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Showing 1-10 of 33 reviews(4 star). Show all reviews
on January 7, 2007
Authors make the case:

1. Global warming is real.

2. Global warming is mild, not severe, as the "climate alarmists" claim. The major points for the "Man-made Warming activists" are based on Computer modeling results and surface temperature measurements. The temperature measurement problem is challenged in chapter 9 and 11, and alternative long-term temperature theories are presented in Chapter 9, from proxies such as ice cores, tree rings, seabed sediment deposits, et al. The Computer Modeling problem is challenged in Chapter 11.

3. Global warming is slow, not rapid, as the "climate alarmists" claim. Trend is up by 0.125 degrees C per decade. (Pg. 11)

4. Global warming is not primarily caused by CO2. (Both the "Roman Warming" of 200BC - 600AD and the "Medieval Warming" of 900AD - 1300AD were warmer than the current "Modern Warming" of 1850AD to present. Since "about 80% of the carbon dioxide from human activities entered the air after 1940". Therefore, those earlier warming periods were NOT caused by burning fossil fuels and thus not related to increased CO2 levels. The Greenhouse Theory of man-induced high CO2 levels as the cause of the Modern Warming is thereby shown to be most unlikely.

5. Global warming periods (and global cooling periods) are primarily caused by energy out-put changes from the local star. (The major problem with this theory is that humans know incredibly little about the long-term variations in solar properties.) One scientist "reported that the sun's radiation has increased by nearly 0.05 percent per decade since the late 1970's." He has "used data from three different NASA ACRIM satellites monitoring the sun to assemble a twenty-five year record of total solar radiation from 1978 to 2003. The trend is significant because the total energy output is so huge. A variation of 0.05 percent in its output is equal to all human energy use." (pg. 192)

6. The solar heat radiance fluctuations are extremely small, 0.1% over 20 years, but this small variance is amplified by earths' atmosphere. This amplification process is "by at least two factors: (1) cosmic rays creating more or fewer of the low, cooling clouds in the earth's atmosphere; and (2) solar-driven ozone changes in the stratosphere creating more or less heating of the lower atmosphere." Pg. 192.

7. The solar heat fluctuations are cyclic, and are corresponding to a 1470 year climate cycle. This cycle is apparently related to the known sun-spot cycles of 87 and 210 years respectively.

8. The 1470 year climate cycle is verified by historical evidence, and by scientific evidence such as ice cores, tree rings, seabed sediment deposits, et al.

The positive aspects of this book are:

1. Many scientists and scientific organizations and their works are quoted and referenced. The Chapter Endnotes total 524.

2. The history is interesting.

3. The authors are scientists not journalists, per se.

4. The writing is clear, and the main points are easy to grasp.

5. There are no cheap-shots or name-calling toward persons or groups that are in the so-called "climate alarmists" camp. There are only a few minor rhetorical swipes that, in my view, are warranted.

The negative aspects are:

1. Too much ground to cover. (Although I could say this was a positive, since its sometimes limited explanations allowed good readability.)

2. Too little direct evidence of the solar-influence-on-climate theory, but that evidence may not be available until after hundreds or thousands of years of sun-study.

Overall: Highly recommended.
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on November 28, 2006
I always tend to laugh out loud when the crowd insisting that global warming is a 100% by-product of industrial society try to shout down a book disagreeing with their point of view. This volume is a case in point. It provides some very interesting food for thought whether one agrees or disagrees. But then the Environmental-Left would probably put Avery on trial for crimes against Eco-Orthodoxy.

I found the book mumbo-jumbo free, and as someone old enough to recall being told in geography class that the Sahara desert was once a jungle, this helps to explain why climate changes.

One of the othe reviewers makes a note about British wine production. A fair comment. But the English Wine Producers website notes:

"The revival had to wait for the arrival of pioneers who wanted to disprove the theory that wine could not be made from grapes grown outside in our climate. A combination of new varieties, more suitable growing techniques, better disease control and an acceptance by the public of the style of wines that those varieties produced, were the key elements in that revival."

So technology, scientific evolution of the grapes themselves, and marketing all combined to overcome the British climate. I didn't see mention of planetary warming as a cause.

This is a good book that will fuel the great debate - but only if your mind is open enough to realize there are two sides to the discussion. If you mind is closed on thsi subject, look elsewhere.
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on February 1, 2007
This is a well-written discussion of the peer-reviewed publications that provide unequivocal support for a 1500 year cycle in the global climate. The sections describing the shortcomings of the global climate models and the now-defrocked infamous 'hockey stick' proxy temperature graph from IPCC 2001 are particularly entertaining.

I would have liked to have seen more data extracted from the various studies and presented as figures in the book. The section on the influence of the sun is too brief to give a full account of the recent findings linking global climate to solar cycles, particularly the effects of the solar magnetic field modulating cosmic rays impinging on Earth and altering the density of low altitude clouds.

I strongly recommend this book to anyone interested in discovering the wealth of peer-reviewed literature left out of the IPCC reports.
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VINE VOICEon February 28, 2008
Unlike many of the reviewers of this book, I am a climate change professional, and do know quite a bit of the science behind global warming predictions. Although I disagree with many of the conclusions the book reaches, I admire the logical arguments laid out by the authors. This book itself is a surprisingly balanced, well-researched look into global warming, with the point of view that global warming is simply part of the natural climate cycle, one that has happened many times in the past (which humans have adapted to), and it will continue to happen in the future - definitely not cause for alarm.

Any issue as important as global warming deserves to have all issues surrounding it explored thoroughly, and this book raises important counter-arguments against the now prevailing wisdom that major changes are necessary to limit greenhouse gases.

After reading all the five-star reviews this book has received, I sense a fair amount of dislike and anger towards global warming activists. It is unfortunate, but to be expected, that many people who have read this book did so in order to justify their pre-existing ideas about the environment, business, and politics. I feel it's important to learn all sides of a controversial issue - ultimately, within 20 to 30 years, we'll know a lot more than we do now; but in the meantime, I think a little caution might be a good thing when it comes to pouring massive amounts of carbon dioxide into our unstable climate. (The authors did not spend much time on "tipping points" - definitely an important part of any pro or anti global warming book.) Still, I give the book 4 stars because it is thought-provoking, and by far, the best global-warming "naysayer" book out there. Even strong environmentalists might learn something from this book - even if it's just what the "other side" is saying.
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VINE VOICEon August 25, 2009
The media drumbeat of human-caused global warming causing great potential damage continues unabated, along with editorial demands that something be done right now to curb CO2 emissions. Contrary views are given little attention; after all, newspapers and network news shows are in the business of selling information, and if it's not sensational they can't sell as much.

But contrary views do exist, and this book does a very good job of presenting not only an alternative theory to explain current temperature variations, but backs it up with hard data gained from a very large number of sources, all of which are carefully documented in bibliographies at the end of each article.

The prime theory advanced in this book is that most of what we are currently observing is due to a 1500 year variation in the sun's output. In support of this theory they present data from ice cores, tree rings, sea-floor sedimentation analysis, written histories, satellite measurements, archeological interpretations of early human habitats, and a host of other data points, some of it stretching back a million years, and tracking what they believe to be at least 600 cycles of this 1500 year variation. At the same time they raise doubts about some of the data that has been used to support the human-caused global warming theory, showing the flaws that produced the famous `hockey stick' graph, indicating that many ground-based measurements have been influenced by the heat-island effect of cities that has not been fully discounted by current modeling techniques, bringing to the fore current measurements that do not fit the man-made theory model, and showing that current computer models do not (and probably cannot) take all factors into consideration nor do their predictive results match the real world when `back-tested' on historical data.

They also examine the `scare' headlines of large sea-level rises, more and more violent storms, species extinction, and famines, plagues, and wars caused by great droughts. They conclude that none of these are likely even if current temperatures continue to rise to the level last seen around 900 AD, showing that these warm portions of the cycle have less, not more, violent storms, larger areas where farming can be productive, more, not less, biodiversity during such warm periods, etc.

There are a few places where I think they have gone a little overboard, such as where they practically accuse some scientists of deliberately falsifying data to fit the man-made theory (though they do support some of the published political papers having been 'edited'), and there is a general adversarial tone to this book that perhaps shouldn't be there. Also, many of the points they raise are repeated multiple times throughout this book, which becomes a little wearisome, and I would have liked to see a little more detailed explanation of how the known 87 and 210 year cycles in the sun's output end up producing the 1500 year temperature cycle. But these are comparative quibbles to the prime points that this book presents, that CO2 emissions may not be the prime driver of the current warming trend and the effects of such warming will not be either immediately or totally disastrous, while for the world economies to actually implement severe curtailment strategies to limit CO2 emissions would almost certainly cause great hardship and economic distress around the globe.

--- Reviewed by Patrick Shepherd (hyperpat)
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on February 24, 2014
This is an excellent, well organized and thought out discussion of Climate Change. Everyone should read this book as it presents the history of climate change back through thousands of years, not myopically focused on the last 50 years. It's true, there is climate change, but it happens all the time, and is happening now, and has little or nothing to do with man's activities, and is not driven by C02, but other things that are not well understood. Well documented, well written. It needs and update to bring it up to today's (21st Century) data.
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on January 27, 2015
Well written, easy to read book. As an amateur scientist with an interest in time series analysis, I was mainly interested in getting an overview of the science and the state of the science behind climate cycles and palaeoclimatology. The numerous footnotes with pointers to relevant literature and online resources served that purpose well, starting from the book's basic theme of ~1,500 year Dansgaard-Oeschger quasiperiodic cycles.
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on August 17, 2012
We can't stop it if we tried. And why should we? a more moderate planet would prove more favorable anyway. In fact--though conveniently ignored--warming trends in the past have proved beneficial. But prosperity and our well-being is not considered, instead, this orchestrated myth has led to a political power grab, where this select majority ultimately--through fear--become deceived into believing it's real. And what is this charade based on? It is based quite simply on the premise that CO2 is a pollutant. So the money keeps flowing to irresponsible scientists and to countless other groups. The final criminality is the avocation of population control, and alternative energies, which are inefficient, costly and demand subsidizing. Also, do we understand the ramifications of seeking to alter our home?

For the lay reader; and though from an evolutionary perspective, the data here still points to warming and cooling trends, which the authors base their conclusion on 1,500 year sun driven cycles constructed on Greenland ice cores, tree rings, coral reefs, etc. There are of course many variables and difficulties, but the average person, through reason, is fully capable of telling truth from propaganda, if, they allow themselves.

Although the authors do agree there has been modern day warming, there also remains no appreciable warming trend since the 1980's. Some of the other discoveries: 1. NASA has admitted to accidentally inflating records of surface temperatures; 2. The "human contribution to current warming is not significant and is outweighed by national climate variability"; 3. The IPC is inept and, political; 3. The scientific consensus is actually false; 4. The climate model can't be trusted; 5. The UN is corrupt and the Kyoto Treaty is immoral; 6. The use of fraud, deceit and scare tactics across the board; And 7. The earth itself gives witness. Therefore because they receive the attention, it is thus the notion that the environmental alarmists, the propagandists and the rest of the supporters of "global warming"--whether man made or not--should be embraced.

But "it really isn't about "global warming" or even about protecting nature. It's about shutting down the world's leading economies and imposing on the world's populations--both rich and poor--a lifestyle they would not freely accept."

God bless
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on June 14, 2007
(Note: This was a review of the first edition,
originally posted here on June 14, 2007.
The "updated and expanded" edition has removed or corrected
some of the issues raised here.)

Check out the reference to Fred Singer in the Wikipedia
entry for Carl Sagan. Carl Sagan was famously out-forecasted
by Fred Singer on the effects of the Gulf War oil
fires. The authors deserve a careful reading.

The book does fabulously well in debunking some really
bad global warming science. The saga of the Golden
Toad extinction is particularly noteworthy. The book
makes an excellent case for bias, or just bad science,
in some other extinction studies, interpretation
of temperature trends, and use of tree ring data.
The book also sets the record straight about the
role of temperature in the range of malaria. The
fact that malaria outbreaks have occurred as far
north as the Arctic Circle was news to me.

The authors note the much of the warming in Alaska
in recent decades could be due to the Pacific Decadal
Oscillation. They make a cautious forecast that Alaska
may be due to begin cooling as part of the natural
cycle of the PDO. Will this forecast prove to be
as famously correct as the oil fire forecast?

Having effectively dismissed some bad extinction
studies, the authors become a bit glib in misrepresenting
other global warming science. For example, they display
their ignorance in claiming that global climate models
cannot predict what ended the constructive vegetative
feedback that caused the Sahara to revert to dry
conditions after having been wetter 8000 years ago.
A bit of scholarly search would have revealed an
article "Soil feedback drives the mid-Holocene North
African monsoon northward in fully coupled CCSM2
simulations with a dynamic vegetation model". So
when the authors state "The computer's don't know",
they really should have stated "Research about that
issue has not been read by us". Despite extensive
references in this book, there are very few references
to the original research articles based on global
climate models.

The book has a typo on page 214 where the "global
power consumption" is quoted to be "12 trillion watt-hours
per year". The typo is repeated twice more on page
214 and 215. This power consumption converts to 0.0014
TW (or Terra Watts). The International Energy Agency
states in the 2006 "Key World Energy Statistics"
that global electrical power production is 1.99 TW.
The Wikipedia article on "World Energy Consumption"
gives the the global power consumption to be 15 TW,
of which 5 TW is used to produce 2 TW of electrical
power consumption. So perhaps the authors probably
intended 12 trillion kilowatt-hours per year.
(Page 246 in the updated and expanded edition now reads
"kilowatt-hours", rather than "watt-hours").
12 trillion kilowatt hours is 1.4 TW,
a number close to the world electrical power
consumption. On page 215 we read "The Hoffert team
is suggesting that 10 trillion watt-hours per year
of biofuels would require..." But the Hoffert team
actually does a calculation with 10 TW. Google reveals
that some of the book's supporters are quoting the
trillion watt-hours units, not realizing they are
erroneous. Unfortunately, the book loses an opportunity
to inform about the truly Herculean challenge of
reducing CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere by
using renewable energy.

More damage is done on page 210, where we read the
EIA projects that "wind energy will provide just
0.0025 percent of U.S. electricity generation in
2020". The EIA document "Annual Energy Outlook 2007"
states, in reference to a projection for U.S. electricity
generation: "generation from wind power increases
from 0.4 percent of total generation in 2005 to 0.9
percent in 2030". Wind power currently produces 20%
of electrical power in Denmark, 9% in Spain, and
7% in Germany. Where did the 0.0025% come from for
a U.S. projection?

The radiative forcing, or augmentation of the greenhouse
effect, that would be caused by adding additional
CO2 to the atmosphere is known with great certainty.
The authors are correct to point out the uncertainty
in some of the feedbacks that have been proposed
to amplify the effect of warming caused by CO2. But
on page 36 we read a sentence "This is especially
true if the current CO2 levels have already used
up almost all of the trace gas's ability to heat
our planet. (Each additional increment of CO2 causes
less warming)." Why not set the set the record straight
and state that an additional 60 ppmv of CO2 added
to 600 ppmv will cause the same radiative forcing
as 30 ppmv of CO2 added to 300 ppmv? And then why
not tell us the numerical value of that radiative
forcing? The ability of CO2 to cause warming hasn't
been "used up".

So the books suffers from the lack of an accurate
presentation of the greenhouse effect and its anthropogenic
modification. The discussion of the 1500 year oscillation
is fascinating. Perhaps as we learn more about the
1500 year oscillation and the PDO, some of IPCC statements
will turn out to be less than optimally worded. Perhaps
the word "most" in the 2007 statement "Most of the
observed increase in globally averaged temperatures
since the mid-20th century is very likely due to
the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse
gas concentrations" wasn't the best bet.

Does acknowledgement of the 1500 year oscillation
lead us to conclude the IPCC forecast for 2100 and
beyond is invalid? Actually, this book could lead
us to believe that the IPCC projections for global
warming may have been underestimated.
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on June 5, 2008
Global warming and cooling are part of the life of our planet. What drives the cycles is still in part a mystery, certainly we humans have very little to do with them. Polar bears have lived through hotter and colder times.

This book provides evidence of what has been happening and the consequences over the millennia. Well worth the price and the time to read.

Rob. Masters degree in physics.
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