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Climate Change For Dummies

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Bibliografische Daten
ISBN/EAN: 9781119703174
Sprache: Englisch
Umfang: 384 S., 12.83 MB
Auflage: 1. Auflage 2022
E-Book
Format: PDF
DRM: Adobe DRM

Beschreibung

Get clear about why climate change is so complicated and discover how you can help reverse it

More and more frequent extreme weather events occur each year, and planet Earth is in danger of developing more climates where life— whether animal, vegetable, or human— is unsustainable.Climate Change For Dummies explains how rising temperatures, shrinking lakes, rising oceans, and shifting weather patterns affect your life on a daily basis. And of course the book goes a step further and offers suggestions about how you can take steps to limit your impact on the environment and help to reverse climate change.

This straightforward guide demystifies the impact of climate’s No. 1 enemy— carbon dioxide— and breaks down the many sources of this damaging but inescapable gas. From there, the book reveals how rising CO2levels affect the weather, water levels, plant and animal species around the world, the food you eat, and your health. But the situation isn’t hopeless!Climate Change For Dummies outlines actions governments, industries, and you can take to fight global warming and turn the tide to live in a cooler world. Discover details about

              * Short- and long-term effects of climate change

              * How some actions contribute to climate change and others reduce it

              * The many options for renewable energy and the pros and cons of nuclear energy

              * Actions nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are taking to draw attention to the climate crisis

              * The debate around whether climate change even needs to be addressed

Climate change won’t be easy to overcome, but when you’re armed with the facts, you can do your best to make a difference. LetClimate Change For Dummiespoint you in the right direction.

Autorenportrait

Elizabeth May is the former leader of the Green Party of Canada. She founded and served as the Executive Director of the Sierra Club Canada from 1989 to 2006. May has been the Member of Parliament in Canada since May 2011.

John Kidder was a founding member of the Green Party in British Columbia. He has been a cowboy, miner, fisher, range management specialist, technology entrepreneur, small farmer, and governance practitioner since then.

The authors married on Earth Day 2019.

Inhalt

Introduction 1

About This Book 1

Foolish Assumptions 2

Icons Used in This Book 3

Beyond This Book 3

Where to Go from Here 4

Part 1: Understanding Climate Change 5

Chapter 1: Covering the Basics of Climate Change 7

Getting a Basic Overview— Global Warming 101 8

Heating things up with GHGs 8

Investigating other causes of global warming 9

Tapping into The Roots of Global Warming 12

Fueling global warming 12

Heating up over deforestation 13

Examining the Effects of Global Warming around the World 13

The United States and Canada 14

Latin America 16

Europe 17

Africa 18

Asia 18

Australia and New Zealand 19

Small islands 20

Polar regions 20

Positive Politics: Governments and Global Warming 22

Making a difference from city hall to the nation’s capital 22

Working with a global government 23

Helping developing countries 23

Solving the Problem 24

Changing to alternative energies 24

Getting down to business 25

Making it personal 26

Chapter 2: Looking Closely at Greenhouse Earth 27

Examining Greenhouse Effect 101 28

Focusing On Carbon Dioxide: Leader of the Pack 30

Looking at the carbon cycle 31

Investigating humanity’s impact on the carbon cycle 36

Checking Out the Other GHGs 39

Methane (CH4) 40

Nitrous oxide (N2O) 42

Hexafluoro-what? 42

Other players on the GHG bench 43

Chapter 3: Recognizing the Big Deal about Carbon 47

Considering Other Causes of Global Warming 48

Solar cycles— Irradiance and Milankovitch 49

Cloud cover 49

Long-term climate trends 50

Making the Case for Carbon 51

Geologic and prehistoric evidence 52

Modeling and forecasting 53

A few degrees is a lot 55

Going, going, gone The tipping point 56

Eyeballing the Consequences of Continued Carbon Dioxide Increases 57

What happens when the mercury rises 58

Cutting back on carbon 58

Part 2: Tracking Down the Causes 61

Chapter 4: Living in the Dark Ages of Fossil Fuels 63

From Fossils to Fuel— How Fossil Fuels Came to Be 64

Examining the Different Types of Fossil Fuels 66

Coal 67

Oil 68

Natural gas 71

Fueling Civilization’s Growth: Adding to the Greenhouse Effect 73

A growing world population’s impact 73

Growing economies also play a role 74

Chapter 5: Getting Right to the Source: The Big Emitters 77

Power to the People: Energy Use 77

Producing electricity 78

Using up energy in buildings 79

Powering industry 81

The Road to Ruin: Transportation and GHGs 84

Cheap goods at a high price to the climate 85

Keep on truckin’ 85

Draining the Carbon Sinks: Land Use 87

Timber! Deforestation 87

Down on the farm: Agriculture and livestock 88

Chapter 6: Taking It Personally: Individual Sources of Emissions 91

Driving Up Emissions: Transportation and GHGs 92

Driving 93

Flying 94

Using Energy around the House 95

Controlling the climate in your home 96

Operating electric appliances 98

You Are What You Eat: Food and Carbon 99

Wasting Away 99

Part 3: Examining the Effects of Climate Change 101

Chapter 7: Focusing on Not-So-Natural Disasters 103

H2 Oh No: Watery Disasters 104

Rising sea levels 104

Melting mountain glaciers 106

Putting a brake on the Gulf Stream 109

Rainfall (or lack thereof) 111

Flooding 111

Freshwater contamination 113

Stormy Weather: More Intense Storms and Hurricanes 113

Forest Fires and Wildfires: Trees and Grasses as Fuel 114

Considering the costs 115

Recognizing how they start and how to prevent them 115

Turning Up the Heat 116

Examining the Negative Side Effects of Positive Feedback Loops 117

Chapter 8: Risking Flora and Fauna: Impacts on Plants and Animals 121

Understanding the Stresses on Ecosystems 122

Ecosystems can adapt to some climate change 122

Some species have limitations for adapting 123

Warming the World’s Waters: Threats to the Underwater World 124

Under the sea 125

Lakes, rivers, wetlands, and bogs 129

Risking Earth’s Forests 130

Tropical 131

Boreal 131

Preparing for Mass Extinctions 133

Life’s no beach: Endangered tropical species 134

Thin ice: Polar bears and other polar animals 135

Chapter 9: Hitting Home: Global Warming’s Direct Effect on People 137

Focusing on the Health Scare— Outbreaks and Diseases 138

Dengue fever 139

Lyme disease 140

Other diseases and problems worsened by global warming 140

Putting Pressure on the Fields 143

Affecting farmers 143

Hurting the global food supply 144

Paying the Price for Global Warming 145

Highways, waterworks, and the other stuff humans build 146

An unfair split: Costs to the industrialized and developing nations 147

Feeling the Heat First: Unequal Effects 149

Northern Hemisphere communities 150

People in poverty 152

Women (and children) 152

Part 4: Political Progress: Fighting Global Warming Nationally and Internationally 155

Chapter 10: Voting for Your Future: What Governments Can Do 157

If They Had a Million Dollars (Wait— They Do!—Funding Measures 159

Creating incentives 160

Planning for emissions trading 161

Putting Programs into Place 164

Research 164

Education and awareness 165

Adaptation 166

Cleaning Up Transportation 171

Bringing back the bike 171

Investing in public transportation 172

Greening cars 172

Dealing with personal vehicles 173

Redefining Long-Term Investments 174

Considering the lack of progress 175

Focusing on the good news 175

Recognizing the countries leading the way 176

Laying Down the Law 178

Improving building regulations 178

Regulating energy use 179

Taxing the polluters 180

Identifying Some Success Stories 182

Cities and towns 182

States, provinces, and territories 183

Countries 185

Chapter 11: Beyond Borders: Progress on a Global Level 187

Understanding Why Global Agreements Are Important 188

Examining the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change 189

Recognizing what the Convention does 190

Establishing a game plan 191

Dividing up the parties 192

Looking At the Paris Agreement 193

Setting targets 193

Adding flexibility 196

Ratifying climate pacts 197

Introducing the World’s Authority on Global Warming: The IPCC 198

Getting to know the IPCC 199

Reading the reports 199

Chapter 12: Developing in the Face of Climate Change 201

Identifying Challenges Faced by Developed and Developing Nations 202

Promising Developments: Looking at Progress in China, Brazil, and India 204

China 205

Brazil 208

India 211

Choosing Sustainable Development 213

Understanding what sustainable development is 213

Expressing what developing countries can do 214

How industrialized countries can help 216

Part 5: Solving the Problem 221

Chapter 13: Powering the World— Renewable Green Energy 223

Addressing Energy Demand 224

Being more efficient 224

Combining heat and power 226

Changing How to Handle Fossil Fuel’s Emissions 227

Capturing and storing carbon dioxide 228

Considering carbon capture cons 230

Reducing Energy Demand 231

Investigating Renewable Energy Options 232

Blowin’ in the wind 233

Here comes the sun 235

Heat from the ground up 238

Hydropower 239

Ocean power 240

From plants to energy 241

Nothing wasted 242

Exploring Another Nonrenewable Energy Source: Nuclear Power 245

Understanding nuclear power 245

Looking at the positives 246

Weighing the negatives 246

Chapter 14: Show Me the Money: Business and Industrial Solutions 249

Processing and Manufacturing Efficiently 250

Taking steps to conserve energy 251

Using energy efficiently 252

Considering individual industries 253

Trading Carbon between Manufacturers— The Carbon Market 254

Constructing Greener Buildings 256

Cutting back on heating and cooling 256

Exploring energy alternatives 257

Certifying new buildings 257

Identifying Corporate Success Stories 258

Recognizing Corporate Nonsuccess Stories 259

Focusing on Support from the Professional Service Sector 261

Banking on the environment 261

Stranding assets and liabilities 262

Insuring against climate change 263

Making it legal 264

Looking At Farming and Forestry 264

Supplying biofuels 265

Improving land management 265

Reducing rice farms’ emissions 268

Chapter 15: Activists without Borders: Nongovernmental Organizations 271

Understanding What NGOs Do 272

Educating people 272

Keeping watch 273

Getting the word out 274

Working with industry and government 275

Meeting This Generation 278

The importance of youth 279

Groups that speak up 279

Getting Involved 280

Seeking out groups 280

Helping out 281

Chapter 16: Lights, Camera, Action: The Media and Climate Change 285

Growing News Coverage 285

Bias and balance: Distorting the story 286

Consider the source: Being an informed media consumer 286

Focusing on Science on the Red Carpet 288

Movies: Facts and (science) fiction 288

For the kids (and adults, too) 291

Following the stars 292

Worldwide Warming: Climate Change Blogs 293

Bestselling Books: Reading between the Lines 294

True stories 294

Fiction and fairytales 296

Chapter 17: Figuring Out How to Change before Global Warming Is Unstoppable 297

Asking Tough Questions 297

Making the Changes in Limited Time 298

Staying within the carbon budget: Is it possible? 299

Getting to net zero— Is it possible? 300

Staying below“1.5 to stay alive”— Is it possible? 300

Addressing What Needs to be Done 301

Forecasting a path to 1.5 degrees 301

Understanding Disruption 303

Predicting what disruption of fossil fuels looks like 303

Recognizing the cost of disruption 304

Considering other benefits to disruption 306

Ending the Dominance of Fossil Fuels as Humanity’s Main Source of Energy 308

Changing the ways humans use energy and power to get things done 308

Changing what political leaders see the best interests of humanity 309

Understanding How Disruption Can Be Accelerated 311

Getting There from Here: A Conversation among Citizens 312

Part 6: The Part of Tens 315

Chapter 18: Ten (Plus One) Things You Can Do to Fight Climate Change 317

Greening Your Car 318

Upgrading Major Appliances 319

Buttoning Up Your House 319

Making Your Daily Living More Energy Efficient 319

At home 320

On the road 320

At work 321

Going Vegetarian or Vegan (Sort of) 322

Reducing Food Waste 322

Supporting Clean, Renewable Energy 323

Being a Smart Investor and Encouraging Smart Disinvestment 324

Getting (or Making) a Green Collar Job 324

Helping To Make Change Where You Live 326

Spreading the Word 327

Chapter 19: Ten (Plus Three) Inspiring Leaders in the Fight 329

Arnold Schwarzenegger 330

Angela Merkel 330

Mia Amor Mottley 331

Bill McKibben 331

George Monbiot 331

Sheila Watt-Cloutier 332

Elizabeth Wathuti 332

Greta Thunberg 333

Michael Mann 333

Katharine Hayhoe 334

James Hansen 334

Bill Gates 335

Nandita Bakhshi 335

Chapter 20: Top Ten Myths about Climate Change Debunked 337

Knowing That a Debate Doesn’t Exist among Scientists 338

Recognizing That Human Activity Has Caused Current Global Warming 339

Looking into the Danger of Increased Carbon Dioxide Concentrations 340

Discovering the Truth about Sunspots 340

Understanding That Scientists Don’t Exaggerate to Get More Funding 341

Grasping the Misconceptions about the Science of Global Warming 341

Thinking It’s All Your Fault 342

Considering You Can’t Do Anything about It 343

Pinning the Blame on Developing Countries Isn’t Realistic 343

Living with Climate Change— and Doing Something about It 344

Chapter 21: Ten (Plus One) Online Climate Change Resources 345

National Geographic 346

Three Other Kid-Friendly Sites 346

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 347

Climate Analysis Indicators Tool 347

Canada’s Environment and Climate Change 347

The U.K.’s Climate Challenge 348

Environmental Protection Agency 348

The International Energy Agency 349

Gateway to the UN System’s Work on Climate Change 350

Index 351

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