The Hon. Member for Harwich and Clacton recently wrote on his blog that this summer, he would be reading Ian Pilmer’s book Heaven and Earth. This is a book that claims to challenge climate change orthodoxy and prove that man has had little effect on the global climate. It’s also discredited, and this review in The Australian is the best I’ve come across. Despite this, The Spectator went ahead and used it as their front page story.
I contacted the author of the review of Pilmer’s book in The Australian, Professor Michael Ashley. In an email he said “Plimer’s book is certainly not worth reading, unless you are trying to understand the illogical minds of the people on his side of the ‘debate’.” So what should Mr Carswell read?
As a public service, I’ve been in contact with climate change scientists to find out what would be a good starting point for someone interested in finding out more. It appears the debate sometimes tends towards noise, not evidence, in determining our effect on the environment.
Professor Ashley said “I suggest that you head over to http://www.realclimate.org click on the ‘start here’ button, and then browse through the links. At some stage I suggest that you have a look at the IPCC’s AR4 document itself, since it will give you a good idea of just how much work has gone into the consensus position.”
The IPCC’s AR4 document is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s most recent document outlining the scientific evidence for man’s affect on the global climate. It includes the arguments of sceptics within its findings, hence why he calls it the “consensus position”.
I also contacted the Met Office to find some recommended reading. They also said they would be happy for me to contact them for “further suggestions, eg suggestions that are more / less technical.” So if this isn’t enough, ask me to and I will. Or contact them yourself, I’m sure they’d be delighted to point you in the direction of serious scientific evidence and away from sensationalist garbage. They’ve also got their own online guide here.
Here’s what they suggested as a starting point:
“Global Warming – The Complete Briefing
4th Edition (2009)
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
The very comprehensive volumns of the IPCC AR4 can be downloaded from
I also found this book very useful, although it also deals with more general atmospheric issues:
Atmosphere, Weather and Climate Roger G. Barry (, Richard J Chorley)
Binding:Paperback Pages: 528
Publication Date: 2009-08-27 (not yet published)
Edition: 1 (or 9)
So if you’re scouting around looking for an informative read this summer, why not try these? Alternatively, read Ian Pilmer and believe what you like. Just be aware that most of its argument has been discredited and it proves nothing.Sincerely,
PS. Don’t go crazy with your comments until you’ve read the books. It’s not about who can shout the loudest.