Those who regularly follow this blog will have noted that I am an avid reader/explorer of all things dealing with the intersection of science and politics. In particular, the computational modeling of global climate and the politics of global climate change.
It is of great concern to me that those whom I label as global warming alarmists continue to demand that governments enact self-serving laws, rules and regulations which manipulate public policy for the promotion of progressive politics and special interests profits. All the while a complacent population sits back and is spoon-fed biased information by a media that has been thoroughly corrupted by the progressive political debate.
Therefore, I became interested in a book that is about to be released (April 20, 2011) from the Cato Institute and decided to review the book to determine its honesty, relevance and usefulness in explaining what the government has done and attempting to do now and in the future.
It succeeds on all fronts and I am highly recommending it as a good backgrounder on some of the most significant faults, failings and flatulations of the global climate debate.
The book …
GLOBAL WARMING'S INVASION OF OUR GOVERNMENT AND OUR LIVES
Edited By Patrick J. Michaels
Publication date: April 20, 2011 from the Cato Institute
$24.95, cloth, 300 pages
($16.47 @ Amazon.com)
The burb …
Despite convincing evidence that observed climate changes do not portend a calamitous furor, global warming alarmism is invading nearly every aspect of our society.
Children are flooded with apocalyptic visions and ideas in our schools.
Poor countries shake down rich ones in the name of climate "justice."
Lawmakers try to impose tariffs and sanctions on nations that don't agree with their environmental preconceptions.
Even the military uses climate change as an excuse to enlarge its budget.
Perhaps most ominously, the courts are now compelling the federal government to impose massive restrictions on the amount of energy we can use and the way we can use it.
All of these topics and more are covered by a team of first-rate experts in health, education, defense, development, law, trade, and academic publication to produce this comprehensive documentation of the pervasive influence of global warming alarmism on almost every aspect of society.
My position …
To provide context for this review, it is my belief that the subject of global warming is a political scheme based on speculative science, inadequate computer models, highly-manipulated and suspect data, and promoted by a number of self-serving politicians, institutions, researchers and special interests.
I also believe that carbon dioxide was chosen as the demon gas because it provided a rationale for public policies that could be used to control the production, distribution and use of the energy which is required to sustain and expand our economic growth.
That the scientific findings, relative to global climate change, to this very day, show that the global mean temperature is well within the tolerance and noise levels of nature’s own variability. And that the correlation between rising carbon dioxide levels and an increase in the global mean temperature is not causal and can be easily explained by other more significant factors such as the Sun’s energy output, the Earth’s position relative to the Sun, the Earth’s planetary dynamics, volcanic activity, ocean currents and the greatest greenhouse gas of all, water vapor. All part of a chaotic system featuring self-regulating feedback loops. And all to be anticipated by the warming of our world as we emerge from the little ice age.
My review …
I would like to start out by cautioning casual readers that this is a scholarly work and was not written for consumption by those looking for a easy summer read. It does require a fair bit of work to understand and digest what is contained between the pages.
Where to start …
I rarely read non-fiction books, cover-to-cover, preferring instead to start out with the most interesting section.
Based on a casual page flip-through, I started reading at Part Three: “Bias in the Peer Review Process: A Cautionary and Personal Account,” by Ross McKitrick. A scientist I highly respect both for his integrity and his courage in bucking a system which severely punishes those who disagree with the so-called "consensus" view.
A compelling personal tale of how the so-called “peer review” process had been subverted by the manipulation of formerly-respected scientists to defend certain papers while excluding others from publication. Some of the sub-heads which caught my eye.
- “The background issue: Temperature Data Contamination”
- “Absence of Evidence versus Evidence of Absence”
- “The Journal Game”
Unfortunately, McKitrick’s tale is disheartening to those of us who believe in scientific integrity and the natural predisposition of scientists to be skeptical of any and all work that cannot be replicated. The mere fact that many scientific papers were submitted to journals without accompanying computer programs and datasets, makes the replication of results much harder than need be. For those who claim that submitting such materials would compromise their claim on intellectual property and may jeopardize future research grants, I might say that much of the work was funded by government grants and thus should be in the public domain for all to use as they see fit.
“Obviously, the free exchange of data is at the core of healthy science, as is the curiosity on the part of competitive researchers and the need to replicate results independently.”
On to the next section, Part Four: Global Warming, Environmental Threats, and U.S. Security: Recycling the Domino Theory, written by Ivan Eland.
Other than the fact that the military is willing to exploit the subject of global warming to enlarge their mission, funding and assets, one significant take-away from reading the chapter is that all of the scenarios feature the United States taking the leading role and assuming much of the costly burden for combatting the effects of global warming.
“The underlying philosophy that leads both hawks and environmentalists to inflate the security threat from global warming is the archaic notion that the United States must police the world. According to the projections of such alarmists, most of the ill effects of global warming will occur in the developing world, which is too poor to cope with it.”
In the chapter Climate Change and Trade, one finds that there are two inescapable truths that will disadvantage the United States and drive jobs elsewhere.
Or as the editor comments …
“Without any binding international agreements on carbon dioxide emissions, any nation places itself at a competitive disadvantage by artificially raising the price of carbon-containing energy with a tax or a cap-and-trade system.”
“Such disparities invite ‘leakage’ of jobs and manufacturing to nations that do not have such emissions restrictions.”
Clear logic that should influence the artificial restrictions that are about to be unilaterally imposed by the State of California on its residents – courtesy of movie star cum legislator Arnold Schwarzenegger as he pursues his own political interests in global warming. Perhaps hoping to win his first Oscar to achieve parity with that other global warming actor/fakir, Al Gore.
And, of course, there were many other excellent observations and passages, too numerous to list in this short blog item. Another reason why this book needs to be read and appreciated by those who want a look at how the global warming sausage is being made and promoted.
|About the editor …
“Patrick J. Michaels, senior fellow in environmental studies at the Cato Institute, is widely acknowledged by climate alarmists as today's most effective synthesizer of the non-apocalyptic view of climate change.”
“He is the author of multiple books on global warming, including Climate of Extremes: Global Warming Science They Don't Want You to Know.”
One waste of paper …
The book is not without its faults … primarily an exclusion of additional exploratory material which would be impossible considering the book’s 262 pages. So it is really not the fault of the editor who tried to encapsulate the essence of the debate in a succinct style.
However, it should be noted that the biggest waste of paper were two color illustrations. One, a picture of Air Force One with the caption “President Obama Returns from the Copenhagen Global Warming Conference, December 19, 2009;” and two, a picture captioned “Guinean Students Study under the Lights of the Conakry Airport Parking Lot, June 2007.” Both set among color charts illustrating various facets and findings related to global climate change. Space that could have been better used to illustrate some of temperature data collection sites which yielded false and misleading data that seemingly helps to incorrectly signify higher temperatures where none exists.
Bottom line …
While the book did not change any of my fundamental beliefs, it did reinforce my opinion that the field of climate science has been hopelessly compromised by bad actors using data so heavily manipulated that even tracking down the original raw data and starting over may be impossible.
It should be noted that when scientists become activists or their paths of inquiry are shaped by funding resources, one can hardly rely on the science to support the public policies offered by even more corrupt politicians.
"Climate Coup: Global Warming’s Invasion of Our Government and Our Lives" should be mandatory reading for even casual students of politics wishing to understand the perversion of science to drive social policy.
I found the book to be credible, well-documented, and a valuable summary to a subject which should concern us all in today’s environment of corrupt politicians driving self-serving public policies.
I have no reservations in recommending this book to my readers, friends and others interested in the subject.
|About the publisher …
“The Cato Institute is a nonprofit nonpartisan public policy research foundation in Washington, D.C., and received the overwhelming majority of its funding from some 15,000 individuals.”
Reference Links …
Some of my previous blog entries for context are listed here in no particular order.
Global Warming: How is it that we are making public policy decisions when we still have much to learn?
“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!
“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw
“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS "The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius “A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell “Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar “Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius
“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell
“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar
“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS