Why is news about global warming always bad? Why do scientists so often offer dire predictions about the future of the environment? In Meltdown, climatologist Patrick J. Michaels says it’s only natural. He argues that the way we do science today–when issues compete with each other for monopoly funding by the federal government–creates a culture of exaggeration and a political community that then takes credit for having saved us from certain doom.
Michaels starts with a succinct discussion of climate‐change science and then unrolls a litany of falsehood, exaggeration, and misstatement. He cites hundreds of errors and exaggerations in scientific papers, news reports, and television sound bites–from the “National Assessment” of global warming, a Clinton‐era document that used computer models that its authors knew did not work, to the infamous New York Times story about the melting of the North Pole, published in September 2000 and halfheartedly retracted three weeks later.
An eminently readable and often humorous critique, Meltdown explains why these exaggerations persist and what to do about them.