A clear book on a Difficult Subject

Arguments  against Global Warming  are made by a wide spectrum of critics from Skeptics to Denialists.  There are probably fewer Skeptics than Denialists, but they have a greater influence on public opinion as they present their skepticism in reasonable scientific terms.   Denialists are strident, self-interested and unconcerned by obvious errors in their conclusions. .

I recommend a recent book, “How to Change Minds about Our Changing Climate”, that takes on both Skeptics and Denialists.  The joint Authors, Seth B. Darling, a scientist and engineer, and Douglas L Stevenson, a senior manager at the Argonne National  Laboratory (US),  are more considerate of the point of view of some “skeptics”.  As they say,

“There is an important role for skepticism in science, but skeptics‘ arguments regarding climate change are usually governed more by money and politics than by the rules of scientific reasoning and consensus.”

In an early chapter, the authors get to bedrock common sense. Referring to analysis of ice cores, they state that

“ . . . our current atmosphere has more carbon dioxide in it than at any time in the entire history captured in the ice cores. “

This extraordinary increase is carbon dioxide (and temperature) is dramatic, as it has occurred in recent centuries (since the industrial revolution), and not over the millennia whose warm climate is evidenced by ice cores. These  circumstances should be enough to set off alarm bells.

The principal character in the book is Brad, a “neighbour/brother-in-law/co-worker/ politician/TV personality/blogger who thinks this whole climate change thing is a bundle  of malarkey, and he’s got arguments – and even some data – to back up his claims.”

Brad is also  “an exasperating thorn in your side” ,  which in our books makes him a Denialist.

Brad may have four characteristics.  He is motivated by ideology; he cherry picks his data, he confuses weather for climate, and focuses too much on uncertainty.

You won’t like Brad, but at least you won’t be stymied by his arguments.

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