The Dangers of Disputing Warming Orthodoxy

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Red Hot Lies: How Global Warming Alarmists Use Threats, Fraud, and Deception to Keep You Misinformed. By Christopher C. Horner. Regnery, 2008. Viii + 407 pages. An audio version of this review, read by Dr. Floy Lilley, is available as a free MP3 download.

Those of us who refuse to accept calls from proponents of global warming for drastic restrictions on production often confront objections like this:

You skeptics, blinded by fanatical devotion to the free market, ignore evidence. True enough, you can trot out a few scientists who agree with you. But the overwhelming majority of climate scientists view man-made global warming as a great threat to the world. The course of inaction you urge on us threatens the earth with disaster.

Christopher Horner’s excellent book provides a convincing response to this all-too-frequent complaint.

But how can it do so? Will not an "anti-global-warming" book of necessity consist of an account of scientists who dissent from the consensus? If so, will it not fall victim to the difficulty raised in our imagined objection? The book will pick a few favored experts to back up a preconceived political agenda.

Horner strikes at the root of this objection: it rests on a false premise. Contrary to what our objection assumes, there is in fact no consensus of scientists behind global-warming alarmism.

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January 9, 2009

David Gordon [send him mail] is a senior fellow at the Ludwig von Mises Institute and editor of its Mises Review. He is also the author of The Essential Rothbard. See also his Books on Liberty.

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