Books you don’t have to read past the title, Part 2
UPDATE2: This is not a full review, but a debunking of the primary thesis of the book on the basis of information anyone can access online. I have now read the book and can say with full confidence that what is online is not entirely representative of the book: It is even worse than I describe here, with, for instance, some egregious numerical errors and inconsistencies, as I’ll discuss in later posts. In the meantime, you can read this detailed review, “A Fantasy Future,” at the American Scientist by a leading expert on the impact of climate change on cities, who concludes the book “fails on the most important criterion: a good knowledge of the topic under discussion.”
UPDATE1: The author comments here and I reply. The author has yet more comments below, including a morbid bet that I reject.
So many bad climate books, so little time. How thoughtful, then, of an author to save everybody time with a title that lets you know whether or not you should read it.
Of course, the champion of books you don’t have to read past the title is Fred Singer’s lame anti-science treatist, Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1,500 Years. As I noted in “Unstoppable disinformation every 15 minutes from Fred Singer,” the most absurd thing about the book is that the Earth wasn’t actually in a warm trend “” unstoppable or otherwise “” 1500 years ago! Doh. [Yes, during the Medieval Warm Period, parts of the earth were a bit warmer, but that peaked (below current temperatures) 1,000 years ago.]
And now we have another time-saving title, from UCLA environmental economist Matthew Kahn, Climatopolis: How Our Cities Will Thrive in the Hotter Future. Uhh, no — see “Real adaptation is as politically tough as real mitigation, but much more expensive and not as effective in reducing future misery.”
A key “thesis” of this book is that people will just move to northern cities and be fine. To see how poorly thought out this notion is just start searching the book on Amazon for northern cities. Yes, the obvious first choice is Moscow, where you will learn on page 7 … wait for it … “Moscow is unlikely to suffer from extreme heat waves.” Talk about your badly timed books (see Media wakes up to Hell and High Water: Moscow’s 1000-year heat wave and “Pakistan’s Katrina”).