Review of The Great Global Warming Blunder: How Mother Nature Fooled the World’s Top Climate Scientists, by Roy W. Spencer (Encounter Books, 2010), 180 pages, ISBN-13: 978-1594033735
Roy Spencer, one of the nation’s leading climate scientists, says he’s frustrated that activists have hijacked the peer-review process to prevent the publication of sound science contradicting global warming alarmism. Spencer, a Ph.D.meteorologist, currently a principal research scientist at the University of Alabama, and formerly a senior scientist for climate studies at NASA, decided to write a book for everyone willing to take a little time to understand the basic physics behind the issue.
That book, The Great Global Warming Blunder, is a must-read for anyone interested in the scientific facts about global warming. Spencer documents that the science clearly shows man does not in fact control the climate in any significant way and the natural forces that continually alter the earth’s climate are relatively easy to discern and understand.
Spencer shows his brilliance by breaking down complex science into easily digestible facts understandable to anyone willing to read slowly and absorb his simple, real-life analogies. The latter include the effects of heating water in a pot on your stove and opening or closing your windows to moderate heat in a building or car.
Climate Model Flaws
Nobody understands better than Spencer the multitude of incentives which have both caused and allowed the anthropogenic global warming delusion to grow and prosper during the past two decades. I can assure you that anyone with honesty and an IQ exceeding plant life will, after reading Spencer’s book, at last understand the workings and proper role of mathematical climate models.
If the only thing you gain from The Great Global Warming Blunder is a better understanding of the positive and negative climate-factor feedbacks that are still in great dispute but which are central to alarmist global warming computer models, this alone will justify your purchase of the book. Spencer powerfully explains how carbon dioxide-induced global warming is mitigated by many negative feedbacks which keep temperatures from rising as rapidly as alarmists predict. This is perhaps the central flaw in alarmist global warming theory.
Spencer explains with easy logic how climate modelers relied on by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have mixed up cause and effect. IPCC decided that when warming coincides with reduced cloud cover, the warming must have reduced the cloud cover. However, it is far more likely that reduced cloud cover actually produced the warming, Spencer notes.
Getting cause and effect right corrects many of the overly alarmist flaws in IPCC’s computer models.
Spencer expertly explains that IPCC, which does indeed employ some talented climate scientists, has its hands tied by bureaucrats who control the process and have financial incentives to continue asserting a global warming crisis.
Spencer is equally and rightly upset with the corporate pandering done to look “green” in the eyes of the public on the global warming issue. He writes, “when big business poses as being on the ‘CO2 is evil’ bandwagon the public perceives it as an acknowledgment that CO2 is a real problem and that something must be done,” when in reality it is just clever and dishonest marketing. Sadly, it all supports legislation that ends up hurting the public interest.
Planet’s Outlook Not Alarming
The Great Global Warming Blunder challenges our nation’s leaders to perform a critical review of the IPCC and its alarmist claims before making any policy decisions to redirect scarce resources from important needs and spend them on a phantom crisis.
Instead of fearing more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, Spencer argues, we should consider the possibility our use of economically productive fossil fuels improves human wealth and well-being and that the resultant carbon dioxide emissions may actually be beneficial to life on earth.
You should buy this book as a belated Christmas present for anyone interested in global warming science. We all owe Roy Spencer a vote of thanks for his courage in telling it like it is from his position as one of the most prominent and accomplished climate scientists of our day.
Jay Lehr, PhD. ([email protected]) is science director of The Heartland Institute.