by Rafe Champion
And how much do you really need to read if you are short of time and shelf-space?
Everyone will have favourite books and people who read a lot will have a lot of favourites but you might be unwilling nominate any, in the way that you are not supposed to express favouritism among your offspring.
To get the ball rolling I nominate two books that could in principle substitute for most of the climate books on my shelf, at least to get a thorough overview of the field before deep diving into selected topics.
This question came to mind because I am reading Michael Hart’s Hubris: The Troubling Science, Economics and Politics of Climate Change and I nominate this book alongside Ian Plimer’s Climate Change Delusion and the Great Electricity Rip-Off. It runs to 600 pages but it treats practically the whole range of issues in the field. Ian’s book provides some scientific depth that goes beyond Hart and it also covers the power situation in Australia. I see the impact of climate policies on the power supply as one Achilles heel of alarmism. The other is the impact of those policies on the environment.
To explain how Hart substitutes for other books, consider the two volumes that Rupert Darwall wrote on the history of alarmism and the role of Maurice Strong and colleagues in the UN. People who want to write substantial contributions of their own have to master the amount of detail that Rupert provides but others who just need an overview of that process to understand how we got to COP26 will be well served by a few chapters in Hart – Chapter 5 on the science and politics of the IPCC, 10 on Baptists, bootleggers and opportunists, chapter 11 on building global consciousness and 12 National Interest vs Global Norms.
The book was published on the eve of the Paris COP so it could be regarded as dated but the background information on the various factors and influences that coalesced to create our current situation is all there. Hart has provided a foundation and a framework to understand Paris and after.
He is a Canadian with a long career in international relations and trade policy. He has written a dozen books and some of them did well for a publisher who refused to print this one! The book was ten years in preparation based on a series of seminars with postgraduate students and other interested academics so it covers a lot of territory ranging from the science itself, to the history of alarmism and the way the media managed to suck in the general public.
You can get the book here
Step up and say what you would recommend for different categories of readers!
Sorry, I should have signalled at the beginning, this is a guest post.
Rafe Champion. Check out the site of the Energy Realists of Australia.