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Taken By Storm: The Troubled Science, Policy and Politics of Global Warming

by Christopher Essex, published by Key Porter Books (2003-05)

Buy now from Amazon.com for $19.95
Amazon rating of 3.5 out of 5, Amazon sales rank: 102043

Editor's Review:

TAKEN BY STORM explores the science, policy and debate over global warming.

The physical phenomena in climate and weather are among the most complex in nature, and science can say very little about what they will do in the future. Yet a large international policy framework has been built precisely on the assumption that we know what is happening and how to control it. In TAKEN BY STORM, Christopher Essex and Ross McKitrick prove this assumption false, carefully explaining the science of climate change and deconstructing the widespread myth of global warming. They argue that the connection between between science and society is disintegrating, and they propose a vital first step toward repairing this relationship.

Reader Reviews:

Just a few of points on this book that should give one pause:

1. The case for a significant human influence on climate goes far beyond the "hockey stick". Still, McKitrick's claims have been thoroughly addressed by ACTUAL CLIMATOLOGISTS and those who closely follow their work. You can easily find rebuttals and analysis on the web, from Michael Mann, Gavin Schmidt, Tim Lambert, and others. The hockey stick temperature reconstruction has also been independently verified.

2. Regarding the surface temperature record: Other data, including the satellite record (corrected for stratospheric bias), and recent oceanic research, confirm the warming trend, as do numerous observational studies.

3. Misleading arguments about water vapor are often made in "skeptic" circles, despite the fact that water vapor is included in climate studies - but as a feedback. Evaporation and precipitation cycle water vapor through the atmosphere about every 10 days on average, maintaining an overall balance at levels determined by temperature. In other words, water vapor can amplify a warming trend, but it's irrelevant as a forcing factor (excepting small anthropogenic amounts in the stratosphere). If humans were to pump a million tons of extra water vapor into the air tomorrow, most of it would precipitate out within a week and a half. Carbon dioxide, on the other hand, can remain in the atmosphere for decades to centuries (determined by various processes), and have feedback effects far beyond that. Human CO2 output (the full influence of which is delayed by oceanic inertia) is exceeding natural absorption, and accumulating rapidly.

So one piece of advice when reading material like this: Look into the REST of the story before coming to the comfortable or convenient conclusion that we're having little impact on the future.In my attemps to grasp the core issues around the science and politics of global warming I have stumbled upon a very enlightening book. The book covers a variety topics from the current connection between facts, science, politics, and policy, to the the concept of uncertainty in existing climate technology. It is not overly ambitious in the scientific concepts it presents to readers who are at least aware of the current global warming discussion, and it remains respectful to the field of climate science. Overall, a fun read and a reminder to the world of science that life is unpredictable, non-linear, and has infinite outcomes.This is such tired well refuted ground that I am constantly surprised books like this manage to get published. It is enough to know that nonsense like his only appears in the popular press and not in peer-reviewed scientific literature. Peer-review journals wouldn't touch this garbage. What more do you need to know concerning its validity?Mr. Essex and Mr. McKitrick have written a very impressive critique of the faulty science and pseudoscience behind the global warming theory. Particularly impressive is their explanation of the faulty modeling of the climate by the U.N. working committees. The book demonstrates how the collection of average temperatures is no way to model the climate whose relationships are nonlinear and are in constant disequilibrium. The authors demonstrate the uselessness of the U.N. climate models better than anyone else I have read. The authors to their great credit also expose many of the propaganda devices of the establishment and environmentalist proponents of controlling global warming. Way too many of the media, government and establishment information outlets are controlled by people who uncritically support the global warming hypothesis.

Mr. Essex and Mr. Mckitrick might criticized a bit for their presentation. The authors discuss quite difficult concepts that might well be out of range for the average reader. Even a person like myself who has taken a number of college mathematics courses had to read slowly and carefully several of their chapters. I think the authors should have used gray boxes to carefully explain the more difficult concepts, as is done in some science textbooks. For less experienced readers the book by Michaels and Balling (The Satanic Gases) might be a clearer exposition.

But the work is still stupendous.Many professors of Climate Science realize that carbon dioxide generated by human activity has caused little or no global warming. Essex and McKitrick, even as outsiders to the field, provide the most entertaining expos? of climate modeling nonsense I have seen. The flaws in climate modeling, the absence of
water vapor as the most important greenhouse gas in most enviro manifestoes, the fraud behind the "hockey stick" graph of temperature over the last 1,000 years that claims that the 20th century has been the warmest of the millenium, and the lack of coverage of the remaining ground temperature measurement
stations are all revealed, and backed with citations to peer-reviewed journals. Even the dynamics of human group polarization are explained at length as the reason why this subject receives almost no serious scientific discussion.

The hockey stick temperature vs. time graph was defended by its perpetrator (Mann). A new peer-reviewed article defends the work in the book and amplfies it: Stephen McIntyre and Ross
McKitrick.Corrections to the Mann et al (1998) Proxy Data Base and Northern Hemisphere Average Temperature Series. Energy and Environment 14(6) 751-772. This is one of the few journals on climate that will consider articles with the facts: there is no correlation, as the books shows, with CO2 levels and lower atmosphere temperatures. http://www.uoguelph.ca/~rmckitri/research/trc.html

The views in the book are supported by other authors in the books Hot Talk, Cold Science; Fragile Science; Global Warming and Other Eco-Myths; and The Skeptical Environmentalist.
Learn more...

Explore more:
Global warming

See also:
The Discovery of Global Warming : , (New Histories of Science, Technology, and Medicine)

The Discovery of Global Warming : , (New Histories of Science, Technology, and Medicine)

Global Warming and East Asia; The Domestic and International Politics of Climate Change (Routledge Research in Environmental Politics, 4)

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