The Climate Caper

The Climate Caper (2009) by Garth Paltridge, is a very good summary of a retired, skeptical atmospheric physicist’s view of the state of climate science and what he sees as the problems with doomsday predictions in the field.

Paltridge’s scientific case is very similar to that of Richard Lindzen, another retired climate scientist who has expressed a lot of skepticism about catastrophic global warming. Paltridge states that, all things being equal, increasing C02 will increase temperature and that this is a likely outcome for 21C. He does, however, say that statements beyond that do not have a strong scientific basis. He also heavily criticizes, the ‘Hockey Stick’ of MBH 98 that is still used in scientific reports given to governments.

Paltridge points out that the basis for predictions for 21C are unverified computer models. He points out that the regional forecasts from these models are completely inconsistent and should not be used as the basis for public policy. He also points out that catastrophic climate change is dependent on water vapour feedback being positive.

Paltridge goes on to look at why climate science has taken the path it has. He points out the massive growth in the number of scientists and the heavy competition that this has led to and the need to secure funding and find work that scientists themselves regard as imporant and gives them pride.

Paltridge’s book is impressively short and to the point. The issues he raises are those that cause distinct embarrassment for the climate establishment. But his views are not spectacular, acknowledge that temperatures will probably rise in 21C but that substantial action to avert these rises is not justified. Paltridge makes his points with wit and style. The book is well worth a read for anyone interested in what knowledgable skeptics say about global warming.


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