Ian Plimer

Ian Plimer


  • Ph.D. Macquarie University (specializing in “tungsten-molybdenum-bismuth deposits”). [1], [2]
  • B.Sc.(Hons) University of New South Wales. [1], [2]


Ian Plimer is a former professor of Mining Geology at the University of Adelaide, South Australia, and Emeritus Professor of Earth Sciences at the University of Melbourne. [2], [3]

Plimer has two books questioning the existance of man-made climate change including Heaven and Earth, and a second titled How To Get Expelled From School: A guide to climate change for pupils, parents and punters, descibed by some as the “anti-Warmist manual for the younger reader.” [4]

Energy & Mining Industry Connections

Plimer has been a director of numerous mining companies including Ivanhoe Australia, a subsidiary of Bob Friedland's Ivanhoe Mines, CBH Resources, Kefi Minerals, Silver City Minerals, Ormil Energy Ltd, TNT Mines, Niuminco Group and Lakes Oil.

Plimer was appointed to the boards of Roy Hill Holdings and Queensland Coal Investments by mining magnate and climate skeptic promoter Gina Rinehart on January 25, 2012. [5]

As non-executive Director and Deputy Chairman of Kefi Minerals, Plimer owns over 5.4 million shares (as of January, 2016) in the mining company. [6], [7]

In an article titled “Why I'd put global warming on ice,” Plimer claims that his commercial interest in mining “does not colour his arguments, which he says are based on pure science” and “does not affect the independence of his beliefs.” [8]

Stance on Climate Change

January, 2016

“What is now regarded as human-induced climate change, any scientist will say well that's just normal variability. Climate varies, temperatures vary, sea levels go up and down like  a yo yo.”[9]

May, 2011

According to a presentation by Plimer with the Friends of Science: [10]

”- [The] Earth['s climate] always changes
- Climate change is normal
- Climate change occurred well before humans were on Earth
- The rate of climate change today is no different from thousands, millions or billions of years ago
- >80% [of the] time, Earth has been warmer and wetter than at present
- Ice is rare
- Just because [climate] change occurs in our lifetime does not mean that we humans are driving the change”

July, 2009

“There is no problem with global warming. It stopped in 1998. The last two years of global cooling have erased nearly 30 years of temperature increase.” [11]

Key Quotes

January, 2016

The following are some notable quotes from Ian Plimer's interview with Steve Johnson on BBS Radio:

“Greens don't read book. That's evident from their perpetual ignorance.” [9]

“To be a green is to be anti-environmental.” [9]

“Just give a green a sniff of a few dollars and they change very quickly.” [9]

“The Green Movement is in effect attacking western civilization.” [9]

“If we look back in just the last 10,000 years, we're living in quite cool times. For people that claim we've had the hottest year ever, it's just absolute codswallop. We have had about 8,000 years where it's been much hotter than now.” [9]

“Temperature hasn't really changed for about 20 years. Yet the models are saying the temperature […] is going to increase extraordinarily. So what has been done, is the primary data has been changed to fit the model. That is fraud.” [9]

“The weather always changes. And weather over 30 years, you then start to call climate. Just because you've got one hot year doesn't mean you have climate change. The weather always changes. If you move from say Helsinki to Florida, then you have a temperature change of about 30 degrees Celsius upwards. You do not die from that temperature change.”  [9]

August, 2009

“Climate has always changed. It always has and always will. Sea level has always changed. Ice sheets come and go. Life always changes. Extinctions of life are normal. Planet Earth is dynamic and evolving. Climate changes are cyclical and random. Through the eyes of a geologist, I would be really concerned if there were no change to Earth over time. In the light of large rapid natural climate changes, just how much do humans really change climate?” [12]

“There is no problem with global warming. It stopped in 1998. The last two years of global cooling have erased nearly thirty years of temperature increase.” [12]

Key Deeds


The IPA announced that Ian Plimer would be a contributor to their upcoming “Climate Change: The Facts 2017.” The book will be released by the Institute for Public Affairs (IPA) and edited by Jennifer Marohasy. While investigating the authors, DeSmog noted that one of the IPA's listed “leading experts” involved in the book is New Zealand’s Ken Ring, who in addition to being a described “long range weather forecaster” has written “two, possibly three, books about cats” including Pawmistry: How to Read Your Cat’s Paws in 1998. [54][55]

According to the book description[56]

Climate Change: The Facts 2017 brings together contributions on the latest climate science from some of the world’s leading experts in the field including John Abbot, Sallie Baliunas, Paul Driessen, Tony Heller, Craig Idso, Clive James, Pat Michaels, Jo Nova, Ian Plimer, Tom Quirk, Peter Ridd, Ken Ring, Nicola Scafetta, Willie Soon, Roy Spencer, and Anthony Watts.

There are also essays by Matt Ridley, and Bjørn Lomborg on the economics of climate change, and by Simon Breheny on how the freedom to discuss climate change science is under threat.”

Prior versions of the book featured contributions from a range of prominent climate change deniers, and describes mainstream climate change research as “pseudo-science.” [19]

August, 2016

Ian Plimer is listed as a “Founding Member” of group named Climate Exit (Clexit) led by climate change denier Christopher Monckton. According to Clexit's founding statement (PDF), “The world must abandon this suicidal Global Warming crusade. Man does not and cannot control the climate.” [13][14]

Desmog reports on how the group grew in the wake of the UK's decision to leave the EU. A key member of Clexit's “60 well-informed science, business and economic leaders” is Hugh Morgan, a former board member of the Reserve Bank of Australia and former CEO of Western Mining Corporation with close ties to Australia's Liberal party. [15], [16]

According to Clexit's founding statement

If the Paris climate accord is ratified, or enforced locally by compliant governments, it will strangle the leading economies of the world with pointless carbon taxes and costly climate and energy policies, all with no sound basis in evidence or science […]” [14]

August 29, 2016

Ian Plimer spoke at the Far Northern branch of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM)Cairn Post writes that AusIMM Far Northern branch chairman Brett Duck described Prof Plimer as Australia’s best-known geologist. [17]

Plimer was brought in to discuss the Great Barrier Reef. Brett Duck downplayed the impact of climate change: [17]

There’s been that many climate changes in the past, and it’s survived in the past,” Duck said. “The reefs will come and go. The sea level will rise and the sea level will fall.” [17]

January 26, 2016

Ian Plimer went on BBS Radio with Steve Johnson to discuss his two new books, Not for Greens (2014) and Heaven and Hell. 

Plimer spends much of the earlier interview criticizing the green movement. According to Plimer, “To be a green is to be anti-environmental.” He also contends that “The Green Movement is in effect attacking western civilization,” and that they are easily corrupted by money. Video below. [9]

December, 2014

Ian Plimer is a contributor to the book Climate Change: The Facts published by the Institute of Public Affairs and featuring “22 essays on the science, politics and economics of the climate change debate.” The Institute of Public Affairs, while not revealing most of its funders, is known to have received funding from mining magnate Gina Rinehart and at least one major tobacco company. [18]

The book includes essays and articles from a range of climate change skeptics, with contributors including the following:

According to Editor Alan Moran in a post at Catallaxy Files blog on Climate Change: the facts 2014, Ian Plimer “examines the politics behind the pseudo-science. He notes that many Western governments have a politically popular ideol­ogy involving human emission increases in carbon dioxide (CO2) bring­ing warming, possible catastrophic ‘tipping points’ and a need to phase out fossil fuels as the only means of stopping this. He dismisses the possibility of the catastrophic consequences, drawing from geological history and points to the adverse economic outcomes of attempts to drastically reduce fossil fuel based energy usage.” [19]

May 30, 2014

Ian Plimer published, “Not For Greens: He who sups with the Devil should have a long spoon,” through Connor Court Publishing. A summary on the publisher's website, describes the book as follows:

“The processes required to make a humble stainless steel teaspoon are remarkably complicated and every stage involves risk, coal, energy, capital, international trade and finance. Stainless steel cutlery has taken thousands of years of experimentation and knowledge to evolve and the end result is that we can eat without killing ourselves with bacteria. We are in the best times to have ever lived on planet Earth and the future will only be better. All this we take for granted.

Greens may have started as genuine environmentalists. Much of the green movement has now morphed into an unelected extremist political pressure group accountable to no one. Greens create problems, many of which are concocted, and provide no solutions because of a lack of basic knowledge. This book examines green policies in the light of established knowledge and shows that they are unrealistic.

Policies by greens adopted by supine governments have resulted in rising costs, increased taxes, political instability, energy poverty, decreased longevity and environmental degradation and they don’t achieve their ideological aims. Wind, solar and biomass energy emit more carbon dioxide than they save and reduction of carbon dioxide emissions does nothing to change climate and only empties the pocket. No stainless steel teaspoon could be made using green “alternative energy”.

This book argues that unless the greens live sustainably in caves in the forest and use no trappings of the modern world, then they should be regarded as hypocrites and treated with the disdain they deserve.” [20]

December 12, 2011

Plimer published the “anti-warmist manual,” How to Get Expelled From School: A guide to climate change for pupils, parents and punters, which was reviewed by numerous sources and found to be scientifically inaccurate, containing flawed or undocumented diagrams, and sloppily edited. [4], [21], [22]

The book has been billed as the “anti-warmist manual for the younger reader” and was launched by free-market think tank Institute of Public Affairs. Former Australian Prime Minister John Howard launched the book in Sydney. [23]

The Australian Government responded with “Accurate Answers to Professor Plimer’s 101 Climate Change Science Questions” (PDF), saying the questions posed in Plimer's book are “misleading and are based on inaccurate or selective interpretation of the science.”  [24]

Crikey notes that the government subsequently deleted the online version of their document. “We knew it would happen eventually,” they write. [25]

The Government report was created to “provide clear and accurate answers to Professor Plimer's questions. The answers are based on up-to-date peer reviewed science, and have been reviewed by a number of Australian climate scientists.” [24]

July 2011

Ian Plimer spoke at a private luncheon hosted by billionnaire mining magnate Gina Rinehart.  Crikey reported that in the audience were several high-powered politicians and diplomats, including Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett, the state's environment minister Bill Marmion, former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda and Chinese Ambassador Chen Yuming. Rinehart described Plimer as “one of the leading sources of reasoned and factual information in Australia on global warming and climate change.” [26]

May, 2010

Plimer was a speaker at the Heartland Institute's 2010 International Conference on Climate Change. [27]

DeSmogBlog found that the sponsors for Heartland's 2009 International Conference on Climate Change had collectively received over $47 million from oil companies and right-wing foundations. [28]


Ian Plimer Published Heaven and Earth. The book asserts that the temperature changes we have observed in the 20th century are within the “normal range of variability,” that significant global warming is not happening and that there is negligible human impact on warming.

His book was received critically, having been debunked numerous times by scientists. [29], [30], [31]

Some critics have even accused Plimer of plagiarism. [32]

In his review of Heaven and Earth for The Australian, astronomer Michael Ashley wrote: [33]

“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…[that] 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.

“It is hard to understate the depth of scientific ignorance that the inclusion of this information demonstrates. It is comparable to a biologist claiming that plants obtain energy from magnetism rather than photosynthesis.”

The Guardian's George Monbiot criticized Plimer's book, saying “Since its publication in Australia it has been ridiculed for a hilarious series of schoolboy errors, and its fudging and manipulation of the data.” Plimer responded by challenging Monbiot to a public debate. [34]

Monbiot then challenged Plimer to give a set of “precise and specific responses” to his critics' points. Plimer rejected this challenge. [35]

Monbiot called Plimer “a grandstander, who wants nothing more than to make as much noise as possible in the hope that it will drown out the precise refutations published by his book's reviewers.” Plimer subsequently reversed his earlier refusal, saying he would answer the questions in return for a live debate. [36]

Instead of answering the questions that Monbiot posed, Plimer responded with his own set of questions. No official debate was actually held. [37]

The two did debate, however, on ABC's Lateline in December, 2009. Monbiot concluded that Plimer had “used evasion and distraction when faced with straight questions,” and that the overall view was that “Plimer had been soundly thrashed.” [38]

December, 2009

During the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009 (COP15), Plimer spoke at a rival conference in Copenhagen called the Copenhagen Climate Challenge, which was organized by the climate change skeptic group Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT). [39]

Among Plimer's arguments at the conference is how carbon dioxide is “not a pollutant, it is plant food.” See footage of Plimer here. [40]

While the UN's conference attracted 33,200, the skeptics attracted only 60 people. “They’ve got us outnumbered, but we've got them outgunned, and that’s with the truth,” Plimer said at the conclusion. [40]



According to a search of 22,000 academic journals, Plimer has published more than 40 research articles in peer-reviewed journals, mainly on the subject of ore deposits.


  1. Board of Directors,” TNT Mines Limited. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/zuaOz

  2. Ian Plimer,” Profile at the School of Civil, Environmental & Mining Engineering at the University of Adelaide. Archived July 9, 2009. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/DXxVH

  3. Professor Ian Plimer,” University of Adelaide. Archived April 30, 2013. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/h1Td2

  4. RAPID REACTION: Ian Plimer launches new book on climate change – experts respond,” The Australian Science Media Center, December 9, 2011. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/fmSw2

  5. Andrew Burrell. “Gina brings climate sceptic on board,” The Australian, February 2, 2012.

  6. Board of Directors,” Kefi Minerals. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/5Gcmr

  7. “Grant of Share Options” (PDF), KEFI Minerals plc, January 19, 2016. Archived .pdf on file at Desmog.

  8. Penelope Debelle. “Why I'd put global warming on ice,” The Advertiser, May 28, 2009. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/bWaqB

  9. SFi022 - Global warming is a SCAM w/ Prof Ian Plimer,” YouTube video uploaded by user StopFundingIsrael. Archived video on file at Desmog.

  10. Ian Plimer. “Human-induced global warming: Why I am sceptical” (PDF), Friends of Science, Calgary, May 16, 2011. Retreived February 2, 2012, from friendsofginandtonic.org.

  11. James Delingpole. “Meet the man who has exposed the great climate change con trick,” The Spectator, July 8, 2009. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/Ilkzk

  12. The natural history of climate change,” IPA Review Article. Accessed February 2, 2012. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/oKPDh

  13. The Clexit Committee comprises” (PDF), Clexit.net. Archived.pdf on file at Desmog.

  14. “After Brexit, Clexit” (PDF), Clexit.net. Archived .pdf on file at Desmog.

  15. Graham Readfearn. “After Brexit, Climate Science Denialists Form New Group to Call for a Clexit,” Desmog, August 3, 2016.

  16. [Hugh Morgan AO,” Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Archived February 22, 2002. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/1ObO

  17. Daniel Batemen. “Controversial geologist to share insight into Great Barrier Reef,” Cairns Post, August 29, 2016. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/3RxR6

  18. Institute of Public Affairs,” SourceWatch. Accessed May 27, 2015.

  19. Alan Moran. “Climate Change: the facts 2014,” Catallaxy Files (blog), December 16, 2014.

  20. Not for Greens: He who sups with the Devil should have a long spoon,” Ian Plimer, Connor Court Publishing, May 30, 2014. Archived September 28, 2016. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/V7iTL

  21. Lexi Metherell. “Howard launches 'anti-warmist manual' for kids,” ABC News, December 13, 2011. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/0aaeC

  22. I. G. Enting. “Ian Plimer’s questions deconstructed. Analysis of 'How to get expelled from school ..'” (PDF). Retrieved from Ian Enting's home age at the University of Melbourne. PDF archived at Desmog. 

  23. Clare Peddie. “'How to get expelled': Climate sceptic recruits kids,” news.com.au, December 13, 2011. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/1cPfj

  24. Accurate Answers to Professor Plimer's 101 Climate Change Science Questions” (PDF), Australian Government Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency. Archived .pdf on file at Desmog.

  25. Plimer rebuttals disappear,” Crikey, August 19, 2016. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/mNHlj

  26. Sceptics on the menu at Rinehart's luncheon,” Crikey, July 29, 2011. Archived September 28, 2016. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/8LIPI

  27. “4th International Conference on Climate Change” (PDF), The Heartland Institute. Retrieved February 2, 2012, from University of Hartford web server.

  28. Heartland Institute's 2009 Climate Conference in New York: funding history of the sponsors,” Desmog.

  29. The science is missing from Ian Plimer's 'Heaven and Earth',” Deltoid, April 23, 2009. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/QMc8n

  30. John Cook. “Plimer vs Plimer: a one man contradiction,” Skeptical Science, December 9, 2011. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/DEORl

  31. Ian G. Enting. “Ian Plimer’s ‘Heaven + Earth’ — Checking the Claims” (PDF), retrieved from Ian Enting's homepage at the University of Melbourne. PDF archived at Desmog.

  32. Tim Lambert. “Plimer the plagiarist,” Deltoid, October 25, 2009. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/3ASk3

  33. Michael Ashely. “No science in Plimer's primer,” The Australian, May 9, 2009. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/3h9gH

  34. George Monbiot. “Spectator recycles climate rubbish published by sceptic,” The Guardian, July 5, 2009. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/Rv84I

  35. George Monbiot. “Let battle commence! Climate change denialist ready for the fight,” The Guardian, August 6, 2009. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/FJ8SJ

  36. George Monbiot. “Why can't the champion of climate change denial face the music?,” The Guardian, August 3, 2009. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/g9tt4

  37. George Monbiot. “Plimer resorts to attack as the best form of defence,” The Guardian, August 12, 2009. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/SyN5p

  38. George Monbiot. “Ian Plimer's volcano claims vaporise under questioning on Australian TV,” The Guardian, December, 2009. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/tX8GK

  39. Giles Parkinson. “COPENHAGEN CALLING: Bolstering Barack,” Business Spectator, December 9, 2009. Archived December 9, 2012. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/ROR84

  40. Matthew Knott. “Climate Change skeptics stage rebel Copenhagen conference,” Crikey, December 10, 2009. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/U5kYM

  41. NRSP People,” The Natural Resources Stewardship Project. Archived February 6, 2007. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/4DxlK

  42. People & associates,” Institute of Public Affairs. Archived September 30, 2016. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/TBs56

  43. Academic Advisory Council,” The Gobal Warming Policy Foundation. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/KhgKU

  44. Heartland Experts: Ian Plimer,” Heartland Institute. Accessed September 27, 2016. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/soaLx

  45. About Us,” Australian Climate Science Coalition. Archived June 24, 2014. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/SRw9L

  46. Nick Evans. “Gina Rinehart appoints Prof Ian Plimer to two boards,” PerthNow, February 1, 2012. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/u0NHr

  47. Board of Directors,” Ivanhoe Australia. Archived November 3, 2012. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/ugRK6

  48. Mines and Money London: Australia Day Presentation” (PDF), Mining Journal Investor Seminars, December 5, 2011. Archived .pdf on file at Desmog.

  49. Company Directors,” CBH Resources Limited. Archived March 1, 2009. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/TUcas

  50. Ormil Energy director takes up rights,” Business Spectator, November 4, 2010. Archived March 15, 2012. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/TDezc

  51. Board of Directors & Management,” Niuminco. Archived September 27, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/hnYww

  52. Directors,” Lakes Oil N.L. Archived September 28, 2016. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/tBbAu

  53. Who We Are,” Galileo Movement. Archived September 24, 2016. Archive. is URLhttps://archive.is/iyn7s

  54. Donate to Climate Change: The Facts 2017,” Institute of Public Affairs. Archived October 31, 2016. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/KpLZh

  55. Graham Readfearn. “Australian Climate Denial Think Tank Picks Cat Author and Moonman Ken Ring as Climate Expert,” DeSmog, April 9, 2017.

  56. Register your interest now and be the first to hear about the publication of Climate Change: The Facts 2017,” Institute of Public Affairs. Archived April 10, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/kvAFK

Other Resources