Perhaps the loudest voice in the climate change debate in England is James Delingpole, a journalist who was recently tapped up to launch Breitbart.com in London, which tells you most of what you need to know about his opinions on so-called “global warming.”
What you may not know, if you’re reading this from the other side of the Atlantic, is how hilarious Delingpole is, even—and perhaps especially—when he is butchering sacred cows.
The Little Green Book of Eco-Fascism is a wickedly funny takedown of the many enemies the author has acquired over the past few years, from low-hanging fruit such as the notoriously abandoned Catlin Arctic Survey and a few left-wing British comedians to more obvious targets, like Al Gore and President Obama.
Delingpole’s dismissal of disgraced scientist Michael Mann is particularly cruel: Mann is “Formerly: the most famous climate scientist in the world,” but “Today: comedy character, litigant, FOI fugitive”.
I should declare an interest here, before I start laying it on too thick. I have known and liked James for many years. He’s about the only other journalist in Britain as batshit right-wing as I am, for a start. In the trade we call it “soundness.” And I’ve always been envious of how naturally funny he is.
What I’ve come to realise about James’s writing—the reason it’s as popular and successful as it is—has nothing to do with whether or not he’s right about a given issue. (Even though he invariably is.) It’s that he attacks precisely those subjects treated with the most unbearably po-faced rectitude by other writers and, instead of meeting them on their own terms, lets loose with his arsenal of comedic talents.
That arsenal is considerable: Delingpole is one of the most deliciously waspish writers alive today, and if you’ve been following the climate change debate even tangentially, regardless of your political or ecological views, this is a book that will have you clutching your sides by the end.
This review is not the place to convince a casual reader of the scientific merits of climate scepticism. But nor, really, is the book, which reads more like a list of character assassinations and neat one-liners. Not since Beyond Good and Evil has there been so much venom crowbarred so deliciously into bite-size format.
This is a fine starting place if you’re short on time.
That’s not to say there’s no substance. For example, Delingpole serves up a concise definition of Karl Popper’s falsification principle, before applying it to global warming. And throughout the book there’s a guiding intelligence separating science from politics, often to the detriment of the climate change lobby’s arguments.
It doesn’t have an index, because that’s the taxonomy of the whole book. So, for the meaty arguments, you’ll need to turn to Delingpole’s columns, the work of people like Richard North and breaking news blogs such as Watts Up With That.
But this is a fine starting place if you’re short on time—only don’t expect to dip in and out of it on trips to the downstairs loo. It’s way too compulsive for that. In fact, I finished it in one sitting.