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What's the Worst That Could Happen?: A Rational Response to the Climate Change Debate Paperback – July 7, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
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-General Anthony C. Zinni USMC (Retired)
"This book trumps most of our accounts of the global warming crisis, partly for its good humor and straightforward logic, and partly because the author has actually figured out what actions make sense. Changing your lightbulb will help a little, but changing the political debate will help enormously-and this book will get you started down that path."
-Bill McKibben, author The End of Nature
"The worst thing that could happen is that you don't read this book! Greg Craven has written a valuable primer on the global warming debate."
-Gregg Easterbrook, author, Sonic Boom
"This is a tremendous book and well worth anyone's time to read. It very clearly and concisely covers all the important points not only about the climate change situation in our moment, but how we think and decide about important issues. Anyone who enjoyed Craven's YouTube triumph "The Most Terrifying Video You'll Ever See" will enjoy unpacking that experience in this book, and for people running into Craven for the first time, you're in for a treat-he is funny as well as well as exceptionally clear, and wise."
-Kim Stanley Robinson, the Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author of The Mars trilogy and Science in the Capital
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Top Customer Reviews
Greg Craven has the spark of genius in the way he cuts through all the confusing "it will, it won't, it will too!". On the one hand we have clever wordy scientists and on the other, crafty manipulative, articulate global warming deniers (Ok, I'm a little biased on this one!) and the poor ordinary bloke doesn't know who to believe in the shouting match. He/she just wants to know what's the best bet to protect their loved family and friends. They don't want to risk damaging the economy but they also don't want to risk ruining the planet that their kids will grow up in. How on earth can they decide what's best?
This book will show how you don't need to be an expert to make your own sensible decisions using the sort of ordinary risk assessment techniques that we all use when we cross the road or buy house or car insurance.
Craven basically looks at what each side in the debate is claiming and looks at what will happen if they are wrong and then shows what the consequences would be for us all. Instead of trying to work out definitively who is right, which is very difficult as shown by the many complicated books available that try to, Craven clearly shows that asking what happens if one or the other side is wrong gives a very simple, yet brilliant, way of deciding what the best bet is when deciding what to do, or not do, about it.Read more ›
That said - the strength and value of this book is not just in its parsing of the climate change debate and its permutations. It is as an excellent primer for the layperson on critical thought, the scientific process, and understanding how to look beyond the sound bites and understand the perspective of the various parties making arguments on both sides of the issue. These elements are as important, or more important, than the main thesis of the book as it helps us be better, more educated, and thoughtful citizens. These tools that Greg presents can be used in a wide variety of arguments and issues that we approach.
The 1979 JASON technical report entitled "The Long Term Impact of Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide on Climate" also predicted that carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere would double from their pre-industrial levels by about 2035. Today it is expected this will happen by about 2050. They suggested that this doubling of carbon dioxide would lead to an average warming across the planet of 2-3C, an estimate in line with the most current IPCC findings. They further warned that polar regions would warm by much more than the average, perhaps by as much as 10C or 12C. That prediction is already coming true and was also predicted by the IPCC in 1995.
In other words there is no debate. The scientific predictions from 30 years ago, made from assessments gathered during the 1960's and 1970's, told us what ALL peer-reviewed assessments since then have told us. All we have essentially done in the last 25 years is further refine the predictions on the regional effects.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is a great introduction into the topic of climate change. It is meant to be a guide to help the readers form an opinion on the issue without having to wade into the... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Ditto the good reviews: "I cannot recommend this book enough". Accessible, cuts through all the BS. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Mary Essary
Excellent background for having a heart to heart conversation on the topicPublished 17 months ago by Jeane Bicket
This is a great guide for anyone who has been embroiled in a controversial debate where there is lots of data but the 95% confidence answer is elusive. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Gunnar Berg
I'm not a "warmer", but I am paying more attention to "climate change" and would like to see more being done, not just with "carbon", but with stored... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Christopher A Trumbull
Its for school so it served its purpose which was to be a book and give me that paragraph needed in class. Thank you book.Published on February 6, 2014 by Katrina
The author is a science teacher with a young family.
He has broken the topic down for himself, and developed a very logical way of deciding how to think about climate... Read more
Very nice book.
I saw Greg's video on youtube and liked it. The book gives much more background. Since I am a climatologist, of course I choose column A: immediate action now. Read more