“The theme of this book is the unsound science behind “global warming” and “climate change”, and the irrational behavior that it has spawned. The book is not a scientific treatise, but a more popular work, though one based on quantitative reasoning and scientific analysis. It discusses at some length the evidence against global warming, and describes the large-scale experiments done on renewable (“green”) energy production, and their generally lackluster results to date. It has numerous line-drawn cartoons ridiculing global warming, and sidebars with damaging quotations. The book is not a balanced, objective view of the global warming controversy, but an attempt to show that the global warming theory is at variance with the facts and hopeless as a blueprint for action. As the title suggests, the author believes that some type of collective insanity (or at least absurd groupthink) has overtaken the world of the intelligentsia and political leaders. Readers looking for a balanced treatment will have to find another book or else seek out the views of the global warming advocates in order to learn the other side of the debate.
“To understand the issues, it is necessary to distinguish at least four major questions, the distinctions among which the author does not make as clear as might be desirable:
- Is global warming/climate change occurring at an “unnatural” rate due to human activity?
- Are current efforts designed to mitigate such change effective now, or can they be in the future?
- Are resources that should be conserved now being squandered?
- Can our current energy- and resource-intensive lifestyle be maintained, or maintained at a lower level of consumption?
“Most of the book is devoted to discussion of the first issue. This is clearly the focus of most of today’s debate. Let us observe at the outset that “climate change” is something that has always happened; the question today is whether recent observed changes in climate—mainly increases in temperature—are due exclusively or in large measure to human activity, and thus subject to diminution or reversal. The scientific consensus, articulated principally by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), is that the warming is unprecedented, and thus must be due to human activity, in particular increased CO2 emissions, since no other explanation presents itself (e.g., increased volcanic activity, change in solar radiation). The thesis that human activity is at the root of global warming and associated climate change is known as “anthropogenic global warming” (AGW), and nearly all evidence is interpreted so as to support it—something that has alarmed many scientists. The reader is no doubt aware that every extreme weather event—hurricanes, tornadoes, cold winters, warm winters, wet summers, drought, hot summers, and coral reefs dying off—are blamed by someone on “global warming”; and few are the skeptics who dare to question this explanation. There are indeed effects credibly ascribed to the warming, or at least impacted by it, including shrinking of the north polar icecap, rising sea levels, change in ocean acidity, coral reef degeneration, and some changes in flora and fauna.”