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  • Unsettled

  • What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn't, and Why It Matters
  • Written by: Steven E. Koonin
  • Narrated by: Jay Aaseng
  • Length: 7 hrs and 14 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (75 ratings)

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Unsettled

Written by: Steven E. Koonin
Narrated by: Jay Aaseng
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Publisher's Summary

"Surging sea levels are inundating the coasts."

"Hurricanes and tornadoes are becoming fiercer and more frequent."

"Climate change will be an economic disaster."

You've heard all this presented as fact. But according to science,  all of these statements are profoundly misleading.

When it comes to climate change, the media, politicians, and other prominent voices have declared that "the science is settled." In reality, the long game of telephone from research to reports to the popular media is corrupted by misunderstanding and misinformation. Core questions - about the way the climate is responding to our influence, and what the impacts will be - remain largely unanswered. The climate is changing, but the why and how aren't as clear as you've probably been led to believe. 

Now, one of America's most distinguished scientists is clearing away the fog to explain what science really says (and doesn't say) about our changing climate. In Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn't, and Why It Matters, Steven Koonin draws upon his decades of experience - including as a top science advisor to the Obama administration - to provide up-to-date insights and expert perspective free from political agendas. 

Fascinating, clear-headed, and full of surprises, this book gives listeners the tools to both understand the climate issue and be savvier consumers of science media in general. Koonin takes listeners behind the headlines to the more nuanced science itself, showing us where it comes from and guiding us through the implications of the evidence. He dispels popular myths and unveils little-known truths: despite a dramatic rise in greenhouse gas emissions, global temperatures actually decreased from 1940 to 1970. What's more, the models we use to predict the future aren't able to accurately describe the climate of the past, suggesting they are deeply flawed. 

Koonin also tackles society's response to a changing climate, using data-driven analysis to explain why many proposed "solutions" would be ineffective, and discussing how alternatives like adaptation and, if necessary, geoengineering will ensure humanity continues to prosper. Unsettled is a reality check buoyed by hope, offering the truth about climate science that you aren't getting elsewhere - what we know, what we don't, and what it all means for our future. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2021 Steven E. Koonin (P)2021 BenBella Books

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Climate science unsettled? Yes and very much so.

Much of the Western World's media, activist and political life is obsessed by concern about climate change, yet there are few forums for a rational discussion of the subject. For example, Canada's government has viewed the current pandemic as an opportunity to redesign the economy, "build back better" under the assumption that even the most alarmist climate model predictions are definitive scientific climate facts. This laughable obsession over Canada's mere 1.5% contribution to world CO2 levels, has slowed and even put at risk Canada's Covid-19 pandemic response. Bill Gates' new book "How to Avoid a Climate Disaster" simply feeds the frenzy assuming an alarming level of crisis while spending no time on a review of the science, merely diving directly into "solutions." (Thanks Bill. It took you 15 years to duplicate imperfectly Apple's Macintosh user interface. Its a little rich for you to assume you can develop a "theory of everything" for our climate in a fraction of that time without spending any serious time learning the science.) Into this alarmist hysteria comes Steven Koonin not with any new science sources, but just a careful examination of what the establishment IPCC's scientists are actually saying and not saying. He shows how the media, politicians and climate activists have not only magnified but distorted, withheld, if not directly lied about the available IPCC data findings. Koonin does this by examining directly what the actual findings are on common concerns including, among others, frequency of hurricanes and tornados, new temperature records, rising ocean levels and the effects of C02's ppm rise both positive (on agriculture) and negative (temperature rise -- but much more muted than climate modeling programs predict). Hopefully this book helps replace the currently largely uninformed and heated conversations in the West with rational evidence-based conversations.

4 people found this helpful

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Must reading for STEM and polisci students.

While science and political science students should have this on their reading list anyone interested in the climate and the effects of politics and media on science should read this too. I can’t say enough about Steve Koonin’s methodology to lead you through the maze of information and how it has been represented as a sales pitch. Enjoy.

1 person found this helpful

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Enlightening

This book is balanced and realistic with strong evidence against the viewpoints claiming that climate-change-catastrophe is imminent even while the author certainly acknowledges that some human caused climate change is occurring which might have some negative impacts. Highly recommend!

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Great book, factual, rational and balanced!

Really appreciated the tone, precision, nuances, rationality and overall professionalism of this book. It’s very scientific and numbers based, so it’s sometimes a bit dense to follow, but the information is still very accessible and down to earth. I enjoyed it very much and will definitely recommend it to my friends!

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A balanced review of a complex subject.

I had been searching for a thoughtful book that avoided the shrill and politicized extremes so prevalent in discussions of the subject of climate change. The author, an eminently qualified scientist, eschews the rantings of politicians and ideologues and presents his understanding of this complex subject in a calm and rational manner. Highly recommended for anyone searching for facts amongst the voices of climate change deniers and climate alarmists alike.

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Great book

Glad to see an open conversation on the topic. Well researched. I enjoyed the JRE podcast that made me buy this book.

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Think Climate Change is a done deal? Think again.

Content is spot on and makes you realize we've been lied to.

When not looked at through the lense of righteousness and virtual signaling, you come to a much more reasonable conclusion; namely we don't know enough to accurately predict the futute AND we're not all going to die in the next 50 years is we don't "fix" the planet.

Sadly the agenda pushed by self appointed world 'leaders' (namely the asswipes at the WEF) is going to create serious problems for for most of poorer folks on the planet. Thankfully this won't effect the Davos crowds 3rd vacation home, private jets or collection of exotic cars. They will be just fine and can continue telling the rest of us how we have tighten out belts and accept a lower standard of living to fix a non-existant (or wildly overblown catastrophe in the making).

Thank you to the author for risking his professional reputation to review the data and give us an alternative to the BS story being circulated by the media.

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A must read!

Nobody is a “climate expert”, but Koonin’s ability to dive into the science and describe with data and facts what science (not “the science”) is really telling us about climate change is a message everyone needs to hear. Developing meaningless policies at huge costs to society will be futile. Local adaptation, new science, and technology will be what strengthens humanity and allows everyone to thrive. Don’t be alarmed and do your own research. Science is far from settled!

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refreshingly honest information

climate change is a real issue, but the scare tactics that the mainstream media uses are not honest or helpful. This book sets the record straight

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waste of time....

A book of unfounded maybes.... I was expecting a constructive criticism. but it's mainly cherry picked, unfounded and uncheckable.

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  • Russ
  • 2021-05-08

Excellent science based

Very informative and made me aware of how certain groups misuse data or cherry pick to push an agenda. People are smart enough to make up their own mind when given all the facts.

16 people found this helpful

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  • John Walton
  • 2021-05-11

Very useful book

A thoughtful counter to climate hysteria. Really like how he dissects graphs that purport to show rapid warming and larger storms using clear methodologies and data. As someone who has worked on large models I have to agree that modelers think too highly of their often speculative model results.

15 people found this helpful

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  • Dave
  • 2021-06-05

Informative read

Remarkably a-political for such a polarizing topic. Author does a really good job of using examples to establish his reasoning for why you should look closely at the data. Believe he genuinely wants to get the most precise and accurate information so everyone can use that data as the starting point for discussions on where we go from here. Will recommend to friends.

10 people found this helpful

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  • S Pearson
  • 2021-06-03

Uncommon common sense

I’ve been interested in environmental and energy policy for more than 50 years and I’ve followed both sides of the climate debate for over 20 years. Steven Koonin has done a masterful job of making the arcane jargon of climate science clear and understandable for everyone. If you would like an honest fresh look at what the real data shows then read or listen to this book and then form your own opinion. Finally, the graphs in the accompanying PDF are very informative.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Charles From Sonoma
  • 2021-05-31

At Last!

I have been waiting many years for this book. It is an intelligent, informed, and comprehensive dive into the world of climate science. The Audible narrator’s presentation is clear and unobtrusive; his tone is appropriate to the subject. A pleasure to read from beginning to end.

9 people found this helpful

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  • mike v
  • 2021-05-15

this book settled it for me

If only other issues under debate would be treated like this one clarifies "global warming" using intelligence, science and the courage of true freedom of speech, we'd be so much better off.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Joseph Bordelon
  • 2021-05-30

Awesome, educational and courageous defense of the Importance of the integrity of the scientific method

This is a n honest review of climate science and the short comings of our media , politics, and even our experts. He did not spare or favor any group. I would hope my children and grandchildren have an opportunity to read it.

7 people found this helpful

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  • MIchael P
  • 2021-05-23

sober analysis

THE book that could rationally inform climate policy--if it can break thru dominant media propaganda

7 people found this helpful

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  • Augusto
  • 2021-09-22

A good read/listening experience

I was skeptical that someone from the Obama Energy Department would give a fair review of the issues involved, but Mr. Koonin has indeed done so in an intelligible and interesting way. I think the one shortcoming in his presentation is the concentration on the recent past as opposed to the geologic past, but I think he gets to the right conclusions in spite of that. It’s refreshing to note that he is willing to lean into the wind on “consensus “ and defend the skeptics who risk their livelihoods to defend the scientific method, and the lack of certainly that results therefrom. His summary of the issues and his resulting recommendations are worthy of our attention. Thanks for sharing your knowledge with those of us who are not scientifically trained and who rely on those who are to provide an honest description of the issues at hand and our options of addressing them.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Sooner Fan
  • 2021-05-31

A Must Read!

A Must read for all, alarmists, deniers, and everyone in between. Precise, non-ideological, and readable.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Lucien
  • 2022-10-30

An honest and impartial review of the subject

Very well read, my opinion of the matter is that one should take knowledge of the available data here and elsewhere and draw an independent conclusion