Numerical Analysis of Mark Lynas' "Six Degrees" Claims

This is ancillary to my blog “Lynas’ “Six Degrees” of (Computed) Half Blindness“.

From Mark Lynas’ book “Six Degrees – Our Future on a Hotter Planet” I have randomly selected some pages between 3 and 241, leaving out the introduction and the “Choosing Our Future” conclusions.

These are the results in terms of number of positive, negative and catastrophic remarks (*) in each of them

Page,Positive,Negative,Catastrophic
24,0,2,3
37,2,4,1
67,0,7,0
89,7,3,0
90,2,8,1
113,2,6,5
136,0,6,3
144,0,6,0
175,0,1,6
188,0,3,1
206,0,5,1
212,0,1,3
237,0,1,3

Based on the above, for each page of Lynas’ book there is 1 positive statement, 4 negative statements and 2 catastrophic statements. There may be a trend with statements getting less and less positive, but it can be noted that the whole thing is skewed towards negativeness from the beginning.

Only one page (89) out of 13 is more positive (7) than negative (3), and the immediately following page (90) quickly brings the situation back with only 2 positives and as much as 8 negatives (plus 1 catastrophic).

(*) Examples

  • Positive remark: page 89 (two degrees): ”the northern central part of the US…will become an increasingly important winter wheat-producing area”
  • Negative remark: page 67 (one degree): “severe bleaching will occur on most of the world’s reefs every 3-5 years by 2030″
  • Catastrophic remark: page 136 (three degrees): “drought may once again become perennial in this densely populated country” (Indonesia)