Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Climate change: Last chance for change

I have been reading a range of literature on climate change. Most of it has been rather dry, technical or policy-oriented work with an economics emphasis.

My favourite general ‘read’ is the attractive and informative discussion of the various aspects of the climate change by former Guardian environmental correspondent, Paul Brown, titled Global Warming: The Last Chance for Change, Reader’s Digest Books, 2007. Some short reviews are here. Intended for the general reader it is nevertheless accurate in the science presented. It is written clearly in plain language and is informatively illustrated. There is sound discussion of the basic science, of issues for developing countries, US policy, the case for renewable compared to nuclear power and simple ways of changing our lives to reduce our carbon footprint.

This is a good Xmas present both for environmentally-conscious families and for those not so. It is well-written enough to hold the attention of sceptics and to make them think.

Highly recommended.

The Reader’s Digest is an interesting publisher. Although disliked by snobs their family magazine has a readership of close to 80 million concentrated mainly among high income earners. RD have often pursued important social causes – in 1950 they were the first mainstream publication to attack cigarette smoking in a famous article ‘Cancer by the Carton’ – now they are directly tackling George Bush and US policy on climate change. Good stuff.

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