The final third of this dire book is entitled “The Climate Change Movement”. This arse-end of the collection is easily the most dull. The essays are either dry accounts of events or rather weak complaints about failed predictions of doom.
Chapter 13 by Rupert Darwall discusses attempts by international governments to agree to action on climate change. I guess it is supposed to be depressing reading for somebody like me and by that standard, the essay is a success.
Chapter 14 by Ross McKitrick I assume is a reprint from somewhere else. It’s is possibly the most interesting essay in this section, if you haven’t read a hundred accounts already of McKitrick’s attempts to discredit Michael Mann’s infamous ‘hockey stick’ reconstruction of past temperatures. While it was a definite success for McKitrick, the basic hockey-stick path of global temperatures has been re-confirmed multiple times since.
Chapter 15 is a pointless digression into whether people who participated in the IPCC also share in the Nobel Peace Prize that the IPCC was awarded.
Chapter 16 by Mark Steyn is a short piece laughing at the Australian expedition that got stuck in Antarctic sea-ice.
Chapter 17 by Christopher Essex is just weird. It is a protracted complaint that many journalists don’t know a lot about science. While this is true it is hard to see how Mr Essex and his chums help with that.
Chapter 18 is rather like Chapter 13 but about the IPCC history among other things.
Chapter 19 is a complaint that Australia’s peak science body, the CSIRO, gets stuff wrong.
Chapter 20 by blogger Anthony Watts feel like a relief in comparison. Watt’s argues that it isn’t clear that global warming is implicated in extreme weather events because we can’t know for sure.
Chapter 21 rounds off the book with Australian right-wing journalist Andrew Bolt complaining about other predictions of consequences of global warming that might not have occurred.
And that’s it. A giant exercise in throwing stuff at a wall and seeing what sticks. There is little actual agreement between the points raised and collectively pseudo-science credulity is mixed in with a half-baked critique of the scientific method.
The strongest chapters in the whole book were from Patrick Michaels and Richard Lindzen. Inadvertently, pointing at Khun’s concept of paradigm shifts tends to illustrate how what science there is in this book is trapped in a 1960s when it was possible to still believe that human greenhouse gas emissions would always have less impact on global temperatures than other factors.
In the final section even the half-hearted attempt to make a claim of minimal warming was abandoned (although not repudiated) for a weaker strategy of hoping that maybe bad things won’t happen.
So farewell Climate Change The Facts 2014 – you were a half-baked bunch of essays poorly edited and thrown together by an Australian right-wing think tank with literally more money than sense.