ANTHROPOGENIC CLIMATE CHANGE: WHY THE FUSS?
This posting is dedicated to providing a collection of reliable sources of information to help people become properly informed about anthropogenic climate change (ACC). It was originally posted (2013-09-09) in response to misleading “factoids” and “opinions” about anthropogenic climate change, published in “Letters” in Engineering Dimensions (magazine of the Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario). It has subsequently been expanded and is occasionally updated: last updated 2019-07-10. You can search for words in this document [Ctrl+F on a PC; Command+F on a Mac] if you have something specific in mind. Links sometimes are changed (although from time to time I check them and make revisions where possible): you may have to use the WayBackMachine at https://archive.org/web/.
[T.L. Muir; P.Eng.]
ACC = Anthropogenic Climate Change
This posting is divided into 4 main parts, all of which provide information at or near a layperson’s level (i.e., not highly technical). Although I have read most of the material cited below, I have not read comprehensive reports completely. They are noted here so you can peruse information pertinent to ACC (along with their accompanying references). Underlined text below is hyperlinked to the main text body.
ACC is a global issue. The Earth’s climate has always been changing and always will, whether or not there was life on this planet. But this is irrelevant with respect to ACC. Before mankind flourished, there was no ACC. The simple deduction is that both types of change (natural and human-induced) can operate simultaneously and must be taken into account on a scientific basis. The vast majority of scientists studying the pertinent issues are well ahead of most of us in their understanding of the complexities and have generally addressed most or all of the key points put forth by contrarians and real and veiled ‘skeptics’, as best they can.
From a technical point, the term “climate change” is more encompassing than “global warming” as it takes into account global changes in temperature, rainfall, melting ice, rising sea levels, ocean acidification, wind speed, droughts, floods, etc., whereas the latter term is rather specific. “Global warming” is, of course, apropos if the discussion is centred mainly on temperature.
CO2, in the context of human-caused release of previously sequestered carbon, has been declared a pollutant in a U.S. Supreme Court ruling and is now accepted as an atmospheric pollutant by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the climate science community at large. This is consistent with many dictionary definitions. Nevertheless, whether this position is accepted or not, arguing that CO2 is not a pollutant in the context of ACC is a distraction as it in no way diminishes the science behind the study of Earth’s climate system and humanity’s effects on that system.
The items in Part B-1 listed below set the framework for the remainder of the items and they will clarify why you may be “confused” about ACC. The remaining items will improve your knowledge immensely. In summary, there is absolutely no shortage of very helpful credible information available to anyone willing to look for it and take the time to examine it. You do not need to be confused or misinformed.
The challenge for the typical person trying to understand ACC is not to succumb to sources of misinformation, which masquerade as legitimate challenges to climate science by using science incorrectly or dishonestly. This misuse of science results in what has been termed “counterfeit scientific controversy”. Unfortunately, some media and internet sources, amongst others, are rife with bad information, be it from unintentional misunderstanding (i.e., true ignorance of knowledge of the issues) or intentional misrepresentation (i.e., ideological editorial bias, sophistic disingenuousness, or intentional/willful ignorance). Others promulgate this false information, either gullibly or deliberately, thus manufacturing uncertainty and creating doubt or confusion.
One must carefully parse what is being said, how it is being said, and who is saying it, as many anti-ACC presentations are well crafted. Be wary of sources that have co-opted and misappropriated originally used terms such as “junk science” and “fake news”. Be skeptical in the true sense. If you come across something that argues against the prevailing concepts of climate science, by all means, check the sources carefully, and in some cases, check even those sources. Do not just cherry pick factoids put forth by mavericks or contrarians that support what you would like things to be. To that end, the more you know about ACC in the broad scientific sense, the better you will be at ferreting out unreliable “stuff”.
This is all about scientific literacy. Engineers owe it to themselves, as do those of other professions, and frankly as does everyone, to be “globally aware”, based on correct information. The following is not a complete selection by any means. Feel free to investigate more deeply, with an honest attempt to learn about the facts.
And while you investigate, keep in mind the following words, from an abridged version of Drew Dellinger’s poem “Hieroglyphic Stairway”:
it’s 3:23 in the morning
and I’m awake
because my great great grandchildren
won’t let me sleep
my great great grandchildren ask me in dreams
what did you do while the planet was plundered?
what did you do when the earth was unraveling?
surely you did something
when the seasons started failing?
as the mammals, reptiles, birds were all dying?
did you fill the streets with protest
when democracy was stolen?
what did you do
[to which I would add: or did you hide behind willful ignorance?]
1a) This short video, featuring Neil deGrasse Tyson, utterly encapsulates the importance of ACC, science in general, the principles of science, and people’s understanding or lack of understanding of those principles https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8MqTOEospfo.
1b) This video, featuring Naomi Oreskes, presents a rational perspective on Why We Should Trust Scientists https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxyQNEVOElU.
1c) A powerful speech by a bold, articulate, young woman, given to the European Parliament (2019-04-16), deserves to be watched by every single person on planet Earth https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14w8WC1I3S4.
1d) To start, watch some rational video overviews about key climate change issues and people’s reactions, which will help you understand why you may hold certain views on climate change http://billmoyers.com/segment/anthony-leiserowitz-on-making-people-care-about-climate-change/;
1e) An interesting article titled The Science of Why We Don’t Believe Science: How Our Brains Fool Us on Climate, Creationism and the Vaccine-Autism Link helps explain irrational ‘skepticism’ https://medium.com/mother-jones/adfa0d026a7e.
1f) The video Climate Change discusses: whether the science behind ACC is clear or not; what some contrarians have been saying and whether the claims stand up to scrutiny; how two U.S. presidents recognized ACC as far back as 1965 and 1980, respectively, before efforts to obfuscate the science were implemented by vested interest groups; efforts to get the scientific interpretation out to politicians and the public; who some of the contrarians are and what their scientific background is, if any; the strategic steps that have been taken to dispense “junk science”; and the degree of support for ACC throughout much of the world by climate scientists https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZlJsyVA8BQ.
2a) The AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) provides a bluntly worded document What We Know; The reality, risks and response to climate change with an executive summary at http://whatweknow.aaas.org/get-the-facts/ and the full document downloadable at this site.
Several short, poignant videos are also available (in question/answer format):
http://whatweknow.aaas.org/alan-leshner/; http://whatweknow.aaas.org/consensus-sense/; http://whatweknow.aaas.org/marshall-shepherd/; http://whatweknow.aaas.org/katharine-hayhoe/; http://whatweknow.aaas.org/jim-mccarthy/; http://whatweknow.aaas.org/richard-alley/; http://whatweknow.aaas.org/sarah-das/.
2b) The NAS (National Academy of Sciences) (US) & the Royal Society (UK) have jointly released (2014-03-03) a well-written and illustrated booklet titled Climate Change: Evidence and Causes, which provides a concise overview of key issues related to ACC. It provides responses to 20 key questions related to climate change and supplements these responses with related, basic scientific principles and references: https://nas-sites.org/americasclimatechoices/events/a-discussion-on-climate-change-evidence-and-causes/.
-See also the set of short videos under Climate Change Lines of Evidence, which cover topics such as What is Climate?, Is Earth Warming?, Greenhouse Gases, Increased Emissions, How Much Warming?, Solar Influence, and Natural Cycles at
https://nas-sites.org/americasclimatechoices/videos-multimedia/climate-change-lines-of-evidence-videos/; and a recent article Humans are Pushing the Earth Closer to a Climate Cliff
2c) NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) has a webpage Global Climate Change at http://climate.nasa.gov/ with key summary information at the bottom of the screen, and “tabs” to the upper right (e.g., Facts, Articles, Solutions, Explore, Resources and NASA Science) that link to many pages, including:
All of these links provide a vast wealth of information, educational videos, animated graphics and supporting evidence for other important concepts, such as:
2d) NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) has a website at https://www.climate.gov/
with an excellent interactive page, including a “dashboard” that allows you to choose what information is graphically depicted under main topics such as: Climate Change; Climate Variability indexes; and Climate Projections. The parameters to choose from include Sun’s energy, temperature, CO2, heat-trapping gasses, ocean heat, sea level, snow, glaciers, and Arctic sea ice. Each parameter has a link for more background information with references. A summary list of climate change and variability is at http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/climate-information/climate-change-and-variability;
Articles on ocean and climate literacy can be downloaded at http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/literacy.html;
Assessing the Global Climate in August 2018 with related links at https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/news/global-climate-201808.
2e) MetOffice (Meteorological Office) has a climate guide section (http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate-guide) which covers:
What do we mean by climate? http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate-guide/climate,
What is climate change? http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate-guide/climate-change,
Climate science http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate-guide/science,
Climate change - frequently asked questions https://web.archive.org/web/20160524185128/http://www.metoffice.gov.uk:80/climate-change/guide/faq, and
2f) AMS (American Meteorological Society) provides a downloadable file Statement of the Climate in 2015, a detailed report covering topics such as Global Climate, Global Oceans, The Tropics, The Arctic, Antarctica and Regional Climates at https://www.ametsoc.org/ams/index.cfm/publications/bulletin-of-the-american-meteorological-society-bams/state-of-the-climate/.
2g) AAS (Australian Academy of Science) has a downloadable article (Feb. 2015) The Science of Climate Change: Questions and Answers, which contains numerous illustrations, buttressed with text and references, that cover what climate change is, how it is documented, the role humans play in it, and options to address the issues, amongst other topics, at https://www.science.org.au/climatechange.
2h) UCAR (University Corporation for Atmospheric Research) / NCAR (National Center for Atmospheric Research) (https://www2.ucar.edu/about-us) has a website that includes a section with items on climate and climate change https://news.ucar.edu/?topic=2
2i) RealClimate (http://www.realclimate.org/) presents information written by climate scientists. Some of the appropriate topics, including explanations of various principles, include: Aerosols, Atmospheric science, Arctic and Antarctic climate, Atmospheric science, Climate modelling, Climate sensitivity, Extreme events, Global warming, Greenhouse gases, Mitigation of climate change, Oceans, Paleo-climate, Present-day observations, Projections of future climate, Responses to common contrarian arguments, Scientific practice, Solar forcing, Climate in the media, and others at http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/index/.
Links to specific topics include:
2j) Skeptical Science http://www.skepticalscience.com/ provides a valuable resource for understanding many of the so-called “confusing” issues.
Some examples include:
(with an updated video to 2016 at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9NP0L1PG9ag;
2k) IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) reflects years of periodically updating and summarizing the work of thousands of climate scientists, especially for political leaders at http://www.ipcc.ch/. Specifically:
2l) USGCRP (U.S. Global Change Research Program) released (2014-05) its third National Climate Assessment on climate change and its impacts in the U.S., with links to Understand Climate Change, What’s Happening and Why, Impacts on Society and Response Options at http://www.globalchange.gov/climate-change.
The USGCRP also released (2017) its Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4; Vol.1) (mandated by the Global Change Research Act of 1990). Its well-laid-out website presents the comprehensive, illustrated, fully-referenced report with a poignantly blunt Executive Summary, plus 9 chapters (titled: Our Globally Changing Climate; Physical Drivers of Climate Change; Detection and Attribution of Climate Change; Climate Models, Scenarios, and Projections; Large-Scale Circulation and Climate Variability; Temperature Changes in the United States; Precipitation in the United States; Droughts, Floods and Wildfire; Extreme Storms; Changes in Land Cover and Terrestrial Biogeochemistry; Arctic Changes and their Effects on Alaska and the Rest of the United States; Sea Level Rise; Ocean Acidification and other Ocean Changes; Perspectives on Climate Change Mitigation; Potential Surprises: Compound Extremes and Tipping Elements) and 5 Appendixes (including a Glossary). The report includes Key Findings with Supporting Evidence and Defined Levels of Confidence https://science2017.globalchange.gov/.
An opinion piece on the importance of acting on this assessment is at https://www.nationalobserver.com/2017/11/08/opinion/us-climate-report-leaves-little-room-doubt.
The subsequent and extensive version Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4; Vol.2) has now been released (2018): downloads are available for all chapters as well as Report in Brief, Summary Findings, and Frequently Asked Questions https://nca2018.globalchange.gov/downloads/.
2m) Scripps Institution of Oceanography posts a poignant detailed graph of atmospheric CO2 changes (hover to choose your time frame from 1 week to 800,000 years): http://keelingcurve.ucsd.edu/.
2n) WMO (World Meteorological Organization) has posted a short article (Un)Natural Disasters: Communicating Linkages Between Extreme Events and Climate Change which helps to indicate what can and cannot be ascribed to ACC with certainty https://public.wmo.int/en/resources/bulletin/unnatural-disasters-communicating-linkages-between-extreme-events-and-climate.
Earlier and recent attempts by others to appreciate the various degrees to which scientists can now attribute extreme weather events to ACC: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6SA5aSdmvE&list=PLYJjP6lVJvsx9i1uKpqev7wPG5K56aclB;
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/climate-change-farmers_us_58e3c1d8e4b0d0b7e16502d5 (scroll down to watch video interview); which also relates to
The insurance industry also weighs in https://www.nationalobserver.com/2018/01/21/news/insurers-say-canadian-weather-getting-hotter-wetter-and-weirder.
2o) ArsTechnica presented an overview of the scientific method of how global temperature data are collected and why adjustments are required http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/01/thorough-not-thoroughly-fabricated-the-truth-about-global-temperature-data/
2p) TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) gives everyone access to a plethora of insightful, stimulating and inspirational presentations by a variety of people respected in their fields. Examples include:
2q) Yale Climate Connections (http://www.yaleclimateconnections.org/) posts videos on a broad set of subjects connected to Earth’s climate, such as South Florida sea-level rise, salt water intrusion http://www.yaleclimateconnections.org/2014/11/new-video-focuses-on-south-florida-sea-level-rise-saltwater-intrusion/);
See also In his own words: behind a one-time skeptic’s climate ‘flip’ https://www.yaleclimateconnections.org/2017/11/behind-a-one-time-skeptics-climate-flip/,
Former climate ‘denier’ regrets ‘how wrong-headed but certain I was’
In his own words: behind a one-time skeptic’s climate ‘flip’ https://www.yaleclimateconnections.org/2017/11/behind-a-one-time-skeptics-climate-flip/; and
Former climate ‘denier’ regrets ‘how wrong-headed but certain I was’
The Climate Connections site has a subset of informative ACC-related videos (particularly those by Peter Sinclair) falls under the moniker THis Is Not Cool http://www.yaleclimateconnections.org/tag/this-is-not-cool/
(e.g., see: Judgment on Hansen's '88 climate testimony: 'He was right' https://www.yaleclimateconnections.org/2018/06/judgment-on-hansens-88-climate-testimony-he-was-right/;
Humans experimenting with climate’s ‘playing nice’ https://www.yaleclimateconnections.org/2017/10/humans-experimenting-with-climates-playing-nice/; and
Scientists on emotional responses to climate risks https://www.yaleclimateconnections.org/2018/09/scientists-on-emotional-responses-to-climate-risks/).
And Yale Environment 360 also has some ACC-related postings such as
On the Chesapeake, a precarious future of rising seas and high tides https://e360.yale.edu/features/on-the-chesapeake-a-precarious-future-of-rising-seas-and-high-tides, and
Probing the Role of the Sun in an Era of Global Warming https://e360.yale.edu/features/probing_the_role_of_the_sun_in_an_era_of_global_warming
2r) NWS (National Weather Service) has assembled Jetstream, an informative online weather school site for educators and people interested in the principle aspects of weather -- an important site as climate is all about average weather http://www.weather.gov/jetstream/.
2s) Prairie Climate Centre presents the Climate Atlas of Canada, which includes interactive maps of Canada, information on climate science as it relates to cities and agriculture, including videography https://climateatlas.ca/
2t) Carbon Brief (Clear on Climate) https://www.carbonbrief.org/ presents a variety of items on climate change information and has a particularly useful interactive display on projected numbers related to ACC (1.5oC, 2oC, 3+oC scenarios) at planet, continent, or selected region scales https://interactive.carbonbrief.org/impacts-climate-change-one-point-five-degrees-two-degrees/#.
2u) OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) http://www.oecd.org/ has posted links to various items related to important aspects of carbon pricing:
Few countries are pricing carbon high enough to meet climate targets (article) http://www.oecd.org/environment/few-countries-are-pricing-carbon-high-enough-to-meet-climate-targets.htm,
Effective Carbon Rates 2018 at http://www.oecd.org/tax/tax-policy/effective-carbon-rates-2018-brochure.pdf (executive summary, which covers OECD and G20 countries); and
Effective Carbon Rates 2018: Pricing carbon emissions through taxes and emissions trading (in-depth report) https://read.oecd-ilibrary.org/taxation/effective-carbon-rates-2018_9789264305304-en#page1.
2v) The Federal Government of Canada has issued a comprehensive Canada’s Changing Climate Report related to climate change in Canada, including specifics regarding floods, wildfires, snow-ice-permafrost conditions and much more https://changingclimate.ca/site/assets/uploads/sites/2/2019/04/CCCR_FULLREPORT-EN-FINAL.pdf.
3a) Brief explanations for the most fundamental role of CO2 in global warming are in these short videos: Carbon Dioxide and global warming - how to we know? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qADD1Y886rI, and
Carbon dioxide is warming the planet (here’s how) https://www.livescience.com/58203-how-carbon-dioxide-is-warming-earth.html.
3b) Open Mind: Science, Politics, Life, the Universe, and Everything https://tamino.wordpress.com/ is a good source of clearly presented ACC-related information, including a list of Climate Data Links https://tamino.wordpress.com/climate-data-links/, and pertinent issues dealing with both the science and the contrived political/social controversy,, including, amongst many:
3c) Climate Central has website sections labelled Research, Special Reports, Gallery (with Interactive, Graphs, and Maps), and Videos featuring aspects of ACC. As an example, they have posted an article, which elucidates the connection between the relatively recent slight slowdown in rising global temperatures, the intensity of trade winds, and positive and negative phases of the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO), with a particularly informative graphics such as
A History of Global Warming, in Just 35 Seconds http://www.climatecentral.org/news/history-global-warming-animation-21670 and
Clues in Coral Hint at Looming Temperature Spike http://www.climatecentral.org/news/corals-secrets-of-warming-18468;
Climate Progress has followed the latter topic up with an article on the significant warming to be expected once the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) (another term for IPO) goes into an extended positive phase:
3d) Climate Feedback, at https://climatefeedback.org/feedbacks/, provides a way for one to judge the validity of various claims about ACC made in some media sources, with details of their scientific methods for evaluating articles (https://climatefeedback.org/process/) and claims in those articles https://climatefeedback.org/claim-reviews-framework/):
e.g., misleading Wallstreet Journal commentary https://climatefeedback.org/evaluation/wall-street-journal-commentary-grossly-misleads-readers-about-science-of-sea-level-rise-fred-singer/?platform=hootsuite
3e) The New York Times has expended considerable effort to provide useful information for the public:
with some critical comments from ThinkProgress https://thinkprogress.org/scientists-slam-new-york-times-climate-story-for-whitewashing-role-of-big-oil-and-gop-63fbc3a85b09/
and from The National Observer https://www.nationalobserver.com/2018/08/13/analysis/new-york-times-fails-name-and-shame-climate-villains?utm_source=National+Observer&utm_campaign=51b7e91074-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_08_14_12_42&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_cacd0f141f-51b7e91074-254399905).
3f) National Geographic has assembled some cogently written articles: see “Rising Seas”, September 2013; and “The Crisis on the Ice”, July 2017 (last bullet)
ACC-related posts are at:
3g) A succinct article Is today’s warming man-made?: http://sciencepoliticsclimatechange.blogspot.ca/2006/08/is-todays-warming-man-made.html (plus archive links).
3h) A short video clearly articulating 2 key facts that demonstrate ACC is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awbF9K7BmhM.
3i) A broad-spectrum paper assessing climate change with respect to Earth’s energy imbalance, forcings, climate impacts on humans, dangers of uncontrolled climate change, carbon extraction, policy implications and mitigation processes with supporting figures and references: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0081648.
3j) Climate of Concern is a 1991 educational film produced by Shell International Petroleum Company Ltd. (Film and Video Unit) that outlines how use of the company’s product would lead to changes in weather/climate and that there was considerable consensus amongst scientists (note the film credits “With Thanks To”) (see also item 6g)) https://thecorrespondent.com/6285/shell-made-a-film-about-climate-change-in-1991-then-neglected-to-heed-its-own-warning/692663565-875331f6.
3k) What You Need to Know About the Irreparable Harm of Climate Change outlines why there are legitimate concerns about ACC (in video form with text provided): http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-james-hansen/climate-change-irreparable-harm_b_9521664.html.
3l) Climate Reanalyzer http://cci-reanalyzer.org/, has interesting interactive sites related to graphical depiction of world satellite data for:
Climate Models and Data http://cci-reanalyzer.org/clim/ecm/ and
Weather Forecasts http://cci-reanalyzer.org/wx/DailySummary/#t2.
3m) Although land is a net sink for CO2, it is now a net source of CH4 and N2O, both powerful greenhouse gases: https://theconversation.com/global-food-production-threatens-to-overwhelm-efforts-to-combat-climate-change-55946.
3n) Interesting aspects of the receding Petermann Glacier in Greenland, and to some extent glaciers in general, based on acquiring scientific information through field studies, explained at http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/business/2016/12/30/with-enough-evidence-even-skepticism-will-thaw/.
3o) Greenland Warning -- a poignant presentation of aspects of Greenland ice and lifestyle changes and how it will affect coastal people worldwide (including video at the end) http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2017/11/world/greenland-global-warning/.
3p) Surging Seas: Mapping Choices offers interactive maps which allow one to compare scenarios by choosing Scenarios or Temperature relative to different levels of carbon cuts and timeframes https://choices.climatecentral.org/#7/44.653/-63.616?compare=scenarios&carbon-end-yr=2100&scenario-a=unchecked&scenario-b=extreme-cuts.
3q) The Consensus Handbook: why the scientific consensus on climate change is important discusses methods of determining the consensus, the role of politics and information, methods that attempt to undermine the consensus, ways of dealing with ACC misinformation and myths, and communicating the science https://www.climatechangecommunication.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Consensus_Handbook-1.pdf
3r) A Timeline of Earth’s Average Temperature since the last ice age glaciation is a cartoon strip detailing changes in Earth’s temperature over the last 20000 years, emphasizing how fast it is currently changing https://xkcd.com/1732/.
3s) The Guardian updates us with the views of James Hansen, world renowned climate change scientist, about the hoax of governments pretending to deal with ACC https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jun/19/james-hansen-nasa-scientist-climate-change-warning.
3t) A 2019 paper in Environmental Research Letters titled Key Indicators of Arctic Climate Change 1971-2017 has an associated video with pertinent, explicit graphs (link to paper cited within video) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=asKIeN0pYTk.
3t) BBC Earth (2008) has a valuable 3-part series titled The Climate Wars, hosted by Iain Stewart (professor of geoscience communication, Plymouth University and MBE):
Part 1: Battle Begins https://dotsub.com/view/b846dcff-ce80-49ca-9651-5af53d3710ba;
Part 2: Fight Back https://dotsub.com/view/84a7af89-fc3a-4deb-865d-42179c8a5864;
Part 3: Fight for the Future https://dotsub.com/view/01f9a868-7a02-410e-957a-cff96ad325fc;
(the episodes can also be viewed at https://topdocumentaryfilms.com/earth-the-climate-wars/ or https://www.filmsforaction.org/watch/earth-the-climate-wars/).
4a) Wikipedia presents a good source of frequently updated, balanced, factual coverage, with numerous references, on many of the organizations/authors/books listed in Part B, as well as key topics and events such as:
4b) RationalWiki site has a dedicated Category: Global Warming site with an alphabeticized collection of links to climate-change-related topics http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Category:Global_warming, that also includes a link to a list of climate change deniers, their background, their discredited claims and where their funding comes from http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Category:Global_warming_denialists (see also 6i)).
5a) Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland presented a MOOC (Massive Online Open Course), titled Denial 101x (April to June, 2015). The site below provides links to wealth of relatively up-to-date information. Some of the topics related to ACC include supporting evidence, human “fingerprints”, causes, ramifications, contrived controversy and countering misinformation. Video links of interviews with accomplished scientists and other experts are also provided (particularly noteworthy are those with Ben Santer, Naomi Oreskes, Michael Mann, Katharine Hayhoe, Richard Alley) http://whatsupwiththatwatts.blogspot.com.au/2015/08/index-uqx-denial101x.html.
5c) Pacific Institute on Climate Studies offers a free, easy-to-understand, online course called Climate Insights 101, which uses partly interactive video lessons: Module 1: Climate Science Basics; Module 2: BC Climate Impacts and Adaptation; and Module 3: Mitigation at http://pics.uvic.ca/education/climate-insights-101.
5d) American Geophysical Union (AGU) provides access to Warming World: the Science of Climate Change, a useful set of teaching slides (downloadable; mostly graphical), accompanied by a separate overview file with reference notes at http://blogs.agu.org/wildwildscience/2016/06/22/two-great-resources-earth-science-teachers/. The slides, developed by staff and scientists at Climate Central (Princeton) are intended for broadcast meteorologists to help dispel myths related to climate change, but are useful to anyone looking for graphical summarizations of facts.
5e) InFoCoBuild provides access to numerous university/college level lecture-style videos on Earth and Environmental Science http://www.infocobuild.com/education/audio-video-courses/earth-environment/environmental-science.html
Some examples include:
Earth System Science 21: On Thin Ice: Climate Change and the Cryosphere (2014; 26 lectures) http://www.infocobuild.com/education/audio-video-courses/earth-environment/ess21-winter2014-uci.html
Contemporary climate change as seen through measurements (2016)
Climate Change: the evidence and our options (2011)
5f) An informative (and fun-to-play-with) interactive website allows one to investigate the Earth’s history from multiple perspectives based on user-chosen time for Ancient Earth, Paleo Earth, Ice Age Earth, and Warming Earth, using a rotatable “3-D” image of the Earth, at http://media.hhmi.org/biointeractive/earthviewer_web/earthviewer.html). It displays time subdivisions (for Eon, Era, Period, and Epoch), along with various parameters (length of day, atmospheric temperature, atmospheric CO2, sea level), while one uses a slider bar on the time scale to depict continental drift. Depending on the major Earth time chosen, one can also display graphs for temperature, carbon dioxide, length of day, luminosity, biodiversity and relative sea level. One can also display locations for various events related to geology, biology, mass extinctions, impacts, fossils and coastlines. Obviously, the most relevant parts for ACC pertain to Warming Earth.
Myths related to ACC typically vary from logical fallacies to pseudoscience to poor math to scientifically valid but disproved hypotheses: the myths are not generated from true skepticism.
6a) An intriguing, short video, 13 Misconceptions About Global Warming, presents a “debate” between the same person playing the parts of an ACC-protagonist (making largely ill-founded statements) and an ACC-proponent (rebutting with accepted climate science points supported by graphics) http://www.sciencealert.com.au/features/20142309-26219.html, and a similar approach dealing with the “hoax” of ACC is at https://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-global-hoax.html.
6b) Climate Reality Project provides a highly readable guide to 12 common arguments against ACC and why they are wrong (with supplemental web links) at https://www.climaterealityproject.org/sites/climaterealityproject.org/files/the12questionseveryclimateactivisthears_theclimaterealityproject.pdf?utm_source=email-activist-ebook&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=General.
Other related topics are covered at https://www.climaterealityproject.org/blog?utm_source=email-newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=General.
6c) The Logic of Science debunks 25 anti-ACC myths and bad arguments on 2 levels (brief and extended):
https://thelogicofscience.com/2016/10/18/debunking-25-arguments-against-climate-change-in-5-sentences-or-less-each/ and https://thelogicofscience.com/2016/10/17/25-myths-and-bad-arguments-about-climate-change/ respectively.
This site also provides links that summarize basic logic concepts (referred to in the above links) in evaluating scientific evidence:
The Rules of Logic Part 1: Why logic always works https://thelogicofscience.com/2015/01/27/the-rules-of-logic-part-1-why-logic-always-works/;
The Rules of Logic Part 2: Good vs. bad arguments https://thelogicofscience.com/2015/01/27/the-rules-of-logic-part-2-good-vs-bad-arguments/;
The Rules of Logic Part 3: Logical fallacies https://thelogicofscience.com/2015/01/27/the-rules-of-logic-part-3-logical-fallacies/.
6d) A series of illuminating, meticulous, well-researched, articulate videos: these explain some of the fundamental aspects of ACC as outlined in the scientific literature and delve into the disinformation that some people use to attempt to counter climate science. The main premises behind the videos are that: a) too many media sources improperly present results of climate science either through deliberate ideological or editorial bias, or through careless reporting; and b) true skeptics check and verify, particularly by using peer-reviewed scientific journals, the sources of the claims of climate scientists and those who take a contrary position, rather than just parroting the claims:
6e) Learn to recognize sources of misleading presentations by viewing scientifically informative and skeptical examinations of a key misinformant (all parts are illuminating). These videos provide an excellent opportunity to grasp the degree to which some individuals will go to misinform people and how common it is for others to blindly accept and spread the misinformation:
6f) Recognize other sources of incorrect information, such as outlined in:
6g) Climate Denial Crock of the Week provides a scrollable repository of video and audio clips along with background text and graphs on issues related to ACC science, some associated with misinformation/disinformation at http://climatecrocks.com/ (added to website almost daily; archives go back to July, 2009; just a few shown here).
Several pertinent examples, amongst many, include (scroll down to the appropriate date along the right side):
6h) An entry at Open Mind clearly establishes denier dishonesty in Climate Deniers’ Top 3 Tactics https://tamino.wordpress.com/2016/12/07/climate-deniers-top-3-tactics/
(https://imgur.com/8HIFQ68 was helpfully added in the Comments section under “#1: Cherry-picking” to show
the whole data set for one of the graphs).
6i) A PBS video titled Climate of Doubt covers the groups that fall under the labels ‘denier’ or ‘skeptic’ and scientists who contest their claims: http://video.pbs.org/video/2295533310?starttime=381000.
6j) Desmog: Clearing the PR pollution that clouds climate science is a website that presents news items related to anti-ACC activities http://www.desmogblog.com/.
It also provides a detailed Global Warming Disinformation Database on individual ACC “skeptics”, contrarians and deniers at http://www.desmogblog.com/global-warming-denier-database, which provides a good “go-to” site if one wishes to check on the background of topics related to ACC and on individuals or organizations making claims that contradict what climate scientists actually say (see also 4b)).
6k) Inside Climate News posts topics, in part, related to ACC such as:
-a detailed exposé (Exxon: the Road Not Taken) on Exxon’s switch from leadership in climate science research (late 1970s) to that of championing a ‘merchant of doubt’ approach (late 1980s and beyond) at http://insideclimatenews.org/news/15092015/Exxons-own-research-confirmed-fossil-fuels-role-in-global-warming (with links to Parts II and III; Part IV pending);
-an article and video on Rising Seas and Flooding Virginia’s Naval Base, and There’s No Plan to Fix It, which acknowledges the significance of ACC relative to U.S. strategic and military considerations https://insideclimatenews.org/news/10252017/military-norfolk-naval-base-flooding-climate-change-sea-level-global-warming-virginia
6l) New Scientist addresses 29 common climate change myths with Climate Change: A guide for the perplexed https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn11462-climate-change-a-guide-for-the-perplexed/.
6m) Grist provides a multi-subdivided list of various anti-ACC claims, in 4 primary categories (with additional subdivisions): Stages of Denial (There’s nothing’s happening; We don’t know why it’s happening; Climate change is natural; Climate change is not bad; Climate change can’t be stopped); Scientific Topics (Temperature; Cryosphere; Oceans; Modelling, Climate Forcings; Paleoclimate; Scientific process); Types of Argument (Uninformed; Misinformed; Cherry picking; Urban myths; Fear, uncertainty, doubt; Non-scientific); and Levels of Sophistication (Silly; Naive; Specious; Scientific) http://grist.org/series/skeptics/.
6n) The Debunking Handbook presents tested approaches for dealing with myths about ACC https://skepticalscience.com/docs/Debunking_Handbook.pdf.
6o) Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has an interesting article Christmas Advice: How to deal with climate change denying Uncle Pete https://thebulletin.org/2018/12/christmas-advice-how-to-deal-with-climate-change-denying-uncle-pete/.
6p) CFI (Center for Inquiry) has a video Taking on Fake News About Climate Change https://centerforinquiry.org/video/taking-on-fake-news-about-climate-change-john-cook/?fbclid=IwAR2R9IhAlo1G-OpA2qQ8rHNL83ISF_adSSkPmt7v5CxEIwNlqTI1KlF7QLM.
6q) Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission has a detailed report on 10 Myths About Carbon Pricing in Canada https://ecofiscal.ca/reports/10-myths-about-carbon-pricing-in-canada/.
6r) Scientific American presented a succinct summary of the story behind ExxonMobile’s late 1970s knowledge and subsequent denial of ACC https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/exxon-knew-about-climate-change-almost-40-years-ago/
6r) The National Academy of Sciences was compelled to respond to a deliberately misleading petition (aka Oregon Petition); see 4a)) http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=s04201998.
7a) The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) has posted information on many issues related to climate change http://www.ucsusa.org/search/site/climate%20change%20scientific%20consensus#.VLvxOtXF9J1, including its own position statement https://www.ucsusa.org/about/1992-world-scientists.html#.XBxOUFxKhPY, along with a related follow-up by the Alliance of World Scientists http://scientistswarning.forestry.oregonstate.edu/, specifically http://scientistswarning.forestry.oregonstate.edu/sites/sw/files/Warning_article_with_supp_11-13-17.pdf.
UCS also posts position statements from several scientific organizations http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/science_and_impacts/science/scientific-consensus-on.html#.VLMw-dXF9J0,
with a specific example from the
American Geophysical Union http://news.agu.org/newsroom/files/2013/10/AGU_Climate_Statement_new.pdf;
Geological Society of America presents a compelling analysis combining current information with our understanding of Earth’s history http://www.geosociety.org/gsa/positions/position10.aspx.
UCS also has a section on Confronting the Realities of Climate Change [pertaining to the USA] at http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming#.VLMxp9XF9J0 and has also posted videos about pertinent issues, such as increased tidal flooding on the US east coast, resulting from ACC-related rise in sea level https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-fZnlR_IJ0&utm_source=fb&utm_medium=fb&utm_campaign=fb.
There is also a presentation on persistently and deliberately misleading ‘opinions’ on climate change reported by some well-known news organizations (Fox News Channel and Wall Street Journal) http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/solutions/fight-misinformation/news-corporation-climate-science-coverage.html#.VLvy3tXF9J0.
7b) GSL (Geological Society of London) has posted its position with respect to ACC as Climate Change: Evidence from the Geological Record at http://www.geolsoc.org.uk/climaterecord
7c) The Smithsonian has issued (as have many other organizations) its official position on ACC
7d) The UK government posted its position on climate change and provided supporting information at http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121212135622/http://www.bis.gov.uk/go-science/climatescience
under headings such as Greenhouse effect, Human activities, The world is warming, Natural factors, Cause of recent warming, and Effect of rising greenhouse gas levels, each with references.
7e) The American Physical Society has posted its position at http://www.aps.org/policy/statements/07_1.cfm.
7f) Various companies accept reality and are taking proactive stances with respect to ACC: for example
8a) National Observer provides a link to a highly troubling documentary, The Doubt Machine: Inside the Koch Brother’s War on Climate Science, which clearly articulates the power of fossil-fuel-based vested interests in manufacturing and controlling the anti-ACC message, particularly as it pertains to U.S. politics, in a manner that makes a mockery of real democracy http://www.nationalobserver.com/2016/11/02/news/doubt-machine-challenge-taking-americas-richest-oil-barons.
This site also provides a articles demonstrating our inability to reign in our use of fossil fuels, despite statements to the contrary, using some charts not found on official sources:
These 'missing charts' may change the way you think about fossil fuel addiction
CO2 vs the COPs
8b) National Geographic video Before the Flood (2016) is powerful and inspirational, illustrating why it is time to stop giving a voice to the loud and ignorant who deny ACC and start solving the existing and impending environmental issues before us: (trailer at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCKEFbBmadg (full version apparently must now be purchased or rented)).
Other items are also available include:
Strange days on Planet Earth (Edward Norton) (2004) (specifically Episode 2 (of 4))
The One Degree Factor (PBS-National Geographic)
Climate Change First Became News 30 Years Ago. Why Haven’t We Fixed It? https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2018/07/embark-essay-climate-change-pollution-revkin/
Greenland’s ice is melting four times faster than thought - what it means https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2019/01/greeland-ice-melting-four-times-faster-than-thought-raising-sea-level/?cmpid=org=ngp::mc=social::src=facebook::cmp=editorial::add=fb20190121env-greenlandicesheet::rid=&sf206351078=1.
8c) BBC has an excellent, new (2019-04-18) video out, Climate Change - the Facts, narrated by David Attenborough https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLdxWjEWCrk
Earlier videos include Hot Planet (Iain Stewart & Kathy Sykes) (2009)
BBC-Discovery Channel co-productions:
The Truth About Climate Change (David Attenborough) (2006) http://www.infocobuild.com/books-and-films/nature/the-truth-about-climate-change.html
Episode 1: Are We Changing Planet Earth?
Episode 2: Can We Save Planet Earth? And
Global Warming: What you need to know (Tom Brokaw) (2006)
8d) Merchants of Doubt (a movie inspired by the book (see Part C) Books: 12)) covers several cases of contrived doubt, funded by wealthy individual and corporate sources for personal gain, about various aspects of science https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-npe7Bczj3g or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqiCLuOtXts
8e) An essay by Michael Mann titled Open Season on Climate Science discusses the lamentable political situation in the U.S. under the introduction “The playbook used by those seeking to preserve the planet’s fossil fuel addiction is well established, and it’s use is ramping up again.” https://undark.org/article/climate-science-climategate-michael-mann/.
8f) A video of an impassioned, informed plea for co-operation in the U.S. Senate on dealing with the issues of ACC: http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/05/18/3659937/whitehouse-100-climate-speeches/
8g) Oil Change International, in conjunction with several other organizations, provides a detailed report, given the 2015 Paris Agreement, that makes the case for no new fossil fuel extraction or transportation infrastructure to be built and no new related government permits to be issued, in order for mankind to have a hope in keeping global warming below 2oC -- the report can be downloaded at http://priceofoil.org/2016/09/22/the-skys-limit-report/.
8h) Years of Living Dangerously is a 9-episode series on climate change and its impacts (Season 1). The first episode deals collectively with aspects involving drought, religion, civil war, mega-corporations, corruption and politics from interesting perspectives and can be viewed online for free: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brvhCnYvxQQ.
8i) The Home video utilizes impactful photography and inspiring narration (pulling no punches), to depict life on this planet and what we are doing to it, with positive advice for the future: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqxENMKaeCU&feature=related.
8j) The documentary The Age of Consequences shows that the US military has acknowledged ACC since at least 2003 and considers it recently has been and will be a serious threat multiplier for political and social instability (trailer at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCKEFbBmadg (full version apparently must now be rented or paid streamed).
8k) Climate Change Denial Books and Conservative Think Tanks: Exploring the Connection is a peer-reviewed paper on the association between published anti-ACC books and, commonly, the conservative movement and their associated think tanks (includes a detailed table detailing associations) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3787818/
8l) CBC Radio has a rational 6-Episode podcast series titled 2050: Degrees of Change on current and projected living in British Columbia http://www.cbc.ca/listen/shows/2050-degrees-of-change.
8m) Clean Energy Canada posted an op-ed on “Denying solutions is the new climate change denial” http://cleanenergycanada.org/denying-solutions-is-the-new-climate-change-denial/.
8n) Truthdig published an opinion article Saying Goodbye to Planet Earth, which is sobering https://www.truthdig.com/articles/saying-goodbye-to-planet-earth-2/.
1) The Two-Mile Time Machine: Ice cores, abrupt climate change, and our future (2000), by Richard B. Alley (professor of geosciences, Pennsylvania State University). The latest edition (with a 2014 preface by the author), delivers a quite readable outline of the history of, and methods used in, ice core studies of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets and mountain glaciers. He describes information that can be deduced from the cores about the past 400,000 years of Earth’s climate history. New cores drilled since the original publication, coupled with subsequent cores and additional or improved methods of analysis with greater precision and resolution, have extended scientist’s knowledge considerably. The basics of variations in orbital mechanics, volcanic eruptions, solar insolation and their effects on temperature, weather, formation of ice sheets/glaciers, ocean sedimentation and currents, atmospheric dust and, ultimately, Earth’s climate are covered. Evidence of abrupt changes in Earth’s past climate are presented as disconcerting.
2) Global Warming: Understanding the forecast (2007), by David Archer (professor geophysical sciences, University of Chicago). The book begins with a rather high-level explanation of the science behind principles of the greenhouse effect, followed by an explanation of the carbon cycle, and a discussion of the climate change forecast, functions of “the market” and various decisions that can humans can make. Given that several years have passed since publication, it is interesting to note that the information provided in the text and figures stands the test of time in terms of data validity and projections of climate change. Aspects of the carbon cycle are presented in more detail in his 2010 book (see below).
3) With Speed and Violence: Why scientists fear tipping points in climate change (2007), by Fred Pearce (former news editor New Scientist). Pearce addresses a plethora of the uncertainties in mankind’s understanding of the complexities of climate change, particularly as they pertain to hypothesized tipping points and how they could severely affect humanity at large. He covers fundamental topics such as the Sun, orbital variations, the carbon cycle, Earth’s energy imbalance, tropical to polar systems, and climate models to list a few. In the process, the reader becomes aware of the complexly intertwined variables that affect the planet in terms of rising seas, deforestation (logging and fires), ocean conveyor systems and acidification, pollution, floods, heat waves, hurricanes, atmospheric instability, ozone holes, monsoons, coral health and more.
4) Six Degrees: Our future on a hotter planet (2007), by Mark Lynas. Although now somewhat outdated, the author examined the scientific literature and summarized possible outcomes of one-degree increments of projected planetary warming (we are approaching one degree from pre-industrial recorded history). Although speculative by nature for higher temperature situations, the book clearly outlines how interconnected many parameters on Earth have always been and are (e.g., climate, weather, geography, biology and humanity) and how these factors related to previous failed civilizations. The strength of the book lies in the frank and insightful overview of choices that mankind is facing.
5) *The Discovery of Global Warming (revised/expanded edition) (2008), by Spencer R. Weart (Director of the Center for History of Physics of the American Institute of Physics). It is a shame we do not have the benefit of Weart’s clear and concise writing up to the present, as almost 10 years of events that postdate this revised edition are not included. Nonetheless, this book is key to absorbing and understanding the significant stages in the development of the concepts incorporated in ACC, which arguably started about 1824 (for an excerpt, see https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/discovery-of-global-warming/). The book covers the trials and tribulations of documenting and modelling various concepts (cumulative steps forward and backward), the beginning of corporate/political ideological attempts to derail the science, and more, including a summary section of milestone events (updated to Jan. 2017 at https://history.aip.org/climate/timeline.htm). Fortunately, Weart has continued to update his collated information online. A highly condensed, hyperlinked version of the book, updated to July 2017, is at https://history.aip.org/climate/summary.htm. Impacts of climate change is at https://history.aip.org/climate/impacts.htm#impacts. Where to find other information is at https://history.aip.org/climate/links.htm. To quote a personal on-line note from Weart, “Democracy fails us where the public cannot separate reality from falsehood.”
6) Keeping Our Cool – Canada in a warming world (2008), by Andrew Weaver (climatologist, past professor and Canada Research chair in Climate Modelling and Analysis in the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, University of Victoria). As a lead author on three Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment Reports, Weaver explains aspects of the science behind ACC; issues related to climate modelling (such as the proposed limit of a rise in temperature of 2oC); the mandate and methods of the IPCC; and attempts by others to deride the IPCC and confuse the public.
7) Science as a Contact Sport: Inside the battle to save Earth’s climate ( 2009), by Stephen H. Schneider (climate scientist; co-recipient, 2007 Nobel Peace Prize; advisor to several U.S. presidents). Schneider takes the reader through the key formative years (early 1970s to 2009) from his personal involvement and experiences (citing names and places) related to the development of climate change science and the associated political events, governmental hearings and players involved. He outlines the nearly 4 decades of lost time we have had to act on identified climate change issues – delays mostly resulting from bruising contrived anti-science deceit and political obstruction and indifference, or, as he outlines his “5 horsemen of the environmental apocalypse”: ignorance, greed, denial, tribalism, and short-term thinking. The records presented specifically detail the progression of understanding of climate change, computer circulation models, concept problem solving, scientific publication issues, events and processes related to the IPCC, and various Framework Conventions to establish global standards for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The book’s contents are still largely relevant to anyone wanting to become informed about what actually happened. Key points: 1) the problem of CO2 is a global issue that needs to be solved with global co-operation; 2) the capacity of a system to adapt depends on both the amount and rate of warming; 3) democracy has a hard time dealing with slowly evolving, large-scale, complex problems, such as climate change, when faced with the deliberate distortion of information and disingenuous attempts at ‘balance’ in media reporting; and 4) literate citizens must take responsibility for educating themselves about all sides of the climate change ‘debate’ so they can see past biased opinions. Various solutions to ACC are also discussed.
8) Climate Cover-up: The crusade to deny global warming (2009), by James Hoggan and Richard Littlemore (former Chair, David Suzuki Foundation; and editor of DeSmogBlog, respectively). The authors deal with this overall issue as it pertains specifically to ACC, including the people, organizations and money behind the efforts to discredit the science and the scientists. The book is well documented and referenced and reveals uncomfortable truths about orchestrated tactics against the validity of ACC.
9) Storms of My Grandchildren: The truth about the coming climate catastrophe and our last chance to save humanity (2009), by James Hansen (retired director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and adjunct professor, Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences, Columbia University). Hansen explains key aspects of, and advancements behind the study of the Earth’s climate, past and present; why a target of 350 ppm atmospheric CO2 is justifiable (we are currently at ~400 ppm); the extent to which politicians are being negatively influenced by denier lobbyists; and positive steps that humanity should take, including a lucid and convincing explanation of the pros and cons of a much-needed carbon pricing policy. Hansen favours a return to nuclear power generation in the interim, specifically fast breeders, at the expense of fossil fuels, and discourages the use of “geoengineering” tactics. (See an article in Engineering Dimensions (July/Aug. 2012, pp. 47-50 http://www.peo.on.ca/index.php/ci_id/20557/la_id/1.htm) on the substantial possible benefits of recycling used nuclear fuel waste in the future).
10) The Rising Sea (2009), by Orrin H. Pilkey and Rob Young (professor emeritus, School of Environment, Duke University, and professor of geosciences, Western Carolina University, respectively). Both authors use their multiple years of experience in ocean studies to develop: sea level rise due to ACC; ignorance of the problem will lead to disastrous economic and human consequences; and tough, controversial choices will be required, including abandonment of storm-damaged properties. They also document aspects of: the science behind sea level change, both in the geologic past and during historical times, on worldwide and U.S.-specific scales; the expensive, misguided and, in some cases, pointless human attempts to control sea level encroachment; difficulties in predicting rising sea level rates; different coastal types (wetlands, marshes, mangroves, coral reefs); and features of the world’s ice sheets (Antarctica, Greenland). Also included is a chapter on key denialists and their affiliations. (See also 46)).
11) Denialism: How irrational thinking hinders scientific progress, harms the planet, and threatens our lives (2009), by Michael Spectre. This book cogently presents how the trait of denialism, can be demonstrated by virtually all of us, from time to time.
12) *Merchants of Doubt: How a handful of scientists obscured the truth on issues from tobacco smoke to global warming” (2010), by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway (professor of history and science studies, University of California; and science and technology historian, respectively). This book is a profoundly well-researched examination of the modern history of ‘scientific’ denial with an extensively researched and referenced presentation. Learn how some people conspired to spread lies and concoct information not only on the subjects in the subtitle, but also on issues such as strategic defense, acid rain, the ozone hole, second hand smoke, and the banning of DDT. In many cases, the doubt was being orchestrated by the same people and in some cases involved using political positions to control the scientific message. Many of these people were scientists, initially of repute in their field, who generally acted outside their field of expertise in their denial role.
A 6-part video that shows a university presentation, by Oreskes, related to some issues covered in Merchants of Doubt, can be viewed at:
13) The Global Carbon Cycle (2010), by David Archer (professor of geophysical sciences, University of Chicago). Archer extensively covers the role of carbon with respect to Earth’s climate, both sequestered (as fossil fuels, limestone, etc.) and free (in the atmosphere and oceans) in terms of long-term, stable carbon cycles and relatively short-term, unstable cycles. The information is important for a better understanding of the science behind the issue of ACC and interpreting Earth’s paleoclimate.
14) The Climate Fix (2010), by Roger Pielke, Jr. (political scientist and professor in environmental studies, University of Colorado). Pielke accepts the science behind human-generated greenhouse gas emissions and argues steps need to be taken to limit emissions. He considers the climate system to be diverse, and a) points out that the complex science behind Earth’s climate system requires a diversity of policies and instruments; b) laments that neither scientists nor policy makers fully understand each other; and c) proffers alternative approaches to setting policy to achieve reduction in atmospheric CO2, among other goals. His emphasis is on establishing appropriate policies to tackle this enormous problem, and avoiding the use of “geoengineering”.
15) Climate Change in Canada (2010), by Rodney White (professor of geography, former director of Institute for Environmental Studies, University of Toronto). This book is informative for those interested in political issues related to climate change, particularly with respect to Canada and Canadians. It covers issues related to why there are real problems, the likely impacts, and the actions/inactions of various politicians on the world stage, who ignore the scientific data. Key is how political decisions will affect us physically and economically, with inaction being our worst choice, both economically and socially. It is evident that Canada is a major culprit. Although published in 2010, it is somewhat outdated in the sense that some of the author’s projected positive actions by key countries have not transpired.
16) How to Cool the Planet; Geoengineering and the audacious quest to fix Earth’s climate (2010), by Jeff Goodell. The author approaches, with caution, the thought-provoking concept of deliberately attempting to fix issues related to ACC by intruding with man-made techniques, or geoengineering. Proposed methods range from possibly plausible to ludicrous and some of the key ones are considered in detail. Some of the supporters of geoengineering now include climate skeptics and friends of the fossil fuel industry whereby a new climate denialism includes “dire warnings about climate action’s economic costs with exaggerated claims about geoengineering’s potential”. All methods have considerable foreseeable detrimental possible outcomes (e.g., high costs, low leverage, high likelihood of serious side effects), and have been likened to “playing Russian roulette with the operating system of civilized life”. None are to be considered as possible solutions on their own, without also taking the priority position of human intervention to reduce/eliminate our flagrant use of fossil fuels.
17) *Global Warming and Political Intimidation: How politicians cracked down on scientists as the Earth heated up (2011), by Raymond S. Bradley (University Distinguished Professor in Department of Geosciences and director of Climate System Research Center at University of Massachusetts Amherst). This book provides a climate change primer and a chapter on where we are heading in terms of climate and politics. But its main strength lies in Bradley’s poignant and frank presentation of incidents (largely in the U.S.) related to direct attempts by governments (at various levels) and less directly by the fossil fuel industries and various media outlets: to distort and shut down results of some key climate scientists; and to intimidate, impugn and ruin the credibility of those scientists -- all because the scientific results were perceived as a threat to the self interests of those in power. The facts, along with sources of information, outline how some key politicians (again, at various levels) used illegitimate means and overstepped their authority in the process. Bradley also credits some key politicians who put principle before politics.
18) Climate Change Denial: Heads in the sand (2011), by Haydn Washington and John Cook (environmental scientist; creator of www.skepticalscience.com, respectively). These authors set out clear distinctions between skepticism and denialism, and hence the appropriate use of the terms ‘skeptic’ and ‘denier’, particularly in the context of ACC.
19) Why Geology Matters: Decoding the Past, Anticipating the Future (2011), by Doug MacDougall (professor emeritus, Earth Sciences, Scripps Institution of Oceanography). The main purpose of this book is to develop the geological/biogeochemical history of Earth, which permits the author to apply climate sciences to ACC, given that there are several indisputable facts in support of it. Earth’s finite resources, be they metals, minerals, fossil fuels or water, place fundamental limits on what mankind can expect to exploit without serious ramifications (e.g., ocean acidification) impeding civilization’s existence.
20) Fools Rule: Inside the failed politics of climate change (2011, epilogue 2012), by William Marsden. Marsden covers the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and related details of preliminary talks and international climate summits, subsequent to the Kyoto Protocol. From this, readers become aware of the degree of cynical negotiation and manipulation that has transpired, unbeknownst to most of us, and has contributed significantly to the failure of countries, through political short-sightedness and economic self-interest, to reach useful agreements to mitigate climate change. We also learn of the lip service paid to addressing climate change through sophisticated sophistry. The discerning reader will note that we elect the fools that rule. Major countries impeding success include the United States, Australia, China, India and Russia. A critical assessment of the current Canadian government’s failure to live up to previous commitments and the influence of lobbying by the powerful fossil fuel industry are also detailed. Perspectives based on the collection of scientific data, particularly work on ice sheets and glaciers, are woven into the story.
21) Tropic of Chaos: Climate change and the new geography of violence (2011), by Christian Parenti (professor School for International Training Graduate Institute). Parenti weaves into the narrative of recent events aspects of ACC that are exacerbating already troubling political, agricultural and religious situations around the globe. Hence, these situations can become “boiling points” when coupled with increased storms, droughts, flooding, proliferation of pathogens and rising seas, making mere mitigation and adaptation of climate change all the more complex and difficult to resolve. The last chapter, Implications and Possibilities, is particularly poignant.
22) *The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the front lines (2012), by Michael Mann (climatologist; director, Penn State Earth System Science Center). At the centre of much publicity, Mann reveals what actually happened before, during and after publication of his purportedly controversial graph, which became known as “The Hockey Stick”. The book adequately explains the science behind his message; details the efforts to discredit his work by others who used specious, manipulative and unethical techniques; and outlines his vindication. Book review at http://www.yaleclimatemediaforum.org/2012/03/michael-manns-hockey-stick-dispatches/.
23) A Skeptic’s Guide to Global Climate Change (2012), by Donald Prothero (geologist, Natural History Museum of L.A. County). This relatively short publication presents the differences between a true skeptic and a denier, and condenses evidence for ACC as well as the rationale behind debunking anti-ACC myths, all supported with key figures obtained from published sources.
24) Waking the Giant: How a changing climate triggers earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanoes (2012), by Bill McGuire (Professor of Geophysical and Climate Hazards at University College London). Just over a quarter of this book is dedicated to presenting a useful summary of Earth’s climate system and the science behind ACC. The remainder covers various possible situations that could easily be exacerbated by the physical changes ACC has on the Earth and its response to those changes. Scenarios include potential increases in volcanism, earthquakes and related tsunamis. McGuire explains the scientific reasons behind those changes and gives the evidence for the projections. Although some are speculative, the possibilities give us no consolation with respect to the prospects that humanity already faces related to projections associated with ACC. He points out that ACC: is the greatest threat our society has ever faced; involves complex feedback loops, unexpected correlations and surprising interrelationships between different elements of the Earth System; and is grounded in sound observations and well-argued interpretations.
25) *Don’t Even Think About It: Why our brains are wired to ignore climate change (2014), by George Marshall. This book is appropriate for everyone. It is critical to understanding why a notable number of people either deny, dismiss, or invoke inaction (dismissal) in dealing with ACC. The explanations are, in part, related to our psyche, inherited from evolutionary and social environments. The author has interviewed an extensive assortment of people, ranging from scientists (e.g., climatologists, psychologists), philosophers, environmentalists, politicians, religious leaders, corporate heads (particularly the fossil fuel industry), etc. Notwithstanding his full acceptance of the main principles of ACC, he is not reticent to criticize any of those “groups” or ask key and/or uncomfortable questions, and hence brings to the table a broad approach to our handling of the topic. Marshall also addresses the political side of deliberate inaction or obstruction (at all levels of government, worldwide) and argues, amongst other topics: 1) we should be treating the problem more at the source (“wellhead”) than the products produced (“tailpipe”); and 2) carbon capture and storage is an inappropriate solution that is being abused by governments. Framing the issues around our rational and emotional brains, he demonstrates why and how all of us, to some degree, are susceptible to inadequately dealing with ACC, particularly with the emotional brain. The rational brain is capable of appreciating that ACC is a very serious threat, but our emotional brain senses the issues are far too ambiguous to stimulate us into action. To paraphrase two interesting metaphors in the book that reflect our flawed psychology and our inability to engage our emotional brain, respectively: 1) climate change is not the elephant in the room, it is the elephant we are all inside of; and 2) even if the rider is fascinated by a scientific ACC article, the elephant has wandered off looking for a banana. Marshall develops the differences among ignorance (not knowing), denial (refusal to know) and disavowal (active choice not to look at the facts). ACC is difficult for humans to deal with because it is not a minor inconvenience, but is complex, unfamiliar, slow moving, largely invisible, intergenerational, challenges our experiences and reverses some deeply held assumptions. He concludes, in part, that no single factor leads people to ignore ACC, rather we wish to avoid the anxiety it generates and the deep changes it requires (e.g., enduring short-term losses to avoid uncertain long-term costs). However, not dealing with ACC, now, commits us to a pathway along which we are rapidly losing any future options for control or choice.
26) The Thinking Person’s Guide to Climate Change (2014), by Robert Henson (published by the American Meteorological Society). This clearly written and comprehensive handbook covers a broad range of topics associated with ACC and brings forth numerous examples of different but related aspects. Henson covers the symptoms of ACC; the science behind climate change (what we know and how we know it); debates related to controversies and politics; and the pros and cons of solutions and actions that can be taken.
27) High Tide on Main Street: Rising sea level and the coming coastal crisis (2nd edition, rev. 2014), by John Englander (oceanographer). Englander presents his personal experience and research in an accessible format. He develops the serious costs to humans, society, and the global economy with the already-occurring coastal flooding and erosion, and the inevitable and inexorable rise in sea level (expansion of seawater, melting ice caps) over the coming decades and centuries because of existing and ongoing global warming. He acknowledges that the amounts and rates of sea rise are not well constrained, but articulates that they are arguably greater than even the IPCC scenarios because of compound factors that climate models do not yet incorporate (in support, see http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jason-e-box/ice-melt-fast_b_7927186.html). Some governments at various levels already get the message and are trying to be proactive. Others are still dithering or in denial. His presentation includes graphs/figures of past and current sea level changes and causes, current issues around the world (property damage, impending collapse of coastal real estate markets, mitigation), and reasons to act now. He briefly discusses new technologies, the dangers of geoengineering, and political pandering.
28) Virginia Climate Fever: How global warming will transform our cities, shorelines, and forests (2014), by Stephen Nash (former visiting senior Research Scholar, University of Richmond). This book provides a more focused perspective of what has been happening, is and is likely to happen vis a vis the relatively small state of Virginia with respect to human practices and ACC. Although the book is apparently narrow in its scope, the details brought forth (at the state, country and global scales), particularly related to rising sea levels, nevertheless drive home: the interrelated complexities of Nature; the importance of impending changes that can affect many other regions; and the negative effects of the paralysis of some legislative bodies in dealing with the current issues before they become insurmountable ones in the future. The last chapter, titled A Hierarchy Of Credibility, is an insightful and poignant overview on distinguishing between credible and incredible sources of information.
29) The Sixth Extinction (2014), by Elizabeth Kolbert. Kolbert covers the history of mankind’s incremental understanding of the concept of animal and plant extinction, leading to the current understanding of Earth’s past five major extinctions. Each major extinction is discussed with one or more emblematic animals. The premise holds that current civilizations are instrumental in causing what she (and others) portends is the sixth extinction. The causes are cumulative and directly or indirectly related to ACC. Hence the problems are multifold, including overfishing, over-logging, overproduction of greenhouse gases, over-pollution, ocean acidification, habitat fragmentation, and mobilization of plants, animals and diseases – ultimately all resulting from overpopulation.
30) This Changes Everything: Capitalism versus the climate (2014) by Naomi Klein (journalist and author). This book received a lot of “traction” when it came out and it is easy to see why. There are numerous sources provided to back up her thesis, namely the necessary challenges in facing the current serious dilemma we have regarding our future as a result of ever-worsening ACC. Emphasis is placed on the demonstrably flawed economic system of choice, capitalism, used in some form throughout much of the world, and many aspects are put under a magnifying glass, with few stones left unturned. The book also covers: flawed attempts at state socialism (several subsequently published books listed in Part C) have also extended critical views of capitalism and socialism; e.g., see 50), 57), 61)); “bad timing” in reference to scientists’ fairly clear understanding of ACC at about the time that free-trade and globalization exacerbated environmental deterioration; our destructive concept of “extractivism” (particularly using ever-worsening methods of “unconventional” fossil fuel extraction), rather than invoking a policy of renewal and regeneration; the three pillars of flawed neoliberalism; the failures of the UN and EU emissions trading systems; the failure of the WTO to reign in environmental desecration; the deliberate use of language in international trade rules that trumped that of agreements to address ACC; the false belief in magical thinking that technology will save us all, including geoengineering and hubristic goals of billionaires (well-intended and disingenuous); greenwashing by corporations and environmental groups; the failure of Big Green environmental groups and politicians to deal appropriately with corporations; and issues related to climate activists, divestment of fossil fuel financial holdings, and Indigenous rights. There is so much more that is examined in detail, including the logic and funding behind the denial industry, our justified fear of the future, etc. Importantly, Klein also offers suggestions for solutions, as opposed to just being critical. Readers will be challenged to rethink what we have been led to believe all our lives regarding politics and economics, and to kindle the will to win the fight of our lives by invoking a profound ideological shift in our thinking, as we currently face a bleak future. As she points out, the solution to global warming is not to fix the world, it is to fix ourselves, and the first step for getting out of a hole is to stop digging.
31) The Collapse of Western Civilization: A view from the future (2014), by Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway (professor of history and science studies, University of California; and science and technology historian, respectively). This book gives us an interesting perspective regarding ACC by presenting a fictional account (from the year 2393) of what led to the “Great Collapse” in 2093. The authors blend our knowledge of climate science today with climate-scientist’s projections of the impending results of ACC to proffer a rather plausible but unfortunate outcome of Western societies, which did not heed the message that science presented.
32) *Dire Predictions: Understanding Climate Change; The visual guide to the findings of the IPCC (2nd edition) (2015), by Michael E. Mann and Lee R. Kump (professor of meteorology and director of Penn State Earth System Science Center; head of Dept. of Geosciences, Penn State University, respectively) This publication provides a much-needed, profuse collection of comprehensively updated coloured graphs, figures, photographs and media links, along with concise explanations of the fundamental concepts behind ACC and its ramifications at a level that can be easily understood. The chapters cover a broad range of topics under headings related to climate change basics, projections, impacts, vulnerability and adaptation, and solutions, along with a glossary of terms. Some of the information is presented as answers to commonly posed questions.
33) Global Warming: The Complete Briefing (5th edition) (2015), by Sir John T. Houghton (chair/co-chair of Scientific Assessments for 3 IPCC reports, past professor in atmospheric physics at the University of Oxford, past Director General at the Met Office). This book is generously illustrated and has numerous tables which help condense the information, which is well presented. Although many of the figures could have been better notated or explained, they are nonetheless useful in conveying the concepts. Houghton covers the topics of global warming and climate change, the greenhouse effect, greenhouse gases, past climates, climate modelling, climate change projections and impacts, why we should be concerned, weighing uncertainties, a strategy for avoiding dangerous climate change, energy and transport for the future, and the global village. There are also many subtopics. For example, the chapter on climate modelling includes subsections on modelling the weather; seasonal forecasting (weather and chaos, simple El Nino model); the climate system including feedbacks (water vapour, cloud-radiation, ocean-circulation, ice-albedo); validation of models; comparison with observations; whether climate is chaotic; regional modelling; and the future of modelling. The book includes key numbers and clear relationships, and a glossary of terms. In short, this book provides a comprehensive coverage of all key aspects associated with the complex issue of ACC, including impacts on human communities and ecosystems; economic, technological and ethical considerations; policy options at the national and international levels; and more.
34) Earth’s Climate Evolution (2015), by Colin P. Summerhayes (emeritus associate, Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge University). This is an academic treatise (university/college level) of the evolution of Earth’s climate. As such, it may not be for everyone. However, its strength lies in outlining, in appropriate detail, the history of the development of mankind’s understanding of the complexities of Earth’s climate system, as it has developed over the last few hundred years, particularly since the 1950s. Featured are the trials and tribulations of scientists in a broad spectrum of fields of study (geology, oceanography, biogeochemistry, paleoclimatology, geophysics, etc.) over time. The inevitable conclusion, based on overwhelming scientific evidence, is that ACC is real and the most pressing challenge facing mankind and life on this planet.
35) Climatology versus Pseudoscience: Exposing the failed predictions of global warming skeptics (2015), by Dana Nuccitelli (environmental scientist, blogger for Skeptical Science). This book provides lucid coverage of the quite good track record of pro-ACC climatologist projections (beginning about 1972), relative to the projections of the extremely outnumbered climate “contrarians” who have a very poor track record. Moreover, the “scientific” publications of contrarians is often considerably flawed, which eventually plays out in the peer-reviewed publication process, but typically does not make its way into the media. Nuccitelli also points out the following main reasons that contrarian or denial positions on ACC continue to maintain some “traction”: 1) the false “balance” (i.e., presenting both pro and con positions) that some media still feel compelled to provide, despite the scientific evidence available, the vast majority of climate scientists supporting ACC and the poor credibility of contrarians chosen to represent the alternative views; 2) the partisan rejection of climate science typically by conservative/Republican politicians in the U.S.; and 3) the vested interests of those who promulgate denial by specifically funding programs and people dedicated to creating it and repeating it.
36) Unstoppable: Harnessing science to change the world (2015), by Bill Nye (scientist, engineer, inventor). An easy-to-read presentation, starting with key climate change issues, including denial, but mostly dealing with possible methods of virtually eliminating the use of fossil fuels and mitigating the inevitable changes in climate and resulting socio-political-economical issues. Suggested solutions range from practical “now” methods to rather imaginative ones.
37) Atmosphere of Hope: Searching for solutions to the climate crisis (2015), by Tim Flannery (former professor, University of Adelaide). In this highly readable book, Flannery brings to the forefront updated numbers and concepts related to climate change (e.g., national/global carbon/carbon dioxide emissions; temperature changes; rising sea levels, increases in severe droughts, floods and storms, etc.) and puts them into perspective relative to political action/inaction, with some emphasis on the situation in Australia. He covers the downside of using coal, oil and natural gas and the necessity of eliminating the combustion of fossil fuels for our needs. He outlines potential roles (positive and negative) of hydro and nuclear energy, and also points out how much progress has actually been made in the increased utilization of solar and wind energy and energy storage. Also covered are the various pros and cons of geoengineering proposals, carbon capture and storage, adaptation, mitigation and the outlook for the future.
38) Climate Shock: The economic consequences of a hotter planet (2015), by Gernot Wagner and Martin L. Weitzman (senior economist at Environmental Defence Fund; professor of economics at Harvard University, respectively). This is a highly-readable (no economic formulas in the main text), well-explained (provides 50 pages of explanatory notes), well-referenced (35 pages of bibliography), thought-provoking treatment of the global economic problems associated with ACC. The authors point out that ACC is unlike any environmental problem: in combination, it is uniquely global, uniquely long-term, uniquely irreversible and uniquely uncertain. The book deals with: types of uncertainties; carbon pricing versus subsidies; absolute need to put a global price on carbon (at least $40/ton but with current subsidies, is about negative $15/ton); considerable drawbacks of geoengineering; legal and pragmatic applications of the term “willful blindness”; how all 7+ billion of us, particularly the one billion high-emitters, are “free riders” because we do not pay for the true cost of our actions; ignoring the full costs and consequences of our actions has caused the climate problem in the first place; capitalism is not the problem, but rather misguided forces are; and we need properly channelled human drive and ingenuity which is guided by a sufficient price on carbon to reflect its true societal cost.
39) Big World Small Planet: Abundance within planetary boundaries (2015), by Johan Rockstrom and Mattias Klum (JR: director Stockholm Resilience Centre; professor Water Systems and Global Sustainability at Stockholm University). This forward thinking presentation considers that mankind has the ability to exceed tipping points in an otherwise complex and self-regulating Earth climate system, in which everything is connected to everything else. Earth’s resilience is high only when systems are not under stresses that exceed easy- and hard-to-define boundaries. These boundaries, which they consider to be climate change, freshwater use, nitrogen and phosphorus cycles, ocean acidification, chemical pollution, atmospheric aerosol loading, ozone depletion, biodiversity loss and land-use change, are all being pressed by mankind toward points of failure. The authors also discuss failures of our economic system; point out advancements in alternative energy sources; present existing cases of innovative business reactions to problems acknowledged; propose new ways of measuring production and sustainability; and offer a variety of outlooks and solutions.
40) Learning to Die in the Anthropocene: Reflections on the end of a civilization (2015), by Roy Scranton. Scranton’s work makes compelling reading, and his imperative “The future is not going away.” underscores the immediacy of the problem of society’s unwillingness and/or inability to deal with ACC and the inevitable disruptions to our economies, our own well-being, and ultimately our civilization. Much of his poignant-style presentation is a pragmatic philosophical look at the issues, chief among them being that the problem is too big, different people want different things, nobody has real answers, and lastly, we are the problem.
41) Dark Age America: Climate change, Cultural collapse, and the hard future ahead (2015), by John Michael Greer (historian and author). This is a potent, hard-hitting piece of work, arguably punching below the belt to make its points. The author explains how and why our current industrial civilizations are on their way out, in part by comparing similar current situations with past failed civilizations. ACC is not front and centre overall in this book, but is still instrumental in leading to a system collapse. Several of his main tenets include: 1) the arguments against taking ACC seriously are specious; 2) the laws of physics and ecology trump the laws of economics and can neither be bribed nor bought; 3) peak oil, global warming, and other world crises are all indications of one root cause -- the impossibility of infinite growth on a finite planet; 4) the collapse of civilizations results from a mismatch between maintenance costs of capital and the resources available to meet those costs; 5) externalized costs do not just go away, rather they will be paid eventually; 6) industrial civilization is intuitively on its way out, mainly because if something is unsustainable, then sooner or later it won’t be sustained; and 7) people around the world, for centuries and millennia to come, will have to deal with the depleted and damaged planet our actions have left them. There is much more in this book. You will not think of our collective and your individual current lifestyles the same ever again.
42) *The Madhouse Effect: How climate change denial is threatening our planet, destroying our politics, and driving us crazy (2016), by Michael E. Mann and Tom Toles (professor of Atmospheric Science and director of the Earth Systems Science Center, Penn State University; and Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist, respectively). Mann has managed to present a succinct account of how science works; the basics of climate change; why we should care; the stages of denial; the war on climate change; anti-ACC hypocrisy; the perils of geoengineering; and where to go from here. Toles provides interspersed, humorous yet impactful, satirical cartoons that are co-ordinated with the text to drive the main points home. The text, which also identifies individuals and organizations involved, makes clear that decades of disinformation, denial and delay have imperiled our economies and much of life on this planet. This book provides a great stepping stone to investigate the issues in more detail, as outlined in many websites and books, some of which are listed above (e.g., books 7), 8), 10), and 20)).
43) *The War on Science: Who’s waging it, Why it matters and What we can do about it (2016), by Shawn Otto (Science advocate and cofounder of ScienceDebate.org). This fairly up-to-date work is seminal, thorough and eye-opening. It deals with much more than just ACC, as the “war” has been ongoing for centuries. Otto develops the history of distortion and/or misuse of science and shows how both conservative and liberal elements have disparaged science, although for different reasons and on different topics. He develops this war from 3 fronts: identity politics, ideology and industry. He argues that science by its very nature is anti-authoritarian, progressive, conservative and although political, it is independent of belief and ideology and not partisan. Otto points out the major challenges facing mankind are climate change, biodiversity loss & habitat fragmentation, ocean trawling, geoengineering, synthetic biology, mountaintop removal mining, chemical pollution, pollinator collapse, the sixth mass extinction, and more. But scientists’ credibility has been variably damaged in some cases not only because they have not been proactive enough in disseminating and explaining the science and they failed to notice the connection between the rise in right-wing religion and absence of science in the public debate, but also because humanity itself has failed to anticipate or recognize bio-complex consequences, environmental mismanagement, corporate public-relations spin and political rhetoric, which have led to objective knowledge being replaced by superstition, magic, religion, opinion, partisan pundits and television celebrities. He presents the seven steps used to subvert the democratic process in discrediting science: 1) use phony science to generate uncertainty; 2) setup grassroots organizations to channel lobbying, money and the message; 3) foment controversy via canned stories by bloggers for the benefit of the mainstream press; 4) proselytize opinion leaders; 5) have agenda-driven talk-radio and cable-news outlets react and feign outrage; 6) thwart action through government obstruction; and 7) use hand-wringing by industry actors as much-maligned and patriotic heroes who caution about acting too quickly because of – yes, uncertainty and controversy. He argues the major problem resulting in the failure of our economic system was economists’ not recognizing the value of the “global commons” (ecosystems) but treating them as externalities. He advocates that we do not lack ability but we lack leadership, organization and courage to invest in a new and different model of the future and he offers a constructive 14-point battle plan to get us on the right track.
44) *Climate Change: What everyone needs to know (2016), by Joseph Romm (climate science and solutions communicator). This book is key to understanding the serious issues associated with ACC, both from the perspective of being fairly current and its inclusive coverage of topics. Romm’s approach is to present the information in a framework of questions and answers under the chapter headings: “Climate science basics”; “Extreme weather and climate change”; “Projected climate impacts”; “Avoiding the worst impacts”; “Climate politics and policies”; “The role of clean energy”; and “Climate change and you”. Questions range from general (“What is the greenhouse effect and how does it warm the Earth?” and “Where does most of human-caused warming go?”) to more specific (“How does climate change affect heat waves/droughts/wildfires/deluges?” and “How is climate change a threat to national, regional and global security?”). Much more is covered, including some topics typically not included in other books. The author’s take-home position is that everyone will be affected by climate change and hence everyone needs to know the basics about it. An important read, this!
45) *A Farewell to Ice (2016), by Peter Wadhams (past Director of the Scott Polar Institute in Cambridge; over 4 dozen expeditions to both polar regions, surface and submarine). This is a highly informative, comprehensive, comprehensible, hard-hitting, up-to-date book (with accompanying colour plates). It begins with an emphasis on ice (mostly sea ice, but also fresh water ice), and includes water and water vapour and the important physical properties of all 3 phases. Methods of sea ice formation and other processes in the Arctic and Antarctic are covered, including similarities and dissimilarities, recent changes in temperature, current alarming loss of sea ice, etc. Explanations for the global-scale ramifications of these processes are clearly elucidated and include albedo, planetary-scale “air conditioning”, radiative forcings and appropriate time frames. Also covered is the history of recognition of greenhouse gases, principles of global warming potential, the processes and significance of increasing atmospheric CH4, methane hydrates, numerous (over 10), complexly interrelated feedbacks, ocean circulation processes, ocean acidification, human overpopulation and more. Handy numerical information is provided for the reader to grasp concepts and magnitudes. Other information is presented from decades of observations and satellite measurements. The author points out that anthropogenic global warming is scientifically established – it is basic physics! – if we add CO2 to the atmosphere, there must be an increase in temperature, and the more we add, the greater the rise in temperature. The author clearly articulates the importance and seriousness of ACC, and the dire need for rapid and extensive intervention not only to slow down global warming but also to reverse the damage to the Earth’s climate system we have wrought. Because of this dire need, he expounds on various geoengineering techniques (with pros and cons; one of the most reasonable coverages I have yet seen) and criticizes the all-too-many disingenuous politicians. He commonly pulls no punches and is even highly critical of some aspects of the IPCC, particularly as it relates to modelling of Arctic sea and land ice (favouring models over actual observational data). This book is fundamental to grasping the severity of humanity’s self-induced crisis. It should be required reading for anyone old enough to understand what the heck we are doing to this planet, period.
46) Retreat from a Rising Sea: Hard choices in an age of climate change (2016), by Orrin Pilkey, Linda Pilkey-Jarvis and Keith Pilkey (professor emeritus, Division of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Duke University; geologist, Washington State Department of Ecology; and administrative law judge, respectively). This contribution to the understanding of the consequences of climate change with respect to resultant rising sea levels covers many of the aspects featured in Pilkey and Young (See also 10)) with appropriate elaboration and updating. Included is documentation of cynical political interference by some politicians, particularly at the state level, in terms of allowing the public to be properly informed, and a concise section on disinformation/misinformation regarding ACC in a chapter titled “Deny, Debate, and Delay”.
47) The Great Derangement: Climate change and the unthinkable (2016), by Amitav Ghosh. This is a perceptive, thought-provoking, partly philosophical approach to the issue of ACC that is subdivided into 3 parts: Stories, History and Politics. The Indian author emphasizes an Asian perspective thereby bringing a somewhat different and broader view of important issues. His key points are numerous, but some critical ones are: 1) no strategy to deal with ACC will work globally if it is not related to conditions peculiar to Asia and popularly adopted by Asians; 2) ACC is the unintended consequence of the very existence of human beings as a species; 3) certain corporations, energy billionaires and others with vested interests have supported organizations that systematically spread misinformation and created confusion within the electorate, often aided by some large sections of concentrated ownership of mass media; 4) inaction is more to do with maintenance of the status quo than the result of confusion or denial or lack of planning; 5) a comparison and contrast of the language used in two important 2015 publications, namely Pope Francis’ encyclical letter (May) and the Paris Agreement (December), shows that the former is more useful and to the point; and 6) the formal political structures of our time are incapable of confronting this crisis on their own because of the pursuit of interests of the nation-state and the associated practices of governance.
48) Sea Level Rise In Florida: Science, Impacts, and Options (2016), by Albert C. Hine, Don P. Chambers, Tonya D. Clayton, Mark R. Hafen, and Gary T. Mitchum (various professors, scientists, science editor). The first 2 of 4 chapters provide a good, useful coverage of the science behind past and current sea level changes and methods of measuring said levels. The latter 2 chapters deal with scientific studies pertaining to Florida cases involving natural consequences of sea level changes and human responses to sea level rise and its impacts.
49) Hot Earth Dreams: What if severe climate change happens, and humans survive? (2016), by Frank Landis (ecologist). This book stands out in this list of books as it is independently published. However, it is interesting from several perspectives: it is not about climate science per se and it clearly distinguishes between the author’s in-depth research and his and others’ speculations. The book is divided into 42 short chapters which deal with a wide range of issues that will confront humanity (and all life on Earth), many commonly not normally discussed. Issues include: the trap of binary logic; environmental limits to technology; legacy fuels and renewable energy resources; societal transformation vs. cultural collapse; carbon isotopes and human activities; retention and loss of knowledge; growth of states during stable vs. unstable climates; human nature, overpopulation and evolution; previous greenhouse/icehouse conditions on Earth; extinction, fragmentation and invasion of species; the failure of various monetary/political systems; great Earth cycles (orbital, etc.); future of languages and weapons. Inclusive and thought provoking.
50) Facing the Anthropocene: Fossil capitalism and the crisis of the Earth system (2016), by Ian Angus (journal editor of Climate and Capitalism). This thought-provoking book draws on the work of many writers, in addition to the author’s, and takes a hard, in-depth look at the role of capitalism as the root cause of environmental destruction. The very nature of capitalism is striving for profit (“the prime directive”) while ignoring Earth System stability and well-being by “pouring crap” into the environment. Capitalism, which has been wrecking ecosystems for hundreds of years, particularly since the invocation of fossil fuels, needs to operate at speeds much faster than Nature’s cycles of reproduction and growth. There are serious incompatibilities between the private enterprise system and the ecological base on which it depends. The Socialist Camp (i.e., Soviet etc.) style of socialism is criticised for its historic assault on the environment in an effort to compete with capitalism in terms of production. While asking the question can capitalism “de-fossilize”, the author argues strongly that we need a system based on ecosocialism and sets out the requirements of that system. Also discussed are “metabolic rifts”; our exceeding of 9 planetary boundaries; greenhouse gasses; CFCs; and N and P cycles. Well worth the read for those who are intrigued by the concept that the capitalist system (or “hell-bound train”) is ideologically bankrupt, unable to overcome the economic, ecological, social, food and other crises it engenders. (For interest, one could compare this view with that of 6d), 41st bullet point.)
51) Earth in Human Hands: Shaping our planet’s future (2016), by David Grinspoon (astrobiologist, science communicator). This is an intriguing book, which blends science with thoughtful, cautious optimism, segments of a philosophical nature, and liberal use of analogies and metaphors to discuss development of life (past, present, future) on Earth, and the search for life on planets and exoplanets, including so-called intelligent life. He argues that we do not display intelligence if we cannot solve the puzzle of how to survive on a planet, and distinguishes between cleverness and wisdom. Also pointed out is we have a deficit of sustained attention, an obsession with innovation at the expense of stability, a lack of self-restraint, and a need to learn how to act collectively. Grinspoon presents some historical Earth life events in ways that are compellingly interesting. Although a significant part of the book deals with the search for life, extensive coverage of the influence of human activities on Earth is front and centre, including a discussion of ACC. He considers there are 4 categories of catastrophic planetary changes: random, biological, inadvertent technological, and intentional, the latter being, in part, geoengineering, which he discusses at length. Earth has never experienced anything like the confluence of system interferences that humanity is producing. From a geological perspective, the past is no longer the key to the present because humanity has changed the rules of the game, hence he discusses at length the concept of the Anthropocene. As for a metaphor in terms of our current global situation, we “have tasted the fruit of science, bulldozed the walls of the Garden, driven the serpent to near extinction, and genetically re-engineered the tree of knowledge… we have been weeds”.
52) * Dark Money: the hidden history of the billionaires behind the rise of the radical right (2016, 2017), by Jane Mayer (author: 3 previous bestselling non-fiction books). This book forms a seminal, detailed treatise on the rapid evolution (~40 years) of the U.S. from a form of democracy to one that is essentially a plutocracy. The key players are the Koch brothers (Charles and David) who masterminded the implementation of their libertarian philosophy and eventually gained significant control over the Republican Party. Their methods involved: a high level of secrecy; gaining the trust and significant financial support of numerous billionaires and multi-millionaires in the U.S.; cloaking or obstructing the sources of funds; hiding behind a plethora of misleadingly self-declared social welfare and non-profit organizations, think tanks, and front groups; and setting up an extensive network to co-ordinate the manipulation of political and public thinking, including orchestrating protest groups, such as The Tea Party, and events. They achieved all this by setting up academic programs within established educational centres to produce like-minded thinkers; funding political candidates with strings attached; disseminating contrived stories, scenarios and other fake news items through contacts in select media; pushing reductions in taxes and government regulations, particularly environmental ones; sabotaging reforms for health-care, minimum wage, and the closing of tax loopholes; and a host of other behind-the-scene methods mostly unknown to the general public. Key to some of the lobbying involved convincing people that ACC was not real, spearheading efforts to discredit select climate scientists, and securing guarantees with numerous Republican and some Democrat politicians that they would not support any bills that involved pricing carbon. All battles fought were demonstrably based on self-interest and were favourable to their very wealthy supporters. Some of the residual and peripheral effects of these techniques have led to significant polarization within an ill-informed U.S. society, which will take years to undo, if ever. The situation is far worse than depicted in this short summary. People need to know the degree to which the ultra-rich have waged a relentless and effective assault on Americans’ belief in government, while manipulating and gaming the system at the expense of the vast majority of their own fellow citizens.
52) A Climate for Denial: Why some people still reject climate change science (2017), by Arek Sinanian (engineer (greenhouse gas management, climate change risk assessment)). Although this book would have benefited from tighter editing and more references, its strength lies in providing a worthwhile, easy-to-read, basic overview or primer of important topics related to human rejection and denial of what science has established, particularly with respect to ACC. In short, the author has done the work for us in researching what scientific studies have shown about human thinking and behaviour. The 3-part book covers: 1) Background and History (such as what is being rejected); 2) Reasons for Denial (such as psychology, belief, religion, political affiliation, distrust of authority, perceptions of risk, fear of change) ; and 3) Where to Now? (such as what we have learned so far, where do we need to be), and includes a summary of global agreements and actions to date.
53) Denying to the Grave: Why we ignore the facts that will save us (2017), by Sara E. Gorman and Jack M. Gorman (public health specialist and Chief Scientific Officer of Franklin Behavioral Health Consultants, respectively). Although this book deals primarily with science and human behaviour pertaining to health-related issues (e.g., vaccines, HIV, GMO, nuclear energy), much of what they discuss also pertains to how people deal with complex issues such as ACC, as they directly point out from time to time. They discuss what behavioural studies have uncovered in terms of how people: are susceptible to cognitive dissonance, which is responsible for a great deal of denial of scientific evidence and polarizes people; are resistant to changing their minds when holding scientific misconceptions; behave differently individually as opposed to when in groups, which rarely advances our understanding of what science tells us; do not like complexity and/or a lack of explanations for what they see, which leads to using their own explanations; and several other topics. This book is actually quite interesting, as everyone can be susceptible to these behaviours to some degree.
54) Defiant Earth: The fate of humans in the Anthropocene (2017), by Clive Hamilton (Professor of Public Ethics, Charles Sturt University, Canberra). This is a philosophical treatise regarding humanity’s responsibility for, and function in, creating the Anthropocene, a proposed, new, geological epoch. Philosophy is required to fully comprehend that humans are disrupting functioning of the Earth [climate] System, which is complex, dynamic, ever-evolving and comprised of myriad interlocking processes that have been irreversibly disrupted, or ruptured. Some of the many key points are: a) ACC deniers cannot be fully blamed for the willingness of people to believe their lies; b) humans are adept at avoiding responsibility thus people evade, deflate and deny the discomforting facts of ACC to cope psychologically; c) the Earth has shifted from predictability to volatility, hence we may know what is coming, but do not know its precise delineations; d) we can no longer use techno-utopian dreaming (climate engineering, terraforming, space travel, etc.) to solve the problem; e) the Earth System involves Complexity and is the mother of self-organizing complex systems; f) we need to distinguish between our casual neglect (carelessness) and wanton neglect (willful failure to respond to the mountain of evidence of Earth System destabilization; and g) as destabilization is inevitable, abandoning ourselves to fate is tantamount to moral cowardice. A tough but thoughtful read, for humanity as a whole.
55) Are We Screwed?: How a new generation is fighting to survive climate change (2017), by Geoff Dembicki. Millennial-writer Dembicki (whose answer to the title question is “not yet”) has written this book largely from the perspective of millennials (those born from 1981 to 1996), a group largely not well reflected in the scenario of political movers and shakers. In addition to doing his own research and interviews, the author details examples of specific millennials who are diligently working to change things for the better, particularly as it pertains to ACC. Several points are well developed: world leaders have failed to set aside national differences and fight together to ensure a safe future on this planet; older leaders (the majority) have been pushing for a weak [climate] agreement whose consequences they would not have to live with; our economic system choses short-term profits/payoffs over long-term human survival by disregarding long-term consequences; businesses should be confronting challenges related to resource scarcity and climate change; we all need to own up to our responsibility (as consumers of fossil fuels) and we need to do something about it; our economic and political system privileges money over morals, the national interest over the global one, and political partisanship over survival of future generations. Also covered are some of the more egregious political machinations used to fight tackling ACC.
56) The Seasons Alter: How to save our planet in six acts (2017) by Philip Kitcher and Evelyn Fox Keller (professor of philosophy, Columbia University; professor emerita at MIT, respectively). This acknowledged unorthodox but thoughtful book is premised on encouraging conversation amongst all of us about dealing with ACC, with the additional declaration that delaying action is equivalent to denial. It utilizes 6 fictional conversations between 6 different pairs of individuals, most followed by the authors’ analysis of the contents based on their documented research. The conversations/analyses are predicated on: Is ACC real?; So what?; Why care?; What can be done?; Who pays?; and A new politics? The authors present a case for a global parliament founded on recognizing 4 obligations: preserve a habitable world for our descendants; do so in a way that allows the poorer nations to develop; attend to the sufferings of those all over the world who have been left behind; and preserve the valuable accomplishments of our species. One of the many topics discussed as being apropos to resolving humanity’s complex ACC-related issues is reduction of overall human population, a topic often not dealt with more than a mention.
57) Extreme Cities: The peril and promise of urban life in the age of climate change (2017), by Ashley Dawson (Professor of English, CUNY). This is a thorough, if at times dry, treatise on “extreme cities”, defined as urban space of significant economic inequality and unsustainable social conditions and vulnerabilities in which global capitalism has run amok, particularly as these topics relate to ACC (climate chaos). The book’s emphasis is on the unjust and corrupt political and capital development history of New York City, but also includes other cities such as New Orleans (particularly pertaining to events post-hurricanes Sandy and Katrina, respectively) as well as other cities such as Jakarta and Lagos. Dawson covers “greenwashing”, the jargon of “resilience”, the present avoidance of what will be necessary retreat from drowning coastlines of imperiled cities, mass human migration, and the dismantling of the capitalist culture of ruinous growth, which has led to extreme cities and ACC. He details why the Paris Agreement (2015) is hollow and essentially meaningless in dealing with the realities of ACC, and why current US policies of developing/redeveloping damaged coastlines at taxpayers’ expense, largely for the benefit of the wealthy, will become untenable. Also discussed is the kicking of our fossil fuel habit in a shift to clean energy alone will not save us. A disconcerting book perhaps, but one that is necessary to truly understand current and impending global dilemmas.
58) The Water Will Come: Rising seas, sinking cities, and the remaking of the civilized world (2017), by Jeff Goodell (author). Starting with the position that sea-level rise is one of the central facts of our time and that it will reshape our world in ways most people can only dimly imagine, Goodell discusses the seriousness of rates and variations of sea-level rise (past and present) and notes that no one really knows how our political and economic systems will deal with the complex challenges of human psychology especially related to our (un)willingness to dramatically cut CO2 pollution. He covers processes of sea-level change, prehistoric and historic sea-level changes and flooding as they affected human civilization, flawed attempts by mankind to control Nature’s ‘unwanted’ events, and more. Although emphasizing the U.S. east coast, he also includes Greenland, Alaska, Netherlands, Venice, Lagos and various island states (e.g., Marshall Islands). He details specific cases of dire political machinations related to real estate manipulation, fatally flawed politically driven government insurance schemes and ludicrous planning involving some nuclear power plants, along with problems associated with sewage pollution and cover-ups of related scientific information. The ultimate solutions are to stop burning fossil fuels and move to higher ground.
59) Rising Tides: Climate refugees in the Twenty-first century (2017), by John R. Wennersten and Denise Robbins (environmental affairs writer/journalist respectively). The title refers not only to the literal rising of sea levels, but also metaphorically to ramifications of ACC-related droughts, floods, desertification, soil erosion, unprecedented storms, and wars, noting that environmental change thus also becomes a security issue. These factors lead to economic losses from local to near-global scales. The faster the rate of change, the less time to adapt and the more dangerous the impact will be. One current result is an influx of refugee populations, which is becoming a global problem. A key point is the distinction between the legally recognized UN definition of political refugees and the rapidly increasing numbers of unrecognized environmental/climate refugees. The authors cover topics such as: 1) mass human migrations in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and the US (noting that the 1930s Dust Bowl and hurricane Katrina both resulted in mass migrations: ~2.5 and 1.0 million respectively); 2) how local events related to droughts and/or floods can lead to global problems, specifically related to food prices, and inflammation of tensions, which can lead to wars; 3) how with every event, adaptation only serves to widen pre-existing inequalities; and 4) the glaring contradiction of globalization is that money, goods, and information flow relatively freely across borders, whereas people do not. They point out that the way we live now on the planet is an affront to environmental morality.
60) The Ends of the World: Volcanic apocalypses, lethal oceans, and our quest to understand Earth’s past mass extinctions (2017), by Peter Brannen (science journalist). Ostensibly this book is largely not about ACC, but the author ties this topic in with the catastrophic ups and downs of the history of life on Earth. Brannen covers the interesting causes and repercussions of the 5 major mass extinctions and emphasizes the subsequent lengthy recovery of life. The potential for a 6th major extinction due to human activities is presented given the dangerous potentials due to global warming, ocean acidification, overpopulation, overfishing, spreading dead zones, soil erosion, resource scarcity, deforestation (and bad AI). The length of time for recovery, given Earth’s periodic orbital cycles (in terms of tens to hundreds of thousands of years) gives us significant pause about messing with the complex environmental system to which mankind is wedded.
61) Timefulness: How thinking like a geologist can help save the world (2018), by Marcia Bjornerud (Professor of geology and environmental studies, Lawrence University). Bjornerud has taken her knowledge of geology and the environment and applied it to concepts of measuring and reconstructing geological time, while weaving these concepts into the importance of understanding time in the evolution of our human civilization. Comprehending how the Earth and life (including extinctions) have evolved over time allows one to have a better appreciation for the powerful and complex forces that we cannot ultimately control. She argues we have become time illiterate and unable to empathize or communicate with nature, and we do so at our peril. One learns to appreciate the immense time it takes for the Earth to recover from major changes to atmosphere and ocean compositions and how we are causing rapid rates of change in these parameters that exceed anything in the past hundreds of thousands to millions of years. Humans have become significant forces in modifying the Earth in terms of ACC as well as ancillary processes such as ocean acidification, ozone destruction, groundwater depletion and contamination, and soil and biodiversity loss. Yet, ironically, our infrastructure has been built on assumptions of climate stability, which we are now changing. Using knowledge of Earth’s climate system, Bjornerud articulates more extensively and clearly than most other writers the absolute hubristic folly of geoengineering by “solar radiation management”. She contends that rates of technological progress well outstrip our rate of human maturation; we continue to lack comprehension of the consequences of innovation; we need to shift the timeframe for economic decision-making from fiscal quarters to decades or even longer; and our habit of blinkered thinking is hard to break.
62) This is the Way the World Ends: How droughts and die-offs, heat waves and hurricanes are converging on America (2018) by Jeff Nesbit (writer and past White House senior communications official). This book is divided into 6 parts, which with the truth, ecosystems, impacts, geopolitics, a blueprint (to get out of our predicament), and the future. Despite the apparent emphasis on America in the subtitle, Nesbit also substantially develops the current global-scale dire state of human civilization and the biosphere, with separate details of other parts of the world: Africa (the Sahel); the Middle East (Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Syria, Jordan, Somalia); and Asia (China, India, Pakistan). His topics include species migration due to ACC, current and impending lack of or loss of sufficient fresh water (melting of glaciers, over-extraction of aquifers, drought), ocean acidification (and coral die-offs), collapse of pollinators, food insecurity, increasing severity of heat waves and hurricanes, extinctions, and regime shifts (aka tipping points). Notable attention has been spent discussing the ever-increasing migration of people due to wars and environmental degradation. He provides a partial history of key examples where scientists have been ignored by politicians to the detriment of humanity. The title portends the way the human world could end, unless we smarten up, stop arguing about the irrefutable facts of ACC, and seriously tackle the crucial impending issues related to ACC before it is too late.
63) The Uninhabitable Earth: Life after warming (2019), by David Wallace-Wells. The challenge of technically “parsing” the complex sentences and concepts, which form the building blocks of this book, leads to numerous gems of perspective. Wallace-Wells admits to having been like most other people, complacent and willfully deluded about ACC, the biggest threat human life on the planet has ever faced. This threat is so large and complex as to be almost impossible to comprehend properly because it involves processes that will get worse and never stop unless we choose to act forcefully, and is worsened because we have made no meaningful adjustment to our production or consumption of energy to account for it and protect ourselves. He covers in realistic and up-to-date fashion the usual topics but under headings such as heat death, hunger, drowning, wildfire, disasters no longer ‘natural’, freshwater drain, dying oceans, unbreathable air, plagues of warming, economic collapse, climate conflict and “systems”. There are also chapters on our storytelling, crisis capitalism, church of technology, politics of consumption, history after progress, and ethics at the end of the world. Up-to-date statistics are used to bolster the dire current world reality and contradict many concepts espoused by those opposed to taking action. Rather than capitalizing on gains made by renewable energy, the market has simply added the gains to the system and continued on. Wallace-Wells argues that capitalist and socialist countries have both contributed to the problems we face with ACC. He points out that we need political will, economic might, and cultural flexibility to work toward zero emissions, which will require a complete overhaul of the world’s energy systems, transportation, infrastructure and industry and agriculture. He also points out that ACC is not manufactured out of technological mastery as much as through ignorance, then indolence, then indifference. He uses the impactful metaphor of a civilization enclosing itself in a gaseous suicide, a running car in a sealed garage.
64) Falter: Falter: Has the human game begun to play itself out? (2019), by Bill McKibben (writer and a founder of 350.org). McKibben presents us with a bit of a surprise in this book, starting out with an up-to-date assessment of where we are at in terms of ACC and the considerable degree of inequity in the distribution of power and wealth, then proceeding with additional serious societal issues, namely the development of artificial intelligence (AI) and human genetic engineering, all the while tying them together under the concept of playing out “the human game”. As he claims, societies are simply so big and moving so fast, that every decision carries enormous risks, and the physical changes that we have wrought with ACC will extend longer than the length of all the history of human civilization. Some of the key topics covered include: the history of the knowledge of ACC within the corporate halls of Exxon and Shell in the late 1970s, followed by their denial of that science and the dissemination of misinformation; the significant influence of the Koch brothers’ network, up to and including within the current Trump regime, the hijacking of democracy and the war on renewable energy; the influence of Ayn Rand’s “objectivism” or libertarianism on corporate machinations; a revealing comparison of libertarian thinking between the fossil fuel moguls and Silicon Valley/tech sector billionaires, all of whom want nothing standing in the way of their next inventions; the almost inevitable pushing of an unsuspecting public toward genetically selected designer babies, with notably detrimental results; and the reasons behind the need to regulate AI. He develops the concepts of technological maturity, balance, scale of undertaking, and protectionism versus inefficiency, and argues that unless we change our ways, we are now faltering and the human game is actively playing itself out.
65) The End of Ice: Bearing witness and finding meaning in the path of climate disruption (2019), by Dahr Jamail (reporter, author, mountaineer). Jamail has broached the subject of ACC a little differently by combining processes of ACC, up-to-date facts related to ACC and the failure of governments to deal with the key issues related to ACC, along with detailing the physical and personal changes that ACC has brought to various ecosystems and cultures around the globe. Various settings include mountains and coastal regions of Alaska (changes in glaciers; devastation of fish, mammals, birds and Inupiat hunting; disappearance of permafrost); severe problems with corals, particularly in the western Pacific; rising sea levels affecting coastal regions, particularly Florida and Alaska; forest degradation (fires, disease, lack of rainfall) and deforestation, particularly in the western US; and issues of biodiversity in tropical rainforests, particularly in the Amazon. Personal experience in all settings, coupled with interviews with local people, scientists, technologists and engineers serves to provide details not necessarily covered in other authors’ works. This serves to make the dire situation that humanity faces more personal for us to comprehend better. Jamail supports the idea that the root cause of climate disruption is humanity’s lack of connection to the planet and that much of life on Earth is facing a dire future.
For alternative viewpoints, 2 other books are included.
66) Heaven and Earth: Global warming, the missing science (2009), by Ian Plimer (geologist and professor, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Adelaide). Plimer tries to use paleoclimate studies to argue that Earth’s climate has always changed, that we are not responsible for any current changes, but even if we are responsible, the changes are insignificant, or if they are significant, then technology can deal with it. As a non-climatologist, his position is that climate scientists have it all wrong. The book presents the reader with details that do not truly address the science behind ACC, and outright attacks key concepts and various scientists who support ACC. These points should raise a red flag to the reader. The book (review at http://bravenewclimate.com/2009/04/23/ian-plimer-heaven-and-earth/) is noteworthy for being soundly and thoroughly criticized, in detail, for its plethora of incorrect and inconsistent inclusion of various scientific and technical issues and conclusions (http://www.complex.org.au/tiki-download_file.php?fileId=91).
67) The Deniers: The world-renowned scientists who stood up against global warming hysteria, political persecution, and fraud (2010), by Lawrence Solomon (“world-renowned environmentalist and activist”, columnist for the National Post and occasional op-ed writer for the Financial Post (see a critique covering, in part, one op-ed at http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2013/05/28/arctic_sea_ice_global_warming_is_melting_more_ice_every_year.html). The misleading title aside, this book acknowledges the term “denier”, but revels in the attribution and features the work of many scientists who take a negative view regarding the existence of ACC. Some scientists refused involvement in Solomon’s research for the book. Others objected afterward that his book misrepresented their work. Many of the names of the deniers that he cites appear in the books listed above and many are well known for their contrarian viewpoints. As a non-climatologist, his approach is to assign a chapter to each of at least ten topics related to ACC and to ‘establish’ that the scientists in a spectrum of fields, particularly climatology, have it all wrong. This should raise a red flag to the reader. Book review at https://web.archive.org/web/20140519155001/https://www.chinadialogue.net/article/show/single/en/2273-Books-a-contrarian-polemic-on-climate-change.
Over the 10 years or so prior to 2014, there had been a tendency in the magazine Engineering Dimensions to publish letters to the editor which promulgated inappropriate information regarding ACC, often without a countering response (for examples, see:
letter by Morton http://www.peo.on.ca/index.php/ci_id/25679/la_id/1.htm (p.53);
letter by Jackson http://www.peo.on.ca/index.php/ci_id/26094/la_id/1.htm (p.73);
letter by Gue http://www.peo.on.ca/index.php/ci_id/26676/la_id/1.htm) (p.62)).
My letter to Engineering Dimensions expressed concern that some previous letters had fomented misinformation and/or disinformation regarding ACC and/or stated confusion about ACC.
The intent of my letter was:
a) to encourage people to question some of the claims;
b) to present a reasonably up-to-date summary of some of the issues associated with ACC; and
c) to provide a link (i.e., this site) to multiple legitimate sources of information.
The goal was to enable people to check, for themselves, the claims I was making and to confirm the discrediting of many of the false claims that various letter writers had submitted.
It took 3 attempts to get my letter published, mostly because of excessive length (in my attempt to substantiate my points, with references), but also because of the editor’s attitude, sadly reflected, in part, in a response to my second submission, saying “...the trouble with climate change is no official has stood up and said, right, the science is settled beyond an absolute shadow of a doubt...” -- a classic denier’s claim, discredited by many people.
My letter was eventually published (September/October 2013 issue) along with two other letters (see letters by Trottier, Nichilo, and Muir http://www.peo.on.ca/index.php/ci_id/27083/la_id/1.htm (pp.55-57)), which also protested the anti-ACC sentiment of recent previous letters. My attempt to meet word limits in the submitted letter resulted in some inadequately worded points; specifically point 6 (CO2 as a pollutant; see Part A above) and point 9 (ocean acidity; see my letter below). Note that in my letter, I should have referred to “ice sheets”, not “ice caps” in point 8.
The succeeding issue (November/December 2013) published three, anti-ACC responses (see letters by Austin, Norminton and Lightfoot http://www.peo.on.ca/index.php/ci_id/27316/la_id/1.htm (pp.64-65)) to the letters published in the September/October issue. The letter by Lightfoot, in particular, took me to task, purporting I was “so obviously wrong” that he was required to comment.
In my view, the claims made about my “obviously wrong” claims were themselves either factually incorrect, misleading, or obfuscatory. I subsequently submitted a letter to the editor rebutting the points, with a covering letter explicitly indicating the importance of not having wrong information remaining uncorrected, and requesting that my letter be published so that “confusion” among readers could be mitigated. The editor refused, citing, amongst other things: a) the magazine has “stopped accepting letters to the editor on the subject of climate change”; and b) “the debate over climate change has been covered on both sides adequately in our pages over the last months and years”. Following is a copy of the unpublished rebuttal letter I sent, for the record. It was pointed out in my covering letter to the editor that the links provided in the letter by Lightfoot are from sources that do not contradict the basic premises of ACC, and in my view, when read carefully, do not contradict my points.
Unpublished letter (titled Climate Change Revisited) submitted 2013-12-08:
Attempts to provide useful information (Trottier, Nichilo, Muir: September/October) have been ignored (Austin, Norminton, Lightfoot: November/December). Muir spent considerable effort pointing out previous fallacies, asking rhetorical questions, stating fundamental points and providing a key link to a list of reliable sources, with explanations, that justify the points in layperson’s terms. Clearly little, if any, attempt was made to review that material. That link is updated and reiterated here (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Vk4_M3giD9evOJJ9LJPYj04DDYcEgL5-79qkERLf53Y/pub). Below, “STLC” is used for “See The Link’s Contents”.
Lightfoot expended considerable energy to detail specific criticisms of several of my points, which he deems “so obviously wrong”, but then fails to establish. I carefully chose my words and stand by them because they are based on the work of reliably sourced material (STLC). Many of Lightfoot’s points masquerade as science-based corrections. They are either incorrectly presented, obfuscatory or dubiously relevant. I am obligated to respond as readers are again being misinformed and/or confused. Following are my responses to his numbered retorts:
3. & 5. CO2, H2O and their roles: My points were straightforward and correct (STLC). He obfuscates by cherry picking numbers for w/m2 and absorption spectra, and misdirects the points about roles. IPCC AR4 actually does discuss radiative forcing values (STLC).
6. CO2 as pollutant: I was overly curt. Human-generated CO2 from sequestered carbon sources has been considered a pollutant, based on dictionary definitions and acceptance by the US Supreme Court and EPA. Pollutant or not, it is not relevant to the science behind the effects of CO2 as a greenhouse gas. The issue that plants need CO2 is a distraction.
7. Feedbacks: He misrepresents my point and, as written, misquotes me. I did not mention “run away” or out-of-control atmospheric temperature, and his bringing into the criticism scientific jargon related to “…fourth power…” is a distraction and obfuscation.
9. Ocean acidity: I did not say the oceans were acid. Higher acidity means lower pH. The pH of oceans is becoming lower – hence the terms “ocean acidity” and “ocean acidification” in the literature. The latter may have been preferred, but not required (STLC).
10. and 11. Arctic/Antarctic ice: These points are not contradictory as claimed. Read them again and look up the information (STLC). Lightfoot incorrectly and unnecessarily obfuscates the issues by cherry picking (along with Austin) a single-year, seasonal sea ice extent. There is a difference between that and multi-year sea ice. He is ignoring the past several decades of data.
12. (sic: presumably 13.) Consensus: consensus in science is not nonsense as claimed, but neither does it constitute proof. There is general consensus for the principles of relativity, evolution and ACC, but our knowledge is variously incomplete. If there is a scientifically robust, paradigm-shifting, testable counter hypothesis to ACC, then it should be presented or referenced.
Lightfoot succumbed to nitpicking and arguing for argument’s sake. Austin chose to be largely inappropriately dismissive. Norminton became partly mired in specific technicalities of climate modelling from several years ago. Please, invest the time to become better informed of the big picture and less confrontational.
Tom L. Muir, P.Eng., Sudbury, ON
The editor reneged on the position to cease publication of letters related to ACC in the very next issue (January/February 2014), by publishing yet another anti-ACC letter (see letter by Ross http://www.peo.on.ca/index.php/ci_id/27514/la_id/1.htm (p.53)), which contained several unreferenced factoids that were misleading or incorrect. I subsequently provided, in a follow-up letter to the editor, detailed challenges to the points made in the above-mentioned anti-ACC letter (see below). I also pointed out that the magazine’s record in the last several months had been 3 pro-ACC letters and 7 anti-ACC letters. The editor refused to change the magazine’s position. My comments on the letter, for the record, follow.
Unpublished letter submitted 2014-01-27:
Mr. Ross is “tired of hearing…” yet does not indicate the ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘where’, ‘when’ or ‘why’ of the evangelists of whom he speaks. It is difficult to defend or refute a point when the “enemy” hasn’t even been clearly identified. Who is it that claims science is a democracy? His citing of a flat-world example is neither poignant nor relevant. By using his own argument (citing an unreferenced number referring to 20% of scientists), one could respond that 80% of scientists today are sure that humans cause “so-called” climate change (the actual replicated number for climate scientists specifically is >97%). Global climate change is established (look at any graph; visit any reputable site). We can debate the proportion of what contributes to it, what ways it is happening, how fast and by how much it is happening, how to mitigate it, and then work toward improving our understanding of all facets of it, etc. But Ross snipes with terms such as “so-called” (a common tactic: witness some previous letters) as if he’s speaking with credible scientific authority.
The key problems with his points are: they lack any source of reference, credible or otherwise (hence not verifiable, if even valid in the first place); some are misleading and poorly worded (hence hard to evaluate); and some are wrong (hence they perpetuate “myths”). In consideration of his 8 bulleted points, which he refers to as “facts”, the following corresponding points can be made:
His statement on mathematical models insinuates ill-defined misdoings of scientists, yet is completely vague about what he is actually alluding. As far as the diatribe about Arnold Schwarzenegger goes, the relevance is unclear. Mr. Schwarzenegger was a politician, not a scientist. He played by different rules. I would interpret that he was astute enough not to deny climate change, but to recognize that things needed to be seen to be done, which could be achieved without losing votes to the ill-informed who are under the illusion that ACC is a hoax. Moreover, in reality, Schwarzenegger strongly opposed California’s Proposition 23 (put on the ballot in their Nov. 2010 election), which was a piece of anti-climate-change legislation, supported with considerable funding largely by the fossil fuel and related industries. Why was that not pointed out?
The purpose of his points is clearly intended to cast doubt, sow confusion, and parrot unreferenced disinformation that disparages the climate change scientific community at large, all from an “under-informed” perspective. So, what is your point? You have deliberately permitted this charade of “debate” to continue in Engineering Dimensions.
Tom L. Muir, P.Eng., Sudbury, ON
Aside from the additional exception of yet another letter published in the May/June 2014 issue (see letter by Morgan http://www.peo.on.ca/index.php/ci_id/27944/la_id/1.htm (p.63)), largely expressing confusion about ACC, the editor’s position not to publish more ACC letters has finally been upheld, at least as of the May/June, 2017 issue. Subsequently, this position was broken again!
“Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.”