The following, in our opinion, are among the most significant books, media presentations and online resources on the subject of climate change and climate change policy.
Probably the best know advocate for action on climate change is Al Gore who was vice-president of the U.S.A. from 1993 to 2000, and would have been president in 2001 but for a controversial election vote count. Al Gore became interested in the phenomena of global warming thanks in large measure to one of his professors at Harvard, Roger Revelle who together with Hans Seuss wrote a scientific paper in 1957 that saw global warming as a consequence of the burning of fossil fuels.
Al Gore Earth in Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit Plume 1992
Davis Guggenheim An Inconvenient Truth (documentary film featuring Al Gore) Paramount 2006
Al Gore An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It Rodale Press 2006
Al Gore is currently chairman of The Climate Reality Project.
Many of the wealthiest fossil fuel investors have became increasingly concerned about the threat of climate change discourse on the value of their investments. As people became more aware of the issue, they launched a vigorous attack on the science of climate change, fuelling denial, and doubt through misinformation campaigns, and targeting politicians and climate scientists with vilification and character assassination.
Prominent among fossil fuel investors are the Koch brothers whose father made his oil fortune in the communist Soviet Union.
Greenpeace USA Koch Industries: Secretly funding the Climate Denial Machine
Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez Climate Deniers Exposed: Top Scientists Got Funding from ExxonMobil, Koch Brothers, Big Coal Democracy Now! Feb 26, 2015
James Hoggan, a Vancouver based public relations consultant wrote about this, and started a blog site to counter the climate change denial campaign.
James Hoggan Climate Cover-Up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming Greystone 2009
Desmogblog Clearing the PR Pollution the Clouds Climate Science
Desmog Canada Clearing the PR Pollution the Clouds the Public Square
Another commentator on the fossil fuel investors’ war on science in Canada is Chris Turner who studied journalism at Ryerson University and ran for the Green Party of Canada in the federal bi-election in Calgary-Centre in 2012.
Chris Turner The War on Science: Muzzled Scientists and Wilful Blindness in Stephen Harper’s Canada Greystone 2013
The following two part article illustrates well Exxon’s role in climate change denial.
David Kaiser and Lee Wasserman The Rockefeller Family Fund vs. Exxon (Part 1) New York Reveiw Dec 8, 2016
David Kaiser and Lee Wasserman The Rockefeller Family Fund Takes on ExxonMobil (Part 2) New York Review Dec 22, 2016
One of the climate scientists on the forefront of climate change activism is James Hansen, who was head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies from 1981 to 2013.
James Hansen Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity Bloomsbury USA 2009
James Hansen Why I must speak out about Climate Change TedTalk 2012
Makiko Sato & James Hansen Updating the Climate Science What Path is the Real World Following? Columbia University Earth Institute
Journalist Bill McKibben became interested in the climate change issue while following the testimony of James Hansen to the U.S. Senate in 1988. Since then he has become a leading climate change activist.
Bill McKibben The End of Nature Random House 1989
Bill McKibben Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math Three simple numbers that add up to global catastrophe – and that make clear who the real enemy is Rolling Stone July 19, 2012
Bill McKibben Do the Math at Rutgers RU-tv Network Feb 4, 2013
Bill McKibben is also the founder of 350.org, a leading organization in numerous global grassroots based campaigns on climate change action. It is on the forefront of the fossil fuel divestment campaign.
There is some debate about the most effective way to tackle climate change – regulation or carbon pricing.
Mark Jaccard, a professor at Simon Fraser University, argues that regulations can be almost as effective as carbon pricing, which he views as too politically fraught.
One visitor to our website used this web page to help with her school science project and suggested this informative link on U.S. regulations in the transportation sector:
However, it may be prudent to consider that regulations can easily be overturned with the advent of a populist government backed by fossil fuel interests. We have only to look as recent events south of the border to see this:
Marshall Saunders is a U.S. businessman who after witnessing the poverty in Mexico during a trip to Tijuana in 1991, began to heavily involve himself in micro-finance and village banking. Responding to the threat of climate change in 2007, he founded the Citizens’ Climate Lobby whose focus is on lobbying politicians to put a price on carbon. After a meeting with James Hansen in 2008 he became convinced that ‘Fee and Dividend’ was the best carbon pricing mechanism.
Citizens’ Climate Lobby https://citizensclimatelobby.org/
Citizens’ Climate Lobby Canada http://www.citizensclimatelobby.ca/
Shi-Ling Hsu The Case for a Carbon Tax: Getting Past Our Hang-ups to Effective Climate Policy Island Press 2011
Cheryl McNamara The making of a miracle: How the World Bank came out against coal power rabble.ca Aug 2013
Military organizations such as the U.S. Pentagon are paying close attention on how climate change will increasingly destabilize countries around the world, leading to more and more military conflicts and terrorist actions. Gwynne Dyer, a Canadian journalist and military historian has studied this in detail.
Gwynne Dyer Climate Wars: The Fight for Survival as the World Overheats Oneworld Publications 2010
Gwynne Dyer Gwynne Dyer on Climate Wars TVOBigIdeas 2013
Erika Eichelberger How Environmental Disaster Is Making Boko Haram Violence Worse: Drought, population explosion, and poverty are aggravating conflict in Nigeria. Climate change will likely add fuel to the fire Mother Jones Jun 2014
Jeff Goodell The Pentagon & Climate Change: How Deniers put National Security at Risk Rolling Stone Feb 2015
Mark Fischetti Climate Change Hastened Syria’s Civil War: Human-induced drying in many societies can push tensions over a threshold that provokes violent conflict Scientific American Mar 2015
Naomi Klein’s parents moved to Montreal in 1967 from the U.S., resisting involvement in the Vietnam war. After rejecting her parents values as a teenager, and becoming engrossed in a consumer-oriented lifestyle, she eventually made an about face and became one of corporate culture’s harshest critics.
Naomi Klein This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate Alfred A. Knopf 2014
John Riddell Naomi Klein:‘Only mass social movements can save us’: (a review of This Changes Everything) East End Against Line 9 Oct 22, 2014
Avi Lewis This Changes Everything (Documentary based on Naomi Klein’s book) 2015
Naomi Klein and Avi Lewis on adapting This Changes Everything (CBC Q interview Jan 9, 2015)
Jeff Rubin, former Chief Economist and Managing Director of CIBC World Markets, and now turned author, writes about the folly of Canadian government policy in pusuing “energy superpower” status through its Tar Sands development stategy while the world moves ever closer to the inevitable consequences of its carbon capacity limit – sudden job losses and standed assets that must be decomissioned at tremendous cost to the Canadian taxpayer.
Jeff Rubin The Carbon Bubble : what happens to us when it bursts Random House Canada 2015
Faith groups and religious leaders are also increasingly turning their attention to climate change.
The Dali Lama has long been an advocate for addressing climate change.
The Dali Lama A Green Environment for Now and the Future
Climate Interactive and The Dali Lama Shouting Shouting
Pope Francis, spiritual leader of the world’s more than 1.2 billion Catholics, has made clear in his encyclical letter Laudato Si’ that the elimination of the use of fossil fuels has become an urgent moral imperative.
Catholic Climate Covenant http://catholicclimatecovenant.org/
Islamic scholars from 20 countries issued an Islamic Declaration on Climate Change at the International Climate Change Symposium held in Istanbul August 17-18, 2015. It urges the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims to embrace climate change action, including eliminating dangerous greenhouse gas emissions and committing to renewable energy sources, as part of their religious duty.
For an extensive list of climate change statements and positions by various religious groups, see:
The forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale Climate Change Statements from World Religions
Katherine Hayhoe studied astrophysics at the University of Toronto, but then became interested in Climate Science, and is now the director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University. She is a superb communicator, and argues very effectively on the need for climate action from an evangelical Christian point of view.
For our party’s climate change platform see:
Green Party of Canada Addressing the Climate Crisis: Enhancing Economic Performance while Safeguarding our Future Vision Green 2015