Book review: ‘Climate Myths’ required reading for skeptics, believers
LAKE TAHOE — Dr. John J. Berger has authored 11 books on climate, energy and natural resources. He has been distinguished as a professor, journalist and environmental industry leader. He now introduces, “Climate Myths: The Campaign Against Climate Science,” published by Northbrae Books. As a teaching tool, “Climate Myths” is invaluable for both skeptics and believers. Its single focus is to bust wide-open myths that challenge climate science. This is not a political topic nor should it be. It affects all of us. Future generations rely on us to get it right. But for the layperson, when it comes to climate change, discerning fact from fiction can be difficult. Conflicting information fogs the issue and creates doubt. “Climate Myths” is bent on setting the record straight. If you are seeking answers, it will debunk commonly held beliefs and shed light on the best scientific facts available in the world to date. Current and continuing global weather occurrences command our attention: severe climate patterns, record-setting temperatures, wildfires, rising sea levels, melting glaciers and drought. In 2012 the continental United States experienced the hottest summer ever to the devastation of crops and grazing land.Greenhouse gasses due to human activity are identified as the underlying cause of climate change, although some continue to challenge this claim. Did you know that the United States alone burns 800 million gallons of oil every day? Coal, the greatest producer of carbon pollution, generates 35 percent of our electricity. Berger asks, “Why can’t our congressional leaders be swayed by empirical evidence of the highest order … and act for the public good? His conclusion: “Our political process has been hijacked by the fossil fuel industry … for profits that measure in the billions of dollars each year.” Does this not remind us of a similar scenario with the tobacco industry? Revealing a well-funded campaign against climate science Berger believes is in our best interest. “It’s one thing to dislike the messenger but it’s quite another to deny the very language and rules of science.” Some fear government intervention, to which Berger says, “This is individualism gone cancerous.” “It’s only a theory and not proven” deniers say, this same argument used against evolution. Others warn, “It would bring economic disaster in the form of high taxes, lost jobs and lower productivity.” Or simply, “There’s no need to panic, the changes are slight, only a degree or two and part of a natural pattern,” — 11 myths and 11 rebuttals — check them out. “Climate denial is an industrial conspiracy. Its purpose is to defeat science, refute fact, and make a mockery of any ambition to leave behind a better world for those who follow us,” says Berger. You be the judge.— Gloria Sinibaldi resides part-time in South Lake Tahoe. Her short story “A Means To Survive” appears in “Tahoe Blues.” She is a job coach, trainer and author. Contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.