Book Review: The Mad, Mad, Mad World of Climatism

Book Review: The Mad, Mad, Mad World of Climatism
March 29, 2013

Russell Cook

Russell Cook is a contributing editor for The Heartland Institute's Environment & Climate News... (read full bio)

Rush Limbaugh speaks frequently about the new breed of "low-information" voter in America handing President Obama a second term in the White House.

No doubt a disturbing amount of these voters were unaware that Obama's inauguration on January 21st was a ceremonial re-enactment of the constitutionally required one the day before, and certainly they accepted unquestioningly the line in his ceremonial speech in which he said, "We will respond to the threat of climate change... Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms."

But that particular sentence only stays afloat when no one looks any deeper into it. The most damaging thing that can happen to a politicized thesis such as "climate change" is for more people to actually question it and discover for themselves that it looks like indefensible misinformation. For President Obama and others promoting the idea of man-caused global warming, any kind of plausible opposition to this issue imperils it, so they avoid  exploration of critical viewpoints and instead label them as "deniers". Case closed.

That is the hallmark of far-left agendas. The global warming issue showcases how spectacularly this tactic fails.

Steve Goreham's The Mad, Mad, Mad World of Climatism: Mankind and Climate Change Mania β€” which will have a second print run in April β€” dives headlong into addressing those who promote the idea of man-caused global warming.

Mad, Mad, Mad World is very effective in revealing the three glaring errors in Obama's climate change inaugural speech statement. Goreham uncovers the false premise of the "denier" label in his chapter about the funding disparity between wealthy green organizations and the significantly less-funded conservative think-tanks. He points out how the "overwhelming judgment of science" myth falls apart in his "Big Whoppers about Climate Change" chapter, and notions about the supposed 'devastating impacts' of global warming crumble apart in his "Wild Weather and Snow Follies" chapter.

The Mad, Mad, Mad World of Climatism addresses all that and more in a very readable way, while placing fun fact tidbits in the page margins which further undermine the global warming crisis narrative from multiple angles. Goreham's book has over thirty pages of chapter endnotes, most of them featuring web site links leading readers on an ever-widening path of discovery about the issue. A particularly inconvenient truth for those pushing the crisis narrative: neither the companion book for Al Gore's film nor his 2010 Our Choice book has a single footnote or endnote. Our Choice has vague source references for a few of its charts. The Mad, Mad, Mad World of Climatism has endnotes on all of the short glosses in its margins.

Informed as I already am on the global warming issue, I still found new information in the book that I can use in debates with people on Al Gore's side. One in particular I hadn't known about: ex-EPA administrator Carol Browner had suggested "an electric company will be able to hold back some of the power so that maybe your air conditioner won't operate at its peak". I did know about the way inquiries into the ClimateGate scandal ended up looking like whitewashes, but Goreham boils that down in a way that any reader can easily understand and use against those who say ClimateGate was an inconsequential matter. Goreham deftly reinforces how the IPCC scientists involved in that matter are still in deep trouble and how the inquiries that supposedly exonerated them have readily-seen faults. I found this refresher especially useful.

As I noted in my review of Goreham's prior book, Climatism!, his label of "climatists" is quite appropriate, more so than the term "warmist." My own earliest notice of the so-called global warming crisis movement was the result of being puzzled about what happened to big concerns over global cooling. Goreham brings up that very topic on page 2, an episode emblematic of the need to solve whatever we are perceived to be doing to the planet.

I strongly urge people to buy and read this book, and to keep it on hand for quick reference when those who unquestioningly follow President Obama's call for action on global warming ratchet up the clamor for action. Allowing such rhetoric to go by without a hitting back is to let the handlers of low-information voters win the day. What these handlers can't tolerate is their minions losing the debate to high-information voters. Such losses breed more high-information voters, an anathema to the so-called global warming fraternity.

Borrowing an Indy-500 witticism about race drivers: There are those "who have hit the wall and those who will hit the wall." I apply it to the global warming issue by suggesting there are those who are skeptical of man-caused global warming, and those who will become skeptics after reading skeptic material. The Mad, Mad, Mad World of Climatism is exactly the kind of book capable of accomplishing that transformation.

Russell Cook's collection of writings on this issue can be seen at "The '96-to-present smear of skeptic scientists." You may also follow him at Twitter via @questionAGW.

[First published at the American Thinker.]

Russell Cook

Russell Cook is a contributing editor for The Heartland Institute's Environment & Climate News... (read full bio)