Tuesday, 10 January 2012

"Watermelons" by James Delingpole: A Review

“Watermelons” is not, of course, a book about fruit. It seeks to explain how the issue of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) has come to prominence in recent years, and whether in the author’s opinion – notably in view of some serious concern about emails and data that came to light via what has been described as Climategate – it is a sensible use of time and resources to fight the proclaimed harmful nature of AGW, rather than adapt to it or to dismiss it as an exaggerated scare.

One development not touched upon by the author, space no doubt being limited, was the Grainger v Nicholson UK employment tribunal case from 2009, where it was held that the claimant’s asserted belief that CO2 emissions must be cut to avoid catastrophic climate change was capable of amounting to a philosophical belief [my emphasis] protected from discriminatory treatment under the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003. Interestingly, this is at first sight inconsistent with the frequent assertion of AGW theory advocates that “the science is settled”, illustrated in this book with the example of one such advocate calling for the null hypothesis on AGW to be reversed, in other words to require “deniers” to prove that AGW does not exist. OK then, which one is AGW - belief or fact?

A genuinely open minded reader, looking to find out more about the other side of the AGW argument and prepared to accept the occasionally forceful nature in which the author presents his case, would do well from reading this book as well as Nigel Lawson’s “An Appeal To Reason”. Which explains why I’m giving it 5 out of 5.

So why “Watermelons”? Well, let’s just say that the author is making a point about the likely ulterior motives of some in the AGW lobby by drawing attention to the difference in colour between the fruit’s outside and its inside...

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