In Heaven + Earth (Global Warming: The Missing Science), Ian Plimer, Professor of Mining Geology at The University of Adelaide, Australia, asks us to embrace big-picture science views; for to recognize our limits is a sign of maturity. "Climate science lacks scientific discipline," says the pro-amalgamation Professor, and in order to see more clearly we need to adopt an interdisciplinary approach. This requires humbleness.
In Chapter 2: History, Plimer travels back in time, thousands of years, in fact, to debunk Gore's catastrophic global warming myths. I particularly like his research on the ancient Greeks. For Plato (427-347 BC) advanced the position that global warming occurs at regular intervals in Timaeus, and his famous pupil Aristotle (382-322 BC), referred to climate changes in Meteorologica. Plimer's research points are fascinating:
"Theophrastus (374-287 BC), in turn a student of Aristotle, followed the tradition with De ventis and observed that Crete's mountains had previously produced fruit and grain whereas at the time he wrote, the winters were more severe and had more snow falls. In De causis plantarum, Theophrastus also noted that the Greek city of Larissus once had plentiful olive trees but falling temperatures killed them."
It wasn't Plato's Hummer, after all.
The Holocene Warming a (11,600-8,500bp). The Egyptian Cooling (8,500-8,000bp). The Holocene Warming b (8,000-5,600bp). The Akkadian Cooling (5,600-3,500AD). The Minoan Warming (3,500-3,200bp). The Bronze Age Cooling (3,200-2,500bp). The Roman Warming (500BC-535AD). The Dark Ages (535-900AD). The Medieval Warming (900AD-1300 AD). The Little Ice Age (1300AD-1850AD). Recall that the Greeks survived the warmings without air-conditioners. "History," writes Plimer, "cannot be rewritten just because it does not fit a computer model with a pre-ordained conclusion."
We‘re not the "special generation," and we don't have special powers to control the earth's temperature through special one-world government plans and cap-and-trade tax scams. Indeed, the ancients, from the Egyptians to the Greeks, these "enlightened pagans," as I call them, were far more level-headed than today's tree-first Democrats.
There are many reasons why civilisations rise and fall, and in my view, thousands of stories to be told. But let's be real because certain patterns stand out more than others, from droughts and floods, to broken sexual norms and dangerously low-birth rates.
Back to the ancient Greeks though: "Greek mythology makes reference to deforestation, flooding, siltation of irrigation channels, salination and the collapse of the Sumerian city-states. Written records dating back 5000 years ago describe declining crop yields and decreasing production of wheat relative to the most salt-tolerant barley. Patches of soil turned white, suggesting salt accumulation on the surface of agricultural lands. The drier conditions made it impossible to flush salt from fields."
To my way of thinking, history undermines bad science and supports good science. Again, the Woodstock generation's thirst for specialness is way beyond narcissism. Plimer too recognizes:
"The Mycenaean civilisation fell at the expense of the rise of the Assyrian, Phoenician and Greek civilisations. Records from Troy show that it was cold, with famine around 1259 to 1241 BC and no recovery until 800 BC."
However, I wonder if celebrities and pop scientists are capable of humbling themselves and seeing themselves as small-bit actors, specks of sand, in a larger play, spanning thousands of years, where cool periods and warm periods, visit us.
One day, the Hollywood generation (and I'm singling out limousine lefties here), will thank their lucky stars, or whatever they worship, that they missed the cold Dark Ages, for it was "a terrible time to be around." Just read about the weather of Constantinople by Procopius, or similar observations made from a more southern city by one John of Ephesus. Plimer adds:
"Around 540 AD, trees almost stopped growing. Flooded bog oaks and timber from this time have very narrow growth rings. This was a global event because it is also recorded in tree rings from Ireland, England, Siberia, North America and South America. Snow fell in Mediterranean Europe and coastal China and there were savage storms in Scandinavia and South America."
Obviously, there are, little warming periods within cold periods, and vice versa. And what should one make of the ancient Olympics, and especially athletic nudity, which was introduced (or popularised) in 720 BC, according to some historians? "Usually said to have commenced in 776 BC, they were a minor carnival at first," writes the historian, Geoffrey Blainey. Were athletes punishing themselves in freezing temperatures, or sun tanning?
"Whether competing as runners, throwers, wrestlers or chariots-drivers, the Greek athletes originally wore clothes but eventually nearly all preferred to be naked in the thronged arena," not to be confused with the thong arena. Did, natural warmings popularise the early Olympics? Little wonder, then, that Gore, the debate closer, ignores Greece's history.