Book review: Rethinking climate change research

12th December 2012

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Rethinking climate change research

Pernille Almlund, Per Homann Jespersen and Søren Riis / Ashgate / Hardback £65 / ISBN 978-1-4094-2866-4

For the most part, this is a thought-provoking book for environment managers. It brings together papers exploring a broad range of climate-change themes, including clean technology; the effective communication of climate change science to the public; and the concepts of mitigation and adaptation.

However, in many cases the authors use detailed sources to support their arguments and this precision seems to contradict the book’s aim of remodelling attitudes towards climate-change research to a more strategic perspective.

In some of the papers, anecdotal research is used to discuss the efficiency of, and attitudes towards, upcoming clean technology. Many of the novel examples cited, such as hybrid lighting, could offer immense benefits if practically implemented.

Of particular note is a study of non-fossil-fuel energy systems, which includes an excellent summary of the development of the Kalundborg Symbiosis (the buying and selling of waste products from industrial production in a closed cycle), and a paper discussing the impact of multisite occupancy on climate change.

For those with a background in environment sciences, this book offers a detailed discussion of themes that will be of interest to many.

However, it fails to make a cogent argument or offer practical guidance for rethinking climate change on a national or international scale.

Review by David Dowson, environmental and sustainability advisor at Skanska


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