Customer Review

16 February 2012
Given the general "you won't fool me twice" response to Climategate 2.0, many thought it would be Game Over for the so-called climate change "sceptics" but, if anything, they have been emboldened to plumb new depths of reality inversion. In Douglas Adams' Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy, the fictional theologian Oolon Colluphid is killed on a zebra crossing after proving that black is white and, on the evidence of this re-write of his book, I think James Delingpole should exercise great care when crossing the road.

Delingpole suggests that, after the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe, Socialists and Marxists decided they would try and bring about their new world order by using Environmentalism as a Trojan Horse. Unfortunately the opposite is true, as the German Environment Minister at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro is on record as having said, "I am afraid that Conservatives in the United States are picking [environmentalists] as their new enemy"... That's right, driven by a bunch of ex-Cold War physicists, the Americans chose Environmentalism as the new menace of our age and, having been defeated in their attempts to deny that smoking is injurious to your health, they now have nothing better to do than deny human responsibility for climate change.

In Bad Science, Ben Goldacre gives us a very clear warning about what can happen when non-scientific journalists get hold of a story and mangle it. Similarly, in Voodoo Histories: How Conspiracy Theory Has Shaped Modern History, David Aaronovitch gives us a very clear warning about the dangers of invoking complex conspiracy theories rather than just accepting the invariably simple facts. Aaronovitch also suggests a number of reasons for the popularity of conspiracy theories, which include that they may absolve us from any responsibility for bad things that happen and that, whereas history is written by the winners, conspiracy theories are history for the losers. Again, based on the evidence of this re-write of his book, I hope James Delingpole has not put any money on winning a fight with history (or science).

Like I said, James Delingpole takes reality inversion to new depths in this book. Perhaps the most outrageous being that Environmentalists are trying to steal our children's future. You know the kind of thing: Anyone who asserts that there is cause for concern and/or an urgent need for radical action to mitigate humanity's impact on the planet is one of more of anti-human, anti-libertarian, anti-progress, or anti-Western. Unfortunately, as any decent scientist (rather than English graduate) will tell you, all the evidence points in the opposite direction; the unsustainable development being pursued by this current generation of humans is pretty much guaranteeing that they will not leave the Earth as they were lucky enough to find it.

This book is like a packet of cigarettes: It should carry a warning - Reading this book may seriously damage your health! However, you should know this: The people lying to you about the dangers of anthropogenic climate disruption have previous convictions (i.e. for smoking, DDT, CFC's, & acid rain - see Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming for details).
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