Global Warming: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) Paperback – 25 Nov 2004
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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.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
It should be read in concert with the VSI on "Ice Ages".
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
uses the word "debunk" and thinks the film "The day after tomorrow" is worth mentioning to highlight how the public have been "made aware" of the science... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Johan RF
Sadly but rather as expected this book excludes alternative hypotheses of climate mechanisms causing warming periods. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Peter F Gill
This book gives a great brief introduction to the current information surrounding global warming. Its short, simple and easy to read.Published on 10 April 2013 by iammeg
This is yet another hysterical and alarmist book about global warming. It is unclear what qualifications Mr Maslin has to pontificate about the topic, but he appears to accept the... Read morePublished on 13 May 2012 by Dr. P. R. Lewis
If you want to give one book to people who want to know what the global warming fuss is, this is it. Read morePublished on 29 Nov. 2011 by M. Mainelli
This is one of the better ' Very short introductions' being both readable and authoritative. The author covers the causes, effects and solutions to global warming, addressing... Read morePublished on 9 Aug. 2011 by Schrodinger's cat
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