AIR CON: The Seriously Inconvenient Truth About Global Warming

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.

AIR CON: The Seriously Inconvenient Truth About Global Warming by Ian Wishart, Howling at the Moon Publishing, NZ$34.95

14 thoughts on “AIR CON: The Seriously Inconvenient Truth About Global Warming”

  1. The truth is out there…
    There is more factual information now that goes against the AGW theory to totally discredit it. Temps are not increasing, the “facts” in the IPCC report have been proven to be false, the ice is not melting and there are fewer (and weaker) severe weather events not more and not worse.

    But no one is so deaf as one who will not hear.
    The truth is being ignored in the interest of media making bombastic pronouncements on the end of the world. A peaceful, safe and boring world doesn’t sell papers.

  2. It does seem strange that with the reported increased storm and cyclone activity in the Pacific, plus the reported rising seas, wave height and speeds have not altered enough for surfers, not renknowned for timidity, to notice, but we don’t hear them whooping. It is also odd that Pacific atolls have obligingly stopped sinking so that sealevel figures can be allowed to take media spotlight at the World Meteorological Conference. Yet thousands of kilometres of NZ and Australian coastline has been unaffected by announced catastrophic Pacific sealevel changes. Clearly the sea is intimidated by the larger land masses and only desires to bully the smaller ones. As to increased heat from emissions near the ground into the atmosphere, that would make clouds float higher, but artists and pilots report nothing out of the ordinary. As I look out my window I see no climate change catastrophe: no snow on Rangototo, Waitakeres not yet a desert, strangely normal clouds, annoyingly normal winter cold, no disappearing beach(I live on the coast), no methane cloud, no increase in species extinction(viruses like the common cold I wish!), in short a normal beautiful world. But I do see a media-driven eco-agenda encouraged by fanatical Green socialism, which unrelentingly paints ugliness. I would be happy for them to stew in their own mental pollution, but they want to tax me so they feel better.
    Ken Ring

  3. Yes Ken Ring, they want to tax you.
    There is NO other way to pay the huge ‘baby boomer’ pension & benefits bill that is now due. hence the insane haste to put together any form of carbon tax.
    Quite simply, its Government backed to cover Government backsides.

  4. The day will come when Al Gore et al are exposed as the biggest snake
    oil sellers of all time. Lets hope we are not all bankrupt before that
    day comes.
    AGW climate bugaboo is a sad reflection of a lack of common sense shown
    by the many to the financial gain of the few.
    Gore and co hopefully will one day be rounded up and dealt to through
    the courts in similar fashion to the Madoff scam.
    Kind regards and keep up the good work.

  5. You may be in luck. This has been a very cool summer in the USA with a number of record lows. Plus more than a few highs which are record low. The political steam is going out of this in the USA. The climate bill in our House of Representatives barely passed. It is very likely it will not pass our Senate.

  6. I have still to read this book, however, I’m curious about how much one can trust this given that the author is a right-wing born-again fundamentalist Christian that takes the Bible literally. The ‘myth’ sites I’ve checked thus far feature authors who have had ties to oil companies or similarly questionable ties, surely you don’t consider them objective?
    I would direct people here;

  7. Alan, I was unaware that the religious beliefs of anyone had a direct bearing on the validity of AGW theory. They might have bearing on why someone believes in AGW, as evidenced by the fact that New Age/Gaia worshippers are vastly overrepresented in the ranks of AGW belief, but they don’t alter the factual matrix of the debate any more than Newton’s faith caused apples to fall upwards.

    If I were as simple a Christian as you appear to imply, it would be easy to chalk global warming up as a surefire sign of the Apocalypse and preach the ‘end is nigh’ gospel beloved of the IPCC. The fact that I haven’t should be proof that theology has no bearing on what I have presented in Air Con. The fact that my conclusions are pretty similar to those of arch-atheist Ian Plimer should be further proof.

    You are on stronger ground suggesting it is important to examine the financial motives of those taking positions in the AGW debate. Even if skeptic authors had been funded a billion dollars to write books opposing AGW, however, it would be a drop in the bucket compared to the $79 billion spent on pro-AGW studies and initiatives. And in terms of money-making, Al Gore has become very wealthy off the back of AGW hysteria he’s promoted and invested in.

    The reality is that skeptic authors have not been funded in such lavish fashion, but regardless, in the first instance, as I state in Air Con, arguments must be dealt with on their merits, not on the motivations of those saying them. A person accused in a courtroom has a very strong motivation to deny guilt. Nonetheless, he may indeed be innocent and you can’t write off an argument because of prejudice against a person’s viewpoint.

    So an oil company helps fund a skeptic somewhere? Can’t get overly excited as the argument still boils down to this: either man-made CO2 emissions are a problem or they are not. The truth of that proposition depends entirely on real testable science, not on who is paying the wages. Do I ignore the work of AGW proponents purely on the basis that Green lobby groups and what Bjorn Lomborg calls the “climate industrial complex” have supported them?

    I wasn’t funded by anyone to write Air Con – it is the result of extensive research and stands or falls on its own. From a personal point of view, I’m an award-winning network TV, radio and magazine journalist, with around 15 books to my name, five of those peaking at #1 on the NZ bestsellers list and another five peaking at #2, and around 200,000 copies sold. The skills I brought to bear on Air Con are the same I brought to any of the major TV documentaries I worked on: sifting through the evidence, weighing up the claim and counterclaim, examining supporting evidence and reporting the findings.

    At the end of the day, when and if you read Air Con, you’ll see the book is exactly that.

  8. Ian,

    Even within the ranks of Christians, there is a substantial fringe who spends most of their time discussing this or that news event or extreme weather as a Sign of the Apocalypse.

    Its not surprising as Apocalyptic fever has been a recurrent theme pretty much since Christianity was founded (I think that 2 Thessalonians is pretty much addressed to people who believed the world was nearly over), and Jesus himself warned of End Times as a near event, and the last book of the Christian Bible is a nexus of Apocalyptic writing in the ancient Jewish tradition.

    Its also not surprising that religious believers can relate to the message of climate alarm because lets face it, the AGW story is pretty much a remapping of apocalyptic Christian belief: that there was a pre-existing stable climate, that there was a sudden change as people changed their local environment through knowledge and technology, that there is a progressive worsening of weather extremes, that there will come a time soon when the Earth will be uninhabitable due to Man’s wicked ways, that the only way to forestall the Apocalypse is through self-denial and a return to ancient ways of living [presumably without mentioning the ancient ways of dying (usually early)].

    I’m not saying you belong anywhere near that fringe – but its there nonetheless.

    I am a subscriber to an evangelical Christian newsletter which is skeptical of AGW scares (and they let atheists like me read it). I can hardly say I agree with their theology or most of their philosophy, but at least on the point of apocalyptic beliefs they at least acknowledge the roots of it in their own religious books and history.

    On the other hand, what we have seen is an awakening of Apocalyptic fever amongst people who are generally irreligious or even hostile to most forms of traditional religion, indicating that the transendental temptation to believe that they live in unusually bad times may be common to the human condition.

    Irrationalism is never going to go away and every generation will have to combat it with facts and the witness of history that we have all been there before.

  9. @John

    Yes, and I think Al Gore is a committed Christian from memory, as is another AGW promoter, Bill McKibben of fame…

    From what I’ve seen, AGW belief is an equal opportunities gremlin, striking at will regardless of faith or lack of faith, except perhaps that it is a central theme to nature religions/New Age belief.

  10. Ian,

    Apocalypse/end times isn’t a central feature of nature religions, but is certainly a feature of monotheistic religions of all kinds.

    I think the most important aspect (and where my interest originally came in) was that AGW alarmism and the Mann Hockey Stick played a critical role in unmasking people’s fears about the changing world around them due to technology and their assumption that the Earth was and is being poisoned, defiled or destroyed as a result.

    I remember as a young man having most, if not all of these assumptions about the world.

    This caused many people (in the case of the Hockey Stick) to look back to a time before man-made climate change became a reality – a false paradise that never existed. The reality was that the Little Ice Age was an appalling time of pandemics, droughts, famine and war amid societies pushed to the edge of sanity by religious and ethnic persecution.

    The AGW gremlin certainly strikes irrational fear into otherwise rational people by appealing to a false view of history. Real history is the one that gets stuffed into the memory holes while people like Al Gore make huge amounts of money by peddling a fake, confabulated history – the very essence of propaganda.

  11. 6-You complain about right-wing fundamentalist Christians and then link to a site of left-wing fundamentalist Marxists…You’re pretty funny! I seriously doubt your objectivity, sir.

  12. I have been travelling Alan – just wanted to add that we prefer comments on the science rather than attacking people.

  13. Have some people forgotten that between the 15th – 19th centuries the planet suffered a mini ice age? The last Frost Fair happened in 1814, and world temperatures have been rising ever since – as they should.

    AD 1200. WARM – Regional climate warmer and more humid than present.
    AD 1410. COOLING – Slightly drier climate conditions deteriorating.
    AD 1560. COLD – Deterioration of climate conditions consistent with “the Little Ice Age”.
    AD 1850. WARMING – Vegetation gradually approaching todays climate with ongoing warming.

    Have some people lost their powers of deduction? Can some people not comprehend that we have as much chance of temperatures slipping to levels recorded in the 13th century once they have warmed to levels recorded in the 11th century?

    It’s called a “cycle“, everything about our planet happens as a cycle in one form or another.

    The current warming period has been occurring since the early 1800s, since “the Little Ice Age”. So why is that FACT lost on those who believe the actions of mankind have conspired to raise temperatures?

    In 2008, China had its COLDEST winter in 100 years. Baghdad had its first SNOW in all of recorded history. North America has the most snow cover in 50 YEARS. Record levels of Antarctic sea ice, record cold in Minnesota, Texas, Florida, Mexico, Australia, Iran, Greece, South Africa, Greenland, Argentina, Chile, the list goes on and on.

    All four major global temperature tracking outlets (Hadley, NASA’s GISS, UAH, RSS) released updated data in 2008 that shows global temperatures DROPPED precipitously. The total amount of cooling ranges from 0.65C up to 0.75C, a value large enough to wipe out most of the warming recorded over the past 100 years. All in a single year!

    Arctic ice extent was 30 per cent greater on August 11, 2008 than it was on the August 12, 2007. This is all fact and hard scientific evidence, where is there a shred of hard scientific evidence to prove global warming isn’t an entirely natural phenomenon????

    The distance from our bach to the coastline hasn’t changed in 40 years! It has not changed this year, and it will not change next year, or any other year. We don’t subscribe to this nonsense simply because we can see the HARD SCIENTIFIC FACTS for ourselves.

    A handful of people out there need to stop trying to spook a naive public with this mischievous nonsense. People are waking up, they are becoming more informed about the motivations of a few to make the world think it has a problem only money can solve – what an amazing coincidence!!!!

    It’s getting tired and ridiculous, it’s as baseless as the existence of planet Nibiru, but at least that myth isn’t going to tax economies back to the stone age!

  14. The comment was made that the author was a fundamentalist christian. Big whoopie. Science is science and science says that CO2 does not drive temperature but is a result of it. That man is not warming the globe through CO2 emissions. That CO2 is not the forcing parameter that AGW believers wished it was. We had cooling in the 70’s and we have cooling now, in spite of increased anthro CO2. The science speaks for itself, regardless of the religious beliefs of the author. So, trying to discredit the author because of his alleged religious beliefs is a debating tactic. When you can’t refute the facts or science, refute the presenter (“I know you are but what am I?” and other sandbox bully tactics).

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