Book Review: Dark Winter

Dark Winter:  How The Sun Is Causing A 30-Year Cold Spell, by John L. Casey

This book was loaned to me by a coworker of mine and it is certainly the sort of book that I can be trusted to read and think seriously upon, it should be noted.  As someone who is certainly skeptical about the climate change claims that are made, this book seeks to address the side of climate change that involves the strength of the sun and its possible influence upon tectonic activity that can lead to shifts between warmer and cooler weather.  While I cannot say I am sold on the idea, I do say I find it plausible and am curious to see whether the weather patterns of the period between 2020-2030 shows evidence of the global cooling that the author predicts based on long-term patterns.  A sun-caused oscillation between higher and cooler temperatures but that avoids catastrophic moves in either one or the other direction is certainly a far more realistic understanding of the world than the sort of climate panic that is being sold by many contemporaries, who forget the history of climate panic that has existed over the past few decades about both cooling and warming patterns over the short term.

This book is a short one at about 150 pages, and that is only including three appendices that make up about 2/3 of the book’s material.  The book begins with a foreword, preface, and introduction that provide a great deal of insight about where the author is coming from.  After that there are four chapters that discuss a moment of revelation that led the author to see cycles rather than unidirectional climate change as a better explanation of long-term climate data (1), an examination of what has happened in previous climate cycles (2), as well as a discussion of what we can do in the face of such patterns to avoid droughts when either cooling or heating creates difficulties for farmers and those who like to eat (3).  After that the author discusses the future and makes some testable predictions on climate change based on what the author has seen (4).  After this there are three appendices that the author uses to increase the sort of respect the author would have in his work, such as scholarly acknowledgments of the author’s writing and thinking (i), a discussion of some of the leadership in climate change research (ii), as well as a look at press releases concerning global cooling (iii), after which there are notes and a glossary.

As is often the case, this book suggests that a greater historical understanding and a proper look at the relationship between the earth and sun is a better way to understand short term climate trends (the author helpfully provides his own guesses as to the next several cycles, related to the El Niño and La Niña as well as volcanic patterns) than hysteria about extreme anthropogenic climate change.  The author has some unkind things to say about those who peddle such material, but he could have been a lot more unkind if he had not been focused instead on bolstering the credibility of his own perspective.  In general, I think that the author’s approach is a sound one, although I would have liked to have seen even more information than the author provided.  Anytime one wishes more from an author rather than less that is definitely something that can be seen as a good sign, and I would say that is the case here, but all the same this is definitely a book that should be seen as thought provoking and that will provide the reader with a helpful perspective that avoids panic.

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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