I haven't yet told you all the reasons I personally am convinced we are in deep trouble with the belief that humans are causing dangerous global warming, but luckily there is a book that does so. Ian Plimer is perhaps best known as the geologist who debunked creationism in "Telling Lies for God". Here he turns his attention to the global warming beliefs that are now resulting in huge (possibly disastrous) policy changes by governments in the hope of avoiding "climate change". In "Heaven+Earth", I think Plimer does pretty well.
First off though, if you are expecting a simple read, this book is perhaps not it. Not that it is difficult to read, but it is technically dense, the average page having maybe ten references to academic papers to support its claims. And it has its mistakes. There is a diagram on temperature forecasts which is not properly explained, another one which, so it is claimed on the web, has been withdrawn by its author for errors. Also the author has a recurring habit of writing the opposite of what he means; it usually happens on unimportant points, but it distracts from following the argument. For example, he writes that the early half of the little ice age was more variable than the latter half (p 75), then a little later says the opposite (p 79). I noticed maybe ten such examples on my way through. They are not by any means fatal to his argument, but I am sure his opponents would dig them out and present them as if they were. But in a 500 page book, absolute correctness from cover to cover is, I think, far too high an expectation. The real question is: does he carry his main arguments?
I believe that he does. He shows, for instance, that CO2 in geological history has been up to 25 times higher than it now is, and that in this era it is at its lowest in the entire history of life on Earth. He shows how malaria is a disease of poverty, not of temperature, and has existed in England in the coldest of times. He discusses the major 'snowball earth' glaciations that most likely took ice all the way to the equator, but which, luckily, preceded the appearance of multicellular life. (If such an ice age happened now, it is hard to see how any multicelled life, let alone human life, could survive.) The main impression the book left me with was 'being given the complete picture'.
The main question I was asking myself when I first started investigating global warming in depth was which side is right? I came to the conclusion that the realists are (climate has always changed, and current temperatures and temperature changes are within historical limits). So this book was not the factor that convinced me. The single fact that did so, however, is included here. Pages 371 onwards discuss the IPCC's climate models, which predict an increasingly warm tropospheric 'hot spot' in the atmosphere, providing a 'warm blanket' that is heating up the planet. This 'warm blanket' simply isn't there, as Plimer explains. It boils down to this very simple fact: on a cold night, if you want to get warm, you must have warm air around you somehow - turn on a heater, put on a blanket, whatever, but unless warm air surrounds you, you won't get warm. The planet does not have any warmer air around it than it ever had, so it simply cannot be heating up due to insulation. Since that is the central claim of global warmism, the theory must be wrong. All the rest is 'sound and fury, signifying nothing'. But Plimer takes on that sound and fury, and shows it for the flim flam it really is.
If I were writing such a book, I might not choose Plimer's organisation. He starts with the geological history of the Earth's climate, and moves on to the Sun, the Earth (volcanoes, extinctions, desertification, etc.), then Ice (ice ages, glaciers, antarctica), then Water (sea levels, acidification, corals),then Air (greenhouse effect, temperature, hurricanes, carbon dioxide), and finishes with a very entertaining chapter called 'Et moi' - perhaps not so rumbunctious as some of the more acidic writings of Bertrand Russell, but good reading nonetheless.
Plimer has had his share of run-ins with shysters, as witnessed by his court battle with creationists, and he doesn't shrink from taking on the latest bunch - even speculating about the judgement St Peter might one day settle upon one of them! The concluding section puts the sheer evil and lunacy of the warming scaremongering into sharp relief. At the risk of spoiling the whole story, here is his final sentence: "Human stupidity is only exceeded by God's mercy, which is infinite."
I am glad I have a personally signed copy; when the current climate insanity is finally exploded, this book will, I am sure, be seen as one of the turning points.