Global warming – a load of hot air

Rates of global warming remain consistent despite a six-fold increase of the world’s hydrocarbon use since 1940. This was the message from Australian geologist, Professor Ian Plimer, speaking at Cambridge […]

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By Tom Gibson

Rates of global warming remain consistent despite a six-fold increase of the world’s hydrocarbon use since 1940.

This was the message from Australian geologist, Professor Ian Plimer, speaking at Cambridge University today. Arguing that we are simply in one of the Earth’s many temperature cycles, he said: “during glaciations we have huge fluctuations. Is there anything unusual about today? No.”

The geologist spoke of the release of carbon by volcanoes and other geological movement and suggested that the magnitude of late twentieth century temperature change wasn’t unusual and was in fact nature just taking it’s course.

He said: “Just because temperature’s are going up it doesn’t mean it is to do with us.”

Met with cheers of support from the majority of the audience at the Conference on the Science and Economics of Climate Change hosted by Downing College, Prof Pliner went on to contest those who supported the idea of unnatural global warming for being “bad for science”.

He acknowledged the human effect on CO2 increases but insisted rates of warming were still the same: “No doubt we’re putting CO2 into the atmosphere, but whether we’re damaging the earth? Well, I wonder.”

Several pieces of evidence had been shown throughout the day that suggested carbon dioxide levels were in fact much higher millions of years ago, something Prof Pliner attributed to the “blossoming of life”.