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Documentation > Greenhouse effect > Scientists > Should we believe anybody just because he(she) writes in the paper?

Should we believe anybody just because he(she) writes in the paper ?

september 2003

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Periodically, someone writes a book or an article, generally quite virulent, exposing that all this global warming business is just a scientists' delirium, and that the most urgent thing to do is to carefully avoid to believe anyone who claims that the underlying science is sound. These people gerenally add that fighting against climate change will "cost a lot of money" and therefore that we should hurry to deal with other - and more important - matters.

I offer here a couple of reading notes on some of these publications. Before reading one of these critics, I suggest that you read :

the page on the IPCC, that exposes how the scientific knowledge on human induced climate change is synthetized, and some reflexions on the trust that we should put in the process,

the page exposing who are the "scientists", and if it is meaningful to suspect them of being in the pay of the ecologists movements.

Of course all "anti-global warming" books are not listed below (!), but it is only the result of the lack of time to read them and write a commentary, that would probably be of the same kind than those you will find here (it's always the same arguments that are used). In addition, some books that I read and commented are published in French only (my mother tongue, I recall !). For those who are comfortable with Moliere's tongue, it is possible to consult them from here.

The reader will note that nowhere on this site I pretend to be able to confirm or contest the information of scientific nature that is exposed : I personnally never calculated or measured the incoming solar energy at the upper boundary of the atmosphere, nor the intensity of marine currents, nor personnally checked satellites measuring the forest cover of the Earth, nor analyzed personnally the ice cores of Antarctica, or manipulated a mass spectrometer, without forgetting to check the calibration of the used intruments...

In conclusion, I merely consider myself able to vulgarize as I can what I have read in the scientific litterature (including the 2001 IPCC assessment report), and give a modest opinion on the coherence of what I might have understood, but I would not dare contradicting any established information whatsoever. At most I venture myself to a little perspective or to a commentary when the results are directly accessible to me given my level of knowledge. Others feel they have the sufficient background to evaluate - then contradict - science, such as the authors below ; I suspect them of not being of the best good faith in the world !

By clicking on the title you will access the critic.



Year of publishing

Nb pages

Price (in euros)


Minimum scientific background required
The Skeptical Environmentalist

Bjorn Lomborg


60 for the chapter on climate


Cambridge University Press

Expert of the subject, to detect all the bad faith
The Wall Street Journal of april 2001

Philip Stott





All publics

And, as a bonus, the translation of a letter sent to the president of Arte, a french TV channel, following the broadcasting of a programme named "has weather become crazy" on june 10th, 2003.


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