This article may be unbalanced towards certain viewpoints. (January 2013)
First edition cover
|Original title||The Deniers: The world-renowned scientists who stood up against global warming hysteria, political persecution, and fraud*|
*And those who are fearful to do so
|Cover artist||Charles Bork|
|Publisher||Richard Vigilante Books|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover)|
|LC Class||QC981.8.G56 S57 2008|
The Deniers is a 2008 book by Lawrence Solomon, a Canadian environmentalist and writer. Subtitled "The world-renowned scientists who stood up against global warming hysteria, political persecution, and fraud," the book draws attention to a number of scientists and others who, according to Solomon, have advanced arguments against what he calls the "alarmist" view of global warming, as presented by Al Gore, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the mainstream media, and others. The book is based on a series of columns Solomon wrote for Canada's National Post.
Solomon states that, as an environmentalist and active member of the Canadian environmental, anti-nuclear, activist organization Energy Probe, he did not originally question the mainstream opinion on global warming or views that sceptics of the climate change consensus were paid shills of the Energy Lobby. Solomon, however, states that he was aware, based on his experiences opposing nuclear power during the 1970s that it was possible, "that scientists with integrity can hold unconventional and upopular views," by dissenting with the conventional wisdom of the day. Solomon states that at a dinner in 2004, his friend and fellow environmentalist Norm Rubin remarked that the science on global warming was "settled." Solomon challenged Rubin to name three climate-change areas that he felt were settled and Solomon would try to find a credible dissenting opinion for each.
To Solomon's stated surprise, he was able to find reputable scientists who Solomon believed disputed conclusions contained in the IPCC's reports on climate change or media reports on global warming issues. Solomon began profiling these scientists in a series of columns for the National Post under the title, "The Deniers." The series began on November 28, 2006 with its debut article, Statistics needed, describing Edward Wegman's report to the United States House Committee on Energy and Commerce on the Hockey stick controversy.
By 2007 the series had grown to 38 separate articles. Solomon states that he was frustrated with the limitations of newspaper columns, such as a limit on how much he could write, no footnotes, and no graphs. Thus, Solomon states that he decided to write a book expanding his columns on those he labeled "Deniers."
Three of those profiled by Solomon in his "Deniers" columns disputed his portrayals of their opinions and/or research. Sami Solanki stated on his personal website that Solomon's article was a misleading account of his views and reiterated his belief that manmade greenhouse gases are responsible for global warming and their effects would continue to be felt as concentrations increase. Solanki also stated that he felt that The National Post had similarly misquoted other scientists regarding the topic. Nir Shaviv disputed Solomon's 2007 National Post profile of some of his opinions and research findings. Shaviv stated on his blog that he was never interviewed by Solomon and that there were inaccuracies in Solomon's article, but Shaviv did state that global warming happened but he does not believe that it is caused by man. Nigel Weiss, "rebutted claims that a fall in solar activity could somehow compensate for the man-made causes of global warming" and The National Post retracted the allegation and published an apology. Solanki and Shaviv were included in Solomon's subsequent book; Weiss was not.
The book expands Solomon's National Post columns about those who he labeled as "Deniers" and who, in Solomon's opinion, dissented in some way from the mainstream opinion on global warming. In the book, Solomon questions the assertion that the “science is settled”, which he believes is claimed by advocates of the "consensus theory" and criticizes the "alarmist" view on global warming. Among the issues raised and alleged flaws presented are the Hockey stick controversy; the Stern Review; hurricane frequency and intensity; the lack of signs of global warming in Antarctica's climate; reservations on the predictability of climate models and its lack of falsifiability; the Singer-Revelle-Gore controversy; and the alternate solar variation theory, regarding the hypotheses of the warming being driven by the interaction of the solar wind with cosmic rays affecting cloud formation. Each chapter includes end notes with references and website addresses.
Those mentioned in the book are, in order of appearance in the book’s chapters: Edward Wegman, Richard Tol, Christopher Landsea, Duncan Wingham, Robert M. Carter, Richard Lindzen, Vincent R. Gray, Syun-Ichi Akasofu, Tom Segalstad, Nir Shaviv, Zbigniew Jaworowski, Hendrik Tennekes, Freeman Dyson, Antonino Zichichi, David Bromwich, Eigil Friis-Christensen, Henrik Svensmark, Sami Solanki, Jasper Kirkby, Habibullo Abdussamatov, George Kukla, Rhodes Fairbridge, William M. Gray, Cliff Ollier, Paul Reiter, Claude Allègre, Reid Bryson, David Bellamy, and the cautious position of Roger Revelle. A brief curriculum vitae for each scientist is presented. In the final chapter, Mr. Solomon presents his personal point of view on the climate change debate.
Reasons for title
The term "The Deniers" is controversial even among some of those profiled in the book, which often raises the question of why Solomon would choose it as the title for both his book and its related newspaper series. In explaining his decision, Soloman writes:
- "I have been asked many times why I titled my series and now this book The Deniers, in effect adopting their enemies’ terminology. Many of the scientists in this book hate the term and deny it applies to them.
- I could give several reasons, but here is the most important. The scientists are not alone in having their credibility on trial in the global warming debate. They are not the only “authorities” in the argument, and not even the most important "authorities." Most laymen, most citizens, owe most of what we think we know about global warming not to science directly, but to science as mediated by the media and by political bodies, especially the UN and our governments. We citizens, trying to discern what to do about global warming, must judge not only the credibility of the scientists but of those who claim to tell us what the scientists say. To that end, as you read through this book, judge for yourself the credibility of those who dismiss these scientists as cranks or crooks, and call them The Deniers.
- As these rather dramatic reversals for the doomsday view mounted, however, I also noticed something striking about my growing cast of deniers. None of them were deniers."
In a review in The Washington Times, Shawn Macomber, a contributing editor to The American Spectator, described The Deniers as "a timely, necessary antidote to a political and scientific discussion poisoned by hubristic groupthink and...scorched earth (mis)behavior."
In The Vancouver Sun, a book review by Mark Milke, the Frontier Centre's senior fellow in Alberta, said The Deniers "is about the search for scientific explanations for a complex phenomenon by eminent scientists in a better position than most to judge whether a consensus exists on global warming. Their collective verdict, much varied in the particulars, is "No."
A rebuttal was published by Richard Littlemore, the senior writer at the climate change website DeSmogBlog, who argues that the scientists that are portrayed by Solomon as climate change "deniers" do not deny "that observed global warming is real" but that they in fact rather quibble about the tiny details of climate research.
In Forbes, George Gilder of the Discovery Institute wrote: "For investors who know that human-caused global warming is hokum, as proved by the new book The Deniers by Lawrence Solomon, this is a supreme moment of contrarian upside promise."
- Solomon, Lawrence, The Deniers, pp. 3-6.
- Solomon, Lawrence, The Deniers, pp. 6-7; Solomon, Lawrence, "Statistics needed", National Post, November 28, 2006.
- Lawrence Solomon. "Series "The Deniers"". National Post. Retrieved 2008-07-22.
- Lawrence Solomon (2007-03-14). "Unsettled science". National Post. Retrieved 2008-08-31.
- Lawrence Solomon (2007-02-02). "Look to Mars for the truth on global warming". National Post. Retrieved 2008-08-31.
- Lawrence Solomon (2007-11-10). "Climate change by Jupiter". National Post. Retrieved 2008-08-31.
- Lawrence Solomon (2007-02-02). "Warming is real - and has benefits". National Post. Retrieved 2008-08-31.
- Lawrence Solomon (2007-02-02). "Limited role for CO2". National Post. Retrieved 2008-08-31.
- Lawrence Solomon (2007-07-07). "Models trump measurements". National Post. Retrieved 2008-08-31.
- Solomon, Lawrence, The Deniers, p. 7.
- Nigel Weiss, who was profiled in one of Solomon's columns, "rebutted claims that a fall in solar activity could somehow compensate for the man-made causes of global warming"(Nigel Weiss (2007-02-07). "Climate change is chiefly man-made". University of Cambridge. Retrieved 2008-07-20.) and The National Post retracted the allegation and published an apology.(Lawrence Solomon (2007-02-07). "Will the sun cool us?: Apology To Dr. Nigel Weiss". National Post. Retrieved 2008-07-20.) Weiss is not mentioned in the book.
- Sami Solanki. "Sami's home (Science)". Retrieved 2008-12-02.
- Shaviv, Nir, "On the IPCC's summary for policy makers, and on getting interviewed without noticing", ScienceBits, February 5, 2007, accessed 14 May 2010.
- Nigel Weiss (2007-02-07). "Climate change is chiefly man-made". University of Cambridge. Retrieved 2008-07-20.
- Lawrence Solomon (2007-02-07). "Will the sun cool us?: Apology To Dr. Nigel Weiss". National Post. Retrieved 2008-07-20.
- Lawrence Solomon. "Series "The Deniers"". National Post. Retrieved 2008-07-15.
- Lawrence Solomon, pp.7-8 , in "The Deniers"
- Lawrence Solomon, pp.45 , in "The Deniers"
- Shawn Macomber (2008-05-06). "The climate change deniers". The Washington Times. Retrieved 2008-07-15.
- Mark Milke (2008-05-09). "'The Deniers' details flaws in the theories on global warming". The Vancouver Sun. Archived from the original on 2008-06-12. Retrieved 2008-07-15.
- Richard Littlemore (2008-05-15). "Climate change denier at least admits he's playing a game". The Vancouver Sun. Archived from the original on 2014-07-04. Retrieved 2008-07-20.
- George Gilder (2008-04-30). "When Moore Meets Metcalfe". Forbes.com. Retrieved 2008-07-15.
- McBean, Gordon, "The danger of misinformation: the Deniers is so full of misinformation that it is impossible to list it all", Alternatives Journal, 34.4 (2008): 37.
- National Post’s Series “The Deniers” by Lawrence Solomon.