Read Climate Confusion: How Global Warming Hysteria Leads to Bad Science, Pandering Politicians and Misguided Policies That Hurt the Poor by Roy W. Spencer Online


The current frenzy over global warming has galvanized the public and cost taxpayers billons of dollars in federal expenditures for climate research. It has spawned Hollywood blockbusters and inspired major political movements. It has given a higher calling to celebrities and built a lucrative industry for scores of eager scientists. In short, ending climate change has becoThe current frenzy over global warming has galvanized the public and cost taxpayers billons of dollars in federal expenditures for climate research. It has spawned Hollywood blockbusters and inspired major political movements. It has given a higher calling to celebrities and built a lucrative industry for scores of eager scientists. In short, ending climate change has become a national crusade. And yet, despite this dominant and sprawling campaign, the facts behind global warming remain as confounding as ever. In Climate Confusion, distinguished climatologist Dr. Roy Spencer observes that our obsession with global warming has only clouded the issue. Forsaking blindingly technical statistics and doomsday scenarios, Dr. Spencer explains in simple terms how the climate system really works, why man's role in global warming is more myth than science, and how the global warming hype has corrupted Washington and the scientific community. The reasons, Spencer explains, are numerous: biases in governmental funding of scientific research, our misconceptions about science and basic economics, even our religious beliefs and worldviews. From Al Gore to Leonardo DiCaprio, the climate change industry has given a platform to leading figures from all walks of life, as pandering politicians, demagogues and biased scientists forge a self-interested movement whose proposed policy initiatives could ultimately devastate the economies of those developing countries they purport to aid. Climate Confusion is a much needed wake up call for all of us on planet earth. Dr. Spencer's clear-eyed approach, combined with his sharp wit and intellect, brings transparency and levity to the issue of global warming as he takes on wrong-headed attitudes and misguided beliefs that have led to our state of panic. Climate Confusion lifts the shroud of mystery that has hovered here for far too long and offers an end to this frenzy of misinformation in our lives. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition....

Title : Climate Confusion: How Global Warming Hysteria Leads to Bad Science, Pandering Politicians and Misguided Policies That Hurt the Poor
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781594032103
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 191 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Climate Confusion: How Global Warming Hysteria Leads to Bad Science, Pandering Politicians and Misguided Policies That Hurt the Poor Reviews

  • Blair
    2018-12-30 22:27

    Roy Spencer is a senior climate scientist currently at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, specializing in satellite monitoring of global temperature. He is also one of the minority of qualified climate scientists who are skeptical about the seriousness of global warming. Much of the book is devoted to showing the non-rational basis of those who are concerned about global warming, suggesting that they are essentially following a pagan religion of earth worship, the "scientist's faith and the environmentalist's religion." While there may be some justification for this, I read the book hoping to find an alternative scientific viewpoint on climate change. In common with the mainstream view, Spencer accepts that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas and humans have increased its amount in the atmosphere by about 40% so far. He agrees that this carbon dioxide will cause some warming, stating that a doubling of carbon dioxide levels (a standard measure used by scientists) will cause 1 degree Fahrenheit of direct warming. He even adimits, on page 149, that "the body of the IPCC scientists' technical report is actually pretty thorough and even-handed on the global warming issue". Let me note that this is not refering to the Working Group 2 report that has been recently shown to contain serious errors. The 1 degree Fahrenheit figure is wrong. If Spencer really disagrees with the commonly accepted value of 1.2 degrees Celsius (twice as much), he should say so and explain why his view is different. Failure to do so suggests he got his units wrong, or is deliberately understating the facts.The scientific core of the the global warming debate (as opposed to the irrational politics) is how that 1 degree Celsius of forcing from carbon dioxide gets translated into the average prediction of 3 degrees of warming. Spencer begins his response with a chapter on How Weather Works, easily the best chapter in the book. It contains the wonderfully simple statement that the purpose of weather is "to move heat from where there is more, to where there is less." He demonstrates how turbulence in the atmosphere greatly reduces the natural greenhouse effect, reducing the surface temperature from a theoretical 130 degrees Fahrenheit to the actual 57 degrees. He also points out how the role of water vapor and clouds is still poorly understood, and can have a large effect on the feedbacks that are supposed to amplify the carbon dioxide forcing. His argument amounts to showing the large potential in the climate system to have different results than what is predicted by climate models, but instead of providing an alternative model he simply states "Global warming pessimists will now doubt claim that I have too much faith in the existence of stabilization processes in the climate system. I would counter that those scientists have too much faith in crude climate models."The case for the potential of global warming is mainly based on paleoclimate, the study of climate changes in the Earth's past. Spencer dismisses this entire branch of science based on a single example of a (possibly) flawed study:I personally do not put much faith in paleoclimate studies. Since scientists can't even agree on the accuracy of actual thermometer-measured temperatures over the last hundred years, I find claims that we can discern ancient temperatures based upon the tree-ring spacing of a Bristlecone Pine growing at 9,000 feet elevation in a remote corner of Colorado to be a little dubious.This lack of faith in paleoclimate may possibly be due to the author's faith in Intelligent Design, not mentioned in this book but publicly stated elsewhere (search "Roy Spencer Intelligent Design"). Normally, an author's political or religious views should not be relevant when reviewing a book on science, and using them amounts to an ad hominem attack. However, if his version of Intelligent Design includes a 6,000 year old Earth (which he does not say one way or the other), this has a serious impact on any treatment of Earth Science. Paleoclimate provides the only evidence on which current climate theories can be tested. Spencer dismisses this evidence entirely, then criticises climate models for not being testable. While making much of the apparent faith of global warming proponents, his own faith clearly has a large impact on his scientific viewpoint.The last paragraph of the Prologue states:Critics of this book will say that my treatment of global warming is obviously biased. And they are right. I have studied the issues enough to have developed some very strong biases on the subject. But it is not a question of whether bias exists - for we are all biased. It is a question of which bias is the best bias to be biased with.This should be sufficient to suggest that any reader truly interested in understanding the global warming issue, as opposed to having their current beliefs confirmed, should not rely on this single book. But as Spencer correctly points out, this issue is defined by political religious values. That is at least as true about his side of the issue as it is about his opponents.The book closes with an emotional epilogue about a little girl in Africa who dies because environmentalists would not let DDT be sprayed to prevent malaria. This issue is mentioned seven times during the course of the book, intended to show the harm done by the environmentalist's irrational beliefs. However, the fact is that DDT is widely used in Africa to prevent malaria, with the approval of western environmental agencies who accept the trade off the health benefits against environmental costs. Dr. Spencer writes a good story, but is not very careful with his facts.

  • Ray Sutera
    2019-01-13 20:17

    This book isn't about global warming as much as it is a political rant and a discussion of conservative economic philosophy. Thus, I was very disappointed. I was hoping for more about the science - given that the book was written by a meteorologist - but the science was skimpy at best. The chapters on politics and economic theory occupy much more space than those on the science. The author throws around the word "socialism" so much that you'd think he was paid by the number of times it appears in the book. Why was that necessary? I bought the book because it was by a meteorologist. I had hoped that it would provide a scientific discussion that would help the reader to sort through this controversy. So if you're looking for a book that lays out the evidence so you can make up your own mind you'll be much, much better off finding something else to read. This book doesn't even try to do that for you. It's pure political propaganda.Additionally, the style was sarcastic and snarky in its treatment of those who disagree with the author and this is especially egregious given that the author complained about personal attacks even as he is guilty of the same. He doesn't like being called a "global warming denier" as he thinks it's a derogatory phrase but he has no problem calling his opponents "global warming alarmists". This double standard is a major feature of the book.There are no references and no citations at all in this book so when the author tells you something you're expected to believe him without asking for proof. And quite surprisingly, the author tells us that a particular scientific idea is "just a theory". That'll go over well with creationists who love to portray evolution as "just a theory". And not at all surprisingly, he refers to an anti-evolution book, thus giving away his philosophical (and possibly, religious) motivations for all of this.An example of the political and non-scientific intent of this book is the author's statement, "Since global warming respects no international boundaries, the United Nations' dream of global governance is now closer than ever." This gives away his real agenda: extreme conservative politics, not science.Being nothing more than a political rant, I can't recommend this book to anyone... except for someone who is of the author's political persuasion and who is looking for some feel-good pablum and a bit of emotional masturbation and who already has his mind made up about global warming based upon those politics. I didn't need a meteorologist to lecture me about politics and economics.

  • Rod
    2019-01-07 22:23

    Excellent overview of the climate change issue, from the viewpoint of a meteorologist.Couple of highlights:Spencer points out that meteorologists, who are familiar with the deep complexity of the earth's weather system, are more reluctant to predict dire consequences of global warming, given the very large uncertainties. Physicists, on the other hand, go right ahead and develop models of the overall system, most of which have been incapable of predicting even know behavior.The author points out the heat capacity of the earth is dominated by the oceans (over 1000x the heat contained in the atmosphere). So the oceans have to be taken into account in climate prediction.

  • Grace
    2018-12-25 21:19

    I picked up this book to read because I wanted another viewpoint on the discussion of global warming/climate change. This one looked like it had some promise coming from a climate researcher and it didn't look like it was gonna sugar coat anything. And it didn't. The Good:This covers a bit of the science and a helluva lot of the politics surrounding this issue. It does so in a way that is fairly easy to read without bogging anyone down with a mound of citations. (See The Ugly for more on that.) It gives the reader a lot of food for thought on how and why climate change got to the main headlines and stayed there long after the normal human gets bored with, well, everything. While I particularly enjoyed the tone it was written in, not everyone will appreciate the biting sarcasm. In fact, anyone with delicate sensibilities will be rather hurt.The Bad:This book is not for everyone. You have to start with a relatively open mind and a lack of skin in the game. There is a lot of sarcasm in the presentation of the material. The Ugly: I routinely wanted evidence for things that were being stated, but there are no citations. Thus, a lack of evidence given will drive a lot of folks up the wall. I looked up a few things, but not extensively. I couldn't be arsed to waste that much time looking up the background of every claim, let alone the dirtier ones that have likely been buried under mounds and mounds of other stories. If it weren't for offhanded jokes during grad school about how we could weasel this or that research to say "climate change" or "global warming" in order to get grant money, I'd probably not have taken much of it seriously. But that side of the research is an open secret that most of the actual public doesn't know. Final thoughts:More people should read this book. I gives a decent overview of why the global warming skeptics don't jump on the hysteria bandwagon. Spencer repeatedly points out that it isn't that they don't believe that global warming isn't happening - they know it is - but they are a harder sell on how much of it is contributed to what since the models and parts of the weather still aren't fully understood.

  • Lori
    2019-01-13 00:36

    Tough to choose a star rating here. This book was poorly written, and I wonder if it was even edited. There were a lot of times when words in a sentence were repeated or left out. Annoying.These are the major ideas I took with me after reading the book:1. Global climate data have been collected for only about the last 100 years. And in the earliest days, much of the data were collected from very few points around the globe. The idea that our climate is warming is based on data that represents an extremely small slice of our earth's history. In fact, such warming may be well within earth's natural climate fluctuations. 2. Water vapor is, by far (very, very far) the number one greenhouse gas in our atmosphere. It is the major player in both cloud formation and precipitation. Spencer says that precipitation is considered the least understood mechanism of weather, even by experts. So, the effects on global warming, of the most prevalent greenhouse gas, are totally unknown. It isn't even part of the models currently being used by global warming gurus.3. The current models that are being used have to constantly be "tweaked" because they don't include parameters for all of the stabilizing effects that exist in the real atmosphere. These models don't keep track with current weather. This makes questionable their ability to predict future weather.4. There is a bias in the science and politics of global warming as well as the funding of global warming research. 5. Global warming research, which is based on computer modeling, is not real science. We have no way to recreate something as huge as an atmosphere in the physical sense, so we have to make one in the theoretical sense. Traditional experimentation, therefore, is not possible. (This is not to say modeling doesn't have value, but the conclusions we draw from it cannot be relied upon as we would raw physical data.)The first two points were new and very interesting to me to learn, though the actual science of it was difficult to grasp. (Water does crazy things, and it is hard to understand why it is doing what it does.) The last three points are aspects of science which have interested me for a while. I think, to a greater degree than most people realize, there is a bias in all scientific work. Countless times in the course of scientific history, you can find examples of researchers who thought his data proved more than it really did. People devote their lives to this stuff. You can't overlook their emotional attachment. The points about the reliability of modeling will always be debated, I suppose. Models just can't predict everything... and models which need to be continually tweaked to get them calibrated with reality are hardly reliable. The real rub, in my mind, is that these models don't include parameters for water vapor. That is stunning.Having listed these points, which I think were excellent, I must say that the author's treatment of these topics is, at times, lacking. He cites no studies. He sometimes doesn't even name the scientists of whom he speaks in his stories. And he gives no bibliography. He states at the outset that he does not intend for the book to be a rehashing of data from all the studies. That's fine. But it would be nice if he would at least cite them so that someone would be able to verify his statements. The author also has interesting, if repetitive, ideas about how economics and politics play into the global warming hysteria. Some of them are good to be reminded about, others I found just a little too trite. Overall, I liked this book because it gave me some definite points to look into before I make my mind up one way or the other about man-made global warming. Unfortunately, I think I am going to have to go somewhere else if I am going to get a more rigorous treatment of this topic.

  • Anirban Gangopadhyay
    2019-01-08 22:24

    I am almost inspired to write a thriller after reading this one. Like a true-blue thriller, that slowly reveals a small crook-mob boss-dirty cop-corrupt politician nexus, this one starts from dubious science, moves on to sensationalist media, then to fanatic environmentalists, finally to policymakers who do the real damage. And most of the picture painted here goes contrary to what most environment-sympathizers (which is most of us to some extent) would imagine. So it would make a pretty nice chock-full-of-surprises thriller.Like when he says about the myth of sustainability, that can never be achieved really. Or the question about what we are really willing to sacrifice when we ask for sweeping restrictions to "save" the environment. He has some strong points there. But he also has a tremendous faith in the potential of human ingenuity providing some future miracle solution in the energy arena. Science-wise, he speaks about the possibility of weather mechanisms providing a negative feedback on global warming in the future. Thereby having a presently unpredictable stabilizing effect. After all, these are chaotic systems we do not understand well. Most climate models sweep weather mechanisms like clouds and precipitations under the rug. Policy-wise, he makes the point that anything we are doing towards averting climate change (like the Kyoto protocol) is precious little and horribly unrealistic. Which is why none of those things have worked (for example, countries adopting the Kyoto protocol couldn't keep their targets). And some of the policies really do more harm than good. The two concrete examples he provides are: banning DDT usage in African countries, and indoor burning of wood and dung in underdeveloped countries who are supposedly do not pollute the environment as much as the developed ones. Apart from that, his main line of argument is the following: while making supposedly environment-friendly policies, we are also advocating giving up the current way of life we are so used to. Giving up a way of life that actually breeds creativity and eventually stifling the only possible way we can avert an energy crisis: technological innovations.This is technically the first right-wing book I read. So, had my fair share of self-introspective moments.

  • Dale
    2018-12-25 17:07

    Well-stated from this former Senior Scientist for Climate Studies at NASA.Roy Spencer presents a well-stated and reasoned defense for the "deniers" of global warming, although he does not deny the globe is warming, he denies that we can definitively lay it at the feet of hydrocarbon emissions. The greatest strength of Climate Confusion is its readability - Spencer has a great sense of humor and lets it shine throughout - he reminds me of Dave Barry quite a bit.Spencer cites the difficulty in creating computer-based climate models and the difficulty in understanding all of the relationships between the myriad of variables that come together to create the ill-understood phenomenon we call weather. For example, as has been oft-noted by Al Gore, carbon dioxide levels have risen in the last century. Spencer notes that we have no idea what that exactly means for the global climate. Will water vapor increase due to an increase in global temperatures? Will the system self-regulate, or have a cascade effect (which Spencer seriously doubts, as do I) as depicted in Art Bell's The Coming Global Superstorm?In reality, we don't know and can't really know because we cannot run accurate climate models. We don't understand or even know all of the variables. What we do know is that temperatures fluctuate - they go up and they go down. There is no "perfect" average temperature for our planet...Read more at:

  • Matt
    2019-01-09 17:23

    Spencer looks at how scientists as of now cannot accurately measure the effects of man-made CO2 on the atmosphere, due to all of the variables. He examines the weather’s cooling effect on Earth, and the complexity of weather, describing how scientists can’t decipher it yet without the correct technology. Spencer describes the effects of politicians and environmentalists on the other citizens, stating that they mislead people because of their faiths and biases intertwining with facts. He then conveys how protocols, such as the Kyoto protocol, hurt people more that they help them, causing poor people to become poorer and hardly denting the goals that they were trying to accomplish like reducing man-made pollution of CO2. Spencer closes by revisiting the weak and less weak alternatives to fossil fuels and plans to eradicate global warming. Reaction:Overall, Spencer did a good job in convincing me that it is too hard to prove that man-made CO2 pollution makes a significant difference in the climate of Earth. The first few chapters (besides the first one) were logical and neat, describing how complicated the Earth’s atmosphere is and how many variables that go into finding the climate of the Earth. It is definitely a strong counterpoint to what I have heard about man-made CO2 affecting the climate.

  • Jim
    2019-01-10 20:30

    Everyone should read this book. In Climate Confusion, climatologist Roy Spencer explains how and why the threat of global warming is greatly and even dangerously overblown. He explains how the climate works and how many climate scientists and researchers tend to exaggerate their findings for their own financial and even political gains, as well as for the security of their own careers. No one fully understands all the processes of the climate system and Roy expresses how governments that pass "global warming" policies based on "scientific" assumptions only hurt the poor while never really putting a dent in a problem that is at best, theoretical.

  • Stephanie
    2019-01-05 00:26

    Although I agreed with much of the thoughts in this book, I thought it was organized fairly poorly. I did get a sense for how complicated the weather is. I think the thing that frustrated me most about this book was a lack of easy and complete arguments against man made global warming. The lack of clarity makes it hard to even summarize his arguments which makes them seem weak in comparison. I think he would have done better to pick a focus on just one or two topics in the book and clarify them with more space.

  • Frank Staheli
    2018-12-27 16:20

    Without subscribing to the vitriol that can characterize both sides of the global warming debate, Roy Spencer uses his years of climatology expertise to explain how weather has a much greater impact on climate that most people understand.He explains that although it is virtually certain that Carbon Dioxide is increasing slightly in the atmosphere and that man is almost assuredly the cause, it is not at all certain what effect this will have on climate.

  • Bob
    2019-01-19 16:24

    In between the sarcasm and attempted comedy, the author does deal with he science of climate change in plain and honest language. It's not totally clear (after reading the book) how much of global warming is being caused by natural occuring events versus man made warming. He makes a good scientific case for media hype and non scientific doomday predictions. If you don't mind the sometimes "silliness", it's a good read by a knowledgeable person.

  • Kirstie
    2019-01-16 17:17

    This isn't a be-all-end-all book on global warming, but it is a refreshing change in reading over the dry science stuff. I recommend this as a good place to start if you have some doubt of the global warming hysteria. There's a lot of common sense stuff in the book, as well as a basic introduction to the science surrounding global warming.What I really found refreshing about the book was the author's wit and sarcasm. It really made for an entertaining read.

  • Anthony
    2018-12-30 18:27

    Spencer is probably most famous for being the climate expert for the Rush Limbaugh program. Similar to the Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming, although more detailed in some of the issues around things like percipitation, often left out of many Global Warming arguemnents (e.g. Al Gore). Also, book is dated since it isn't Global Warming anymore, but Global Climate Change to cover for the incoming global cooling in the next few years.

  • Chrissy
    2018-12-29 00:07

    Non fiction aught not be this fun, but there it is. Spencers witty take down of the fear mongering, intellectually dishonet Envriromentalist movement had me in stitches.Funny though it was it was informative, and somewhat chilling.THis is a book I recommended for everyone, and one I wish to literally throw at certain folks.

  • Brian
    2019-01-17 16:24

    This is a very interesting book that deals with human factors in Global Warmin. Spencer goes a long way to describe how current climate models are too simplistic and tend to over/under emphasize weather elements, such as the role of precipitation.There is a lot here to at least think about and consider.

  • Akwhepworth
    2018-12-25 19:34

    Logical, informative, and humorous overview of the climate change debate. I especially appreciated that the author focused on the cost of climate change legislation vs cost to human lives, quality of living, etc. I also enjoyed exercising my intellect a little bit in the more technical sections.Thanks for the recommendation, Mom!

  • Meghan
    2019-01-04 20:12

    Once upon a time I had to write a research paper for college. It was a horribly boring assignment- and not my forte- so to spice it up, I decided to argue a point I didn't believe at all.I bought this book to help me make my argument. And before the paper was even written, I was convinced we had all been fed a lie.Easy to understand with some pretty strong points.

  • Chon
    2019-01-01 00:16

    This book was incredibly challenging for me to read. I thought I would enjoy it but ended up putting it down constantly. I did not find it humorous, the writing style did not appeal to me - I may have even felt offended... I did not mind the scientific explanations. It was worth the read for the differing viewpoint alone.

  • Erin Martin
    2019-01-09 23:31

    I liked this book because it finally puts global warming into a real and non liberal prospective. it encourages readers to think critically about the information on global warming that they are being fed on a daily basis.

  • Grace
    2019-01-16 22:10

    I really did not like it, however I may be biased because I take global warming as fact. I read this book to try to broaden my worldview, and challenge my beliefs. This book did not do that. In fact, his arguments were so outrageous it was laughable.

  • April
    2018-12-25 20:36

    The basic explanations of weather systems were immensely helpful for me. It did sort of derail every now and then, and had trouble getting on the track to begin with for the first 50 pages. It was worth the read in the end.

  • Ed
    2019-01-19 00:18

    A good perspective on the mankind caused global warming hysteria. If Al Gore is your prophet, then this will be heresy. If you like "reality", it is a good read. Remember, worship the creator, not the creation.

  • Beth Haynes
    2019-01-05 16:16

    Good explanation of the basic science, politics and economics of the climate change controversy. A major draw back is his flawed epistemology regarding certainty and knowledge, and what is a scientific theory. On these topics he is mainstream--and wrong.

  • Duder
    2019-01-20 20:28

    heard this bro on the radio, liked the cut of his jibb, book reflected that.

  • Lauren
    2019-01-06 23:10

    All my controversial books go missing when I'm reading them, darn it. Again, need to get back to this one once I find a new copy.

  • Connie
    2019-01-20 22:34

    Brings a lot of information, understanding and clarity (with humor!) of the global warming debate.

  • Myke
    2019-01-13 17:10

    Eh! I agree with the Science, but he gets a little political on me. He's a scientist, I wish he would have stuck with the science.

  • Radish
    2019-01-18 19:30

    Funny and easy to understand.

  • Amy
    2019-01-10 00:22

    A few minor flaws, but overall, surprisingly insightful. A very quick read at only about 180 pages.