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The Climate Fix: What Scientists and Politicians Won't Tell You About Global Warming Hardcover – September 28, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books (September 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465020526
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465020522
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #959,115 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Pielke (The Honest Broker) presents a smart and hard-nosed analysis of the politics and science of climate change and proposes a commonsense approach to climate policy. According to Pielke, the iron law of climate policy dictates that whenever environmental and economic objectives are placed in opposition to each other, economics always wins. Climate policies must be made compatible with economic growth as a precondition for their success, he writes, and because the world will need more energy in the future, an oblique approach supporting causes, such as developing affordable alternative energy sources rather than consequences, such as controversial schemes like cap-and-trade, is more likely to succeed. Although some may protest on principle the suggestion that we accept the inevitability of energy growth, Pielke's focus on adaptation to climate change refreshingly sidesteps the unending debate over the reality of anthropogenic climate change, and opens up the possibility for effective action that places human dignity and democratic ideals at the center of climate policies.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Pielke’s area of expertise is the crossroads where environmental studies and politics meet, and clearly he is very frustrated by how the hard cold facts of science have become subservient to the whims of political fortune. In carefully crafted chapters that rely heavily on widely acknowledged truths, he examines everything from carbon dioxide emissions to the recent climategate controversy. Pielke excels in pointing out the minutiae the climate discussion finds itself repeatedly bogged down in, compared to the larger issues of global warming, regardless of the cause, which are irrefutable. From Kyoto to Copenhagen, Gore to George W. Bush to Obama, he addresses the changing political winds, the myths used to justify weak political will, and the irrevocable relationship between environmental policy and the economy. For navigating a treacherous field with grace and aplomb, Pielke deserves much praise. Whether readers will feel reassured or not after reading his measured words and patient call for a broad-based climate policy will depend on future political response. Copious endnotes and sourcing material included. --Colleen Mondor

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Customer Reviews

What I liked especially about this book is that Pielke is not afraid to criticizes his colleagues for exaggerating their case.
J. Davis
It is one of the few books I've read recently that offers both clear explanations and the complexity involved in understanding climate science.
J. T. Myers
Robert Pielke, Jr.’s book, A Climate Fix, is for the most part a very good primer on potential policy solutions to climate change.
Daniel Bailey

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 46 people found the following review helpful By J. T. Myers on September 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover
(This reviews the pre-release version.)

After a tumultuous year in climate policy - from Climategate to the failure of the Copenhagen talks and the probable death of cap-and-trade - Pielke's book offers the most thoughtful approach to climate policy, taking honest stock of both the current state of science and politics. It is excellent for those who are familiar with the debate as well as those new to the issue.
Pielke is one of the few experts willing to critique those he agrees with, and he spends a fair amount of time highlighting the politicization of climate science by both sides. While arguing that climate change presents real risks, he is effective at noting the unscientific excesses of advocates of aggressive climate policy. Several anecdotes tell the story of how noted scientists used their credentials to make claims they admit are unscientific. These exaggerations, Pielke argues, have increased public skepticism about the science, making it more difficult to come to policy agreement.
The book does an excellent job explaining the basics of climate science, offering some good guidelines for what is known and where the scientific uncertainty lies. It is one of the few books I've read recently that offers both clear explanations and the complexity involved in understanding climate science. Most effective is the way he uses this solid scientific foundation to characterize the size and nature of the challenge of reducing carbon emissions. Perhaps the best insight, however, is that while many who debate climate policy focus on debating the details of climate science, Pielke argues an effective policy approach can be found even without certainty regarding the exact nature of the risks from climate change.
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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Norman Rogers on September 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Pielke is a expert on science policy from the University of Colorado. He runs a popular and often controversial blog. He should not be confused with his father, with the same name, who is an important climate scientist.

Pielke's style is soft spoken but he is not afraid to make strong judgements. He proposes an "iron law of climate policy" that basically says that no climate policies that cause substantial, immediate economic pain will ever be implemented. If you accept his iron law (and I do) then it is clear that all the CO2 control efforts that are supposed to be implemented via cap and trade or other unpleasant government mandates or taxes will never see the light of day. Yet Pielke believes that CO2 control is important and he proposes solutions that don't violate his iron law.

The book is filled with well-presented useful information. His discussion of climategate, the publication of numerous private emails exchanged between important climate scientists, is the best I've ever seen.

Pielke's strength is illuminating politicized debates with facts and logical analysis. Obviously climate or global warming is one of those. Because he grew up in the important climate science community centered in Colorado and started his career in science, he knows many of the important players personally.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By David J Kent on November 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is primarily for policy wonks and not so much for the general public. Pielke, Jr. is a well known political science professor and blogger who often blogs on climate change issues. His father, Roger Pielke, Sr., is a renowned climate scientist, so while Pielke, Jr. is not a climate scientist per se, he does bring considerable insight garnered from years of interaction with his father and his own career that includes working as a student assistant at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and elsewhere.

The title is, not surprisingly, a bit of a misnomer as the book doesn't actually offer a "fix" to man-made climate change. If it were that easy there would be no need for his book. The publisher's subtitle "What scientists and politicians won't tell you about global warming" is unfortunate, because it attempts to create a controversy where there really is none. Beyond that, the book generally is well-written and focuses in on the real problem - what policy options do we have to deal with climate change. This point in itself is important as Pielke, Jr. acknowledges up front the scientific consensus that climate change is happening, that human activity is the primary reason, and that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are major factors in the warming of the planet. That scientific point put aside, he focuses the majority of the book on policy.

The author spends a lot of time talking about decarbonization policies around the world, what has worked and what has not worked, and his views as to why. Pielke discusses the concept of an "iron law of climate policy," which essentially acknowledges that any policy that might be construed to cause short-term adverse economic impact cannot be implemented.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kyle Vann on May 25, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Pielke is an excellent writer that can explain complicated issues in an understanding way. He analyzes the key issues on climate and also deals with the reality of options available. This is an excellent policy book that leaders should read to ensure that the steps we take in this arena are realistic and necessary. He debunks those that sensationalize weather extremes ( floods, hurricanes) as proof of climate change and exposes how science has been politicized in the climate debate. A rational basis for decarbonization is offered. The need for cost effective technology to handle future growth is well presented. A great first book to read on this issue.
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