“We have too many global warming books—but this one is needed. Steven Koonin has the credentials, expertise, and experience to ask the right questions and to give realistic answers.”
—Vaclav Smil, distinguished professor emeritus at the University of Manitoba
“Essential reading and a timely breath of fresh air for climate policy. The science of climate is neither settled nor sufficient to dictate policy. Rather than an existential crisis, we face a wicked problem that requires a pragmatic balancing of costs and benefits.”
—William W. Hogan,professor of Global Energy Policy at Harvard Kennedy School
“Tough talk about climate politics from a statesman scientist—and a vision of what will actually come to pass.”
—Robert B. Laughlin, Stanford University
“Unsettled will definitely and rightly unsettle your climate thoughts, and all for the better. If we are to make trillion dollar investments, we deserve to be as well informed as possible.”
—Bjorn Lomborg, president of Copenhagen Consensus and visiting fellow at The Hoover Institution at Stanford University
Dr. Steven E. Koonin is a leader in science policy in the United States. He served as Undersecretary for Science in the US Department of Energy under President Obama, where he was the lead author of the Department's Strategic Plan and the inaugural Quadrennial Technology Review (2011). With more than 200 peer-reviewed papers in the fields of physics and astrophysics, scientific computation, energy technology and policy, and climate science, Dr. Koonin was a professor of theoretical physics at Caltech, also serving as Caltech's Vice President and Provost for almost a decade. He is currently a University Professor at New York University, with appointments in the Stern School of Business, the Tandon School of Engineering, and the Department of Physics. Dr. Koonin's memberships include US National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the JASON group of scientists who solve technical problems for the US government. Since 2014, he has been a trustee of the Institute for Defense Analyses and chaired the National Academies' Divisional Committee for Engineering and Physical Sciences from 2014-2019. He is currently an independent governor of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and has served in similar roles for the Los Alamos, Sandia, Brookhaven, and Argonne National Laboratories.
From Steven Koonin, a leader in US science policy and former science advisor for the Obama administration, Unsettled is an up-close, apolitical exploration of the many misconceptions and shortcomings in the mainstream presentation of climate science-which is far less black-and-white than many people realize.
Introduction Part I: The Science 1. What We Know About Warming 2. Humble Human Influences 3. Emissions Explained and Extrapolated 4. Many Muddled Models 5. Hyping the Heat 6. Tempest Terrors 7. Precipitation Perils-From Floods to Fires 8. Sea Level Scares 9. Apocalypses That Ain't 10. Who Broke "The Science" and Why 11. Fixing the Broken Science Part II: The Response 12. The Chimera of Carbon-Free 13. Could the US Catch the Chimera? 14. Plans B Closing Thoughts Endnotes Acknowledgments Index