Suggested Reading

While researching The Resilient Earth we found a number of works by other authors useful and informative. Here is a listing of the best of those other books. Not all of them are in full agreement with our views, but that is how science works:

The Skeptical Environmentalist

Bjørn Lomborg's impressive and contraversial 2001 book, The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World, became an instant sensation in environmental policy circles. Here is a superbly researched book which surveys a vast amount of data and rxamins a wide range of more and less informed opinion about environmental threats facing the planet. Using hardheaded, empirically analysis, Lomborg comes to a balanced assessment of which threats are real and which are over-hyped.

According to the Economist, “This is one of the most valuable books on public policy—not merely on environmental policy—to have been written for the intelligent general reader in the past ten years. The Skeptical Environmentalist is a triumph.”


The Chilling Stars

This book is not only fascinating but a joy to read. The authors explain their theory that sub-atomic particles from exploded stars have more effect on the climate than manmade CO2. Their conclusion stems from Svensmark's research which has shown the previously unsuspected role that cosmic rays play in creating clouds. During the last 100 years cosmic rays became scarcer because unusually vigorous action by the Sun batted away many of them. Fewer cosmic rays meant fewer clouds—and a warmer world.

The theory, simply put here but explained in detail, emerges at a time of intense public and political concern about climate change. Motivated only by their concern that science must be trustworthy, Svensmark and Calder invite their readers to put aside their preconceptions about manmade global warming and look afresh at the role of Nature in this hottest of world issues.

“Before you make up your mind about climate, change you are advised to read this controversial and compelling book” — Nexus Magazine


Extinction: How Life on Earth Nearly Ended 250 Million Years Ago

Douglas H. Erwin is senior scientist and curator in the Department of Paleobiology at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History and an external faculty member of the Santa Fe Institute. He began researching the end-Permian mass extinction in the early 1980s and has traveled many times to China, South Africa, and Europe seeking its causes. This book is both a cronical of what Erwin's research uncovered but also a facinating glimps into the way science is done.

While this book is not about global warming directly, the background information provided about life's long history on Earth and the tremendous shifts in climat our planet has experienced can help put the claims of today's ecological prophets of doom into perspective.


Useless Aritmetic

Subtitled why environmental scientists can't predict the future this book is a detailed look at the statistical and scientific methods used by environmental scientists—and why they are so often wrong when trying to predict the future environmental impact of current day actions. Written by Orrin Pilkey, a well-known specialist on coastal processes at Duke University, and his daughter, Linda Pilkey-Jarvis, this investigation is an examination of numerical models of all sorts of natural processes and why they fail. Among those examined are managing the Grand Banks fishery, predicting the lifetime of nourished beaches, predicting toxicity of lakes in abandoned pit mines and predicting how fast sea level will rise.

“Using concrete examples, the authors of Useless Arithmetic cut through the scientific jargon to show how and why many aspects of the environment are under threat because of the slavish adherence to misleading mathematical models by their technical and political advocates.” — Victor R. Baker, University of Arizona