My signed copy of Heaven+Earth: Global Warming, the missing science by Australia’s most eminent geologist arrived last week. Peter Gallagher has just reviewed it here, and I agree with most of his impressions.
Apart from anything else it seems like a useful compendium of “History, Sun, Earth, Water, Air” facts and references, with over 500 pages and 2311 references. My hardcover version is laid out in a small book format with over-narrow margins, making it look a little like a “Backpackers Guide”. The language is quite informal too, so the impression fits.
What surprised me was the frequency and intensity of vitriol directed at “Global Warmers”. This is an old-school geologist who is absolutely appalled at the sloppy methodology and opportunism that climate alarmism embodies. He wants empirical proof, independent verification, but sees strong similarities with creation science, the subject of another of his books. For example:
Climate science lacks discipline.
We live in a time when the methodology of science is suspended.
How many examples of failed predictions, discredited assumptions, evidence of incorrect data and evidence of malpractise are required before the idea of human-induced climate change loses credibility?
In many fields of science, this [Mann's hockey stick and subsequent inquiry] would be considered a fraud.
We are aligned in many ways, particularly the role of sloppy science in fostering AGW. Plimer recounts my experiences in field after field. Being a statistical modeler, my realignment began with horror at the methods used in the alarmist papers to support AGW. They were so obviously flawed, the results should never be taken seriously by anyone with any quantitative science training. And over time rebuttals have come out, proving my first impression right, but they are almost entirely ignored, by those who continue to report massive effects of climate change. As the measure of the quality of science in these fields is the magnitude of climate alarmism, science is dead in those areas.
Plimer’s diagnosis, as he treks through the debris, is “human stupidity”.
He not going to be popular. The science is so extensive, there are sure to be things to quibble about. But the reaction of many scientists to the criticism seems to be the typically immature response of taking offense:
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.
Instead, a mature response would be to address the main message of the book, to see if there are systemic methodological deficiencies in climate science, and if so, propose solutions to remedy them. I don’t see any prominent climate scientists with that leadership or maturity. It is only coming from skeptics, and little heard of researchers who get no press.