The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming and Environmentalism, by Christopher C. Horner, Washington, DC: Regnery, Jan 2007, 350pp softback, $20.
What a shame that this penetrating, sarcastic yet accurate polemic has to be made available as something "politically incorrect." Since it was written by a Senior Fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, this by itself might have been enough to make an old "tree-hugger" avoid it.
Part I is an exposé of the true motivations of today's self-proclaimed enviros, who are shown to take seriously the line: "We're from the government, and we're here to help you!" Their priorities are shown by Horner to be global government, tight controls over individuals, and, very oddly for Americans, leveling the playing field for business by transferring wealth from developed countries to the rest. This is shown to be the only result so far among the 15 countries participating in the Kyoto Treaty to lower carbon dioxide emissions. Actually the Treaty is said to be aimed at lowering carbon dioxide concentrations, which is a stretch. Emissions among the 15 have not been lowered at all, but wealth has been transferred. Since human-caused warming has little basis in science, as shown below, enviro beliefs must be considered to be a strange religion, according to Horner. Claims of consensus for the enviros' alarmist views are dismissed by showing how certain literature searches were woefully incomplete and how many climatologists with credentials, as well as other scientists, do not agree with the alarmist view even though they are not "Holocaust deniers."
Part II deals with the claims made for the effect of carbon dioxide on "global warming." Changes in near-surface temperatures of the Earth are presented in clear form with adequate graphs.
Horner depicts enviro efforts to control temps as requiring lying about what actual temps are and have been. According to Horner, enviros have "eliminated" the global cooling from 1940–1970, tried to hide the warming from 1900–1940 and the "Little Ice Age" from 1450–1850, and especially the "Medieval Climate Optimum" from 1000–1450 AD, when temps were warmer than now. The most extreme fraud was said to be that of Michael E. Mann in his "hockey stick" graph of temps from 1000–1998, published in 1999. Two Canadians, Steven McIntyre and Ross McKitrick, found data selection and computer massaging of the data series used, and persuaded the Editor of Nature to demand a "correction of error," which was done with ill grace. Yet the "hockey stick" graph is still presented as the temp record of 1000 years by alarmists. Many other details are given of disappearing ground stations for temps, no correction for urban heat island effects, general cooling in the southern hemisphere for 50 years, and the total non-correlation of temps with carbon dioxide concentrations. Like old Communist re-writing of history, the Medieval Climate Optimum during low carbon dioxide concentrations had to be written out of history so the innocents would think there is unprecedented warming NOW.
Part III shines light on the complicity of most mainstream media in the climate hoaxes, the willingness of corporations to find ways to get fatter on some of that wealth transfer, and Al Gore's "Inconvenient Ruse." In this, Horner lists 15 specific omissions in the prize-winning docuganda An Inconvenient Truth, and 19 errors of commission. Meaning that if AIT were used as evidence in a court trial, there would be at least 34 counts of perjury possible. It might have been better if the excoriation of Gore had been left until after the factual points had been made.
Part IV delineates the probable lack of effect of Kyoto on warming and the staggering costs if it were ever seriously implemented, as China, India, Brazil and for now the USA, say they will not do. Horner's political sympathies are clear as he points out that former President Clinton had a proxy sign the treaty, but never pushed for its approval, knowing how it would fare in the US Senate. Then there are many examples of Bush-bashing for not signing the treaty as though it had not already been signed by a USA designee. Again, global governance is shown as the true goal of climate malarkey.
Finally, on p. 303, Horner wrote: "As the curtain descends on the remnants of scientific inquiry into and free speech about ‘environmental’ and other such issues of controversy, we confront a circumstance in which a naturally driven climate is seized upon to cow a population with fear by governments seeking to expand their powers and businesses itching to profit from Man's gullibility. But it isn't over yet."
Horner's writing is easy to read fast, academically referenced (but with very few citations to peer-reviewed journals) and has a good index. One of the very few errors was writing that the breaking of the strong C-C and C-H bonds in hydrocarbons releases energy (p. 68). Of course, this process requires energy, as any Chemistry text would show. Ethanol does not evaporate more easily than gasoline (p. 267). There are reasonable numbers of graphs and quotations.
For an equally accurate book without the pejoratives and sarcasm, and better sources of citations, see Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1,500 Years by S. Fred Singer, PhD, and Dennis T. Avery, Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, Oct 2006. Fewer laughs, though.
Joel M. Kauffman [send him mail] is Professor of Chemistry Emeritus at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia.