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Meltdown: The Predictable Distortion of Global Warming by Scientists, Politicians, and the Media [Hardcover]

Patrick J Michaels
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Sep 2004
Why is news about global warming always bad? Why do scientists so often offer dire predictions about the future of the environment? In Meltdown, climatologist Patrick Michaels says it?s only natural. He argues that the way we do science today - when issues compete with each other for monopoly funding by the government - creates a culture of exaggeration and a political comunity that then takes credit for having saved us from certain doom. Michaels starts with a succinct discussion of climate-change science and then unrolls a litany of falsehood, exaggeration, and misstatement. He cited hundreds of errors and exaggerations in scientific papers, new reports, and television sound bites.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Cato Institute,U.S.; 1st Edition edition (Sep 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1930865597
  • ISBN-13: 978-1930865594
  • Product Dimensions: 2.8 x 15.9 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,496,406 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent - But Now Updated and Rewritten 30 Mar 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Meltdown is an excellent introduction to the climate change debate. But since early 2009, Michaels' new book 'Climate of Extremes' has come out which is basically a substantial rewrite and update of Meltdown. Both are worth reading, but if you just want the one - go for C of E, because it is up to date.
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172 of 191 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cool analysis of hot air 10 July 2006
As governments spend untold billions, and seek re-election on the promise of "doing something" about global warming, this book is required reading. Particularly if you're a taxpayer. Michaels carefully describes, in great detail, such reality as he is able to prove behind many of our favourite global warming myths (arctic ice, rising sea-level, disappearing islands, polar bears, etc). This can be particularly satisfying when such myths are baldly stated as evidence of global warming; a quick reference to Michaels' book will invariably give a broader context and a better understanding of each of the issues.

And context is all: I am no scientist so much of the mathematical science is noise to me but I can read a graph and an x-axis timescale. And by so doing it is easy to see how many of the global warming scare-mongerers (the most vocal of whom tend not to be scientists either) use data so selectively as to be almost wilfully negligent. No make that wilfully wilfully negligent. Michaels strives to contextualise all single-point global warming issues and presents his research in an even-handed manner. Of course even-handed when Global Warming is concerned means agreeing with the person who agrees with your point of view but Michaels approaches each proposition, outlandish or not, as a potentially valid thesis, before examining it in detail (and more often than not disproving it).

These are the most enjoyable parts of the book; the global warming doomsayers can be so shrill and so convinced of their position, that it is rewarding to see these arguments supported by copious amounts of data and thereby to understand what really is happening to the polar bears and the penguins and the Kilimanjaro icecap.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
By Nicholas J. R. Dougan VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
So concludes Professor Michaels at the end of this book of 246 pages (excluding references), of which only 15 are given over to his hypothesis, and just five to his recommendations as to what to do about it. The first 219 pages are devoted to exposing the scientific imprecision, and the political and media exaggeration based on that imprecision, on which his hypothesis is based. If I have any complaint, it is that these proportions are out of balance, and that it is rather longer than it needed to be.

Michaels' hypothesis is in fact the restatement, updating and specific application (to global warming theory) of an earlier one - that of Thomas Kuhn, who published "The structure of scientific revolutions" back in 1962. Kuhn defined a paradigm as a body of knowledge that defined the problems and methods of research for succeeding generations of practitioners. The problem, Kuhn and Michaels argue, is that paradigms become self-referential: they solve the problems defined by their creators as being most acute, presumably ignoring other issues, they bring together people of a like mind, and once a scientist has begun to subscribe to a particular paradigm he or she will probably do so for the rest of his or her life. The concept of a scientific paradigm is worsened, Michaels argues, by the effect of the state funding of science (since WW2).

Michaels, who is a climatologist and "environmental" scientist, argues that man-made global warming, and that it is out of control, has, since the 1980s, become the prevailing paradigm (or as the IPCC calls it, the "consensus") and in so doing has made it more and more difficult for those who believe differently.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Well written, clearly argued and fact based.

Unlike the critics comments herein which usually try and claim links to oil companies and use this to rubbish the science. Given that 75% of the money Cato receive is from individuals this would seem an odd attack.

Great scientific progress has relied on independent thinkers challenging the status quo. Large monolithic government funded programms are usually immersed in the political process and the incentives are as far away from establishing the truth as one can imagine. To the niave individuals here who say "trust the government funded climatologists", perhaps they remember the government scientists who said "beef is safe, BSE cant be transmitted to humans", or "petrol will run out by the turn of the century" or "we are entering a new ice age". And on. And on.

Sometimes they are right and sometimes they are wrong. However, when science becomes a "consensus" and people who challenge this consensus are shouted down rather than engaged in rational debate - then be wary. Emotion produces bad science, and the emotional knocking response of the critics here sums up quite well why you should read this book so that you have the facts to make up your own mind.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent specialised reading
This is the ideal companion to the Lomborg "the skeptical environmentalist" book as far as ecoterrorism is concerned. Read more
Published on 26 July 2008 by Benedictus
5.0 out of 5 stars Science of Global warming and how the Media play along
It's easy to believe all you are told.
It's easy to accept the herds view on life.
Not so easy to ignore all that perceived wisdom and go out on a limb, risk your career... Read more
Published on 31 Mar 2008 by C. Eggleston
1.0 out of 5 stars examine this carefully
and you will see how flimsy it really is. The petition is completely flawed and not comparable the IPCC report. Read more
Published on 31 Mar 2008 by Zebedee
5.0 out of 5 stars Please think!! What "Consensus"?!
I do not deny the damage we are doing to the earth in many areas and the need for change, but we must be careful not to be reactionary and must look at things beyond face/media... Read more
Published on 10 Jan 2008 by J. Lloyd
1.0 out of 5 stars Poppycock!
In the words of the great (and clearly misled) David Bellamy, this book is a load of rubbish. A quick internet search on the author's name along with the Cato Institute in which... Read more
Published on 13 Nov 2007 by Mr. M. Rowan
1.0 out of 5 stars A Waste Of Paper...
Being of an age where I will most likely reap what previous generations have sown, I find these sort of Climate Change Denial tracts deeply disturbing, divisive and pernicious. Read more
Published on 8 Jun 2007 by D. M. Palmer
5.0 out of 5 stars Useful analysis of doom-mongering
Michaels' very useful book examines the way the media, particularly the liberal press and the BBC, distort the realities of climate change. Read more
Published on 4 Jun 2007 by William Podmore
5.0 out of 5 stars A complete joke
this book is a complete joke, based on mediocre science and waffled overly simplistic rhetoric. Alas, for people with no natural science background i can see how it would be quite... Read more
Published on 19 April 2007 by W. Buckland
5.0 out of 5 stars Meltdown: The Predictable Distortion of Global Warming by...
A very good expose about the "global warming swindle" embraced by swindlers , whose doom and gloom predictions, serves to them a good living , by brainwashing various idiots,... Read more
Published on 7 April 2007 by Mr. P. sammut
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