Ian Plimer: Climate change denier AND annoying git

Monbiot/Plimer debate: Update

It would appear from Ian Plimer’s latest response in the back and forth with UK Gardian columnist George Monbiot that Plimer has no intention of taking seriously either the climate change issue - or his commitment to debate it in good faith.

Plimer had earlier agreed to answer a series of questions relating to his new book, Heaven and Earth, as a starting point in a debate with Monbiot. Instead of doing so, however, the Aussie professor has chosen instead to submit a host of unanswerable science questions to Monbiot.

This is an annoying dodge, transparently designed to distract everyone from the fact that Professor Plimer can’t - or won’t - account for the content of his own book.


I read those questions with growing disbelief (and amusement), and find myself wondering what on earth was he thinking? Are we meant to be dazzled by his attempt to run scientific circles around poor George? Did he accidently send the wrong file? It makes no sense. Fern

Per the (uncharacteristically?) sophomoric mien of my original headline, I am similarly bemused. There seemed in Plimer’s reaction to be a desperate effort to change the subject while still appearing to be too terribly clever for words. It looked like a preening Third-Viscount-Monckton-of-Brenchley pomposity mixed with a garden variety fear that he (Plimer) has been caught out and now must find a way to get out of the room without embarrassing himself further. Did he send the wrong file? absolutely. Was it an accident? Well, I’d love Plimer’s response to THAT question.

Is that the same Third-Viscount-Monckton-of-Brenchley that wiped the floor with you in debate? If I were you, I wouldn’t take on Plimer. He knows more science than the Viscout who has forgotten more science than your limited intellectual landscape can muster.

That was no “debate”, Monckton turned it into a farce. I’d like to see a reputable climate scientist go through a transcript of that episode and pick his “points” apart. Likewise Plimer is obfuscating with a load of irrelevant manure, rather than providing answers to Monbiot’s straightforward questions asking for sources and documentation, and explanations for apparent discrepancies in his data. Why do you suppose he would do that when he could much more effectively “wipe the floor” with poor old George by providing concise, definitive answers?

Fern Mackenzie

Unlike you it seems, I actually listened to the debate between the Viscount and Littlemore. Mine and the general consensus is that Monckton wiped the floor with Littlemore because he had knowledge and Littlemore had rhetoric. Knowledge won.

I repeat: I would like to see a credible climate scientist review the transcript and pick apart Monckton’s points.


I think I acknowledged in the clearest terms imaginable that Monckton “won” our “debate.” (Check this link: http://www.desmogblog.com/monckton-vs-littlemore-to-think-i-could-have-b...) What he had to say was absolute bullshit (check THIS link: http://www.desmogblog.com/littlemore-vs-monckton-with-facts-this-time), but he said it with stunning shamelessness and impressive conviction and his radio host henchman jumped in to assist on those rare occasions when “Lord Christopher” was taking a breath. I definitely left the field feeling like I had bungled the assignment (or that I shouldn’t have accepted it in the first place). That’s very to-the-point in this instance. Monbiot is reticent to do the ridiculous live show with Plimer because he knows that Plimer will make stuff up and refuse (as he has done here) to account for his idiotic assertions. I mean, the professor won’t even provide citations for material he has written in his own book; imagine how hard it would be to get him to back up stuff he was flipping off the lip in front of a live (or virtual) audience? Monbiot quite cleverly set up a test of integrity and/or good will, by way of debate preparation. Plimer failed. Game, set, match, really.

I vaguely remember that he was attacking Richard about desmog funding - which was a disappointment because …who cares? - It was more like a funding debate than anything else and if thats what it’s going to be then everybody is going to lose.

I guess his message is that he’s smarter than Monbiot - sort of like saying lets establish your credentials before we start talking science.

He’s obviously educated. I’ll give him that, but the whole thing is almost a mirror image of what we generally find in the climate discussion.

Generally it’s the AGW proponents who are likely to take the position of belittling a skeptics qualifications. Here we have the opposite. Funny.

Monbiot isn’t claiming the qualifications that Plimer is, he simply asked quite reasonable questions about sources and statements made in Plimer’s book. If Plimer reneges on answering them, I think we are justified in being very skeptical of his findings.

Clearly, Monbiot’s questions are Plimer’s worst nightmare.

Monbiot had painted Plimer into a corner and Plimer knew it.

Whether Plimer answered Monbiot’s questions truthfully, or dishonestly, the anti-science in ‘Heaven and Earth’ and Plimer’s reputation would collapse like a house of cards.

Plimer’s only escape was to attempt to distract attention by posing questions unanswerable by a journalist as a diversionary tactic. If his deceitful book is any guide, I suspect that Plimer couldn’t answer them honestly either.

Watch Plimer cluck like a chicken – Cluck! Cluck! Cluck!

Come on, it’s a verbous and rhetorical way of saying that climate is a complex issue and models are an unproven science. Simple as that.

In other words, those who actually bother to learn anything about climate won’t be able to answer the questions properly, while people who insist on being idiots can simply answer them with “we don’t know, we don’t need to know, therefore we know global warming is a scam”, and… get full marks!

The ‘questions’ are merely an attempt to justify ignorance.

– bi (http://frankbi.wordpress.com/)

“it’s a verbous and rhetorical way of saying” ‘I Ian Plimer am a pompous ass who cannot engage openly and honestly. Further, I am not willing to put my claims to the test of evidence because I know perfectly well they will be exposed as gibberish, so instead I will bury them in a mountain of meaningless bafflegab and then try and claim, as per the logical fallacy ‘Argumentum ad Ignorantiam [http://philosophy.lander.edu/logic/ignorance.html] that we therefore don’t know anything.’

More or less

“In response to Monbiot’s Queen pawn opening Plimer has answered “I like turtles.” Or more accurately, his actual response is not even remotely that coherent, rational, or relevant.

Plimer obviously wants to create the impression of erudition with the sophomoric tactic of throwing out a lot of nonsense cribbed from a text book he never read and doesn’t understand. It is the pre-pubescent swagger of an inferior intelligence attempting academic bullying with juvenile sophistry. It’s pathetic and insulting.”

“Monbiot is wrong about Plimer’s questions” http://greenfyre.wordpress.com/2009/08/12/monbiot-is-wrong-about-plimers-questions/

Climate alarmists are going nuts because “Heaven & Earth” makes more sense than the IPCC does. Here are just a few of Plimer’s points that Monbiot’s flock are careful to ignore:
1. Most plants and animals do better during warm climate periods than they do in cold ones. If humans can affect the climate shouldn’t we be working to raise temperatures?
2. In the past, CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere many times the current level failed to prevent ice ages and failed to cause a runaway greenhouse effect. Has the effect of CO2 on climate been overstated?
3. Virtually all the predictions based on climate models issued only 10 years ago show global temperatures rising steadily. Actual global temperatures have been falling over the same period. Why won’t Mother Nature cooperate?
4. Mann et alii (creators of the “Hockey Stick”) and James Hansen (the hottest ten years on record……) still have their jobs and are still taken seriously by the alarmists. Why are they not being treated like Fleishman & Pons?
Before you write me off as someone who wants to destroy the environment, I worked to clean up the Thames and raised many tonnes of Rainbow Trout in Greenwich in the early 1980s when not even the Thames Water Authority believed it could be done.