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David Petch (London)

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This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate
This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate
Price: £7.99

17 of 60 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A touch of the vapours, 8 Jan. 2015
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A reading of the text shows that the main target for Naomi Klein is free market capitalism. Climate change is simply a new weapon with which to belabour the beast.

Her technique is simple. The first step is to embrace the most pessimistic view of what increases of Carbon Dioxide will mean for the climate and the environment.The second is to pretend that these more lurid visions are already a reality.In Naomi Klein's world climate refugees are already in our midst, mass extinction is already taking place,we are already beset by unprecedented storms,the temperatures are already rising to intolerable levels.

Having established that platform she then sets about the opposition. Anyone with the temerity to question the hypothesis of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming,or indeed demean it simply by calling it a mere hypothesis or something less, is traduced as a creature of the fossil fuel industry. Anyone who accepts that there is a problem but seeks a solution within the current economic and political framework is blind to the urgency and acuteness of the crisis or else , again, corrupted by the blandishments and bribes of the fossil fuel industry and its backers.This sinning congregation is remarkably wide, ranging from bankers and engineers to main stream politicians to the management of environmental groups such as Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth.

Her solution is that people must be taught to lower their appetite for material improvement . International trade must be restricted, goods must be produced and sold locally. Fossil fuels must be removed from the menu as soon as possible. These firms must be taxed or legislated out of existence.Since main stream politicians cannot be trusted the instrument for achieving all this will be a conglomeration of local groups which already exist to oppose the depredations of oil and gas companies in their area.

If you allow yourself to be stampeded you could find your future consists of jumping off the edge of a cliff.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 11, 2015 11:45 AM BST


The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels
The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels
Price: £12.99

8 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Drilling into the future, 4 Jan. 2015
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I read this book in conjunction with Naomi Klein's latest offering "This changes everything". What a contrast ! Maturity confronts paranoia. It was refreshing to read a sober and realistic appraisal of what fossil fuels have done for us over the past five hundred years. In essence he shows that our modern civilisation is built on hydrocarbons and without them we would founder. Epstein does not duck the question of the hazards that can arise from mining and using such fuels but points to all we have done to manage those risks and how the wealth generated by fossil fuels has provided us with the capacity to do so. He acknowledges that fossil fuels are not only our past but our future ; a point which some political leaders in the West are slowly beginning to recognise.


The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science
The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science
Price: £6.55

24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Outside the walls of Jericho, 6 Feb. 2014
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For those who closely follow the dispute about catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGM) this book will provide little that is new in the way of information. But I think the author's intention is to summarise where we now stand rather than break new ground . It is a very clear guide for those who are fresh to this issue or else have only taken a passing interest thus far. What Tim Ball emphasises , and with good reason, is the dishonesty and dissembling of many of the leading figures on the alarmists side of the argument. This he makes manifest in his description of the efforts of climate researchers to suppress dissenting opinions and awkward facts and the perfunctory manner in which the so called independent chairmen carried through their various inquests on "Climategate"in an effort to avoid asking embarrassing, but very central, questions.
What Tim Ball strives for is the good name of science and, in particular, the good name of his own field of study.This passion for probity comes through in the mood of his writing. What he fears is that when the accumulation of "ugly facts" destroys the CAGM hypothesis our celebration at the fall of the rotten structure will be muted by the damage that will have been done to public trust in the advice of scientists.


Stalin's Curse: Battling for Communism in War and Cold War
Stalin's Curse: Battling for Communism in War and Cold War
by Robert Gellately
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.89

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stalin -a hobbled Machiavelli, 20 May 2013
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Manages skilfully to weave in well known accounts of Stalin with new material recently made available from Russian archives. This enables the author to produce and defend firm arguments on Stalin's motivations when he was dealing with , or instigating, clashes with the Western world. The book reinforces the argument that neither Churchill nor Roosevelt , despite all their worldly experience, got the true measure of the man. But it also illustrates that despite his considerable political skill and ruthlessness Stalin remained a prisoner of his ideology; a true heir to Lenin and therefore properly doomed to fail.


Let Them Eat Carbon: The Price of Failing Climate Change Policies, and How Governments and Big Business Profit From Them
Let Them Eat Carbon: The Price of Failing Climate Change Policies, and How Governments and Big Business Profit From Them
by Matthew Sinclair
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Storming the winter palace, 22 Nov. 2011
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The sheer lunacy of the European and American fiscal policy for promoting "Green energy" is encapsulated in a quotation on page 264 of this book " Unlike traditional commodities, which sometime during the course of their market must be delivered to someone in physical form, the carbon market is based on the lack of delivery of an invisible substance to no one." , The author adds the deceptively neutral remark *The integrity of the scheme depends on the credibility of the validations," Having neatly set the scene he then demonstrates how the carbon market not only rewards dishonesty and corruption, it is as though its architects have perversely designed it to ensure such vices should be widespread, but also does nothing to achieve the goals which are supposed to justify its existence.

Many of the arguments in this book have been made elsewhere by other authors ( the inefficiencies and expense of renewable energy; the mirage of "green jobs" created on the back of massive public subsidy which do not have a deleterious effect on the ordinary job market;the wilful blindness of our politicians to the intentions and expectations of developing countries). The added value in this book is that it brings all these elements together and using very plain, sometimes pungent, language and sticking closely to hard economic facts shows the extent of our current folly. It would be nice to think that senior officials in the Department of Energy and climate change would each a receive a copy in their Christmas stocking and be made to read it. But I fear that too much political capital has been invested in the new pseudo- religion of sustainabiity for it to be taken into account. What Matthew Sinclair is preaching is heresy and his awkward facts will be brushed aside in defence of a transcendental truth which must be protected.

in his conclusions Sinclair acknowledges the formidable special interests which defend the status quo . He urges his readership , on the assumption that they agree his line of argument, to keep up the good fight. I think he might have drawn more on a projection of his own economic material at this point. If he is correct about the economic consequences of current policies, and I think he is, then their comes a point where no matter how dominant the creed in government circles , the media and among the bien pensants neither the balance sheets nor the growing noise from the shivering mob outside the window can be ignored. Perhaps this expectation is sub consciously reflected in his title.


Taken by Storm: The Troubled Science, Policy, and Politics of Global Warming
Taken by Storm: The Troubled Science, Policy, and Politics of Global Warming
by Christopher Essex
Edition: Paperback

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars evisceration to the sound of light music, 12 July 2009
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This book is aimed at a wide audience and, perhaps conscious that many of them will has a limited grasp of mathematical and statistical concepts , and indeed might flee at the first sign of an equation, it endeavours to lead the reader gently towards the arguments by the use of a jocular and familiar manner. Generally speaking the tactic works. The breezy language does not detract from serious arguments about serious scientific issues.
There are a number of palpable hits on the alarmist school of climate change. The concept of "average global temperature " has been examined and shown to be wanting in other sceptical publications but it is done with some panache and humour here.
The misuse of models for purposes which they cannot fulfil ,prediction, is examined as is the failure of those ,who ought to know better, in not pointing out this misapplication. The fluidity and adjustability of models , which can be their strength in our efforts to understand complex process, is their fatal weakness when proponents try to use them as road maps. This book gets that point across well.

It would be a good read for any politician on the air journey to Copenhagen in December. (I doubt many will be sailing under canvas.) However they would have to keep it under a plain brown cover to avoid discovery by their entourage. Green jobs, particularly green bureaucratic jobs, must be protected!


The Discovery of Global Warming (New Histories of Science, Technology, and Medicine)
The Discovery of Global Warming (New Histories of Science, Technology, and Medicine)
by Spencer R Weart
Edition: Hardcover

11 of 35 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Landfall or a bank of cloud?, 15 July 2004
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The title displays the author's ambition,but perhaps also his anxiety. "Discovery" indicates something irrefutably present and it is clearly his intention to take us on chartered course to what,to him, seems an unavoidable destination - a land in which anthropogenic global warming is significant, imminent and destructive.
The story of changing perceptions among 20th century climatologists is told soberly and with some wit but one senses, as the history reaches the last decade, the dispassionate mood dissolving.There is a growing tetchiness on the part of the author towards the awkward squad of scientists who refuses to embrace the proper conclusion.
The penultimate chapter, breezily entitled "The discovery confirmed" puts much emphasis on the vaunting ambitions of those who deal in weather speculation -the computer modellers- and the self-reinforcing righteousness of those moralisers who trot behind the IPCC wagon train.It would have been better if the author had paid more heed to those (within and without the IPCC) who draw their less theatrical conclusions from the weather we have seen rather than the weather we can imagine. He fights shy of examining troubling weaknesses in what still remains a hypothesis. The book is worth reading but the initial objectivity is not sustained; description descends into denunciation.
Comment Comments (7) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 14, 2012 1:03 AM BST


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