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The possibility of global climactic change as a result of increasing numbers of people requiring higher standards of living has spawned an international controversy over the appropriateness of international controls on deforestation and energy use. In order to address the political debate it is essential to understand the scientific background that underlies the problem. Laboratory Earth takes the listener on a journey from the dawn of earth's climate and biological evolution through the era of the dinosaurs, past the Ice Age and into the shadowy environmental future. Finally, it will be human values more than scientific methods that must be applied to decide how to gamble with the fate of the earth. But the political process suffers from media exaggeration and special interest polemics. Stephen Schneider cuts through the maze and presents the essential issues of the new field of Earth Systems science.
Stephen H. Schneider is Professor in the Biological Sciences Department at Stanford University, USA, and former Department Director of Advanced Study Project at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder. He is internationally recognized as one of the world's leading experts in atmospheric research.