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Sex on Earth: A Celebration of Animal Reproduction
Jules Howard

How to Change Minds About Our Changing Climate: Let Science Do the Talking the Next Time Someone Tries to Tell You...

How to Change Minds About Our Changing Climate: Let Science Do the Talking the Next Time Someone Tries to Tell You... - Seth Darling, Doug Sisterson "Skeptics standing in the way of solutions are asking us to stick our heads in the sand."p211

I am not a skeptic and I am not the target audience for this book precisely since this book held nothing new for me as I have written on this topic many many times before. However, anything on the topic interests me. Unfortunately I found this particular book tedious and lacking seriousness. Honestly it felt more like propaganda for non-skeptics and that just left a poor taste in my mouth. Science does not take sides, it just presents the facts.

All of the attempts at making it layman and I don't know, readable?, made it difficult to read. The level of red ink I would have taken to this was ridiculous.I know scientists are not known for their writing abilities but they should have been able to do better than this. There were far too many poor attempts at humor, seemingly hand-drawn diagrams and exclamation points everywhere. Exclamations do not belong in serious scientific writings, every time I saw one I cringed. There was also a lack of high-brow writing, with the authors choosing to use words such as "stuff" to refer to natural gas etc.

"For example, for the most recent complete assessment report (2007), there were more than eight hundred contributing authors. (Makes you wonder if the IPCC's Nobel Peace Prize was for peacefully figuring our in what order to put all their names!)" p30

"So what sort of thing might make the polyps kick the algae out? It's not cheating with their best friend, if that's what you were thinking." p62


I also found the number of parentheses distracting, such as (we'll discuss that in chapter 13), and it made the arguments feel disjointed. I particularly found the following tendency annoying:

seventy billion (that's with a "b")

Nearly every time a billion or trillion was mentioned the authors made a point to include a parentheses reinforcing which letter came before -illion.

In terms of the actual science rather than the writing, I did not feel as though the arguments were very concise. The distracting writing style certainly added but the authors chose to use more layman explanations that were little better than skeptic claims. Where was their evidence? Yes, they stated information found over the years but why not include specific studies and their findings? Simply telling the audience findings that support climate change will not convince a skeptic, they truly have their heads in the sand. I wish there had been more specific science, studies included and just something to bolster their arguments. They did not need to convince me, they need to be able to convince skeptics. I know many of the studies they took the information from, I've read the actual studies. Why not include them??

Overall not a well-written book by any means, a frustrating read for me in general. I think they needed someone with writing skills and knowledge of climate change to look this over, it appears this step was skipped.

Notable statements:

"Nearly all skeptics arguments are based on a common error: cherry-picking pieces of data without seeing the big picture." p11

"There is an important role for skepticism in science, but skeptics' arguments regarding climate change are usually governed more by money and politics than by the rules of scientific reasoning and consensus." p11

"Of the forty-eight contiguous states, thirty have warmed by more than 2 degrees Fahrenheit since 1970, and seventeen have warmed by 2.5 degrees Fahrenheit or more." p87

"Sheikh Ahmed Zaki Yamani, a former Saudi Arabian oil minister, famously said in 1973, "The Stone Age didn't end because we ran out of stones." p210