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Environmental Sciences | Climate Change, Climate Science and Economics - Prospects for an Alternative Energy Future

Climate Change, Climate Science and Economics

Prospects for an Alternative Energy Future

van Kooten, G. Cornelis

2013, XXIV, 468 p.

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  • Offers a critical examination of the science behind climate change policy
  • Presents a comprehensive understanding of the world's energy-environmental dilemma
  • Identifies policies that are effective in adapting to and managing climate change

Is anthropogenic global warming occurring? Perhaps, says the author, although an examination of the evidence suggests that it will not be catastrophic and reality tells us that, despite significant expenditure on mitigating climate change, we had better learn to adapt to it.

This volume is a comprehensive examination of why this is the case, enabling readers to understand the complexity associated with climate change policy and the science behind it. For example, the author describes the criticism and defense of the widely known “hockey stick” temperature graph derived from combining instrumental data and proxy temperature indications using tree ring, ice core and other paleoclimatic data.

Readers will also learn that global warming cannot easily be avoided by reducing CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions in rich countries. Not only is emissions reduction extremely difficult in rich countries, but demands such as the UN mandate to improve the lives of the poorest global citizens cannot be satisfied without significantly increasing global energy use, and CO2 emissions. Therefore, the author asserts that climate engineering and adaptation are preferable to mitigation, particularly since the science is less than adequate for making firm statements about the Earth’s future climate.

The purpose of the book is not only to inform but to get the reader thinking critically about what may well be the most important environmental issue currently facing humankind.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » climate change policy - economic development - economic policy - energy economics - energy-environmental dilemma

Related subjects » Atmospheric Sciences - Climate Change Management and Policy - Environmental / Development / Agricultural Economics - Environmental Sciences - Geography - Social Policy / Labor / Population Economics

Table of contents 

1.         Introduction

2.         Weather and the Instrumental Record

3.         Climate Science and Paleoclimatology

4.         Emission Scenarios and Climate Modeling

5.         Alternative Explanations

6.         How Economists Measure Wellbeing: Social Cost-Benefit Analysis

7.         Economic Assessment of the Damages Caused by Global Warming

8.         Implementing Policy

9.         Avoiding Emissions Reduction: Terrestrial Carbon Sinks

10.       Economic Growth, Energy and Climate Change

11.       Electricity Markets and Wind Energy

12.       Climate Change Policy Encounters the Real World

 

Index

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