Climate Change and the Environment

Its hard to find good information on the global climate change issue.  A lot of the material is either very superficial, or very extreme or biased.

The articles and books shown here are ones I have run across that seem (to me) to provide a clear and data driven understanding of the climate change problem, and potential solutions.   The articles tend to give a more in depth treatment of the problem and potential solutions than the usual media stories, while still being quite readable by a non-climate specialist.


Websites and news stories on the environment.



Buying Green Power in your state.



Articles, books, and websites on Climate Change
This is by no means anything like a complete list of what's been published on climate change, but these are books and articles that present a clear and understandable description of the global climate change problem, and potential solutions.
IPCC -- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change


Web site of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). 

"The IPCC was established to provide the decision-makers and others interested in climate change with an objective source of information about climate change"

If you want a more readable but scientifically detailed description of the climate change issue, see the book: "Climate Crisis" below.
James Hansen TED Talk on Climate Change

Jim Hanson TalkA recent 18 minute talk on climate change by Jim Hansen.  Provides a simple statement of the problem and a simple solution.
Climate Crisis,
David Archer,  Stefan Rahmstorf

Available at Amazon etc.

There are several detailed reviews on Amazon (all 5 start)
Climate CrisisI was looking for a book on climate change that would explain the science and data in more detail -- this book does that very well.

If you are looking for a more in depth, science based description of the climate change problem, its likely effects, and potential mitigation strategies, this book is the best I have found.

Its the best book on climate change I have read (and I have read quite a few of them :)
"An Inconvenient Truth", Al Gore

Bookstores or the library

Whether you like Al or not, his book provides a good overview of the whole global climate change problem and tells the story in an easy to understand and read way. 
The reviews of the book that I have read  say that the science he uses is sound, and generally in agreement with most climate change scientist's findings.
The Rough Guide to Climate Change,
Robert Henson, 2008

Available at Amazon and the usual places

I found this to be a good and informative book on climate change.

It covers the major areas in a fair bit of depth, but is very readable without having a heavy duty science background.

Most of the reviews by readers use words like "thoughtful" and "balanced" -- I agree.

climate mytyhs"Explaining climate change science & rebutting global warming misinformation" 
Just to pick one item out that I thought was one of the best explanations I've seen on why politics and science are different, and how science reaches the truth...

Global Warming Truth The World is Warming (& We Are Causing It)


climate change plotThis is an accumulation of links and sources on climate change.  Emphasis is on top level sources with good credibility.
"Energy's Future Beyond Carbon", Scientific American,
September, 2006, Special Issue

The issue can be downloaded (for a fee) from:

Or, your library may have a copy.

An issue of Scientific American dedicated to understanding the problems involved in getting beyond fossil fuels, and examining potential solutions.

8 articles in all covering various aspects of the problem.
A good overall treatment of the problems.

Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center



cdiacCDIAC is the compiler and keeper of data effecting climate change -- CO2, methane, ... concentrations, emissions, etc. worldwide.

Latest 2010 estimates for emissions...

The FAQ section has a lot of questions and answers...

"How to Clean Coal", Craig Canine,
NRDC website

The full article is available online here:



This is a very good article on the particular challenges that using coal as an energy source present.  It also describes the integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) technology that offers some opportunity to use coal as an energy source without large CO2 emissions, and the critical time period we are in now as a whole generation of old technology coal plants need to be replaced.
"The Heat Is On", The Economist, September 9th to 15th, 2006 


The library is probably the best source for this issue.

This issue of the Economist is (mostly) devoted to climate change issues.  It provides a good overview of the climate change problem.  It looks at the economic impacts and strategies for dealing with climate change.  You hear a lot about the impacts that taking steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions might have on the economy -- these articles attach some some actual numbers to various stratigies.
It also points out the very important role that US climate change policy (or the lack of it) has on other countries policies.
Energy and the Environment
California legislature caps greenhouse gas emissions

LA Times Online

Times on Line UK

California caps greenhouse gas emissions.  25% reduction by 2020.
Good Job CA!
The Energy Guy

Energy Issues Summary

Climate Change Links - pro and con



This is a very good site for understandable information on energy issues and their potential impact on the planet. 
Also provides lots of good material on energy alternatives.
NRDC Website

Very good article on the future of coal in the US:




A good site for news on global warming and other environmental issues.
US Demand for Gasoline Sets All-Time Record...



So, even with quite a bit of emphasis on more efficient cars and a recession we are still records for gasoline demand...  Not very encouraging.
"Oil On The Brain -- Adventures From the Pump to the Pipeline"
Lisa Margonelli,
This is a really terrific book -- just go read it.
Buying Green Power
Green Power programs allow you to support the development of renewable energy sources by paying a small premium on your electric bill.
There are many, many of these programs, and they differ in exactly how they go about supporting renewable energy.  Some are better than others.
So, check the directory below, and see what is available in your state.  Then check on the details of how the program works and sign up for it if you think its a good program.  If nothing is available in your area, bug your utility and representatives to get something going.

Electric power generation plants are the source of a whooping 38% of TOTAL US greenhouse gas emissions -- something really needs to be done about this if any meaningful progress is to be made on GHG emissions.  Signing up for a Green Power program is one practical step you can take.
Directory of Green Power Programs by State,
from the EERE website

More info from the EERE:

A good directory of the green power programs available in each state.
From the EERE.