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Science as a Contact Sport: Inside the Battle to Save Earth's Climate Paperback – November 3, 2009
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"Why haven’t we halted global warming in the decades since it became recognized as a major threat to human well-being? What should we do to halt it now? In this crystal-clear, moving, funny book, Stephen Schneider makes a highly complex subject understandable." - Jared Diamond, author of "Guns, Germs, and Steel," and "Collapse"
"Stephen Schneider is masterful at translating enormously complex scientific principles into a language that we can all comprehend."—Robert Redford
"Give Stephen Schneider points for prescience...The ominous warnings that he and other climatologists sounded...are coming true
More About the Author
Elected to the US National Academy of Sciences in 2002, Schneider received the American Association for the Advancement of Science/ Westinghouse Award for Public Understanding of Science and Technology and a MacArthur Fellowship for integrating and interpreting the results of global climate research. Founder (1975) and still editor of the interdisciplinary journal Climatic Change, he has authored or co-authored over 500 books, scientific papers, proceedings, legislative testimonies, edited books and chapters, reviews and editorials and has been featured in numerous televisions and film productions (please see attached vita). Dr. Schneider counsels policy makers, corporate executives, and non-profit stakeholders about using risk management strategies in climate-policy decision-making, given the uncertainties in future projections of global climate change and related impacts. He is actively engaged in improving public understanding of science and the environment through extensive media communication and public outreach. He has created a very comprehensive website on climate issues for the attentive public: climatechange.net. Many of his talks and appearances can be found on Youtube.
He is a cancer survivor since 2001, and helped design a new protocol for "maintenance therapy" for his rare mantle cell lymphoma. The story is described in his book "The Patient From Hell" and in his cancer website, patientfromhell.org.
Top Customer Reviews
2) If you want more history, start with:
Spencer Weart, The Discovery of Global Warming (New Histories of Science, Technology, and Medicine), which also has an equivalent website at the American Institute of Physics.
Then, read two of Stephen's earlier books:
Global Warming: Are We Entering the Greenhouse Century?, 1989. andLaboratory Earth the Planetary Gamble We (Science Masters), 1996.
This sequence offers a good look into what was known or not *at the time, not just by hindsight*, how real science works, and how scientists weigh data and competing hypotheses. Much of real science is trying to bound uncertainty, and good scientists change their minds. Some things that were theoretically very likely in 1989, but had not yet emerged from the noise into statistical significance, have long since done so.Read more ›
1) It is amazing that a science that, in any organized sense, is only about forty years old has accomplished so much in such a short time span. It has involved tens of thousands of scientists from dozens of disciplines and sub-disciplines inventing a "science" in an effort to comprehend one of the most complex phenomenon ever studied (or created) by humans.
2) Climate science is a science that by its very nature involves the amassing of mountains of evidence that point towards the elimination of uncertainties and the statement of probabilities--and not to exact formulas or equations. It has to consider non-linear events, thresholds and tipping points as basic components of its understanding of the complex phenomenon we call climate.
3) Climate science has undertaken these investigations while under attack by the largest and best-funded corporations and economic interests in human history. Where there is not opposition from the fossil fuel industry and its allies, there are an untold number of economic players whose fortunes will be affected by any rearrangement of the rules of the market required by the desperate straits we have put ourselves in.Read more ›
In Science as a Contact Sport, published in late 2009, Schneider gives us a reasoned, informative and insightful look into both the history of climate change science and the inner workings of the IPCC process in developing the first four Assessment Reports. Essentially this is a memoir, and through his personal experiences from the center of the scientific debate Schneider opens a window into how the scientific consensus was developed over more than forty years of focused research, as well as glimpses into the initial discovery of the role of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases in causing a warming of the earth.
In a writing style that mirrors his real-life tendency of being both in-your-face and humorous, his use of anecdote and metaphor are instrumental in getting the point across and tunneling into the real issues. Climate deniers, as he calls them, have used his earlier work on the cooling of the atmosphere due to aerosol releases to suggest that he is a scientist for any temperature. This is just one example of the way denialists misrepresent his work and the work of others to push their free market agendas.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Overall it was a decent read, perhaps a bit dry for my liking. It gives a great history of climate science and the discovery of global warming from an insiders perspective which... Read morePublished 9 months ago by K. Cooper
This book takes a look at what it was like to be a climate scientist struggling under attack by the well monied climate change deniers. Read morePublished 20 months ago by M. Hyman
I live in Bangladesh, the low-lying and heavily populated country which is widely acknowledged to be at greatest risk of suffering from climate change. Read morePublished on January 11, 2013 by Zeeshan Hasan
This is primarily an autobiographical work. In it the late Stephen Schneider tells his story of entering the subject of climatology and becoming involved in the politics of climate... Read morePublished on September 29, 2012 by Jordan Bell
Stephen H. Schneider's book "Science as a Contact Sport: Inside the Battle to Save Earth's Climate" is a detailed historical account told from the viewpoint of one of the United... Read morePublished on January 31, 2012 by Neil Dewitte
An excellent autobiographical description of Stephen Scheider's long role in climate modelling and in IPCC. Read morePublished on October 27, 2011 by P. K. Foster
I liked this book quite a bit, in that it is largely a autobiography of a leading (i.e.,Nobel prize winning) climate scientist who tells how science is done, with the arguments and... Read morePublished on February 12, 2011 by Dan Sherman
Yes, lots of interesting politics on critical subject, but Schneider writes an awful lot about himself (meetings he went to, ideas he had, disputes he had with people). Read morePublished on December 23, 2010 by t3p
A book which covered exactly what I wanted to learn. Schneider presented in a way that was factual, not radical.Published on November 14, 2010 by mrsspillo