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Global Warming-Alarmists, Skeptics and Deniers: A Geoscientist Looks at the Science of Climate Change Paperback – January 20, 2012
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Dr. Craig D. Idso, founder and chairman of the board of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, says the book "...is a refreshing read on a topic of great societal importance...because the authors evaluate key predictions and controversies of the global warming debate using logic and science."
Prof Robert M. Carter, Marine Geophysical Laboratory, says "In an easily accessible style, Robinson leads us through the science information to answer the question, 'Are human carbon dioxide emissions causing dangerous global warming?' The more surprised you are that the answer is 'no,' then the more you need to read this excellent book."
"Excellent, accessible handbook of global warming that shows the bulk of the science is on the side of skeptics."--Iain Murray, author of The Really Inconvenient Truths
Excellent analysis of climate science from a veteran geologist's perspective. Dr. Robinson's discussions of climate models and past climate change are particularly useful. There is much more science, enough to persuade all but die-hard alarmists that a skeptical position better fits the evidence.--Paul MacRae, author of False Alarm--Global Warming
Dr. S. Fred Singer, Chairman, Science & Environmental Policy Project, says, "The author makes it very clear that a changing climate is not unusual. It is in fact the norm, but often so slow that humans cannot detect it directly. This may be the single most important contribution of this well-written and fact-filled book.
From the Author
As a young geology instructor in the 1970s, I informed my students of satellite images showing expanding snow cover in North America compared to previous years. I advised them to remain skeptical of the claims then being made in the popular media that this heralded the beginning of the next ice age. A few years later, sensationalist articles about the coming ice age began to be replaced by others saying the earth was growing dangerously warm and we humans were to blame. Why the continuing exaggerations about climate change I wondered, but duly brought this new scare to the attention of my classes with the same caveat as before. I thought it was just more media hype that would fade as quickly as the recent ice age scare. I was wrong. Instead of fading, global warming alarmism increased.
As a geologist and student of earth history, I knew that climate has always changed. Some of the changes had been disastrous, such as the mountains of ice that moved into mid-latitudes during cold phases of the great Pleistocene ice age depopulating millions of square miles. Mostly, however they were just inconsequential changes of a degree or two. The warming we were then experiencing seemed just the latest in a large number minor undulations of climate, not unusual and not unexpected after the frigid temperatures that lasted several hundred years during the recently ended Little Ice Age. Yet, people were on TV acted like climate change was unusual, something that hadn't happened before. Obviously, they had never taken a historical geology course.
For a while, not many people promoted such a view, but the few who did knew how to get attention. And other people were listening. Little did I know a mindset had taken root and started to grow.
A great many people, particularly liberal politicians and most journalists, act as if climate change is odd, strange, extraordinary. Part of this belief system seems to be that yesterday's climate, the preindustrial climate, was ideal, the best of all possible climates, the way nature intended it to be. It was good because it was natural, and we prospered. But now we have strayed far from the natural way, and with our meddling, have upset the balance. We are the reason climate is changing and since it is not natural, it is bad. Nature gave us a stable climate, an ideal climate, but we messed it up
I still have trouble coming to grips with this. Do these people not realize that the preindustrial climate was the Little Ice Age chill? Have they not heard of all the crop failures and famine over large areas of Europe? The glaciers moving down into villages, the frozen rivers, the ice-choked harbors? The year without a summer when snow fell in New England during each summer month? The slow starvation of the Viking villages in Greenland?
My answer is that either they do not know these things because they were never exposed to historical geology, or they ignore it in favor of ideology. They either do not know what came before or don't care.
The new climate alarmism that is an offshoot of the green movement, a movement I understand and in some ways, sympathize with. I became a geologist because I love the grandeur of nature and the outdoors and hate the stifling congestion of cities. However these global warming people turned it all around. Staid and unchanging is not nature's way. The most basic thing about the earth, the first thing geologists learn, is that the only thing constant in nature is change. It can be at such a languid pace that, even over one's full lifetime, it's hard to detect, but it can also be catastrophic. Whether hare or tortoise, geologic change can't be stopped, yet it seemed to me that's what global warming alarmists sought.
Earth history clearly teaches that a static earth has never existed. Our planet is one of the most active bodies in the solar system. All kinds of things constantly change, including weather patterns and climate. Still, natural change does not preclude the possibility that human activities might also cause change. Perhaps, I thought, my own predisposition toward natural change was preventing me from impartially assessing the global warming theory. Maybe powerful evidence supported it. With this in mind, I began to study the scientific literature. To my surprise, I found very little direct evidence that humans were influencing climate. Most of what was offered as evidence was based on the predictions of computer climate models, rather than actual observed data or experimental results. It was as if a weather forecast saying sunny skies for the weekend had been elevated to a greater importance than the rain that actually fell. What was going on here?
Geologists apply the principle of uniformity to learn about earth history. It has proven to be a reliable guide for what is likely to happen in the future. For global warming alarmists, instead of the past that is living, it's the future. All their dire warnings are based on computer climate model predictions of things that might or might not happen.
To geologists like me, something vital is missing in this procedure, what we know happened in the past. A vast amount of this sort of data is available, but computer models use none of it to churn out their predictions. Real information, won at great cost and effort, is ignored in favor of predictions. This is not how science is supposed to work. I learned during my years in graduate school that many things in science are important, but above all is the data. We must honor the data, treat it impartially, let it lead us where it will, allow it to illuminate our way toward better theories. This is the only path that will lead to the light of real knowledge, real progress. This new method of science elevates computer predictions above real data. If the data doesn't agree with the computer forecast, then something must be wrong with the data. Better check it again and find out what's wrong.
Along with my discovery that a paucity of evidence supporting global warming was being hyped and stretched almost beyond belief came the realization that studies running counter to the theory were being ignored. Even worse, an entire group of scientists were not being heard, geologists, the very people who have the most knowledge about earth history. The science with the knowledge that should be most helpful in predicting future trends in climate was being ignored. Meteorologists, climatologists, physicists, chemists, biologists, even economists and politicians were making their view known, but where were the geologists?
I finally decided that this oversight needed correcting. This book is the result.
My goal in writing it is to summarize the science of global warming in a way that is understandable to ordinary people. For those desirous of learning more, references to cited peer-reviewed articles are provided. Throughout, I take a geologic point of view, intentionally elevating data above predictions and forecasts, for this is what has made the scientific method so successful in advancing the human condition. I do not discuss the politics of global warming, the economics, the merits of any particular policy direction or any point of view intentionally meant to favor one political party over another, whether liberal or conservative. Plenty of other books cover these topics.
There might be those who say I have failed at one or more of my objectives because they do not like what I say, while others might recommend the book because they do like my viewpoint. This is the unfortunate result of turning an important scientific question into a political piñata. Science and politics mix even worse than oil and water. Each needs to be kept in its cage completely isolated from the other. This is perhaps the most important lesson of the entire global warming controversy. It is in everyone's interest to try to keep it from happening again.
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Top Customer Reviews
Those with an inquiring mind and focused curiosity will be swept along with ease and excitement by G. Dedrick Robinson, who not only knows what he is talking about but manages to digest some rather complicated subjects into small Question & Answer bites that allow you to fluidly range through a very large sweep of the relevant material. Of the 20+ books in my library on this subject, this one is in my top 5 as a well grounded guide to all the others.
My recommendation to anyone who buys this book is to use it as a jumping off point into the critical areas that he covers. For someone who is not specifically a climatologist, Robinson, as a Professor of Geology, manages to dissect his subject ruthlessly with logic and integrity.
Well done from every angle.
For those who care about such things, there is no Index.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is one of their more recent failed predictions. But have they quit?Read more
Reminds me of Ian Pilmer's older Heaven and Earth.Read more