Tracing scientific ideas about the structure of Earth, Global Warming creates an intellectual portrait of the shifts in thinking that have led to the current controversy, enabling readers to make up their own minds on this important issue.
In the two centuries we have burned fossil fuels, industrialized nations have helped create the swiftest spike in temperatures ever recorded. Global warming leaves us teetering on the edge of one of the most critical, large-scale crises in human history—a crisis that may doom the human species or invert global power structures. How will we react and adapt?
Global Warming takes one of the hot-button issues of our time and surveys it in historical context, creating an intellectual portrait of the multi-century shifts in thinking that have led to gradual acceptance of the concept. The book summarizes pertinent aspects of geology, earth science, and climate science in easy-to-read terms. It then frames this background in terms of cultural and social shifts, including the Industrial Revolution, conspicuous consumption, and modern environmentalism. In addition, a study of the ebb and flow of cultural and political reception relates the issue to religious and social ideas.
The information presented here will enable the reader to understand the scientific case stating that human activity has caused an unprecedented warming in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Technical and political objections to this thesis are also covered, so that readers may form their own opinions on this critical subject.
• Includes excerpts from writing and policy related to climate change
• Offers a timeline of the development of the idea of global warming
• Unlike other books on the subject, it looks at the development of the idea of global warming and climate change, rather than just the science and technology
• Offers a historical guide showing how scientific ideas and human evolution have proceeded in lock-step and places information about global warming within larger historical patterns of cultural and scientific thought
• Provides a selection of policy initiatives, from the local arena to the world stage, that attempt to make positive changes in human influence on climate and suggests how readers might help to solve the problem in their own communities