|Back to May Ed Reporter|
|NUMBER 257||THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS||MAY 2007|
Much of the current public debate on global warming lacks intellectual rigor. Agencies issue scientific studies, and journalists turn the press release or the "Summary for Policymakers" into a dramatic, earth-on-fire front-page story. The politically motivated press release often misrepresents the actual study; and the consequent media coverage often misrepresents even the press release.
As Christopher C. Horner writes, "Despite implicit and occasionally explicit antipathy toward capitalism, [editors] are in the business to sell papers and draw viewers at a profit, and 'Many Causes Likely at Play in Century-Long Temperature Increase of 0.6 °C' won't sell copy like, say, 'Be worried, Be very worried.' "
This book is an extremely useful resource for understanding the science and politics of global warming. Horner reports in detail on climate science, the history of our climate, and the history of the manmade climate-change debate. Each of these aspects is crucial to debunking some important climate myths.
For example, we've all seen the famous "hockey stick graph" showing a millennium of stable temperatures followed by 30 years of sudden warming. Horner shows us the 1995 climate history chart from the UN's International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), on which the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age are the most notable features. Then he shows us the chart the IPCC released six years later. The Medieval Warm Period, which made Greenland friendly to agriculture, and the Little Ice Age, which caused rivers in various countries to freeze like never before, are gone.
It's not because these things didn't happen. Advocates of energy rationing and other global warming policies often knowingly exaggerate their claims, Horner shows. "No matter if the science is all phony," said Canada's environment minister publicly in 1998, "there are still collateral environmental benefits" to global warming policies. "Climate change [provides] the greatest chance to bring about justice and equality in the world."
After laying out the other side of the story, and the political and profit motives driving much of the global warming fury, Horner devotes a chapter each to "the cost of the alarmist agenda" and the Kyoto Protocol. His reasoned responses to media and popular myths, and the book's laugh-out-loud humor, make this book a great read for anyone who wants to hear from both sides of this important issue.