[[ Check out my Wordpress blog Context/Earth for environmental and energy topics tied together in a semantic web framework ]]

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

The Role of Geology

Several scientists have reviewed a book by Ian Pilmer called "Heaven and Earth. Global warming: the missing science"
"The most disappointing aspect of this book is the wide use of subjective and often emotive text, unbecoming of a scientific treatise, and this is despite a tirade in Chapter 1 suggesting that Ian is the only scientist, or geology the only field of science that understands the scientific method, is rigorous in the use of observations, and the setting and testing of hypotheses. To suggest that the discipline of geology is the framework in which to analyse the climate-change issue, is as indefensible as suggesting that climate models alone are the basis for determining human response to this issue." -- Dr Graeme Pearman, Honorary Senior Research Fellow at Monash University in Melbourne
Pilmer teaches geology at University of Adelaide, and from this review seems to claim that "geology the only field of science that understands the scientific method". I find that kind of hard to believe given the forthrightness of all the expert geologists warning us about oil depletion in the past (said with a sardonic grin).

As a reality check, we know that geology has a role, yet we need fresh perspectives and viewpoints to get to the truth of the matter. Whether one should add subjective or emotive narrative to the text, I could go one way or another. If it takes some opinionated tirades to get people interested, it may turn out worthwhile. I think of Richard Feynman, a very colorful character, who backed up his musings with tremendous insight.

I do wonder if someone has a Pilmer-like book critical of Peak Oil in the works.

Deltoid: http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/05/plimer_and_arctic_warming.php


Post a Comment

<< Home

"Like strange bulldogs sniffing each other's butts, you could sense wariness from both sides"