Ian Plimer is a geology professor at Adelaide University and a well known member of the Australian Skeptics Association and long time enemy of creationists. He is now highly sceptical of the idea that mankind is the cause of warming, or that we can put a stop to it. “When meteorologists can change the weather then we can start to think about humans changing climate” said Plimer in an address to the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy in Sydney on 11 April 2007. Plimer believes that main causes of climate change are variations in solar activity and cosmic rays. When the sun is more active, there is less cosmic radiation which leads to less cloud cover and the earth warms up. He has also researched sources of carbon dioxide and claims “about 0.1 per cent of the atmospheric carbon dioxide was due to human activity and much of the rest due to little-understood geological phenomena.” He points out there have been periods in earth’s history when atmospheric carbon dioxide has been much higher. Plimer also claims that the breaking up of polar ice sheets can be explained by the physics of flowing ice, not temperature changes. Plimer’s assessment of the current media interest is that “bad news was more fashionable now than good and that people had an innate tendency to want to be a little frightened.”

Plimer’s claims are backed up by Timothy Patterson, a Canadian Professor of Geology who has studied layers of sediment from the deep fjords on the West Coast of Canada and compared the variation in fossil fish scales and diatoms with changes in the sun’s activity. He summarised his results in an article in the Canadian Financial Post, 20 June 2007, as follows: “Specifically, we find a very strong and consistent 11-year cycle throughout the whole record in the sediments and diatom remains. This correlates closely to the well-known 11-year “Schwabe” sunspot cycle, during which the output of the sun varies by about 0.1%. Sunspots, violent storms on the surface of the sun, have the effect of increasing solar output, so, by counting the spots visible on the surface of our star, we have an indirect measure of its varying brightness. Such records have been kept for many centuries and match very well with the changes in marine productivity we are observing. In the sediment, diatom and fish-scale records, we also see longer period cycles, all correlating closely with other well-known regular solar variations. In particular, we see marine productivity cycles that match well with the sun’s 75-90 year “Gleissberg Cycle,” the 200-500-year “Suess Cycle” and the 1,100-1,500-year “Bond Cycle.” The strength of these cycles is seen to vary over time, fading in and out over the millennia.” Patterson also stated the earth’s climate has changed more rapidly and by larger amounts than the currently observed changes. He commented: “Climate stability has never been a feature of planet Earth. The only constant about climate is change; it changes continually and, at times, quite rapidly. Many times in the past, temperatures were far higher than today, and occasionally, temperatures were colder.”

Editorial Comment: Timothy Patterson’s summary of climate variation could have come straight from Genesis 8:22 where God’s accurate weather forecast to Noah is recorded: “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” Ian Plimer may be an outspoken opponent of creationism, but for once Plimer has said something we agree with. However, instead of Plimer scoffing at people for thinking they can change the weather and for naturally wanting to be “a little frightened”, we all need to respect the Creator God who actually can change the weather, and we do need to “Fear God, and give glory to him”, for the hour of his judgment is coming.” We do need to both fear and worship the Creator “that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” (Rev 14:7) (Ref. meteorology, politics, environment)

Evidence News 11th July 2007