The Climate Change Debate: A Reference Handbook

ABC-CLIO. Apr. 2020. 350p. ISBN 9781440875410. $63. REF
Newton (formerly, chemistry and physics, Salem State Coll.) provides a basic overview of climate change in a balanced and informative manner. He examines both heavily researched topics such as rising sea levels, melting polar ice, and weather extremes, as well as lesser-known subjects (cemetery management and landslide mitigation) with equal skill and attention. The work is divided into seven chapters: background and history; problems, controversies, and solutions; perspectives; profiles; data and documents; resources for further study; and chronology with glossary of terms and index. The first two chapters introduce basic climate change concepts, historical developments, and evolving philosophy, with excellent reading lists at the end of each. Thought-provoking perspective essays by experts in the field explore a variety of topics, including climate skeptics and deniers. There are 15 profiles on organizations such as the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions and figures including Greta Thunberg and other modern-day activists. The data section features tables on carbon dioxide levels and Arctic ice. In addition, 10 documents consist of several Executive Orders and President Obama’s 2013 Climate Action Plan. The detailed and well-annotated resources, chronology, and glossary of terms contribute to the work’s quality. Though not a comprehensive resource on the subject, this is an effective starting point and cogent blend of familiar and relatively under-documented climate change issues for a wide audience.
VERDICT This is a handy source for high school students, undergraduates, and general readers seeking a brief look at the basic concepts, evolution, and contemporary perspectives of climate change.
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