Global warming: been there, done that
Australian geologist Ian Plimer says that the planet has warmed and cooled many times before. And humans aren’t to blame.
Michael Cook | Friday, 8 May 2009
The group which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore, the International Panel on Climate Change, says that it is “very likely”, ie, 90 percent sure, that global warming is due to increased greenhouse gas emissions generated by man. But “very likely” still leaves room for some uncertainly, doesn’t it?
So when I looked at the cover story of last week’s Nature, I thought that I might see coverage of that 10 percent of unexplained observations and alternative hypotheses. To my surprise, there was none. Instead, there was a windy editorial, “Time to act”, which says that the challenge of winding back global warming seems all but insurmountable. This was accompanied by articles headlined, “A burden beyond bearing”, “Too much of a bad thing”, “Warming caused by cumulative carbon emissions towards the trillionth tonne”, and “The worst-case scenario”.
It was more like a goosepimpling special feature on asteroid collisions in the London Sun or the New York Post than the world’s leading science journal. But respectable tabloids always tuck in a brief comment from a sceptic. Nature had none. Did its editors have no misgivings at all about the righteousness of their cause?