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Climate Change: What Everyone Needs to Know

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  285 ratings  ·  36 reviews
Climate change will have a bigger impact on humanity than the Internet has had. The last decade's spate of superstorms, wildfires, heat waves, and droughts has accelerated the public discourse on this topic and lent credence to climatologist Lonnie Thomson's 2010 statement that climate change "represents a clear and present danger to civilization." In June 2015, the Pope d ...more
Paperback, 328 pages
Published December 3rd 2015 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published November 30th 2015)
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4.24  · 
Rating details
 ·  285 ratings  ·  36 reviews

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Jan 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Romm gives a good and helpful overview of what climate change entails, why it happens, where it's headed, and what we can do and should do about it. The book opens with a section on the basics, explaining the causes and effects of climate change. It moves on to discuss "extreme weather" and other "climate impacts". Finally, Romm discusses what can be done to avoid the worst impacts, what the options are, and how they are currently and might in future be addressed by governments. I gave the book ...more
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science
"It is, I promise, worse than you think."

These are the words that David Wallace-Wells used to begin his epic New York Magazine article, The Uninhabitable Earth. In it he paints a picture: vast swaths of the Earth are heated to become inhabitable. Enormous cyclones and snowstorms bury civilization in seas of water. The soil dries up, chokes, and blows away. Mass food riots lead to millions of refugees, and diseases spread up and across the world.

"The basic resources that we rely upon. All of them
Karel Baloun
Sep 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Dr. Joseph Romm knows Climate Change, focused completely on it for over a decade and involved since his Scripps/MIT PhD in the late 80s. This essential book is both comprehensive and persuasive. Answers every important question with full authority. My new favorite recommendation for deniers and slacktivists alike.

Both Greenland and WAIS become irreversibly unstable at 2ºC, and they contain enough ice to raise sea levels by >10-15m each. Just 3 meters inundates Florida, Bangladesh, and large s
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Romm explains the science behind climate change (beyond simply citing the greenhouse effect) in accessible language, and demonstrates why addressing climate change is such an urgent issue, laying out the impacts we're already experiencing and the dramatic impacts we can expect to experience in our lifetimes - in the next several decades - without aggressive action.

Regardless of your political views, contains information relevant to you if you care about any of the following: poverty, science an
Jeff Van Campen
Feb 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a general introduction to the science behind climate change. It is in a question and answer format, so it’l can be read straight through or used as a reference book to dip into to answer specific questions. I read it straight through, but will undoubtedly refer back to it.

While it is fairly comprehensive, there is an emphasis on desertification and clean energy, Joseph Romm’s areas of expertise.

Three quarters of the book is dedicated to outlining the how climate change works and its va
Michael Sands
Feb 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: off-the-page
This is the best FAQ I've read on climate change. That being said it's a hell of a dry read. Took me forever to finish this. Still never felt more knowledgeable about the current state of climate science. Despite its dry delivery it's worth reading to know just how dire the consequences of ignoring the problem will be. And I am sure we won't figure this out prior to 2° warming. Maybe 4° but that's arguably too late. We have the tech now and absolutely could figure this out, which is depressing t ...more
Elizabeth Horton
I learned plenty, especially about extreme weather and the different possible feedback loops. What I most liked about reading this was it made climate change more concrete for me, which gives me more of an impetus to act. And it did leave me feeling that there is still hope--at least for a few more years.
My biggest criticism is that the author, I presume in the interest of simplifying and shortening complex science, made some things seem more black and white (and made some predicitions seem more
Hannah Debelius
Jan 12, 2016 rated it liked it
This is a really great reference book, but not a page turner. I enjoyed being able to bounce around, and it provided great, succinct, well organized information. I particularly enjoyed the questions about weather. However, it's not a non fiction with any sort of narrative. Use this for talking points and quick answers to questions, but not as an introduction to this topic for someone outside the choir.
Tony Robledo
Nov 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I live in Florida, it's 2017, this book predicts Florida will be ground zero for the effects of climate change. I'm already making plans on what to do, the world is not taking this problem seriously enough. This summer there were several category 5 hurricanes, Maria and Irma were catastrophic, it's a scientific prediction I've heard for several years that this would happen, hurricanes getting stronger. Very good book, I'm going to start focusing on this problem, we all should.
Mike Smith
Dec 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book covers the entire subject from basic science to analysis if corrective actions and description of the politics. It is organized by general topics, but written with specific questions and specific answers to each. Highly recommended to readers who already know some of the basics and especially to those who are still waiting to be convinced that climate change will be a global crisis by the middle of this century. Clearly written.
George Millo
Feb 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Like the subtitle says: everyone needs to know what's in this book.

Climate change, says Romm, is going to change the world in the next twenty years as much as the Internet has changed the world in the last twenty years. As alarming as that is, imagine if you could go back in time to the 1990s armed with a detailed knowledge of how the Internet would develop. Wouldn't it put you at an enormous advantage? We're in a similar situation now - we already know, broadly speaking, what the consequences o
Erik Sheagren
Jun 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
As a running summary, the state of things is worse than you think. Whether you read this book or not, I recommend you pick up something on climate change. It is going to affect each of our lives.

One of the virtues of the book, as indicated by the title, is its ease of use. Each chapter designates a general topic, such as "Climate Science Basics," "Extreme Weather and Climate Change," and "The Role of Clean Energy." From that general heading, the author writes each chapter in a question-answer f
May 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
So, we know the problem and its cause. We know what the solution is. And we know that the solution is way more profitable than inaction. And yet, we're nowhere near doing what it takes to fix this.

It could be said louder but not clearer. Anyone planning to live until mid-century better be aware of what's coming and prepare for it. Joseph Romm's book is one of the best places to learn how. Although the author throws in a few positive words toward the last pages, the book is plainly pessimistic. T
Dustin Dye
Jan 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book may be the most elaborate hoax the Chinese have played on us yet. The Chinese have coerced the most reputable climate scientists to create very convincing data showing the horrific consequences climate change will have by the end of the century unless the world, principally the United States, takes serious action immediately and destroy its economy. Joseph Romm documents this great deceit in a thorough and readable and very tongue-in-cheek manner that would be taken seriously if it wer ...more
Brian Mikołajczyk
It is not an understatement to say this is one of the most important books, if not the most important book in the world right now. Climate Change will affect everyone on this planet and it "will have a bigger impact on humanity than the Internet has had."
This book is published by the Oxford University Press and "offers the most up-to-date examination of climate change's foundational science, its implications for our future, and the core clean energy solutions. Alongside detailed but highly acces
David Aylesworth
Feb 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a great summary of current climate change science written by one of the world's experts. The problem is even worse than I thought and it's a shame that this issue has become so political. Rather than forming opinions based on information from politicians and corporations, I encourage skeptics (like I once was) to read this, as well as Congressional testimony from scientists (invited by both parties), which is all pretty consistent regarding the current evidence and potential impact. This ...more
Omkar Inamdar
Aug 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Well this book holds a mirror of future of our Earth in front of us. The author has explained the causes, effects and possible remedies of climate change in simple layman terms. Even if the threat of disaster due to global warming is lurking ,we have chosen to ignore it and carry our lifestyle which is causing uncontrolled carbon emission. Whenever I bring up the topic of global warming to discuss, always been ridiculed by friends and colleagues. I would like to urge the people to read this book ...more
Jul 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent and thorough introduction to the topic of climate change. Though I believed the scientific community that it was happening, I was woefully ignorant of its causes, effects, possible mitigation methods, etc. but now I believe I have at least a rudimentary understanding. The language is very casual but effective, and Mr. Romm conveys the urgency of the situation in a clear, levelheaded manner. The Kindle version at least seems to have quite a few typos, but not to the point whe ...more
John Fullerton
Nov 16, 2017 rated it liked it
A useful guide to the science of climate change, but a little disingenuous to say the least in trying to focus on the science alone without the politics and economics, especially the neoliberal forces and corporate law ranged against efforts to curtail emissions. Not elegantly or passionately written, this is nevertheless a good place to start in trying to marshal scientific facts against those who disparage the truth of what's happening to the planet. I thought the section on carbon sequestrati ...more
Oct 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
A good book, covers more detail of what climate change comprises of. Of course that's a given with the title.

Font is large and readable, the book size is perfect, its neither too small nor too large where it impacts reading. The content of the book is understandable, not too complex for the average reader looking to educate themselves on the topic. A great read as well, nearing the end a few zero-waste ideas to address issues are proposed.
Tim Dunn
Aug 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very solid summary of many key aspects of the problem of climate change. Spends as much time on energy solutions and climate impacts as it does on the causes. Some sections could have used a little more detail, especially the first chapter, but there are many other books one can consult for that. A solid intro to the topic for readers of different levels of sophistication. Considering adopting this book as a textbook in an interdisciplinary course on climate change. Highly recommended.
Jenn Saboe
Aug 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is arranging in a Q&A format, so you can jump around and use it as a reference guide. The author argues that climate change will affect the next generation as much as the Internet affected millennials and he certainly backs up that claim! I found this book interesting (I only had a vague idea of the science behind climate change to start) and helpful (he concludes with ways that you personally can help).
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An informative and thorough review of the current science and information on climate change. An important read for all to understand not only the details of climate change causes and impact, but also to be able to effectively advocate for climate change action.
Jake Sylvestre
Mar 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Great overview of climate change- but a little watered down for me
Oct 26, 2017 rated it liked it
It's a good all-around primer on the subject, but a little light on the science I was looking for. It's an everyman guide to climage change.
A.N. Mignan
Aug 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
An excellent up-to-date 300 pp. review of the climate change problematic leaving no stone unturned. Everyone should read it.
Justin Burt
Sep 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
'Climate change will have a bigger impact on your family and friends and all of humanity than the internet has had'.

Read this book and reccomend it to everyone you know. Time is running out!
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A must-read for all real-estate investors, home buyers, parents, students, working professionals, and unemployed folks.
Oct 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved the Q&A format. Some answers are hard to follow for non-scientific minds; nevertheless, a must!
Dieter Orens
Jul 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Funny, reading this in the midst of the 2018 global heatwave, with the Scandinavian Arctic burning, and floodings and insane hail in the south and east of Europe. Yes, we are screwed.
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“currently many communities on the East Coast dealing with sea-level rise and storm surges nourish their beaches and slow down erosion by strengthening them with large amounts of sand. The Federal government currently covers on average about two thirds of the cost. A March 2015 journal article concludes “a sudden removal of federal nourishment subsidies, as has been proposed, could trigger a dramatic downward adjustment in coastal real estate, analogous to the bursting of a bubble.” 0 likes
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