Academic journal article Electronic Green Journal

Review: Global Climate Change: A Primer

Academic journal article Electronic Green Journal

Review: Global Climate Change: A Primer

Article excerpt

Review: Global Climate Change: A Primer By Orrin H Pilkey and Keith C. Pilkey Pilkey, Orrin H. and Pilkey, Keith C. Global Climate Change: a primer. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2011. 142pp. ISBN 978-0-8223-5109-2. US $19.95, paperback.

Understanding the science of global climate change and the greenhouse effect can be daunting even for those that try to stay knowledgeable about the environment and our planet. In this book about global climate change, Orrin Pilkey, a professor emeritus of Geology from Duke University and his son, attorney Keith Pilkey, are able to explain the various aspects of global climate change and what it is doing to our earth in ways that help the reader understand the science and become an advocate for doing things in a better way.

The Pilkeys explain that the idea that the climate of the world has already changed is something that a thin majority of Americans believe. However, the idea that humans have had a part in this change is something that not everyone accepts or understands. A detailed description of how global climate change and the greenhouse effect were created and the different elements that add up to a global disaster are described throughout the chapters that explain such things as the changes in the earth's weather, ice, and the biosphere. The impact this has on the earth and its population is described in detail. Much of the book focuses on the conflict between science and those in politics and industry. An interesting comparison between the tactics of the tobacco industry and those that deny that the earth's climate is changing helps the reader to understand how strongly the deniers of the greenhouse effect will fight any changes to the way government and industries do business. Most of the chapters end with a section that lists popular myths about global change from the press and global climate change deniers and the Pilkeys give their rebuttal of the myth's validity.

The Pilkeys make a controversial point: "It should be noted that the most gigantic of floods, the greatest of earthquakes, the largest of storms would be no catastrophe at all if humans weren't present. …

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