Most books skeptical of global warming aim to dispute certain findings of, say, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Christopher Essex, a mathematician, and Ross McKitrick, an economist, instead, ask the really fundamental questions about global warming: Are the concepts worthwhile or knowable in the first place? Take the global average temperature, fundamental to the question of whether the planet is warming. They point out that the concept is basically meaningless. Temperatures are like telephone numbers: If you add them up, then divide to find an average, it does not tell you anything. Moreover, the properties of climate, "most of which are physical aspects," have "little to do with temperature, and certainly less to do with some official global temperature statistic." Perhaps the most useful idea in this book is that the public is being fed a false Doctrine of Certainty--the claim that we understand the climate, what is wrong with it, and how to fix it, and that one ought not say otherwise publicly.
Eli Lehrer, The American Enterprise
In their lively and lucid book Taken by Storm, The Troubled Science, Policy and Politics of Global Warming the authors defend science as the only way to measure and address the risk of human effects on global climate.
Sallie Baliunas, Techcentralstation.com, July 15, 2003
Even supporters of the Kyoto Accord acknowledge that it will have no appreciable effect. Maybe after years of Kyoto expense and economic distortion, when the next round is proposed, there will be a more meaningful debate on the science of climate. Then we may be glad that Essex and McKitrick endured the slings and arrows of the established orthodoxy.
Chris Judd, Powassen Library Review, June 2003
On Monday, as Environment Minister David Anderson announced funding for 31 new projects under the Climate Change Plan (better known as the Kyoto Accord) I found myself thinking of the most valuable book I read last year -- Taken By Storm. The book does a brilliant job of educating the reader as to the profound shortcomings of science employed in the Kyoto debate. I'm all too familiar with the dumbing down of economic discussions that treat important financial issues as if they are no more worthy of research than a movie review or fashion critique, but Taken By Storm makes it clear that the level of scientific discourse behind the Kyoto Accord was not much better...Researchers and authors of Taken By Storm, Christopher Essex and Ross McKitrick, sum up the problem well when they state that, "Global warming ceased to be the subject of scientific debate years ago. ... Scrutinizing the messenger rather than the message may be an effective political ploy, but what we are engaged in is not, at its heart, a political question." That should give us all pause to think, given the enormous costs to the economy associated with implementing the Kyoto Accord.
Michael Campbell, Vancouver Sun, June 5 2003
Actual science labours on underfunded and unnoticed. As Ross McKitrick and Christopher Essex make clear in the brilliant and useful Taken by Storm, The Troubled Science, Policy and Politics of Global Warming, if, as a scientist you aren't crying wolf these days, you might as well take a nighttime job at the Golden Arches because your funding will evaporate just like that putative ice. Luckily there are a few who keep the torch lit.
Elizabeth Nickson, National Post, April 17, 2003
Do yourself a big favour. Get the book and read it cover to cover.
Gary Reid, Canada Free Press, January 2003
Does the greenhouse effect really work like a greenhouse? Does the average global temperature provide any meaningful climatic information? Is there even a theory of climate? These are some of the questions asked and answered in a new book, Taken by Storm: The Troubled Science, Policy and Politics of Global Warming, written by Christopher Essex, a professor in the Department of Applied Mathematics at the University of Western Ontario, and Ross McKitrick, an associate professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Guelph. As the title notes, the book addresses both science and politics. As we shall see, the science underlying global warming alarmism is flimsier than most people, even many scientists, suspect. How we have reached a point where the world is on the verge of putting into force a treaty, the Kyoto Protocol, that would stifle economic growth in the developed countries and preclude it in the third world, in the absence of scientific evidence, demands an answer.
Paul Georgia, Techcentralstation.com
It was with more than a little pleasure that I recently read an excellent new book, Taken By Storm: the troubled science, policy and politics of global warming, by Canadian scientists Christopher Essex and Ross McKitrick. The book confirms my worst suspicions about this issue and the Kyoto Accord (read the book and decide for yourself), but what struck me most was the authors' description of science as an "individual journey" and not a matter of consensus or group thinking. I wholly agree with this...we must remember that scientific understanding is achieved through experiment and observation in light of proper theory, and not by way of a show of hands.
Guy Crittenden, Solid Waste&Recycling Magazine, February/March 2003
It effectively challenges a nine-point "Doctrine" of conventional thinking, leading to the conclusion that most of the basis for Kyoto is unknown, or even unknowable...The solution proposed is an adversarial, quasi-judicial, procedure rather than appointing supposedly unbiased experts who select like-minded individuals to sit on their panels. As a supposedly unbiased reviewer who has made a somewhat similar proposal, I find this reasonable...Anyone interested in global-warming should go straight to the last chapter that provides an excellent summary. Readers wanting to learn more can then go to the relevant chapters. The book is also an excellent reference source to consult when specific issues arise.
J.A.L. Robertson, North Renfrew Times, January 2003
One of the top books on politics, government and culture for 2002.
The Hill Times
Canadians with the time and the inclination to ponder the controversy over the Kyoto Protocol should read the 2001 IPCC report on climate change (it's available online at www.ipcc.ch) in conjunction with Taken By Storm: The Troubled Science, Policy and Politics of Global Warming by Christopher Essex and Ross McKitrick. ... In sum, Essex and McKitrick persuasively argue that scientists have yet to come up with any theory or model for accurately forecasting the so-called global average temperature over the next three months, let alone 100 years.
Rory Leishman, London Free Press, November 26 2002
Not only is the science behind [Kyoto] uncertain and incomplete -- so is the policy process that prompted most Western countries to agree to its conditions in Kyoto, Japan before hearing from all sides. No where has that been so aptly spelled out than in the newly-minted book by Canadian professors Dr. Christopher Essex and Dr. Ross McKitrick titled Taken by Storm: The Troubled Science, Policy and Politics of Global Warming. These two Ontario scholars aren't arguing that global warming and subsequent threats to our climate are rubbish -- only that to commit to the costly Kyoto Accord based on a scarcity of information on such a complex subject is foolhardy and irresponsible.
Vancouver Province, Dec 3 2002
Essex, an applied mathematics professor at the University of Western Ontario, and McKitrick, a University of Guelph economist, have provided a devastating analysis of how politicians have hijacked the science surrounding global warming and distorted it in grotesque fashion.
John Ferry, Vancouver Province, December 3 2002
Dr. Essex is a serious player in the world of climate science... Now he and Ross McKitrick, an economics professor at Guelph, have published a new book that sets out to explain the limitations of climate-change science to a scientifically challenged public. The book, Taken By Storm,is both irreverent and devastating. Whether it will make a difference is anyone's guess. As Dr. Essex says, "We're about as welcome as skeptics at a seance." Dr. Essex and Dr. McKitrick effectively demolish most of what you think you know. For example, they explain why the concept of one big "global temperature" is meaningless. They explain that some of the central problems of climate science, such as turbulence, remain uncracked. And they explain the serious limitations of climate models, which spit out all the forecasts and predictions that form the basis for Kyoto. (Dr. Essex is an expert in all the things computers can do to get the totally wrong number.) About the only certainty they leave unchallenged is that the climate is, indeed, changing. Always has, always will. Almost everything else remains a matter of significant debate.
Margaret Wente, Globe and Mail, December 7 2002
Essex and McKitrick do some serious debunking. Of course, the true believers will say they’re wrong too, but at least they do three things. One, they offer facts and arguments, rather than a mere mirror of the IPCC’s appeal to authority. Two, they credit everybody with good intentions. Three, recognising that politicians demand a certainty scientists can’t deliver, they propose a better way to make policy on questions such as this where from the macro perspective, everybody – no matter what their narrow specialization -- is an amateur.
Nigel Hannaford, Calgary Herald, December 7, 2002
Taken By Storm is a wonderful book -- unique, powerful and long overdue in the climate change debate. With the federal government steamrolling the Canadian people on the Kyoto Accord, anybody who cares should read this book. The reader must be warned, however, that this is a book about science, and the perversion of science. It is not a flashy exposé to be finished in a single rainy afternoon. Some parts of it are downright deep. Depth is what makes Taken By Storm an important book... This book explains the scientific issues. It explains them simply, yet accurately, if that is all you want. But if you really want to understand the issues, it also explains them in depth, to the point where you will need a textbook to go further. There is no other book like this.
David Wojick, National Post, December 10 2002
This is the best-written, most entertaining, most important Science book I've read in over 40 years! The authors draw on statistical theory, chaos theory, computer modelling, masses of scientific data and a whole lot of common sense to completely devastate the whole idea of "global warming" and any attempts to observe it, predict it or influcence it. They also wade into the issue of why this "Chicken Little" idea has gained such a grip on our politicians (and our purse strings).
Amazon.ca 5-star Review, December 2002