Although I'm not a huge fan of the current scaremongering about global warming and the media portrayal, I still feel we need to do something about the current level of consumerism and population growth around the world.
This book gave some good arguments towards the idea that global warming/climate change is process which isn't man-made, but something which is natural and works on a cycle and if you look back in time this is clearly true. However, I felt the author was very narrow-minded towards certain ideas and was very negative towards anyone who had an opposing view to his. There was no middle ground anywhere.
Some of his ideas are contradictory towards each other. In one chapter he tells us that the increase in the use of coal, oil etc., is not contributing towards climate change and then in others he is telling us to use public transport more. It seems to me that he needs to sort his thoughts and ideas more. It is good to view one side of the global warming debate but needs to be taken with a contrast of anthropogenic causes towards climate change as well. Use a variety of sources to form your opinions - not just this one.
I know that Larry Bell has been demonised by some, and even accused of being paid by the oil and gas industries for publishing certain facts (where is the proof of this money?). This book is written in a way that is possibly of more interest to a US citizen, but it also does show examples of worldwide problems. Sometimes he does seem to rant a bit also, but considering that things he complains about are relevant to us all, whatever side of the global warming debate you stand on, you can quite see why, and how angry he gets, along with millions of other people.
Like Larry I am no expert on the whole issue, but like him and others I can also see how we are all being hoodwinked and how others are making masses of money out of it. Unfortunately the people who should be reading this probably won't, but there is a sound reason why you should. Firstly forget about the fact that there is no conclusive evidence that man made global warming even exists (for every research paper that says it does or doesn't there are others that say the complete opposite). What Mr Bell shows here is some of the things that do not make any sense. With carbon off-setting where a company really pays someone else to take some of their CO2 emissions you can see that carbon emissions can remain the same and a company can quite legitimately record a decrease in their emissions. Most people still don't understand how it works, you can quite honestly believe that you were paying for trees to be grown or some other such scheme. If one company offsets its emissions against another company that isn't a heavy user no reduction in real emissions occurs, but according to people like Al Gore and others (who are raking in the money) this is making a significant reduction in CO2 emissions.
More people know about Ethanol and other such ideas, where there are no benefits, because you have to create more emissions to make a product than it is worth. Some things like our energy saving light bulbs which although are saving us money on our fuel bills are not exactly green to the enviroment. These and other things Larry writes about here. There are other things that I would have liked him to also have included, but perhaps he isn't aware of them, or didn't have enough space.
My biggest problem with this book though is that in places it may not be that easy for a lot of people to understand, unless you already know something about the subjects mentioned. There are things also that are only lightly touched upon which should have been given more space. If you are interested in the whole debate then get this, but if you are someone who doesn't have that much knowledge you may find it a bit heavy going. Whilst it is on promo though at the moment perhaps people who couldn't normally afford it will find themselves with a bargain, and also after reading this will find exactly how much spin has been put onto certain things, trusting in the public's ignorance to go unnoticed.
This book presents the alternative view about global warming & raises many points which show that not everything is quite as it seems. At times this is answers some questions , asks others & certainly makes you think . Some of the technical information was a bit too difficult for me to understand & is written from a U.S. point of view. It seems that most of the basics apply anywhere & what has left me most worried is the absence of the scientific basis for man-made global warming & how there seems to be a political agenda rather than scientific need for what we are being told. Well worth reading by those on either side of the argument ., & those who haven't yet decided.
I found this book to be an interesting ramble thru global warming alarmism. However, even though I'm a sceptic, I found some of the claims to be inaccurate and unbalanced:
For example, near the start Larry claims "CO2 accounts for only 0.04 of 1% of of the atmosphere [correct], and about 97% of that tiny trace amount comes from naturally occuring sources that human's haven't influenced [wrong]"
My understanding is that there's good evidence for human activity being responsible for about 20% of current atmospheric CO2. (See Willis's article on What's Up With That entitled 'Some people claim, that there's a human to blame')
The realists argument is that 20% increase is negligible in terms of variations in the geological record, which show climate is relatively insensitive to CO2. (CO2 far higher in the past when it was cooler, 800 yr lag between CO2 and temps, lack of warming since 1998 etc).
The case for lack of alarm about MMGW is strong enough without exaggerating. Leave that to the alarmists.
I did pick up a few interesting new tidbits from the book though: - like George Soros' alarmist 'Politicization of Science' program. Gotta laugh.
OK, but my biggest problem with the book was the following:
Having spent most of the book sensibly arguing against alarmism and condeming scientific fraud and corruption, in the final chapter the author inexplicably suggests we should embrace the luddite agenda by driving less, flying less, consuming less, using less energy, queueing for hours to catch public transport with smelly people, rationing everything and sitting around in the cold and dark. No thanks Larry!! In the short time I've got on this earth I intend to live life to the max, use as much energy as possible and travel and see as much as I can. And you should too.
And the silly claim that we're running out of cheap fuels is completely destroyed by the recent developments in shale gas extraction technology - there's enough for 250 yrs. So absolutely no need for rationing. And don't ask me to worry about what people living 250 years from now are going to do. That's like asking a pauper living in 1760 to freeze to death so I can enjoy patio heaters on my Caribbean holiday in 2011. If there's one thing history teaches us, it's that people living in the future are going to be far richer, far healthier and have a far better standard of living than we can possibly imagine today.
If you want to read a good book on Global Warming, I recommend Nigel Lawson's 'An Appeal to Reason'. It's far more focussed, balanced and well argued. By contrast Larry's book is rambling and contains alot of partisan preaching to the choir - which isn't going to sway any undecided readers. And Nigel's book doesn't end with a daft chapter full of eco-nonsense!
another mind-opening book on climate change (inevitable) versus man-made global warming (unlikely). power and money dictate that the masses need to believe the global warming hype. wake up world well done mr bell who carries on where nigel lawson and a few others left off...