October 17, 2003


The conspiracy deepens. Now Victorian conservatives are openly listening to a greenhouse theory “doubter”:

Professor Plimer, who heads Melbourne University's school of earth sciences, is also a managing director of mining company Consolidated Broken Hill.

He argues that the greenhouse effect and global warming is a natural occurrence unrelated to human activity, and says the Earth is in a normal phase.

Speaking on the ABC last year, he described the orthodox notion that human industrial production of carbon dioxide causes global warming as "a political bandwagon being pushed".


Posted by Tim Blair at October 17, 2003 07:21 AM

I think the same could probably be said for "second hand smoke".

I know it's not popular to defend cigarettes and I wouldn't want to be so rude as to smoke in a restaurant when people are trying to enjoy their LUNCH but they have banned smoking in bars, pubs, and taverns in New York State where it gets pretty damn cold outside in the winter.

All on the basis of specious research that is far from incontrovertible. Man, are the bar owners gonna feel the economic pinch this winter.

Posted by: JDB at October 17, 2003 at 08:29 AM

What is next? Is some quack going to claim that the earth is round and not flat? Squash the dissent.

Posted by: perfectsense at October 17, 2003 at 08:34 AM

Political bandwagon? It's more like a road train.

Posted by: taspundit at October 17, 2003 at 09:40 AM

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, whose research was the impetus for the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, now says that the burning of liquid fossil fuels will not result in Global Warming.

According to New Scientist magazine "geologists Anders Sivertsson, Kjell Aleklett and Colin Campbell of Uppsala University say there is not enough oil and gas left for even the most conservative of the 40 IPCC scenarios to come to pass."

For RDB,

Scientists in Perth are investigating the health effects on non-smokers of the fumes given off by smokers after they smoke. Just imagine the lawsuits.

Posted by: ZsaZsa at October 17, 2003 at 10:02 AM

Everyone, grab a copy of Ian Plimer's A Short History of the Planet Earth. Not only is it a great read, but it also helps explain why the current debate about Global Warming is so limited. He lists probably ten separate causes for Global Warming and Global cooling. Excess of CO2 in the atmosphere is one of them, but there are others:

1) Asteroids and other astronomical bodies
2) Changes in the surface heat of the sun
3) Sunspot activity
4) Changes in the earths biosphere
5) Emission of sulphur (from volcanic eruptions)
6) Emission of C02
7) Movement of continents
8) Effect of the oceans on global temperatures
9) More (I can't remember them at the moment)

Good book! Professor Plimer is one of the best science communicators around.

Posted by: TimT at October 17, 2003 at 04:50 PM

I want to know why the Earth is on some strange cooling/warming cycle that seems to last about 365 or 366 days ... depending.

Did you know that the mean temperature each month where I live (a very moderate climate) can fluctuate from 2.6C all the way up to 17.2C?

What causes that? Car emissions?

And places in the interior (where I grew up) can fluctuate from 0C all the way up to 28C?

And I've heard some places can fluctuate even more.

I've heard some weird theory it has to do with Earth's orbit or tilt or something.

But others believe it has to do with cars.

Posted by: Bruce at October 17, 2003 at 05:31 PM

Just read Borjn Lomborg's book for the complete, true picture!

Posted by: Bushy at October 17, 2003 at 07:01 PM

I second TimT's vote of approval for Plimer's book.

Posted by: Craig Mc at October 17, 2003 at 07:30 PM

Lomborg's is a good book, but I would also recommend Satanic Gases by Balling and Michaels published by Cato. There are plenty of doubters out and with very good reason. The proposed fix (of global warming) won't fix it, and will cost billions of dollars. Other than that it's a great idea (sarcasm Murph). The Earth has been much warmer in the Mesozoic without much problem to plant and animal life.. until that asteroid hit.

Posted by: Jack at October 17, 2003 at 10:28 PM

"until that asteroid hit"

If we are going to spend billions of dollars on preventing global doom, why not spend it on a space program to detect and shift incoming planet killers?

We know for sure thats going to happen sometime in the next few million years. Or 5. Or 10.

Posted by: Bruce Too at October 18, 2003 at 01:22 AM

"9) More (I can't remember them at the moment)"

Don't forget Western Civilization...and the Patriarchy...and the Jews.

Posted by: LB at October 18, 2003 at 02:20 AM

Bruce sez:

I've heard some weird theory it has to do with Earth's orbit or tilt or something.

But others believe it has to do with cars.

You're both right. The cars are causing Earth's orbit to tilt. Expect more police to be writing speeding tickets as the next governmental effort to combat this problem.

Posted by: Tom K at October 18, 2003 at 07:03 AM

Bruce and Tom: You guys are only partly right. The Earth is tilting because there are more cars per capita in the US than in the rest of the world. This makes the Western Hemisphere (and specifically, the northern part of it) much heavier, hence the tilt.

The answer is obvious: They need more and bigger cars, preferably SUVs, in Australia to counterbalance.

Of course, Tim isn't really doing his part to address this imminent problem, what with that teeny little EUnuch tin can he drives.

Posted by: Ken Summers at October 18, 2003 at 08:18 AM

There must be something to the earth's tilt theory. I heard that the North American continent has a tilt to it, and that's the reason that everything that's loose winds up in California. Kind of piles up in the corner, so to speak.

Posted by: Ernie G at October 18, 2003 at 01:42 PM

It is entirely moot whether or not global warming is a natural or a man-made event, if global warming is indeed happening. The real question is: Do men wish to do anything about it? We are the species which changes our environment to suit us. As Putin pointed out recently, global warming looks fairly attractive if you live in Siberia.

Posted by: B. K. Oxley (binkley) at October 19, 2003 at 12:21 AM


Posted by: roop at October 19, 2003 at 02:34 AM

That's "scarequotes" to you, son.

Posted by: Ken Summers at October 19, 2003 at 07:15 AM

Several 'bright' science types have stated that methane emmisions by cows have contributed to the temperature rise. Thankfully here in America Buffalo Bill Cody and his buddies nearly wiped out the North American bison - we would really be baking if they hadn't.

Posted by: Jericho at October 21, 2003 at 07:21 PM