New book: About Face! Why the World Needs More Carbon Dioxide


Below is a description and some of the early reviews posted on Amazon. (h/t to Poptech)

About Face! Why the World Needs More Carbon Dioxide is easy reading from two scientists and an economist. About Face! is the product of two scientists and an economist. The scientists are Madhav Khandekar in Canada and Cliff Ollier in Australia, plus economist Arthur Middleton Hughes in the USA.

It will change your understanding of climate science and explain how we can save millions of lives and billions of dollars per year.

Available on Amazon here

”If you are in the slightest doubt about what the climate change alarmists are trying to get us to do –and pay for — you should read this book.” –Dr. Peter Walsh, Geologist, London, England

”This book clearly shows that carbon dioxide is our friend. We should be producing more of it.” –Aert Driessen, Geologist, Canberra, Australia

”The real science of global warming and climate change, which is explained in this book, will leave you scratching your head and asking what all the fuss is about why we have to tax a gas that we breathe out and also use to make fizzy drinks, and how we got ourselves into this contentious political position… and that is also explained.

If you are beginning to have misgivings about the extreme language and alarmist predictions on global warming and extreme weather events coming from the IPCC and kindred environmental groups, then this book is for you. It is easy to read (the lead author is not a scientist) but, that said, he has chosen two eminent scientists of international standing as co-authors. The strength of this book lies with the way that it explains the science; indeed the lead author has been described elsewhere as ”the great explainer” on the basis of previous books, mainly on economics and marketing.

Descriptions of follies in bygone years stemming from hasty and wrong interpretations of scientific data, and sometimes even data manipulation, feel familiar and form an intriguing backdrop to the global warming folly. I refer, inter alia, to the banning of DDT to control malaria (1972) on the basis (without evidence) that it killed birds and was linked to cancer (both untrue). In 2006 the World Health Organization (WHO) came to its senses and supported a partial reintroduction of DDT (for spraying indoors but not before the preventable deaths of 50 million people, mostly children. Other follies cited include a purported link between measles vaccinations and autism (1998, untrue, and it led to a terrible measles outbreak in Wales in 2011), Professor Paul Ehrlich’s prediction that the world would experience mass starvation in the 1970s and ’80s (that never happened but did lead to China s one-child policy), and the Club of Rome’s predictions that the world would run out of mineral resources (still waiting). All these follies, including the folly of ‘stopping climate change’ get their traction and momentum from sensationalized reporting by mainstream media and opportunistic politicians that see votes in large sections of an unquestioning populace.

The book also explains how, as an inhabitant of the Solar System, Earth’s climate is influenced mainly by our Sun, and that should come as no surprise. Indeed the book clearly shows that carbon dioxide is our friend and we should be producing more of it.” Aert Driessen, Geologist, Canberra, Australia –Reviews

The strength of this book lies in the way that it explains in simple ways the complex science of many disciplines — atmospheric physics, astronomy, meteorology, geology, and more. It is well illustrated and referenced. And what this science shows, backed by much compelling evidence, some irrefutable, is that carbon dioxide has very little to do with climate change, in either direction (hotter or colder). The book also explains how, as an inhabitant of the Solar System, Earth’s climate is influenced mainly by our Sun, and that should come as no surprise. Indeed the book clearly shows that carbon dioxide is our friend and we should be producing more of it.” –Aert Driessen, Geologist, Canberra, Australia

”This book should be compulsory reading for everyone seriously interested in the Earth s future global warming alarmists included.” –Wyss Yim, Professor of Earth Sciences, Hong Kong

”…Should be issued for use by every teacher of any science classes from Grade 7 to the first years of college.’ ‘–Gary Sharp, Professor, Center for Climate/Ocean Resources, California –Reviews

About the Author

About Face! is the product of two scientists and an economist. The scientists are Madhav Khandekar in Canada and Cliff Ollier in Australia, plus economist Arthur Middleton Hughes in the USA. Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is essential to all life on earth. It is plant food. We believe that the more CO2 there is in the atmosphere the bigger and better plants will grow all over the world. Three million people die each year because the prices of food are too high for them. We want to increase CO2 in the atmosphere and reduce world malnutrition.
The book is available on Amazon here.
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M Courtney
August 27, 2014 3:06 am

The book also explains how, as an inhabitant of the Solar System, Earth’s climate is influenced mainly by our Sun, and that should come as no surprise.

But are changes to earth’s climate influenced mainly by our Sun?
Are we so desperate to get rid of dodgy science that we’ll clasp to our breasts any other dodgy science that comes along?
Is it still OK to say, “We don’t know?”

Reply to  M Courtney
August 27, 2014 3:24 am

Ask those dodgy folks that run greenhouses for a living. They use devices to increase CO2 in, well, inside the greenhouses. Seems plants consume so much of the stuff in the greenhouses there’s simply not enough to keep them fed without pumping it in. I’ve read they even have greenhouses in every clilmate on Earth. Saying you don’t know would be very good for some.
Oh, and it’s all been “political” for the Greens, not “dodgy” else we’d have put the alarmist up in the attic with all those crazy aunts and uncles.

Reply to  cedarhill
August 27, 2014 6:40 am

Yes, and then ask those same good folks how much longer they leave turning on the heating at night in the CO2 enhanced greenhouses vs the non-enhanced. If your experience is the same as mine, they’ll tell you they turn it on in both at the same time.
This is the closest thing we have to a real-world experiment, and despite CO2 levels 3 times greater than background, it can’t even trap more heat in a proper greenhouse.

Reply to  M Courtney
August 27, 2014 3:35 am

If you can think of another source of energy like the sun, but unseen, then carry o n your belief but if the sun is the only major input then it is the major influence.

M Courtney
Reply to  johnmarshall
August 27, 2014 6:03 am

Earth’s climate is influenced mainly by our Sun but are changes to Earth’s climate is influenced mainly by our Sun?
The sun doesn’t change that much. It needs an amplification mechanism (Svensmark, maybe?) but we haven’t evidence that there is an amplification mechanism.
Let’s be sceptical about everything.

Pete Brown
Reply to  johnmarshall
August 27, 2014 6:36 am

You forgot about outputs, which is precisely what the greenhouse effect is alleged to inhibit. Energy added to the system is inputs less outputs…

Gary Pearse
Reply to  M Courtney
August 27, 2014 4:24 am

MCourtney, what change? It’s been largely staged.

M Courtney
Reply to  Gary Pearse
August 27, 2014 6:06 am

The world has warmed since the little Ice Age. There’s lots of historical evidence for that.
It just hasn’t warmed as predicted by the climate models under the forcing of the known CO2 emissions.
I’m sceptical about the entire temperature record being entirely wrong. Measurements are real.

Reply to  Gary Pearse
August 27, 2014 7:13 pm

To claim that we have temperature records for hundreds of years, which are accurate to within tenths of a degree is complete nonsense. Even to within ±2ºF is highly questionable.
“Measurements are real” means modern, empirical measurements. That is the only reliable metric. They show a small fluctuation of only about 0.7ºC over the past century and a half. That is hardly something to worry about. Rather, we should be very glad it is such a tiny fluctuation.
And CO2? That beneficial trace gas has risen from 3 parts in 10,000, to only 4 parts in 10,000 over the same century and a half. It is insane to deconstruct our Western carbon-fueled civilization on the basis of those minuscule numbers. The people promoting the ‘carbon’ scare are either self-serving rent-seekers, or insane lemmings along for the ride over the cliff. Reasonable people should send them both packing.

Leo Morgan
Reply to  M Courtney
August 27, 2014 6:15 am

‘Is it still OK to say, “We don’t know?”’*
It’s not just okay, it’s essential. Thanks for the reminder.
‘Are we so desperate to get rid of dodgy science that we’ll clasp to our breasts any other dodgy science that comes along?’
Depends on whom you mean by ‘we’. Not Anthony, not you and me, not the majority of sceptics, not the majority of STEM educated CAGW faithful.
Yes, apparently, the individuals who wrote this book.* Yes, some individuals who read this blog. The same as with every blog. There’s some people here because of their understanding of politics, some from their understanding of religion, some from misunderstanding of science, some from ignorance, some from curiosity, some from superstition, Anthony’s generous commentating policy lets almost all comment be heard, including that from the wildly wrong. This is a good thing.
It’s error alone that needs censorship, the truth can stand on its own. It’s why you can’t trust Tamino’s blog. However plausible his posts, you are never able to tell if there is some counter-argument that utterly destroys his claims that he isn’t letting you see.
Anthony’s drawing the book to our attention is also a good thing. It’s interesting in its own right that there is a popular accessible book, endorsed by some scientists, that runs counter to the current narrative. This book may be the first time some people encounter the idea that Thermaggeddon is not necessarily inevitable. Not everything in the book is wrong. While Warmistas will decry the whole book on the basis of any single error, we should decry error, but endorse what’s right.
* Nevertheless, that is not to say that we know nothing.
That the sun is the major influence on Earth’s temperatures is self-evident. That variations in the sun’s output cause variations in the Earth’s Climate looks to be an obvious corollary, until you attach numbers to it.
We do know about Milankovic cycles, solar flares, Global Climactic Optima, and much more.
** I haven’t read the book. I don’t know for a fact it contains any errors. However, I haven’t seen that the authors of the book provide anything new related to solar climate dynamics. I’ve already dismissed most ‘solar climate theories’ on the basis the numbers don’t stack up.
(I’m grateful to Willis Eisenbach for significant contributions to my understanding here. I have not yet dismissed Dr David Evans contribution, though I’m sceptical. I haven’t completely read it yet, let alone understood all of it, nor taken a reasoned stance on it.)

M Courtney
Reply to  Leo Morgan
August 27, 2014 6:50 am

Thank you for the input
I was, perhaps, too harsh in my critique.
It just does seem to me that sometimes, “Anything but CO2” is proclaimed.
When it should be “Anything more reasonable than CO2 including random unknowns”.
And I don’t rule out solar variations being the unknowns… but they are not known to be the unknowns (yet).

Reply to  M Courtney
August 27, 2014 1:28 pm

I don’t see anything wrong with the statement that the sun is a prominent factor in in our climate. As you point out, this is not the same as saying that the sun is responsible for the warming since the little ice age. It is essentially meaningless in that context, but not “dodgy.”

Reply to  M Courtney
August 27, 2014 5:46 pm

Is it still OK to say, “We don’t know?”
It is more than ok. It is correct. It is respecting the Scientific Process.

August 27, 2014 3:18 am

Spread it!

August 27, 2014 3:28 am

Not yet available in Amazon UK.

August 27, 2014 3:36 am

This is basically a book that cover most of the stuff that should be tought/learned in late primary school (7th- grade), some even earlier. At least it used to, when I was at that age during late 1970’s …

August 27, 2014 3:36 am

Looks like another good book to buy. Amazon UK buck up and make it available please.

August 27, 2014 4:13 am

A few decades ago when we first encountered the thermageddon gospel, I wrote a reaction in a local paper on my work. I too, was concerned with CO2. The other way around though. Seeing the massive limestone mountains and rock formation, all based on CaCO3 (calcium Carbonate) and coal deep in the crust, It occurred to me that these were quite a (semi-) permanent sink in the carbon cycle.
Any cycle dies when something stops it in midair and I envisoned that in so many hundred of million years, all carbon would be either in limestone or in coal in the crust. Only volcanism would be a vector to return some of the carbon back to the global cycle but it seemed not enough. The gradual loss of useful carbon would diminish life on earth and obviously the very low CO2 values in the Pleistocene supported this idea.
So I concluded that mankind was doing a great service to the living planet by returning much of the lost carbon in fossil fuels back to the global carbon cycle.
However nobody seemed to understand.

Sun Spot
Reply to  leftturnandre
August 27, 2014 4:45 am

Agreed, we have a symbiotic relationship with mother earth and re-carbonizing is natural

Reply to  leftturnandre
August 27, 2014 11:06 am

Not sure what Mr. Grace was commenting on, but, the post by Sun Spot looks pretty “unserious.” Symbiotic relationship with a planet? And then too, what might “re-carbonization” refer to?

August 27, 2014 4:32 am

Have read Cliff Ollier’s geo views many times over the years, he’s not afraid to tell it as it is, and there’s so much to tell which rarely gets a clear voice. Thanks cliff.

James Ard
August 27, 2014 4:42 am

This one is sure to get the likely suspect’s knickers in a wad. It will start with personal attacks on the authors, no doubt.

Reply to  James Ard
August 27, 2014 6:26 am

Not really. Ol’ Pete above is waving his arms like one of those giant plastic air men at a car wash. Not one useful rebuttal, no examples, just arm waving. I’m surprised he’s not using all caps to yell at everybody. As if his opinion is useful in a scientific discussion. CO2 is good.

August 27, 2014 4:55 am

The scare of increased CO2 creating a Venus like runaway temperature increase began in a big way with Jim Hansen of NASA. He oversaw the probe to Venus and predicts our oceans will boil away as ‘may’ have happened on Venus. Of course Venus is extremely closer to the sun. Some scientists maintain the first extintion of life on Earth, about 95%, was caused by massive release of CO2 from huge eruptions in the now Siberian region. However, even if we were to continue using coal for another 5 centuries IMHO I doubt the level of CO2 would dupicate any thing like Venus or the extinction event.

Reply to  neville
August 27, 2014 5:13 am

Temperature on Venus is little to do with distance to the sun. It’s the weight of that atmosphere that is the cause of the temperature.

Leo Morgan
Reply to  Patrick
August 27, 2014 6:37 am

No, it isn’t the weight of the atmosphere that causes that temperature.
If it was, I’d just get a pile of rock that weighed as much as a column of Venus’s atmosphere, connect it to a thermocouple, and generate energy ever after.
While you can generate heat by compressing something from less dense to more dense, it doesn’t keep on generating heat thereafter.

Reply to  Patrick
August 27, 2014 6:42 am

90 times the pressure of Earths atmosphere.

Reply to  neville
August 27, 2014 8:26 am

Numerous sources -google Venus Vicky Hanssen (irony)- show that the surface of Venus has been extremely hot in the past, like 1000Kelvin while it’s only about 740K now. Wouldn’t that suggest that there may have been another heating mechanism for Venus other than runaway greenhouse effect?

Reply to  leftturnandre
August 27, 2014 11:17 am

Empirical data alone rules out the possibility of a “run-away” greenhouse effect (RAGHE) due to CO2. See the graph above posted by “Jimbo August 27, 2014 at 7:30 am” He cunningly chose to source it from SkS, but the data source from which they grabbed it is well the well respected “Geocarb III.” The late Carboniferous levels are 16 times current levels. Since there no RAGHE then, nor did one occur Mesozoic when CO2 reached about five time current levels, there is no possibility of such an outcome now either, QED.

Reply to  leftturnandre
August 27, 2014 1:31 pm

Duster, the IPCC rules out the runaway greenhouse effect on Earth as does one of the IPCC insiders.

“Some thresholds that all would consider dangerous have no support in the literature as having a non-negligible chance of occurring. For instance, a “runaway greenhouse effect” —analogous to Venus–appears to have virtually no chance of being induced by anthropogenic activities…..”
Sir John Houghton
Atmospheric physicist
Lead editor of first three IPCC reports
There is no possibility of such runaway greenhouse conditions occurring on the Earth.”
[Full paper paywalled]

Dudley Horscroft
Reply to  neville
August 28, 2014 8:13 am

I am not sure that Jim Hansen started the runaway greenhouse effect. I think that it was started by Carl Sagan in his disputes with Immanuel Velikovsky. To recap for those who are unaware, IM considered Venus a new addition to the solar system, having been ejected from Jupiter, and hence retaining much of the heat that Jupiter’s core would have. CS borrowed the work of Rupert Wildt, who predicted that Venus would have a raised temperature, possibly as much as 100C, on the basis of greenhouse, and declared that the raised temperature of Venus was entirely due to greenhouse, and that if we increased the CO2 content of the earth’s atmosphere we would be in danger of an uncontrollable runaway greenhouse effect, and end up like Venus.
A question (actually, several) for those interested – if all coal, oil and gas were burnt and the resulting CO2 retained in the atmosphere, and if all the CO2 contained in the chalk, limestone and marble were returned to the atmosphere, what would then be the quantity of CO2 in the atmosphere? As much as Venus’s? Half? Double? Would we then risk a runaway GE? Could we manage to burn all that carbon, and release all that CO2?

August 27, 2014 5:00 am

Err… China had starvation problems up to the 80s, until they losened their idiodic production plan policy.

Reply to  Matt
August 27, 2014 5:10 am

Mao in China allowed the deaths of about 50million people…when there was enough food to feed all. That was in the 50’s.

Pamela Gray
August 27, 2014 5:33 am

The pendulum of understanding swings into outlier territory in direct reaction to the opposite outlier. Each extreme proclaiming the stupidity of the other, not recognizing themselves in the mirror of reflection. Silly.

Reply to  Pamela Gray
August 27, 2014 6:28 am

I had exactly the same thought a couple times in the last days. Maybe it’s the new format. The challenge has always been to stay sane when the whole world goes crazy.

August 27, 2014 5:34 am

Considering that the most important parameter to population control is wealth, increasing CO2 and at the same time extract the energy to build more advanced societies must be priority #1. The CO2 reduction madness that the current agenda tries to impose will not only lead (if it succeeds) lower agricultural productivity but also to continued population growth and eventually starvation.

Reply to  Londo
August 27, 2014 10:10 am


Bruce Cobb
August 27, 2014 5:48 am

I can think of several family members who should definitely read it. I doubt they would, though.
The Warmist memeplex is a powerful one. I yearn for the day they realize they’ve been duped. Sadly, that day is probably a few years away yet. Climate is still a taboo subject.

Two Labs
August 27, 2014 6:13 am

What do you mean “economists are not scientists?” We most certainly are!

August 27, 2014 6:18 am

Just my old limerick about the benefits of CO2.
What then is this “Carbon Pollution”?
A sinister, evil collusion?
CO2, it is clean,
Makes for growth, makes it green,
A transfer of wealth, a solution.

John West
August 27, 2014 6:51 am

M Courtney says
“The sun doesn’t change that much.”
TSI doesn’t change much but the components of TSI do. If a recipe for biscuits didn’t differentiate between flour, sugar, and baking powder; merely referring to them all as white powder, that’d be a recipe for some bad biscuits.
Also, it’s not just the variation in the sun’s energy but the variation in the sun’s energy introduction into earth’s system. Energy from the sun applied to the Northern Hemisphere has different effects with respect to near surface temperature than the same energy applied to the Southern Hemisphere.

M Courtney
Reply to  John West
August 27, 2014 7:23 am

Good points.
But it isn’t proven yet.
My position isn’t as hard on solar effects – powerful or irrelevant – as the article implies is the position of the authors of this book.
This stupid threaded reply system means that comments and so nuance are lost. I’m struggling to keep up and so keep getting drawn in left, right and centre.
I hate these threaded comments.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  M Courtney
August 27, 2014 8:04 am

This stupid threaded reply system means that comments and so nuance are lost. I’m struggling to keep up and so keep getting drawn in left, right and centre.
I hate these threaded comments.


stan stendera
Reply to  M Courtney
August 27, 2014 11:15 am

It’s a little early to throw the baby out with the bathwater Mr. Courtney. I recently reset up my computer front page. It took me a week to realize I liked the new set up better. Let’s give this new front page for WUWT a fair shot. Jo Nova site uses threaded comments very successfully.

Jim G
August 27, 2014 7:14 am

It is estimated that life has been sustained on Earth for about 4 billion plus years, some say 4.5 billion. A remarkably stable ecosystem. This in spite of the concern some show for temperature “anomalies” of fractions of a degree or even several degrees over long periods of time. History shows that life has flourished in the warmer times, while in the colder times, not so much. Much time is spent in climate “science” swatting at mosquitoes with ridiculous statistical masturbation sledge hammers and inventing mosquitoes where none exist. Much of it to pump up egos and, of course, to make, or steal, money.

August 27, 2014 7:30 am

“….You know it’s rubbish.” Oh really! See this graph from the Warmists at SkS. Geologically we are currently at the low end of co2 in our atmosphere.

Jeff Alberts
August 27, 2014 7:40 am

The last two testimonials in the head post are duplicates.

August 27, 2014 8:01 am

Thanks for the news. I hope this book gets read.
I abhor the idea of CO2 as a pollutant, making all living creatures polluters per se, and consumers of pollution. This makes pollution a meaningless word.
Regarding the Sun, I think Svensmark is right and his experimental data shows it.
It looks like the Total Solar Iradiance is the energy flow, quite constant, and the magnetic field does the modulation of cosmic rays that seed clouds.

Chris Catania
August 27, 2014 8:34 am

What! The book is only available in paperback with no kindle\ebook version. These guys are obviously tree haters and i’d guess that the supply chain (making paper, printing and shipping) contributes carbon to the atmosphere too

August 27, 2014 1:29 pm

Care to give a reason why it is rubbish?

Reply to  Michael Palmer
August 27, 2014 6:59 pm

It is widely accepted that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. However, the catastrophic extent of this effect is not clear at all from the available evidence. It is still perfectly possible to maintain that CO2 is, on balance, beneficial.

Reply to  Michael Palmer
August 27, 2014 7:31 pm

Michael Palmer,
The only thing that is ‘rubbish’ is the attempted demonization of CO2 — a trace gas that is every bit as essential to life on earth as H2O.

Reply to  Michael Palmer
August 28, 2014 5:16 am

Peter – the same answer applies. In principle, yes, adding CO2 to the oceans should lower their pH. However, this effect is not even measurable yet. If the incremental CO2 causes more calcium to stay in solution, this will raise the pH again. All that is going to happen is a slight shift in some chemical equilibria.
It should be possible to determine the severity of this potential problem in laboratory models without too much trouble. Has this been done? I haven’t read about it.

August 27, 2014 3:55 pm

So far we have much data (both in the natural environment as well as in Green Houses) that shows the increase in CO2 has been beneficial and none that it has been bad. To say that increases in CO2 being beneficial is far from Rubbish based on the data we have so far.

August 27, 2014 4:24 pm

Not too much news to me but I am very pleased the new book seems to be getting noticed.
Anyway this what I have been saying for a number of years now. One does not need a PhD to figure these things out, a little empirical data goes a long way.
A concentration of about 1,000ppmv would be beneficial to life on earth, this being the concentration that Glass House growers prefer,*cWuzeO4qmDVbgA_/Greenhouses.CarbonDioxideInGreenhouses.pdf
Our exhaled breath is about 4500ppmv
Up to 5000ppmv is acceptable for work places (American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists.).
Up to 3000ppmv for residences (Canadian exposure guideline for residential buildings)”
Medical oxygen has between 10,000 ppmv and 20,000 ppmv in it.
(Look up Oxygen medical and note it has up to 20% CO2 added (20,000 ppmv))
Furthermore, some scientists credit the extra CO2 in our atmosphere as the reason for our increased food production.

Reply to  rogerthesurf
August 29, 2014 12:55 am

“carbon dioxide is an important agent for driving climate change throughout Earth’s history”
Contrarians believe that CO2 rises in response to warming oceans, after a 800-year lag.

August 27, 2014 11:13 pm

You said “I post a number of press releases from alarmists that are also rubbish. Doing so gives everyone a chance to investigate and dissect it.”
Thank you! Your not being afraid to present opposing/”somewhat oppposing” viewpoints is EXACTLY why I started coming to your site- and EXACTLY why I am hooked. That, and the fact that you manage to keep the conversations intellectual (unlike the ridiculous comments being made on most the MSM sites). Your commentors are lively and intelligent (much helped by the choice in topics) – ALWAYS worth reading! I’m beyond grateful!

August 28, 2014 1:21 am

A reminder of what G S Callendar wrote as the conclusion of his famous 1938 paper on carbon dioxide and warming:

“It may be said that the combustion of fossil fuel, whether it be peat from the surface or oil from 10,000 feet below, is likely to prove beneficial to mankind in several ways, besides the provision of heat and power. For instance, the above mentioned small increases of mean temperature would be important at the northern margin of cultivation, and the growth of favourably situated plants is directly proportional to the carbon dioxide pressure. In any case, the return of the deadly glaciers should be delayed indefinitely.”

Looking at the new book on Amazon, I see they have included the last bit of this quote and the fact that Callendar thought CO2 beneficial.

Noel Fielding
August 31, 2014 6:24 pm

Compare the period of rotation of each planet with its temperature

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