(*****) Warm and revealing book about the great distortion of climate science
You might think that there are already many books about climate change on the market. But Ralph Alexander's book is special and unusually appropriate for both beginners and experts in the field because of its balanced attitude to the problem.
That doesn't mean that Dr Alexander ends up with a "mixed" answer to the basic question. Just like a majority of books on the subject, Dr Alexander makes the readers understand that the global warming alarm is almost completely an artifact of manipulation with the human psychology and with the data. But unlike the case of many other books, you will see that Dr Alexander is actually a mainstream scientist (and an applied scientist in the environmental sector) who cares about the good name and functioning of science. Years ago, he was inclined to believe the "general wisdom" about the problem. His diametrically opposite conclusions are a result of his long research of the problem. And his pride of a scientist has been hurt. Climatology has become an ugly example of a scientific discipline that has largely ceased to be scientific.
Dr Alexander determines that the "ring" and the international character of the IPCC, the climate panel of the United Nations, are the main drivers of the hysteria so the IPCC, its process, and its reports are the main players investigated by this text. He analyzes the history and structure of the IPCC and finds out that this panel is just a particular and heavily funded group of loud partisans and activists that is meant to defend a predetermined conclusion and that doesn't reflect the scientific opinion of the world's scientific community, at least its financially and otherwise unbiased part, and certainly not the available body of data. Lots of numbers about the percentages of the scientist who agree and disagree with various statements are included.
The following chapters are dedicated to the standard topics in this debate: an introduction to the enhanced greenhouse effect and why it cannot account for most of the climate variability; computer models as the main basis underlying the alarm and their flaws; the CO2 and temperature records and reconstructions, their comparisons, and their flaws (including the urban heat effect); cherry-picking in various "concerned" studies; the interactions with politics (in both directions); corruption of the conventional peer review process; the biased IPCC evaluation of the climate sensitivity (warming from CO2 doubling); the lag in the correlation showing that the temperature is a driver, not an effect, of trace gas concentrations; solar, oceanic, cosmic, and other natural drivers that have to be crucial (even though the author honestly says that science doesn't yet understand their precise and separate effects); the high possibility of a cooling in the 21st century.
A significant portion of the text is also concerned with the economic consequences of the alarm; the failures of the cap-and-trade systems in the past, the differences between various countries; and the false hopes in green, luxurious sources of energy.
The book contains many wise stories and analogies from the history, useful data from the present, some jokes, and black-and-white pages that summarize the IPCC claims and their flaws in various sections. Two appendices discuss the feedbacks and the effect of Pacific Decadal Oscillation. And indeed, Dr Alexander had to include some equations, too. The book has a short glossary, 30 pages of technical endnotes (including many references that don't disturb you in the main text), and an index. At any rate, it is quite an amazing piece of work that is fun to read - because of its detailed data, its convincing case, and warm style - and I wholeheartedly recommend you to buy it and read it.