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Sound and Fury: The Science and Politics of Global Warming [Hardcover]

Patrick J. Michaels
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Oct. 15 1992 Recent Research in Psychology
Attacks the scientific basis for the theory of global warming.

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5.0 out of 5 stars The "critics" below have not read this book. May 16 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
In spite of the age of the book, I use this as a supplemental text to teach scientific method: skepticism and the demanding of proof. I find it fascinating that people who have not read the book opt to write a review of it. There are three - all one star - below, under the titles "One Amplified Voice", "Predictable" and "Corporate Propaganda."
Michaels explains that climate, which is defined as 30 years, and not to be confused with weather events, changes continuously. But climate has an estimated five million variables. That gives enough argumentation was to why public policy based on models, especially unproven ones, is a bad idea. Models have ten to three dozen variables. Michaels is proven right by the inaccuracy of predictions of the models, by the time the book came out and even more since. Michaels includes one model annecdote which was to run in reverse: predict what will happen in the next ice age. The bias was so strong, that while Chicago was buried under thousands of feet of ice, the polar ice cap still melted. He also quote a GW proponent when confronted with models' inaccuracy, "The data don't matter." But apparently, the models do matter when they disagree with the data; pure non sequitur.
Michaels leads the reader in layman's terms: why we are so uncertain, and why there is a likely chance to see hemispheric, rather than global warming, why it will probably be seasonal, why gradual warming may be more dangerous than rapid, what we know versus the Popular Vision, and why even if all of this comes to pass, it is not a panacea. I won't give away, or take the space on the former points, but on the last I will. A less hot summers, less cold winters climate would also be a utopia for insects.
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Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent scientific review of Global Warming Data March 9 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
A momentous dispute continuies between the data-driven climatologists and the modelers, and Patrick Michaels brings that dispute into clear perspective. With painstakingly researched evidence, he persuasively argues against the global warming hysteria. The science is good and the writing style is entertaining, especially if you are skeptical of "the popular vision" or are prepared to listen with an open mind. Recommend highly to everyone, especially politicians, greenpeace folks, and UN representatives to the IPCC.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular March 9 2000
By Niels Hayden - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I Read "Sound and Fury" and I just can't wait for his second book, entitled "Satanic Gases" to hit the shelves. The first was a well written book that ignores the media hype and gives the readers the facts. Keep up the good work!
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The "critics" below have not read this book. May 15 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
In spite of the age of the book, I use this as a supplemental text to teach scientific method: skepticism and the demanding of proof. I find it fascinating that people who have not read the book opt to write a review of it. There are three - all one star - below, under the titles "One Amplified Voice", "Predictable" and "Corporate Propaganda."
Michaels explains that climate, which is defined as 30 years, and not to be confused with weather events, changes continuously. But climate has an estimated five million variables. That gives enough argumentation was to why public policy based on models, especially unproven ones, is a bad idea. Models have ten to three dozen variables. Michaels is proven right by the inaccuracy of predictions of the models, by the time the book came out and even more since. Michaels includes one model annecdote which was to run in reverse: predict what will happen in the next ice age. The bias was so strong, that while Chicago was buried under thousands of feet of ice, the polar ice cap still melted. He also quote a GW proponent when confronted with models' inaccuracy, "The data don't matter." But apparently, the models do matter when they disagree with the data; pure non sequitur.
Michaels leads the reader in layman's terms: why we are so uncertain, and why there is a likely chance to see hemispheric, rather than global warming, why it will probably be seasonal, why gradual warming may be more dangerous than rapid, what we know versus the Popular Vision, and why even if all of this comes to pass, it is not a panacea. I won't give away, or take the space on the former points, but on the last I will. A less hot summers, less cold winters climate would also be a utopia for insects. Note that Michaels does not speak with certainty but in reasoning and probability of proper science. This quite the opposite of the non- and anti-scientific method types with their absolutes, best understood as proselytism.
Michaels is also quite polite. For example, The Challenger shuttle disaster was in 1987. Congress was questioning all aspects of NASA, and future funding of it in 1988. NASA, before Congress, tin cup in hand, was in trouble and proposed needing funding for the study of the probablility of GW as a way to maintain political survival more than scientific. Michaels does not mention Challenger or NASA's predicament. He picks up with the congressional testimony, the sceintifically illiterate media picking up on it - just listen to CNN today - and the birth of the Popular Vision. Michaels acknowledges the strong possibility of some type of warming. Note again three negative reviews that claim he denies it. If one has any interest in the subject of GW or in understanding proper scientific method, I assign this one because I have yet to find another that is better.
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars tree huggers, cower in fear Feb. 14 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
the previous review shows you how much the greens fear real science. The fact is that the greens misinterpret the sattelite data on purpose because it doesn't fit the political purposes of the movement. Everyone should read this book.
(and as for the part about corporate propoganda: let me remid everyone that argument against authority is just as flawed as argumenmt from authority)
5.0 out of 5 stars A FAMOUS CRITIQUE OF THE "POPULAR VISION" OF GLOBAL WARMING Aug. 14 2012
By Steven H. Propp - Published on Amazon.com
Author Patrick Michaels wrote in the Preface to this 1992 Cato Institute book, "This volume grew out of a series of lectures that are part of a class I offer on science, politics and the environment. Year after year, the material presented here engenders the same question after approximately 15 lectures, 'If the data-driven argument against environmental apocalypse from global warming seems so compelling and convincing, why have so few people heard it?' I don't know."

He cautions that "any attempt to reduce emissions of those (greenhouse) gases by 60 to 80 percent would dramatically affect our entire culture... the prevention of global warming becomes by far the greatest centrally planned social engineering experiment in history." (Pg. 23) He asserts that Global Climate Models (GCMs) "project considerable differences in behavior between and within hemispheres. If the apocalyptic vision of global warming is to be verified, the earth must warm up in a fashion that is consistent with apocalyptic models. A mere change in the mean annual temperature of the planet... says nothing about that prospect." (Pg. 49)

He asks, "'What is causing the warming?' Answer: no one knows, because the warming shows up on only one of the two northern oceans... 'If the warming is cauased by an enhanced greenhouse effect, why is it buried?' Answer: no one knows, but an answer in the affirmative along with a plausible mechanism would probably revolutionize our understanding of the problem." (Pg. 86-87) Later, he admits, "We cannot deny that greenhouse gases have increased dramatically on a global scale... and yet there seems to be scant evidence of any warming that is consistent with the Popular Vision." (Pg. 97)

He summarizes, "The greenhouse effect is real, but its expression at the surface of the planet ... seems to be muted in the Northern Hemisphere... and is perhaps transformed into a benign or beneficial alteration of the atmosphere by the same industrial activity that enhanced it in the first place." (Pg. 129) He concludes caustically, "Now we have three competing environmental apocalypses: global warming, ozone depletion, and acid rain... The interactions in the pollution system are quite obvious but are never factored into policy decisions." (Pg. 167)

Although more than 20 years old (still listed on the Cato Institute website, however), this book is still an excellent summation of the case AGAINST global warming.
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