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Global Climate Change Digest

A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999

FROM VOLUME 9, NUMBER 12, DECEMBER 1996

BOOKS AND PROCEEDINGS...
GENERAL INTEREST & POLICY


Item #d96dec34

Global Warming: Can Civilization Survive? P. Brown, £12.99, (Cassell).

A brief comment in New Scientist (p. 44, Nov. 2, 1996) states that the book is a thorough, readable, and up-to-date account of the scientific and political greenhouse orthodoxy.


Item #d96dec35

Proceedings from the Global Warming International Conferences (GW1 through GW8) are available and priced at $175 per year, from World Resource Rev. This series of annual meetings encompasses science, policy, economics, law and other topics.


Item #d96dec36

Interactions of Desertification and Climate, M.A.J. Williams, R.C. Balling Jr., 270 pp., 1996, $69.95 (Halsted Press, New York).

Prepared for the U.N. Environment Program. Major sections cover human activities (particularly agriculture); the effects of climate on dryland soils, ecosystems and other factors; statistical and numerical simulations of the impacts of climatic variations on desertification; short- and long-term approaches to restore degraded drylands and prevent future desertification. Stresses the importance of coupling empirical field studies with numerical simulations. Reviewed by E.V. McDonald in Eos (pp. 379, 381, Sep. 24, 1996), who writes that the authors have done an excellent job of assembling an up-to-date summary. They demonstrate how dryland surface processes and climate are linked through numerous pathways. Included are insightful discussions about the social and economic aspects of desertification and their importance to mitigation.


Item #d96dec37

Australia: State of the Environment 1996, 544 pp., 1996, US$75 (CSIRO Pub.) Also available on CD-ROM for $75. The book and CD-ROM together cost $110.

Prepared by a group of Australia's scientists, academics, industry leaders and environmentalists, this is the first independent, nation-wide assessment of Australia's environment. Provides a scientific assessment of environmental conditions, focusing on the impacts of human activities.


Item #d96dec38

Tough Choices: Facing the Challenge of Food Scarcity, L.R. Brown, 159 pp., Sep. 1996, $11/Can.$14 (W.W. Norton for Worldwatch).

Prepared as the Worldwatch Institute's contribution to the U.N. World Food Summit (Nov. 1996, Rome). Presents data and examples that challenge the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization's projections of grain surpluses and falling prices to 2010. Discusses the impact of climate change on agriculture and the consequences of the occurrence since 1979 of the 11 warmest years since record keeping began in 1866. If the Earth's average temperature continues to rise the threat to food security may force a dramatic reorientation of energy policy, which might translate into such measures as a carbon tax to stimulate investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy sources.


Item #d96dec39

Fighting for Survival—Environmental Decline, Social Conflict, and the New Age of Insecurity, M. Renner, 239 pp., Oct. 1996, US$11/Can.$14 (W.W. Norton for Worldwatch).

Human security can no longer defended by military might, but will depend on efforts to stabilize the world's population, reduce social inequities, conserve soil and water, and protect the climate. Gives numerous examples of the consequences of environmental degradation, noting that such threats could be exacerbated by climate changes from increased greenhouse gases. The book illustrates a new balance in security investments that de-emphasizes military arms and uses the resulting available funds to meet environmental and social investments. Also recommends strengthening global conventions on climate and biodiversity so that other efforts to provide security are not overwhelmed.


Item #d96dec40

Ecodynamics and Ecological Monitoring of the St. Petersburg Region in the Context of Global Change, K. Ya. Kondratyev, A.K. Frolov, Eds., 430 pp., 1996. In Russian, with summary and table of contents in English. Contact K. Ya Kondratyev, Res. Ctr. for Ecological Safety, Russian Acad. of Sciences, Korpusnaya St. 18, 197042 St. Petersburg, Russia (tel: 7 812 230 78 37; fax: 7 812 235 43 61; e-mail: nansen@sovan.com).

Provides a Russian perspective on ecological trends in the Baltic region of Europe and in northwestern Russia, assessed against the background of global change. Moves from a very broad discussion of global environmental concerns to regional trends, and concludes by describing a system for complex regional ecological monitoring.


Item #d96dec41

Betrayal of Science and Reason: How Anti-Environmental Rhetoric Threatens Our Future, P. Ehrlich, A. Ehrlich, 335 pp., 1996 (Island Press).

A few scientists, who are attempting to minimize the seriousness of environmental problems, have been afforded significant coverage in the media despite the fact that their views are based on "junk science." The authors agree that there is nothing inherently wrong with contrary views, which are in fact the foundation of scientific inquiry, but these proponents have an agenda very different from that of most scientists. Issues including climate change and ozone depletion are among those subject to this "brownlash," a backlash against "green" policies. Other issues addressed in the book include population and food, biological diversity, and depletion of natural resources. (See Intl. Environ. Rptr., pp. 904-905, Oct. 2, 1996; and feature article "Skeptics Challenged on Several Fronts," in Global Environ. Change Rep., pp. 1-3, Nov. 8, 1996.)


Item #d96dec42

The State of Humanity, J. Simon, 1995, $24.95/£16.99 (Blackwell).

Offers a view contrary to current concerns over disappearing rainforests, ozone holes and global warming. A brief comment in New Scientist (p. 42, July 20, 1996), disputes the publisher's assertion that the book is "balanced" in its view that human ingenuity will get us by and make us ever richer, and that increasing numbers of people will provide more hands to feed more mouths.


Item #d96dec43

Policy Making in an Era of Global Environmental Change, R.E. Munn, J.W.M. la Rivière, US$49.50 (Canadian Global Change Prog.).

An overview of research relating to the International Geosphere-Biosphere Program and the World Climate Research Program.


Item #d96dec44

Dynamic International Regimes: Institutions for International Environmental Governance, T. Gehring, 525 pp., 1994, $74.95 (Peter Lang Pub., New York/Frankfurt).

Develops a theoretical treatment for addressing major questions of interest to political scientists. Shows that international environmental regimes that establish ongoing processes of negotiation can alter member states' interests, and thereby shape their behavior and improve environmental quality. Reviewed by R. Mitchell in Intl. Environ. Affairs (pp. 190-191, Spring 1995), who finds that the book would have benefited from better integration of theory and empirical examples.

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