I recently read Climate Myths by John J. Berger. I was hoping to learn more about the science of climate change and what, if any, controversies still exist in the scientific community. Perhaps my expectations were faulty, but I was sorely disappointed by the book. The first (and very significant) portion of the book is dedicated to the various organizations that have gone out of their way to dispute climate change and how serious it is. He mentions organizations that don’t exist anymore, which may be interested to a researcher but seem to have no relevance for me. What was helpful was his discussion of certain more prominent climate deniers and why their credentials make them less credible than climate scientists who all agree on global warming and its impacts. However, I didn’t like how far he goes in disparaging some of the organizations, even comparing them to Joseph McCarthy and the anti-communism in the 1950s.
I was disheartened to learn about how the media has helped these organizations and climate deniers by giving them as much air time as the thousands of scientists who agree on the gravity of global warming. One of Berger’s examples was The Wall Street Journal, and here is an article I found: No Need to Panic About Global Warming. If you look at the sixteen scientists who signed the articles very few, if any, are on the cutting edge of climate science.
Another reason for my reading the book was to feel more prepared to refute in conversation those who might be on the fence about global warming. The second (and much shorter) part of the book is helpful for that. He goes through the various ‘myths’ and why they are flawed. I was very glad to find out about the reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Cimate Change (IPCC) that operates under the U.N. American politics being what they are, this seems like a good place to point people.
I hope to find books that I feel more ready to recommend. This one is helpful only if you’re specifically interested in the organizations (past and present) who have made enough of American doubt climate change so that politicians are unable to make any progress.