BOOK REVIEW: News Weekly
, December 10, 2011
HOW TO GET EXPELLED FROM SCHOOL:
A Guide to Climate Change for Pupils, Parents and Punters
by Ian Plimer
(Ballan, Victoria: Connor Court)
Paperback: 243 pages
Reviewed by Michael Gilchrist
Australia’s best-known geologist Professor Ian Plimer, that bête noire of the climate alarmists, has followed up his best-selling book, Heaven & Earth (Connor Court), with an even more effective demolition of the catastrophist claims of imminent dangerous global warming caused by human emissions of carbon dioxide.
A foreword is provided by Dr Václav Klaus, President of the Czech Republic, and one of the very few world leaders honest and courageous enough to challenge the wall of dishonest propaganda surrounding the climate change (global warming) issue.
The tongue-in-cheek title of Plimer’s latest book says it all as he targets the school classrooms where much of the alarmist propaganda is peddled to captive audiences. At the end of his book are “One Hundred and One Questions for Your Teachers” which he invites brave students to ask to determine whether a teacher is an environmental activist or a genuine inquirer after truth. These are also questions which can be asked of politicians, on talkback radio, or in letters to the editor.
The questions cut to the chase. For example: “How much carbon dioxide is in the atmosphere at present?”
“What proportion of annual carbon dioxide emissions derives from humans and what proportion is natural?” (Answer: 3 per cent from humans and 97 per cent natural).
“If water vapour is the main greenhouse gas, why doesn’t the government have a tax for water vapour emissions?”
The present book should be even more effective with a wider readership than its predecessor as, apart from being updated, it is more concise and easier to grasp, being aimed specifically at the general reader, especially the secondary school or university student. The scientific arguments are presented in simpler layman’s language, whereas Heaven & Earth was highly technical in places, loaded with thousands of footnotes and at times a bit of a struggle for the non-specialist to grasp the science.
Having read a number of excellent books rebutting the alarmist claims in recent years, I found this one to be the most effective so far, providing as it does an easy to grasp bird’s-eye view of the natural forces involved with climate change and a persuasive nailing of the weaknesses in alarmist claims.
Of course the issue has been clouded with blatant misinformation, with the switch from “global warming” to “climate change” and the constant talk of “carbon pollution”. Most of our politicians and journalists seem oblivious of the nonsense they constantly spout as they advertise their scientific illiteracy.
One could easily fill this review with a long list of Plimer’s quotable quotes and facts and figures that refute the alarmist claims.
At the foot of this review (below) are just a few that provide a flavour of the book’s barbed wit.
Plimer makes the point that geology is the best science for gaining a long-term perspective on the earth’s climate fluctuations over millions of years. It enables us to determine whether any changes over the past century are unusual. Plimer argues that “geology is the ultimate climate science”.
He also answers the critics of Heaven & Earth, noting that on the book’s first page the chemical formula for a recently discovered mineral, plimerite, was incorrectly named. Yet none of the climate industry’s “expert” critics picked up the error. Ideology rather than facts looked to be the critics’ main driver, many of whom seemed not to have read the book at all.
Plimer quotes a Charles MacKay (1841) whose observation has particular relevance to the present: “Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.”
How to Get Expelled would make an ideal Christmas present for one’s teenage children or grandchildren, as well as for any teachers one knows or relatives and friends with an interest in the climate change debate.
The wit of Professor Ian Plimer
• “The same people predicting sea level rises own expensive houses on the coast.”
• “Ideological electricity from wind farms or solar stations.”
• “Nature does not obey Canberra’s legislation.”
• “When it comes to climate, uncertainty rules.”
• “Just because the data is cooked does not mean the planet is cooking.”
• “Research supporting dangerous global warming has been a gravy-train offering easy fame and fortune.”
• “My only contact with big oil is when I fill up the tank of my car. I pay big oil; they don’t pay me.”
• “No wonder I am attacked. I am a party pooper and could reduce the cash flow to the climate industry.”
• “The climate industry has openly and flagrantly violated every aspect of the core ethos of science.”
• “Gains made by the Renaissance have been lost over the last two decades.”
• “Climate models tell more about the modellers than the climate as they produce pre-ordained conclusions.”
• “Nature just refuses to co-operate with the catastrophist dogma.
• “If Australia stopped all CO2 emissions today, the decrease in global temperature would be 0.0145 degrees C by 2050.”