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Best sceptic books

Reader Pat writes from Australia, wondering what sceptic books he should be recommending to his local library. He suggests that they will take as many as five different titles, so tick as many suggestions as you like in the poll below.


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Reader Comments (69)

This thread is all about commenters here voting for books they have actually read and wish to recommend (or not).

You are crassly subverting that process by trying to shove your brand new Kindle-only collection of material into the poll - even though nobody's had a chance to read it yet.

Can you please do the decent thing and stop it?

Perhaps next time there is a poll like this your electric book will have a legitimate place in it. Obviously that is not the case now.

One last thing. Your offensive, insulting tone throughout my exchange with you will no doubt have been noticed by others, and will not do your credibility building exercise much good.

Nov 29, 2010 at 1:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Oops, missed a bit.

This is utter rubbish which has no bearing on anything I have said here:

Perhaps BBD could advise us all where we might obtain the other books without paying for them? Clearly he resents the fact we have the audacity to seek payment for the hard work we've put into our 2 volume publication being sold at a rock bottom price.

Nov 29, 2010 at 1:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

BBD, I suggest you try keeping to the facts and answer me this question - what's a list like this worth if its fails to include the NUMBER ONE selling skeptic book? Slaying the Sky Dragon: Death of the Greenhouse Gas Theory is AMAZON's #1 seller in the following 2 categories 'Earth Sciences' and 'Environment' - go check!! That's despite your continued lame efforts to trash a book you've not even read. But if you wish you could avail yourself of the free sample chapters here:

As for the criteria for inclusion to the list, Mr Montford stated it thusly, "what sceptic books should [reader Pat] be recommending to his local library." Am I not entitled to raise the issue? The longer this groundbreaking book is off the list the less credible the whole exercise. If it were on the list then voters have a choice-what's wrong with that? I know I wouldn't vote for a book I'd not read so where's the problem in including the 'Slayers' book?? Moreover, I don't see you attempting to slag Aynsley Kellow's self-promotion - why is that I wonder?

You don't even have the good grace to concede I have made several valid points. Indeed, I fear this whole "best of' exercise" will soon degenerate into farce because the Bish is actually plugging his own book (its on the list!) so at some point others (not me) may accuse HIM of bias against a better selling, more popular publication. Frankly, the longer the 'Slayers' book is off the list the more distasteful this whole thing looks.

Nov 29, 2010 at 4:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn O'Sullivan

You don't even have the good grace to concede I have made several valid points. Indeed, I fear this whole "best of' exercise" will soon degenerate into farce because the Bish is actually plugging his own book (its on the list!) so at some point others (not me) may accuse HIM of bias against a better selling, more popular publication. Frankly, the longer the 'Slayers' book is off the list the more distasteful this whole thing looks.

You didn't make any valid points.

Your little misleading habits are amusing too. The book is #1 in the Kindle sci/env category. For now. When I looked this morning it was about #4,700 in the Amazon bestseller chart and didn't feature in the top 100 science books.

You tell me to stick to the facts.

Yet you can't even be straight about the number of articles you have gathered up. You repeatedly claim there are 24 authors including yourself. Yet a glance at the list shows that you have double-counted Siddons, Olson, Ball and Anderson. So that's 19 plus you. Why do it, John? It saps credibility.

As does your reappearance and complete failure to respond to my clear criticisms above. That tells its own story.

Then you round off with this:

I fear this whole "best of' exercise" will soon degenerate into farce because the Bish is actually plugging his own book (its on the list!) so at some point others (not me) may accuse HIM of bias against a better selling, more popular publication. Frankly, the longer the 'Slayers' book is off the list the more distasteful this whole thing looks.

'The more distasteful this whole thing looks'? Do you have any idea what you sound like?

It's a shame there's only you and me on this thread anymore, as some of your stuff deserves a wider audience.

Nov 29, 2010 at 6:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD


Clearly John O'Sullivan has no clue how his posting here appears to potenital book purchasers. I have already reached a conclusion as to the quality of this book based on the quality, or lack thereof, of his posts. There's no getting around that, no matter how many uncivil counterpoints he wishes to add. The best thing he can do if indeed he wishes to pimp this book is to say no more. I wonder if he has enough sense to follow that course.

Nov 29, 2010 at 6:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterEarle Williams

Thank you Earle.

Nov 29, 2010 at 7:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

For many years, I have been making submissions to my local libraries wherever I live, to get in certain books (not just on the AGW topic). On the whole, they comply and try to get the books. I started on my current library when I realised there were about 100 books all promoting some aspect of the "Green" AGW agenda, and only one on the opposing viewpoint ("The Deniers"). Now they have got in several more books including "The Hockey Stick Illusion". I recommend that people write to their library with a list, and that's all. No ranting. Also now that many libraries have online portals, you might find a section there where you can recommend new books. It is helpful to the library if you do a little homework yourself, and get the ISBN number, the publisher, date of publication, and also send a short review of the book and where you think it can be purchased. This is available usually from doing a search on Amazon.

Nov 29, 2010 at 11:11 PM | Unregistered Commenterxyzlatin

An additional vote for Solomon. It was the book I used to recommend to agnostics (I don't engage with believers) before HSI appeared. What struck me was that most of the specialists that Solomon interviews say, very roughly, "I'm sure the rest of AGW science is hunky dory, but the little bit that I'm an expert in is tosh".

Nov 29, 2010 at 11:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterJane Coles

And I have read many of the above books (not all yet), but the best book so far (not on the above list) is "The Deniers" by Lawrence Solomon. The reason this book is so compelling, is because Solomon is a green environmentalist who set out to find the scientist deniers, and found all sorts of horrible things that he didn't expect. He set out to prove a point, and then found out that the skeptics who were complaining about dirty tricks, were right.
This book is an easy read as it is a compilation of articles he had previously written on various scientists. :

(From Wiki review) the following are listed in the book. "Edward Wegman, Richard Tol, Christopher Landsea, Duncan Wingham, Robert M. Carter, Richard Lindzen, Vincent R. Gray, Syun-Ichi Akasofu, Tom Segalstad, Nir Shaviv, Zbigniew Jaworowski, Hendrik Tennekes, Freeman Dyson, Antonino Zichichi, David Bromwich, Eigil Friis-Christensen, Henrik Svensmark, Sami Solanki, Jasper Kirkby, Habibullo Abdussamatov, George Kukla, the late Rhodes Fairbridge, William M. Gray, Cliff Ollier, Paul Reiter, Claude Allègre, the late Reid Bryson, David Bellamy, and the cautious position of the late Roger Revelle. A brief curriculum vitae for each scientist is presented. In the final chapter, Mr. Solomon presents his personal point of view on the climate change debate." (ref Wiki)

Nov 29, 2010 at 11:33 PM | Unregistered Commenterxyzlatin

John O'Sullivan and BBD: Will you two get over yourselves! No matter what list of books you put on poll, someone's ox is going to get gored. Deal with it. Personally the way you two have gone after each other and indulged in snide comments, makes me want to say: "A Pox On Both Your Houses" As of right now, I am inclined to dismiss comments from each of you out of hand. John O'Sullivan feels his book should have been on the list, and you BBD think that "caveat emptor" should apply to this book. Why not let the readers decide what they want to take from these volumes. And more importantly, the poll asked what books you think the library should invest in. As several people have said you can always make suggestions to your local library or even better yet put your money where your mouth is and buy/donate a copy to your local library. I know of no library that will not take a donation of a relevant or topical book to their collection.

Nov 30, 2010 at 3:11 AM | Unregistered CommenterGilbert K.Arnold

Gilbert has called this about right and Andrew Montford has clarified in a personal email to me that he will kindly address the book at a later time. I'm sure he will be most interested in the first of our shocking revelations hitherto unreported and which are now being covered on Climate Depot.

Nov 30, 2010 at 10:18 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn O'Sullivan

Science and Public Policy: The Virtuous Corruption of Virtual Environmental Science is superb. It is great that the book has been lowered in price. The bits on the development of models and the vilification of Lomborg are fascinating.

The Climate Fix by Roger Pielke Jnr is also a terrific book. Pielke Jnr is not a skeptic but his suggestion, which is the same as Lomborg's, is wise. He writes clearly about the uncertainty in climate politics. The book has been very well reviewed except by people with an axe to grind.

Nov 30, 2010 at 10:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterSteve X


I stand by my comments regarding what JOS was trying to do. If you think his behaviour here is acceptable, fine. I don't.

Nov 30, 2010 at 11:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

BBD: I don't condone either of your behaviors. Indulging in snide comments is rude, unnecessary, and uncalled for. You both should have left the subject alone after the first exchange. It doesn't matter who started it, it's not civil discussion. And that is more important to than trying to score points against one another. As I said, from now I will take anything either of you posts with a 40kg block of salt.

Nov 30, 2010 at 4:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterGilbert K.Arnold

That should have read "And that is more important to me than trying to score points against one another.

Nov 30, 2010 at 4:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterGilbert K.Arnold


See 11:15am today above.

I find your assumption of the moral high ground here bemusing unless you just skimmed the exchanges between myself and JOS rather than reading them carefully.

Nov 30, 2010 at 6:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

BBD: I read all the comments, between you and JOS. I stand by my statement that you both should have dropped the subject after the first set of posts. I think JOS missed the point of the poll. Every book on that poll is/ or has been in print for some time. It would have been better if JOS has just mentioned the book and that it is just out (albeit in Kindle only) and let the readers draw their own conclusions after reading it. Comments about "handling with care" served no purpose except to stir the pot. I think it would have been better to have said something along the lines of: "I have reservations about some of the authors based on their previous work, but draw your own conclusions." And left it at that.

Nov 30, 2010 at 9:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterGilbert K.Arnold

My Book "TThe Greenhouse Delusion: A Critique of 'Climate Change 2001'" is now on It contains a through discussion of the IPCC and its failings.

Dec 2, 2010 at 3:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterVincent Gray

My new book "Confessions of a Clomate Sceptic" is now available on at
published my book “Confessions of a Climate Sceptic” on available at

It is an autobiography plus all my recent adventures as a sceptic
"tThe Greenhouse Delusion;A Criyique of 'Climate Change 2001'" is at

Dec 2, 2010 at 3:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterVincent Gray

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