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Hard Choices

Climate Change in Canada

Harold Coward and Andrew J. Weaver, editors

Paper 282 pp.

ISBN13: 978-0-88920-442-3

Release Date: June 2004

Online discount: 25%

$42.99  $32.24


eBook availability

Drought, floods, hurricanes, forest fires, ice storms, blackouts, dwindling fish stocks...what Canadian has not experienced one of these or more, or heard about the “greenhouse” effect, and not wondered what is happening to our climate? Yet most of us have a poor understanding of this extremely important issue, and need better, reliable scientific information. Hard Choices: Climate Change in Canada delivers some hard facts to help us make some of those hard choices.

This new collection of essays by leading Canadian scientists, engineers, social scientists, and humanists offers an overview and assessment of climate change and its impacts on Canada from physical, social, technological, economic, political, and ethical / religious perspectives. Interpreting and summarizing the large and complex literatures from each of these disciplines, the book offers a multidisciplinary approach to the challenges we face in Canada. Special attention is given to Canada’s response to the Kyoto Protocol, as well as an assessment of the overall adequacy of Kyoto as a response to the global challenge of climate change.

Hard Choices fills a gap in available books which provide readers with reliable information on climate change and its impacts that are specific to Canada. While written for the general reader, it is also well suited for use as an undergraduate text in environmental studies courses.

Harold Coward is a professor of history and director of the Centre for Studies in Religion and Society at the University of Victoria.

Andrew J. Weaver is a professor and Canada Research Chair in Atmospheric Science in the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, University of Victoria, BC. In 2002 he received a Killam Research Fellowship, a CIAR Young Explorers award as one of the top twenty scientists in Canada under the age of forty, and was selected as one of the twenty-five power thinkers in British Columbia by BC Business Magazine. In 2003 he was selected as one of the top five Canadian scientists by Time (Canada).

Harold Coward is a scholar of international reputation with distinguished contributions to both the University of Victoria and University of Calgary throughout his extensive career. After retiring from the University of Victoria as director of the Centre for Studies in Religion and Society, he continues to be involved as a research fellow. He is currently a member of the Genome BC Board of Directors, where he serves as a specialist on ethics and biotechnology. In June 2002, Dr. Coward was also selected as one of the twenty-five power thinkers in British Columbia by BC Business Magazine.


“It’s challenging to cover the complex issue of climate change in a 250-page book...[but] Hard Choices does cover the ground quite well, reviewing climate science, impacts, adaptation, technology, policy, law, equity, and ethics.”

— Matthew Bramley, Great Plains Research

Hard Choices is very well written, free of errors, and nicely illustrated with many color maps and diagrams....I recommend the book to scholars, students, and policy makers who have interests in Canada, climate change, and humanistic dimensions of difficult environmental choices.”

— Robert Balling, Annals of the Association of American Geographers

“The high-powered scholars who have contributed to [Hard Choices] have made a serious attempt to describe and further popularize the problem of climate change, and how to solve it.”

— W.J.C. Cherwinski, Canadian Book Review Annual

Hard Choices cuts through the disinformation promulgated about climate change by certain vested interests in order to produce a clear explanation of the nature of the problem and our options to respond to it. If you are seeking a book that will help you to understand the nature and implications of the climage change debate, then selecting this volume will not be a hard choice, but a good choice.”

— Gord Miller, Environmental Commissioner of Ontario

“What is actually happening to the climate, and why.”

Globe and Mail

Hard Choices goes beyond the usual books on climate change in its presentation of all the issues with a focus on choices, so people can understand and take personal action....It is written to make a difference and it will.”

— Gordon McBean, University of Western Ontario, former Assistant Deputy Minister, Environment Canada and lead scientist on Kyoto delegation

“Comprehensive, well-researched, and provocative discussion of climate change.... Twenty highly qualified authors have contributed twelve chapters plus a summary that cover climate change in Canada from the basic science through politics, economics, and religion to national and international law. Hard questions regarding the value of emission controls versus adaptation to inevitable climage change are thoroughly discussed. ... The assessment presented of the adequacy of the Kyoto Protocol does not paint a happy picture. The text was completed before the Protocol was ratified, and now that it has been brough into force and is due for renewal in 2012, the analysis presented is even more relevant.... This book should be mandatory reading for all future negotiators.”

— Tom G. Brydges, Bulletin of the American Meterological Society

Hard Choices

Table of Contents

Related interest

Environmental studies

By the same editor

Fifty Years of Religious Studies in Canada: A Personal Retrospective, Harold Coward

Silence, the Word and the Sacred, E.D. Blodgett and Harold Coward, editors

Readings in Eastern Religions, 2nd Edition, Harold Coward, Ronald Neufeldt, and Eva K. Neumaier

A Cross-Cultural Dialogue on Health Care Ethics, Harold Coward and Pinit Ratanakul, editors