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The Global Deal: Climate Change and the Creation of a New Era of Progress and Prosperity Hardcover – April 27, 2009

3.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Kirkus, 3/15
“Erudite and effective”

Bill McKibben, New York Review of Books
“2009 may well turn out to be the decisive year in the human relationship with our home planet. By December, when the world’s leaders plan to gather in Copenhagen to sign a new global accord on global warming, we’ll know whether or not our political systems are up to the unprecedented challenge that climate change represents….Nicholas Stern’s new book provides the best scorecard we have for keeping track of this drama as it unfolds.”

About the Author

Professor Nicholas Stern is the IG Patel Chair and Chairman of the Grantham Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, and Director of the India Observatory at the London School of Economics and Political Science. As Baron Stern of Brentford, he is a member of the UK House of Lords. He was Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of the World Bank from 2000-2003, head of the UK Government Economic Service from 2003-2007, and head of the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change from 2005-2007.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs; 1 edition (April 28, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1586486691
  • ISBN-13: 978-1586486693
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.5 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,015,858 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By R. Albin TOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This concise and very good book is fine effort at public education. Stern, the leader of the now well known Stern Report on response to climate change, presents an outline of and argument for a rational and well considered approach to addressing global warming. The publication of this book stems partly from the fact that the next major conference on global climate change will occur later this year in Copenhagen. Stern clearly hopes that this conference will result in an effective international commitment to address global warming, and this book is partly an effort to raise awareness of approaches to address global warming and partly, I think, an indirect lobbying effort on Stern's part to push his approach.

The departure point for this book is the idea that anthropogenic global warming is a real and very serious problem. The opening chapters are a brief survey of the idea of anthropogenic global warming and why it poses an extremely serious threat. This is not, however, a systematic review of the science but rather a brief presentation of a platform for the policy prescriptions that follow. An in depth review is not, however, necessary due to the overwhelming nature of the evidence for global warming and its potential consequences. If you're not prepared to at least consider the possibility that global warming is a real and serious problem, then this book is not for you.

Stern lays out some commonsense principles for his proposed approach; policies must be effective, efficient in the sense that they cause the least economic disruption, and equitable. The last is particularly important and highlights an important point made repeatedly by Stern.
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Format: Hardcover
Successfully confronting climate change is directly related to also reducing America's balance of payments and air pollution; it is also key to progress on helping the world's poor. "The Global Deal" provides an excellent source of information for moving forward. The author's credibility is vouched for by his having been Chief Economist at the World Bank from 2000-2003, first holder of the I. G. Patel Chair at the London School of Economics, Chair of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment (2008- ), his election as an Honorary Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and his being recruited by Gordon Brown to conduct reviews on the economics of climate change and economic development.
The danger from climate change, says Stern, is not primarily in the added heat, but from water - an increase in the number and severity of storms, droughts, floods, and rising seal levels. A 5 degree C increase is estimated to be the limit that could be incurred without extreme damage - yet, it is the same change (opposite direction) that brought the extreme of last ice age 10,000 years ago.

Poor countries are the least responsible for the existing stock of greenhouse gases, yet get hit the earliest and hardest by their effects. China has overtaken the U.S. to become the world's largest producer of greenhouse gases; Indonesia and Brazil are third and fourth - mainly the result of deforestation and peat fires. Rich country populations represent about one in six today, by 2050 they will represent only one in nine. Thus, meeting the energy needs of the poor will be more essential than ever.

Stern cites estimates that the Amazon forests store about 10X the carbon emitted globally/year; those same forests store about 10X/acre as northern native forests.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Nicholas Stern's over 40 years of field research among poor communities of Ethiopia, Kenya, and India have imbued him with unique insight into the problem of climate change. He writes on page 8: "The two greatest problems of our times — overcoming poverty in the developing world and combating climate change — are inextricably linked. Failure to tackle one will undermine efforts to deal with the other: ignoring climate change would result in an increasingly hostile environment for development and poverty reduction, but to try to deal with climate change by shackling growth and development would damage, probably fatally, the cooperation between developed and developing countries that is vital to success. Developing countries cannot 'put development on hold' while they reduce emissions and change technologies. Rich and poor countries have to work together to achieve low-carbon growth; but we can create this growth and it can be strong and sustained. And high-carbon growth will eventually destroy itself. We confuse the issues if we try to create an artificial 'horse race' between development and climate responsibility."

The key to resolving this dilemma, Dr. Stern points out, is to recognize that the transition to low-carbon power sources will be a boon rather than a bane, especially for the developing world — and that plenty of "low-hanging fruit" remains to be plucked even in advanced countries like the U.S., where a focus on energy conservation can reap enormous reductions in energy use with modest up-front expense.

The central message of the book is that measures to combat climate change need not bankrupt the world's economy.
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