Read the text of the Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Read the text of the Kyoto Protocol.
Read the text of the Copenhagen Accord. Here is an analysis of the pledges countries made in response (from the Swedish Environmental Research Institute).
Spencer Weart has put together a web version of his book, The Discovery of Global Warming. I used that extensively when I was researching for this chapter.
The text of the 1979 Ad Hoc Study Group on Carbon Dioxide and Climate, Carbon Dioxide and Climate: A Scientific Assessment can be found here. It always amazes me how similar this report is to the latest IPCC reports.
The IPCC's reports can be downloaded here.
Chapter 13 covered the history of climate science and policy. For a different take, here's a story written by Oreskes and Conway told from the perspective of a future historian describing how the future views the climate debate of today: The collapse of western civilization: A view from the future, Columbia Univ. Press, 2014. This book dovetails nicely with Jared Diamond's exposition of how modern-day historians view the collapse of previous civilizations: Collapse: How societies choose to fail or succeed, Penguin Books, 2011.
One of the more interesting episodes in the public debate over climate is ClimateGate (an international scandal resulting from the
unauthorized release of emails between climate scientists in England and United States). For a nice summary of the event, look here. This scandal had a noticeable impact on the public debate (as described in this paper). Several investigations were conducted and it was agreed by all of them that this was much ado about nothing.
If you want to know more about ozone depletion, the EPA has a site containing a lot of useful information.
J. Goodell, The Secret Deal to Save the Planet, Rolling Stone, Dec. 2014. This article describes what may be the turning point of international climate negotiations: the 2014 agreement between the U.S. and China to reduce emissions. A great read.
consensus on climate science, 2016
Here is a 2016 letter signed by 31 relevant scientific organizations agreeing with the mainstream view of climate science. Does consensus matter in science? Yes, it does! Read this short article to see why.
Merchants of doubt
A lot has been written about the efforts various groups have made to sow doubt about climate science. Oreskes and Conway's book, Merchants of Doubt, is a must-read to understand this. For more about this, take a look at these:
- Smoke, Mirrors & Hot Air — How ExxonMobil Uses Big Tobacco’s Tactics to Manufacture Uncertainty on Climate Science
- The Climate Deception Dossiers — Internal Fossil Fuel Industry Memos Reveal Decades of Corporate Disinformation
Recent U.S. efforts to address climate change
Climate change is a fast moving subject. Since the 2nd ed. went to press, a lot has happened.
Probably the most important is the Paris Accord, an international agreement to reduce emissions and keep warming below 1.5-2°C. For a review of what this is and how it works, see chapters 3 and 4 of this open-source book.
In Aug. 2015, the Obama administration announced their plan to reduce emissions from power plants. It's complicated, but a good explainer can be found here.
This New York Magazine article is a fantastic overview of the policy landscape on the eve of the meeting in Paris in Dec. 2015.
R. Lizza, As the World Burns: How the Senate and the White House Missed Their Best Chance to Deal with Climate Change, The New Yorker, October 11, 2010. This is a fascinating article about the ultimately unsuccessful attempt by three U.S. Senators to put together a climate change bill during the 2010 legislative session. It shows why it’s so hard to get anything done on this problem.