Not by Fire but by Ice

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Temperatures falling, says Australia's
top earth scientist

By Jamie Walker

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18 Apr 09 – (Excerpts) –“Ian Plimer calls himself an old-fashioned scientist. That means you question what others won't. You marry yourself to the data; you buck the received wisdom and political correctness of your colleagues.

“When it comes to climate change, you say: "I was trained to be sceptical."

“Australia's top earth scientist has inserted a typically discordant note into the chorus. In his latest book, Heaven and Earth, Plimer sets out the "missing science" of climate change and challenges the assumption that the world's warming is down to human activity.

“Far from heating up to dangerous levels, the planet is in a lull in an ice age that began 37million years ago, he says.

“Plimer's position is that CO2 is not a pollutant but a necessity of life. For a start, it is food for plants. "Global warming and a high CO2 content bring prosperity and lengthen your life ... without CO2 there would be no complex life on Earth," he writes.

“By his reasoning, climate changes are cyclical and driven by the Earth's position in the galaxy, the sun, wobbles in the planet's orbit, ocean currents and plate tectonics. When he peers back in time, there were periods when atmospheric CO2 was much higher than it is now yet produced no disastrous shift in the climate.

"In addition to his day job at the University of Adelaide's school of environmental sciences, he is emeritus professor of earth sciences at the University of Melbourne and the author of seven books and 120 scholarly papers.

"He is Australia's best-known academic geologist and certainly one of the most outspoken. Plimer has never backed away from a fight.

"Plimer reserves his sharpest criticism for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which has driven the international debate. Very much for the worse, in the professor's judgment. "The IPCC process is related to environmental activism, politics and opportunism," he writes in Heaven and Earth.

"Plimer says none of the temperature variations in the 20th century was outside the range of normal variability. There was alarm in the 1970s that the decreasing temperature was heralding another ice age, he says. After 1976, when temperatures started to rise again, the clamour broke out over the greenhouse effect and global warming. Yet since 1998 temperatures have been falling, to profound scientific silence, he says

"The history of the planet is etched in rock, and Plimer says it shows that for half of the past six million years the Earth was warmer than it is now. The ice caps are geologically unusual; people were growing barley and wheat in Greenland 1000 years ago. Ice ages come and go, yet no one knows precisely why. Sea levels rise and fall. It was ever thus, Plimer says. The planet is in a constant state of flux. Why would that dynamic suddenly change?"

Heaven and Earth: Global Warming, the Missing Science by Ian Plimer, published by Connor Court.
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,,25348271-11949,00.html
Thanks to Maggie300 for this link

  

 

 

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