Our directory of things of interest

University Directory

THE POLITICS OF CLIMATE CHANGE (Second edition) by Anthony Giddens

  • Written by  Matt Law
  • Published in Books
THE POLITICS OF CLIMATE CHANGE (Second edition) by Anthony Giddens
01 Mar
2014
Lord Giddens is one of the most pre-eminent – and prolific – sociologists of the past 50 years, and the first edition of The Politics of Climate Change, published in 2009, was a must-read for anybody interested in the topic

Although it includes a short section on climate scepticism, and acknowledges that some scepticism is healthy for climate science, this isn’t a book about the often-partisan divide that characterises much of climate politics, notably in the USA (a divide that Giddens calls ‘disastrous’). Rather, it’s a book about managing climate change through preventative measures (mitigation) and adaptation. It draws inspiration from what countries such as Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland have been doing right (we learn, for example, that carbon taxes have been most effective in Denmark because revenues were used to subsidise energy-saving initiatives).

Giddens makes the point that the threat of climate change seems intangible and distant, and so most will do nothing about it, yet waiting until the dangers become visible will be too late. A strong central (and centrist) government capable of setting aside partisan disputes can ensure long-term success, he says.

In particular, climate change action needs to be decoupled from the green movement, whose aims may contradict mitigation (conservation and the construction of wind farms don’t make happy bedfellows, and few greens will approve of more nuclear power stations). Indeed, Giddens sees many of the central tenets of green philosophy, such as the precautionary principle, as contradictory to the point of meaninglessness.

A masterful survey of climate politics, filled with advice for policymakers, comprehensively updated.

THE POLITICS OF CLIMATE CHANGE (Second edition) by Anthony Giddens, Polity, £14.99

Subscribe and Save!

geo line break v3

Free eBooks - Geographical Newsletter

Sign up for our weekly newsletter today and get a FREE eBook collection!

geo line break v3

University of Winchester

geo line break v3

EDUCATION PARTNERS

Aberystwyth University University of Greenwich The University of Derby

TRAVEL PARTNERS

Ponant

Silversea

Travel the Unknown

NEVER MISS A STORY - Follow Geographical on Social

Want to stay up to date with breaking Geographical stories? Join the thousands following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and stay informed about the world.

More articles in REVIEWS...

Films

In this moving, sometimes harrowing film from director Anthony Woodley,…

Films

A brutal, hard-hitting coming-of-age tale that doesn’t hold its punches

Books

by Dan Richards • Canongate • £19.99 (paperback)

Books

by Jeremy Purseglove • Profile Books • £14.99 (hardback/eBook)

Books

by Peter Hessler • Profile Books • £25 (hardback/eBook)

Books

by Thomas Lockley and Geoffrey Girard • Little, Brown • £20 (hardback/eBook)

Books

by Robert Macfarlane • Hamish Hamilton • £20 (hardback/eBook)

Exhibitions

An exhibition at the V&A brings together innovations from across…

Books

Dead in the Water edited by Bruce Shoemakers and William…

Films

A brutally realistic film about a cruel and pointless confrontation

Books

by Mike Berners-Lee • Cambridge University Press • £9.99 (paperback)

Films

In our attempt to control the natural world, humans have…

Books

by Sudipta Sen • Yale University Press • £20 (hardback)

Books

by Jerry Brotton • Reaktion Books • £9.99 (paperback)

Books

by Colin Everard • IB Tauris • £30 (hardback)

Books

by Pete Brown • Particular Books • £16.99 (hardback)

Books

by Paul Dobraszczyk • Reaktion Books • £18 (hardback)

Books

by Parag Khanna • Weidenfeld & Nicolson • £20 (hardback)

Films

It makes you angry - extremely. It makes you sad…