Global Warming—The Big Picture: A Review of Brian Sussman’s Climategate

Climategate is thorough, knowledgeable, timely, and very well written. I have been reading about global warming for 20 years, yet this book included important information and details that were new to me.

The title of the book requires clarification. Climategate is not a book-length dissection of the “climategate” scandal that erupted last November when a huge bunch of incriminating e-mails between key global warming advocates came to light. Instead, it gives a big-picture treatment of the science, politics, economics, ideological underpinnings, and personal agendas behind the global warming issue.

The author of Climategate, Brian Sussman, is a trained meteorologist who was a TV weatherman in California for many years. He currently hosts radio station KFSO’s top-rated morning talk show in the San Francisco Bay area.

For most of his book, Sussman writes in a breezy, folksy, upbeat style that makes learning important information enjoyable. The tone shifts to earnest eloquence toward the end, when he warns us about the great dangers to liberty and prosperity posed by the ruthlessly ambitious elitists behind the global warming scam.

The most prominent of these elitists is, of course, Al Gore, who—according to Sussman—is well on his way to becoming the world’s first anti-carbon billionaire. Gore’s elitism is encapsulated in his statement, “There are times when a small group has to make difficult decisions that will affect the future of everybody.” Gore is all too happy to accept his self-appointed responsibility to restructure our lives.

Sussman provides plenty of evidence that Gore and other global warming activists bend, if not mutilate, truth and science in pursuit of money, power, and prestige. For example, in Gore’s Oscar-winning horror film, An Inconvenient Truth, the graph showing an apparent correlation between global temperature and CO2 in the atmosphere is shown briefly, so that viewers won’t have time to notice that increases in CO2 occurred after increases in temperature, thereby demolishing the assertion that CO2 causes global warming.

Sussman also recounts how an English court found that Gore’s “film contains nine scientific errors” in the context of “alarmist” and “exaggerated” content. That court ruled that An Inconvenient Truth amounted to “political brainwashing” for partisan, nonscientific objectives, and further ordered that the movie could not be shown to British schoolchildren without being accompanied by a 56-page instruction guide which points out where Gore’s claims “do not accord with mainstream scientific opinion.”

Climategate is a wide-ranging exposé of characters and special-interest groups that have exploited the global warming scare for self-serving purposes. For example, Sussman reports that the grandstanding dictator of the Maldives has demanded billions of dollars from the developed world on the grounds that human-caused global warming threatens to cause his low-lying chain of islands to disappear. In fact, the sea level there is falling.

One group exposed by Sussman is the Society of Environmental Journalists. SEJ provides lists for journalists preparing stories on global warming. One list recommends trusted advocates of global warming; the other blackballs scientists who are global warming skeptics.

Sussman also explains some of the measuring errors that have clouded the global warming issue. For example, adding new weather stations near urban heat islands, and arbitrarily “expanding” the Arctic to include an additional four million square miles of territory farther south from the North Pole, both produce an illusory increase in average temperatures.

Climategate includes the most detailed explanation I have yet seen of how untenable the anthropogenic CO2-as-culprit theory is. Sussman gathers the scientific information about the relative heat-trapping capacity of different atmospheric gasses, shows CO2’s percentage of the whole (both with and without the major greenhouse gas, water vapor) then factors in mankind’s share of total global CO2 emissions. Bottom line? Humans are responsible for about one-ninth of one percent of the greenhouse effect (and, as Sussman briefly explains, the greenhouse effect is only one of several factors that influence earth’s temperature).

Sussman’s chapter summarizing the pros and cons of the various sources of energy provides an excellent primer on the subject. His information about how corporate and political insiders stand to make billions in controlling the government-rigged energy market under a cap-and-trade scheme while regimenting Americans under a yoke of Big Brother-like, high-tech monitoring devices is chilling.

It is difficult to overstate the importance of this book. Climategate provides a comprehensive debunking of global warming mythology. It sounds a timely warning about how grim our future will be if powerful elitists and special-interest groups succeed in imposing their agenda on us. If you only understand global warming in bits and pieces, this is the book that puts it all together for you in the proper perspective and context.

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  • Joe DeVet

    I’ve said this before, and don’t post this if I’m becoming tedious on this.

    As Catholics, we have a “preferential option for the poor.” The poor have the best chance of bettering their lot in a robust economy. Despite all our present difficulties, ours is the strongest economy, in part because it is based on relatively free markets. The poor in our economy are better off than the poor elsewhere–otherwise, why would millions come here at great risk and hardship to themselves, legally or illegally, to be poor in the US?

    Since a robust economy is necessary for the best outcome for the poor, it follows that Catholics should be very wary about schemes to interfere with the free market. Yes, it is necessary sometimes. But more often, it is a temptation to do harm, through unintended consequences. We must be well-informed about economics, and must oppose unfounded schemes which will harm the economy, and in so doing really hurt the poor. “Global warming” remedies fall into this category.

    Yes, as Catholics we know that at the same time we must be stewards over God’s creation. If you look past the “global-warming” hysteria however, in a way this also calls us to oppose “global warming” remedies. Why? Because we have limited resources to devote to ecological matters. We must be very selective where these resources are directed, and shun eco-hoaxes. There have been many of these hoaxes in the past 2-3 decades; global warming is just the most recent, and the largest of these. Its proposed remedy, which is admitted by the AGW lobby to be only a partial remedy at that, would roughly double our energy costs. Think what this “tax” would do to job creation and economic recovery, to say nothing of your own household’s budget.

    We do not deny valid measurements which show recent warming (though from this article, and from the leaked e-mails last year it appears that even the temperature readings and their interpretation have been subjected to ideological tampering.) What we deny is the idea that these changes have been adequately interpreted, and that there is an urgent and immediate necessity to impoverish the world to respond to these interpretations. What harm can it do to take 20 or 30 years to sort out the scientific complexities, and if there really is cause for alarm, to work out a more reasonable public policy than what has been proposed?

    My prediction, though, is that the more we look into the issue with scientific objectivity, the less it will seem that we need to make adjustments in our economy–the very point the article makes.

  • PrairieHawk

    When I was a kid in the 70′s the big worry was that we were headed for another Ice Age (global cooling). Then in the 80′s and 90′s it was ozone depletion–remember the ozone hole? Whatever became of that?

    The devil is good at inventing distractions that cause us to focus our attention away from where it really needs to be. The “human-activity-is-bad” motif serves to keep us from looking at areas where our activity really IS bad, i.e., legalized abortion, rampant contraception, embryonic stem-cell research, and all the crimes we daily commit against life. These are the sins that cry out to Heaven for vengeance, not excessive CO2 levels in the atmosphere. When you and I face Jesus at our particular judgments, I can guarantee you one question He will NOT ask is what was our carbon footprint.

  • Loretta

    I’m all for moving toward (and funding research for) renewable resources.
    It’s just common sense, and it is good use of the materials God gave us.

    But common sense almost never propels science funding forward.
    So if you’re looking for a good reason, think food supply.
    Our dependence on foreign oil leaves EVERYONE at the mercy of the supplier.
    Here in New England, where 95% to 98% of our food is imported from outside New England, we have maybe a 3-day supply of food at any given time for the population. If all of a sudden our oil supply ceases, so does our food.