The Human Cost of Climate Change

Book - 2013
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The theory that human activity is causing the earth to warm is broadly known. Yet while the vast majority of scientists who study the issue think that global warming is both real and dangerous, nations have done very little to halt - much less reverse - the process. The main reason for this isthat crafting policies to reduce global warming presents a serious collective action problem: the threat today seems minor, yet taking it on alone puts nations at a competitive disadvantage with those who simply elide the issue. Moreover, amidst this environment of buck passing, there is a vocalminority that contends that global warming is not even occurring. And there are others who admit that while it might be occurring, it is an entirely manageable threat. In Overheated, Andrew Guzman stresses that a major problem facing proponents of global warming reduction policies is that it remains an abstract issue for most. Yes, it might occur, but ordinary people really do not have a sense of how it will impact their lives. Guzman moves beyond abstractions andspells out the real-world consequences for human societies if we continue on the path that we're presently on: pandemics resulting from escalating urbanization and migration, massive flooding, the impact of rising sea levels on coastlines, and oscillations in food production. Guzman argues that onlyby establishing the increasing likelihood of these sorts of catastrophes can we begin to implement changes in national and international policy. By shifting the discussion away from scientific evidence that has no apparent effect on people's daily lives to global warming's wide-ranging impact onhuman societies, Overheated brings global warming down to earth. In doing so, it forces us to confront the very real ways in which climate change will negatively transform the lives of billions of people if we fail to institute effective policies to mitigate it.
Publisher: New York, NY : Oxford University Press, [2013]
ISBN: 9780199933877
Characteristics: xii, 260 pages ; 25 cm


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