Prometheus Books, $25.00, 374 pages
Through our lifestyle and industry, Human caused global climate change poses a direct threat to our civilization. Behaving as if global climate change does not exist, could potentially endanger billions of lives. The science seems clear, climatologists work ceaselessly to measure, simulate, and quantify the damage that humans cause. The potential effects of global climate change, should we do nothing, are widespread and catastrophic. Even today, certain weather effects such as increased numbers and severity of hurricanes, drought, wildfires and famine can be traced to the effects of Human caused global climate change. We must act quickly and decisively as a species to prevent the worst effects, it’s already too late to avoid all of them.
The theories surrounding global climate change are under attack, generally by those on the political right, the argument being that working towards limiting global climate change will wreck the economy, cause joblessness, and that the science is still under review. I only bring this up because the message of John Grant’s book Denying Science is very clear, there are forces at work in our society that evade or attempt to discredit scientific outcomes that they oppose. I agree with many of the conclusions found in Mr. Grants’ book, I just wish it was better written.
In the first paragraph his chapter entitled “God Told Me to Deny” Grant states: “In a sense, religious belief is intrinsically a denial of science.” John Grant seems to have an axe to grind against religion. Grant uses a shotgun approach, giving dozens, if not hundreds of different examples of scientific denial, it’s simply too much, he is preaching to the choir. It seems to me that the greatest sin of the book is Grant’s willingness to add in too many arguments to his thesis. Several chapters are devoted to climate change, anti-evolutionists, and those misguided people who believe, without any shred of proof, that vaccinations are the leading cause of autism in children, as there very well should be in a book entitled Denying Science. However, there are also many pages devoted to the use of “suppressed memories” in child abuse trials. These arguments seem misplaced, as if they’ve wandered in from a different book. The author seems to preach to the choir too often, it then becomes a prolonged rant, rather than a clear explanation of science under attack.
Reviewed by Brad Wright