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The Denial of Science: Analysing Climate Change Scepticism in the UK Paperback – 25 Feb 2013

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Product details

  • Paperback: 174 pages
  • Publisher: AuthorHouse UK (25 Feb. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1481783971
  • ISBN-13: 978-1481783972
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.1 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,195,023 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Martin has worked as a geologist and hydrogeologist for over twenty years, including experience as both an environmental consultant and as a regulator. Having recently obtained an MA in environmental politics, he is now focused on trying to help humanity make sustainable development a reality. He currently lives in Cheshire.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By c.summerhayes on 3 April 2013
Format: Paperback
In 2010, Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway did a service to science when they documented the manufacture of doubt about human-caused global warming by many of the same people who brought us 'safe' cigarettes. Most of their book focussed on doubt generated in the USA. The attack on the science of global warming remains shrill, and it comes from within the UK as well. Martin Lack has provided much the same service as Oreskes and Conway by documenting the UK's sources of doubt about this socially important topic. Lack starts out by addressing the philosophical roots of scepticism, its misappropriation for ideological reasons and the psychological causes of denial. He lists the main UK organizations, scientists, economists, journalists, politicians and others promulgating 'denial' of the science of human-induced climate change. Rather than labelling these 'agents' 'deniers', Lack prefers to label them 'sceptic' or 'contrarian', citing Robert Henson's definition of the climate change contrarian position (in the 2008 second edition of "The Rough Guide to Climate Change") as: "The atmosphere may not be warming; but if it is, this is probably due to natural variation; but if it isn't, the amount of warming is probably not significant; but if it is, the benefits should outweigh the disadvantages; but if they don't, technology should be able to solve problems as they arise; but if it can't, we shouldn't wreck the economy to fix the problem". Scientific scepticism is healthy and widespread within the climate science community, the group of people who actually know what they are talking about when it comes to human-caused climate change. Their collective view could be called 'scientific consensus, or scientific authority, or conventional scientific wisdom'.Read more ›
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Richard Parker on 30 April 2013
Format: Paperback
The book starts with a nice quote from Fred Hoyle on the Earth's vulnerability. This is highly ironic given that Hoyle famously disagreed with two significant 20th C consensuses: Big Bang Theory and that he believed Life formed in outer space rather than on Earth. The premise and conclusions of Lack are that those who disagree with a `consensus' are driven by "an ideologically-motivated rejection of science, maintained by the rejection of the vast majority of research-based and observable evidence and/or the invocation of a scientific conspiracy".

After a promising start claiming to cover academic research (from his own Masters thesis) on what motivates AGW sceptics, the academic credentials are devalued by several references to amateur encyclopedia Wikipedia, plus some to online DeSmog Blog, whose stated `manifesto' is "Slamming the Climate Skeptic Scam". So while sceptics are decried for conspiracy theories, it seems ok to claim their own claims are a conspiracy. And while promising to avoid the "pejorative" term `denier', this doesn't prevent regular use of "deny" and "denial" throughout (even in the title).

The `research'? Lack selects known AGW-sceptics from a number of categories: scientists, journalists, politicians, etc; then gives quotes from them, alongside opinions from pro-AGW writers and himself to `demonstrate' these people hold morally unsound sceptic views. What do we learn? There is no effort to honestly understand their motivation, or even to provide evidence that they are driven by denial, conspiracy, or anti-environmentalist mindset. The conclusions are based on the very simplistic assumption that they must be wrong and dishonest because they don't agree with the `consensus' (just like the quoted Fred Hoyle?).
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful By r.porter on 19 April 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"This book is essential reading for anyone concerned about climate change and our need to urgently address its causes. Part of the reason for the delay in doing so has been the rise of a debate in recent years in which one side has denigrated the scientific evidence for man's role in creating the problem. This `denial of science' by politicians, journalists, economists, people representing vested interests, and even by some scientists, is the focus of this book. Martin Lack documents the personal statements and published arguments of these climate change sceptics, deconstructing them, and finding all too often very little of substance that would undermine the now broad scientific consensus that human industrial and economic activity has contributed very substantially to the process of climate change. While the book deals primarily with climate change scepticism in the UK, the conclusions Lack draws have implications for all of us, wherever we happen to live."
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5 of 10 people found the following review helpful By J. S. Bywater-lees on 21 Mar. 2013
Format: Paperback
Te Denial of Science is more specifically about the denial of AGW and as such makes an important contribution in understanding the deluded but loud voice that seeks to influence public understanding of such an important issue. The book is good source book for other studies, set out as a science review paper [which it originally was] it offers a good starting point for further detailed research into why crazy ideas have such currency.

The last few years have seen a glut of denialist propaganda, some is just wishful thinking with zero logic- people think that they are as smart as the scientists because they spent an evening reading a few anti AGW/ sceptic blogs. Quantifying the levels of short-term selfishness/ stupidity [sorry but some people are just idiots] and opportunism is important if only to find ways of combating it. The reality is sadly we cannot control what people think no matter how well we understand their tactics and motives.

Star rating- well I always think a 5 star should be rare and that 3 stars is a quite a good book but it always seem to be 5* good 1* bad- 4* is not a masterpiece like Shakespear [although over rated !] but covers the issue well.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Tracking climate science denial in the UK 30 April 2013
By C. Hamilton - Published on
Format: Paperback
Martin Lack has provided a valuable service in this book by carefully tracking and exposing the network of climate science deniers in the United Kingdom. In this task he has matched some of the work that has been done in recent years in the USA. The book is a systematic, conscientious work that will be a great value to those concerned about the orchestrated attempts to prevent the world from protecting itself from the devastation of climate change.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A record of denial 29 Mar. 2013
By Jean Youatt - Published on
Format: Paperback
Martin Lack's book may have a value other than he would see himself. It cites many authors and speakers about climate change and thus provides an excellent review of denial. As a scientist I deplore the idea we have to believe what scientists tell us. But as the belief in climate change increases the deniers may want to deny what they said and Martin's book will be a useful record
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Don't bother reading this book 19 Mar. 2015
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I purchased this book hoping gain an understanding of the arguments which support the hypothesis of global thermal runaway due to human generated carbon dioxide. That opening sentence is a little disingenuous as my expectations of finding the holy grail proving CAGW were pretty low to begin with. The author simply accepts that "the science is proven" and goes on to question the mental processes, motivation and qualifications of those who don't support the gospel according to Gore, Mann, Hansen et al. I can't seem to find the empirical evidence or data showing that CAGW is a fact, here or elswhere. No stars and I may even try approaching Amazon for a refund. Changed my mind, will give Lack one star for using the acronym "ACD". He is at least up to date with trendy TLAs !
2 of 10 people found the following review helpful
You will find no science in anything Martin does. 9 Sept. 2013
By John D. Swallow - Published on
Format: Paperback
I must start out by saying that I have not read this book and do not intend to waste the money to purchase it or the time to read this, what must be fiction, book that Martin has more than likely plagiarized from other sources to compile. My experience with Martin and his total LACK of science goes back to his irrelevant blog and also to encountering him on other sites where he has no control over what other people post and he is therefore powerless to ban anyone that shows him irrefutable evidence of how and why he is so terribly mistaken regarding his irrational believe that the world is burning up because of anthropogenic global warming.

He at one point encountered the most esteemed and honorable Dr. Richard Lindzen when he gave an address in London and followed it with a question and answer session. At minute 5:28, Martin Lack asked his bumbled question and was more or less mocked by Dr. Lindzen and Martin has despised this man of science every since and even lied by claiming that he did not get to ask a question.
"I blew my chance to ask a question. However, Prof. Lindzen kindly invited me to email them to him instead."

Martin even had to go to Judith Curry's site and bother her with his ,"I blew my chance to ask a question" nonsense.
Eddy | February 28, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Reply
Mr Lack did seem somewhat blinded by his own genius. Still I suppose the dimmest bulb will dazzle if you are close enough.
* Don Monfort | February 29, 2012 at 1:37 am | Reply
Thank you, Mr. Eddy. And you are correct. It does seem that the great (in his mind), Lord Martin Lack, is suffering from a scorching self-illumination.

This below is an appraisal make by some one who has a totally different and correct appraisal of the good Dr. than the one Martin holds. The You Tube of Martin making an ass of himself is presented in the link & Martin appears at minute 5:28 .
"Richard Lindzen is the most impressive atmospheric scientist I have ever read or heard speak. His depth of knowledge and analytical capability is beyond that of anyone else I've ever read. This is coming from a college student who has taken several science courses and read many books, and listened to several debates, on the relevant subject matter"

In his blog "To mark Australia's return to the anti-science wilderness!" Written by Martin Lack 6 September 2013 at 16:17 he spends his whole time trying to trash Dr. Richard Lindzen instead of commenting on the headline of his post.
"Anyone in any doubt about Lindzen, should read the large number of posts on this blog in the `Lindzengate' category. However, anyone in a hurry should start with: Lindzen is either negligent, incompetent, or deceitful (6 July 2012)."

To have some one of such questionable ethical standards to believe that they have the right to try to degrade such an accomplished scientist as Dr. Lindzen is somewhat infuriating, to me anyway.

"Lindzen is a recipient of the American Meteorological Society's Meisinger and Charney Awards, American Geophysical Union's Macelwane Medal, and the Leo Prize from the Wallin Foundation in Goteborg, Sweden. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), and the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, and was named Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, the American Geophysical Union, and the American Meteorological Society. He is a corresponding member of the NAS Committee on Human Rights, and a member of the United States National Research Council Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate. He was a consultant to the Global Modeling and Simulation Group at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, and a Distinguished Visiting Scientist at California Institute of Technology's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Lindzen is an ISI highly cited researcher,[67] and his biography has been included in American Men and Women of Science.[68]"
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