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Global Warming: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) Paperback – 25 Nov 2004

4.1 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (25 Nov. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192840975
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192840974
  • Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 1 x 10.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 765,385 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

Maslin's primer packs an amazing quantity and quality of data and debate into its brief span. -- The Independent, December 17, 2004

About the Author

Mark Maslin is Associate Professor at the Environmental Change Research Center in the Department of Geography at the University of London.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 6 July 2005
Format: Paperback
It's very striking that at least three of Amazon's top 20 books on global warming represent only the sceptical / George W Bush view, which is supplied mostly by economists funded by oil companies rather than publicly-funded climate scientists as it happens. Are readers earnestly searching for a balanced view, or is it that we prefer to read books that confirm our hopes and allow us to go on with our lives reassured?
This little book makes two major contributions to the debate. First it conveys all the essential information about global warming in an accurate and accessible way, soundly based in the author's extensive experience in paleoclimatic studies. But at least as important is the way in which it engages with climate change scepticism, showing how it is based in real scientific argument as well as self-serving dismissal. The arguments of sceptics are fairly represented, with some points frankly conceded and other rebutted with the help of the latest scientific evidence. But as well as arguing the specific claims, the author shows how the debate reflects deeper divisions between participants regarding conceptions of nature and risk. So for example sceptics might view nature as basically resilient, even eternal, thus discounting environmental risks compared with environmentalists who view it as basically fragile and transient. In other words, as well as trying to resolve some of the arguments about global warming, he shows how some are effectively insoluble in purely scientific terms. If you're after real balance, rather than ideologically-motivated reassurance, you can find it here.
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I am writing an essay for my global warming module and felt that i wanted something to explain the basics to me before I went into too much depth and this was perfect! The content was consistent with what I was learning on my course and was explained similarly to my lecture making it clear, concise and easy to understand and pick out info as a starting point. Read over one day picking out what i wanted - though to be honest I did read most of it!
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Brilliant book for many uses, I used it as my only revision guide for a climate change module at university level. Easy to read for interest reading, or finding clear specific facts for writing or whatever. Recommend.
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This should be required reading for global warming deniers, not least because it thoroughly and scientifically rubbishes the arguments of naysayers. The future prospects are not good and I doubt that there is enough political will anywhere at present. No doubt it will come, too late.
It should be read in concert with the VSI on "Ice Ages".
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Format: Paperback
I believe everyone should read this book.

It is a great little introduction to the current issues of global warming, examining a lot of factors contributing to our knowledge about the science behind our climate and the earth, as well as looking into the arguments of the skeptics.

He quotes a lot of different writers, and there is a comprehensive list of books at the end of the book, which includes other great books like Lomborg's The Skeptical Environmentalist.

This book makes it very clear what things matter, how things work, what can be done, and what should be done. He especially highlights the importance of arriving at a new, better protocol that will help us out of the mess we've gotten ourselves in, by taking drastic measures against further exploitation and pollution of our planet (we only have one). This is the protocol that will be decided in December in Copenhagen, which is why we must make sure to put pressure to our governments to stop talking and start acting - there really isn't much time.

A great little book, and -just like the other books of the series- it provides a very comprehensive insight at a very complicated issue, and does so in an enjoyable and engaging manner.
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The Very Short Introduction series by Oxford University Press has a good reputation for presenting challenging subjects in an easily accessible manner. Mark Maslin's "Global Warming: A Very Short Introduction" is a timely addition to the series, tackling what is arguably the dominant issue of our age.

After providing an overview of the history of the global warming debate in science and the media, Maslin examines the underlying psychology behind different popularly-held views of our climate, arguing whether we see Nature as, for example, resilient or fragile is conditioned by our world-view (individualist or collectivist; fatalist or optimist). While this is an interesting diversion, and adds a new spin on the debate, it is presented in a confusing manner and threatens to put the reader off before the book has even properly begun. This would be a shame, however, for Maslin provides an excellent analysis of the evidence for global warming, examining the methods - past and present - used in gathering climate data (balloons, boreholes, satellites etc) and how these are collated to create a coherent picture of our global climate.

More than simply a presentation of the case that global warming exists, however, Maslin provides an insight which is both fair and balanced, highlighting some of the more contentious issues, while skilfully discrediting the main arguments posed by sceptics. At the same time, though, he is careful to concede that there are some areas which climate change science has not yet taken into consideration. One such concerns the effects of galactic cosmic rays in stimulating the formation of clouds - the effects of which on warming or cooling the planet are still not fully understood themselves.
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