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Keeping Our Cool Paperback – Dec 1 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Canada; First Edition edition (Dec 1 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143168258
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143168256
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 13.2 x 2.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 431 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #254,206 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback
Andrew Weaver has written a book that has a staggering amount of information in it. Despite this, it is readable and the average person can read it without being intimidated by technical challenges. The organization of the immense body of knowledge makes the difference I think, as well as the clear and uncomplicated style of writing. I enjoyed this book. The snippets of personal information and the contextual elements helped to pace my absorption of the material presented. Recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
It's a rare day when you find a book about climate change written by a Canadian. The authors are American, mostly. Some are British or Australian. And that's a real shame, because there's a lot going on in Canadian politics about climate change ' but you can't read about it anywhere.

That's why it was so refreshing to read Keeping Our Cool by Andrew Weaver, a top Canadian climate modeler. He is a professor at the University of Victoria, the chief editor for the Journal of Climate, a lead author for the IPCC, and the Canada Research Chair in Climate Modelling and Analysis. Certainly some impressive credentials.

The book was very well-rounded for climate literature. It covered basic scientific processes (with lots of fancy graphs), the history of climate science, and policy alternatives. But my favourite chapters had to do with the media and politics ' purely because they were Canada-specific.

I know all about George Bush's inaction on climate change. But until I read Andrew Weaver's book, I didn't see just how blatantly Stephen Harper was carrying on the torch. I've read Boykoff and Boykoff's study, which surveys American newspaper articles. But I was less aware of how the Canadian media reported climate change, apart from my local newspaper and news channel (and Rick Mercer, of course).

It was so refreshing to have a sense of what was going on at home for once, after wasting so much time trying to figure it out for myself.

My only complaint was that the book was poorly organized. It constantly switched back and forth from scientific explanations, to Canadian news, to examples of vested skeptical interests, to Canadian politics. This was probably deliberate, so that the chapters wouldn't get monotonous, but it makes it a lot harder to find what you're looking for later (like while writing a book review!)

Please visit my blog,[...], for more articles about climate change, including many book reviews.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By sindark on April 23 2010
Format: Hardcover
Canadian climatologist Andrew Weaver's Keeping Our Cool provides an excellent and accessible introduction to climatic science. It also provides a great deal of useful information specific to Canada. As a result, if I had to recommend a single book to non-scientist Canadians seeking to understand the science of climate change, it would be this one. On the matter of what is to be done, the book is useful in a numerical sense but not particularly so in a policy sense. The discussion of economic instruments is superficial and the author basically assumes that a price of carbon plus new technology will address the problem.

The book covers climatic science on two levels: in terms of the contents themselves, such as you would find in textbooks and scientific papers, and in terms of the position of science within a broader societal debate. He accurately highlights the degree to which entrenched interests have seriously muddled the public debate, creating deep confusion about how certain we are about key aspects of how the climate works. Topics well covered by the book include electromagnetic radiation, time lags associated with climate change, the nature of radiative forcing, the nature and role of the IPCC, ocean acidification, the history of human emissions, the general history of the climate, climate modeling, aerosols, hurricanes, climate change impacts in general, permafrost, and the need for humanity to eventually become carbon neutral. One quibble has to do with the sequencing: while the narrative always flows well, the progression through climate science looks a bit convoluted in retrospect. That makes it a bit hard to find your way back to this or that piece of useful information.
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