Saturday, May 09, 2009

Ian Plimer And The Iron Sun

Aussie climate change denier Ian Plimer's has a new book out, entitled Heaven and Earth. In it, he rehashes the usual nonsense to show that climate change is a hoax, Al Gore is fat, and so forth. There's a good review of it here from astronomer Michael Ashley. Reading through his review, I came across the following passage:

Plimer probably didn't expect an astronomer to review his book. I couldn't help noticing on page 120 an almost word-for-word reproduction of the abstract from a well-known loony paper entitled 'The Sun is a plasma diffuser that sorts atoms by mass'. This paper argues that the sun isn't composed of 98 per cent hydrogen and helium, as astronomers have confirmed through a century of observation and theory, but is instead similar in composition to a meteorite.

Here Plimer is referencing one of my favorite deniers, Oliver "Iron Sun" Manuel, who is most famous for suggesting that the sun is not a Hydrogen-driven fusion engine but a big ball of iron created by a an ancient super-nova and that, if this is the case, it explains...somehow... the various "solar cycles" that allegedly drive global warming, where the standard model...for some reason...does not.

Since his name has come up, I would refer readers to this earlier post of mine, where I talked a little more about his theories, his place as a dissident within the solar physics community, and speculate as to why he hooked up with the deniers.


Barton Paul Levenson said...

I've noticed that people who embrace one pseudoscience often move on to embrace others as well. I guess once you take the perspective that anybody can come up with a brilliant, world-shaking theory whatever their qualifications, and that such theories are inevitably suppressed by a jealous and stupid scientific inquisition, ANYTHING might be true.

Velikovskians argue against the greenhouse effect because they think Venus is hot from passing through the sun. This naturally moves them into the anti-AGW-theory camp. Righty anti-environmentalists who hate any scientific evidence that might lead to more government regulation of big business easily embrace opposition to AGW theory, CFCs harming the ozone layer, and second-hand tobacco smoke causing cancer. You can probably think of additional examples.

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