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The Skeptics Handbook

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The Skeptic’s Handbook by Joanne Nova

This booklet is free to download in PDF format, is about 16 pages long, and is nicely illustrated and put together. Despite it’s somewhat heavy subject matter, it is easy to read and is written in plain English.

The book’s main point is this single question:

“What science is there that more CO2 forces temperatures up further?”

Most global warming (anthropomorphic global warming or AGW) theory is based upon computer modeling of the atmosphere. These computer models have thus far been proven to be highly inaccurate in their predictions. They failed to predict the general cooling trend we’ve seen globally since 1998, when temperatures peaked the last time.

In fact, all of the phenomenon they claimed would happen has so far failed to materialize. Basically, the greenhouse signature is missing. There is nothing to prove that CO2 or any greenhouse gas that we know of is raising global temperatures or causing harm. In fact, ice core data is directly contradicting the AGW theory.

Further, during the ice age of 105-115 million years ago, CO2 was at nearly 280 parts per million in the atmosphere (roughly equivalent to today) and temperatures were around -6° Centigrade.

And now the IPCC, the world’s “consensus body of scientists,” has been caught using bad data and graphs gleaned from Wikipedia, placing ground thermometers in parking lots, near air conditioners, and in generally urban environments where radiant heat is bound to give higher readings. Further, they routinely discount or ignore satellite data, which is what consistently shows an overall lowering of temperature for the past ten years.

Nova then identifies how CO2 reacts in the atmosphere and shows that a “tipping point” is an illusion and that the assumptions made by the AGW modelers about carbon’s logarithmic absorption curve are wrong.

Finally, she lists a select group of well-known climate scientists of various disciplines that have changed their tune in regards to global warming and become skeptics.

Last, but not least, Nova addresses the real cause of global warming: alarmism, “consensus” taking by the IPCC (in self-interest), and a general attitude of argument by authority. This, in my view, is the biggest damnation of global warming proponents. When you quote non-scientific bodies, organized by government, funded by government, and pooled from the get-go with people who had foregone conclusions before they were appointed, you will not get science. You will get political propaganda in the name of science.

The core point, once again, is that the recent warming of the planet is caused by a so-far unknown factor. There is no evidence to show that it is being caused by any of the greenhouse gases that we know of.

“Anything that heats the planet will melt ice, shift lemurs, and cause droughts. None of these things tell us WHY the planet got warmer.”

t-shirt-unskeptical-scientist-medIn the last chapter of the booklet, Nova shows a graph titled Cutting through the Fog in which she addresses the most common responses given by AGW proponents. This, to me, was the best part of the book. It gives the usual answers or arguments for man-made global warming and/or CO2 and quick, bullet-riddling returns that shoot down the argument (which is usually false to start with).

For instance: when someone says “What would you know? You’re not a climate scientist.” The answer: “Neither is Al Gore. I know what evidence is and I can read a graph. How about you?” If they persist and call you a “denier” or “oil company shill” the response is “Name-calling is all you’ve got? Where’s your evidence? Neither of our opinions will change ice core records and satellite data.”

In the end, I would highly recommend you read Nova’s book. It’s free, short, concise, and entertainingly useful. Whether you’re a skeptic or a believer, you will find this book useful. If you read this book and cannot find reasons to discount her (based on science), but still believe that global warming is made by CO2, you are a member of a religion and are going forth based on your own faith, not on science.

Oh, and Joanne is also Australian, just like Bob from the Greenhouse Neutral Foundation, whose book The Day the Lights Went Out I reviewed not too long ago. She didn’t mention anything about putting shrimps on the barbie or use the word “crikey” anywhere in her book either. I’m beginning to believe that Crocodile Dundee and Steve Irwin have lead me astray as to what Australian culture is really like. Come to think of it, I can’t recall a single AC/DC song with those words in them either.

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