What Are Global Warming and Climate Change?
by Chuck McCutcheon

Price at time of review: $24.95
114 pp.
University of New Mexico Press
Albuquerque, NM
ISBN: 9780826347459

Grade Level: 4-12

Reviewed by Jean Worsley
Retired Biology Teacher

The question-and-answer format of this book makes it an effective way to introduce the complex issues of global warming and climate change to young readers. Students are always asking questions, so this format will pique their curiosity. The information is detailed but concise and will extend their knowledge and understanding.

Seven chapters weave a web of questions and answers about the effects of global warming on planet Earth. Each chapter begins with a lead question as food for thought. The text covers a wide range of sources from simple definitions, comparisons, historical data, scientific research, and data collected as a result of collaboration with national and international  governmental agencies. Pictures, hands-on activities, graphs, and sidebars will help young readers move to a higher level of comprehension while improving their critical-thinking skills.

A detailed discussion of human activities that result in the production of greenhouse gases, the major culprit in global warming, is brought to the forefront. These activities include industrialization, farming methods, travel and life styles, especially in economically developed nations. If these processes are ignored, it is predicted that a change in climate is inevitable and will result in devastating weather patterns and the destruction of numerous species of plants and animals around the world. This information and predictions are substantiated by data from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Further, international agreements and the role and limitations of our government and politicians are clearly delineated.

Intervention strategies by individuals, cities, states, countries, and the international community are proposed. They include seeking new energy sources, reforestation, producing new vehicles, and changing building codes. Readers are challenged to become informed and involved citizens resulting in wiser consumers in order to ensure the survival of our planet for future generations. With a glossary, illustration credits, and an index, this is an informative presentation about the issues of global warming and climate change. Facilitators will find it to be an excellent resource to develop numerous interdisciplinary activities.

Review posted on 9/29/2010

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