Customer Reviews


6 Reviews
5 star:
 (2)
4 star:    (0)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:
 (3)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


21 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding book
This book should be compulsory reading for anyone with an opinion on climate change and CO2, in particular any University-level Environmental course. It strips away a lot of the emotions and politics and gets down to facts and science. It's worth buying just to read the chapters that debunk the famous hockey-stick atmospheric CO2 curve and discuss the real temperature...
Published on Aug. 10 2009 by DAHocking

versus
6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Review of Heaven and Earth, by Professor Ian Plimer
Professor Plimer's book challenges the hypothesis that global warming is caused by the actions of mankind, specifically increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. He draws on several hundred references to support his view that global warming we see today is a natural event, and that the temperatures we see now have been exceeded in the relatively recent past (3 times...
Published on Nov. 4 2009 by Brian Nash


Most Helpful First | Newest First

21 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding book, Aug. 10 2009
By 
DAHocking (Calgary, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Heaven and Earth: Global Warming, the Missing Science (Paperback)
This book should be compulsory reading for anyone with an opinion on climate change and CO2, in particular any University-level Environmental course. It strips away a lot of the emotions and politics and gets down to facts and science. It's worth buying just to read the chapters that debunk the famous hockey-stick atmospheric CO2 curve and discuss the real temperature profile of the Earth over the last few thousand years. There's an enormous amount of climate education contained in 500 pages and even if you disagree with parts of it, the book gives you a lot to consider.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Review of Heaven and Earth, by Professor Ian Plimer, Nov. 4 2009
By 
Brian Nash "Climate Skeptic" (Vancouver BC, Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Heaven and Earth: Global Warming, the Missing Science (Paperback)
Professor Plimer's book challenges the hypothesis that global warming is caused by the actions of mankind, specifically increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. He draws on several hundred references to support his view that global warming we see today is a natural event, and that the temperatures we see now have been exceeded in the relatively recent past (3 times in the past 5,000 years) and numerous times previously.
Professor Plimer argues convincingly that the theory of mankind causing global warming is flawed because it ignores warm periods in Minoan, Roman and Norman times and takes its base at 1750, when the earth was appreciably colder than now.
Where the book fails is Professor Plimer's writing style. The references are jumbled, he jumps from time period to time period and from place to place. Much of the book reads like a rant.
The book could usefully be half the length and better organized. It is a pity that the book is so poorly edited, because Professor Plimer makes important points that politicians need to understand before they impose carbon taxes.
To give a couple of simple examples, if you cannot predict the weather, how can you predict the climate? The main drivers of the global weather / climate are the sun and volcanic activity, yet these are not included in climate forecasts (other than vague cycles, in the case of solar activity) because we cannot predict these essential drivers.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Good science, lousy book, Aug. 31 2009
By 
Michael McCall (Nova Scotia, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Heaven and Earth: Global Warming, the Missing Science (Paperback)
To those of us who question the doomsday scenario put forward by those who think that global warning is real and being real, is terrible, Prof. Pliner clearly outlines that science does not support it. The earth has been undergoing climate change for millions of years ice ages last for thousands of years then disappear and the earth becomes warmer, allowing higher food production, permitting travel, seeing cities rise, creating a more healthy and a more educatwd population, and so on. "Cold" periods such as the 1500s result in famine, hard times, reduced populations, and so on. These alternating scenarios have been going of for millions of years; long before man began adding his pitifully small contribution of CO two to the atmosphere. Nature provides much more.
Trouble is, this burden of this book could be accommodated in half the number of pages and it really needed a good editor; so much repetition that I doubt if many readers get very far. It's too bad, because Prof. Pliner is a scientist and uses all the sciences to demonstrate that "we" are not causing global warming; the ups and downs of the world's temperatures are continuous and depend on many factors; ocean warming, changes in water distribution patterns, shifting tectonic plates, variations in amounts of rainfall, and on and on. Our influence as negligible. It's worth the struggle of getting 100 or so pages into it because the reader then realizes that we're simply in cycle that's been been going on forever. But I fear that much of the book deserves to be unread, and will be.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book but a tough read, Nov. 18 2009
By 
Kenneth Fairhurst (Sidney, B.C.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Heaven and Earth: Global Warming, the Missing Science (Paperback)
Humans have been burning fossil fuels and producing CO2 for the past 150 years. The atmospheric concentration of CO2 has risen. CO2 is a greenhouse gas. The Earth's mean temperature appears to have risen over this period. "Obviously human produced CO2 has caused the warming" says the IPCC. The science is settled. Q.e.d. Anything that is at variance with this is obviously wrong and must be either ignored or changed.
"Not so fast" says Ian Plimer. You are ignoring the basic statistical law which states that correlation does not mean causation. I will write a book to show that there is nothing new about climate change. That the Earth has been both much warmer and much cooler than present at various times of its evolution. That todays CO2 levels are much lower than in the geological past and are not exceptionally high in relationship to the historical past. That there are many things on Earth and in space producing climate variability. That the fears of catastrophic global warming are unfounded, and that previous warm periods have been beneficial to both human society and the biosphere whilst cold periods have been times of great hardship.
Has he succeeded in his quest? Absolutely! He presents convincing evidence in favour of all the above propositions, and continually emphasises how woefully inadequate are the global climate models that the IPCC relies on. I do not believe that anybody could read this book with an open mind and not be convinced that there is overwhelming evidence against the possibility of catastrophic AGW.
Professor Plimer is Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Adelaide University, and Emeritus Professor of Earth Sciences at Melbourne University. Geology is one of the core disciplines of climate science. Consequently he is well qualified to write on this topic (not something that can be said of some IPCC lead authors, not to mention the authors of various alarmist AGW books and films).
The book devotes chapters to climate history, the Earth, the Sun, water, ice and air. Each chapter is preceded by a very useful synopsis of the topics to be covered. The ways, many of them theoretical, in which these systems interact to produce the climate is explored. The stupendous complexity of these interactions is apparent. Much time is spent on the methods that have been used to determine past climates and CO2 levels as well as the ways that the IPCC and some of its lead authors have misinterpreted and misused the data. The final chapter sets forth Plimer's opinions about the politics of global warming, the individuals and groups supporting it out of self interest and the many ill-informed people who have been misled by them. Although this chapter is a bit rambling and could have used some editing, it contains plenty of information that deserves to be common knowledge.
The book is constructed around more than 2,300 references. This may account for the choppiness of the writing and the repetition referred to in other reviews. The amount of information is massive, and, unless one has a photographic memory, it will take a great deal of time and effort to get through the book. It is definitely not bedtime reading material, but anyone who puts in the effort will be richly rewarded.
And what of the IPCC? They have changed the CO2 atmopheric residence time from the previously accepted 4 to 5 years to a ridiculous 50 to 200 years without a shred of real-world evidence to support it. The role of the sun is downplayed and the variability of the solar constant is grossly underestimated. They admit that clouds and precipitation systems are poorly modelled, and they do not even try to model ENSO. They have spent billions of dollars over 2 decades in trying to find a fingerprint for AGW, and have completely failed to do so. In no way are these the actions of a responsible and impartial body. But then the science is settled isn't it? Professor Plimer details many more examples.
The book is not perfect. There are several contradictory statements and one that made me raise my eyebrows. On page 19 he states that one of the IPCC lead authors on epidemiology has written on mercury poisoning from land mines. This is a mis-quote from page 188 of Lawrence Solomon's "The Deniers".
Also, some of the graphs are not very explanatory.
CO2 is a trace gas, 50% heavier than air and highly soluble in water. It is essential to life, and is a fundamental building block of all our foodstuffs. Yet the idea has taken hold that it is a dangerous pollutant which threatens to destroy civilisation and the planet. Because of this, governments are discussing spending trillions of dollars on a futile attempt to control and reduce its atmospheric concentration. This is preposterous. It is pure madness. Future generations will look back at it and shake their heads in amazement.
Professor Plimer has done his best to bring sanity to the discussions on climate change. I wholeheartedly recommend his book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What is a Pettenkofer?, April 11 2010
By 
Blair Dowden - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Heaven and Earth: Global Warming, the Missing Science (Paperback)
Ian Plimer is a professor of Geology at the University of Adelaide in Australia, specializing in mining geology. This book, his view of the science of climate change, is a difficult read, with a large number of footnotes sometimes taking up half the page. The text often wanders, perhaps to use up some of the references he has accumulated. For readers unfamiliar with climate science, or science in general, this may create an impression of an expert author with a vast array of evidence to back up his writing, which is not necessarily the case.

The History chapter, the one closest to his actual expertise, is a detailed account of the many changes that have occurred in climate, mainly over the past few thousand years. Unfortunately, that history is not known to nearly the same level of detail in which it is presented. As in any science, there is much debate and uncertainty about the magnitude and timing of these events. Throughout the book Plimer rarely gives any hint to any such uncertainty.

According to Plimer's account, every plague or collapse of a civilization was directly caused by a climate change event. In reality, there is much debate among historians about the role of climate change, and it is only sometimes considered to be a contributing factor. The extreme climate determinism here is rather curious, given that it is usually those concerned with anthropogenic climate change who invoke images of civilizations collapsing due to climate.

The historical events do not always align with the climate changes that supposedly caused them. For example, the decline of the Roman Empire began well before the peak of the Roman Warming. Contrary to Plimer, the "Dark Ages" was not a climatic period, or even a "terrible time to be alive." Rather, its causes were internal political and external military pressures on the Roman Empire and its successors. The extreme events he describes appear to be a single volcanic eruption (with "meteor and comet swarms" no less), not the general climate of the period. Rather than people starving, agriculture became more productive due to the invention of a superior plow. If Europe was freezing in the dark, why did the center of power migrate northward from Italy to France, then to Germany during this period?

A statement such as "by 300 AD the global climate was far warmer than at present" is misleading because only the European climate is known in any detail. A regional climate change often has only a small global impact. The 1977 book used as a reference (instead of the 1995 version, available for free online) could not have had any information on the global climate of the period. But although much of the detail is wrong, the general picture of a variable climate in the past is valid. In particular, warming climates are often (not always) associated with improved agriculture, while cooling often leads to droughts and stormy weather. An informed and balanced discussion of the relevance of this to a warming climate in the future would be welcome, but it is not to be found here. Instead we get told the false dichotomy that because climate changed naturally in the past, human caused change is not possible in the future.

As another example of the quality of the references, on page 59 we are told that during the Roman warming "tropical rains in Africa caused huge flooding of the Nile and many great buildings were inundated. These changes in rainfall, river flow and lake levels were widespread." If you bother to scan down to read the two references given, one is a paper on the prairies in North America, the other is about the west coast of Spain and Portugal. In general, references tend to be given for minor items, while major and controversial statements get none.

The remainder of the book, departing ever further from his expertise, is about promoting all possible causes of climate change except carbon dioxide. Extreme and unsubstantiated statements are common, such as "there is no such thing as the greenhouse effect," or there is no correlation between carbon dioxide levels and global temperature. In fact, there is a good correlation wherever there is reasonably certain data on all but the shortest time scales. So on page 26 we are shown a chart of temperature compared to carbon dioxide levels, and are told "this diagram shows that the hypothesis that human emissions of CO2 create global warming is invalid." This chart covers a six year time span. Any trend can be generated by cherry picking the right six years, as any practicing geologist should know. Similarly, no mathematically literate scientist could make the extraordinary statement on page 361 that "in Australia, 40 major floods were recorded from 1900 to 1982. Of these, 24 occurred during the first cycle of a double sunspot cycle and 16 in the second cycle, again showing the very strong relationship between solar activity and climate." This small amount of data has no statistical significance.

An example of the desperate attempt to find any cause of warming other than carbon dioxide is found on page 209, "as the oceans contain 22 times more heat than the atmosphere, ocean heat contributes greatly to driving climate and the unseen submarine volcanism can have a profound effect on the surface heat of the Earth." In fact, the oceans contain one thousand times more heat than the atmosphere. As for under-sea volcanoes affecting the climate, the reference he gives is a 1979 paper on a single submarine volcanic vent system. The paper only says (imagine, actually checking a reference!) the plume becomes undetectable 150 meters above the bottom. It is only examining the effect of the heat on local biology, not the global climate.

But the ultimate departure from reality is found on page 416, "between 1812 and 1961, there have been more than more than 90,000 measurements of atmospheric CO2 by the Pettenkofer method. These showed peaks in atmospheric CO2 in 1825, 1857 and 1942. In 1942 the atmospheric CO2 content (400 ppmv) was higher than now." The reference is to a non peer-reviewed journal. If there was any truth to this, the entire case for global warming would be falsified, and the rest of the book would not be necessary. But (almost) no scientist, even those most skeptical about global warming, would take this nonsense seriously.

My question is, how can a scientist with a good reputation in his own field write a work that is so full of errors and every possible class of logical fallacy? The examples I give are representative of what is found on almost every page, backed by a horde of references that do not actually support his statements. This is the pseudo-science of a post-modern artist, for whom facts are merely the raw materials to construct a personal fantasy of both what climate science is, and the data that may or may not support it.

This book may be of use someone who is looking for examples to make critics of climate change look foolish. Those looking for "ammunition" to support a preconceived view that global warming is a complete fraud may also think this book useful, but consider the consequences of making a "Pettenkofer method" type of statement to an informed audience. Anyone who actually wants to understand more about the global warming controversy is advised to look elsewhere.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars "factual" science? Hardly, Sept. 3 2009
By 
Judy Earl (British Columbia) - See all my reviews
I have to agree with D.A. Hocking. Plimer's book would be good for a university level environmental or earth sciences course--to demonstrate writing that is completely at odds with known climate science. Dr. Plimer has not one peer-reviewed publication on climate science, and his book is filled with inaccuracies and outlandish claims. Thankfully, several climatologists have written reviews of the book exposing its many weaknesses. Save your money and look elsewhere.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First
ARRAY(0xadd6b0e4)

This product

Heaven and Earth: Global Warming, the Missing Science
Heaven and Earth: Global Warming, the Missing Science by Ian Plimer (Paperback - July 16 2009)
CDN$ 23.95 CDN$ 17.29
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews