Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Reading list


From the 2015/16 academic year we are recommending

Introduction to Modern Climate Change - Andrew E. Dessler (Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-17315-5, £31.99)

as the guiding text for this course. It covers much of the material in the course, and will be a

valuable complement to the lecture notes.

For more on the political and sociological aspects, we recommend

Climate Challenged Society - Dryzek, Norgaard & Schlosberg (OUP, 2013, ISBN 0199660115, £16.95)

Please note that for the science lectures there are detailed additional notes available online.


Below are several sources of possible reading that complement the course. They are not intended to be exhaustive, and you may well find others either online or in the library. For those of you undertaking the 15 CAT version of the course, you may find chapters from these books or articles to be useful in writing your essay, but again, should also look around more widely. Similarly, if you find material that you think would be especially useful to others, please let us know and we will add it here.


Global Warming: The Complete Briefing - John Houghton (CUP, 4th Edition 2009)

Why We Disagree About Climate Change: Understanding Controversy, Inaction and Opportunity - Mike Hulme (CUP, 1st Edition 2013)

Sustainable Energy without the Hot Air - David MacKay (UIT, 2008). Available for free here

The politics of climate change - Anthony Giddens (Polity, 2013)

Storms of my grandchildren - James Hansen (Bloomsbury, 2011)

Merchants of Doubt - Naomi Oreskes & Erik Conway (Bloomsbury, 2011)

The signal and the noise - Nate Silver (Penguin, 2012)


The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View from the Future - Naomi Oreskes & Erik Conway, Dædalus, the Journal of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Available here

Climate Sensitivity Estimated from Temperature Reconstructions of the Last Glacial Maximum, Schmittner et al. 2011 Science 334 1385. Available here

Stabilizing the Earth's Climate Is Not a Losing Game: Supporting Evidence from Public Goods Experiments - Manfred Milinski, Dirk Semmann, Hans-Jürgen Krambeck and Jochem Marotzke, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol. 103, No. 11 (Mar. 14, 2006), pp. 3994-3998 (available online to Warwick students via the library website)

The inefficiency of splitting the bill,, Gneezy et al, The Economic Journal 114 (April 2004) 265-280

The tragedy of the commons, Garrett Hardin, Science 162 (1968) 1243-1248


SLIDESHOW: Exposing the Disinformation Playbook, linked from the website of the Union of Concerned Scientists,

Simulation of Zeeman Catastrophe Machine at


You should also consider looking at the IPCC reports, available here



Read Morton's chapter, the Cronon essay, and as much of Skinner as you can take.
Read all of the poems.
Look at the art. If you have time, explore the photographers' websites.
Enjoy, pick one text from each category you'd like us to focus on, and bring a question to the seminar!


William Cronon, "The Trouble with Wilderness"
Timothy Morton, "The End of the World," Hyperobjects
Jonathan Skinner, "Gardens of Resistance"


Jorie Graham, "Deep Water Trawling"
Brenda Hillman, "Styrofoam Cup"
Ed Roberson, "To See the Earth Before the End of the World"


Chris Jordan, Midway 
Edward Burtynsky, Shipbreaking, China Recycling, Manufactured Landscapes
Cecilia Vicuña, Ten Metaphors in Space


Reading for week 5 seminar


The Energy Industry and Climate Change


Week 7 Seminar Reading

Elliott "Sustainable development"

Hopwood et al "Sustainable development"


Preparatory reading

Kolbert on Klein

Smead et al, A Bargaining Game Analysis and Additional Material

Negotiation Simulation for Mac

Negotiation simulation for Windows

Eckersley: Multilateralism or Minilateralism

Brief description of game behind the software


Preparatory reading

Storm: Capitalism and climate change - Can the invisible hand adjust the thermostat ?

Rootes, Zito and Barry: Climate change, national politics and grassroots action

Page: Distributing the birdens of climate change


The following are short and accessible summaries. Please read any three.

Arrow: Climate Change

Carbon Taxes and Fiscal Sustainability

Policy lessons from the UK

Economics of Carbon Capture

French carbon tax

A global refunding system

Price is a better commitment

Regulator or market

The role of R&D

Schelling: Uncertainties and action