12 December 2011

A Skeptic Reviews The Climate Fix

[UPDATE: WUWT has decided to take down their post. But the internet has a deep memory -- Here it is for those interested.]

If you are visiting here from Watts Up With That, welcome. Here is a link to my book, which was reviewed at WUWT, by a guest poster Shub Niggurath and approved by Anthony Watts (the latter included as an update at the request of AW).

Before I launch into a response, let me first say that while critiquing my book is fair game, critiquing my interest in sport!?  Over the line;-) For the good folks at WUWT I have provided a sporting interpretation of their review above. Enjoy! And now a few thoughts in response . . .

The "substance" of the review is disappointing, as it is mainly an extended ad hominem attack on me based on my claim that the debate over the science of climate change is pretty much over as far as public opinion is concerned, and further, that continued such debate is utterly irrelevant to the broader policy debate. Of course, those who seek to politicize science in the name of climate politics exist on both sides of the debate and both find fault in the argument that science is a weak lever in political debates. With a broad agreement like that, it is no surprise that climate science has become so politicized.

Here are a few excerpts from the review:
You can forever hang around making half-baked public statements to draw attention, and simply wave away questions with “The answers are in my book”. . . Roger Pielke Jr has been doing that for a while. . .

While the first two chapters are rambling one can hack away at the fluffy text . . .

Pielke the Junior informs the reader that when his dad was writing basic encyclopedia articles on climate he was not interested in the science and was instead running behind girls and playing soccer . . .
The review then goes on an extended discussion of several reports that are not discussed in my book but which the author does not like. The author then returns to discussing me, and this line is particularly fun:
Calling it disingenuous would be going easy. Pielke Jr is not alone in this either. As he reports in his book Bill McKibben, a Pielke favourite, managed to convince ‘mostly poor’ 92 island nations about the risk of global warming. . . 
The author, with ad hom to spare, gets my colleague Max Boykoff into the act (fortunately he is unaware of Max's sporting interests;-):
The absurd consequences of such stage-managed opinions and the resulting neuroticism is clearly evident in a paper by Max Boykoff, one of Pielke’s colleagues at his Colorado institute.
The author can't even figure out what he is writing about. To make the case that the public does not want to take action on climate change, he attacks what I call the "iron law of climate change":
[T]he so-called ‘iron law’ is an enormous non-sequitur, and just a small outcome of a more general ‘iron law of scams’.
Um, OK. I'll leave it as an exercise for the reader to figure out that logic;-)

I appreciate it a great deal when people take the time to read my books, as there is a lot of competition out there for the attention of readers. WUWT has published a review that says more about WUWT than it does any of the arguments in my book. Nonetheless, perhaps they might bring it to the attention of a few readers who are interested in what the book actually says, and for that I am grateful.