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Showing 1-3 of 3 reviews(1 star). Show all reviews
on February 16, 2008
The thesis of this book is that the present period of global warming is part of a natural cycle that has a period of about 1500 years, and has little or nothing to do with greenhouse gases. The authors think that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has got it all wrong, and that efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are a wasted effort that will cost us lots. The natural cycle is attributed to variations in cosmic ray intensities caused by the sun. The style of the book is that of a diatribe with some hype.
The topic of the book is the science. Climate change, sea levels, extinction of species, geological records, the Kyoto protocol, the sun-climate connection and so on are all discussed. There are over 500 references to document the statements.
I have much to complain about with this book. Firstly there are several places where the authors are sloppy; for example there is a section titled ‘Climate Change reflected in Art and Fish” which has no mention of fish. Another example occurs when after a discussion of invertebrates one reads “New photographs were taken ...” - but later one finds the photographs were of the Arctic coast, not invertebrates. A glossary is provided, but is full of inaccuracies.
Secondly, though this book is about science, there are numerous references to newspaper articles. Some are justified in their context, but those that are used to document a scientific observation are not.
Thirdly the science and scientific arguments are sometimes poorly presented. One can not prove anything in science, but one can do much better than in this book. There is a dearth of hard data and graphs to illustrate the points. Science requires numbers, and these are sadly lacking. I would have loved to see a graph showing both the Mann ‘hockey stick’ temperature vs time graph and that derived from the same data by the two Canadian scientists who took the trouble to analyze the same data.
Fourthly, one needs to be careful about accepting what is written. I did not do much checking, but I found errors. For example, in Figure 9.1 a period around 3000 years ago is incorrectly labeled “Holocene Optimum”and the text states the climate ‘..began to warm again after 1920.’ whereas the Figure clearly shows warming starting about AD1700 (which contradicts the thesis); worse still, if one looks at the data in the original paper one would not make any such statement because of the relatively large fluctuations in them.
I have great sympathy when the authors occasionally take aim at published work and point out what was wrong with it and wonder why it got published. Much of the work related to climate science is done by people without a background in the hard sciences; my own experience is that most of them are poor scientists. Peer review doesn’t work well because the reviewers are often from the same pool. Thus, unfortunately, much ‘junk science’ gets published. It is hard work filtering out the bad from the good. It is also unfortunate that the authors are also guilty of junk science; they do not provide a convincing case or even present it in a logical scientific manner.
But what of the main thesis? There is growing evidence of the effect of sun activity on the intensity of cosmic rays, and the effect of cosmic rays on climate, mainly due to the efforts of Svensmark and Shaviv. In IPCC4 this was dismissed as ‘ambiguous’ and evidently not taken seriously. I think that was a mistake, and I am sure we have not heard the end of it.
In conclusion, the book is sloppy both in the way it is written and the ‘science’ that is put forth. No one should conclude from it that global warming is not due to increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The lists of references will be a useful source for anyone interested in pursuing the subject.
David Huntley, January 2008
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on March 1, 2008
My mother, who is a librarian, recieved a copy of this book free in the mail, along with a sleazy promotional letter from an organization she knew to be funded by oil companies. Suspicious, we read through the book and did a little background reasearch on the authors.

This book's author (Singer) is a notorious rogue. He has been outed for citing non-existant journalistic articles and data to support his theories. Much more of the "data" and the supposed "research" he writes about were collected and conducted by groups POSING as environmental organizations. These organizations are actually developed and funded by oil companies (including Exxon) with the express purpose of misleading the public.

Clever scientists can twist amd misrepresent data to present pretty much any false theories they please. Unfortunately, the average person can easily be fooled.

The authors fail to even address the topic of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere (presumably because this would jeopardize their platform), which seems strange for a book on global warming.

We would all love to believe this book, because is "lets us off the hook" to go on with our oil consumption (a least until the oil runs out). Unfortuantely, it is a disgusting misrepresentation of the facts.

Please! Do not support this propoganda!
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on February 21, 2008
This is denialism at its best. Reading through this sloppy excuse for a diatribe against the overwhelming scientifc evidence in support of anthropogenic climate change was difficult at best. Make sure you check out where these people get their funding from. Mr. Singer, in a previous life was paid by the Tobacco industry and suprisingly determined that there were no ill affects from smoking. He has also been paid by the Oil and Coal industries for work so it should be no surprise that he finds global warming suspect. I wish I could give "negative" star ratings because this contributes to disinformation and increased ignorance.

There is no "balanced" opinion anymore on anthropogenic climate change. There is only a small contingent of Oil and Coal industry supported denialists who get far too much air time. This is one of these. Spend your money on something better.
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