Interest in climate change has generated a mountain of literature leaving many floundering in the sheer flood of information, commentary, claims and initiatives. This highly accessible book assumes no prior knowledge and cuts through the confusion to explain the key economic and policy issues related to climate change in simple language and with only a few statistics. Coverage slices across the breadth and depth of climate change, providing short summaries of the most relevant research and conclusions from various disciplines. The authors highlight where economists and policy makers generally misunderstand the science of climate change, underestimate the risks of runaway warming and exaggerate the costs of radical measures to stabilize the climate. A key focus is the impact of climate change on world agriculture, the world's most important activity. The authors provide a critical examination of how current policies that promote poor water usage and soil erosion are risking a catastrophic collapse of agriculture in the poorest and most populous countries in a warming world. They look at the solutions such as how no-till, conservation farming, third generation biofuels from waste land, alternative energy, and bio-char production to raise sustainable yields, reduce emissions and sequester carbon in soil. The second, crucial thrust is a critical examination of the growth economy paradigm of rich countries that is driving climate change. The authors look at economic measures to control climate change including switching taxes from labour to carbon and subsidies from fossil and nuclear energy to renewable alternatives as well as demand management and energy saving. Overall the book provides a comprehensive, critical introduction to the issues and highlights the main policies that are needed to initiate the transformation to sustainability and avert the worst risks of climate catastrophe.
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Felix FitzRoy is Professor of Economics at St. Andrews University, Scotland and Research Fellow, Institute for the Study of Labour (IZA,) Bonn, Germany. Elissaios Papyrakis is Lecturer in Economics in the School of Development Studies, University of East Anglia, UKReview:
'A tour de force. Brings together the current state of knowledge about global climate change in an accessible, insightful and penetrating way, convincingly demonstrates the need to act quickly and decisively, and shows the reader how that can best be done.' Roger Perman, Strathclyde University, author of Natural Resource and Environmental Economics 'This book provides a unique introduction to the economics and policy (as well as a bit on the science) of climate change, written in a very attractive style. It addresses some surprising but relevant topics, and offers very clear statements and insights. There is no text that comes even close in contents and style, and I warmly recommend this book to everyone interested in, or worried about, climate change. Or perhaps better, it should be obligatory reading for those ignorant or not concerned about it.' Jeroen van den Bergh, Autonomous University of Barcelona and Free University, Amsterdam, author of 'Spatial Ecological-Economic Analysis for Wetland Management: Modelling and Scenario Evaluation of Land Use' and 'Evolutionary Economics and Environmental Policy: Survival of the Greenest' 'A welcome, clear and accessible introduction that challenges current approaches to climate change, throws the spotlight on food and farming and the urgent need to change policies to prevent catastrophic climate change, agricultural collapse, mass deaths and major conflicts.' Geoff Tansey, Joseph Rowntree Visionary for a Just and Peaceful World, his books include The Food System and The Future Control of Food 'This book provides a very accessible and understandable introduction to the economics and policy of climate change. As a partisan in some of the debates, I cannot be expected to agree with all of the authors' argument. But I highly recommend this book to those seeking a better understanding of what is at stake.' Eric Neumayer (London School of Economics and Political Science, author of 'Weak versus Strong Sustainability: Exploring the Limits of Two Opposing Paradigms' and 'Greening Trade and Investment: Environmental Protection Without Protectionism' '...this concise volume provides an excellent introduction to the economic and policy dimensions of climate change.' Choice, June 2010.
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