288 pages, b/w illustrations
The world's response to climate change is deeply flawed. The Climate Fix is where we begin to get it back on track. The relationship between humans and the earth system that we inhabit is two-way – humans affect the planet and the earth system processes affect us. This symbiosis is characterised by empirical complexities and uncertainties, the most intense of which is the global climate change debate in recent years. These debates are often characterised by a considerable amount of heat, but unfortunately too little light.
Environmental studies and science policy expert Roger Pielke, Jr. recommends we should first comprehend why the current approach is failing and then consider better alternatives. While tearing down the venomous politics that have surrounded the debates, Pielke calls for an alternative to the various wishful proposals, typified by the Kyoto Protocol, that hold essentially that ordering climate change to go away will make it go away. The conventional wisdom on how to deal with climate change has failed us, Pielke argues, and it's time to change course. Using nothing more than arithmetic and logical explanation, Pielke provides a comprehensive exploration of the problem and its resolution – such as investing to create a more carbon-efficient economy and cost-efficient carbon-capture technologies.
With the goal of advancing the discussion on climate change and contributing to the ongoing national debates in Europe, the United States, Japan, Australia, India, China, and other developed and developing countries, The Climate Fix offers something new to the climate-change discussion – a common sense perspective. A thought-provoking yet pragmatic discussion of the interaction between science and politics, The Climate Fix proposes a means for digging ourselves out of this climate-change mess that we have created.
"Pielke (The Honest Broker) presents a smart and hard-nosed analysis of the politics and science of climate change and proposes a commonsense approach to climate policy. According to Pielke, the iron law of climate policy dictates that whenever environmental and economic objectives are placed in opposition to each other, economics always wins. Climate policies must be made compatible with economic growth as a precondition for their success, he writes, and because the world will need more energy in the future, an oblique approach supporting causes, such as developing affordable alternative energy sources rather than consequences, such as controversial schemes like cap-and-trade, is more likely to succeed. Although some may protest on principle the suggestion that we accept the inevitability of energy growth, Pielke's focus on adaptation to climate change refreshingly sidesteps the unending debate over the reality of anthropogenic climate change, and opens up the possibility for effective action that places human dignity and democratic ideals at the center of climate policies."
– Publishers Weekly
"Pielke’s area of expertise is the crossroads where environmental studies and politics meet, and clearly he is very frustrated by how the hard cold facts of science have become subservient to the whims of political fortune. In carefully crafted chapters that rely heavily on widely acknowledged truths, he examines everything from carbon dioxide emissions to the recent climategate controversy. Pielke excels in pointing out the minutiae the climate discussion finds itself repeatedly bogged down in, compared to the larger issues of global warming, regardless of the cause, which are irrefutable. From Kyoto to Copenhagen, Gore to George W. Bush to Obama, he addresses the changing political winds, the myths used to justify weak political will, and the irrevocable relationship between environmental policy and the economy. For navigating a treacherous field with grace and aplomb, Pielke deserves much praise. Whether readers will feel reassured or not after reading his measured words and patient call for a broad-based climate policy will depend on future political response. Copious endnotes and sourcing material included."
– Colleen Mondor, Booklist
“Roger Pielke, Jr.'s voice in the global warming debate is one of rare common sense. While many authors link anthropogenic climate change with energy technology, Pielke, Jr. goes farther and emphasizes the role of development economics and deep seated social behaviors that cannot easily be addressed. You may not agree with his ‘oblique, pragmatic' proposal for ‘accelerating decarbonization' of society, but you will be hard-pressed to find a better analysis of the thorniest aspects of the climate challenge.”
– John Marburger, Vice President for Research, Stony Brook University and former Science Advisor to President George W. Bush
"The present climate policy stalemate cries out for a new approach in dealing with a challenge that is unprecedented in scope and complexity. This book offers scientists, policy makers and the general public a critical perspective and thoughtful suggestions for a way forward. It should be read by anyone who cares about the future of the planet and its people.”
– Neal Lane, Malcolm Gillis University Professor and Senior Fellow in Science and Technology at the Baker Institute for Public Policy, Rice University; former Science Advisor to President William J. Clinton
“Pielke's thoughtful analysis of how climate science has interacted with policy – often not productively – provides new and engaging insights. Moreover, his conclusion about the importance of decarbonization and disaggregating climate policy gives the climate debate a new dimension. By weaving his personal story into the development of these issues, he presents a compelling narrative that deserves a wide readership.”
– D. James Baker, William J. Clinton Foundation and former Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
“Roger Pielke, Jr., cuts through passions and politics to propose a clear and sober way forward in addressing one of the critical issues of our time.”
– Kerry Emanuel, Professor of Atmospheric Science, MIT
“A bright and provocative book [...] the arguments for an energy-innovation approach to climate change seem currently to be gaining ground [...] For those who want to understand them, this [book] is a very good place to start.”
– The Economist
“This year's must-read global warming book.”
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Roger Pielke, Jr. is a professor of environmental studies at the University of Colorado. He is widely published on many aspects of mitigation and adaptation policies, as well as the role of science in political debates, and he blogs very regularly at Roger Pielke Jr's Blog. He has published in The Washington Post, International Herald Tribune, The New Republic, Atlantic Monthly, and elsewhere in the US and internationally. He has also made appearances on NPR, CNN, and other outlets, and is often cited in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. He is author of The Honest Broker. He lives in Boulder, Colorado.