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The Discovery of Global Warming by Spencer…
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As a former physicist, Weart is an excellent historian of science, but he lets his climate doomsday beliefs color his view in this work. You'd think a physicist would be able to tell the difference between apocalyptic prophecies, computer model speculation and empirically demonstrable falsifiable scientific methodology but I guess that's too much to ask in the age of climate "truth." At least he recognizes the skeptics are treated as heretics and the believers are dogmatic...that should at least be a clue that he's in a cult but he hasn't quite snapped out of it. This is still pretty darned good history of the topic though. Three stars. ( )
  Chickenman | Sep 11, 2018 |
The hisorical view point. Aim is to describe the many converging strands of science that led to the "discovery" of global warming
  jhawn | Jul 31, 2017 |
The author gives an excellent overview of how global warming developed over the last 2 centuries. Covers a lot of ground and helps make sense of many of the fears that have blossomed from the climate change discussion. ( )
  addunn3 | May 19, 2015 |
As the author describes it: "The future actions we might take are not my subject. This book is a history of how we came to understand our present situation." He traces strands of inquiry that go back to the 1800s: why did ice ages occur? how is the industrial revolution affecting the atmosphere? There are things that cause warming and things that cause cooling and complex interactions and feedback loops that don't make for a one-size-fits-all description of the future. Components of a global system have been gradually discovered, understood from data collection and experimentation, and incorporated into increasingly complex computer models that go back to the 1950s. A handy time line notes the significant developments. The political prominence of the issue arose after much wrangling among scientists about what was too murky and uncertain for presentation, or too alarmingly plausible to remain confined to technical journals. This is not a book for computer geekery about the models. It is about the major players, the broad trends, the difficulties of individuals in a small slice of time struggling to comprehend eons on a global scale. I am, after reading this book, more appreciative of the effort involved.

(read 31 Mar 2011)
  qebo | Jul 16, 2011 |
One of the better entries in the family of global warming books, this one takes a historic perspective, tracing the history of just how global warming was discovered. A fascinating look at how science is done. ( )
  Devil_llama | May 9, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0674016378, Paperback)


In 2001 a panel representing virtually all the world's governments and climate scientists announced that they had reached a consensus: the world was warming at a rate without precedent during at least the last ten millennia, and that warming was caused by the buildup of greenhouse gases from human activity. The consensus itself was at least a century in the making. The story of how scientists reached their conclusion--by way of unexpected twists and turns and in the face of formidable intellectual, financial, and political obstacles--is told for the first time in The Discovery of Global Warming. Spencer R. Weart lucidly explains the emerging science, introduces us to the major players, and shows us how the Earth's irreducibly complicated climate system was mirrored by the global scientific community that studied it.

Unlike familiar tales of Science Triumphant, this book portrays scientists working on bits and pieces of a topic so complex that they could never achieve full certainty--yet so important to human survival that provisional answers were essential. Weart unsparingly depicts the conflicts and mistakes, and how they sometimes led to fruitful results. His book reminds us that scientists do not work in isolation, but interact in crucial ways with the political system and with the general public. The book not only reveals the history of global warming, but also analyzes the nature of modern scientific work as it confronts the most difficult questions about the Earth's future.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:57:52 -0400)

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"In The Discovery of Global Warming Spencer R. Weart lucidly explains the emerging science, introduces us to the major players, and shows us how the Earth's irreducibly complicated climate system was mirrored by the global scientific community that studied it."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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