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The Predictable Distortion of Global Warming by Scientists, Politicians, and the Media

About the Book

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.

About the Author

Patrick J. Michaels is research professor of environmental studies at the University of Virginia and senior fellow in environmental studies at the Cato Institute. He is past president of the American Association of State Climatologists, winner of the American Library Association’s worldwide competition for public service writing, and an author of the 2003 climate science “Paper of the Year,” awarded by the Association of American Geographers.

What Others Have Said

“This powerful, lucid, fluent book is a triumph of science over superstition. Pat Michaels, a gifted climatologist, tells the straight truth about the hysteria and ignorance surrounding climate change and how the scientific establishment has been led astray.”
—James K. Glassman, Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute

“Pat Michaels has written another fascinating and useful book.… I urge everyone, regardless of the extent of his science background, to read Meltdown. But be prepared to change your way of thinking. Just let go of your preconceived ideas, strap yourself in, and enjoy the ride!”
—George H. Taylor, Past President, American Association of State Climatologists

“Patrick Michaels fully exploits his incomparable wit and credentialed expertise to dismantle the claim that catastrophic climate change is upon us. Using dozens of examples, this working‐​stiff climatologist exposes the exaggerations and outright falsehoods promoted by a media industry hungry for ‘if it bleeds, it leads’ stories.”
—John R. Christy, Director, Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama at Huntsville