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Monday, January 2, 2012

The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming (and Environmentalism) by Christopher C. Horner

"Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing."

Published in 2007 by Regnery Publishing
366 pages

I am a former environmentalist.

Quotes like the one in my title (from Tim Wirth, a former Senator and Clinton State Department official) pushed me to be a FORMER environmentalist.

Now I am a conservationist. I do believe some wild spaces should be saved. I recycle (A lot!). I coordinate my school's paper recycling program. I own several of those little fluorescent bulbs and I use them every day. I don't spray chemicals all over my yard. I don't dump motor oil down the drain. I pick up garbage when I walk the dog. I go camping. I go to the Earth Day celebration in downtown Indianapolis because it's a great place to get information on clean-up events and they give away free trees! I also love it when they assume that I must be an ultra-liberal just to be there!

Now that I've said all of this, let me say that I am not an environmentalist. I used to be. Way back when, when I first started teaching, I showed movies to my kids in world geography that said the world as we know it is going to end by the year 2000. Mass flooding, all of the fish dead, mass starvation, etc. They were older versions of An Inconvenient Truth that featured Hollywood stars and quoted heavily from Gore's Earth in the Balance.

I am now embarrassed by that.

I did not listen to other sources.

I ignored my training as a junior historian.

I did not look to see if this has happened to us before. Santanaya's famous quote about learning from history went right over my head. Even worse, I was ignoring my poli-sci training and not looking at the motivations of some of these reports.

Christopher C. Horner
The globe cools. The globe warms. We've had recent periods of global warming, recent periods of cooling. Just like your body is not always 98.6 degrees, the earth's temperatures deviates.

Now, on to the book.

I bought this book because of an extensive radio interview I heard with the author, Chris Horner. He has a wickedly sharp sense of humor. He marshals his facts and takes it to his opponents in an entertaining, yet effective manner.

Even if you are absolutely dead-set against Horner's point of view, it does provide a useful counterpoint to Al Gore's more prominent An Inconvenient Truth. To be honest, I would equate the book with that movie. The science is not mind-numbingly detailed and complicated. It is boiled down to the essentials so that the average reader doesn't fall asleep. If I were to return to my old habits and show environmentalist panic material I would also have my students read this book.

Horner's strength is not going after the science. Rather, it lies in going after the policies that some politicians and groups are advocating in the name of the science. On that score Horner is a bulldog - relentless and effective. His ability to dig up the most damning quotes is quite impressive.

This is a great read. I'll try to share it with others, but I doubt that the ones who really need to read it will want to. It's hard to shake those old beliefs. I know, I've already made this trip from environmentalist wacko to responsible conservationist.

I rate this book 5 stars out of 5.

This book can be found on Amazon.com here: Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming.

Reviewed on April 12, 2007.

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