Most helpful critical review
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AGW deniers will be dissappointed, author accepts AGW, but is a climate 'optimist'
on 23 June 2014
This is by far the best "sceptic" book on the subject, I put inverted commas because the author declares that he accepts the majority scientific view on AGW and admits he's not a scientist and is in no position to argue otherwise, but his principle skepticism is of how we handle it.
This sets his book apart from much of the mad ravings of the climate change deniers who don't even recognize that man is responsible for the 40% increase in atmospheric CO2 (this is 100% provable due to the particular carbon isotopes from fossil fuel combustion present in the 'new' CO2 that's measured in the atmosphere, and also quite simply from historical records of coal and oil production/consumption).
In a nutshell, the authors argument boils down to:
There's a good chance AGW will be beneficial, we've plenty of time to adapt, and future generations will be much richer and able to deal with it anyway.
Basically he's an optimist.
He does however recognize the risk of catastrophic global warming, where positive feedbacks could put us on a slippery slope to a climate similar to the planet Venus, and does advocate a carbon tax instead of cap and trade (which he describes as a scam), and geo-engineering (putting aerosols into the stratosphere to block sunlight) as an emergency measure.
A few things that irritated me about this book however was the authors constant and mostly unqualified use of the word 'ubsurd' to dismiss many genuine concerns and in particular renewable energy. He states that the UK achieving 20% of its electricity from renewables is "beyond credibility", and yet Scotland now gets over 30% of its electricity from renewables, and Portugal gets over 50%.
Also, his suggestion that we could be giving kids food poisoning by not having a dishwasher and washing dishes in hand-hot water was his 'let them eat cake' moment in this book. Does he think everyone in the UK can afford and has the space for a dishwasher at home?