Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Bob Carter, RIP

When I returned from a walk in a snowy, chilly Pilsen (the temperature will drop to minus 14 °C at night, overcompensating the 11 °C Christmas), I saw a message from Willie Soon which didn't immediately seem important.

However, it contained a forwarded message from Anne Carter telling us that Bob Carter has peacefully passed away today, at age of 74, surrounded by his family. See heartland.org and Wikipedia. So sad.

Carter was a marine geologist, paleontologist, and stratigrapher (see a Google Scholar search) – perhaps most famous as a prominent Australian climate skeptic. I met him and his wife in Prague five years ago during a public talk about global warming organized by then president Václav Klaus. I think that both of us were members of a panel but I don't remember exactly. We chatted about many other things, including his and his wife's visit to Prague during communism etc.

I have learned from Willie Soon that according to Carter's wife, they received a chocolate from me. Well, mild generosity within the limits of the law. I could have given them something more substantial. ;-)

His name appears in 24 TRF blog posts. He gave various talks, was harassed by certain powerful people in Australia. His and John Spooner's book, Taxing Air, became one of a relatively small number of books about the climate that I have read in detail. (He also wrote "Climate: the Counter Consensus" in 2010.) And I think it's a wonderful book that covers all the important dimensions of the climate issue in a very balanced, wise, and accurate way.

Similar comments apply to his talks. Although I have never been trained as a geologist or geophysicist and I have never felt particularly close to those disciplines in any other way, it has always seemed obvious that the geologist's perspective as ideally represented by Bob is the most natural way to approach the climate change issue so that one may separate facts and viable hypotheses from superstitions and potentially viable concerns from irrational hype about nothing.

Bob has clearly stayed very active, even very recently. See e.g. his June 2015 Heartland talk. And in fact, even five weeks ago, he was in Paris and looked like an Olympic athlete while commenting on some young green nuts that surrounded him in front of Notre-Dame de Paris.

Bob, you will be missed.

See Jo Nova's text on Bob's premature departure.

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