Saturday, May 09, 2009

Michael Ashley reviews Ian Plimer's "Heaven and Earth"

Michael Ashley, a Professor of Astrophysics as the University of New South Wales, has written a very cogent review of Ian Plimer's "Heaven and Earth," a new book which claims to demolish the argument the scientific consensus that human emissions of CO2 have changed the climate.

Notable points: Plimer believes that the crank paper "The Sun is a plasma diffuser that sorts atoms by mass" accurately describes the Sun. Given the wealth of good popular science and semi-technical literature available on stellar structure and stellar evolution its hard to imagine how a non-astronomer would, in good faith, end up using a relatively obscure crank paper to describe the Sun.

Ashley's final paragraph is worth repeating in its entirety:

Plimer has done an enormous disservice to science, and the dedicated scientists who are trying to understand climate and the influence of humans, by publishing this book. It is not "merely" atmospheric scientists that would have to be wrong for Plimer to be right. It would require a rewriting of biology, geology, physics, oceanography, astronomy and statistics. Plimer's book deserves to languish on the shelves along with similar pseudo-science such as the writings of Immanuel Velikovsky and Erich von Daniken.

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