THE SAPIENT SPARROW: conservatism for commoners

"What has always made the State a hell on earth has been precisely that man has tried to make it his heaven."–Holderlin


Although it is only available on as a pre-order, (I have it on my wish list), the book by Lord Nigel Lawson, An Appeal to Reason: A Cool Look at Global Warming, may be the definitive book on “Global Warming” and its attendant flaws and ideology.

Below, I have reprinted an extensive review of the book that appears on  After reading through the review, you may want to place it on your wish list too.

A Ph.D in Global Warming
By Ted Baiamonte (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

This book is an extremely rational look at global warming that ultimately asks the reader, although not explicitly, to consider why human-kind still has a pronounced, if not suicidal, collectivist, and socialistic instinct when in all of human history only freedom has produced salutatory results. As the world socialistically unites around global warming here is the heart of Nigel Lawson’s thoroughly footnoted and brilliant argument. It should encourage you to read the book, and then go on to read more about this incredible issue that so threatens the capacity for reason which we have so painstakingly developed over the centuries.

1) “The 21st century standstill [ 8 years of temperature decline], which has occurred at a time when global CO2 emissions have been rising faster than ever, is something that the conventional wisdom, and the computer models on which it relies, completely failed to predict.” (page 6)

2) “They [The Hadley Centre] now forecast that, after an unpredicted, almost decade-long lull global warming will resume in 2009 or thereabouts”. ( page 7)

3) “For the United States, only three of the last twelve years emerge as among the warmest since records began; and the warmest year of all was 1934.” (page 9)

4) “two thirds of the Green house effect…. is water vapor….Rather a long way behind is carbon dioxide the second most important greenhouse gas.” (Page 10)

5) “….the science of clouds, which is clearly critical (not the least because water vapor [the major component], as we have seen, is far and away the most important contributor to greenhouse gases is one of the least understood aspects of climate science.” (page 12)

6) …the mediaeval warm period, a benign time when temperatures were probably at least as high, if not higher than they are today ….during the Roman period, it was probably even warmer….vineyards existed as far north as Northeastern England.” [where they do not exist today] (page 16)

7) “……..the Greenland ice sheet appears to be melting, while at its centre, the ice is thickening. …all to easy for Al Gore to cherry-pick local phenomena which best illustrate their [his] predetermined alarmist global narrative”. ( page 19)

8) ” …..making a total increase of some 1.3 F [a prediction that is hardly alarming] over the [entire] 20th century as a whole. (page 10).

9) “…is it really plausible that there is an ideal average world temperature, which by some small departures in either direction would spell disaster? The average annual temperature is…41 degrees F in Helsinki… in Singapore…. 81 degrees F. Man can successfully live with that [ a 40 degree F difference].”

10) “…..polar bears, which have been around for millennia, during which there is ample evidence that polar temperatures have varied considerably” (page 30).

11) “Sea levels have, in fact been rising very gradually for as long as records exist, and there is little sign of any acceleration so far. …..may have been less in second half of 20th century than first.” (page 31)

12) “to assess the cost of climate change [assuming climate change] in the absence of adaptation is about as sensible as assessing the risk of catching pneumonia in London on the assumption that we all go out and about in the cold and the rain in our bathing costumes. Yet to a considerable extent that is just what the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change) does.” (page 39)

13) “The Dutch managed [sea level rise] even with the technology of the 16th century.”( page 42)

14) Seven out of 10 [of the worst hurricanes] occurred before 1975.” (Page 50)

15) “…the overwhelming land-borne mass of polar ice [that could effect sea levels] over Antarctica, not Greenland in the North….where the ice sheet is growing” (page 51).

16) “the Gulf Stream [ the ocean conveyer of warm water that Al Gore says may freeze England if interrupted by warming]…is largely a surface current, and thus a wind driven phenomena..[not related to warming].” (page 52)

17) “China’s….annual increase [in emission will] …. far exceed the UK’s total annual emissions.” [China will] increase its power-generating capacity each year by roughly the equivalent of Britain’s total capacity.” (page 55)

18) “On the one hand you [the world] increase the production in China, and on the other you criticize China on the emission reduction issue, so it is unfair.”……”targets should be in terms not of greenhouse gas production but in terms of gas consumption.” (page 56)

19) “It was calculated at the time that if every signatory ratified Kyoto and subsequently met its emission target, [none of the signatories actually did meet their targets] the world’s temperature by 2100 would be 0.1C/0.2F less than would otherwise be the case – a trivial amount”. ( Page 59)

20) “According to the Hadley Center, only by a reduction of about 70% [nearly impossible] in [global] carbon dioxide emissions would we be able to stabilize its concentration in the atmosphere,” ( page 65)

21) “…indeed in 2007 China suspended its production of ethanol for this reason..[ higher food costs, consumes more energy than produces, uses land and rain forests]. ( page 68)

22) “….cap and trade is arbitrary and distortionary covering some admissions and not others….anti competitive, since permits are issued to existing emitters, and not new entrants…scores badly on transparency.. lends itself to lobbying, corruption and abuse.” ( page 74)

23) “…India and China have made billions by building factories whose primary purpose is to produce greenhouse gases, so that carbon traders in the rich world will pay to clean them up.” ( page 76).

24 “.. [A largely gov’t and bureaucracy free carbon tax such as an increase in the gasoline tax, not cap and trade] the only practical means of discovering how expensive carbon needs to be in order to stimulate the changed behavior necessary to stabilize emissions…if that is the objective.”

25) …” saviors of the planet [climate warriors] are, in practice, the enemies of poverty reduction in the developing world. [due to the tremendous costs] (Page 106)

26) “With the collapse of Marxism, those who dislike capitalism..and the United States… have been obliged to find a new creed. For many of them, green is the new red.” ( page 101)

27) “In primitive societies it was customary for extreme weather events to be explained as punishment from the gods for the sins of the people,” ( page 102)

26) “Capitalist rationality does not do away with sub-or super-rational impulses. It merely makes them get out of hand by removing the restraint of sacred or semi-sacred tradition.” (Page 104). also printed to TheIntellectual Republican,, Ted Baiamonte

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