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Global Fever: How to Treat Climate Change Hardcover – April 15, 2008
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"Calvin approaches climate change as a sensible doctor would: if a patient has unusual symptoms, and medical science points to a risk of a horrible disease, therapy should begin without delay. For decades climate scientists thought they were doing enough by pointing out a risk, while symptoms grew ever more ominous. But as doctors know, patients with signs of cancer often deny it, putting off action until it is terribly costly and uncertain. Global Fever is a timely effort to combat such denial of the danger of climate change."
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The book has some formidable forerunners, such as those by Tim Flannery (Weather Makers) or Elizabeth Kolbert (Field Notes ...). Calvin has plenty to say about how to proceed against antropogenic global warming, and takes the reader through many technical aspects of it with descriptions of (scientific) feedback (as opposed to social), mechanisms of sudden climate shifts, the importance of CO2 versus water and methane as key indicators, and the basics of climate modeling. Particularly important are his comments about the spread of disinformation. It's widespread, but after reading his book, you'll be in a better position to recognize it. There's an interesting comment early in the book about why Al Gore does not appear to support nuclear power, page 30.
He has a good appendix on further reads, and interesting notes in the back to supplement the text. His Read Widely appendix, in the last paragraph, discusses reliable sources, e.g., Real Climate (maintained by climate scientists, Google), and some that are just front organizations for business as usual (GlobalWarming ...). To get a good feel for the writing style, see his web page (Google). He has a couple of downloadable chapters, and more information on the subject of global fever. One fun one that caught my eye was a reference to the old (60s) Bell (Telephone) Science, a TV series. One episode was called Unchained Goddess. A one minute snippet can be found on YouTube. Yes, even then we new about the threat. (The complete DVD, 1 hour, of it can be found on Amazon. It's still a very good and light introduction to the basics of climate.)
A small word of warning. His book says the charts and diagrams are available on his web site for use. This is partly true. They are in the pdf files, but for only three chapters. A few minor points about the book are the charts and diagrams are sometimes hard to read, and the text sometimes loosely describes them. If you get stuck on explanations, skip ahead. There's lots of interesting material in the book.