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Climatopolis: How Our Cities Will Thrive in the Hotter Future Hardcover – Bargain Price, September 7, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
There might be a good, if extremely short, book on climate change adaptation buried somewhere between these pages. Finding it though, amid the numerous non sequiturs, annoying digressions, unsupported criticisms, and bizarre conclusions proves a daunting task. Kahn's writing style is distracting, filled with poor attempts at self-deprecating humor and continual incitements to ridicule of opposing positions after criticizing them incompletely, at best. There is also a remarkable lack of specificity in the book, a paucity of citations for claims or conclusions that should have them (and a glut of Wikipedia references for tangents and trivialities), and many of the conclusions based on legitimate research are misapplied (research on short-term local exogenous shocks is unabashedly applied to global climate change).
I suppose Kahn needs to be congratulated for at least acknowledging climate change, even though he seems to think it's something that will work itself out given time so long as government doesn't get involved, a statement he makes ad nauseum while carefully foregoing much evidence for his position. Empirical data is apparently reserved for behavioral economists who he constantly derides without explanation, a recurring theme as most of his policy critiques, many of which I agree with, receive cursory treatment and a premature dismissal.Read more ›
I heard Professor Kahn speak in November 2010, and raced out to buy his book. His writing style is as engaging as his speaking. I was also amazed to note that his PhD education is the product of two Nobel Laureates - from the University of Chicago. These guys are not known as liberal, Keynesian economists.
What the reader enjoys is a truly balanced, realistic approach to our most pressing climate challenges: 1) it is already started, 2) the US is unlikely to take any painful steps now, (our defining trait!), so 3) any solutions will be brought forth by the market.
When I first saw this book published, I thought it was going to be some climate-change denial book. Now that I have read it, I know Kahn brings NO agenda - he does illustrate the opportunity climate change brings to all: some will thrive in the new environment and some will be forced to change: cities, nations and people.
The book is both eye- opening and well- written. Kahn writes the book in a way that is accessible for businesspeople like myself as well as engaging for those without economics background.
But this book takes a different tack: it focuses on adaptation- that is, assuming climate change is inevitable, what can cities and nations do about it? This sort of book really has a pretty limited market; the far Left won't like it because they will reject the assumption that human civilization can survive climate change, and the far Right won't like it because they don't want to believe that any unwelcome climate change could ever possibly occur.
Kahn's assumptions, of course, are quite different. He assumes that climate change will not be lethal enough to bring us back to the Dark Ages, but will still cause quite a few natural disasters, enough to influence where we will want to live.
Given those assumptions, Kahn believes some places will do better than others. Big winners (at least compared to the rest of the U.S.) will be cold inland cities like Buffalo; warmer weather will help them, and they won't suffer from rising sea levels.
He devotes a chapter each to Los Angeles and New York. Places with warm weather (like Los Angeles) will be big losers as warm weather becomes unpleasantly hot weather. Kahn also suggests that Los Angeles may face an increased risk of forest fires if climate change reduces rainfall, and that cities may wish to reduce development in "fire zones" near forests (or at least allow insurance premiums to rise in those areas).Read more ›
I don't have much time to write a review, but in short if you want evidence of climate change, go buy another book. The evidence is out there, and fully FULLY demonstrated to be actually occurring. Please don't deny the science. You can find the details in any other book or educational read about climate change. There have been plenty.
Now those who are aware what is about to happen... and know the science and math behind it... This book gives both an epic and very real depiction on the subject matter. Definitely a book to keep on the coffee table.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This author's "U of C" (Chicago) economic education pretty much assures that his analysis of climate issues and suggestions for "climate-proofing" major American... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Alan Hull
We read this in a graduate seminar at UNLV by Dr. Robert Futrell called "The Social Dilemmas of Climate Change" as part of a syllabus that included a wide range of work,... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Jim
An interesting, yet disappointing read as the book stays too impersonal and aloof. It also ends quite abruptly, as my Kindle said it was only 75% complete - hense lots of endnotes... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Rick B.
A short-sighted book that neglects the myriad of complex problems that contribute to climate change. Read morePublished 24 months ago by Will Hallock
Pointing out the important issues, and giving various specific examples.
I love this book. Somebody want to know climate policy. Read more
This book is on the Rorotoko list. Professor Kahn's interview on "Climatopolis" ran as the Rorotoko Cover Feature on May 25, 2011 (and can be read in the Rorotoko archive).Published on October 7, 2011 by ROROTOKO
I was hopeful about this book since Kahn seemed to have solid credentials, and the reality of climate change served as a stepping-off point. Read morePublished on January 24, 2011 by Mizbean
While the author rightfully addresses the design of future cities, an important endeavor, he clearly is a shill for a continuous upward trend of average global temperature. Read morePublished on December 25, 2010 by The Defuser