomorrow", he accepts their role in raising public consciousness. This enlarged awareness has been manifested in a website ClimatePrediction.net which uses idle computers to assess data used in modelling climate change. Henson's explanation of computer modelling is on a par with the rest of his presentation; clear and informative.

The author repeatedly stresses that while climate change is a global phenomenon, it is individuals who will make a difference in its onset and impact. Accordingly, his suggested solutions will bear close scrutiny. As well as Kyoto's broad view, Henson examines the alternatives or enhancements for their likely effectiveness. The recent initiative by The Asia-Pacific Partnership, based on voluntary controls and shared technologies, is covered, as is the Contraction and Convergence model. Most importantly, the author's coverage of personal changes in energy consumption and pollution reduction is very helpful. He makes clear that none of the steps requires drastic change in lifestyle nor the outlay of substantial funds. To this end he closes with a list of useful resources of information on all aspects of the topic. If there is a shortcoming in this book, it is the process used to save paper and money. The reduced size of the volume means packing all that information into a small space. The typeface is miniscule and the reading can be excruciating. Energy-saving lightbulbs in your house may lead to impaired vision from sifting through so much information. [stephen a. haines - Ottawa, Canada]
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35 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything you ever wanted to know about climate change, and possibly more, 6 Oct 2006
By 
James Lloyd (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Rough Guide to Climate Change (Rough Guides Reference Titles) (Paperback)
I really recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn more about this topical and important issue. It covers all bases...from the science behind climate change and ways in which the planet is already struggling to cope with increasing temperatures, through to technological, political and personal solutions to the problem. Unlike much of the press coverage, the book doesn't deal in hyperbole, but instead acts as a factual, clear and well-balanced guide for anyone with an interest in the future of our planet. A highly enjoyable and thought-provoking read, and the handy index at the back means you'll be returning to it time and time again.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading, 15 Dec 2006
By 
Martian (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Rough Guide to Climate Change (Rough Guides Reference Titles) (Paperback)
This is a concise, readable, well-substantiated account of both the state of current climate change science and the political conflict surrounding it. We all need to be reading this.
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5.0 out of 5 stars an essential basic, 6 July 2010
This review is from: The Rough Guide to Climate Change (Rough Guides Reference Titles) (Paperback)
I recommend this book very highly as an excellent starting point on the subject. It's easy to read, very well researched and referenced, and rich in information. I don't regard it's viewpoints as coloured or biased, and where predictions are unproven or even contradictory, the writer is clear in pointing that out. Also a good reference list at the back if you want to explore the subject further. Somewhere between a good read and an excellent reference work, I recommend it to anyone, indeed everyone.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good writing, but unbalanced, 11 Mar 2010
This review is from: The Rough Guide to Climate Change (Rough Guides Reference Titles) (Paperback)
Robert Henson is a dedicated writer with a very pleasant and clear style. He also is extremely knowledgable about climate, both from a technical as well as from a social/political angle. Henson combines both of his talents in his book "A rough guide to climate change". The layout of the book is refreshing, with lots of illustrations and featured items in extra text boxes. Despite all of this, I am not really happy with his book.

Henson is a supporter of the IPCC view of climate change. This on its own would not bother me too much. However, his strong believe in CO2 as being the ultimate climate driver made him present his climate story in a very unbalanced way, largely ignoring most arguments that could weaken his case. While accusing CO2 skeptics of "cherrypicking" their arguments, he himself falls into the very same trap. For readers with a solid background in the field of climate change, this would not be a great problem. However, this book is mostly designed as an introduction to the subject, and the readers essentially depend on the author to present the subject in a comprehensive and balanced manner. Unfortunately, this is not the case. I could cite numerous examples, including continous usage of the hockeystick curve, skipping discussions on the 800 years time lag between temperature and CO2 curves during the last ice ages, keeping quiet on the climate driver implications of Roman and Medieval Warm Times, or marginalising the sun as one of the climate controls. I was particularly surprised to learn about Henson's worries, that the media would "give equal weight to both sides of every [climate] story". He calls this "a misleading sense of symmetry". One gets the impression that Henson does not favour fruitful discussions on unsolved climate issues (there are still many of these!) and assumes that the IPCC must be automatically always right on everything. Recent developments including various climategates and IPCC report errors question whether such an attitude is any longer workable.

To whom would I recommend this book? Readers who have a good background in the subject of climate, especially readers who favour the IPCC view of things, might find some chapters very interesting. However, beginners in the field of climate may be better off with more balanced books such as the one by IPCC authors Archer & Rahmstorf (2010).
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