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Climate Change Policy Failures: Why Conventional Mitigation Approaches Cannot Succeed [Hardcover]

Howard A Latin
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 16, 2012 981435564X 978-9814355643 1
At the recent UN Climate Change Conferences in Copenhagen, Cancun and Durban, the developed nations promised hundreds of billions of dollars in financial aid to help developing countries overcome global climate change dangers. The developed nations will need to spend many more billions to limit their own greenhouse gas pollution, the main cause of global warming and climate change. Will all this money and effort be wasted? This book argues that nearly all of the world's climate policy makers and expert advisors have been making tragic mistakes that ensure the failures of climate change mitigation attempts.

The great majority of climate change programs, from American congressional bills to cap-and-trade economic incentive schemes to the Kyoto Protocol and other international treaties, rely on greenhouse gas emissions-reduction targets that will prove "too little, too late" by deferring strict pollution controls too far into the future. The inadequate emissions-reduction measures also will not be able to bridge the gap between the highest priorities of developed and developing nations. Vast discharges of greenhouse gases authorized by weak emissions-reduction programs in the next several decades virtually guarantee that the cumulative concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere will keep increasing while climate change continues to grow worse.

Rather than adopting ineffectual emissions-reduction programs that cannot limit the cumulative concentration of greenhouse gases in the air, this book proposes a shift to a "clean" technology-replacement strategy that could support current lifestyles and expanding economic development without further damaging our climate. The only way to reduce the greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere enough to decrease climate change hazards is to replace large pollution sources as rapidly as feasible in as many industrial sectors and geographic regions as possible with "clean" alternative technologies, processes, and methods.

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Climate Change Policy Failures: Why Conventional Mitigation Approaches Cannot Succeed + The Climate Casino: Risk, Uncertainty, and Economics for a Warming World
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Editorial Reviews


"Howard Latin is one of the world's most provocative and creative environmental experts. His new book challenges the conventional consensus about climate change. It is vintage Howard Latin, and will definitely make you think about alternative mitigation approaches." --E Donald Elliott, Professor (adj) of Law, Yale Law School, Former General Counsel of the US EPA

"This book not only presents a compelling overview of current climate change debates and the policies recommended to address the problems at hand, but it serves as a radical critique of these discussions and approaches, providing alternatives to mainstream viewpoints. More than worth reading." --Jean-Marc Coicaud, Former Director, United Nations University Office at the UN Headquarters, New York

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 268 pages
  • Publisher: World Scientific Publishing Company; 1 edition (May 16, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 981435564X
  • ISBN-13: 978-9814355643
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.7 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,740,230 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Howard A. Latin is a Distinguished Professor of Law and Justice John J. Francis Scholar at Rutgers University School of Law in Newark, New Jersey. He joined the Rutgers faculty in 1976 after earning a B.A. from Brandeis and a J.D. from the Law School of the University of California at Berkeley, where he was the lead articles editor of the California Law Review and a member of the Order of the Coif.

Professor Latin has published many articles in the fields of environmental law, torts, and products liability, including seven articles reprinted in collections of the "best of the year" or "best of all time" in those fields. He has recently completed a book, Climate Change Policy Failures: Why Conventional Mitigation Approaches Cannot Succeed, that explains why current national and international mitigation programs would achieve too little greenhouse gas reductions over too long a period of time, and consequently would not be able to stabilize or curtail steadily increasing climate change risks. Professor Latin has also completed a long book chapter on climate change problems, Framing Global Climate Change, in William H. Rodgers, Jr., et al., eds., Climate Change: A Reader (2011). And he is now working on an article about India and its high probability of climate change disasters, while this nation must choose among alternative precautionary climate policies.

Professor Latin was a Fulbright Scholar in Australia during 1992 and South Africa during 1997. He has been a visiting professor at the Georgetown University Law Center and UCLA School of Law; a visiting scholar at the Rockefeller Institute in Lake Como, Italy, the Law School of the University of California at Berkeley, and the Richardson School of Law of the University of Hawaii; and in Spring 2006, Latin was the Distinguished Visiting Environmental Law Scholar at Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, OR. He has traveled to more than 40 countries in the past three decades while conducting research on global climate change and international biodiversity conservation issues. Latin is an elected member of the American Law Institute, and has served as a consultant on environmental and torts issues to government agencies and public advocacy groups.

Professor Latin's favorite recreational pastime is scuba diving with sharks and marine mammals, preferably hundreds at a time. He has been fortunate to combine his recreational interest in scuba diving with his professional interest in marine conservation issues around the world.

Customer Reviews

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Scary and Provocative August 2, 2012
In this provocative book, Howard Latin makes a persuasive case that the standard policy prescriptions for reducing greenhouse gas emissions (like cap-and-trade programs with slowly declining caps) will not suffice. In making this case he offers underappreciated insights into the dynamics of the climate problem and an imaginative proposal for doing better. This book stands out from the crowd because of its defiance of conventional wisdom and its willingness to grapple with the scary dynamics of a serious, cumulative, and irreversible problem.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Professor Latin shows that existing climate-change policies are too weak. The reality of world population increase and the drive for improved material standards of living in the developing world requires far more dramatic action. Only an immediate and substantial investment in new greenhouse-free-gas technologies seems likely to be able to head off the pending disaster. We can't wait for cap and trade or carbon tax schemes that don't promise large carbon reductions for 30 years. A powerful critique of current worldwide efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Work That Deserves Attention August 4, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This important book deserves a place on the bookshelf of everyone concerned about the ongoing destruction of the Earth's climate. It is well written and cogently argued. Professor Latin's thesis--that conventional approaches to climate change mitigation are deeply flawed and a strategy of decarbonization, focusing on the development and dissemination of GHG-free replacement technology, is urgently needed--is certain to be controversial. Whether one agrees or disagrees with his contentions, however, Latin's timely, vigorous and original analysis is sure to provoke thought.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Extremely Valuable Book July 28, 2012
The problem of global warming threatens our civilization. In this important book, Professor Howard A. Latin, an expert on environmental law, critiques as too timid the current proposals to curb global warming. He points out that the solutions that have been advanced will only slow global warming by a minute amount. He argues eloquently that what we need instead is a crash effort to develop a safe and carbon-free source of energy -- that is, to de-carbonize our economy. Latin, who is particularly knowledgeable about international environmental law, points out that global cooperation is needed, but it will not occur so long as developing nations are told they must curb growth that decreases poverty. Everyone interested in global warming should read the book and consider Latin's proposals.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Book That Can Help to Save the Planet March 18, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Of the recent spate of books about global climate change, Climate Change Policy Failures provides the clearest and most insightful critique of why current policies addressing the issue are doomed to fail. And Professor Latin offers the most creative and effective solutions for averting the climate-related devastation the scientific community warns we are facing. For lay readers, policy makers, and technocrats alike, this is essential reading for anyone interested in one of the most critical issues of our time.
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