Review- An Appeal to Reason: A cool look at Global Warming by Nigel Lawson (2009)

I shuddered to read this book. Were my prevailing views on climate change actually suspect?

Let us see. Mr Lawson, was born in 1932. That makes him 82 this year. He was also a former Energy Secretary in the British government. That is one point or some form of expertise if not experience. Would he still be beholden to corporate interests and thus aim to influence economic policy? The short answer is no. There is not much more to be had financially, not for him at least (unless he lives another 100 years).

I have completed the Introduction; Chapter 7; concluding Chapter 8; and the Afterword.

Based on what I had earlier seen against the Stern Review, he has raised some reasonable doubts. Further, he raises two other valid considerations. The predominant consensus or agreement from the scientific community does not imply they are the fount of all wisdom i.e. the minority does not make for fallibility. (It similarly depends on how this consensus is derived. Who were asked? How and what were asked?)

Upon achieving an objective scientific result, we would need to prioritise climate change policy on the to do list. This list as I assume includes:
– poverty & starvation
– disease (most recently Ebola spreading out of Africa)
– crime (drugs, human trafficking, global match fixing)
– education
– international security (including terrorism)
– domestic conflict (such as ethnic rioting)

One looks at the above list and possibly hopes for a magic pill that would make everything go away. That would hardly happen though.

What is the potential cost? Can we afford the dangers sounded off by the environmental ‘alarmists’ and lean more to the skeptics? For one day, we would be voting in governments who would represent us to take these decisions.

Reading References

University at Albany, New York. (1992). Scientists’ Agreement and Disagreement about Global Climate Change:Evidence from Surveys

NASA. GISS Surface Temperature Analysis (for graphs of temperature changes, some from 1880)

BBC. (2006). At-a-glance: The Stern Review (representative of UK government policies challenged by Lawson)


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