Archive by category | Reviews

Stern advice for Copenhagen

Stern advice for Copenhagen

Economist Nicholas Stern released his new book just a couple of weeks ago, in which he updates his assessment of the costs of tackling climate change from his 2006 review for the UK government. In Blueprint for a Safer Planet, Stern frames this as an affordable, effective global deal that could be adopted at the UN negotiations in Copenhagen in December.  Read more

Ackerman’s response to Bauman

A short while ago, stand-up economist Yoram Bauman reviewed Frank Ackerman’s ‘Can We Afford the Future?: the Economics of a Warming World’, a layman’s guide to one of the most pressing and complex questions of out time, over on Nature Reports Climate Change.  Read more

Ackerman: Odd-couple match for Lomborg?

Ackerman: Odd-couple match for Lomborg?

More than two years have passed since Nick Stern’s report on the economics of climate change was published, yet the question of how to weigh the costs against the benefits of acting on climate change – and whether such an approach in even ethical – is still being hotly debated. Stern’s adherents, on the one hand, support the stance of the former World Bank economist who argues that taking strong, early action on climate change outweighs the costs of doing nothing, or of delaying action. On the other hand, some of Stern’s detractors – most notably ‘skeptical environmentalist’ Bjorn Lomborg  … Read more

Pocket IPCC

Pocket IPCC

For anyone interested in the state of the earth’s climate, the most recent reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are essential – if not exactly bedtime – reading (I prefer a bit of Proust myself). Fair enough, the panel’s synthesis report collapsed the three prior encyclopaedic volumes into a summary of what one really needs to know about climate change, its impacts and what we could/ought to do about it, but it’s still not the most accessible synopsis I’ve seen. Now this problem has been solved with a diminutive and accessible translation in the form of Mike Mann  … Read more

Eulogy to an element

Eulogy to an element

Carbon’s colourful rise to infamy has been something of an underreported story, at least until now. Swamped by innumerable accounts of its current status as public enemy number one, it’s easy to forget that this element has a rather glorious past and present. Former Time magazine reporter Eric Roston chronicles the story of carbon and its significance in the wider universe in his first book ‘The Age of Carbon’, which Mark Lynas reviews over on Nature Reports Climate Change. Lynas, who has just recently been awarded the 2008 Royal Society Prize for Science Books, calls Roston’s book “a welcome slew  … Read more