Plimer exposed as a fraud

Ian Plimer’s performance in his debate with Monbiot has to be seen to be believed. Rather than admit to making any error at all, Plimer ducks, weaves, obfuscates, recites his favourite catch phrase, tries to change the subject and fabricates some more. When confronted with the fact that the USGS says (backed with scientific papers) that human activities emit 130 times as much CO2 as volcanoes, Plimer claims that the USGS doesn’t count underwater volcanoes. When told that the USGS specifically said that they do count undersea volcanoes, Plimer invented a story about how the nature of the rocks under the ocean proves that there must be unobserved emissions. Needless to say, this is not acceptable conduct for a scientist.

The University of Adelaide’s code of practice on research misconduct states:

Misrepresentation : A researcher or reviewer shall not with intent to deceive, or in reckless disregard for the truth:

(a) state or present a material or significant falsehood;
(b) omit a fact so that what is stated or presented as a whole states or presents a material or significant falsehood.

Elsewhere, James Randerson interviewed Plimer and

found him to be one of the most difficult and evasive interviewees I have spoken to in my career, frequently veering off on tangents rather than answering the question I had put.

Randerson has an another example of Plimer refusing to admit to even the most blatant error:

Elsewhere in the book, Plimer appears to have conflated a US temperature record and the global average temperature. On page 99 he writes “Nasa now states that [...] the warmest year was 1934.” The Nasa dataset he is referring to covers the US only but he seems to be referring to the world average.

Again, Plimer does not appear to accept that the world is warming. But in fact, the hottest year on record is 1998 and eight of the 10 hottest years ever recorded have occurred this century.

When I put the mistake to him he responded: “The 1930s in North America and probably the rest of the world were a hot period of time.” But what about increased global average temperature since then? “That has been disputed by many of my colleagues who I have a great regard for because they’ve been the people involved in putting measurements together … I do dispute that as do many other people who are far more qualified in atmospheric sciences than I.”

Bob Burton tracks down the story of how the AAP reported Plimer’s speech before it happened. As you might have guessed, the journalist did a cut and paste from a press release put out by a PR firm.

On Saturday the Sydney Morning Herald printed a report from Copenhagen by Ian Plimer on a news page. My letter to them:

Please cancel my subscription to the SMH.

The SMH simply does not care about the accuracy of what it publishes. You obviously did not bother to check whether there was any basis to Ian Plimer’s dishonest smears of climate scientist, allowing him to falsely accuse them of fraud and “mafia-type thuggery”.

I don’t know why you think your business model should involve deceiving your readers, but I’m not buying it or your paper any more.

Comments

  1. #1 Devils Advocate
    January 6, 2010

    It clear that the “Plimer claims that the USGS doesn’t count underwater volcanoes” is true, as no one knows how many underwater volcanoes there are, where they are and as such they have not even attempted to measure a single underwater volcano’s emissions.

    This brings us to the source of disinformation about underwater volcanoes Monidiot is spruiking; “statistical extrapolation”. Bernards question no 5.

    “Statistical extrapolation” in the AGW sense;

    in relation to global atmospheric temperature; 99.9999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999% of the atmosphere is not actually measured so they have to use “statistically extrapolation” to ‘make up’ a figure;

    in relation to emissions figures for underwater volcanoes. No one has actually measured the emissions from a underwater volcano, so 100% of the emissions figures for underwater volcanoes are “statistically” extrapolated (made up), but the source for this fictitious extrapolation is from elsewhere, not from underwater volcanoes.

  2. #2 Joseph
    January 6, 2010

    in relation to global atmospheric temperature; 99.9999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999% of the atmosphere is not actually measured so they have to use “statistically extrapolation” to ‘make up’ a figure;

    Definitely a Poe.

  3. #3 Bernard J.
    January 6, 2010

    According to [Devils [sic] Advocate](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/12/plimer_exposed_as_a_fraud.php#comment-2187452):

    …in relation to global atmospheric temperature; 99.9999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999% of the atmosphere is not actually measured so they have to use “statistically extrapolation” to ‘make up’ a figure.

    Given that there are ‘only’ around [2.2 x 1044 atoms in the atmosphere](http://pages.prodigy.net/jhonig/bignum/qaair.html), and that we have “measured” (according to Devils [sic] Advocate) 1 x 10-79% (give or take a decimal place) of the atmosphere, humans apparently have achieved astonishing nanonanonano… et cetera)-scale manipulation in order to have “measured” a total of around 2.2 x 10-33% of one atom in total, in the atmosphere.

    Devils [sic] Advocate is either a Poe, as Dhogaza and Joseph note, or is [hypocritically making up figures](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/12/plimer_exposed_as_a_fraud.php#comment-2185889) in his clueless ambition to demonstrate himself to be a 99.999… (to 79 decimal places)% fact-free troll.

  4. #4 WotWot
    January 6, 2010

    statistical extrapolation = made up

    :head-desk:

  5. #5 Bernard J.
    January 6, 2010

    To follow on from my previous post, I have a question for the Bedevilled Arrogant: what do you think a thermometer actually measures, and what do you think statistics actually have to do with it?

    Think carefully, because if you arrive at a correct answer you may be invited to join Tim Curtin, Girma Orssengo, Andrew “cohenite” Cox, Harold Pierce Jnr, and sundry other esteemed scientific giants, on the academic staff of the Department of Climate Reality And Politics at the University of the Universe.

  6. #6 Vince Whirlwind
    January 6, 2010

    Devils Advocate:
    “…in relation to emissions figures for underwater volcanoes. No one has actually measured the emissions from a underwater volcano, so 100% of the emissions figures for underwater volcanoes are “statistically” extrapolated (made up),…”

    So, are Plimer’s assertions about the CO2 emitted by underwater volcanoes “made up”?

    Uh, come to think of it – what figures (made up or otherwise) support Plimer’s assertion about CO2 underwater volcanoes?

    …because Plimer *does* base his assertions on actual data, right?

  7. #7 wazzamad
    January 7, 2010

    I also saw Ian Plimer on the lateline interview the other night.Unfortunately,there is no questioning the fact that he was a disaster.He came off looking evasive and untrustworthy.He would do us sceptics a favour if he stayed away from the media.

  8. #8 TrueSceptic
    January 7, 2010

    468 Devil,

    I know this has been mentioned before but I really must repeat it, with emphasis.

    The changes in oxygen isotope ratios due to the combustion of fossil fuels, also match near enough with that expected for the production of the CO2 from in situ fossil fuels that are burnt in volcanic processes.

    Where did that come from? What do you think volcanoes are?

  9. #10 Devils Advocate
    January 10, 2010

    “It seems that Bedevilled Arrogant has turned tail and fled”

    No, Tim seems to be deleting my posts. It is understandable he doesn’t like dissenting opinions to be aired, especially, as the flawed AGW science is loosing more & more traction in the debate, as this happens the only option is to shut down the debate.
    Censoring the dissenters is prima facie evidence AGW theory is BS.

  10. #11 Bernard J.
    January 10, 2010

    Bedevilled Arrogant, if you believe that Tim Lambert would censor your level of ‘opinion’ based upon its scientific threat to mainstream climatology, you’re seriously deluded. Tim tolerates an extraordinary degree of ‘dissent’, even if it’s completely barmy. Spend some serious time reading the archives here and you’ll see just how much nonsense he puts up with.

    If you’re being deleted from posting it’ll be due to the inanity or to the purility contained in your efforts.

    And if you believe that AGW is BS, why don’t you put your best explanations to refute [the empirical evidence of AGW](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/12/firedoglake_book_salon_on_jame.php#comment-2134083). [Paranoia](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/12/plimer_exposed_as_a_fraud.php#comment-2194034) is hardly the prima facie evidence that refutes AGW.

  11. #12 Devils Advocate
    January 10, 2010

    Bernard and others, you can try to avoid the subject by calling me any names (i.e. shoot the messenger if you can’t shoot the message), but these 2 facts remain;

    (1) only a micro fraction of the actual atmosphere is measured for temperature and a fictitious extrapolation is then obtained to ‘guess’ the temperature for the rest and;

    (2) no underwater volcano has ‘ever’ had its emissions recorded and therefore any extrapolation that purports to extrapolate emissions from underwater volcanoes is a fraud. (so Plimers emissions ‘guess’ is as good as anybody else’s ‘guess’ and it is certainly better than that of a journalist)

    The so called scientific papers linked to thus far are all heavily qualified to the point where no scientific certainty can be derived from them. (point me to one repeatable real world experiment that successfully predicts a future outcome contain within one.)

  12. #13 Bud
    January 10, 2010

    Censoring the dissenters is prima facie evidence AGW theory is BS.

    Great, I’ll add that to the rest of the ‘prima facie’ evidence, which prior to your contribution had [included](http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cif-green/2010/jan/06/snow-ice-climate-change-arctic-oscillation?showallcomments=true#CommentKey:a7d00960-ceb2-4c6f-acff-e554bdd00fad):

    Primo Getting angry at dissenters.

    Secundo Using ad hominem-hominem-hominems against dissenters.

    Tertio Saying bad things about the dissenters’ spelling and grammar.

    With all this prima facie evidence about, the science becomes almost irrelevent, doesn’t it?

  13. #14 dhogaza
    January 10, 2010

    only a micro fraction of the actual atmosphere is measured for temperature and a fictitious extrapolation is then obtained to ‘guess’ the temperature for the rest and;

    Oh, so THAT’S why an oral thermometer is useless for determining if one’s core temperature is elevated or not … medical science is a fraud!

  14. #15 Bernard J.
    January 10, 2010

    only a micro fraction of the actual atmosphere is measured for temperature and a fictitious extrapolation is then obtained to ‘guess’ the temperature for the rest

    As has been noted previously, you obviously have no understanding of the concept of representative statistical sampling. Nor do you appear to be aware of the significance of the variance around a mean of samples, and of what such variance indicates about the reliability/precision of the sampled parameter.

    Your ‘fact’ is, in fact, crap.

    no underwater volcano has ‘ever’ had its emissions recorded

    Do you mean recorded on film, or recorded chemically…?

    and therefore any extrapolation that purports to extrapolate emissions from underwater volcanoes is a fraud.

    Erm, statistics and geology do more than “purport”. You might want to spend some serious time devling into this.

    Also, you might consider the points [here](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/12/plimer_exposed_as_a_fraud.php#comment-2147817) and [here](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/12/plimer_exposed_as_a_fraud.php#comment-2149469), and especially what they imply for the understanding of submarine emissions. I’ll give you a hint – the scientific method that is used in such understanding is the same scientific method that split the atom, that put men on the moon, that sequenced the genomes of humans and of other species, and that can reliably inform mining companies where to find the chemical elements and compounds that they are so desperately seeking – and in what quantities they’ll find said materials.

    Your message has been shot to smithereens so many times already that the only thing left of any utility is to clobber the bloody fool who thinks that it’s smart to push the shreds of this discredited message through the mail slot.

    point me to one repeatable real world experiment that successfully predicts a future outcome contain within one.

    You have to be joking… Seriously – you have to be joking!

    I’m so tempted to waste half an hour typing countless examples, but I am now convinced that I might just be falling victim to a pernicious variety of Poe…

    And you wonder why you are called names!

  15. #16 P. Lewis
    January 10, 2010

    Someone (who is [kill]-filed and appears to be incorentite) said that:

    no underwater volcano has ‘ever’ had its emissions recorded

    Oops! Someone’s telling porky pies.

    I wonder how many more I could find if I really put my mind to it? “Lies or gas samples”, you say? I’ll let others be the judge.

  16. #17 P. Lewis
    January 10, 2010

    Oops again! That should have been “incoherentite”!

  17. #18 P. Lewis
    January 10, 2010

    I have an odd minute while the tea bag is doing its stuff, so I just powered up the laptop, used Google and found another one. Zut alors! There’s loads more of ‘em.

    OK folks, I won’t link any more, just recommend [kill] file use for certain incoherent individuals.

  18. #19 jakerman
    January 10, 2010

    Devils Advocate is doing a fine job of representing Plimer on this thread.

    We have plagerism, bluster, distortion, misrepresentation and just making stuff up!

  19. #20 Bernard J.
    January 10, 2010

    P. Lewis.

    Someone (who is [kill]-filed and appears to be incorentite) said that:

    no underwater volcano has ‘ever’ had its emissions recorded

    Oops, my bad for omitting a name. The culprit is Devils [sic] Advocate, not cohenite.

    I doubt that even cohenite would be that stupid…

    Dang, it seems I just called DevAd another name! Oh well…

  20. #21 P. Lewis
    January 10, 2010

    Then apologies to cohenite for the misattribution — for this particular episode anyway. (Made Jakerman’s comment understandable too :-)

    It’s difficult sometimes trying to gauge (from sane respondents) who is being quoted. I make more liberal use of the [kill] file than I used to (amazing what it does for your BP … and proper work output) and I’m no longer of a mind to go delving amongst the [kill]ed correspondents when I see something quoted that I think is worth commenting on. (Perhaps I should not mention names in future unless it’s absolutely clear.)

    Keep up the good work BJ (et al.)… when you can.

  21. #22 Devils Advocate
    January 11, 2010

    P Lewis maybe if you spent less time reading tea leaves you might be able to come up with some real scientific evidence….

    “It was possible to estimate the flux of steam and thereby the heat flux involved in the diffusive degassing process.”

    Notice they said ‘estimate the….’ they did not say ‘calculate the actual….’

    As stated above, all the links thus far are highly qualified. I will concede they are ‘educated’ guesses on the emissions from underwater volcanoes as opposed to just guesses, but guesses all the same. You might call guessing the scientific method, but Einstein reckons God doesn’t play dice with the universe and I tend to agree with him. Eventually you should be able to work the emissions without guessing, so when you do get back to me.

    Re Bernard @ 484

    Back to the “micro fraction of the actual atmosphere is measured for temperature” and how much is extrapolated.

    If we use the Karmen line as our boundary (the boundary is actually a lot further) we get a figure of about 51,000,000,000,000,000,000 cubic meters of atmosphere.

    Can you tell me Bernard, how many cubic metres of the atmosphere do we have a thermometer in and how many cubic metres of atmosphere do we extrapolate (guess) the temperature?

    I think we can extrapolate (guess) the answer to that question; thermometers are in a very very small fraction of the atmosphere.

  22. #23 Marco
    January 11, 2010

    Oh, how wonderful, Devils Advocate uses the “we don’t know much, so we don’t know anything” line of reasoning.

    Ever heard of representative sampling?

  23. #24 Bernard J.
    January 11, 2010

    I think we can extrapolate (guess) the answer to that question; thermometers are in a very very small fraction of the atmosphere

    For more reasons than I can count, this gem from Bedevilled Arrogant is one of the funniestlines of scientific clangerism that I have read in a considerably long period.

    Please, please, please stop me wondering and confess that you are a Poe – there can surely be no real denialist who would actually subscribe to the arguments that you write!!

    Oo, and good news – after a bit of haranging I have a ‘puter with which to shovel troll poop, for at least another day or so. So I have something to keep me amused between poopy nappies and heat-wave days of sweating.

  24. #25 zoot
    January 11, 2010

    @505
    Louis Hissink used to run a similar argument that “proved” there was no such thing as average temperature.

  25. #26 jakerman
    January 11, 2010

    Bedevilled Arrogant, has set aside his defense of Plimer’s volcano misrepresentations and now tries a [different trick](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/12/plimer_exposed_as_a_fraud.php#comment-2195333).

    DA are you planning on repeating each of Plimer’s bluster-and-bunk tactics on this thread?

  26. #27 Devils Advocate
    January 11, 2010

    Jackerman @ 504 said

    “Ever heard of representative sampling?”

    Isn’t that where the sample is representative of the volume and nature of the material being sampled?

    Are you sure your o.oooo…1% sample of the atmosphere is true representative of the volume and nature of the atmosphere?

    We know your emissions figures for underwater volcanoes is not a true representative of the volume and nature of emissions for underwater volcanoes, as your samples are a micro fraction of the emissions for a small fraction of the volcanoes.

  27. #28 jakerman
    January 11, 2010

    Bedeviled wrties:

    >”Jackerman @ 504 said *”Ever heard of representative sampling?”*

    Bedeviled is up to his usual standards. Misattribution fits well with [his plagerism](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/12/plimer_exposed_as_a_fraud.php#comment-2175070).

    It looks as thought Bedeviled is intent on reproducing a representative sample of [Plimer's traits](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/12/plimer_exposed_as_a_fraud.php#comment-2194977).

    Bedeviled are you really Louis Hissink?

  28. #29 Devils Advocate
    January 12, 2010

    “Bedeviled are you really Louis Hissink”

    No, but I will take that as a compliment, as I like the many who frequent this blog are mere intellectual pigmies when compared to Louis.

    I am just an individual who knows the fact that the scientific evidence for AGW is inconclusive and people who assert otherwise are lying. People who purport to be able control the weather by adding carbon to the atmosphere to make it warmer and cooler by removing it are either lying or demented pagans worshiping some reincarnated Aztec sun/weather god. If we had that amount of control over the weather it would be a good thing, but it is dishonest to assert we have.

  29. #30 Lee
    January 12, 2010

    Poe.

  30. #31 jakerman
    January 12, 2010

    Bedeviled writes:

    >*I like the many who frequent this blog are mere intellectual pigmies when compared to Louis*

    How self-depricating of you. Yet I won’t argue with you, since anyone who states that Louis Hissink makes other look like intellectual pigmies, really proves their own point.

  31. #32 Bernard J.
    January 13, 2010

    “Bedeviled are you really Louis Hissink”

    No, but I will take that as a compliment…

    What, someone apparently believes that Hissink is a scientific giant?! [Yeah, right](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2008/12/650_international_scientists_e.php)…

    As [jakerman](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/12/plimer_exposed_as_a_fraud.php#comment-2200665) points out though, your humility:

    I[,] like the many who frequent this blog[,] are mere intellectual pigmies [sic] when compared to Louis.

    is bang on the mark.

  32. #33 Tommy Karanga
    January 14, 2010

    I don’t suppose any of you have come up with any evidence for this global warming racket yet?

    Didn’t think so.

  33. #34 Bernard J.
    January 14, 2010

    Tommy Karanga-roos-in-the-top-paddock, exposing his clulessness, asks:

    I don’t suppose any of you have come up with any evidence for this global warming racket yet?

    Didn’t think so.

    Oh, goody, another scientific illiterate to whom I can pose my long-running series of questions – with no hope of serious answers that support the Denialist cause…

    Karanga, consider [these questions pertaining to the empirical signs of global warming](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/12/firedoglake_book_salon_on_jame.php#comment-2134083), and then explain how the physical evidence does not indicate increasing temperature, or how the evidence does not exist in the first place.

    I’d bet that you can’t do so – better trolls than you have already failed at the task.

  34. #35 jakerman
    January 14, 2010

    Tommy writes:

    >*I don’t suppose any of you have come up with any evidence for this global warming racket yet? Didn’t think so.*

    Correct, no evidence yet of a global warming racket. But [pleanty](http://www.skepticalscience.com/What-happened-to-the-evidence-for-man-made-global-warming.html) of evidence [for AGW](http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/wg1-report.html).

    Re racket, James Hoggan has a [good book](http://www.desmogblog.com/climate-cover-up) that exposes some of the racket run by funding from massive fossil fuel interests.

  35. #36 Edmund Edwards
    January 18, 2010

    The following information is offered as relevant to the discussion above regarding the existence of emission measurements from underwater volcanoes:

    Joseph A. Resing et al., 2004, CO2 and 3He in hydrothermal plumes: implications for mid-ocean ridge CO2 flux, Earth and Planetary Letters, vol. 226, pages 449-464.

    This study sampled and measured CO2 in hydrothermal plumes and hydrothermal fluids from volcanoes of mid-ocean ridges. Measurements are along extentensive segments of the mid-oceanic ridge. The results indicate a mid-ocean ridge CO2 flux of (0.5 – 2)x10^(12) moles per year, or 22-88 million metric tons CO2 per year. Resing et al. state these emission estimates are consistent with previous estimates, including those based on extrapolating geochemical studies of mid-ocean ridge lava samples. Thier results are consistent with Gerlach [1991] and Kerrick [2001].

  36. #37 Jason
    January 22, 2010

    While we’re at it, here’s the research policy for UAH, where one Dr. Spencer conducts his work:

    http://www.uah.edu/facsen/Faculty%20Handbook/APPENDN.htm

  37. #38 Oksanna
    January 16, 2011

    Dr. Lambert, the only thing Plimer had to duck and weave from was George Monbiot constantly interrupting him…

    The Monbiot Plimer debate on ABC was notable for more than Monbiot’s ad hominem attacks and Plimer’s poor memory. Tony Jones the Australian ABC TV host gets an honorable mention for another character assasination of non-compliant scientists. He previously smeared Prof. Frederick Singer and gave him no right of reply, in the prelude to the “Swindle Debate” featuring four skeptics and eight warmists, which it appears was stage-managed by panelist Robyn Williams, the ABC’s climate science gatekeeper.

    In the Monbiot Plimer debate, both were given roughly equal time of reply. HOWEVER: Monbiot interrupted Plimer an astonishing eighteen (18) times. To which Jones intervened only twice after the event. Jones himself interrupted Plimer three (3) times. This behavior does NOT show up in transcript, only in the footage. Plimer interrupted Monbiot once. Both called the other side fraudulent, only Monbiot called Plimer a liar. Both Jones and Monbiot had the look of cats who had drunken their fill of milk after the mauling. Plimer did not stand a chance.

    So to sum it up, it was Tony Jones of the ABC whose abyssmal performance stands out, followed by Monbiot for lack of any social grace. Plimer, reeling, would have won by default, but for the star performer whom only the alert audience would have observed: the live footage of icy weather on the white snow-covered streets of Copenhagen behind Monbiot’s satellite screen.

  38. #39 John
    January 16, 2011

    Oksanna, your post is a razor sharp satire of how deranged denialists are so delusional that they’ll swallow anything. I commend you.

  39. #40 zoot
    January 16, 2011

    Oksanna, let me add my congratulations. You’ve captured the delusional rhetoric perfectly. Pity it took you a year to come up with it.

  40. #41 Chris O'Neill
    January 16, 2011

    Oksanna:

    the only thing Plimer…

    Yet another delusional who thinks people are more interested in their rant than the subject that their rant is about.

  41. #42 Rocco
    January 16, 2011

    Another day, another drive-by spammer.

  42. #43 jakerman
    January 16, 2011

    Rocco, very interesting. Thank you.

  43. #44 Robert Murphy
    January 16, 2011

    “Plimer did not stand a chance.”

    The delusional rarely do.

  44. #45 Fran Barlow
    January 16, 2011

    Rocco said:

    Another day, another drive-by spammer.

    Interestingly, when you follow the link to one of the copies opf the rant (in alt.global-warming in usenet) the poster (nym = “The Goru”) is responding to a post of mine where I say:

    Never has Plimer looked more like the unhinged hysterical fraudster that he is than last night.

    Last night, Monbiot called him on it on national TV and Plimer could only splutter about Monbiot’s manners in response.

    Isn’t it time we all wrote to University of Adelaide to have them institute proceedings against him for scientific fraud?

    Not many degrees of separation!

    I’d say Lateline last night furnishes all that is needed.

    .