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26 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's not about the science after all, March 11, 2012
This review is from: Roosters of the Apocalypse: How the Junk Science of Global Warming Nearly Bankrupted the Western World (Paperback)
The marvel of this short, insightful assessment of the global warming debate is that the author approaches it through the eyes of a social scientist.

Thus Dr. Isaac (Ph.D. sociology, City University of New York) places global warming alarmism among discredited millennial movements and apocalyptic prophecies whose heritage goes back eons.

The decisions to halt offshore drilling for oil or to subsidize green-energy alternatives, for instance, aren't so much matters of public-policy debate over land use and environmental protection as they are to further the cause of throttling the U.S. energy industry from the get-go. By doing so, alarmists -- the roosters in Dr. Isaac's metaphor -- can restrict economic growth and personal freedom, making it all the easier to command and control not just the owls -- the global warming skeptics -- but the rest of the animals on the farm in their pens as well.

To be sure, Dr. Isaac is fluent in the the science of global-warming skepticism, and easily cites the data that contradicts various alarmist predictions. She correctly recognizes how easy it is for owls and skeptics to get lost in the scientific weeds of North American oscillations and tree rings, and failing to change a single skeptic's mind.

Better, she argues in this presidential year, to focus on who will benefit if the United States embraces the apocalyptic vision of global warming alarmists, strangles the nation's energy sector, and looks to totalitarian governments such as China for relief.

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Initial post: Apr 11, 2015 2:22:53 PM PDT
I wonder how Dr. Isaacs (Ph.D. sociology, CCNY) would classify her own apocalyptic prediction. What else would you call a claim that U.S. policy would strangle the nation's energy sector and then turn to totalitarian nations like China for relief?

Look at the numbers. Since 2010 (the year of the Macondo well blowout), domestic oil production has risen from below 8 to 14 million barrels per day. Natural gas production has boomed as well. This is strangling the nation's energy sector?

There is reason to doubt her assessment of the Xhosa tribe's trouble as well. In 1854, a sickness began to run through the Xhosa cattle. It was thought to have come from settlers' cattle. There was a girl who claimed spirits had told her all the Xhosa cattle and corn should be destroyed. But this can hardly be called apocalyptic, for it was to magically usher in a horde of new cattle, more beautiful than the old, along with abundant corn and renewed health for the Xhosa people, while the whites would vanish. There is some reason to suspect the Xhosa chief, Sarhili, instigated these prophecies as a means to rouse his people against the hated whites who were encroaching on their lands.

When the destruction ended in 1858, some 400,000 head of cattle had been killed and 40,000 people had starved. The Xhosa today number 8 million. Reports of their apocalypse have been greatly exaggerated.
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