Tickell, Crispin | Climatic Change and World Affairs

  • Second edition, published the year after the first, of one of the earliest books to tackle the potential effects of global warming, particularly on international relations, and promote international restrictions on greenhouse gases. Inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “Nigel Davies —with the affection and respect of Crispin Tickell, Mexico, 1 October 1981”. The recipient was almost certainly the prominent historian Nigel Davies (1920-2004), a specialist on the Aztecs, Toltecs, and Inca whose books are considered the standard references.

    Both the 1977 Harvard University first edition of Climatic Change and World Affairs and this 1978 Pergamon press edition (with a different foreword) are rare in commerce. A revised edition published in 1986 is sometimes referred to as the “second edition”, but is in fact the third.

    The distinguished diplomat Sir Crispin Tickell (1930-2022) began his career with responsibility for the British Antarctic Territory, which inspired his interest in the climate and other environmental causes. “In 1977, while taking a sabbatical at Harvard he wrote Climatic Change and World Affairs. This was one of the first, and for at least a decade, the only book on the coming climate crisis, and what governments should do to prevent it. He argued for mandatory international pollution control, something that is finally taking shape. Margaret Thatcher credited him with convincing her of the science of global warming and the danger that it posed for the planet, which resulted in her speech on the subject to the Royal Society in September 1988. This brought climate change into the mainstream of British politics. Tickell was also concerned with the controversial subject of world population and the fact that extra billions of people were inevitably going to cause problems for biodiversity and the climate. But rather than draconian measures to curb population growth his emphasis was on being positive – better reproductive health, education for women and lifting millions out of poverty. He thought economic security was the best way to reduce family size. Whenever the government position allowed him to do so he helped to steer environment goals in the right direction – and was proud of his successful efforts as permanent secretary at the Overseas Development Administration (1984-87) to put an end to all aid for anything to do with tobacco” (Guardian obituary, January 30th, 2022).

  • ...Foreword to this edition by Lord Zuckerman of Burnham Thorpe. Foreword to the original edition by Paul Doty. Oxford: Pergamon Press, 1978.

    Octavo. Original red laminate boards, titles to spine and upper board and text to the lower board in black and white, illustration of fencers below a cloud to the upper board in black and white. A fine copy.