Meltdown: The Predictable Distortion of Global Warming by Scientists, Politicians, and the Media

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An eminently readable and often humorous critique, Meltdown documents hundreds of exaggerations from scientists, politicians and the media, and ties them together with the common thread of rational self-interest.

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An eminently readable and often humorous critique, Meltdown documents hundreds of exaggerations from scientists, politicians and the media, and ties them together with the common thread of rational self-interest.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781930865594
  • Publisher: Cato Institute
  • Publication date: 11/15/2004
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 6.04 (w) x 9.31 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Foreword 1
2 An introduction to global warming 9
3 Meltdown? : the truth about icecaps 33
4 All creatures cute and furry 73
5 Spin cycle : hurricanes, tornadoes, and other cyclones 111
6 Droughts and floods : worse and worse? 127
7 A greener world of changing seasons? 163
8 Global warming, disease, and death 179
9 No fact checks, please! 195
10 The "national assessment" disaster 207
11 The predictable distortion of global warming 221
12 Breaking the cycle 237
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 9 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2005

    There Is Global Warming But It's Not What You Think It Is: The Sky Is Not Falling

    For those of you whose understanding of climate change or global warming comes from the main stream media (New York Times, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, CBS-TV, et al) this book is a must read, that is if you subscribed to the 'chicken little' thesis that the sky is falling, or in the case of climate change that we will be unable to live on planet earth because rising global temperatures will destroy civilization. The sub-title of Meltdown reads 'the Predictable Distortion of global Warming by Scientists, Politicians and the Media' and in this he admirably succeeds in documenting and proving. This spirited critique challenges the conventional doom saying about global warming. Climatologist Michaels acknowledges that the earth is warming because of anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, but he insists that the warming will probably be modest and that nature and humanity will easily adjust to it. Writing in a lucid, engaging style supported by a mountain of data, he debunks such recent scare stories as melting ice caps and glaciers, intensifying storms and droughts, species die-offs and a Day After Tomorrow¿style ice age. The book amply illustrates the incompetence, ignorance, and lack of skepticism by the science writers, as well as their employers, in the main stream media. They come across as cheerleaders with a bull horn instead of skeptical fact reporting and investigative individuals they claim to be. For example, in an USA Today article on the effect of warming sea temperature, the text tells us an increase of 10 degrees will cause a volume increase of .1%. The accompanying graphic shows a 100% increase that are in fact 1000 times more than the actual effect. He argues that researchers and reporters mistakenly ascribe normal fluctuations in local weather to global warming and commonly ignore the facts (reports that the Pacific island nation of Tuvalu is being submerged by rising sea levels, for example, ignored research demonstrating that sea levels in that region have actually been falling). It's inspiring to me that a few individuals like Michaels, and some others, armed only with critical intelligence and courage, choose to stand against the tide of demagogues and chicken littles. Without the few rays of sanity provided by people like Michaels, the world would seem completely mad to me.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2005

    Oh my god...

    Another right-wing idiot adding to the greenhouse gasses with his neoconservatve brain f-a-r-ts! When will you knuckle-heads wake up and realize that your lives are more important than your money?! THE LOVE OF MONEY IS THE ROOT TO ALL EVIL. So you want to drive (or ride in) your gas guzzler with lessened emission enforcement, you want a job at that air polluting factory in your home town, you want to drive or ride that soot belching bus or semi-truck, and who gives a darn about the global ecology? Well either this poor excuse for even a wannabe scientist cares more about the almighty dollar or he just doesn't give a rat's b-u-t-t about human life in the long term. Come on doesn't he have to breath the same air and drink the same water we poor slugs do? What is it going to take to convince right-wingers that it is NOT about cow f-a-r-t-s causing this change? Cows have been doing this for eons without causing negative global climate shift (global warming) like this. Also global cooling is NOT a new left-wing buzz word! Its just the natural evolution of global warming effects! Please don't be a Bush lamb lead to the slaughter by this selfish and secretive administration in DC. Go rent the movie The Day After Tommorow (2004). It shows just how easy it is to be plunged into the next ice-age in a short period of time if we keep using complex hydrocarbons (i.e. oil) for fuel! This guy is obviously just another paid journalistic stooge of the Bush administration belching out this anti-ecology propaganda to help ol' '322' Bush's capitalist chronies make more money than they know what to do with at YOUR expense! Human freeze-pops anyone???

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2005

    Keep an open mind

    Objectivity is always best when reading something controversial. Unfortunately we live in a society which collects most of it's 'news' and 'facts' by reading headlines of newspapers still in the rack or on the newsstand. If you take the time to read this book with a mindset which is open to factual reporting combined with documentation as opposed to Chicken Little style rhetoric you may discover you enjoy educating yourself through the gathering of knowledge more than frightening yourself with politically fueled scare tactics. Additionally, it's usually not a good idea to use a Dennis Quaid disaster film as supporting evidence for your thesis. The Day After Tomorrow may have been mildly entertaining, but it was NOT a documentary. There was absolutely NO science contained within it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2004

    Wow, is this Different (and Convincing)!

    The subtitle of this book says it all. Michaels maintains that the 'culture' of modern science makes it inevitable that environmental issues become exaggerated: by scientists seeking support while competing with other issues, by politicians who reward themselves for supporting science, and by the media who simply lack any critical powers. He's got a lot of evidence. I will never read another major news story on global warming without being suspicious of exaggeration. And this applies to 'peer reviewed' magazines like Science. My fear: he's right. And if he is, how many other scientific issues are being misrepresented and exaggerated? Can someone say 'diet and cancer'? Can someone say 'an epidemic of depression'? Read this book with an open mind. It's fun, and the writer is very very good with words. You will be amazed at the facts that are marshalled in defense of his thesis. Like I said, I'm afraid he's right.

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