Initially I didn t think I would read the book as I thought it was of a cartoon guide to climate science Nothing against those, but I ve taken a few climate courses and didn t think this book would offer much to me However, I received a copy and within a couple of pages I was hooked If I were to ever give a presentation on climate science not that I do those I would use this book as a guide And not just climate science The broad outlines and examples they use as to how science in general operates is something that should be included again and again in classrooms, and if I were to return to teaching I would incorporate that material on general science into one of my classes and re emphasize it several times during the year.
They authors take what sometimes seems like overwhelming information and boil it down to the basics For example Chapter 2 gives the basics of climate science, which are quite simple Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere traps heat, and we are adding CO2 to the atmosphere The rest is details Of course, the details can be exceedingly complex as the authors acknowledge They say, though, that the arguing and misrepresentations over those details never will change the basic fact that CO2 in the atmosphere traps heat and warms the Earth s surface That seems worthwhile repeating.
The rest of the book covers topics on why we should care, the attack on climate science and scientists and some of the key figures in this attack if you ve read Merchants of Doubt by Oreskes you ll recognize all of the figures mentioned , some geoengineering ideas and problems with those , and a last chapter challenging us to start acting like this is our one and only home and take care of it.
The cartoons, by Tom Toles, serve as useful mnemonic devices I may not recall a particular point but when I see the cartoon I then remember the points made that the cartoon references Although not a big fan of cartoons in books I certainly can see how useful they are when done well, and the subject, content, and positioning of the cartoons has been done well.
Overall, this book was a pleasant surprise and I am quite grateful to the person who got it for me because otherwise I might not have read it.
Learn from those who know best and explain well Those who paid the price and still move on Heros of America Climate change is a serious threat to the greater good of society, and climate deniers have used propaganda to attack the science so that nothing gets done about it The Madhouse Effect lays out in clear language what is climate denial and describes the dirty tricks of climate deniers to cast doubt on the science If you care about our world and the world of our children and grandchildren, read this well written book by two leaders who have been fighting in the trenches for climate change action.
It covers how science works, profiles major deniers, examines cockamamie geo engineering proposals that just make everything far worse, and even a chapter on the six stages of denial, like the six stages of coping with death There is a parallel there.
Along the way we learn some basic scientific principles Skepticism used to mean holding science to the highest proofs and standards, according to Mann Now skeptics are simply deniers, despite all the evidence around us and the solidarity of scientists worldwide Any scientist who could actually show the earth is not warming would immediately rise to global stardom But all we have is a small cadre of naysayers whose propositions are easily, and continually, refuted Deniers say we should take no action until we are absolutely certain of damage from climate change Economists say the opposite it is the very uncertainty we face that requires immediate action to avoid the unpredictable effects of the long tail.
At bottom, there are just way too many people When we were part of the ecological system, the earth could manage both with us and despite us That is no longer the case We have taken ourselves out of the system and pretend we can live above it Not for long.
The deniers continue to maintain we can They are headed by self interested suspects like the Koch Brothers whose minions came up with the deathless slogan They call it pollution We call it life Until now, that s about as humorous as the controversy has been The Madhouse Effect employs humor too, because otherwise it would just be rage.
David Wineberg A professor and artist share the impending doom of Earth due to human damage Shares how an idea is presented and may have to be reworked, though mistakes are still made Concerns about food, water, energy, seal level, health, and Shares people who deny the problems in cartoons.
The Award Winning Climate Scientist Michael E Mann And The Pulitzer Prize Winning Political Cartoonist Tom Toles Have Been On The Front Lines Of The Fight Against Climate Denialism For Most Of Their Careers They Have Witnessed The Manipulation Of The Media By Business And Political Interests And The Unconscionable Play To Partisanship On Issues That Affect The Well Being Of Billions The Lessons They Have Learned Have Been Invaluable, Inspiring This Brilliant, Colorful Escape Hatch From The Madhouse Of The Climate Wars The Madhouse Effect Portrays The Intellectual Pretzels Into Which Denialists Must Twist Logic To Explain Away The Clear Evidence That Human Activity Has Changed Earth S Climate Toles S Cartoons Collapse Counter Scientific Strategies Into Their Biased Components, Helping Readers See How To Best Strike At These Fallacies Mann S Expert Skills At Science Communication Aim To Restore Sanity To A Debate That Continues To Rage Against Widely Acknowledged Scientific Consensus The Synergy Of These Two Climate Science Crusaders Enlivens The Gloom And Doom Of So Many Climate Themed books And May Even Convert Die Hard Doubters To The Side Of Sound Science I ve read many convincing books from the skeptical side of the debate about climate change I m aware that I m suffering from confirmation bias However, most of the pro AGW anthropogenic global warming books available focus on what society might do about climate change, taking the science for granted Naomi Klein s recent book being a good example I ve been looking for a good book making the scientific case in support of alarmist climate science to balance the argument This book is not it.
Mann s prose is very readable and he does make some good points the chapter on geoengineering for example However, the science gets short shrift For example, the most contentious issue in climate science is the climate s sensitivity to increases in CO2 Additional CO2 produces a small effect, insufficient to cause catastrophic warming on its own In AGW theory, positive feedbacks in water vapour are assumed to amplify the CO2 warming effect The entire case for climate action effectively rests on this key issue Mann covers this issue in one short paragraph that simply asserts the reasoning behind the positive feedback argument without citing any studies or evidence to support it The lack of any corroboration won t change a sceptical point of view Meanwhile, the climate s stubborn refusal to warm at anything like the rate that computer models programmed with positive feedback assumptions have forecast suggests that feedbacks may be low, neutral or even negative Mann ignores this problem.
Most of the book is given over to attacking other scientists and politicians who disagree with Mann Anyone not in agreement with him is branded with the nasty denialist term or labelled as a contrarian His attacks are typically ad hominem without a discussion of the actual issue at hand Prominent sceptical scientists like Roy Spencer have their entire careers and views dismissed because of errors in their data 25 years ago that were acknowledged and corrected, whilst Mann glosses over the well documented issues with data in his own work See Andrew Montford s fascinating book for on this.
It seems highly likely, as Mann asserts throughout, that fossil fuel interests have funded research to support their interests However, that does not necessarily invalidate the resulting findings for example the effect of the natural 1500 year Dansgaard Oeshger cycles, the effect of cosmic rays or the effects of changing solar intensity , which I would like to have seen refuted by Mann It s perhaps telling that two scientists who have been most critical of Mann s work, Steve Macintyre and Ross McKittrick, are not mentioned at all They forensically uncovered the flaws in Mann s famous hockey stick graph and refuted its key finding All one can surmise from this is that Mann could not link them to fossil fuel funding and had no real rebuttal to their actual findings.
Mann caps it all by making frequent appeals to authority to the widely derided 97% consensus and even the Pope This seems like an act of desperation This book has considerably strengthened my existing views and left quite a bad taste in my mouth Can somebody please point me in the direction of a balanced and well argued case for AGW As both an atmospheric scientist and concerned citizen I highly recommend this book In this hi tech age, the contributions of science and scientists underpin the knowledge and technology that sustain and enhance almost every aspect of our civilisation Yet, never have they faced concerted and sophisticated attacks by powerful, vested interests Climate science and scientists are at the forefront a battle to defend the credibility of the scientific method and evidence based policy making against a rising tide of unscrupulous individuals and organisations whose capacity to discredit science and spread misinformation for personal and political gain has been greatly enhanced by online publishing and social media.
Our lives and those of future generations depend on you understanding the scale and urgency of the threats posed by man made climate change This book will help you navigate the maze of spurious and fake scientific argument spread by man made climate change denialists.
Global warming as a product of rising CO2 levels was predicted over a hundred years ago, yet still the debate rages on with both sides as entrenched as ever Why Michael Mann convincingly argues that time after time, doubt has been sown in the minds of policy makers and the general public by a slick PR machine working on behalf of the fossil fuel industry.
As a case in point do you remember the hockey stick , the controversial graph Michael Mann created showing how the global average temperature rise dramatically correlates with the increasing use of fossil fuels This fuelled a scientific debate that lasted years On one side was the scientific consensus On the other side a band of PR gurus, contrarians, cranks and guns for hire who waged a relentless war on Mann and his fellow scientists However, despite the relentless attacks, the matter was settled in the mid noughties with the addition of multiple new data sources And guess what Mann s graph was right No scientist, even those opposed, now believes that the hockey stick graph isn t accurate.
Or do you remember a controversial paper by two scientists using satellite data who showed the heating effect was an illusion and cast doubt on the entire phenomenon of global warming No Well, maybe that is because it turned out to be based on erroneous data and an incompetently programmed piece of code that counted positives as negatives due to a typo.
If you are detecting a pattern here it s because there is one Myth after myth is produced by the scientists and PR machine hired by fossil fuel industry to obscure the truth, and in this book Man explains how each challenge has been debunked The fact that many of the same people denying climate change on behalf of fossil fuels were previously working for the tobacco industry, should tell you everything about the type of unscrupulous rear guard action the industry is fighting here.
The only reason I give this book a four star rating is because the book doesn t criticise the failure of climate scientists to communicate the threat of climate change adequately This failure and the questionable IPCC process has also contributed to the scary situation we are finding ourselves in, and I think the scientific and international community have to take their fair share of the blame in this.