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No Tomorrow Paperback – April 30, 2008

3.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Author

I wrote this book after seeing the "documentary" The Great Global Warming Swindle, and wondered what it would be like to do a proper job, rather than a hatchet job on the science, which led to creating a fictional character trying to do just that. Why do I mainly present the mainstream science and not the anti-mainstream science? Because I battled to find any real science opposing the mainstream. By this I mean verifiable, evidence-based alternatives that explain reality at least as well - let alone better than - the mainstream. Almost all attacks on the mainstream rely on bluster, taking things out of context, implying improper motives on the part of scientists and bogus debating tactics like appeal to authority (a famous professor said this so it must be true). With no hint of irony, many of the people using these tactics accuse the mainstream of them.

Much of the attack on mainstream science is political since there really is no serious alternative. The nearest there is is Richard Lindzen at MIT, but his theories have comprehensively failed the test of measurement against reality. The only other serious group of scientists attempting to counter the mainstream are at the University of Alabama at Huntsville. For a while their satellite-based temperature trend was significantly below every other published data set (in terms of rate of increase) but with correction of errors, that is no longer the case.

My aim in writing this book was initially to see if there was any merit in the anti-mainstream position. I couldn't find any, so I shifted focus to explaining the mainstream. If the anti-mainstream comes across mainly as emotional, that reflects the reality that I found.

In a complex scientific field, there are many areas of doubt and uncertainty. Climate science is no different. We use technology on a daily basis that is based on the same scientific principles (e.g., a GPS system). Amplifying doubt and uncertainty to cause inaction is a political attack on the transfer of science to policy, and does not undermine the science. We've seen the same thing with attacks on the link between tobacco and cancer, the ozone hole and the science of HIV.

If you really want to understand the science in all its complexity, you need a science textbook, not a novel. I recommend Raymond T. Pierrehumbert's Principles of Planetary Climate. You need a fair amount of calculus to understand it. The key thing you learn from it is that the modern science of climate is well founded on basic sciences, and the uncertainties are no greater than any application of a range of sciences to a complex real-world problem.

About the Author

Philip Machanick is an associate professor of Computer Science at Rhodes University in South Africa. He holds a PhD in computer science, and has worked as an academic and researcher at University of Queensland in Australia, University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa and Stanford University.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 362 pages
  • Publisher: RAMpage Research (April 30, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0980451019
  • ISBN-13: 978-0980451016
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,124,980 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have mixed emotions about this book (debated giving it a fourth star). It was not what I expected. It has some science - all pro climate change. The opposing view gets primarily emotion and little or no scientific treatment. Although it claims to be doing an unbiased review, it does not feel all that unbiased. It should be read as a novel about a guy making a pseudo-scientific documentary. There are interviews with NASA, and other scientists; however these interviews are fictional. Maybe the text represents what the scientist says but it is actually what the author thinks the real scientists are likely to have said. This next statement may be seen as revealing my conservative, older generational biases but having the lead character hopping into the sack with a woman he has only known for a few hours does not add to my faith in the validity of the message on global warming. Still and all, not a bad book. As a romance novel, it is quite acceptable. As a serious reputable work on climate change, well, I think that depends more on the preconceived beliefs of the reader.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Martin Truscott is seeking the truth about climate change and making a pilot for a documentary, on a shoe string, partly in response to an existing documentary, a poorly-made attack on climate change scientists. But, what if, asks Martin, the `sceptics' were really modern day Galileos? The arguments about the science and the sceptics are well rehearsed as the novel traces Martin's interviews with a series of key players. An easy readable introduction to key issues such as about possible sea rises, influence of clouds are addressed, and the story is well told with mounting tension and insight into some of the political processes at work. The narrative has a parallel story about Truscott's growing awareness of himself and the truth about his own personal past. While Machanick captures some of the flavour of the Queensland, US connection with an account of the romance between Martin and the Californian Angie, less satisfactory, to this reader at least, is the novel's focus on Martin's difficult relationships with his father and his mother's partner. I was more interested to follow the thread of the impact of Martin's final documentary on global warming and its successes and failures but we don't get this centre stage. Overall, however, this is one of the better, well-written novels I have read recently on global warming.
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Format: Kindle Edition
First I should mention that, although we live in different cities, I have come to know Philip Machanick reasonably well over the last 4-5 years by way of various things we have done together of up to a few days at a time.

No Tomorrow can be viewed from several different perspectives: It's a romantic novel; it's a fun book in various ways; it's a story of a young man's reconciliation with his dad; most of all, though, it's a searching examination of the science and pseudo-science related to global warming.

The author clearly did a significant amount of research into the views and supporting science behind both the proponents' and the sceptics' theories. Some of this is revealed as the main character, Martin Truscott, reviews the research and talks to the characters on both sides of the fence. For the purpose of the book, the researchers Truscott talks to are fictitious, but their theories, their institutions and much of the background are not.

I found it difficult to put this book down for much of the way through it. It challenges the reader to think about the important subject that inspired it. It gives an insight into the way science works and the fact that it isn't a dogmatic, unchanging truth, but rather evolves as more is revealed and learned.

No plot is perfect, and that's true of this one, but the defects seemed minor compared with the work as a whole. First novel it may be, but No Tomorrow is an excellent work by an author who is a thinker.

No Tomorrow is well worth a read -- highly recommended.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I liked that the author seemed to do some research for the book. The story itself was blah. I didn't dislike it but I found that I was skipping over sections that seemed unnecessary to the story.
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