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Dead Heat: Global Justice and Global WarmingDead Heat, by Tom Athanasiou and Paul Baer
By Tom Athanasiou and Paul Baer
Now available from Seven Stories press for $7.96 plus shipping and handling.
See the Seven Stories web site for more information.

"Extreme weather events" are already normal items of daily news, but global warming has only begun, and today's record droughts and floods foreshadow a murderous future. The Bush Administration, meanwhile, has chosen to reject the Kyoto Protocol, deny the long term consequences of oil dependency, and, once again, reduce the politics of energy to the politics of domination and war.

Still, the science is now quite clear, and Dead Heat begins by reviewing it, with the goal of showing-clearly but rigorously-just how far and how fast we'll have to cut global greenhouse emissions if we want to stabilize the Earth's climate system. It begins, in other words, with the problem of drawing the line, of facing the reality that any plausible "soft landing corridor" is going to involve massive emissions reductions, and soon.

Without such reductions, we'll suffer catastrophic climatic change, and it's the poor and the vulnerable among us who will suffer the most. The problem is that these reductions must come fast, and even as the "developing world" rushes to join us in the kingdom of affluence.

In this context, Tom Athanasiou and Paul Baer argue that only a social justice framework can possibly work. They argue, in fact, that what's really needed is a just climate treaty based on equal human rights to the atmospheric commons, and that such a treaty is crucial to cutting a path to sustainability on this, a planet riven with explosive national, ideological, and class divides.

To that end, Dead Heat introduces the issue and provokes the debates that will have to be resolved as we turn from the Kyoto Protocol to the second generation climate deal that's going to have to follow it. And it argues that the battle against global warming is crucial to the larger battle for global justice and a "just transition" to a sustainable world; that its outcome may, in fact, be almost as decisive politically as it will be ecologically.

<Dead Heat argues, moreover, that this is true for a very particular reason: because there can be no workable climate-protection regime without a historic compromise between the rich world and the poor, a compromise that actually specifies the terms by which we will equitably share the Earth's extremely limited "atmospheric space."

Dead Heat isn't simply about understanding the political and social arguments that swirl around global warming, it's about winning them.

Table of Contents

Preface: Our Problem, and Yours
Chapter 1: An Introduction
Chapter 2: The Science Chapter
Chapter 3: From Temperature Targets to Emissions Budgets
Chapter 4: Justice and Development
Chapter 5: A Per Capita Climate Accord
Chapter 6: Trading, Taxes, and Funds
Chapter 7: The Future of the Climate Protection Coalition
Chapter 8: Globalization and Global Warming
Chapter 9: Three Futures
Chapter 10: A Few Last Words