Climate Confusion: How Global Warming Hysteria Leads to Bad Science, Pandering Politicians and Misguided Policies That Hurt the Poor

Climate Confusion: How Global Warming Hysteria Leads to Bad Science, Pandering Politicians and Misguided Policies That Hurt the Poor

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The current frenzy over global warming has galvanized the public and cost taxpayers billons of dollars in federal expenditures for climate research. It has spawned Hollywood blockbusters and inspired major political movements. It has given a higher calling to celebrities and built a lucrative industry for scores of eager scientists. In short, ending climate change has become a national crusade.

And yet, despite this dominant and sprawling campaign, the facts behind global warming rema

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5 Responses to “Climate Confusion: How Global Warming Hysteria Leads to Bad Science, Pandering Politicians and Misguided Policies That Hurt the Poor”

  • Lubos Motl says:

    Review by Lubos Motl for Climate Confusion: How Global Warming Hysteria Leads to Bad Science, Pandering Politicians and Misguided Policies That Hurt the Poor
    The book only has 150 pages but there is a lot to learn here.

    First, a few words about the author. Roy Spencer is one of the main people behind the technologies and algorithms to measure the global temperatures from the satellites – achievements that have been rewarded by various awards and that may be giving us the most accurate data about the global mean temperature that is available, even more accurate than James Hansen’s GISS data, indeed. (But, despite some people’s prejudices, Spencer has been funded from pretty much the same government sources as Hansen, except for those USD 250,000 from Heinz Kerry that Spencer sadly didn’t receive.) He is also a very witty and comprehensible expositor who has been writing a website with cute parodies. Recently, he co-authored potentially important papers about the regulating role of clouds for the climate and about the uncertainty about the direction of the causal relationships between the clouds and the temperature.

    In the book, he first introduces some basics of climate science and explains the nature of the scientific consensus. If the passionate reviewers below had seen the book, they would almost certainly appreciate it. Spencer reveals that the mankind almost certainly contributes something to the climate change and the greenhouse effect is nonzero, too. I know he has also patiently explained many of these well-known things to some of the less educated and more “radical” skeptics and his balanced treatment in the book wasn’t a surprise for me. He is clearly no biased partisan.

    However, he quickly turns his attention to a more important question, namely whether the human activity poses a danger for the climate. He explains that there exist no scientific papers that would offer reliable evidence of such a threat and he exposes various political, ideological, profit-driven, and other non-scientific factors that allow the irrational alarm about global warming to thrive and solid science about these questions to be suppressed and neglected. There is clearly no consensus about a dangerous global warming and after reading the book, you will see why.

    If I were rating the author’s opinions about the origin of the species, he would get less than 5 stars but I suppose this is not what readers should be rating here. This review should be about the book which is witty, technically solid – although avoiding equations -, and revealing the true major scientific and social aspects of the whole debate. Such a book from a qualified expert deserves at least 4.8 stars and I recommend it to you wholeheartedly.

  • John W. Brosnahan says:

    Review by John W. Brosnahan for Climate Confusion: How Global Warming Hysteria Leads to Bad Science, Pandering Politicians and Misguided Policies That Hurt the Poor
    I read Roy Spencer’s book, Climate Confusion, this weekend. I don’t know Dr. Spencer personally but I have followed his work and I’ve had some occasional email exchanges with him. I have found him to be the kind of personable (“really nice”) guy with whom I would love to have a beer and discuss a wide variety of different topics. This book just magnifies that feeling by at least two orders of magnitude. The book was an easy read but it was not exactly what I had expected. But that certainly doesn’t mean bad in any way — the book was a very pleasant surprise! It provides an excellent foundation of weather/climate in layman’s terms and then it goes into the philosophy of science, economics, politics, and religion and the implications of their interrelationships not only with climate science but also with science in general.

    The key to this book is the subtitle: “How Global Warming Hysteria leads to bad science, pandering politicians, and misguided policies that hurt the poor.”

    I had anticipated that Roy might drive the nail into the coffin of anthropogenic global warming (AGW), but he did not! Rather, he gave the average guy a hammer and a lot of nails so he could decide for himself and then drive the nails into anything he wants, because the insights Roy provides are equally valid for many different government programs as well as human emotions and reactions in general. Even if your passion is NOT the global warming debate this book will help to make you think more rationally about any topic and just happens to use global warming as the example.

    This is the book that poorly informed main-stream media types should read and is written at a level that anyone can understand. It is short, it is funny (at times), and it sets the stage for the reader to make his own decisions about AGW as well as many other issues in the complex climate-change SYSTEM — where the climate-change SYSTEM also includes the politics, religion, economics, etc of climate.

    The book is inexpensive enough at Amazon that everyone should buy multiple copies and pass them around to people who would never buy it themselves. After they read it, they will thank you for helping them to understand much more than just global warming. I bought two copies and one of them is getting mailed to a friend of mine who teaches climatology and is chairman of the earth science’s department at a well-respected university. This book “WORKS” whether you are a student, businessman, or PhD in climatology. It is well worth the small investment in time and money. It will provide clarity to many more things than just the climate-change debate.

  • Robert Busko says:

    Review by Robert Busko for Climate Confusion: How Global Warming Hysteria Leads to Bad Science, Pandering Politicians and Misguided Policies That Hurt the Poor
    Climate Confusion: How Global Warming Hysteria Leads to Bad Science, Pandering Politicians and Misguided Policies that Hurt the Poor by Roy Spencer is a breath of fresh wind. Written by a highly qualified NASA scientist, Climate Confusion examines the current evidence about global warming and the debate surrounding it.

    Well written for a mass audience and expertly researched and documented, Climate Confusion should be read by all sides of the climate debate. One thing that everyone should note is that their is not massive agreement among the scientific community about global warming. Spencers book is but one voice among many that cries out that we are all being fed a bill of goods by the doom and gloom crowd. He is to congratulated on work well done.

    Peace to all.

  • Wesley R. Smith says:

    Review by Wesley R. Smith for Climate Confusion: How Global Warming Hysteria Leads to Bad Science, Pandering Politicians and Misguided Policies That Hurt the Poor
    Roy Spencer gets to the heart of the debate by focusing on the human, emotional, and religious aspects of those who hold the mainstream view: that climate change is primarily man made, and that it will lead to cataclysmic climate events unless we do something NOW. Like most climatologist skeptics (and there are more out there than you think) he approaches his subject (Climate change) with an appreciation for what we don’t know about the science, and a sense of humility that comes from observing the climate in action, rather than through the algorithm of a computer model. Rather than brand his opponents in the debate with some ill motive, he lays out common sense explanations of why the scientific community may have gotten the theory of anthropogenic global warming wrong in a fundamental way.

  • David M. Dougherty says:

    Review by David M. Dougherty for Climate Confusion: How Global Warming Hysteria Leads to Bad Science, Pandering Politicians and Misguided Policies That Hurt the Poor
    This is an interesting and enjoyable book to read on a “Hot” issue but do not expect a scholarly treatise that presents fact after scientific fact to support the author’s points. Rather is an introduction to the subject from the viewpoint of an interested layman (which the author is not — he’s a climatologist). That being said, author Spencer does hit the main, non-technical points, and skewers the elitist environmentalists who have adopted an absolutely rasict approach to solving the world’s environmental problems as they see them by turning to the public (everyone other than themselves) to sacrifice economically and let the 3rd world’s poor die off as rapidly as possible (after all, we need to reduce the world’s population.) And he does it with humor.

    An aside to remember when listening to politicians bloviate on global warming: If every politician had to pay the US Treasury $10,000 every time they told a lie, we’d have the national debt paid off in a year.

    So what does this book add? Well, environmentalism has become a new type of religion, pagan in orientation, in which Mother Earth is the all-powerful God (as ably assisted by her disciples, the environmental elite.) Insects and animals are more important than humans, and we had better watch our step lest we tread on an endangered Furbish lousewart.

    The impact of mankind’s industrial revolution is probably miniscule compared to the father God, the Sun, and probably this is all much ado about nothing. Wait twenty years and the Earth will be in a cooling phase regardless of what we release into the atmosphere in the way of greenhouse gases. That’s the nice thing about the whole argument — we’ll find out shortly (geologically speaking) who is correct. And if he is wrong, will Al Gore return all the money he has made terrifying people plus all donations?

    The author explains how the climate system works — more or less since there is much we don’t know — and treats forecasts beyond the very short term as meaningless. Perhaps the Farmer’s Almanac can tell us what will happed July 4th, 2030, but the model used by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change can’t predict two weeks out. There are too many clouds and other factors about which we know next to nothing.

    Instead, the global warming catastrophic scenerio is a political theory with a huge bureaucracy and academic community depending on it for their well-being (including the author.) To be scientific, a theory must be provable, or at least be subject to possibly being disproved and pass those tests. Unforunately for the GW cult, literally all of the details in their theories have been or probably soon will be disproven. Can we say like Roseanne Roseannadanna, “Oops, never mind?” This assumption that global warming is manmade (and I will assume the earth has been warming one degree per century for the last three centuries as the best scientific evidence now indicates) has NOT been proven, and likely never will be.

    The author points out in classical fashion the huge human catastrophy brought about by Rachel Carson’s propaganda in “Silent Spring” that caused DDT to be banned. Tens of millions of people in Africa and the 3rd World have died from malaria as a result, but apparently these are just necessary losses among the unfortunate. The environmental elite and their fellow traveler politicians should come and work on my cattle ranch picking off deer ticks and worry about getting Lyme disease. That should change their attitude. Maybe a few tens of thousands of deaths in the US will bring back DDT or Diazinon, but several thousand per year so far hasn’t caught their attention.

    So read this book as a starter, then become informed from the dozens of good books presenting the science of the situation. That’s why I gave this book only three stars — it is a teaser without much scientific meat for the reader to hang his hat upon. But it is going in the correct direction, and it does ask the right questions and pose the situation in an understandable light. For that I thank Dr. Spencer.

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