Now that autumn is upon us, we're coming up on peak season for curling up in front of a nice fire with a hot cup of something and a good book. And now, there are two new climate denial books that look to fit perfectly in that cozy picture. As kindling for the fire, obviously.
(We’re joking, obviously, as no one should ever advocate for burning books. Composting is clearly the much more sustainable option.)
Over the summer we saw Bjorn Lomborg and Michael Shellenberger do the conservative media circuit to promote their books, but these most recent two works probably won’t get that high-profile a reception.
What they are getting is the usual lip service from their fellow deniers, specifically a pair of posts on WUWT from Anthony Watts last week.
The first was a post cobbled together from the Amazon page and a press release for an updated version of “Climate Change: The Facts” for 2020. It’s a climate compendium from Australia’s leading tobacco/mining/oil/etc.-funded free-market climate denial organization, the Institute of Public Affairs. Every few years they aggregate what they think is effective climate propaganda from the usual slate of disinformers (paid and amateur alike), and do the thing conservative groups do where they publish a Potemkin book to make it look like their ideology has a rigorous intellectual foundation instead of being a flimsy oil-funded facade of an argument.
Aside from the propaganda products glued together with industry funding, the other type of climate denial book are those that are very obviously self-published.
For that, we turn to the other book Watts promoted but was obviously too uninterested to actually read and review: Joe Bastardi’s “The Weaponization of Weather.” This time, instead of reading and saying something intelligent about the contents of Bastardi’s book, Watts just excerpted a Washington Times review, and then added on a description from Amazon (along with an embedded referral link to buy it on Amazon — you know, the website owned by Jeff Bezos, one of those snooty elite climate-loving billionaire that deniers love to hate.)
Bastardi appears to have self-published his book with the help of Gatekeeper Press, which offers rock-bottom prices to help authors edit, distribute and design their books. And the (utter lack of) professionalism shows, because the cover of Bastardi’s book features him posing very… “look at my big strong arm”-ly, holding a lime green and orange-painted machine gun over a background of clouds and the American flag (which he’s also wearing as a headband.)
Boasting of a forward by Sean Hannity, Bastardi’s book cover is likely intended to be a parody of alarmists, or something, but is really just a revealing testament to the deeply unserious pseudoscience mostly likely contained within.
We assume as much, anyway, based on his recurring appearances on Fox News as the denier meteorologist who both in terms of physical appearance and general disposition, is most likely to be mistaken for the orc from Lord of the Rings who says “Looks like meat’s back on the menu, boys!”
So no, we’re not going to read either of these books. And neither should you.
Because here’s the thing. If Tony Watts — the guy who’s trying to get his blog readers to buy these books, the precise audience for whom they’re intended — if he can’t even be bothered to read enough of them to say something original, why should we?
And why should anyone else?
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