I have a confession to make. I am a climate change skeptic and becoming more so seemingly by the day. It is not that I don’t believe that the Earth has warmed over the last 150 or so years, the science clearly supports that contention. I am, however, skeptical of the notion that humans are now responsible for temperature changes and that increasing temperatures are leading to horrible climate-related consequences for the Earth and humanity. Based on review of long-term temperature data, I just can’t bring myself to believe that increasing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are now the primary driver of temperatures rather than the natural forces that have been warming and cooling the planet very similarly for thousands and millions of years.
In addition, if we look in the rear-view mirror at the past 150 years, we find that humanity and civilization has undergone the greatest advancement in all of human history. It is what author W. Cleon Clausen called the “5,000-year leap” where 5 millennia of advancements have been squeezed into that short time frame and all the while CO2 has been increasing and temperatures warming. Yet, those promoting catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGW) look into the future and predict nothing but doom and despair.
While I am certainly not a scientist nor an expert on climate change, I have consumed a large number of books from both sides of the issue and have an amply stocked bookshelf in my den on the subject. I find that most of books on climate are difficult for the non-scientist to read, much less digest. They tend to be overly technical for the layman, not well-illustrated and commonly overly-politicized.
I discovered my now go-to climate change book “Inconvenient Facts – the science that Al Gore doesn’t want you to know” quite by accident nearly six months ago and it is becoming dog-eared from my constant referencing of it. Geologist Gregory Wrightstone’s debut book is eminently readable, understandable and very well-illustrated. With more than 90 color illustrations and 14 pages of references, the book treads a hard-to-manage balance between well-researched science and a fascinating read.
Throughout the book, the author provides easily understandable graphics and analysis of his 60 “inconvenient facts.” These are facts, backed up by references to NASA, NOAA or peer-reviewed studies, that show in detail and clarity just how wrong much of what I thought that I knew is incorrect. In what may be the most glaring and to me, the most shocking example of climate misinformation by the media and government institutions is his section on forest fires titled “Forest Fires -Fanning the Flames of Needless Panic.” In it, he provides data from the Canadian Fire Service and the US Interagency Fire Center, among others, to show that, rather than fires increasing in number, they have been in a long-term decline and the experts that are quoted attribute that to climate change! Who knew?
Wrightstone opens the book with a perfectly apropos quote from H. L. Mencken who references the need for governments and institutions to create “an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary” in order to get its citizens to buy into otherwise harmful policies and regulations. The last half of his book is devoted to dispelling many of these climate “hobgoblins” which he calls “climate apocalypse” events. Using science and data, he systematically takes down notions of increasing tornadoes, hurricanes, heat waves, drought and many more.
Early in the book, prefacing a series of particularly damning “inconvenient facts,” Wrightstone writes that they will be “part of the cumulative evidence that will eventually drive the final nails into the coffin of the catastrophic man-made warming theory.” He comes back to this analogy of hammering nails into global warming’s coffin throughout this seminal book. Now, Mr. Wrightstone has provided me with the hammer with which to drive the nails in the form of a smart phone app.
I have often wished that I had the book in hand when discussing the subject with colleagues and now, thankfully, the new app allows me to leave the book at home, but to bring the facts with me. The recently released ground-breaking smart phone app is based in his 60 inconvenient facts. Each of the facts are presented within the app with a chart or illustration that clearly shows and documents the subject. Included are links to text explaining it, commonly a video created by the author and a link to the source of the data behind the graphic.
Simply put, the app is amazing. The huge amount of information on my phone has given me the ability to speak more confidently to others concerning many aspects of climate change. The book is great, but the app is actually more powerful, in that I see that this can be a game-changer in the debate. I envision citizens that now can confront the notion of pending climate doom by empowering them with the knowledge in the palm of their hand.
Bryan Crabtree, is author of new book, “The Trump In You: Acting Like Trump Is Actually A Good Thing.” Crabtree is a radio host on AM 920 The ANSWER in Atlanta, GA and the publisher of Talk40.com