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Publisher's Summary

The Modern Scholar series offers you college-level courses taught by the world's most respected professors. As these expert teachers guide you through the course material, you become more knowledgeable and better versed in the subject. Learning has never been easier or more enjoyable!

The issue of global warming has captured the attention of people worldwide over the past 20 years. Scientists studying the effects of human activities on the global environment today believe we are changing the climate of the planet on a global basis. We are warming the Earth, but are we risking the health of our planet? What are the negative consequences of these actions?

This course will discuss the complex interdependent systems that regulate the environment of Earth. Also, this course offers listeners a comprehensive overview of the essential environmental issues of our time.

Some of the issues discussed include: air pollution, acid rain, depletion of the stratospheric ozone, destruction of tropical forests, and impending climate changes. We will learn how greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), and industrial chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) have all played a significant role in what is happening to our world.

At the end of this course, listeners will better understand the overwhelming impact of industrial pollutants on the planet.

Download the accompanying Course Guide.

For more on global warming, check out Climate of Uncertainty.

©2003 Michael B. McElroy; (P)2003 Recorded Books, LLC

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First, the facts, then the politics

Global climate change is a complex subject. Unfortunately, many of those who write about it do not understand the facts and theories that are behind the current opinions. So, we have dozens of opinions written (or spoken) by people who don't understand the subject.

If we are changing the earth's climate in ways that could harm us, we will need to do something about it. Something effective. But before you decide, try to understand. These lectures are a good place to start.

They are lectures, not a popular science book. They can be dry and technical in parts, but they are fascinating. The lectures and course notes are thorough and understandable. You need only a high school science background to understand them.

When you are done, will will know enough to be able to understand why environmental scientists feel the way they do. You will also understand a little of the politics and economics that are part of the current debates over global warming. You will know enough to develop an opinion of your own. You will be able to separate the science, from the economics and politics - and the facts from the opinions - on both sides.

17 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • Carla
  • Minneapolis, MN, USA
  • 06-08-05

Okay, now I understand . . .

Now, I understand why all these scientists claim that there is such a strong consensus among scientists on how "global warming" is a real, true, measurable phenomena. McElroy explains clearly how our petro-chemical activities are indeed changing the climate. The science covered in these lectures reveal not only the dangers that we are facing if we continue our current lifestyle unchecked, but I also learned so much about the climate, the weather, the ocean, the chemistry of life on this planet that I now feel more able to listen to a wide variety of science-related discussions than I had before. And McElroy has a cool voice for a narrator.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Excellent overview of subject

I regularly look for scholarly titles on Audible and I think this is one of the best. Nicely done undergraduate level introduction to the Earth's climate mechanisms and what part they play in the phenomenon of global warming. The lecture format is clear and the course guideline gives additional info and pointers to further reading. Good job Dr. McElroy. Definitely worth the $'s.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Ryan
  • Los Altos, CA, USA
  • 05-22-05

wonderful overview of climate and global warming

this lecture series was high-level, clear, logical, very interesting, and incredibly relevant. i highly recommend it if you're looking for basic background on the global weather system and an unbiased explanation of recent climate change and its potential impact.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Tim
  • Lexington, KY, USA
  • 06-29-07

Accessible, yet thorough

If you really want to understand the science behind the political noise, this lecture series is for you.

The lectures are technical, but still very accessible to a layperson. The lecturer explains complicated topics in a clear and easily understandable way without talking down to his listeners.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

amazing.. have to go back and listen again

loved it but I lost a piece of my soul with the monotonous yet awesome professor.

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  • Frank
  • HOLLYWOOD, FL, United States
  • 12-22-15

Its about facts

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Very good book to learn about how the planet works and the reality of Global Warming

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  • Lyle
  • Longmont, CO, United States
  • 11-22-11

The sad news about our greed for energy.

If you don't understand how we are changing the earth, and where we are going. THIS IS A MUST….

1 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Lord Peridot
  • 09-29-14

Important subject made clear

Aimed at the intelligent layman, this is a lucid and largely non-technical introduction to this critical subject. Presented in a style typical of this series, chatty, informed and personal. Another excellent audio book on Climate Change is, Global Climate Change by Pillkey and Pillkey. Also "The Last Generation" should be read but its not available as audiobook, I believe.

  • Overall
  • claire
  • 09-15-12


Understandable and manageable. Broken down into neat chunks and goes back over older chapters to reitterate what you may have not understood or forgotten.

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  • Tim Bremner
  • 01-12-12


A very solid grounding for the subject. Should be listened to as the basis from which to increase one's knowledge regarding global warming.