Two excellent new books to cheer the sceptic's soul, Heaven + Earth - Global Warming: The Missing Science by Professor Ian Plimer and Air Con by Ian Wishart. These two publications approach the global warming debate from different directions, but end up complementing each other very well.
Ian Plimer's book is a thorough look at the science of global warming. As a geologist, Professor Plimer is perfectly placed to put the current climate change debate in the context of the history of the planet. It documents billions of years of climate change on earth, and puts into perspective the claims that somehow we are, just by coincidence, living at a time of "perfect climate".
Professor Plimer takes us on a journey through the planet, with chapters entitled History, The Sun, Earth, Ice, Water and Air, describing in exceptional detail the interrelationships between these factors and the planet's climate. It also puts humanity's place in the scheme of things into stark perspective. The human race has a very high opinion of itself sometimes - for example, its ability to control climate by tinkering with a harmless trace gas - and reading this book disabuses us of that notion - we are but a tiny irrelevance in the universal scale of things. An important lesson that politicians should learn.
The book, as its subtitle indicates, is focused on the science, and will deserve a second (and probably third) read. There is a wealth of information to digest - but it is well worth it.
By contrast, Ian Wishart's book Air Con is a little more approachable for the non-scientific reader, and whilst including enough essential science to gain a good understanding of the issues, concentrates more on the political aspects of the global warming debate, including how the global warming industry has tried (unsuccessfully) to shut down any criticism of the consensus, and exposes the scientific skulduggery that often goes on to perpetuate global warming alarmism.
One of my favorite sections quotes headlines from 1895 ("Geologists think the world may be frozen up again") through the 1930s ("Chicago is in the front rank of thousands of cities throughout the world which have been affected by a mysterious trend toward warmer climate in the last two decades") to 1975 ("Cold winters herald dawn of new Ice Age"), showing the yo-yo-ing backwards and forwards from fears of global cooling, to global warming and back again. If nothing else, such headlines demonstrate that humanity has a tendency always to think that the present time is the most important and crucial time in history, and that action on something must be taken "now". It's a shame we still haven't learned from past mistakes.
ACM highly recommends both books as essential reading for those who wish to gain a more detailed understanding of the climate change debate.
Heaven + Earth can be ordered here.
Air Con can be ordered here.
Thanks to Ian Wishart for providing a copy of Air Con for review.