Five times faster Rethinking the science, economics, and diplomacy of climate change

Simon Sharpe

Book - 2023

"As Greenland melts, Australia burns, and greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, we think we know who the villains are: oil companies, consumerism, weak political leaders. But what if the real blocks to progress are the ideas and institutions that are supposed to be helping us? Five Times Faster is an inside story from Simon Sharpe, who has spent ten years at the forefront of climate change policy and diplomacy. In our fight to avoid dangerous climate change, science is pulling its punches, diplomacy is picking the wrong battles, and economics has been fighting for the other side. This provocative and engaging book sets out how we should rethink our strategies and reorganise our efforts in the fields of science, diplomacy, and econ...omics, so that we can act fast enough to stay safe"--

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Cambridge ; New York, NY : Cambridge University Press 2023.
Main Author
Simon Sharpe (author)
Physical Description
ix, 334 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Includes bibliographical references (pages 301-328) and index.
  • Science. Looking up at the dam
  • Knowing the least about what matters most
  • Telling the boiling frog what he needs to know
  • Runaway tipping points of no return
  • The meaning of conservative
  • More than science
  • Tell the truth
  • Economics. Worse than useless
  • The allocation of scarce resources
  • The configuration of abundance
  • Not just fixing the foundations
  • Investing with our eyes open
  • Regulating for a free lunch
  • Stuck in first gear
  • Runaway tipping points of no return, revisited
  • Revolutionary
  • Diplomacy. A foreseeable failure
  • The greatest public relations gamble in history
  • System change, not climate change
  • Better late than never
  • From coal to clean power
  • From oil to electric vehicles
  • From deforestation to sustainable development
  • The Breakthrough Agenda
  • Tipping cascades.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Economist Sharpe, a senior fellow at the World Resources Institute, debuts with an idealistic guide to fighting global warming. Asserting that radical changes in thinking need to be made within the climate movement, Sharpe calls for activists and policymakers to unite behind the goal of decarbonizing "the world economy five times faster than we currently are." Among other methods to shake up the "equilibrium" favored by current economic models, Sharpe contends that governments need to develop proper risk assessments that demonstrate the dangers of climate change to their citizens, that massive investments in renewable energy are needed, and that carbon taxes have done little to decrease global warming. He also claims that stringent regulations against fossil fuels will spur innovations in heating, transportation, and other sources of greenhouse gases. Though Sharpe's prose is crisp and urgent, he doesn't fully reckon with the political obstacles that stand in the way of such radical shifts in economic and public policy. Still, this is a stimulating and well-intentioned call for change. (June)

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