Confronting Climate Change

Confronting Climate Change

Confronting Climate Change

Confronting Climate Change


What are the manifest and likely future consequences of climate change? How will the world respond to the challenges of climate change in the twenty-first century? How should people think about confronting the politics of climate change?

In this highly accessible introduction to the predicted global impacts of climate change, Constance Lever-Tracy provides an authoritative guide to one of the most controversial issues facing the future of our planet. Discussing how the social and natural sciences must work together more effectively in confronting climate change, Lever-Tracy provides a sober, critical assessment of the politics of global warming and climate change.

By combining sociology, environmental studies and politics, Confronting Climate Changewill serve as an introduction that will appeal to students and general readers alike.


This book discusses the issue of global warming and climate change, and its already manifest and likely future impacts on human life and society. It looks at ways to pre-empt the threats, by reducing our emissions through changed lifestyles and technological change. In the event of at least partial failure, it asks how and how far we can be prepared for the impacts and how we can try to survive them. Finally, it explores the obstacles and potential for effective initiatives, whether starting from the bottom up, at individual and local levels, or from the top down, through global targets and agreements. It assesses the chances of success, given the pressures to both co-operation and to conflict produced by shared dangers on the one hand, and by the rivalries of winners and losers, with vested and potential interests, on the other.

The known dangers and possible risks of climate change are unprecedented in human history in their scale, scope and complexity, perhaps even exceeding those of nuclear war. In the end, the outcomes of climate change, like its causes, will to a considerable extent depend on human actions. How, how fast and how deeply will we be able to reduce our impact on nature so that at least we can mitigate the worst outcomes? How effectively can we adapt to the changes now manifest, and prepare for the much more dangerous developments already in the pipeline?

The issue of how to confront climate change, and the degree of success or failure, will produce novel opportunities and pitfalls and quite new antagonisms and alliances that do not reproduce prior social, political or ideological fault lines. John Urry has suggested two likely scenarios for society, in a future of climate change. The first is a Hobbesian world of . . .

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