Top critical review
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I wish that politicians would leave science alone!
on 18 October 2010
I have just finished this book and have a scientific background.
I have also just been reading a lot of the comments regarding other reviews.
I am not that clever but here is what I think of the book.
It was an entertaining read. It asked questions about the validity of data and the supposed manipulation of said data to bring about the "end of the world" scenario that the pro-Global Warming lobby seem hell bent on (please excuse the pun) presenting.
I have to say that the text reads as less than balanced (as the vehement anti-Gore/Mann/IPCC sentiment attests to) but have to admit that I am swung by the more than real questions regarding the "social" connections between the IPCC report "scientists" and the very real criticisms of the manipulation of data by independent specialists in their respective fields (e.g. Wegman). I find the suppression, if that is the real truth, of Svensmark's papers (muon seeding) because of their possible anti-concensus spin really disturbing.
I will add that this book is written by a JOURNALIST not a SCIENTIST so all those reviewers/zealots from either camp should stay away from it. It will not change your mind! I am, personally, glad it isn't written by a scientist because, having read so many papers in my time, it would be deathly dull and wouldn't get you moved either way.
BIG CRITICISM - For a journalist there had been very slack tracking of errors. Spelling and basic grammar were found lacking in most chapters. I'm guessing that Mr Booker has such feelings that his fingers were in a blur on the keyboard. No excuses - bad writing (I should know, I'm not Shakespeare) from a broadsheet newspaper should be a criminal offence.
To all readers a question:
Does it seem funny to either side of the Global Warming camp that the most vehement advocate of the "disaster" scenario, and Nobel prize winner to boot, will stand to become obscenely rich from the trading of carbon on various markets around the world? Does that not qualify as insider trading?
Can I also just point out that many politicians are crooked. The proof? The UK MP Allowances Scandal. The inability of the EU Auditors to accept the last few years accounts for the European Parliament prompting claims of fraud on an obscene scale by MEPs. The US Lobby system - lots of money with lots of vested interests to individuals. As long as people that are politically motivated are allowed to continue to dictate the direction of the science then we will NEVER get any closer to understanding even a fraction of the complexity of our environment.
Leave science to the scientists and let there be INDEPENDENT scrutiny of the evidence by genuinely independent specialists in the field.
Oh, and by the way Mr Booker, if you believed that the BBC has ever been apolitical then we haven't been watching the same channels for about 30 years!
I say buy the book. At the very least it is a page-turner!