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This has got to be the most sensible, eloquent and professional article I’ve seen for a long time. It makes me feel proud to be an archaeologist — and feel fortunate that my father is a geologist.
It saddens me that we are living in a time of extreme and fanatical arrogance, partly based on a lack of understanding, humility and awe regarding the wonderful creation, planet Earth.
Simply said, take away the research $$$ gravy train and politicians just wanting to stay in power and that don’t have the guts to say “NO!” and all this foolishness would dry up in no time.
I just hope the economy is not laid to waste by those self-righteous and thoughtless politicians like Julia Gillard and Wayne Swan.
UPDATE 12/6/11: “Beware the arrogance of human time versus geological time.” ~ John Meath
The natural history of climate change
IPA REVIEW ARTICLE
By Ian Plimer
Some of us underpin our environmentalism with political and romantic idealism, others underpin it with emotion, others have a religious view of the environment, some underpin their environmental view with economic pragmatism and many, like me, try to acquire an integrated scientific understanding of the environment. An integrated scientific view involves a holistic view of the Earth and considers life, ice sheets, oceans, atmosphere, rocks and extraterrestrial phenomena which influence our planet.
Geology is about time, changes to our environment over time and the evolution of our planet. Geology is the only way to integrate all aspects of the environment. Past climate changes, sea level changes and catastrophes are written in stone.
Time is a beautiful but misunderstood four-letter word. Most of us can’t fathom the huge numbers that geologists and astronomers use, hence most of the community has little knowledge of geology. History and archaeology are rarely integrated with natural geological events. There is little or no geological, archaeological and historical input into discussions about climate change.
It is little wonder then that catastrophist views of the future of the planet fall on fertile pastures. The history of time shows us that depopulation, social disruption, extinctions, disease and catastrophic droughts take place in cold times and in warm times life blossoms and economies boom.
Climate has always changed. It always has and always will. Sea level has always changed. Ice sheets come and go. Life always changes. Extinctions of life are normal. Planet Earth is dynamic and evolving. Climate changes are cyclical and random. Through the eyes of a geologist, I would be really concerned if there were no change to Earth over time. In the light of large rapid natural climate changes, just how much do humans really change climate?
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