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This review is from: Global Catastrophes: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
McGuire is a new breed of ivory tower academic, who seems to ignore the truth even when presented to him on a plate. This small book exaggerates and spins up natural disasters like earthquakes, volcanos and hurricanes etc like no-one else. He selects a few examples from the long past of the earth to conjure up a doom-laden future which bears little relation to the concrete reality. The UK is in no more danger today than yesterday from such disasters, and the areas of the world where they do occur and recur are well known by now both to the inhabitants and the insurers. He is at his most mendacious when pontificating about AGW, the theory that global warming is occurring and that it is man-made. He calls any scientists among the large and growing band of scientists who dare question the theory as "maverick" or in the pay of large oil companies, but yet they are proving to be correct in their assessment of the real situation. This missionary zeal from a geologist ill becomes him, especially now after the Climategate scandal, and the many revelations of the dirty tricks waged by a small group of activists such as Michael Mann and Phil Jones. He refers to the infamous hockey stick graph of Mann despite the fact that this graph was spun by manipulating the evidence to eliminate the Medieval Warm period and the Little Ice age from the record, and despite the solid historic evidence for both periods. Who does he think he is kidding? The earth is now in a cooling phase and few if any of the IPCC dire predictions have occurred. Hurricanes have neither increased in frequency or intensity in the last decades, for example, and the sea level has risen little if at all over the same timescale. McGuire has done a great disservice to popular science writing with this biased and fantastic diatribe. If any reader wants to read unbiased and neutral accounts of climate science, then they could do no better than the book by Robert Carter Climate: the Counter-consensus (Independent Minds) or the detailed analysis by Ian Plimer Heaven and Earth: Global Warming, the Missing Science.