Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, this work contributes to the rapidly growing literature on climate change from the perspective of dozens of authors. The study explores how policymaking on climate change reflects the way society and government make decisions on social questions far beyond the environment. In the authors' eyes, policymaking on climate change has become a complex and subjective issue rather than a technical matter that scientists alone can decide. The authors suggest that society must consider adapting, although they acknowledge that the issue has become a surrogate for political debate over broader issues such as lifestyle and economic development.
The first volume covers the social framework for making policy decisions, while the second contains an up-to-date summary of developments in climate change, discussing implications for land and water use, energy systems, and coastal zones subject to rising sea levels. The third book looks at conceptual tools for analyzing social and policy problems, followed by a summary of studies and useful policy prescriptions in the final volume. All have excellent bibliographic material.