Ian Plimer has had a distinguished career in academia, presently holding the position of Professor of Mining Geology at the University of Adelaide and Emeritus Professor of Earth Sciences at the University of Melbourne, where he was Professor and Head from 1991-2005.
At almost 500 pages (and 2311 footnotes), Plimer takes the reader through a geological and environmental history of the planet. His recounting of geological history is linked closely to human societal trends, where he makes the close link between climate and the relative successes and failures of human society. He asserts that periods when the climate was "warm" were ultimately positive for societies, with colder periods linked to population declines, wars and, in some cases, extinction of whole civilisations.
Plimer argues that climate change is not occurring, or at least that any climate change that is occurring is not directly attributable to man. He argues that the climate today is in fact "cooler" than in more recent periods, such as the times when the Roman Empire was emerging and was at its cultural and economic peak.
Plimer sets out a convincing but self-evidently controversial argument, attacking declarations about carbon pollution and carbon dioxide emissions, the evidence presented in the UN's IPCC reports and the questionable benefits of emission-trading and carbon reductions systems. His argument centres on climate being far more sophisticated and complex than some have asserted. He argues that looking at atmospheric climate alone, without proper consideration of the entire environmental system, is flawed.
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