This book by New Zealand journalist Ian Wishart – a #1 bestselling author four times, surprised me by the completeness with which he reviewed and presents alternatives to the plethora of IPCC inspired spin and publicity which floods our media today. His sixteen chapters examining aspects of the debate are meticulously footnoted and thus are a valuable reference resource for those wishing to dig deeper or keep up to speed with the unfolding global warming / carbon reduction political drama in years to come.
Note- AIR CON is available online for about US$22 – dont miss out – see below.
Having followed much of the debate over two decades or so I was particularly interested in his last four chapters to see what the author says about where the entire IPCC driven brouhaha is heading. Wishart traces the rise and fall of Enron which after all was designed to make large profits from carbon trading. He sketches for us an entertaining international tableaux overun with mostly unelected public service professionals and swashbuckling business and financial characters.
From an Australian perspective it is fascinating to watch the Rudd Goverments squirmings as it attempts to weave a local Carbon Trading Scheme CTS that will not result in disaster for our economy. Now safely postponed until after the next Federal election in 2010 there is more time for the profiteers and rentseekers to jockey for positions like a multitude of Remora beneath a shark – squadrons of latterday mini-Enrons.
There is a marvellous juxtaposition of global events right now as the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) bites deeper, sapping the ability of the West to throw borrowed money at imaginary problems. There grows a realization that due to a lengthy and quiet transition between solar cycles – a period of reduced sunspot activity is likely in decades ahead and history tells us that climate could cool rather than warm.
It is against this background that we are counting down to the UN Climate Change Conference (COP15) in Copenhagen December 7th to 18th 2009 – a talkfest that is planned to produce the legal framework to succeed Kyoto which ends in 2012.
In the countdown to COP15 we can expect an unprecedented blizzard of media articles breathlessly informing us along the lines:
- global warming will be worse than previously thought
- sea level rise will be worse than previously thought
- threats to wildlife will be worse than previously thought
- ice melting – breaking up will be worse than previously thought
- cyclones can be expected to be worse than previously thought
- droughts and water shortages will be worse than previously thought
- threats to the Great Barrier Reef will be worse than previously thought
Ian Wishart’s well researched and referenced book AIR CON will be a most valuable resource for those wanting to make sense of the media blitz that will descend upon us as 2009 rolls on.
It is amazing that a simple enough phenomenon such as the rebound of global temperatures from the chilly depths of the Little Ice Age a few hundred years ago – has been transmogrified into the mother of all threats to life on Earth.
All this for for under a degree of warming – vastly less than most people would happily pay to enjoy on their vacations.