Tim Flannery on 'The Weather Makers'

Environment
Richard Wolinsky: My guest is Tim Flannery whose book is "The Weather Makers: How Man Is Changing the Climate and What It Means for Life on Earth." Tim Flannery's last book was "The Eternal Frontier," which detailed the changing North American landscape. Tim Flannery, this book is making quite an impact. It seems to say point-blank that not only is there global warming, but that it is mankind induced global warming -- that we have been doing it for 8,000 years, and that the long summer that the planet has been experiencing has been going on since the birth of agriculture. Is that pretty much where you begin?

Tim Flannery: That is pretty much where I begin. But in order to understand the full significance of that, we have to understand something about the natural climate cycles that have been driving our planet in and out of ice ages for the last million years. Those cycles are celestial cycles that do that. They're highly predictable. We know what they should be doing now, they should be cooling our planet. That's not what we're seeing; we're seeing a warming. So, that's where we start.

RW: At this point, we'd be heading towards an ice age rather than away from one.

TF: That's correct. That's what should be happening. The fact that that's not what's happening is due to these greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. Scientists have had a look at a whole lot of other possibilities as to what might cause this anomaly, including sunspots and solar activity and solar flares. None of it makes any sense. It really is the greenhouse gases.

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