1st Edition

America's Climate Problem
The Way Forward

ISBN 9781849712149
Published February 3, 2011 by Routledge
248 Pages

USD $32.95

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Book Description

What America does – or fails to do – in the next few years to solve the problem of climate change will largely determine the fate of the earth and humanity for centuries to come. Despite the efforts by some states, local governments and individual citizens to respond, controversy still embroils national efforts to come up with a solution.

This book by Robert Repetto, a leading environmental economist, lets the reader cut through the confusion and political rhetoric and understand the way to resolve the climate problem. It explains in clear, accessible language how a sensible national policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions can bring about a transition to clean energy sources while preserving healthy economic growth and high standards of living. It shows where the pitfalls are in developing a climate solution, how they can be avoided, and how to bring resistant interest groups on board.

America cannot act alone but other nations will not take action if the United States does not lead, and this book explains how America can successfully promote international cooperation on climate solutions. Never has there been an environmental problem of such importance. Every citizen will benefit from the insight this book provides in solving it successfully.

Table of Contents

Foreword  1. What We're Up Against  2. Meeting the Energy Challenge  3. Choosing the Right Climate Policy Architecture  4. The New Economics and Climate Policy  5. Next Steps in International Cooperation  6. Winning the Political Battle over Climate Policy  7. Overcoming Obstacles to Adaptation 8. Summary and Conclusions

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Robert Repetto, an economist, is well-known for his writings on a broad range of environmental policy issues. He is currently Senior Fellow at the United Nations Foundation, working with its climate and energy program. Previously, he was Professor in the Practice of Economics & Sustainable Development at the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and, before that, for fifteen years was vice president of the World Resources Institute in Washington DC, directing its work on environmental economics. Earlier in his career, he was an Associate Professor in economics and public health at Harvard University. He has been an advisor to governments on environment and the economy in the United States, Canada, Indonesia, Bangladesh and India.


'Packed with facts, Repetto issues a call to action to grapple with climate change. There is no time to lose if we are to avoid disaster. His book is both informative and highly persuasive. It will give the most ardent skeptics pause.'  -Madeleine May Kunin, former Governor of Vermont; former Ambassador to Switzerland

'Repetto persuasively shows how to overcome the obstacles preventing the US from standing up and doing something about the warming of our planet. Read this book and join the action for change.'  -Sherwood Boehlert, former Congressman (R) from New York

'For many years, Robert Repetto has provided incisive analysis and recommendations toward solving our environmental problems. This book may be his most important contribution yet. Its brilliant analysis deserves urgent attention.'  -James Gustave Speth, author of The Bridge at the Edge of the World: Capitalism, The Environment, and Crossing from Crisis to Sustainability

'As an accomplished educator, Professor Robert Repetto understands the importance of clarity and coherence of thought. As a creative economist, he knows the need for new and better ideas.  In America's Climate Problem, Professor Repetto achieves both. He explains the climate threat lucidly and persuasively. Most important, he offers the new principle of 'up-stream cap and trade' as an imaginative concept designed to break our current political and economic log-jam. We can only hope this important book will be read in the White House and in Congress.'  -Gary Hart, University of Colorado; former member, U.S. Senate Environment Committee

'This timely book updates the latest scientific understanding of climate change, further confirming the impact of human actions, and then considers approaches to determine the best paths forward that mitigates climate change and ensures future prosperity. It is must reading for all wishing to understand how human actions are impacting climate and how human ingenuity and good governance can ameliorate the damage.'  -Tom Casten, author of Turning Off the Heat and CEO of Recycled Energy Development LLC

'[T]his book does a fine job of explaining why climate change is the most salient environmental problem confronting us today... Recommended.' -CHOICE, July 2011

'The book is thoughtful and measured and carries a quiet authority. Repetto hasn’t given up on his country being able to rise to the challenge of climate change, and he understands how it can be done, but he’s sober about the prospect.' -Bryan Walker, Hot Topic