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Science Global Warming & Climate Change

Canada and Climate Change

by (author) William Leiss

McGill-Queen's University Press
Initial publish date
Nov 2022
Global Warming & Climate Change, Canadian
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Nov 2022
    List Price
  • Downloadable audio file

    Publish Date
    Nov 2023
    List Price

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Pandemics, massive earthquakes, war, and other catastrophes inspire immediate action because their casualties and destruction are immediately visible. Climate change is an unyielding problem because its long-range dangers are hidden, and thus it is a global risk unlike anything in human experience.
The federal government recently announced aggressive climate targets for Canada. We have committed to producing net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, which will require major changes for our economy and way of life. Canadian citizens need to understand why our most distinguished climate scientists and our senior political leaders think that we must meet this target. Canada and Climate Change explains the importance of policies that will ensure we meet the net-zero emissions target. William Leiss provides a firm grasp on what climate change is and how scientists have described shifts in the earth’s climate as they have occurred over hundreds of millions of years and as they are likely to occur in the near future, especially by the end of this century.
Leiss argues that citizens have a right to place their trust in what climate scientists tell us. Canada and Climate Change is an essential primer on where we stand on the issue of climate change in Canada and what will unfold in the years ahead.

About the author

William Leiss is a fellow and past president of the Royal Society of Canada, an officer of the Order of Canada, and professor emeritus at the School of Policy Studies, Queen’s University. He is the author of several books, including Mad Cows and Mother’s Milk: The Perils of Poor Risk Communication.

William Leiss' profile page

Editorial Reviews

“Grounded broadly in risk theory, Leiss provides an excellent climate primer: addressing what is meant by ‘climate’, detailing the Pleistocene and Holocene epochs, and describing climate science methods and future projections. Leiss makes an impactful argument about the unique and vulnerable characteristics of the climate niche in which human society emerged and thrived in the last twelve thousand years, and the fact that ‘we have begun to move outside this range … at an accelerating rate, with no end in sight.’” H-Environment

“There is much to admire in Canada and Climate Change. The research is impeccable, the writing accessible, and the tone measured. It clearly identifies the problem, and its proposed solution is spot-on, although deep decarbonization will not be easy. In fact, it will be bloody hard because, as Leiss notes, it will require halving global emissions in every decade between now and 2050 in order to achieve net zero – itself a controversial idea because net zero is not zero.” Literary Review of Canada