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An Appeal to Reason: A Cool Look at Global Warming Hardcover – 10 Apr 2008

4.0 out of 5 stars 100 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 149 pages
  • Publisher: Overlook Duckworth; 1st edition (10 April 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 071563786X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0715637869
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 20.7 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 550,459 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'Only one senior political figure in Britain has dared stand apart from [the] stifling orthodoxy: Nigel Lawson' --The Telegraph

'On many points the sceptics happen to be correct. Nigel Lawson's short splendid book ... can leave no fair-minded reader in doubt on that score ... Elegantly written, thorough, entertaining and, above all, convincing' --The Financial Times

'Tightly argued ... Bombarded with the zealous certainties of those deaf to reasoned argument on the most important of issues, it is intensely refreshing to find in Nigel Lawson someome who, without claiming to have all the answers, is at least brave enough to ask eminently sensible questions' --The Spectator

About the Author

Nigel Lawson, Lord Lawson of Blaby, after a number of years in journalism, including as Editor of "The Spectator" from 1966 to 1970, became a Conservative MP in 1974. He served in the Thatcher administration between 1979 and 1989 as Financial Secreatry to the Treasury, Secretary of State for Energy, and, from 1983, Chancellor of the Exchequer. He entered the House of Lords in 1992, and is a member of the Lords' Select Committee on Economic Affairs, which is 2005 produced a substantial report on 'The Economics of Climate Chante'. He is past President of the British Institute of Energy Economics. He lives in London and France.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Nigel Lawson's key premise is not that global warming is a cult (it is) but that if it is occurring the world should take practical steps to mitigate or prevent its impact. With the current progression of world development the green energy plank is not a practical solution for many decades so it is far better to plan expenditure for adaptation.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Should be read by all those who want to keep an open mind about global warming. Lawson is vilified as a climate change denier but he actually makes a compelling case for seeing climate change as an economic challenge. He is prepared to stick his head above the parapet and challenge the accepted orthodoxy. It makes no sense to shut down the world economy to prevent climate change. Doing so will condemn those already living in poverty to a very bleak future. He argues that we should support economic growth and use our wealth to mitigate the effects of climate change. Well written and persuasive.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Well written and researched. He does not say global warming isn't happening but he does challenge the voracity of the science. Most of all he questions the quasi-religous ferver that is associated with the subject and how debate is being stifled by denying any platform to those who challenge the 'perceived wisdom'! Furthermore he questions the 'science' as to what might be achieved in stopping or slowing down global warming, the vast amounts of money being spent and the questionable methods being used, and finally the potential futility of what it is hoped to achieve. Certainly makes one think seriously that this has become more political than science and ultimately who or what is driving the agenda and why.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a short and well-written book, provocative and full of smart and no nonsense arguments. Lawson provides end notes for each chapter and all bibliographical sources are properly referenced. The book's aim is to examine each of the dimensions of the consensus view of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW), including the science, the economics, the politics, and the ethical aspects. He is concerned with the uncertainties of long-term forecasting and the lack of a real cost-effectiveness analysis in the policies recommended and advocated by the majority view on climate change, particularly by the radical change in lifestyle that will have to take place in the developed countries, and the unnecessary burden that will be put on the poor in the developing world. Lawson questions the fundamentals of AGW orthodoxy just armed with common sense, his political experience, and some very clever back-of-the-envelope calculations.

Lawson opens the book arguing that although he agrees that there is a real warming trend, he is skeptical of the validity of predictions made with global climate simulation models, and more importantly, he questions if indeed the sole cause of this warming is man-made greenhouses and how big the contribution of CO2 is. Lawson also raises several issues regarding the IPCC process, its findings and policy recommendations, and throughout the book he strongly criticizes the The Economics of Climate Change: The Stern Review, which he considers "at the extreme end of the alarmist camp".

He might not be right in all the issues, but certainly he will at least let you wonder about some of them.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book. As the title suggests, it is cool, reasonable, and patient, looking carefully at all the evidence and coming to conclusions which it is hard to disagree with.

Like other reviewers, I find it hard to take excerpts from the book because I would have to quote the whole thing! However, perhaps I may try to help anyone who is wondering whether to read it. One way to look at the global warming/climate change debate is to ask oneself three questions.

First, is the world getting warmer?
Second, is human activity, and specifically CO2, a major cause?
And third, does it matter? Will there be harmful consequences? And if so, what should we do about them?

Much of the angry debate between believers and sceptics rages round the first two points. Lawson surveys the evidence on both, and comes to a conclusion. But what makes this book so powerful is its focus on the third question: whether a warmer world is one that will harm people, animals, plants, and our descendants. The Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) argues that it will. Lawson disagrees. He takes us through the IPCC scenarios, and their range of predictions relating to five potential impacts of a warmer world: on water, ecosystems, food, coasts, and health. In each case he demonstrates, with evidence, that a warmer world will either be neutral or even beneficial. What makes this evidence particularly persuasive is that much of it is drawn from the IPCC's own 4th report (2007)!.

It would be wrong to think of this book as complacent, a kind of 'I'm all right, Jack, pull up the ladder'.
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