The book reviews the science of climate change and explains why it is one of the most difficult problems humanity has ever tackled. Climate change is a "wicked" problem bound up with problems of population growth, environmental degradation, and world problems of growing social and economic inequality. The book explores the politicization of the topic, the polarization of opinion, and the reasons why, for some, science has become just another ideology to be contested. How do humans assess risk? Why are they are so bad at focusing on the future? How can we solve the problem of climate change? These are the questions this work answers.
The goal of this new, unique Series is to offer readable, teachable "thinking frames" on today’s social problems and social issues by leading scholars, all in short 60 page or shorter formats, and available for view on http://routledge.customgateway.com/routledge-social-issues.html
For instructors teaching a wide range of courses in the social sciences, the Routledge Social Issues Collection now offers the best of both worlds: originally written short texts that provide "overviews" to important social issues as well as teachable excerpts from larger works previously published by Routledge and other presses.
Table of Contents
1. Why is the Earth Getting Warmer and What Difference Does it Make? 2. The Cassandra Problem 3. Calculating the Odds: How We Think about Risk and Climate Change 4. What is the Future Worth?
Scott G. McNall is the Senior Advisor to the President for Sustainability at California State University, Chico. He was the founding Executive Director of the Institute for Sustainable Development at the University and served for three years in that capacity. He is Professor Emeritus of Sociology and has served as provost for 13 years and interim university president for almost one year.
"McNall,...a sociologist with a long history of involvement in sustainability, has written the best book on climate change this reviewer has read....Most of the book explores the reasons individuals and society find it almost impossible to deal with this type of problem; a short exploration of possible solutions follows. The nine-page reference list and the 'glossary/index' are well done...suitable for all students; it could also serve as a good standing point for a graduate course on climate change. Summing up: Highly recommended. Lower-level undergraduates and above; general readers." —CHOICE, October 2011, M. K. Cleaveland, University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, USA