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Climate of Extremes: Global Warming Science They Don't Want You to Know [Hardcover]

Patrick J. Michaels
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Mar 2010
Is the weather truly getting worse? When it comes to global warming, dire predictions seem to be all we see or hear. Climatologists Patrick Michaels and Robert Balling Jr. explain why the news and information we receive about global warming have become so apocalyptic. The science itself has become increasingly biased, with warnings of extreme consequences from global warming becoming the norm. That bias is then communicated through the media, who focus on only extreme predictions. The authors compellingly illuminate the other side of the story, the science we aren't being told. This body of work details how the impact of global warming is far less severe than is generally believed and far from catastrophic.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Cato Institute,U.S. (1 Mar 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933995238
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933995236
  • Product Dimensions: 3 x 15 x 22.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,221,564 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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This book's title refers to the current scientific environment, which Michaels and Balling view as biased toward alarmism with respect to climate change issues. The authors recognize that anthropogenic global warming is a reality, but criticize mainstream climate science through a review of peer-reviewed literature -CHOICE In Climate of Extremes, two distinguished climatologists analyze the media's message about various alleged doomsday scenarios resulting from global warming-with particular attention to observational data. In each case, they demonstrate that potentially negative effects of increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have been exaggerated or even fabricated, whereas any positive effects have been ignored. An informed citizenry is essential for wise national decisions in a democracy. Climate of Extremes provides important and honest information about climate change that is hard to find elsewhere. -WILL HAPPER Professor of Physics and Former Chairman of the University Research Board, Princeton University Former Director, Office of Energy Research, U.S. Department of Energy Michaels and Balling have provided a treasure trove of the latest global warming science that you won't hear about through the media and reveal the absurdity of the claim that the science of man-made global warming is settled. -ROY W. SPENCER Principal Research Scientist, University of Alabama-Huntsville Recipient, NASA's Medal for Exceptional Scientific You don't have to be a skeptic to be curious about how solid the alleged global warming consensus really is. This book will open your eyes, if you are open to evidence and arguments. -BENNY PEISER Liverpool John Moores University, United Kingdom

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58 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Intro to the Climate Change Debate 25 Mar 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is basically a major rewrite of Michaels' 2004 "Meltdown" book. Like Meltdown, it is very good. The authors accept that CO2 emissions are responsible for some global warming but they counsel against the alarmism that we see everywhere. They go to the science, and they make their case very well. Are there more hurricanes than there used to be? What might sea level rises be by 2100? What is the 'hockey stick' debate about? Are the poles melting and by how much? These questions and many more are examined with clarity and wit.
Michaels is an excellent writer and one always feels him to have a real command of his subject. He is a climatologist with years of employment at the university of Virginia under his belt.
He is unpopular with the mainstream scientific 'consensus' who regard him as too much of a sceptic - questions are asked as to his funding and his motivation, and sure some of his funding looks to be dubious and the Cato Institute is a right wing libertarian outfit. But this does not intrude into the text, except in a few areas where the authors offer potential solutions to some of the problems they perceive within the current scientific research environment.
This is an excellent and very accessible read, and I recommend it to mainstream and sceptic alike, and for all who like to do a bit of thinking 'outside the box'.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You can't have it both ways 2 Mar 2011
You have to wonder why we are in such a mess in relation to understanding climate change. The scientific community at large are doing themselves more damage to their credibilty over climate change than anything else.
This book starts by telling us how many scientists have lost their jobs by daring to question any of the politicians who claim that the science of global warming theory is settled. It is anything but settled.

This book goes through the many aspects of Global warming and many of the predictions and statements that are made. It looks at the facts and where they do not stack up with the statements it tells you what the differences are.

The book , for all that its content is scientific , is very readable. It is clear and well researched.

Buy it, read it, enjoy it.

And you too will understand

-the ebb and flow of the arctic ice

-how the data on warming has been massaged to fit with the theories and computer models

-how natural phenomena like elNino have a major impact on climate and have done so for thousands of years

- how the predictions are all the product of computer simulations - like a weather forcast for the next 500 years, ( we cannot forecast 3 days ahead let alone 500 years)

- and how little sea level rise and how little temperature change is actually predicted.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sceptics view 14 Feb 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is very persuasive. Logic and no hysteria asks so often seen. He really knows his stuff and writes very well.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mbknees 3 Jun 2013
By mbknees
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Just goes to show that even the scientists can't agree. I have never subscribed to Global warming myself, just another tax grab.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.9 out of 5 stars  39 reviews
88 of 104 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A moderate book filled with relevant information 31 Jan 2009
By Lubos Motl - Published on
It is a very nice book that is crowded with graphs and information.

At the beginning, Michaels announces that he will have to leave his school in June 2009 because the current conditions don't allow him to keep both his scientific integrity and the funding. You will find some embarrassing quotes by leading IPCC scientists and Al Gore. But then the real book begins.

The authors classify themselves as believers in man-made contributions to global warming but disbelievers in the climate apocalypse. Rationally speaking, I agree with them.

They explain that the moderate climate scientists such as themselves are being prosecuted. But the bulk of the book is made out of hundreds or thousands of graphs and their clear interpretations - about the temperature history (obtained by different methods), the number of hurricanes, sea level, ice volumes, fires, droughts, methane, refugees, and lots of other things.

The evidence that there is no reason for hysteria is overwhelming. Pretty much any major consequence of the "apocalypse" is clarified by real numbers in the book and the tricks used by certain people to create a false impression of a problem often become transparent.

At the end of the book, they describe the sociological mechanisms that allow the hysteria to flourish - e.g. scientists trying to guarantee funding for their teams. Nevertheless, they also explain that the sensible, "moderate" scientific papers are so consistent that their survival rate exceeds the mad papers, anyway. Their proposals what to do can be found in the last chapter. The book has an index and a couple of colorful pages on a high-quality paper in the middle. It was published by CATO. (click on the left) offers you a huge discount.

Recommended both as a book to read and as a very useful reference.
98 of 117 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real Data Plus Real Scientists Equals No Problem 4 Feb 2009
By David Kreutzer - Published on
What are climate skeptics skeptical about? Patrick Michaels and Robert Balling, Jr. do not doubt that manmade global warming is occurring, in fact, they are skeptical about claims that the global warming of the past 50 years is entirely or predominantly due to natural cycles. Early in their new book, Climate of Extremes, they counter these claims with evidence that the observed warming, while not entirely manmade, has the fingerprints of manmade global warming.

But, they are very clear that there are natural cycles--local, regional and global--and that the hysterical predictions of imminent climate catastrophe are based on either the confusion of natural variability with anthropogenic causes, or are based on faulty and biased computer models. Following the theme of Michaels' earlier book, Meltdown: The Predictable Distortion of Global Warming by Scientists, Politicians, and the Media, they examine the record of the climate and of climatologists.

Both records argue for much more calm than many media, politicians and scientists exhibit. Michaels and Balling debunk the signs of climate doom. The arctic ice cap melting is not unprecedented. The much-hyped melting of Greenland's ice sheet is .008% per year, which would lead to a sea-level rise of two inches per century--not the 20 feet projected in An Inconvenient Truth--and even that is overlooking the actual net accumulation of ice that occurs inland. Increasing and increasingly deadly hurricanes, disappearing glaciers, droughts, floods, killing heat waves and more are shown to be misrepresented, misdiagnosed, or wildly exaggerated.

If global warming is not such a big problem, then why are we constantly being warned of (scared by) predictions of climate Armageddon? Asserting that non-problems lead to non-funding could be viewed as sour grapes if Michaels and Bolling stopped at assertion.

They don't. In the final chapters they look at the data on publication patterns to back up the serious charge of academic bias in favor of exaggerating the case for impending and dire climate changes.

Actual climatologists with Ph.D.s and published research, Michaels and Balling examine the data and make a strong case for non-hysteria on the climate front. While the data, detail, charts and figures make the read a bit wonkish at times, it is very interesting and well worth the effort if you are at all interested in the climate debate.
45 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard Core Global Warming Science They DON'T want you to know 24 Feb 2009
By John D. Trudel - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is one of a small cluster of books that courageously and accurately expose the false science behind Al Gore's hoax of imminent planetary collapse if we don't - right now!!! - heed his strident warnings and ban greenhouse gases. It's written by one of the several respected State climatologists who suffered a political gag order (this one from Virginia State Governor Timothy Kline) banning him from publicly speaking about Global Warming in any way that might imply he was the State's Climatologist.

The title was changed from a lifetime honorific to an alleged political appointment. Several other governors, including Oregon's, have followed suit, and this is related in the book, which is, in fact, dedicated to three of these "politically correct" State Governors.

This book is the greatest treasure trove of current Global Warming data from behind the scenes that I've seen. The price Dr. Michaels pays for publishing it is high. He will be resigning his position as State Climatologist and his tenured position at the University of Virginia in June 2009, "as fine a public school as there is in the world."

The title, Climate of Extremes, comes from a sadness that science has become so politically polarized that gag-orders are issued and misleading lies are what the public is told. It is the political climate that has become one of extremes, and the authors' prose is surprisingly gentle about this outrage.

The politics have poisoned the science. "The rhetoric has changed. Discourse has degenerated into demagoguery. Threatening demagoguery." The author asks, "Why has it become so politically risky to not view global warming as an unmitigated disaster?"

The climate turned especially nasty when Boston Globe columnist Ellen Goodman wrote in November 2006, "Let's just say that global warming deniers are now on a par with Holocaust deniers."

Originally that was applied to all who didn't believe in Global Warming. The problem was that there were few if any such people. Most informed and knowledgeable on the subject agree that there has been a small amount of Global Warming, about 0.6 degrees per century. Most see this as no big deal, and certainly not a threat of any global apocalypse.

So the definition was expanded to better target Gore's critics. "Deniers" are those who don't believe in Al Gore's manmade (Anthropogenic) Global Warming (AGW). As it turns out, the authors of this book are NOT in that class either. They believe some of the Global Warming is indeed AGW, but they don't see it as a threat. "We're not arguing against Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW), but rather against Dangerous Anthropogenic Global Warming (DAGW)."

No matter, they are deniers too, and thus to be destroyed and cast out. The authors ask, "How did we get to a world of apocalyptics and deniers, a world that is also one of impossible or ineffective policies of climate change?" The book gives answers, and lots and lots of data to support them.

The climate history records have now been revised six times, each time in ways that produce more global warming. The authors deem this "in reality, improbable." Also, some 7,000 years of historic data on warm periods disappeared. Even with all that Global Warming is STILL not a threat, but some remarkable whoppers have been told. To learn this you must read the book.

It is arguably the best book around about how the science has been (and is) diddled to match political objectives. It's a treasure trove. As to why such an intense political effort and so much public money is being spent to "sell" Gore's DAGW fiction, that answer lies not in science, but in economics and political ideology. For that answer President Vaclav Klaus' book, "Blue Planet in Green Shackles," is superior (and very scary about the real threat, which isn't Global Warming but a loss of freedom and prosperity if the Environmental Extremists prevail); but for the core science, details of how it's being distorted, and a report of how we've moved to science by gag-order, "Climate of Extremes" is the book to read.

I recommend it strongly.
12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great sequel to "Meltdown" 21 July 2009
By Gaetan Lion - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Michaels revisits and updates Meltdown: The Predictable Distortion of Global Warming by Scientists, Politicians, and the Media. The authors explain why you never get the straight scoop about global warming. They refer to Robert Rosenthal "file drawer problem." For any given research area you get only to see the 5% of the studies that support the current view, and you don't get to see the 95% that do not support it. They also mention Edward Wegman in "Controversy in Global Warming" who indicated that any paper promoting the global warming theory will be reviewed very leniently by peers meanwhile one debunking it will be reviewed most critically. To improve the quality of peer review, they propose that scientific articles submitted for review be released on the Internet so that any scientist could comment on it. Instead, such articles are reviewed by familiar and supportive peers.

Near the end of the book, the authors study the global warming bias by reviewing 116 papers published in Science and Nature in 2006. The authors indicate that the scientific community thought so far that existing models did not underestimate global warming. This suggests going forward there would be a 50/50 chance that new findings indicate that global warming is either better or worst than we thought. Instead, the authors uncovered only 10 papers (less than 9% of the 116) that suggested that global warming was moderating. All others suggested global warming was worst than thought.

The authors also refer to Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions first published in 1962. Kuhn states that scientific research supports contemporary paradigms. And, scientific work tries either to explain anomalies or to show that anomalous data are wrong. The authors suggests Kuhn's framework perfectly anticipated the behavior of the scientific community in their supporting the anthropogenic global warming paradigm. First, this community found a weak argument (CFCs) to explain out the cooling of temperatures during the mid of the 20th century. And second, it revised the data numerous times in an attempt to entirely get rid off the embarrassing mid century cooling all together.

Now, you can't even trust the data. Temperature data series have been adjusted 6 times in just the past few years. They were to factor the urban island effect and the related effect of agriculture, deforestation, and zoning changes. They all lead to artificially raising recent temperatures. So, adjusting the time series should have lowered recent temperature levels. Instead, they lowered earlier temperatures. As a result, instead of the adjustments showing a reduction in global warming, they show an acceleration. Thus, you get more warming from the same data series!

The ones who don't go along with the global warming paradigm pay dearly for it. A bunch of State climatologists (Delaware, Virginia where Michaels the co-author got fired, Oregon, Washington) have either been fired or censored by Government officials for disclosing data and analysis that does not support the global warming paradigm.

The ones who promote this global warming paradigm are often deified. Al Gore received a Nobel Prize for his work and an Oscar award for An Inconvenient Truth. Meanwhile, the authors state that all Al Gore did was developing an apocalyptic vision disconnected from the science. Al Gore projected mean expected temperature increase of 6 degree Celsius only matched by the IPCC very worst case scenario. He also projected sea level rise of 20 to 40 feet vs 8.5 to 18.5 inches for IPCC most likely outcome.

The authors also debunk numerous other exaggerations from Al Gore and followers. Long term temperature records indicate that Greenland had been warmer for several millennia than currently, and it did not shed its ice. The ice cover in Antarctica is extremely stable. Its ongoing minimal ice loss translates into a sea level rise of only 1 inch per century. The retreat of glacier on Kilimanjaro are related to a drop in moisture that far precedes the rise in CO2 concentration during the 20th century. Looking at multi-century record, fire frequency for the last 500 years has been the result of natural ocean climate cycles, and not global warming. Heat-related mortality declined as cities get warmer (graph pg. 179). Heat related mortality rates decreased by 75% for 28 American cities between the 1960s and 1990s (graph pg. 182). They also confirm that impact of CO2 on temperature rise is logarithmic. This greatly moderates the gravity of CO2 as a greenhouse gas. Also, contrary to global warming advocates wheat and corn yields have risen very rapidly in tandem with temperature increases since 1950. They also refer to Steve McIntyre debunking the hockey stick increase in temperature by simply looking at a long term average in temperature vs just averages over the past 78 years (graph pg. 218). For more on this specific issue read the second chapter in Shattered Consensus: The True State of Global Warming.

Models are still really poor at factoring cloudiness, rainfall, humidity levels. Additionally, they all project CO2 concentration that accelerates far beyond current trend way into the future. As a result, those models are highly inaccurate and exaggerate temperature increase. But, they still support the global warming paradigm. The IPCC mindset is that ten different models can't be all wrong; But, if they suffer from the same flaws and bias, they can [be all wrong].

Government policy response has so far been ineffective. Such is the case of the U.S. subsidies supporting the production of ethanol that will actually increase greenhouse emission, is highly energy inefficient, and cause substantial food inflation due to displacing a substantial portion of U.S. corn production. Meanwhile, the Kyoto Protocol has achieved little. All the member countries have failed their CO2 reduction targets by wild margins. In the end, the Kyoto Protocol just allowed the member countries to blame the non member ones. But, when you look at actual carbon emission performance over the relevant time period the difference between the two groups is ambivalent.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, readable book. 14 Feb 2014
By T BOOTH - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is a cogent account of what is going on with "climate change" nee "global warming". The authors provide the in-depth analysis of the technical papers on the subject. I am not a climatologist. I am a geographer and environmental scientist and my research is in the related field of soil-plant associations, so I am familiar with the literature related to climate change. I first knew something was amiss in the 1990's when I was seeing papers discussing 'the impact of global warming on [fill in the blank]. I thought that was odd since I had not seen the papers showing that there was global warming affecting the topic of interest. This book confirms my suspicion that much of what we read is not science. Rather, it is "proof by assertion."
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