Invisible Catastrophes: Why Global Warming Goons Sell Fake Science
If there are intelligent young people in your family who parrot the received wisdom about climate change but whose minds are not yet set in progressive stone, Patrick Moore’s Fake Invisible Catastrophes and Threats of Doom is the book to give them. To be sure, there are a number of excellent books debunking the claims of an imminent climate Armageddon: to name just a few, Rupert Darwall’s The Age of Global Warming, Steve Goreham’s The Mad, Mad, Mad World of Climatism, Marc Morano’s The Politically Incorrect Guide to Climate Change, and S. Fred Singer’s Hot Talk, Cold Science.
Despite the wealth of resources, there are a number of reasons why Moore’s book is especially powerful and persuasive. First is the author’s background. Patrick Moore has impeccable environmental credentials: in 1971, as a Ph.D. student, he embarked on the protest voyage against U.S. underground hydrogen bomb testing in Alaska that inaugurated the environmentalist group Greenpeace, and he devoted the next 15 years of his life to that organization.
Second, Moore establishes a radically different, and far more appropriate, framework for discussing climate change. Global warming crisis doomsayers focus on the last 170 years while Moore looks at geologic time. In that perspective, the Earth has been cooling steadily for the past 50 million years. Rather than living in the imminent danger that our planet will become too hot for life, Moore explains, we are still in the Pleistocene Ice Age, albeit in one of its many warming period, called the Holocene Interglacial. Life has flourished better in warmer periods than in the comparatively cold period we are in today. In any case, the slight warming of 1.2 degrees Celsius since 1850 is relatively inconsequential.
Third, Moore is unabashed and unapologetic in exposing the falsity of every claim of the global warming establishment. In his own definition, he is a heretic — one who denies the underlying assumptions of a particular theory — rather than a skeptic — someone who rejects its conclusions. Many critics have become so fearful of being equated with Holocaust “deniers” that they avoid challenging the premises underlying global warming theory and confine themselves to criticizing the policies designed to address it. For example, Bjorn Lomborg frequently writes columns for the Wall Street Journal editorial page giving his “expert” perspective on global warming. A classic “skeptic” in Moore’s definition, Lomborg accepts the theory but argues “adaptation” is a better way to deal with the problem than embarking on a losing battle to control the world’s temperature.
Moore will have none of this. He points out the lack of evidence in the real world for the theory’s assumption that carbon dioxide is the “control knob” that produces warming. Moore says we are told that the fact that carbon dioxide and temperature have risen concurrently over the past 170 years proves a cause-effect relationship. But over the 570 million years of Earth’s history, CO2 and temperature have been out of sync most of the time. Analysis from Antarctic ice cores shows that temperature rises occur on average 800 years preceding the rise in CO2. As Moore patiently explains, if CO2 follows temperature, it can’t be its cause. As for the scary predictions of global warming theory (from rising sea levels that drown coastal cities to millions of climate “refugees”), Moore notes that they rest on computer-generated models “created by authors who decide what they want their model to predict and then build assumptions into the model that provide them with the results they are looking to achieve.”
Fourth, in what to this writer is the most audacious contribution of this book, Moore turns global warming theory on its head. While he dismisses the impact of CO2 on the Earth’s temperature as unproven (he thinks the balance of evidence points to Earth’s temperature being influenced by variations in the cycle of Earth’s orbit around the sun), he does not dispute that since the Industrial Revolution humans have been responsible for releasing increased CO2 into the atmosphere. But this, he insists, is an unqualified good thing. The level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere had been declining slowly and steadily for 150 million years to a low point of 180 parts per million (ppm), the lowest known level in the history of life…