While it appears as if most people, including our Canadian governments have moved on from denying the existence of radical climate change caused by human activities, some would be experts are still trying to mount rear guard skirmishes. Professor Ian Plimer, author of the book Heaven and Earth, is the new champion of the climate change deniers.
In this controversial book, Australia's leading geologist suggests that carbon dioxide is a relatively insignificant factor driving climate. He summarizes what we know about climate change and makes an argument against many of the punitive -- and expensive -- laws that are now being passed to protect our environment. He points to the great Alar scare of 1989; when we seemed to be headed toward a New Ice Age; when the Arctic was melting but the Antarctic was not; and when ethanol was the public sector's answer to everything.
There are many concerns that have been raised by scientists about the alleged false claims, intentional misrepresentations and distortions in Pilmer's book. George Monbiot of the Guaurdian newspaper in the UK is one of those. He challenges many of Pilmer's claims in a series of point by point rebuttals. Click here to view Monbiot's response.
In the end, what Pilmer inadvertently describes may reveal less about the validity of climate change and more about how we deal with change in society. We seem to be too quick to chase the quick and easy solutions and too slow to consider the bigger picture and even slower to adapt to change when that adaptation may prove inconvenient in the short term.