I agree with Barry Brook that Ian Plimer’s approach to climate science in Heaven Earth is unscientific. He starts with his conclusion that there is no “evidential basis” that humans have caused recent warming and that the theory that humans can create global warming

is contrary to validated knowledge from solar physics, astronomy, history, archeology and geology.

He accepts any factoid that supports his conclusion and rejects any evidence that contradicts his conclusion. For example, he blindly accepts EG Beck’s CO2 graph. And remember Khilyuk and Chilingar? The guys who compared human CO2 emissions with natural C02 emissions over the entire history of the planet and concluded that human emissions didn’t matter. As I wrote earlier:

their mistake is so large and so obvious that anyone who cites them either has no clue about climate science or doesn’t care whether what they write is true or not.

Plimer doesn’t cite them once he cites them three times.

And what of evidence that contradicts his conclusion? For example, the fact that the stratosphere is cooling contradicts his theory that the sun is the cause of recent warming. What does Plimer say about this in a 500 page book with a 70 page chapter on the atmosphere? Nothing. It’s not mentioned at all.

And look at Plimer’s figure 3 that he presents to prove that CO2 doesn’t cause warming because of all the cooling in the “post-war economic boom”:

i-e1aa2fd7c048a807e77dc6592a293231-plimerfig3.png

Plimer doesn’t tell you the source of this graph, but it comes from Durkin’s Great Global Warming Swindle and omits the last 20 years of warming. Even Durkin admitted it was wrong and changed it, but it lives on in Plimer’s book.

Compare Plimer’s Swindle graph with the one from the IPCC AR4 Summary for Policymakers below. Plimer doesn’t print this but tells his readers that it “showed cooling for 100 of the last 160 years”.

i-755f68f9a2c4316f49fd5b16cfa5b506-ar4wg1spmfig3a.png

The problems with the Swindle graph were given wide publicity. It was one of seven major misrepresentations that 37 scientists asked Durkin to correct. On page 467 Plimer addresses their request claiming they did so because that deemed Swindle to present an “incorrect moral outlook”, so he was well aware of what was wrong with the Swindle graph but used it anyway.

Here are the notes I made on some of the other problems with Plimer’s book. These are nowhere near exhaustive — this is just what leapt off the page and assaulted me.

Update: See also Ian Enting’s extensive list

p11 No source given for figure 1 but is based on a graph in AR4WG1 Technical Summary. The massive drop in temperatures comes from using the temps for the first half of 2008 to represent all of 2008. It looks very different if you graph the actual 2008 temp, added in red below:

i-b3244bbff3f6ddd6b2e0241716660550-plimerfig1.png

p14 Claims IPCC has no evidence to support its conclusion of 90% certainty that at least half of recent warming is anthropogenic. Nowhere does he even admit the existence of the evidence in Chapter 9 of AR4 WG1

p19 repeats Paul Reiter’s false claims about the IPCC authors on the health effects of global warming

p21 Repeats SEPP smear of Santer

p22 Claims hockey stick is a fraud

p25 Figure 3 is infamous graph from the Great Global Warming Swindle. Graphs ends in 1987 but horizontal scale makes it look like it goes to 2000. Even Swindlers had to fix this one.

p26 Figure 4: Start point of graph is cherry picked to mislead

p87-99 claims hockey stick is a fraud and the NRC panel that vindicated it was a cover up.

p99 False claims that GISS was forced to withdraw claims about global temperature. Plimer confuses USA temperatures with the global ones.

p131 Figure 15 Dodgy sunspot temperature graph from GGWS. Ends in 1980, if continued sunspot-temp correlation goes away.

p198 claims Arctic sea ice is expanding

p198 claims drowned polar bears were actually killed by “high winds”

p198 claims polar bear numbers are increasing

p199 claims malaria is common in cold climates. No cite!

p209 Claims undersea volcanoes can have a profound effect on surface temps

p217 Claims Pinatubo eruption released “very large quantities of chloroflourocarbons, the gases that destroy the ozone layer.” Cites Brasseur and Granier who actually say the opposite:

after the eruption of Mount Pinatubo, the input of chlorine to the stratosphere was probably small.

p281 Claims alpine glaciers are not retreating. Cited source actually says that glacial retreat is not accelerating.

p286 Claims the IPCC has “no evidence” to support its statement that glaciers are retreating.

p322 Cites Morner on Maldives.

p325 Says that even if we burn all fossil fuels we won’t be able to double atmospheric CO2.

p349 the hockey stick is “infamous”

p366 Claims climate sensitivity is 0.5C. No footnote!

p367 Confused about by the fact that the Earth warms the atmosphere and asks how this means GHGs can cause warming. How does he think a blanket works?

p370 Claims 98% of GH effect is H2O. No footnote!

p371 Claims climate sensitivity is 0.5C. No footnote!

p376 Claims that if temperature measurements are rounded to the nearest degree, the average of many measurements is only accurate to the nearest degree.

p377 Claims that surfacestations.org proves that temp measurements have a warming bias

p378 Implies that surface record does not include measurements in the oceans

p381 claims molten rocks significantly warm ocean. No cite!

p382 “In fact, satellites and radiosondes show that there is no global warming.[1918]” Woohoo! at last a cite. Trouble is, it says exactly the opposite of what Plimer claims

p382 claims hockey stick is a fabrication

p388 claims no such thing as an average temp, citing Essex and McKitrick nonsense

p391 claims Hadley Centre has shown that warming stopped in 1998. Hadley says:

Anyone who thinks global warming has stopped has their head in the sand.

p391 claims IPCC ignores 2/3 of the cooling effect of evaporation citing Wentz et al, but Wentz says no such thing

p413 claims volcanoes produce more CO2 than humans. No cite! This one was in GGWS. Plimer’s a geologist. You’d think he would at least know something about volcanoes.

p420 figure 52 is Beck’s bogus CO2 graph

p421 claims only 4% of CO2 in atmosphere is from humans. No cite!

p425 claims anthropogenic CO2 produces only 0.1% of global warming. No cite!

p425 claims IPCC have exaggerated CO2 forcing 20 fold.

p437 “Chapter 5 of IPCC AR4 (Humans Responsible for Climate Change) .. is based on the opinions of just five independent scientists”. Wrong chapter number, chapter title, and it has over 50 authors.

p442 claims Lysenko parallels the global warming movement

p443 repeats Monckton’s claims about An Inconvenient Truth without mentioning that most were rejected by the court

p444 claims IPCC reports are written by just 35 scientists who are controlled by an even smaller number

p452 cites Oregon petition

p452 cites Peiser’s false claims about Oreskes

p467 claims that the 38 scientists who asked Durkin to correct the errors in GGWS did so because that deemed it to present an “incorrect moral outlook”. One of the error that they wanted Durkin to correct was the bogus graph that Plimer puts on page 25.

p474 claims hockey stick is dishonest

p477 quotes Khilyuk & Chilingar whose thesis is that humans aren’t responsible because our CO2 emissions, measured over the history of the planet, are less than that of volcanoes. Also cited on p479 and p492.

p484 claims IPCC AR4 WG1 SPM “showed cooling for 100 of the last 160 years”

p485 claims Montreal Protocol used precautionary principle to ban CFCs but we didn’t ban chlorination even though chlorine destroys ozone!!! [Not in the stratosphere it doesn’t]

p486 misrepresents Revelle

p486 cites false WorldNetDaily claim that Gore buys offsets from himself

p487 cites Melanie Philips as an authority on the hockey stick, asserting it is the “most discredited study in the history of science”

p472 claims Pinatubo emitted as much CO2 as humans in a year. No cite! And obviously wrong if you glance at Mauna Loa data.

p472 termite methane emissions are 20 times potent than human CO2 emissions. No cite!

p492 false claim that DDT ban killed 40 million

Comments

  1. #1 sod
    April 23, 2009

    i fear these books are selling well at the moment.

    they replaced the “how to make money in bonds easily”.

  2. #2 hat_eater
    April 23, 2009

    I wonder at what point users of books like this one will have to switch to hard liquor.

  3. #3 Anonymous37
    April 23, 2009

    My apologies for the off-topic comment, but Tim, have you seen this? This is U.S. Representative Joe Barton questioning Secretary of Energy and Nobel Laureate Steven Chu.

  4. #4 P. Lewis
    April 23, 2009

    Hmmm.

    They don’t have pseudoscience sections in bookshops, do they? Cos this looks the sort of book that would give the likes of Erich von Däniken, Immanuel Velikovsky and others of their ilk a good name.

    So, where to put it: the Fiction section, under Fantasy or Science Fiction? Ah! Under Home & Garden. It’ll make wonderful compost.

    Tim and Barry Brook deserve medals for wading through such tripe.

  5. #5 glaxon
    April 23, 2009

    Plimer was on ABC RN this morning. What a horrible man.

    Fran Kelly gave him a soft introduction, let him talk for a while then had another guy (Verrun?) talk for a while. When it was Plimer’s turn again he went feral. He accused the ABC of being biased against him, of the reason his book was leaving the shelf so quickly was because people disliked being talked down to by scientists and on it went. He took particular offense at Verrun pointing out the incongruity of the three endorsements on the back cover of his book being two politicians (Vaclav Klaus and Nigel Lawson) and an historian (Geoffrey Blainey) rather than someone who might actually know something about the topic.

    He got quite hysterical.

    For me, learning that Plimer has recycled garbage from Martin Durkin completely discredits him.

    Anyway, thanks for going through Plimer’s book. I shan’t be contributing to Plimer’s retirement fund by buying a copy.

  6. #6 Dirk Hartog
    April 23, 2009

    Tim, well done.

    Your link to the Hadley Centre comments re page 391 doesn’t work. Hadley reorganised their site 6 months ago or so, and broke lots of links. They certainly did make that comment though. It was in a text box, which probably makes it difficult to track down with google.

  7. #7 Fred Lint
    April 23, 2009

    Tim,
    Seems to me it is about time there is some real debate going on instead of syncophant devotion to either side. Critiques of data sources and predictions on both sides appear called into question as both camps leave out “inconvenient” evidence.
    As long as the UN’s politically driven social engineers are driving the science it is dubious especially when they ignore any dissent. Ian Plimer isn’t the only group, nation, or scientist to question this hysteria toward catastrophy. The more I read the more I believe that the science is not developed well enough for such a complex problem especially when zeolots must make a lot of assumptions to fill in the holes. I am not saying we do nothing, but proposed actions are so drastic as to not be justified a this time. IS there other evidence besides IPCC data? I am still open minded, but not convinced at at all.
    F Lint

  8. #8 dopey
    April 23, 2009

    Yikes – this man be no scientist!

  9. #9 bi -- IJI
    April 23, 2009

    Fred Lint:

    Maybe if you actually try to address Lambert’s criticisms, then there can be a real discussion.

    But climate inactivists like to go ‘You’ve not read Plimer’s book!’ and then when someone reads Plimer’s book and criticizes it, they simply ignore ignore ignore.

  10. #10 WotWot
    April 23, 2009

    It would seem that Plimer’s book is a lot of things, none of them good.

    But mostly it is just sad. He is an excellent lecturer (when he knows what he is talking about) and was a good ambassador for science.

    His professional and scientific reputation is now trashed, by his own hand. History will be very hard on Plimer, and rightly so.

  11. #11 Ian Forrester
    April 23, 2009

    Fred Lint said: “IS there other evidence besides IPCC data?”

    Well if you had done any reading at all on the IPCC you would have discovered that there is no such thing as “IPCC data”. The IPCC reviewers reviewed essentially all the relevant papers that were in the peer reviewed scientific literature.

    Thus there is no additional source of data unless you expected then to actually waste their time reading papers by the deniers in the non-peer reviewed journals.

  12. #12 Barry Brook
    April 23, 2009

    “p472 termite methane emissions are 20 times potent than human CO2 emissions. No cite!”

    It’s true that methane is >20 times more potent than CO2 in terms of radiative forcing over a 100 year period (72 times over a 20 year period). But it doesn’t matter if the methane comes from termite digestion, cattle belches, or coal beds, it’s still the same molecule. And termites have always been producing methane (well, for a few hundred million years), whereas humans have only recently been releasing fossil methane.

    So it’s a true statement by Plimer, but a complete non sequitur.

  13. #13 Mark Byrne
    April 23, 2009

    Polar Bear number were increasing in Hudson Bay area. Not beacuse of climate but becuase they banned hunting. Numbers were increasing from dangerously low base, beacuse we stopped hunters shooting them.

    Use of this “rise” in numbers as evidence to argue against AGW shows a lack of interest in understanding facts. Though the number increased for some time, birth weights started dropping as did cub survival rates as the sea ice retreted taking their food supply.

  14. #14 MarkG
    April 23, 2009

    The p472 claims about Pinatubo have no cite. I’m pretty sure correct cite is Rush Limbaugh’s book “The Way Things Ought to Be”. I can’t imagine why Plimer left the citation off. (sidenote: wow).

  15. #15 James Haughton
    April 23, 2009

    That “only 4% is of CO2 is caused by humans” line sounds a lot like one of Cohenite’s arguments. Given the mishmash of other dubious sources, I wouldn’t be suprised if that’s where he got it (and I’d be ashamed to admit to using Cohenite as a source, too).

  16. #16 Stu
    April 23, 2009
  17. #17 Tim Lambert
    April 24, 2009

    glaxon, the RN interview with Plimer ranting is [here](http://www.abc.net.au/rn/breakfast/stories/2009/2551435.htm).

    Dirk, I fixed the link.

    MarkG, Limbaugh was saying something different: that Pinatubo was putting more chlorine into the atmosphere than humans. Though who knows, Plimer could have mangled it.

    James, the 4% is all over denialist web sites. Plimer probably got it from the same place as Cohenite.

  18. #18 John Mashey
    April 24, 2009

    Question for Australians here:
    where would Plimer rank in the list of Australian anti-science climate folks?

    Put another way, it would be helpful to have “Anti-academy awards”/rankings {on impact? noise level? silliest statements?) for:

    1) Mainstream media (Presumably, The Australian would win?)
    2) Blogs/websites (top 5-10)
    3) Organizations (top 5-10)
    4) People (say, top 10-20)

    (Would Plimer be in the Top20?) Are those the right categories?
    (I keep a bit spreadsheet of 3) vs 4), for example.)

    For one thing, these people would certainly deserve to be remembered, especially if the predicted droughts indeed come to pass, etc.

  19. #19 hc
    April 24, 2009

    Good post. If you check Plimer’s CV at University of Adelaide that is current to 2007 there are no refereed papers in scientific journals on climate change. Maybe he has papers somewhere else but I couldn’t find any.

    Yet his claims are revolutionary and the spite he feels for what he claims are self-seeking scientists at IPCC seems intense. At the very least he should be engaging more with the scientists he is criticising.

  20. #20 Paul
    April 24, 2009

    >Plimer was on ABC RN this morning. What a horrible man.

    Is there a recording online for us UK folk to see/listen?

  21. #21 Mark Byrne
    April 24, 2009

    John Mashey, I’d nominate the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) to capture three worth a mention together Bob Carter, Ian Plimer and Jennifer Marohasy. Marohasy also comes with the handy CV which include a 2003 report “Myth and the Murray: Measuring the Real State of the River Environment”Where she cherry picked the healthy bits of our largest river system and used this to conclude concerns for its health were largely based on myth.

    Now the Murray is trashed and there are some estimates Adelaide will not have basic water by next year.
    I’d also nominate the Lavoisier Group as a minor front group of anti-action activists. Largely populated by mining interests. I believe that the IPA is also funded by significantly my mining interest.

    I’d throw in the editor in Chief of the Australia, and a handful of columnist- which get high exposure due to our consolidated media ownership. (70% of news papers read each day are produced by Rupert Murchoch’s NewsCorp).

    Tim has also in the past has mentioned Clive Hamilton’s list of the “Dirty Dozen”.

  22. #22 Paul
    April 24, 2009

    Apologies, found the link to the ABC link.

    Wow. Ian Plimer says the other guy doesn’t recognise Lawson as a scientist that supports the book??!??

    What planet is this ‘scientist’ on??

    BTW i also notice Plimer is Professor of Mining Geology!

  23. #23 Mark Byrne
    April 24, 2009

    Link to Plimer on ABC RN this morning.

  24. #24 Paul
    April 24, 2009

    Baron Lawson of Blaby (the scientist??) that apparently supports the book:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigel_Lawson

    Lawson is well known retired politician and AGW skeptic in the UK. He has no relevant scientific background. He was Chancellor of the Exchequer in the 80s.

  25. #25 bi -- IJI
    April 24, 2009

    > p486 cites false WorldNetDaily claim that Gore buys offsets from himself

    > p487 cites Melanie Philips as an authority on the hockey stick, asserting it is the “most discredited study in the history of science”

    This has “wingnut” written all over it.

  26. #26 WotWot
    April 24, 2009

    This is interesting, and certainly relevant.

    http://tinyurl.com/cn989m

  27. #27 Fred Lint
    April 24, 2009

    Ian Forrester:
    So there is not IPCC data…OK. I misspoke IPCC conclusions. I have read Steve McIntyre’s criticism of how they cherry picked the data, left out that last 20 years of potentially more accurate bristle cone data and the problems with how the tree ring data is selectively treated. I am only trying to understand the issues and have already been called a denier and anyone disagreeing is attacked immediately. I am not disagreeing or denying that manmade green house gasses can affect global temperature, but if that is the case how does cap and trade work as a solution, it really does not reduce or cap CO2, it just rearranges the deck chairs. Al Gores movie is claimed to have 13 factual inaccuracies and can not be shown in some UK schools without that disclcaimer. Maybe Plimers book needs the same disclaimer. I hope that there can be a civil and objective public discussion by the most qualified folks. Convince me one way or the other.
    Fred

  28. #28 bi -- IJI
    April 24, 2009

    > Al Gores movie is claimed to have 13 factual inaccuracies and can not be shown in some UK schools without that disclcaimer. Maybe Plimers book needs the same disclaimer.

    Ah yes, the ‘yes, I’m wrong, but I say you’re equally wrong, therefore I’m right’ right-wing logic again.

  29. #29 John Mashey
    April 24, 2009

    Fred Lint #27

    I’m always curious about how people learn and form opinions on this topic, and for more detail see How to learn about science here, but briefly:

    a) Have you read actual books about climate science by real climate scientists? Which ones did you find useful?

    If the answer was none, I’d suggest trying:
    David Archer, “The Long Thaw”, 2008.
    and
    William Ruddiman, “Plows, Plagues, and Petroleum”, 2005.
    Both are written for general audiences, both are very well written, ~200-pages, and will help build a coherent framework for further learning. If you got to Amazon, I’ve reviwed both in more detail.

    The URL above gives further pointers.

    Plunging unprepared into the maelstrom of blogs is almost guaranteed to confuse anybody.

    b) Are you able to attend lectures on climate by climate scientists? (This varies geographically, but if you’re anywhere handy to a good research university, most have public lectures, some do outreach.)

  30. #30 DJ
    April 24, 2009

    We will always have elderly scientists like Plimer who will take their ideas to the grave.

    He was head of earth sciences at Melbourne University when the meteorological department was applying advanced modelling techniques based on physics while the geology types where scratching around in dirt hardly different from Goldminers of the 1850s. Geology was going through a rough patch and largely ignored, while climate change, drought and ozone depletion meant that meteorology was suddenly in the spot-light. The gulf between the quantitative and qualitative sciences was profound and geology was on the wrong side of the divide.

    What I find most horrible about this saga – however – is the role of The Australia in getting this into the media. The use of the Antarctic Study on Thursday as a hook to Plimer’s book was misleading at best (the study showed ozone and greenhouse gas changes driving climate change using a climate model from the IPCC and cast no doubts on human driven climate change) and was a predictable misuse of science to advertise non-science.

  31. #31 Fred Lint
    April 24, 2009

    John M,
    I was hoping for cliff notes but thanks for the references. I am a BSChE MBA so hopefully they are not the “sandbox” physics version of global warming. I can probably keep up with the pure science part, I am just hoping to not have to wade through it.
    Fred

  32. #32 Chris O'Neill
    April 24, 2009

    Fred Lint:

    how does cap and trade work as a solution, it really does not reduce or cap CO2, it just rearranges the deck chairs.

    The cap is supposed to be reduced eventually as part of an international agreement. It will be a few years before this actually reduces any country’s CO2 emissions.

  33. #33 John Quiggin
    April 24, 2009

    Fred, don’t you think that if you’re not prepared to “wade through” a text or two on the science of climate change, you ought to presume that the scientists who spend their lives working on this stuff are most likely to have the best handle on it.

  34. #34 Mark Byrne
    April 24, 2009

    ” Al Gores movie is claimed to have 13 factual inaccuracies and can not be shown in some UK schools without that disclcaimer. Maybe Plimers book needs the same disclaimer.

    Here are the notes to read with Ian Plimer book:
    1) In this book you will read arguments against the AGW which relies on temperature data which was withdrawn by it creator because it was clearly wrong and misleading. The author appear to no the data was withdrawn by its original creator. The data is not based in science, it is a simple distortion that by coincidence happened to create an illusion of evidence to support the creator’s augment.
    2)…

    The Judge actually asserted there were nine errors (not 13) . A perplexing example was the Judge’s criticism of Gore for saying low-lying inhabited Pacific atolls are already “being inundated because of anthropogenic global warming.” But Gore appears to be correct . There are multiple references to this inundation. I’m not sure why the Judge thought that this inundation was invalidated because the was no evacuation (rather no documents showing evacuation).
    Comparing the nine findings against Gore’s film with Plimer’s distortions above would be quite interesting.

  35. #35 Mark Byrne
    April 25, 2009

    Here are notes to read with Al Gores errors:

    1) In this movie Gore uses examples of three places with disappearing snow, ice, and water, which individually cannot be proved were result global warming. Yet the disappearance of ice, snow and water is predicted by global waring science, and is occurring in various regions as predicted.

    2) In this move you will see two charts of temperature and CO2 that look very similar. Gore says that they look the same. Yet while there is strong correlation between the two they are not exactly the same.
    3)..

    http://www.solomontimes.com/news.aspx?nwID=2971
    http://www.ecologyasia.com/news-archives/2001/dec-01/straitstimes.asia1.com.sg_cybernews_story_0,1870,91530,00.html “>Gore appears to be correct http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2005/nov/25/science.climatechange

  36. #36 George Darroch
    April 25, 2009

    Again off topic, but deserves to be known – New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) have fired New Zealand’s top climate scientist, Dr Jim Salinger, for talking to the media.

  37. #37 John Mashey
    April 25, 2009

    Fred Lint @32

    Have no fear: no wading necessary. There’s almost no math, and the books should be readable by many high school students. However, with a ChemEng BS and MBA, you may like some more math, in which case

    David Archer: Global Warming – Understanding the Forecast (2007) is a bit more technical, but used for non-science undergrads at U of Chicago. If that’s not technical enough, jump into
    IPCC AR4 Technical Summary.

    If you’re the Fred Lint near Philly, Penn & Drexel have frequent public lectures on climate.

    Penn actually has a very nice all-day free-and-public event coming May 1, including several IPCC authors.

    This looks to be the kind of session where you could hear general lectures and be able to ask questions at breaks, with speakers from 5 different universities talking on different issues. If you really want to understand this turf, see if you can manage to go to that.

    Hearing serious experts give general talks and being able to ask questions is one of the best ways to learn this area.

  38. #38 Maggie
    April 25, 2009

    After the posters here slap each other on the back while slapping down Ian Plimer’s courageous book, how do any of you account for NASA’s observation that the surface of Mars is also warming?
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article1720024.ece

  39. #39 John Mashey
    April 25, 2009

    maggie #38

    A question for you:

    a) How many planets and sizeable moons are there in the solar system?

    b) Are they all warming? all cooling? some warming, some cooling? [We don’t even have a set of modern observations for a single year for Pluto or Neptune, for example.] or perhaps, like Earth, are some parts warming while other parts of the same planet cooling, due to tilt angle of the poles? For instance, maybe we’re looking at Neptune’s Southern hemisphere and that’s going into its Summer?

    But, actually, try Skeptical Science, a fine list of common, but wrong arguments, in this case:

    16 Mars is warming [likely dust]
    20 Other planets are warming [yes, some are]
    37 Neptune is warming
    40 Jupiter is warming

    [Of course, the Sun hasn’t significantly warmed in 50 years, so that isn’t it.]

  40. #40 Duae Quartunciae
    April 25, 2009

    Maggie, you just need to READ THE ARTICLE. The warming on Mars is caused by changes in albedo; dust storms that alter the surface and make it better or worse at absorbing energy.

    How do you think they even figured out that the temperature on Mars was rising? Why not read the original research?

    The research you refer to is described in Fenton, L.K. et al, Global warming and climate forcing by recent albedo changes on Mars, in Nature, Vol 446, pp 646-649 (5 April 2007).

    They observed the albedo changes, and calculated the warming that was bound to result. There was no global temperature measurement involved. There was measurement of local shorter term changes in response to changes in surface cover with dust storms, which helped constrain the calculation for the global average, the the inferred temperature rise was CALCULATED FROM observed surface changes and albedo.

    Do you understand this? There is no global temperature record on Mars able to measure the warming involved. It’s calculated, from basic physics, and local effects on Mars. There’s no warming of the Sun involved. We CAN measure the Sun just fine, and it isn’t increasing in intensity over the time being considered, of about 30 years.

    Good grief!

    The usual pseudoscientific spin on this is to suggest that Mars is being warmed by the the same thing as Earth, and so it has to be the Sun. You can be completely confident that any source telling you any such nonsense is incompetent or worse. They’ve either not even read the research, or they are deliberately being dishonest about it.

    This is NORMAL for denial of basic climatology.

  41. #41 Duae Quartunciae
    April 25, 2009

    Heretic, Barry was citing the well established numbers for the “Global Warming Potential” metric, used to measure the impact of different gases. It’s described in section 2.10 of the IPCC 4AR. See page 212.

    The Global Warming Potential is calculated over different time spans, and is given as a multiple of the CO2 potential. The numbers are just as Barry has provided for you. It’s not wild at all, and it’s reasonably well known if you are following along the science of global warming.

    Barry’s point (#12) is spot on. Plimer’s comment on “termite belches” is true, in the sense that methane from a termite fart has the same impact, molecule for molecule, as methane from human activities. It’s a non-sequitur; it looks to me that Plimer isn’t even trying to be serious, but is just trying to poke fun. It’s a very disappointing approach from someone who should know better. In fact, its appalling.

  42. #42 Tim Lambert
    April 25, 2009

    “Heretic” was Graeme Bird, who is banned.

  43. #43 Dirk Hartog
    April 25, 2009

    There is [an excellent article by Robert Manne](http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25380219-7583,00.html) on Plimer in The Australian this morning. Manne is a professor of politics at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia and one of Australia’s foremost public intellectuals (Wikipedia).

    To whet your appetite, a quote: there
    “are a few dozen scientists who are best described as global warming pseudo-sceptics. Most do not publish in the refereed climate science academic journals. Some have been financed by greenhouse gas-emitting industries and provided with moral support by anti-global warming lobby groups. Many regard the work of the tens of thousands of climate change scientists as fraudulent and the IPCC as a sinister and vast international conspiracy. Plimer is a typical member of this camp.”

    and

    “It goes without saying that Plimer has every right to publish whatever it is he believes. However, for the editors of this newspaper to give books such as his the kind of enthusiastic welcome hundreds of others published in this country every year cannot dream of receiving and, even more, to treat their publication as important events, seems to me a grave intellectual, political and moral mistake.”

  44. #44 Ezzthetic
    April 25, 2009

    how do any of you account for NASA’s observation that the surface of Mars is also warming?

    Maggie,

    The warming on Mars is caused by the combined influx of women and guitars, which any astrophysicist will tell you Mars was sorely in need of.

  45. #45 Chris
    April 25, 2009

    I first met Plimer years ago, in Broken Hill where he worked, and have run into him professionally many times since then. I’m a recovering geologist.

    Plimer is cunning, not very bright, and generates controversy because it brings attention to him.

    One of my staff has a copy of Plimer’s book, and loaned it to me last week. I’ve been wading through it slowly. I deserve a medal; the writing is awful and the editing, if it was done at all, is worse.

    First, the book is not science and I doubt it was meant to be. Its controversy, and meant to appeal to the punters who distrust scientists and government, who think they are being lied to, and know there is a great conspiracy going on ‘out there’ meant to screw them. There are lots of these people.

    Second, I think the book is deeply disingenuous or deeply cynical – probably both – and I think Plimer has realised there is a way, at the end of a lacklustre career, to generate a bit of retirement money and get his name into the papers, be interviewed by the radio stations, maybe get on television. He could even get a gig at one of the neocon thinktanks festering in Australia. Gold!

    He, a rather quotidian economic geologist, has finally found his first mine – a quote mine to be used, promoted, and sold to all the other sad cases in the Great Global Climate Denial Swindle.

  46. #46 Bernard J.
    April 25, 2009

    For those who may have missed my [posting](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/04/the_australians_war_on_science_36.php#comment-1577645) about it on another thread, Plimer will be interviewed back-slapped by Michael Duffy and/or Paul Comrie-Thomson on Radio National’s Counterpoint this Monday coming.

    Of course, given the rather extreme sympathies of this largely anomalous hour of ABC radio, and the fact that there is little chance that balanced science will be in evidence, the piece will probably be effectively a promotion of Plimer’s book, dressed as an interview in order to fly under the ABC’s advertising policy radar.

  47. #47 Paul
    April 25, 2009

    maggie said:
    >After the posters here slap each other on the back while slapping down Ian Plimer’s courageous book, how do any of you account for NASA’s observation that the surface of Mars is also warming?

    Erm. sceptics complain about a lack of quantity of data about the earth, plus the instruments are inaccurate or in the wrong place.

    So how come you are accepting the data about Mars?
    Just how much data is available about Mars?

    My questions aren’t about the science, but are questioning your double standards when making challenges.

  48. #48 Greg Ralls
    April 25, 2009

    Plimer taught me geology at The University of Melbourne. I like the guy. His intentions always seemed to me to be good. I’ve enjoyed reading his other books.

    I admit I know very little about the climate debate, so won’t even bother to get involved in any argument, but I will definitely read ‘Heaven And Earth’ (I don’t yet have a copy).

    Going through the other comments made here, it seems there’s a bit of hostility towards Plimer and his views. I’m pro-Plimer and think the guy ought to be congratulated for doing what he does.

    I believe in the philosophy of asking questions, looking at evidence, making hypotheses and devising theories, and revising them as necessary when new evidence comes to light. I like the approach of keeping an open mind. I think Plimer would stand for this.

    Plimer may not be infallible, but at least he’s got people talking!

  49. #49 DavidK
    April 25, 2009

    Greg, there is reason for this “hostility” and you are correct about asking questions and keeping an open mind – there is no argument here.

    However, while Plimer appears to advocate this open mindedness, he shoots from the hip in a book targeted to a select audience.

    See another open mind here:

    http://bravenewclimate.com/2009/04/23/ian-plimer-heaven-and-earth/

    I have no doubt Plimer will derive a nice income stream heading into his retirement from world-wide book sales.

    However, being of open mind myself, I have to ask why he doesn’t publish his musings in recognised scientific journals on climate science – for critique and review by his peers?

    My guess, there’s no money in it – far better to maintain the delusion of controversy, go on a public speaking tour and sprout-off in the popular press and the blogosphere.

    After all, there is big money still to be made in not only denying humanity’s impact on the Earth systems, but delaying any countermeasures, don’t you think?

  50. #50 Dirk Hartog
    April 25, 2009

    Greg says: I believe in the philosophy of asking questions, looking at evidence, making hypotheses and devising theories, and revising them as necessary when new evidence comes to light.

    No one could argue against this. But this isn’t what Plimer is doing. He is bringing up old, discredited, contrarian arguments: it’s warming on Mars! it’s the sun! CO2 isn’t a pollutant, it’s essential for life! C02 lags temperature by 800 years! the hockey stick is broken! Yawn.

    The book (I’ve read it) makes it abundantly clear that Plimer does not understand the science, and is incapable of logical argument.

  51. #51 cohenite
    April 26, 2009

    Hi lads; the 4% is actually 3.67% and like most of my ‘facts’ is straight from the gelding’s mouth; IPCC; Fig 7.3 AR4, p515. For a balance to the shortcomings of Professor Plimer you are kindly pointing out here’s my take on the shortcomings of, well, just about everyone on your side of the fence;

    http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/2009/04/more-worst-agw-papers/#more-4954

    Don’t be shy, come over and punish me.

  52. #52 DavidK
    April 26, 2009

    Nah. If you were a straight shooter cohenite you would have at least accepted some of the shortcomings of Plimer’s book – here or at Brook’s site. You aren’t and you won’t.

    Rather, you ignore them, pretend they don’t exist and have the audacity to challenge everybody here to read more dumb denialist diatribe before letting Jen’s Jackals rip into anyone who ventures there that challenges your stupidity.

  53. #53 globalwarmingonmars(chortle!)
    April 26, 2009

    So cohenite, you’re using Jennifer Marohasy to refute AGW. This would be the same Jennifer Marohasy who told us four or five years ago that the problems with the Murray were vastly overstated by the greenies and that the Murray could actually support more water being taken from it. That would have been about twelve months before it dried up.

  54. #54 AlTjuringa
    April 26, 2009

    Dirk, lets apply sceptical/evidence-based/peer reviewed values to Manne’s assertion “…Plimer is a typical member of this camp.”
    Where is the evidence, the peer-reviewed citations for this claim?
    Or is Manne not applying a scientific approach to his analysis?

    Much of this discussion seems to revolve around social and cultural issues, but makes no reference to the (peer reviewed) social/cultural/philosophical literature or critiques of science itself. Why?

  55. #55 bi -- IJI
    April 26, 2009

    AITjuringa:

    And what are you going to do if, indeed, there are peer-reviewed citations?

    (Actually, I know already. You’ll either

    1. play the Galileo card, or
    2. just ignore it and throw out an unrelated talking point, or
    3. use the “Alarmists Do It Too!” defence.

    No amount of evidence will convince you that Manne’s diagnosis of Plimer might be right on.)

  56. #56 Nathan
    April 26, 2009

    Cohenite, why would we bother with a moron like yourself. Waste of time – you argue like a lawyer – you have no place in a scientific debate. Besides, I bet it’s like your ten worst AGW papers of all time – now how many were actually papers again?

  57. #57 Gavin's Pussycat
    April 26, 2009

    Cohenite:
    > Don’t be shy, come over and punish me.
    Too easy, judging by your elementary misreading of Figure 7.3. Give me real challenges.

  58. #58 Mark Byrne
    April 26, 2009

    “lets apply sceptical/evidence-based/peer reviewed values to Manne’s assertion “…Plimer is a typical member of this camp.” Where is the evidence, the peer-reviewed citations for this claim? Or is Manne not applying a scientific approach to his analysis?”

    The Australian isn’t a peer reviewed journal. I’m sure Manne would respond to an email if your keen to source the reference. Perhaps while your chasing Manne you could chase Plimer for all his absent references.

    Much of this discussion seems to revolve around social and cultural issues, but makes no reference to the (peer reviewed) social/cultural/philosophical literature or critiques of science itself. Why?

    My guess is that its because it takes time to cite social/cultural/philosophical literature. And as this is a blog the comments get published without peer review, a bit like Plimers book.

    My strategy if I want a reference is to ask for it or go the reputable literature.

    Its sort of the opposite of using pretend names in blogs.

  59. #59 AlTjuringa
    April 26, 2009

    My point is not to make judgements about the veracity of these arguments, but to question why similar ‘burdens of proof’ shouldn’t apply to both pro and anti stances. If we are going to cite Manne’s critique of Plimer in the argument, we should subject his (Manne’s)claims to the same scrutiny we would apply to Plimer’s.
    If Manne’s arguments don’t stand up to the standards we set for Plimer, then we should put his arguments to one side, or change the frame of reference of the discussion.

  60. #60 sod
    April 26, 2009

    My point is not to make judgements about the veracity of these arguments, but to question why similar ‘burdens of proof’ shouldn’t apply to both pro and anti stances. If we are going to cite Manne’s critique of Plimer in the argument, we should subject his (Manne’s)claims to the same scrutiny we would apply to Plimer’s. If Manne’s arguments don’t stand up to the standards we set for Plimer, then we should put his arguments to one side, or change the frame of reference of the discussion.

    did you read the post at the very top of this page? Tim Lambert (and Barry Brook) take apart Plimer POINT FOR POINT.

    if you are seriously interested in the truth, start reading there. if you are not, please don t waste our time…

  61. #61 bi -- IJI
    April 26, 2009

    > My point is not to make judgements about the veracity of these arguments,

    You mean your point isn’t to decide whether global warming is real or not, but to sow as much confusion as you can.

  62. #62 Bernard J.
    April 27, 2009

    After listening to Plimer on [Counterpoint](http://www.abc.net.au/rn/counterpoint/default.htm),I can only comment that the science is missing from Ian Plimer’s “Heaven and Earth” interviews as well.

    Plimer and serious science seem to have had a grievous falling out since I had him as a lecturer in my undergraduate years. I can’t help but wonder if he has adopted the Creationist science-debating tactics after he was so stung in his lawsuit against them – finding his pockets empty, did he decide to “join ‘em if you can’t beat ‘em”?

    Anyway, the piece was a tragic maggling of real science. The mp3 should be up in the next day or so for any who missed it and are curious to hear it.

  63. #63 DavidK
    April 27, 2009

    Agree Bernard but … many people (laypeople) who listened will be taken in by Plimer’s waffle. A rebuttal is required, preferrably by someone just down the corridor from IP.

    Do you really think Mike Duffey will seriously consider inviting someone Barry to counter the counterpoint when the whole programme is skewed to the unorthodox? Methinks not.

  64. #64 Harald Korneliussen
    April 27, 2009

    Well, MY opinion, which I am entitled to, no matter what you all say, is that…

    There should be a comma after “once” in the phrase “Plimer doesn’t cite them once he cites them three times.”

  65. #65 Jake T
    April 27, 2009

    It must be all SUVs on Mars that are causing it to warm up. It’s an absurd notion that solar activity has any effect on the Earth’s climate. Indeed, if the sun were to disappear tomorrow, the world will still get hotter, because of all the coal-burning in China. If anyone disagrees, then I think we should shun them.

  66. #66 Barton Paul Levenson
    April 27, 2009

    Jake T., Mars is warming because it has global dust storms and can be brighter or darker after the dust settles, depending on where it covers. Recently it’s been darker. That’s why Mars is warming. The Moon and Mercury, which have no atmosphere to complicate matters, are not warming. Uranus is cooling. Care to explain how a hotter sun can cause that?

    Nobody says the sun doesn’t affect Earth’s climate. But since sunlight hasn’t gone up or down appreciably in 50 years (we’ve been measuring it from satellites like Nimbus-7 and the Solar Maximum Mission), it can’t be causing the steep increase in global warming of the last 30 years.

    Lose the sarcasm until you’ve actually studied the subject.

  67. #67 Don
    April 27, 2009

    Hmmmm, it’s interesting browsing through all the posts and reading all the naked hostility towards Plimer, Michael Duffy and other sceptics. Here’s a couple I like: “However, while Plimer appears to advocate this open mindedness, he shoots from the hip in a book targeted to a select audience.” and “I have no doubt Plimer will derive a nice income stream heading into his retirement from world-wide book sales.” (both posted by DavidK) With respect to the first quote, the same criticsms could be made of the climate lobby. The term “climate porn” springs to mind.Penny Wong and many in the climate lobby attribute every drought, flood, hailstorm and even “normal weather” to climate change. No doubt you’ll be getting stuck into them soon? (I won’t hold my breath). The second quote wich chides Pilmer for making money, well is he any different to Gore? Do you make the same vocal criticsms of Gore or is it only a sin for Plimer?

    Sorry for picking on DavidK. After reading the majority of posts I think the comments apply to most of the posters.

  68. #68 Chris O'Neill
    April 27, 2009

    Don, instead of making ad hominem attacks on commenters, why don’t you respond to any of the points that Tim Lambert put up at the beginning?

  69. #69 bi -- IJI
    April 27, 2009

    Shorter Don: yes, I’m wrong, but I say you’re equally wrong, therefore I’m right.

  70. #70 DavidK
    April 27, 2009

    Ok Don. Plimer has backed himself into a corner that is extremely difficult to extricate himself from. He dismisses ALL ‘climate science’ in favour of the geologic record.

    Can I ask this of you, Don: why does Plimer not publish his latest ‘musings’ in the recognised scientific journals on climate science (for critique and review by his peers)? Surely, if what he has to say in his book can stand the rigor of the scientific process, he would be acclaimed the world over for putting the nail in the coffin of AGW.

    No, Plimer is different to Gore in at least one respect.

    Plimer is a scientist, Gore is a propagandist (and in my opinion, the last I would have selected as the one to champion the challenges humanity faces). Gore has disnfranchised a lot of people just because of his politics.

    Before you jump down my throat, at least Jim Hansen publishes in ‘climate science’ journals. To my mind, Plimer is no different to Bob Carter or David Bellamy – or for that matter, the Lord Monkton.

    And please, there are extremists on both sides of the fence – they should all pull their collective heads out of their collective butts. Nevertheless, an 80 cm sea level rise is catastrophic enough, don’t you think. And if it has gone over your head, the vast amount of scientists are not extremists, we are in fact quite conservative. This is what you should be concerned about.

    The way I see it (please discuss at will) is that the ‘debate’ has gone far beyond science. Whatever happens from now is social, political and economic (political scientists should understand this). I for one think the UNFCCC, policy makers and captains of industry are in a quandary about what to do – this is going to be a real test leading up to Copenhagen and its aftermath – not the science. I am not optimistic.

  71. #71 Mark Byrne
    April 27, 2009

    AlTjuringa writes;

    “My point is not to make judgements about the veracity of these arguments, but to question why similar ‘burdens of proof’ shouldn’t apply to both pro and anti stances.”

    Have your read the IPCC reports? Did you think they lacked evidence or citations? Did you read Tim’s critique showing the Plimer is using make-believe temperature data?

    If we are going to cite Manne’s critique of Plimer in the argument, we should subject his (Manne’s)claims to the same scrutiny we would apply to Plimer’s. If Manne’s arguments don’t stand up to the standards we set for Plimer, then we should put his arguments to one side, or change the frame of reference of the discussion.

    Show us where Manne is using madeup data. Manne says Plimers is clearly in the conspiracy and cites Plimers accusation that the climate science community

    AlTjuringa, have your read the IPCC reports? Did you think they lacked evidence or citations? Did you read Tim’s critique showing the Plimer is using make-believe temperature data?

    If we are going to cite Manne’s critique of Plimer in the argument, we should subject his (Manne’s)claims to the same scrutiny we would apply to Plimer’s. If Manne’s arguments don’t stand up to the standards we set for Plimer, then we should put his arguments to one side, or change the frame of reference of the discussion.

    AlTjuringa I suggest you read Manne’s article again, He states that :
    “Many regard the work of the tens of thousands of climate change scientists as fraudulent and the IPCC as a sinister and vast international conspiracy. Plimer is a typical member of this camp.”
    His basis for this claim is in his second paragraph: “[Plimer] describes the entire climate science community as “the forces of darkness””.

  72. #72 naught101
    April 27, 2009

    Tony Jones is absolutely nailing Plimer on Lateline right now (monday night, ABC). It’s fucking classic. Plimer is acting like a worm.

  73. #73 Bernard J.
    April 27, 2009

    It’s been Plimer’s Big Day Out on the ABC alright.

    Unfortunately Jones went a bit soft on Plimer toward the end, and let him wiggle out of the issue of whether Plimer’s selection of the post-1998 data was the same or different to that of AGW proponents.

    It was a shame really, because minutes earlier he really was squashing Plimer on the US versus the rest of the world 1930s temperature issue.

    I would love to have seen Plimer face, in person, the pre-recorded scientists whose interviews were shown before his. Jones did a valiant job for a journalist in chasing Plimer’s furphies, but it would have been wonderful to see those whose bread and butter this is reveal Plimer’s misuse of science exactly for what it is.

    What’s the bet that this time tomorrow ol’ Ian is the darling of the denialist interests, inluding the Bolt and Marohassy cesspits?

  74. #74 Chris O'Neill
    April 27, 2009

    Unfortunately Jones went a bit soft on Plimer toward the end, and let him wiggle out of the issue of whether Plimer’s selection of the post-1998 data was the same or different to that of AGW proponents.

    Yes Plimer would make a great goalpost-shifting troll. He seemed to have the attitude that he should criticize anything and everything without trying to be consistent, e.g. even though he used Hadley Centre temperature data, he made citicism of it. He showed how thoroughly confused he was between USA and world temperature data. It will be interesting to see the transcript.

  75. #75 frankis
    April 27, 2009

    “Unfortunately Jones went a bit soft on Plimer toward the end”

    Au contraire Bernard, as naught101 and I both just saw it that was a complete and utter humiliation of Plimer by Jones. A self-professing “scientist” – Plimer has in fact nothing of science about him by this stage – given the rope with which to hang himself, only too keen to take it and swing.

    I admired Jones’ reasonable, unbluffed performance. But Plimer won’t care about the thrashing he just took from a quality journalist because he’ll still be lionised by Chris Mitchell’s Oz and still be selling bootloads of his foolish book; all the trappings of success as a fool would see it.

  76. #76 Guido
    April 28, 2009

    I am the Librarian at the Earth Sciences Library at the University of Melbourne.

    The School has the fortune to have Professor David Karoly, which you may have seen on various ABC current affairs shows and is a leading climate change expert in the world, and is part of the Climate Adaptation Science and Policy Initiative here at the University. David is very helpful in assisting me by donating publications he get sent from overseas and also from conferences he goes to.

    Of course this means that in the ‘climate change debate’ we get only one side of the story. The issue here is whether anyone claiming that climate change is not being caused by humans is a crackpot and therefore any publication from this person should not be included in a scientific library.

    On the other hand there is merit to have in the collection counter-views, not necessarily just for balance, but also because it assists those who argue that human actions are causing climate change (which is the overwhelming view from most scientists) to counteract these opinions.

    Whether his science his wrong, Plimer is not a kooky guy. He is a Professor of Mining Geology at the University of Adelaide and he was the Head of the School of Earth Sciences at Melbourne University between 1991 to 2005 where he still is listed as ‘Inactive Academic Teaching Staff’.

    When his book was discussed amongst some members of the Atmospheric and Oceanic Science Group at morning tea, the issue that Professor Plimer is an economic geologist and not a meteorologist/climatologist was raised. But then again one of the strongest advocated for climate change is Tim Flannery and he is a zoologist, and we have two books of his in the library, at least Plimer has some earth sciences connection.

    So what to do? Would such a book enhance the collection of an scientific academic library?

    I decided that it could. Plimer is a scientist, is a geologist and was even the head of the School for some time, so while many may disagree with his science, he’s not some kooky crackpot. And with that in mind librarians should offer their users the widest possible range of opinions (within reasonable parameters…of course!)

  77. #77 Bernard J.
    April 28, 2009

    For those who missed the broadcasts, or who live outside of Australia, Plimer’s interviews on [Lateline](http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2008/s2554129.htm) and on
    [Counterpoint](http://www.abc.net.au/rn/counterpoint/stories/2009/2550682.htm) are now downloadable.

    The man really is an embarrassment to science, and all the more so for his repeated protestations of practising true science himself.

  78. #78 maggie
    April 28, 2009

    Shunning people? Real scientific stuff. After you have trashed a real scientist, Prof. Ian Plimer, there are still lots of others around to take on.

    http://www.ilovemycarbondioxide.com/pdf/Fax_to_Obama.pdf

  79. #79 rastus
    April 28, 2009

    Well Davidk, aka Karoly, Its nice to see that you acknowledge that there are extremists on both sides of the fence.

    I thought that the AGW white coats were above reproach on any front– just ask them.

    As for the differences between Gore and Hansen I didnt think there were any– they are both crooks.

    and to your list one can add that con man Mann, -peer reviewed as well.

    What a joke you bunch are.

  80. #80 Dirk Hartog
    April 28, 2009

    Guido, why do you say Plimer is not some kooky crackpot? Have you read the book? It completely trashes any scientific credibility that Plimer might have had.

    E.g., on page 120 we read that the Sun is a magnetic plasma diffuser that selectively moves light elements like hydrogen and helium and the lighter isotopes of other elements to its surface. Type this in to google and find out where it comes from: a paper that concludes the sun has the same composition as a meteorite (i.e., not 98% hydrogen + helium as we all thought).

    This book has as much place in a library of Earth Science as Eric von Daniken’s and Velikovsky’s books have in a library of Astronomy.

  81. #81 Warwick
    April 28, 2009

    Ah, quality climate research this whole thing is …

    Getting Biologist Barry Brooks to debunk the work of Geologist Ian Plimer and being bought to us by Computer King Lambert.

    It is no wonder everyone is losing interest in the topic (well except for those with vested interests).

  82. #82 Barton Paul Levenson
    April 28, 2009

    Don, how about focusing on the issue instead of whining that skeptics aren’t treated respectfully? And BTW, Al Gore hasn’t made a penny from his books; all the profits went into the nonprofit he set up to pursue this issue.

  83. #83 Paul
    April 28, 2009

    How absolutely typical of Jones’ style to berate those he interviews; What a shame. Despite the absurd comments elsewhere in this forum re Professor Plimer being “cut down” by Jones, quite the opposite happened. Professor Plimer did a stirling job on getting his point across; although this was made continually difficult for him by Jones typical interjection, rudeness and interruption; trying to perpetually cut Plimer off. How rude. It just serves to reinforce Plimers views. What a disgusting shame that we don’t embrace alternative views in this country. School kids are now taught not to even question main stream, absolutely garbage about climate change. The majority of us have swallowed it, without question, hook, line and sinker. And its all about getting more money from the average Joe to feed corporate greed. What a shame… Its about time everyone stated thinking big picture; Geological terms, millions of years guys instead of the last 150 years. What a farce. I congratulate and commend professor Plimer. What great read for the layperson; a great book not written in scientific terms but something the average person can read. Its about time the truth came out. Wake up Australia,

  84. #84 bi -- IJI
    April 28, 2009

    > a great book not written in scientific terms but something the average person can read.

    Well yes, the citation of Worldnutdaily pretty much signals to the layman that the book’s written for wingnuts.

  85. #85 P. Lewis
    April 28, 2009

    a great book not written in scientific terms

    To write this “great book … in scientific terms” would surely be a monumental task to achieve (even for a “real Galileo”) with so little real science in it. Perhaps that’s just what he should’ve tried.

  86. #86 Bernard J.
    April 28, 2009

    Paul enthuses at #83:

    What great read for the layperson…

    Erm, what about the fact that this “great read” is riddled with distortions, misrepresentations, errors of omission, errors of interpretation, inaccuracies, and downright falsities?

    If it’s in any way a “great read”, perhaps a better title would have been “The Da Plimer Code”, or, given the imminent cinematic reprise, maybe “Angles and Demeanings”.

    The veracity of Plimer’s book is on a par with that of Dan Browns efforts – if one is generous…

  87. #87 Chris O'Neill
    April 28, 2009

    Paul:

    Despite the absurd comments elsewhere in this forum re Professor Plimer being “cut down” by Jones, quite the opposite happened.

    You must be talking about a different Professor Plimer from the one I listened to. Here are a couple of examples:

    In the context of clarifying whether Plimer was actually talking about the USA temperature record or the global temperature record Tony Jones asked something like:

    In fact what NASA changed was its record for the warmest years in the USA (which were partly in the 1930s)?

    To which Plimer responded with the non-sequitur that there is a substantial difference between the satellite record and the surface-measured record of the last 30 years!

    This type of answering went on for question after question but I think my favorite was when Jones asked: if the 6 hottest years on record (according to Hadley) were actually 1998, 2005, 2003, 2002, 2004 and 2006 then isn’t it reasonable to suggest that global temperatures have remained on a remarkably high plateau rather than cooling as you’re suggesting?

    Plimer replied:

    No, in the 1930s it was much hotter!

    Paul:

    What a farce.

    You’re right. Plimer’s performance was a farce as his above responses demonstrate.

  88. #88 Greg Ralls
    April 28, 2009

    Tim Lambert at the top of this page points out about 60 or so ‘problems’ with Plimer’s book. For a book around 500 pages long, this doesn’t seem too bad. Can we take it to mean there are no problems with the majority of the rest of it?

    Somewhere in the back of my mind something is telling me that even the greatest scientists have failed to be correct 100% of the time. Some have been correct in certain specific, significant instances and incorrect in others. Some have been correct only in part in certain significant instances (and other scientists have later elaborated and arrived at something more accurate).

    It seems plausible to me that Plimer could be correct in part. He seems to know his geology, and I don’t doubt geology has a big part to play in predicting the future of our planet, particularly with regard to climate change. I wouldn’t be surprised if Plimer was spot on with some of his observations.

    Thanks to DavidK (#49) for his response to my previous post (#48). His comments may have some validity.

  89. #89 Dirk Hartog
    April 28, 2009

    Greg, you say I wouldn’t be surprised if Plimer was spot on with some of his observations..

    The real question is: has he offered any proof that human produced CO2 hasn’t affected the climate? This is what he claims to do in multiple places in the book.

    Can anyone reading this blog provide an example of any valid relevant argument that Plimer makes in the book?

  90. #90 bi -- IJI
    April 28, 2009

    > Can we take it to mean there are no problems with the majority of the rest of it?

    No.

  91. #91 Chris O'Neill
    April 29, 2009

    Greg Ralls:

    Tim Lambert at the top of this page points out about 60 or so ‘problems’ with Plimer’s book. For a book around 500 pages long, this doesn’t seem too bad.

    A bit like saying if someone’s proposed law of physics is 12% definitely wrong and the rest we’re not sure about then we should assume that it’s OK overall.

  92. #92 Paul
    April 29, 2009

    bi — IJI, All criciticm aside, Professor Plimer is a highly educated, highly regarded and intensly well educated man of impeccable credentials – and like it or not he is one of the worlds foremost authorities on the subject. Not only is the man a walking encyclopedia of geology he has much practical experience in the subject UNLIKE a lot of other Professor’s whose knowledge is only theoretical. So please give him the respect and recognition he deserves. And no, before you have another go at me, I have no “vested interest” in speaking on the Professor’s behalf nor do I know him. How do I know? I only have two degrees in Geology myself (basically uneducated) but three of my close friends have trained in Geology under the Professor and two of them are Senior Professors in Geology themselves. They have the highest praise for the man. He is a very, very well respected member of the scientific oommunity. He has nothing to prove. God help anyone in Australia who doesn’t fit inside the circle… precisely why this country has gone to the dogs. I’m quite sick of other scientists pushing this climate change garbage down my throat when all they have are half-arsed, unsubstantiated theories. Just like mobile phones/brain cancer coverup – open the door and start running, don’t bother to think first… So, why the heck should I have to pay a carbon tax on this basis? Oh yeh, thats right, so the fat cats can get richer… of course… but then again, no, couldn’t be because that sounds too much like a (shock) “conspiracy theory”. And that would never happen in this country, would it? The problem with a lot of these other scientists is that they have all brains but no common sense…, too busy looking into the clouds without looking under their feet. I once again commend Professor Plimer and his fantastic book.

  93. #93 Barton Paul Levenson
    April 29, 2009

    Paul, Professor Plimer being a wonderful geologist has nothing to do with the case. He’s not a climatologist, and what he says about climatology is demonstrably wrong. It doesn’t matter how good he is in geology; in climatology he is incompetent. Period.

    William Shockley’s degree in physics didn’t qualify him to talk about IQ and race. Richard Dawkins’s degree in biology didn’t qualify him to talk about sociology. Talk outside your field and it doesn’t matter how impressive your degree is. If you haven’t studied the field in question, you know nothing about it.

  94. #94 ianhilliar
    April 29, 2009

    Currently about half way through Plimer’s latest book. I’d actually recommend his earlier work,”A Short History of the Planet Earth” except, after winning the Eureka prize for science and selling out the first edition , our wonderfully unbiased ABC refused to reprint it. Funny about that. Anyway, looking through Tim Lambert’s 60 or so ‘problems’, they would only appear to be problems if you deny the last 10 years of data,which is the best data we’ve got. I started to go throgh Tims problems ,one at a time, and they certainly are problems for you, Tim ,but I found them so petulant and petty that it made me angry, and I for one do not feel you are worth my pitty , let alone my displeasure. You call skeptics denialists, yet you yourselves are the greatest denialists of all. Of course Mannes hockey stick graph was fraudulent; even the IPCC wont touch it now. And after the NASA GISS data was found to be incorrect and NASA reworked the data and anounced the 1930s as the warmest decade of the last 100yrs,with 1934 as the hottest year, Hansen et al stated it was not relevant,as the world data showed continued warming.Up till this statement, NASA GISS had used the US data because it was presumed to be more accurate.Why didnt NASA use the satellite data? Because satellite data shows no warming and the beginning of a cooling trend. So, why does the rest of the world data show a continuing warming trend? Could it possibly have something to do with the fact that, when the USSR went belly up, there was no more money for simple things like weather stations. Prior to 1990 there were about 14000 stations contibuting data. There are now about 8000. Most of those closed stations were in Siberia. Accurate surface data? And this is what the ABCs “science journalist”,Mr Jones, was badgering Ian Plimer about. No wonder Plimer got upset. Jonesy has form ,though. Did you watch the great global warming Swindle on ABC a year or so ago? Jonesy tried to prevent it being screened ,of course. He was badgering Durkin by drawing Manns hockeystick tail on the end of the ealier IPCC graph, [yeah the one that Lambert pillories as the GGWS graph is actually the earlier IPCC graph] and Martin Durkin couldnt believe it, as he assumed it had now been totally discredited. Even now Tim wont agree that its been discredited. Denialists all.

  95. #95 Paul
    April 29, 2009

    Well said Ian, well said. Indeed those “problems” are so petulent as to hardly necessitate rating a mention. I do feel sorry for Prof. Plimer though, not being given a fair go by Jones but what else can we expect? This is certainly not the Australia I was brought up in…

  96. #96 frankis
    April 29, 2009

    The fawning adulation of Plimer above reads like parody. Sadly I’m sure it’s not. Paul and Ian are the vaunted ordinary punters, resentful of that incomprehensible peer reviewed scientific literature, to whom Plimer is pitching his wares.

  97. #97 bi -- IJI
    April 29, 2009

    Paul:

    > bi — IJI, All criciticm aside,

    Yep, if we ignore all the criticism, then there are no criticisms of Plimer.

    ianhilliar:

    > the last 10 years of data,which is the best data we’ve got.

    The best! Always demand the best! All data before the last 10 years are ‘inferior’ according to inactivist logic. That is, unless it comes from CO2Science.org.

  98. #98 Chris O'Neill
    April 29, 2009

    ianhilliar:

    Because satellite data shows no warming and the beginning of a cooling trend.

    You have been sucked-in big time. All the versions of the satellite data show a warming trend over the past 30 years. You have only been shown cherry-picking of that data.

  99. #99 Chris O'Neill
    April 29, 2009

    ianhillier:

    Anyway, looking through Tim Lambert’s 60 or so ‘problems’, they would only appear to be problems if you deny the last 10 years of data,which is the best data we’ve got.

    Rather ironic talking about denying the last 10 years of data after I pointed out Plimer’s response above to Jones’ question:

    if the 6 hottest years on record (according to Hadley) were actually 1998, 2005, 2003, 2002, 2004 and 2006 then isn’t it reasonable to suggest that global temperatures have remained on a remarkably high plateau rather than cooling as you’re suggesting?

    Plimer replied:

    No, in the 1930s it was much hotter.

    Suddenly Plimer wanted to deny the last 10 years of data.

  100. #100 ianhilliar
    April 30, 2009

    to Chris O’Neil-educational standards certainly have slipped-dont they teach comprehension at school anymore? I know they dont teach logic at uni. Look at Tim. If you’d understood my little missive [but I’m making the mistake of assuming you’ve read it ] you may have noted my reference to the closure of some 4 or 5 thousand weather stations in Siberia between 1990 and 2000.If one were to subtract [take-away] 4000 to 5000 cooler [remember, they are from Siberia] data contibutors to the world climate record ,would it not be truly amazing if the surface data failed to indicate warming? And please look at a science site ,rather than wiki. bi–IJI whats up with co2science? I think anybody on this blog could learn a lot from the IDSO brothers .

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