Wednesday was an unusual day at the Australian, with two pro-science pieces published. First, Leigh Dayton, their science writer, raises some scientific objections to Ian Plimer’s book. Plimer will, no doubt, continued to deny the existence of these problems:
Plimer also repeats the inaccurate “fact” that the global warming peaked in 1998. Yes, it was a global scorcher, thanks to a heat-inducing El Nino. But after a dip in 1999, data collected by US and British climate centres shows an upward trend, despite year-to-year variations.
She also corrects Greg Roberts’ misleading stories:
Unfortunately, such misinformation bolsters the erroneous belief that because ice sheets are growing in eastern Antarctica – which is colder than western Antarctica for a suite of regional factors – global warming is a fizzer. Wrong. As the globe warms, so do very cold places such as east Antarctica. The warming ice releases moisture into the atmosphere, which falls back to earth as rain or snow. The result: growing ice sheets.
Second, Mike Sandiford writes about the same geological record that Plimer argues proves that there is nothing to worry about.
Geology tells us clearly that not for several hundred million years have we had so much CO2 in the atmosphere with so much ice on the land. Independently of any model predictions of the climate scientists, the geological record serves a warning. In raising CO2 levels we are committing to a world different from that on which civilisation has developed, to a world where the rules of our present ice-age epoch will no longer apply, a world of higher seas.
Unlike Plimer, my reading of the geological record tells me we should be cautious how we modify our atmosphere lest we condemn many future peoples to the fate of the lastVicmanians.
Of course, the Australian has to balance this sense with some nonsense from “climate data analyst” John McLean. McLean argues that climate science is a massive fraud, with scientists complicit so they can collect research funding. But he also sees that it is not conspiracy. It is unclear to me how McLean thinks that climate scientists co-ordinate their money-grubbing schemes if they don’t conspire together.