I am reaching the end reading this very unusual but highly interesting book. The author Claire L. Parkinson is a researcher (ex-researcher?) at Nasa’s Goddard Space Flight Center, specializing in sea-ice problems. She is an IPCC co-author and certainly can not be labeled a “skeptic”. Calling her “alarmist” also would be wrong. She very strongly defends the skeptics rights and raison d’être, even if she does not agree with many of their opinions.
Her (may be muted, but nevertheless very outspoken) sympathy for skeptical minds is “rewarded” by a rather strange foreword of Prof. Lonnie G. Thomson, who dissociates herself from the author’s too liberal (= consensus critical) penchant.
It is a big book of ca. 300 pages, covering a very broad range of subjects. The author starts by a large part relating the evolution of earth’s climate and it’s often abrupt changes. There is nothing new here, but the presentation is very readable. I especially liked her chapter on the skeptics (like Lindzen, Singer, Spencer) and on the problems of climate modeling. She deplores the rough handling most skeptics get by the mainstream scientists (comfortably nested in their cosy consensus club); she also gets angry when these people are declared stooges of the oil industry, revealing that mainstream scientists can get (and get) whatever funding from these industries without anybody of the consensus crew taking concern.
Her chapter on the problems and pitfalls of modelling is extremely interesting to read, as she begins by a personal experience (modeling polnyas) which showed how hasty conclusions from models can be way out of the mark. She also deplores the rushing into print of partial research results, which often are again faulted a couple of months later.
The book was intended as a warning not to embark in grandiose geo-engineering projects, as there are so many lessons of the past showing how awfully wrong such schemes may go. These warnings, with illustrative examples, are talked about up and again, but I appreciate that they only make a small part of this book.
I am not in line with everything the author writes or thinks; but this book is such a refreshing and surprising venture coming from a community were liberal minds are not always welcome. To be recommended!