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206 of 235 people found the following review helpful
on March 22, 2008
Format: Hardcover
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.
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138 of 166 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon March 25, 2008
Format: Hardcover
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.
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72 of 86 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2008
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
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.
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90 of 109 people found the following review helpful
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
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.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on July 16, 2008
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
It troubles me that fellow educators will only smile condescendingly at your invitation to have them watch a video, show them what you're reading. Especially say science teachers. In my own field, if someone handed me a book that might challenge some grand notion, or present some new idea ...I would feel some obligation (if I haven't read much from that position already) to become acquainted with what the other views or new idea is saying. What has become of education that no longer obligates itself so? How can we be so disinterested in our own areas of study? The free exchange of ideas stops with prejudice and ego, and so does arriving at a balance of knowing truth.

This is an excellent book that should get into as many hands as possible. I've seen the video, "The Great Global Warming Swindle" and Spencer's book brings a balance to what scientists are saying in that video as well. Intriguing to say the least to come to a better layman's understanding of the complex intricacies of what makes weather, how the earth like a living system compensates. The statistic alone of man adding one molecule of CO2 to every 100,000 molecules of air every five years...plus the complexities of a full understanding of climatology sure puts it clear to see how this has become a faith issue, with a religious fervor...that is very agenda driven, and for something other than truth! Considering politicians are deciding where YOUR tax dollars and future is heading under the guise of the Global Warming mantra, I highly recommend this book!!!
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58 of 70 people found the following review helpful
on March 22, 2008
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I found this book to be a good read, and understandable for an average person. I got a chuckle out of the emotional review "Bad Science" seeming to claim that a scientist can not disagree with a "consensus" without being funded by Exxon, engaging in propaganda, etc. In a scientific search for truth shouldn't even just one person armed with new facts be able to sway a consensus? At least that's how it's supposed to work. In the book, the author presents a good description of what he believes is a strong negative feedback in the climate system - precipitation systems - that are currently unaccounted or inadequately accounted for in the current climate models. I enjoyed this book as it presented new information I hadn't read before and therefore recommend it to anyone interested in the topic. Wished it would have been available on the Kindle, it was my first paper book since January :-)
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32 of 38 people found the following review helpful
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
IT IS VERY TROUBLING TO DISCOVER THAT 78 REVIEWS HAVE VANISHED. ACCESS TO INFORMATION SEEMS TO BE "MANAGED" AND THIS RAISES QUESTIONS ABOUT WHO IS DOING IT AND WHY? AT THIS POINT ALL I CAN DO IS TO RE-POST MY REVIEW OF MARCH 31, 2008 AND PROTEST THE ACTIONS OF CENSORSHIP OF AN INDIVIDUAL OR SOME ORGANIZATION.

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.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on November 4, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This review is being written for the second time because an unknown administrator erased all 78 reviews, mostly excellent reviews, yesterday. 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 censors 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.
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70 of 87 people found the following review helpful
on March 26, 2008
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Dr. Spencer's book was a surprise in several aspects. First, I found it to be a very easy read compared with other recent books on climate. He conveys a sense of the complexities involved in unraveling climate forcings and responses, and even if we have them in the right order in current General Circulation Models, without introducing a lot of technical jargon. After having read much on climate and running through the Stefan-Boltzmann greybody calculations of the Earth's expected temperature, I still learned a critical fact about Earth's climate from Dr. Spencer's book. When a convection model by Manabe and Stickler from 1964 includes atmospheric convection into the greybody calculation, the Earth's temperature is expected to be 140 F, or 60 C or 333 K. Dr. Spencer indicates that the Earth's weather systems provide an efficient, self-regulating mechanism of transferring energy from the Earth's surface to the tropopause where it can be radiated away, resulting in sufficient cooling of the Earth's surface to make it a habitable 57 F. When looked at in this light, the contribution from increased infrared forcing due to CO2 and other greenhouse gases, although real, becomes a secondary forcing that is easily compensated by small variations in cloud cover. Indeed, Dr. Spencer's recently published satellite observations of cloud behavior confirm this effect, first put forward by Prof. Lindzen of MIT more than 15 years ago.

I found the discussions on technology solutions for replacing fossil fuels to be very thin, but amusing (he introduces a new name for the process of using the output of a fuel cell to electrolyze hydrogen for powering fuel-cells- the perpetual motion machine!). The economic discussions were simple and excellent. Dr. Spencer treads into the return on investment question for Kyoto and similar emission-reduction schemes- all pain for no gain. The discussion of the devastation in Africa caused by banning the use of DDT (based on junk science) can never be repeated enough times. The ban on CFC's to 'save the ozone' and the recent discrediting of the fundamental chemical reaction rates upon which that ban was based could have been included in this chapter.

The most important lesson I take away from this book is in the title of this review. Weather cools the Earth's surface by almost 83 F, making it habitable. Every single member of Congress should be required to read this book before even starting to blather about climate change legislation.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on July 23, 2008
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
James Hansen, a climate scientist at NASA, where the author of this book also worked in climate science, famously told a Congressional committee that global warming skeptics should be charged with crimes against humanity. I know nothing about the legal merits of such a charge, but it's clear that Dr. Hansen has much too much emotional investment in a particular viewpoint to ever be capable of doing unbiased science in the field. Good science is impossible where emotions rule. Perhaps Dr. Hansen had Dr. Spenser specifically in mind when he made that statement, and one can only imagine the cross agency resentments that must of boiled along for years, Dr. Hansen screaming incessantly about global warming to whatever reporters would listen and Dr. Spenser calmly dismissing it as a crisis problem, not nearly as bad as Hansen was saying according to Spenser's satellite data. The whole specter of two senior scientists in a field in the same agency charged with doing essentially the same thing -- measuring global temperatures --who held very different views of a key question ought to put a stake right through the heart of the idea that there is any scientific consensus on global warming.

Dr. Spenser does a good job of explaining how politics and human nature work to produce and sustain global warming hysteria. I would have preferred that he spend some time taking the government controlled system of research funding to task for its role in creating this monster. Far from just providing scientists with a meal ticket, this hysteria threatens to destroy our economic well being with oppressive environmental regulation. Perhaps it's time that the environmentalist bureaucracy is charged with crimes against humanity for attempting to appropriate resources needed to address real problems in effective ways. The NASA bureaucracy wants to take over the whole world, it would seem, or at least share it with the UN climate agency.

In any case, as one might surmise, the book spends considerable time where the action really is -- not in science but in politics. The science is not difficult to summarize briefly: we just don't know about future climate and we have no reliable way to predict it. What's harder to explain is how this state of affairs translates to the political situation we find ourselves in, and Spenser does a fine job of explaining that in a tone of detached bemusement, reassuring us that this is the fellow unbiased enough to give us the straight scoop.
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