I had an open thread a couple of weeks ago about Ian Plimer’s recent novel supposedly exposing the lie that is Anthropogenic Global Warming.
I have not read it. A few commenter’s defending the book asked how anyone can judge it if they have not read it.
Well, no one can read every book that is out there, not even every book about global warming. We all have to choose. This of course introduces the possibility of bias confirmation. If I feel it in my gut that this particular book will be crap, I won’t read it and I will assume I am right about it.
But here’s the thing, it is possible to read detailed and referenced discussions of the material and read reviews (, , , ) and from those, hopefully you actually can make an informed decision about whether or not you might actually learn something.
There is lots of stuff there that cries out for correction. But let’s focus on something simple. If any of the resident sceptics here can provide me with any remotely plausible excuse for the following, I will buy and read Heaven and Earth by Ian Plimer:
Before responding, please see Tamino’s demolition of this gross falsehood and show me where he is wrong and Plimer is right.
George Monbiot has 11 similar falsehoods that he has asked Plimer to explain or provide references for. A variation of the volcano claim above is number 10 on his list. Apparently Plimer has realized that he can not possibly justify or scientifically support his claims and rather than answer Monbiot as he agreed, he has submitted a list of his own questions that read like a post doc exam in atmosheric chemistry. Monbiot is asking Plimer to explain Plimer’s own writings, Plimer is asking Monbiot things like:
8. Calculate 10 Ma time flitches using W/R ratios of 10, 100 and 500 for the heat addition to the oceans, oceanic pH changes and CO2 additions to bottom waters by alteration of sea floor rocks to greenschist and amphibolite facies assemblages, the cooling of new submarine volcanic rocks (including MORBs) and the heat, CO2 and CH4 additions from springs and gas vents since the opening of the Atlantic Ocean. From your calculations, relate the heat balance to global climate over these 10 Ma flitches. What are the errors in your calculations? Show all calculations and discuss the validity of any assumptions made.
I kid you not, there are 13 similar questions, all clearly designed as a distraction and stalling tactic. Monbiot asks Plimer where is the data for his claim that “the last two years of global cooling have erased nearly thirty years of temperature increase” – simple and reasonable – Plimer asks Monbiot “From the annual average burning of hydrocarbons, lignite, bituminous coal and natural and coal gas, smelting, production of cement, cropping, irrigation and deforestation, use the 25µm, 7µm and 2.5µm wavelengths to calculate the effect that gaseous, liquid and solid H2O have on atmospheric temperature at sea level and at 5 km altitude at latitudes of 20º, 40º, 60º and 80ºS” – complex and irrelevant to defending his own words.
Seriously, why should I think my time will not be wasted reading anything written by anyone who can believe volcanos have caused the CO2 rise and many other patently ridiculous and standard denialisms?