Taken by Storm: The Troubled Science, Policy and Politics of Global Warming


320 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations, Maps, Bibliography, Index
ISBN 1-55263-212-1
DDC 363.738'74





Reviewed by W.J.C. Cherwinski

W.J.C. Cherwinski is a professor of history and Canadian Studies Program
supervisor at Memorial University of Newfoundland. He is the co-author
of Lectures in Canadian Labour and Working-Class History.


The fact that one of the authors, McKitrick, is a senior associate of
the Fraser Institute, a right-wing think tank, warns of yet another
apologia for business development and its contribution to the apparent
climate anomalies being experienced throughout the world. Closer
examination of this volume, however, reveals an interesting line of
reasoning that should be given due consideration as the debate over
global warming and its impact “heats up.”

The authors, a professor of applied mathematics and an economist,
challenge the basic assumptions surrounding global warming—assumptions
they label “The Doctrine of Certainty”—by arguing that the data
are flawed because of risky methodology based on a combination of
averaging and the fact that the data are largely land-based and
concentrated in the Northern Hemisphere. The media, for their part, have
simplified assumptions about global warming to denote a crisis.
Unfortunately, the Kyoto Protocol, which is supposed to provide a
solution, is equally flawed because its provisions cannot be enforced
and the results, when implemented, cannot be measured.

The authors call for a cautious approach to the issue of global
warming—an approach that is based less on irrational fear and more on
solid science. Their arguments are undermined by their fondness for cute
language (“Professor Thermos,” “mutant monsters,” etc.), but
they deserve to be heard all the same.


Essex, Christopher, and Ross McKitrick., “Taken by Storm: The Troubled Science, Policy and Politics of Global Warming,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 21, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/18217.