Global Warming and Climate Change: Ten Years after Kyoto and Still Counting

Book review: Global Warming and Climate Change: Ten Years after Kyoto and Still Counting.
V.I. Grover, editor. Science Publishers, Enfield, NH. 2008. $129.95. 2 vol. 1124 pp. ISBN 978-578085392.

By Pete Falloon

Global Warming and Climate Change (2 Vols.): Ten Years after Kyoto and Still CountingConceived on the 10th anniversary of the Kyoto Protocol, Global Warming and Climate Change: Ten Years after Kyoto and Still Counting aims to take a stock check on progress made toward mitigating and adapting to climate change since 1997. This work builds on Grover's (2004) compilation, Climate Change: Five Years after Kyoto in concept but is a completely new (and larger) publication. The comprehensive two volumes cover a wide range of climate policy–related topics in 51 chapters.

The book is split into 10 sections, dealing with philosophical approaches, policy mechanisms, institutional and policy responses, legal issues, gender issues, regional impacts, and human health. The final sections include discussions on future policy options and proposals for the next steps in climate negotiations. The book includes well-written contributions from a broad range of perspectives—policy experts, economists, scientists and even a carpenter.

This synthesis of approaches to climate change from such a broad spectrum of different angles is what makes Global Warming and Climate Change such an engaging and unique compilation. A key aspect of many of the chapters is their critical approach, highlighting strengths and weaknesses in current information, approaches, policies, and processes.

Such a comprehensive compendium requires a good roadmap for the reader, particularly if it is to be used as a reference book. Grover's introduction (Chapter 1) provides an excellent overview of the book, with a brief introduction to climate change and its impacts, as well as the Kyoto Protocol, followed by a succinct synopsis of each chapter.

Sections 6 and 8, which cover the regional impacts of climate change and human health, respectively, are necessarily brief and populated with illustrative, practically focused chapters rather than providing an all-encompassing global overview. For example, there are case studies on water resources in the Middle East, soil and land degradation impacts in China, and health impacts in Cuba and Canada. Similarly, there is little detailed material on the science of climate change itself. This is a pragmatic approach; instead, where relevant, Global Warming and Climate Change makes reference to state-of-the-art sources of information such as the reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Although the reference lists within each chapter are adequate, I would have found brief recommendations for further reading covering the main sections useful. The book could have been further enhanced by more widespread contributions from policy makers and practitioners (e.g., farmers, water managers, health authorities, and energy suppliers).

Overall, Global Warming and Climate Change is an excellent, comprehensive, and relevant reference, which would serve both as a general overview of climate policy and its drivers for policy specialists and as a climate policy starting point for scientists. It is recommended for undergraduate, postgraduate, and professional audiences with an interest in climate change policy.

Book review: Global Warming and Climate Change: Ten Years after Kyoto and Still Counting.
Source: Journal of Environmental Quality 2010 39:1115-1115

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