“The Science and Politics of Global Climate Change: A Guide to the Debate”
Andrew Dessler and Edward A. Parson
“The Science and Politics of Global Climate Change: A Guide to the Debate,” by Andrew Dessler and Edward A. Parson, offers a comprehensive guide to understanding climate change and its surrounding policy debate. Written for experts and non-experts alike, it explains the science behind our current understanding of global warming, discusses why it is so difficult for governments to reach consensus, and explores the implications of these political barriers. Scientists as well as members of the public will gain an understanding of exactly how science is used in policy debates and how to address the remaining uncertainties in both the scientific and political spheres.
In response to global warming skeptics’ argument that we need “sound science” to back up mere model predictions and simulations, “A Vast Machine” explains that without models, there are no data. Edwards presents an engaging history of our understanding of the global atmosphere: how we learn about its past, measure it in the present, and predict its future. He describes the intricate process by which computer models and observational data are combined in producing climate knowledge, establishing a trustworthy argument that climate change is indeed underway.
Even in an era of globalization, national context plays an important role in the development and use of genetic technologies. “Building Genetic Medicine” shows how the different approaches to health care in the U.S. and UK led to the establishment of different breast cancer testing services. Parthasarathy develops a comparative analysis framework to investigate how each nation’s “toolkit” shapes the regulations and architectures of technologies and uses it to assess implications of developments in the field of genetic medicine. Drawing lessons from these cross-national differences, “Building Genetic Medicine” shows how these case studies can inform future science and technology policy.
“A World Without Ice”
As the world begins to recognize the effects of global warming, “A World Without Ice” offers a look back at how ice has affected Earth’s landscape, climate, and human civilization. Through eloquent and engaging prose, Henry Pollack demonstrates that we are on a path to losing our ice caps and illustrates the wide range of consequences this will have on our climate and our lives. With a foreword by Vice President Al Gore, Pollack shows why ice matters, and lays out steps we can take to protect this critical component of the global environment.
Published in October 2009, “A World Without Ice” recently received the honor of reaching the short list for the 2010 Royal Society Prize for science books. The winner will be announced on October 21, 2010.
While discussion over climate change tends to focus on the scientific questions—how much is the planet warming? Are humans to blame? What sort of impact will this really have?—these questions are only part of the picture. “Greenhouse Governance” moves the discussion to crucial questions of what should—and what can—be done to face this unprecedented challenge. In this volume, edited by Barry Rabe, a number of America’s preeminent public policy scholars analyze political and managerial aspects of a number of policy proposals and offer possible models for international governance.