With the release of the Congressional report "America's Climate Choices," this week as well as the retraction of a much-cited scholarly critique of global warming, many environmentalists are hoping we can finally end the "debate" about climate change. The report, undertaken at Congress's behest by the National Research Council, begins by clearly stating what it sees as the facts:
"Climate change is occurring, is very likely caused primarily by the emission of greenhouse gases from human activities, and poses significant risks for a range of human and natural systems. Emissions continue to increase, which will result in further change and greater risks. Responding to these risks is a crucial challenge facing the United States and the world today and for many decades to come."
This is much the way that Orrin H. Pilkey and Keith C. Pilkey begin their important new book Global Climate Change: A Primer. They start with the premise that "global climate change is upon us. Of this there is no doubt among those who observe the Earth." Their book aims to give clear, straightforward information about climate change to students and general readers, so they can understand the challenges facing us and confront them appropriately. In response to the report Orrin H. Pilkey says, "Sea level rise can be seen as an opportunity and a challenge to redesign with nature. But if our society fails to accept the latest congressional report and other documents like it we will, instead of planning, respond to global changes as emergency disasters." We hope many will educate themselves and their leaders by reading this crucial new book.