Book review of Climate change as environmental and economic hazard


卷宗 2016年7期

I have never read a more provoke-thinking book ever before. Its a book edited by Boris Porfiriev, Russian Academy of Sciences. It discussed special issues that we human beings are confronted with, which aroused our great concern. As a first stab at analyzing one of the worlds most intractable problems, it provides a wealth of analysis and fuel for thought.

Nowadays most books about the environment take the West as their starting point, but this book is an exception. I make that the tone of this book is factual, for the author used quantities of statistics and charts to find the bottom line. The structure of this book is clear at a glance from catalogue. To begin with, the author gave a general introduction of climate change by listing a number of valid examples. Then the author put forward practical solutions to settle this hazard by strengthening socio-ecological resilience, building a low-carbon economy and managing natural disaster risks in a changing climate. Finally, the author called for people to shoulder their responsibility to turn a hazard into an opportunity.

Climate change is a serious environmental hazard that affects communities and economies worldwide. The anthropogenic impact and natural factors may account for it, and the former may play a big role in climate change. Solving this problem is not a piece of cake, for economics regard investment on reducing human impact as a venture – or even speculation – rather than with ‘normal capital investment. This adds to other predicaments of policy decision making, including consideration of the major risks and challenges to development and security other than climate change, in particular those associated with the current economic crisis. New research findings will bring more evidence and substantiation of genuine efficient climate policy which seriously considers and adapts to – rather than fights against – nature. We should focus on what is known as mainstreaming climate policy into the overall development strategy. Climate change is not only a hazard and a challenge but also a bifurcation point marking an opportunity to shift to a new sustainable development policy. Because it is clear that some people will lose in economic and life terms while others will benefit or gain from altering environmental conditions. They might just catalyse a new turn of the discussion spiral on the ‘hazard–opportunity duality of this new global challenge.

Strengthening socio-ecological resilience through disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation may be a good way. But identifying gaps in an uncertain world is a long way for us to go. Global environmental change is occurring at rates unprecedented in human history, challenging the resilience and adaptability of communities worldwide. We need to have a good knowledge of natural and social disasters as well as the emergence of climate change adaptation firstly. In a world where climate variability, extreme hazard events, robust ecosystem services and global financial markets are more and more uncertain, protecting financial assets in countries and communities becomes an imperative to ensure resilient societies. We propose an urgent need for a dynamic systems approach to socio-ecological resilience as a primary objective for CCA and DRR.

Besides, we are supposed to build a green or low-carbon economy to cut down carbon emissions to comprehensive risk man??agement systems build into the corporate management structure for handling all kinds of risks. Tackling climate change requires an unprecedented level of global environmental cooperation and a sustained, multi-decade commitment to the decarbonization of the economy. The technological and economic solutions of doing so are emerging, but maintaining a long-term, global commitment is difficult institutionally in national systems geared toward the short and medium term. So we must make up our mind to carry out the carbon-budget policy.

Managing natural disaster risks in a changing climate is indispensable at the present. A combination of climate and socio-economic change is likely to augment disaster loss trends in the future, creating the need for more sophisticated disaster risk management. A resilient risk management strategy for uncertain low-probability, high-impact risks comprises a package of measures focused on disaster risk prevention, damage mitigation and arrangements for efficient risk sharing. Climate change projections indicate that in the future an increased frequency and severity of weather events may further increase losses, requiring innovative adaptation policies to manage risks. Regional projections of climate and socio-economic change and modeling of future changes in natural disaster risks are needed to steer adaptation and risk management strategies.

Most importantly, it is high time that we undertook the due obligations to do everything we can to copy with climate change. Also, responsibility framing in a `climate change induced compounded crises. These crises touch upon a broad range of issues, such as economic, environmental, social and energy policies. Faced with the issue of climate change, countries around the world have taken relevant measures. Late better than never. Though human beings are paying for man-made climate change, it is important to seek ways to solve the problem. All in all, climate change is a global challenge, which can only be resolved through global cooperation. Developed countries must take the lead in making deep quantified emission cuts and provide financial and technological support to developing countries. This is an unshirkable moral responsibility as well as a legal obligation that they must fulfill. Developing countries should, with the financial and technological support of developed countries, do what they can to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change in the light of their national conditions.

Only through joint effort, can we human beings win the batter of stopping global warming.


林民朗,南昌大学,外国语学院 2013级 英语131班。


Contemporary Western Translation
Analysis of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116
On Teaching Methods of Chinese Characters in TCFL
Research on Guidance Mechanism of Public Opinion in Colleges and Universities in Micro Era
Book review on “Educating Elites”
The Application of Hedges in EFL Class
An Analysis on the Structure of “Yue Lai Yue X”