Landscapes and Cycles: An Environmentalist's Journey to Climate Skepticism


Landscapes and Cycles: An Environmentalist's Journey to Climate Skepticism


"The improver of natural knowledge absolutely refuses to acknowledge authority, as such. For him, skepticism is the highest of duties; blind faith the one unpardonable sin."

Thomas Huxley (Darwin's Bulldog)


Jim Steele's Landscapes and Cycles: An Environmentalist's Journey to Climate Skepticism examines how the inflated catastrophic claims of climate change has been misguiding conservation efforts, and misdirecting critical funding and thwarting attempts to build a more resilient environment.  Jim Steele draws on 25 years of research and habitat restoration in California's Sierra Nevada to provide thought provoking analyses that contrast the success of conservation science with the deceptive claims of global warming advocates.

Buy: Landscapes & Cycles: An Environmentalist’s Journey to Climate Skepticism by Jim Steele

Recent & Timely Essays

Essays That Challenge Media Climate Hype and Test Your Assumptions:


1. Why would researchers only publish half the data about the effects of weather?


2. Why was a butterfly that must raise its body temperature by 10 degrees championed as a victim of global warming extinction?

3. Why was a conservation success story hijacked as an example of climate disruptions?

4. Why do polar bear experts claim in one scientific paper that heavy ice is bad for seals and bears and then in another paper claim that less ice is killing seals and bears?

5. Why do the Inuits provide the most reliable polar bear counts?

Why have the record high temperatures on each continent withstood 70 years of global warming?


7. How can CO2 cause melting sea ice in the Arctic but increasing sea ice in Antarctica?


8. Does Adjusting Temperature Data Improve or Obscure our Climate Understanding?


9. Contrasting Good and Bad Science: Disease, Climate Change and the Case of the Golden Toad 


10. Are Polar Bear Researchers Blinded by Climate Beliefs or Acting Dishonestly?



Essays are adapted from Jim Steele's Landscapes and Cycles: An Environmentalist's Journey to Climate Skepticism

Matt Ridley author of the highly acclaimed Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters and The Rational Optimist writes, "An excellent book. I am very impressed. You have done a huge amount of careful research and presented it very clearly. Especially on the Parmesan butterfly study, and on the Arctic issues, you have seen right through some shockingly poor science"






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 Dr. Ricky Rood's Climate Change Blog 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why would an environmentalist be a climate skeptic?

Although it is wise to think globally, all plants and animals respond locally. Always! As Jim Steele demonstrates, there have been a worrisome series of very bad scientific papers that blame global warming on a species' decline even though the maximum temperatures locally have declined since the 1930's. As Jim Steele's research on bird populations discovered, it was not climate change but landscape changes that had caused the wildlife declines and by acting locally the problem was remedied by restoring the watershed. After restoration, the bird populations rebounded and the landscape has remained moist and biologically productive despite the recent droughts caused La Niñas.

Unfortunately, for researchers looking for funding, the joke in most university biology departments is "how can I link my research to global warming?" As a result funds that should be directed towards restoring habitats and watersheds have been diverted to speculative studies about future devastation from CO2. We have the power to make a more resilient environment by acting locally, but the focus on a global average temperature has set conservation science back years.

Does this book debunk COcaused climate change?

Climate change happens for many reasons. Although no one argues that mankind has increased the concentrations of CO2, there is widespread scientific debate about the climate's sensitivity to that increase. Jim Steele demonstrates that from a global perspective, we need another 10 to 20 years to confidently separate contributions from natural cycles of the sun and the oceans (such as El Niño) before we can accurately estimate the contributions from greenhouse gases. However from a local perspective it is quite clear that changes to the landscape and urbanization can raise temperatures much more dramatically than rising CO2. Researchers that estimate temperature trends based on tree rings in undisturbed areas, do not observe that same alarming rising temperatures that are based on instruments where humans have removed the vegetation and paved the ground.

Isn't CO2 causing more extreme weather?

Although that is the hype in the media, the scientific evidence does not support those alarming claims. Many extremes are the result of natural weather patterns. For example due to natural weather dynamics, the world's record high temperature of 134°F in Death Valley occurred in 1913, even though both solar activity and CO2 concentrations were much lower then. In a paper published by NOAA's Dr. Easterling titled "Climate Extremes: Observations, Modeling and Impacts" they reported for maximum temperatures "a downward trend in the number of these extremes despite an overall warming in the mean temperature, but with cooling in the southeastern United States."  For droughts they wrote, " Examination of drought over the 20th century in the United States shows considerable variability, the droughts of the 1930s and 1950s dominating any long-term trend." As Jim Steele describes in an easily grasped manner, many of the so-called strange weather patterns are easily explained by natural weather patterns and ocean cycles.

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