Keeping Our Cool – Book Review

Dr. Andrew Weaver* is the author of a book entitled “Keeping our Cool”, published in 2008. He never loses”his cool” in recounting the ebb and flow of public opinion on climate change.  He patiently reviews reports, graphs, and statistics to show that greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide, are responsible for global warming. He canvasses – and rejects – all the theories, scientific and lay, that “explain” global warming by other factors. Even his disagreement is measured – and responsible.  For example, he gives considerable space to the observations of perhaps the foremost sceptic of global warming, Richard Lindzen, a Professor at MIT.

Every so often his chagrin surfaces, but always in moderate terms.  For instance, he says:

“I felt deeply saddened that the widely touted “Made in Canada “plan to deal with global warming was going to be put forward by a government whose leader [Stephen Harper] did not understand the difference between weather and climate”.

In other comments Weaver does not let Prime Minster Harper off lightly.  He quotes from a fund raising letter signed by Harper in 2002 that states:

  • Kyoto is essentially a socialist scheme to suck money out of wealth producing nations
  • Carbon dioxide is essential to life
  • The science of global warming was tentative and contradictory.

These three observations continue to be repeated today by many  denialists.

Prime Minister Harper has perhaps learned a little about global warming in the past decade. He has on occasion paid lip service to the need to take steps now. But the achievements of his Government are lamentable. As Weaver says:

“. . . in Canada our only policy appears to be one of rhetoric, broken promises and failed leadership on the climate portfolio.”

We highly recommend reading  this book.


*Dr. Weaver is the Lansdowne Professor and Canada Research Chair in Climate Modeling and Analysis at the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences at the University of Victoria. He has authored or co-authored over 200 peer-reviewed papers in climate, meteorology, oceanography, earth science, policy, education, and anthropology journals. He was lead author for certain phases of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He was the chief editor of the Journal of Climate from 2005 to 2009. Dr. Weaver is, among many other things, a Fellow of the Royal Societies of Canada, the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society, and the American Meteorological Society.

For more on Dr. Weaver’s efforts to set the record straight , go to

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