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Customer Review

93 of 148 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't interfere with my freedom to trash the planet?, 29 May 2012
This review is from: Watermelons: How Environmentalists are Killing the Planet, Destroying the Economy and Stealing Your Children's Future (Paperback)
As someone who is concerned about climate change and reasonably well informed about it, but genuinely interested in what sceptics have to say, I read this book hoping to learn more. Some hope. To say that Delingpole is cavalier with the evidence is an understatement. Whenever I came across anything I already knew something about, it was clear that he had either ignored crucial evidence, misunderstood it, or interpreted it in a totally biassed way.

To critics who say he doesn't understand the science, he replies he doesn't need to, because his reading enables him to make connections (between climate science and "a neo-Marxist plot to takeover the world") which elude lesser mortals. All one can say is that his reading has been extremely selective, and doesn't seem to include climate scientists (or "neo-Marxists", for that matter).

To take just one example of Delingpole's approach, he argues at different points in the book that global warming isn't happening, that it is happening but it's not due to human activity, and that it is happening and it's a good thing (because we would all like to live in a warmer climate). I suppose consistency is not a requirement if all you're interested in is exposing a supposed plot to justify more state controls over the pursuit of individual freedom.

I laughed out loud when he claimed, towards the end of the book, that having absorbed his wisdom, you are "now better informed than almost anyone you know" about climate science! All that I had learnt by the end was about the fantasy world that conservative libertarian conspiracy theorists inhabit.

Read this book if you want your prejudices confirmed (whether these are that global warming is a myth, that climate science is part of a socialist plot to takeover the world, or, indeed, that all climate sceptics are cranks). Don't expect to learn anything of value, though.
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Tracked by 4 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 15 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 31 May 2012 12:54:50 BDT
A. Realist says:
Why don't you read the book again? Dellingpole never once denies that climate change doesn't happen or hasn't happened. That would be like denying the existence of snow. The climate always changes. Whether is it caused by human actives is the issue.
You say "I suppose consistency is not a requirement if all you're interested in is exposing a supposed plot to justify more state controls over the pursuit of individual freedom."
Consistency is clearly not a requirement if you seek to to justify more State controls over the pursuit of individual freedom, as the IPCC have shown time and time again. Dellingpole isn't 'making this up' he directly quotes from IPCC reports that have been mangled, distorted and twisted to suit their agenda and keep their jobs and their multi million dollar funding packages alive. If you did read the book, re-read the chapter on Ben Santer and the IPCC report. See how in the 'summary for policy makers' section, Santer completely turns the whole report on it's head. It's shocking. This was one of the key moments for the whole AGW movement. If you were in any doubt about their motives take a look at These are the people who run the AGW show.

If you didn't already know, CO2 makes up 0.04% of our atmosphere. 97% of that CO2 is naturally occurring, 3% is man made. Do we really believe that 0.0012% of a gas that is fundamentally plant food is going to cause catastrophic climate change that will wipe us all out and transform our planet back to a smouldering rock?? What about the 97% natural CO2 (still only 0.0388%)? Is that somehow more benevolent and peace loving and has therefore left us alone for the last hundred years? See this is the problem.
There is so little causal link between increased CO2 and temperature change. This is also currently being born out through reality. There has been no significant increase in temperature since 1998 despite CO2 levels rising. And this is accepted across the board.

There are so many more urgent issues to address in the world and torching trillions a year on a hunch that has rapidly proved bogus is utterly criminal. And this is the bedrock of Dellingpole's book. If you are as you say, genuinely interested in what climate realists have to say, check out these sites and as the venerable Chuck D once said, "Don't believe the hype".

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Jun 2012 10:55:12 BDT
Alan Neale says:
'A Realist' - I took up your suggestion and re-read chapter 3, in case I had missed something the first time. I hadn't. Ben Santer didn't "completely turn the whole (IPCC) report on its head." He wrote ONE sentence in his summary of ONE chapter of the 1995 Report, which some of the contributors to that chapter thought gave insufficient weight to the uncertainties that existed then about the balance between human and natural sources of observed warming. There have, of course, been 2 IPCC Reports since 1995, which have been able to assess the considerable body of peer-reviewed research carried out since 1995 that has reduced these uncertainties. By the time of the latest (2007) report, it seemed clear to the reviewers that most of the observed warming since the mid twentieth century was "very likely" (ie probability>90%) due to increased anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions - a much more robust conclusion than would have been possible in 1995.

I also checked out the websites you recommended, in case they provided a more reasoned critique. They didn't. I am genuinely shocked at the extent to which most (all?) climate sceptics fail to engage with the science, but cherry-pick anything which re-inforces their prior conviction that concern about the effect of human activity on climate stability is a plot which has been engineered to justify greater government interference in our lives.

The more you delve into this, the more you recognise the similarities with the arguments that were (still are?) wheeled out to oppose curbs on tobacco smoking.

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Jun 2012 16:10:19 BDT
Tobin says:
The problem with your "science" is, that it is just not happening. It is like the egg thing: When I was a kid, my father had egg for breakfast every morning. Then "science" said, that egg hightened your cholesterol, and if you ate egg every day, you would die. My father stopped eating egg every morning. Now ask "science" about the eggs: they'll give you a slightly guilty look and shuffle their feet. Because it is not true, after all.

Likewise, when I was a kid, it was predicted that once I am in my mid-twenties, cities such as London, Amsterdam, Hamburg, would be under water from the melting glaciers. Now I am in my mid-thirties. London still seems pretty dry to me, and when I was in Amsterdam last year, I took a train from the airport, not a boat.

The moral of the story: "Science" is not all that reliable, and you listen to it at your own peril. And with such gigantic failure to predict anything at literally every front, why are we sinking loads of money into environmental policies, sacrificing growth, wealth, and life quality?

Also interesting how you evade the question about these 3% man-made CO2. After all, "science" claims that if the elephant falls, it is because he stumbled over the ant. Pretty big claim, that.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Jun 2012 00:44:15 BDT
Alan Neale says:
Tobin - No climate scientist ever predicted that London, Amsterdam and Hamburg would be under water from melting glaciers within 20 years.

Yes, man-made CO2 emissions are small compared to those from natural sources. But natural sources are balanced by natural sinks (the carbon cycle). Man-made CO2 is largely responsible for the increased concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere (as shown by the declining proportion of carbon-14), which is largely responsible for the observed long-term increase in global temperature.

By all means question the science, but take the trouble to find out what it is saying.

Posted on 20 Jun 2012 13:01:32 BDT
A. Person says:
Having just heard Delingpole on Radio 4, I was shocked at the sheer range of fallacies he commits (seemingly wilfully, I might add), from straw men to ad hominems (the latter in abundance), ad ignorantiums, etc. ad nauseum. Consequently (and at the risk of slipping into ad hominem territory myself) he did not come across as credible.

Posted on 31 Jul 2012 13:33:23 BDT
rbw152 says:
"But one must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world's wealth by climate policy. Obviously, the owners of coal and oil will not be enthusiastic about this. One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole." OTTMAR EDENHOFER - UN IPCC OFFICIAL

I have most certainly 'freed myself from the illusion that internation climate policy is environmental policy', which is why I am implacably opposed to virtually anything the IPCC says or does. And after pronouncements like the one above they only have themselves to blame.

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Aug 2012 10:37:34 BDT
Alan Neale says:
rbw152 - I'm afraid this is another of the selective quotations that libertarian conspiracy theorists regularly employ to justify their assertion that climate science is a socialist plot.

The context is that Edenhofer is an economist who co-chaired one of the IPCC working groups (on mitigation, not the basic science), and who gave this interview in a personal capacity. In his view, based on his understanding of the economic history of technological change, whatever measures are employed to limit carbon emissions will have consequences for the global distribution of wealth. He's making the case for global measures that don't condemn low-income countries to permanent poverty - both on ethical grounds, and to facilitate support by developing countries for the emission controls that would be needed to prevent runaway climate change.

To suggest that this argument, made by one individual speaking in a personal capacity, proves that the IPCC is part of a conspiracy to distort the evidence on climate change in order to promote global wealth re-distribution beggars belief.

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Oct 2012 12:45:51 BDT
R. Taylor says:
Alan, just to say thank you for the reasonable initial review and then for taking time to deal sensibly with commenters.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Nov 2013 20:50:06 GMT
Last edited by the author on 4 Nov 2013 20:52:41 GMT
Geoff says:
Tobin, I essentially agree with your comments, but science is not to blame, but its misrepresentation, particularly in the case of climate science.

We have been duped and taken for a ride by the political junk science of the IPCC

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Nov 2013 21:52:53 GMT
A. Person says:
Indeed. The answer to poor science is better science, not wild assertions that science is not the answer.
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