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Cool It : The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming,9780307386526

Cool It : The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming

by
ISBN13:

9780307386526

ISBN10:
030738652X
Format:
Trade Paper
Pub. Date:
8/12/2008
Publisher(s):
Vintage
List Price: $14.95

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Summary

A startling book that reshapes the debate about global warming and offers a moderate approach to meeting its challenges. Bjorn Lomborg argues that many of the elaborate and expensive actions now being consideredthe Kyoto Protocol, for examplehave a staggering potential cost of hundreds of billions of dollars, but, ultimately, will have little impact on the world's temperature. He suggests that rather than institutionalizing these programs to "cool" the earth's temperature 100 years from now, we should focus our resources on some of the world's most pressing immediate concerns, such as: fighting malaria and HIV/AIDS, and maintaining a safe, fresh water supply. And he considers why and how this debate has developed an atmosphere in which dissenters are immediately demonized. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Author Biography

Bjorn Lomborg was named one of the 100 world's most influential people by Time magazine in 2004. He is the author of The Skeptical Environmentalist and has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, and The Economist, among others. He is presently an adjunct professor at the Copenhagen Business School and in 2004, he started the Copenhagen Consensus, a conference of top economists who come together to prioritize the best solutions for the world's greatest challenges. He lives in Copenhagen.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Forewordp. xi
Polar Bears: Today's Canaries in the Coal Mine?p. 3
It's Getting Hotter: The Short Storyp. 10
Global Warming: Our Many Worriesp. 53
The Politics of Global Warmingp. 113
Conclusion: Making Our Top Priorities Coolp. 149
Acknowledgmentsp. 165
Notesp. 167
Literaturep. 202
Indexp. 244
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

Excerpts

Preface

Global warming has been portrayed recently as the greatest crisis in the history of civilization. As of this writing, stories on it occupy the front pages of Time and Newsweek and are featured prominently in countless media around the world. In the face of this level of unmitigated despair, it is perhaps surprising–and will by many be seen as inappropriate–to write a book that is basically optimistic about humanity’s prospects.

That humanity has caused a substantial rise in atmospheric carbon-dioxide levels over the past centuries, thereby contributing to global warming, is beyond debate. What is debatable, however, is whether hysteria and headlong spending on extravagant CO2-cutting programs at an unprecedented price is the only possible response. Such a course is especially debatable in a world where billions of people live in poverty, where millions die of curable diseases, and where these lives could be saved, societies strengthened, and environments improved at a fraction of the cost.

Global warming is a complex subject. No one–not Al Gore, not the world’s leading scientists, and most of all not myself–claims to have all the knowledge and all the solutions. But we have to act on the best available data from both the natural and the social sciences. The title of this book has two meanings: the first and obvious one is that we have to set our minds and resources toward the most effective way to tackle long-term global warming. But the second refers to the current nature of the debate. At present, anyone who does not support the most radical solutions to global warming is deemed an outcast and is called irresponsible and is seen as possibly an evil puppet of the oil lobby. It is my contention that this is not the best way to frame a debate on so crucial an issue. I believe most participants in the debate have good and honorable intentions–we all want to work toward a better world. But to do so, we need to cool the rhetoric, allowing us to have a measured discussion about the best ways forward. Being smart about our future is the reason we have done so well in the past. We should not abandon our smarts now.

If we manage to stay cool, we will likely leave the twenty-first century with societies much stronger, without rampant death, suffering, and loss, and with nations much richer, with unimaginable opportunity in a cleaner, healthy environment.


From the Hardcover edition.

Excerpted from Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming by Bjørn Lomborg
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.


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