Madlands A Journey to Change the Mind of a Climate Sceptic

Anna Rose. Melbourne Univ. (IPG, dist.), $29.99 (256p) ISBN 9780522861693
Environmental activist Rose documents her journey with retired Australian finance minister and high-profile climate skeptic Nick Minchin. Rose, armed only with the feeble reeds of overwhelming preponderance of evidence and scientific consensus, attempts to pierce the adamantine shell of Minchin’s ideological purity; along the way, the discussions over global warming present readers with the evidence, while introducing them to analogous disputes, such as the tobacco industry’s long war on the science linking smoking to cancer. Although Minchin’s eventual concessions are limited and at best grudging, the fact that he makes them at all is telling. The flaw in Rose’s book is, as a noted American pundit once observed, “You could use facts to prove anything that’s even remotely true!” What you cannot do is make people accept models whose implications are uncomfortable or inconvenient. The long resistance by large portions of the public to Darwin’s theory of evolution is an example of the steadfast refusal to accept scientific evidence. Rose, for her part, appears at least guardedly optimistic about her to sway public opinion, but she is concerned lest her efforts prove too late. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/21/2013
Release date: 10/01/2012
Paperback - 524 pages - 978-1-4596-6200-1
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-0-522-86249-2
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