Ian Plimer is a big chicken

George Monbiot has the details on Plimer's latest attempts to evade answering Monbiot's questions. Plimer wrote to him:

There are seven versions of Heaven and Earth and only my Australian publisher and I know the differences in diagrams, references and text between the seven. It has taken some time to look at your questions and determine which version was used for compilation of the questions. Can you please confirm that you have actually read Heaven and Earth and that your questions derive from that reading.

As Monbiot notes:

This was odd because, judging by the notes made from Heaven and Earth by people in Australia and elsewhere, all editions of his book appear to have the same diagrams, the same references and the same text, with the same page and reference numbers. I was able immediately to compare what people said about his book with my own edition and find the relevant text in moments. Are we really to believe that he was unable to do this? That he couldn't locate the text and page numbers I cited in his own book?

In other Plimer news, Tamino discovers just how bad Plimer is:

So many of Plimer's comments are laughably, blatantly, ludicrously false, one hardly knows where to begin -- a single lifetime simply isn't long enough to delve into all of Plimer's mendacity.

And shows just how false Plimer's claims that temperatures and Arctic sea ice were warmer 1920-1940 is. In his book Plimer offers a paper as support for claim, but the paper shows the opposite of what Plimer claims.

More like this

Just as I thought, Ian Plimer's questions for Monbiot were a pretext to avoid answering Monbiot's questions. Monbiot writes: Creationists and climate change deniers have this in common: they don't answer their critics. They make what they say are definitive refutations of the science. When these…
On page 287 of his error-filled book Ian Plimer claims: The Arctic was warmer than now between 1920 and 1940. This is reflected in the sea ice and the local climate.[1473]" [1473] Benestad, R.E. (2002) I. Hanssen-Bauer, T.E. Skaugen and E.J. Førland: Associations between the sea-ice and the local…
After Ian Plimer reneged on his agreement to answer Monbiot's questions, the folks at the Spectator have reacted just like Plimer does to criticism -- with name calling and nothing to address the criticism. Spectator columnist Rod Liddle Moonbat ... You pompous, monomaniacal, jackass. ... reminds…
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…

> I know the differences in diagrams, references
> and text between the seven.

So, does this mean he knows they're nothing? or something?

By Hank Roberts (not verified) on 02 Sep 2009 #permalink

Indeed, Hank.

All Plimer has said is that he and his publishers are the only ones who can answer Monbiot's queries.

And this is why he can't answer them.

To be honest, I still can't follow the right turn there at the last step of the logic, but maybe it makes sense to KFC Plimer.

Other than language, why would somebody publish the same book in 7 different versions at the same time?
And even if the language is different, why on earth would the diagrams and references be different?
Key word "Earth".
We only occupy this planet, not 7 different ones.

This thing is approaching the level of Denial Depot.

I wonder how Plimer will spin this one. Monbiot was very direct and confronting so Plimer might choose to fall back on the 'well, sir, by insulting me so recklessly you show exactly what you're made of, thou art not worthy of conversing with my person, blah ad hominem blah' ploy. Actually, I'm pretty sure this is exactly what he'll do. Maybe Monbiot should have kept his cool a bit longer. But maybe he did the right thing. I'm never sure about what's the best tactic when dealing with skeptics/deniers.

I recently read a cautionary note about engaging with cranks at Ben Goldacre's excellent [blog](http://www.badscience.net/2009/04/matthias-rath-steal-this-chapter/). I encourage people to read the full chapter for all the chilling detail, but one key segment follows:

"Brink stumbled on the âAIDS dissidentâ material in the mid-1990s, and after much surfing and reading, became convinced that it must be right. In 1999 he wrote an article about AZT in a Johannesburg newspaper titled âa medicine from hellâ. This led to a public exchange with a leading virologist. Brink contacted Mbeki, sending him copies of the debate, and was welcomed as an expert."

A little off-topic from Ian Plimer's BS, but Jonah Goldberg, a jaw-droppingly stupid LA Times columnist, has just thrown his hat in the ring for the title of "dumbest denier yet". His latest tripe will peg even the most industrial-strength "Beverage-Through-The-Nose-O-Meter".

Here is a particularly stupid excerpt from his column at: http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-goldberg1-2009sep01,0,2797425… (and don't say that I didn't warn you!)

"For those wondering how the [NCAR] study bears on global warming, Gerald Meehl, lead author on the study, says that it doesn't -- at least not directly," writes Moises Velasquez-Manoff of the Christian Science Monitor. "Global warming is a long-term trend, Dr. Meehl says. ... This study attempts to explain the processes behind a periodic occurrence."

This overlooks the fact that solar cycles are permanent "periodic occurrences," a.k.a. a very long-term trend.

By caerbannog (not verified) on 02 Sep 2009 #permalink

I've just been to Monbiot's blog and I'm surprised there's only 5 comments on this thread.

The Denialist Deluge (of whatever unpleasant effluent you can think of) is sure to start arriving very soon.

By TrueSceptic (not verified) on 02 Sep 2009 #permalink

Shamelessly lifted from comment #5 on Monbiots blog:

"I hope any of Plimer's students who may be at risk of missing the odd assignment deadline are taking notes from their master on how to avoid answering tricky questions."


I know from previous horrible experience there can come a point where Plimer's madness will trump everything else in his mind. He will seek to destroy by any means, anything that calls into question his belief.

An incident like this is the reason Watt's surface station project makes me very uncomfortable.

By Berbalang (not verified) on 02 Sep 2009 #permalink

Plimer's original challenge to Monbiot:

I am happy to fly to London at my expense to debate Mr Monbiot on âHumans induce climate change: myth or realityâ.

I'm no apologist for Plimer, but I noticed in Monbiot's columns that he never mentioned the debate topic, which seemed a pretty strange omission when announcing a public debate. I emailed Monbiot about it a week or so ago and asked him to describe it in his next post on Plimer, where I found the link above.

Barry, Plimer's not a debater he's a confabulator and Gish galloper.

I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.
George Bernard Shaw

Monbiot wins at a canter, Plimer's a self-demonstrated scandal.

Is barry the same barry that was concern trolling over at Greenfyre's blog? The same barry who was casting aspersions on Monbiot for accepting Plimer's initial challenge (which, um, Monbiot never did)? The same barry who like to praise himself for being even-handed, open-minded, and rational?

I don't know if its the same barry, but I don't understand his comment.

By Janet Akerman (not verified) on 02 Sep 2009 #permalink

barry @ 11: "I'm no apologist for Plimer, but I noticed in Monbiot's columns that he never mentioned the debate topic, which seemed a pretty strange omission"

Monbiot mentions the debate on:
Here on 3rd August: "Is Professor Ian Plimer a chicken? After I attacked some of the crazy claims he made in his book Heaven and Earth, the good professor challenged me to a face-to-face debate."

Here on 6th August: "Success! Professor Ian Plimer, author of the book Heaven and Earth, is the new champion of the climate change deniers. After I wrote an article attacking his claims, he challenged me to a public debate. Last week I told him that I would accept his challenge as long as he accepted mine. I would take part in a face-to-face debate with him as long as he agreed to write precise and specific responses to his critics' points - in the form of numbered questions that I would send him - for publication on the Guardian's website. Plimer rejected my challenge."

Here on 12th August: "A few weeks ago, after I attacked the crazy claims about climate change in his book Heaven and Earth, the professor of geology Ian Plimer challenged me to a public debate. After some thought I accepted, on condition that he accepted my challenge: to give precise and specific answers to the questions I had for him. At first he refused. Then he agreed - or at least appeared to."

And here on 2nd September: "Is Ian Plimer ever going to answer my questions? As some of your will be aware, I have been engaged in a bit of argy-bargy with the Australian geologist since the beginning of July. After I criticised some of his crazy statements about climate change, he challenged me to a public debate. After some consideration I agreed, as long as he accepted my challenge: to answer some simple questions about the claims in his book Heaven and Earth."

In what sense is four blogs entirely devoted to that very debate (the one that Plimer bottled out of, in case you need reminding) not mentioning it?

There's certainly something strange here, and it isn't Monbiot...

By Steve Chamberlain (not verified) on 02 Sep 2009 #permalink

Steve, I think barry is deeply concerned that in all those mentions of the debate Plimer's topic wasn't quoted.

I'm no apologist for Plimer, but I noticed in Monbiot's columns that he never mentioned the debate topic, which seemed a pretty strange omission when announcing a public debate.

Well, I guess there was always the chance that people may think it was a challenge to debate the causes of the Global Financial Crisis.


Of course, of course. Also, things like 'is Al Gore part of the debate topic?' are very important, when deciding whether Plimer should be able to answer Monbiot's questions.

zoot, much obliged for the clarification. Now you come to mention it, Plimer could quite easily have been wanting to debate Monbiot about cheese, crop circles, or the origin of navel lint, since at least three of these are as relevant to climate science as Plimer's book.

By Steve Chamberlain (not verified) on 03 Sep 2009 #permalink

By asking irrelevant questions Plimer can have us point out that the questions are irrelevant. He can then refer to the quote while writing about the questions he was asked and not give the context of the quote to leave the implication that the quote applied to the questions he didn't answer.

By Berbalang (not verified) on 03 Sep 2009 #permalink

Plimer accepted Monbiot's conditions, but has avoided fulilling them by pulling a couple of weasely stunts that lay bare his petulant mendacity, and corroborate his reputation as a noxious charlatan on climate science.

bi@15 September 3, 2009 4:20 AM

"...casting aspersions on Monbiot for accepting Plimer's initial challenge (which, um, Monbiot never did)"

Maybe I'm reading this wrong.

Monbiot August 6: "Last week I told him that I would accept his challenge as long as he accepted mine."

Monbiot links to Plimer's Spectator letter in his latest post under the script, "he challenged me to a public debate."

It might seem pedantic or even inconsequential to bring Plimer's actual challenge into the discussion, but I don't see why that should invite rancour.

Until Monbiot posted the link to Plimer's July 15 Spectator letter yesterday, no one had a clue what it was and no one thought to enquire about it. Anyone who thought they knew told me that the topic was Monbiot's conditions, or, "a debate". I wondered if Monbiot had elected to be vague about the challenge in order to manage perceptions. I don't mind that per se, but it didn't fit the Monbiot narrative I'm comfortable with.

Whatever the case, that omission sows confusion even after being rectified.

Shorter barry:

Plimer's original challenge may not be totally unimportant, the the fact that I had to ask about it suggests that something shady is going on. Why are you attacking me for saying this?

Barry, you have convinced me. Plimer is a gentleman and Monbiot is an elusive nutcase who won't answer simple questions about his work. Plimer's character, arguments and honourful scientific conduct makes me even more firmly skeptical of AGW. Thank you, Barry. Who needs friends with friends like you?

>By asking irrelevant questions Plimer can have us point out that the questions are irrelevant. He can then refer to the quote while writing about the questions he was asked and not give the context of the quote to leave the implication that the quote applied to the questions he didn't answer.

My head hurts :-)

Monbiot: "...Are we really to believe that he was unable to do this? That he couldn't locate the text and page numbers I cited in his own book?..."

There is a situation which probably has some cute wiki name such as Munchausen Juggling Syndrome, It works this way:

It is more difficult to keep track of lies you have told than it is to keep track of truths you have told. If you tell lies, you have to tell more lies in an attempt to render the first lies plausible, then more lies to cover them. You keep juggling more and more lies, sooner or later you will forget some of them, and people will notice, and the whole mess will fall down with a mighty crash.

By Holly Stick (not verified) on 03 Sep 2009 #permalink

Hmmm. Everyone agreeing Plimer is a chicken ... will ahve exactly what effect?

I suggest instead:

1) Go to Amazon.

2) Look up Plimer's book. It has a 4-star average.

3) Now, go through a few reviews, evaluate and rate them.
Check out the comments under some, and rate the responses as useful or not.

4) Go to the 1-star responses.
In particular, examine the ones by T. Lambert and Matthew Andrews.
Look at the comments. See what fraction of readers thinks these are helpful. Vote.

5) If you have actually rad this, consider posting a short review, if only to agree with somebody else.

By John Mashey (not verified) on 03 Sep 2009 #permalink

It might seem pedantic or even inconsequential to bring Plimer's actual challenge into the discussion,

Yes it does barry. But to continue the nitpicking (and here I may be speaking from the same orifice as Plimer), topics for debate are usually framed as affirmative statements.
So Plimer runs the risk of being mocked for suggesting a topic in the form of a question. By not mentioning it, Monbiot is probably trying to shield him from this mockery until he can quietly suggest that the topic be changed to, "That humans induce climate change".

John #28:

For something equally polarising, I suggest reading reviews on Amazon.co.uk for Scouting For Girls' debut album. As far as I'm concerned it's the biggest load of sh*te to be unleashed upon the airwaves for quite some time, and I'm not alone - there are a lot of 1 star reviews. There are also a lot of 5 star reviews. However, whether you like badly-written jangly piano pop is a pretty subjective matter.

Science, on the other hand, is a pretty objective matter, and the inaccuracies in Plimer's book are misleading a lay public that wants to hear that there's no need to worry about global warming... hence the 5 star reviews from such people. Plimer is apparently a hero to these people, who dismiss out-of-hand any suggestion that Plimer's science is messed up (see the comments that John points us to).

I will add that I haven't listened to Scouting For Girls or read Heaven and Earth all the way through. In both cases it's just too painful. 1/5.

"ian Plimer is a big chicken". Silly old me! Thinking he was a big goose.

By Eat The Rich (not verified) on 03 Sep 2009 #permalink


Barry, you have convinced me. Plimer is a gentleman and Monbiot is an elusive nutcase who won't answer simple questions about his work. Plimer's character, arguments and honourful scientific conduct makes me even more firmly skeptical of AGW. Thank you, Barry.

I may not have been clear enough in my last post. Let me repeat:

Plimer accepted Monbiot's conditions, but has avoided fulilling them by pulling a couple of weasely stunts that lay bare his petulant mendacity, and corroborate his reputation as a noxious charlatan on climate science.

My mistake was to assume I was joining a conversation on the ethics and optics of the lead-up to a public debate. In that context I didn't understand why my interest in the the topic of the debate (and the timing of its publication) should be dismissed. Rather, I thought it germane to the issue. I realize now that the discussion here is focussed differently. My apologies.


I'd have thought the subject is so clear as to not need voicing. It's the topic and contents of Plimer's book, right?

Shorter barry:

It's important to know the exact words in Plimer's initial challenge, down to the last letter. And even if it's not important, it's still important to insinuate that Monbiot's up to no good if I have to ask about them.

I'd have thought the subject is so clear as to not need voicing. It's the topic and contents of Plimer's book, right?

The issue is that Plimer's tome is an apalling crock of rubbish. When Monbiot accepted Plimer's challenge to a debate, the optics and ethics of the subsequent to and fro, particularly Plimer's evasiveness, became a subject of discussion this last month. That is also the case for the top post here (as well as more references to the rubbish in Plimer's book). In the middle of that month, enjoying the deserved stripping of Plimer, I asked myself, "so what was the actual challenge?" I searched for it, found it hadn't been published, and ruminated on that in a couple of message boards where I was told that the debate topic Monbiot had agreed to was Plimer's book, or Monbiot's conditions, or that Monbiot hadn't accetped Plimer's challenge. All of that was wrong. That bugs me.

But it seems my small criticism of Monbiot is bugging other people. Having explained myself - and accepting the possibility that my thoughts may be quite misplaced - I'll discontinue. Peace.

re: #30 Stu
So, if you've read enough, post a short review that says so and points in agreement to the existing ones.

Bimodal reviews are fairly strong indications, but recall that Plimer's book is sitting at 4-stars right now, with 50+ reviews, ranking #1,080 in books.

On the other hand, Archer's fine "The Long Thaw" has all of 10 reviews; at least it rates about 4.5 stars, and most are 5s. it ranks #34,257.

Well, that makes sense: one is full of junk, the other is an excellent introduction by an expert.

I'll put this another way: people can bang away with blog comments forever and have little effect. Good books deserve support, bad ones deserve anti-support, and I cannot think of a better place to say so than in Amazon.

By John Mashey (not verified) on 03 Sep 2009 #permalink

Thanks John Mashey,

You are correct and instead of responding to Girma, I'm off to do a bit on Amazon.

By Mark Byrne (not verified) on 03 Sep 2009 #permalink

If anyone else what to "vote" against Plimer's book on Amazon, [here is a direct link](http://www.amazon.com/Heaven-Earth-Warming-Missing-Science/product-revi…).

Plimer's currently winning with about 250 people liking the favourable reviews and only about 15 liking the unfavorable reviews. Which is reflective of the non-random sample who would have heard Plimers publicity.

I dare say that readers of this thread could at least double those who rate Tim's review as helpful (currently about 15). And more people will likely read Amazon's review of Plimer than will read any of my comments on this blog.

That's my little bit of Friday pragamatism. Now back to my hopless idealism.

By Mark Byrne (not verified) on 03 Sep 2009 #permalink

Barry, I have read and reread your comments, but I still do not understand your point.

Good point, John Mashey and Mark Byrne. Looking at the reviews on Amazon is rather depressing, but somehow unsurprising. I went round and rated all reviews as appropriate on the UK site. It'd probably be good to have a few more straightforward, well-written critical reviews like Tim's, but I won't write one as I haven't read this, er, piece of fiction...

Somewhat ironic that Deltoid would accuse a sceptic of being "chicken" when they know that "Green2 groups generally refuse to debate their catastrophic warming claims, that moonbat personally has refused to do so, particularly in the government funded Grauniad & closest to home, that Deltiod censors honest debate here.

"that Deltiod censors honest debate here."

This while Girma is running the Gish Gallop even as I type. One wonders how dishonest andargument has to be for Neil to call it "honest debate"?

Shorter Neil Craig:

Monbiot agreed (conditionally) to Plimer's challenge to a debate. Plimer promised to answer Monbiot's questions but keeps dodging them. This shows that the coward is Monbiot.

reviews on Amazon

One thing I found amusing is that quite a lot of the science denial crowd either didn't get or didn't like the ironic reviews (e.g. I haven't read this horrid heretical book...Absolutely everyone, I mean EVERYONE knows global warming is fact.)

Looks like science is not their only challenge.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 04 Sep 2009 #permalink

@ Neil Craig: So you do admit that Ian Plimer is a chicken? That would be quite a breakthrough.

Neil Craig,

I am a climate change sceptic, and a Guardian reader for over 40 years. I often despair at the Guardian's uncritical acceptance of the climate change 'consensus'.

But I categorically refute that the Guardian is "government funded".

By Dave Andrews (not verified) on 04 Sep 2009 #permalink

First Neil:

which people are you referring to who wish to debate? Know-nothins like Monckton, Horner, Avery and Milloy? Those with links to corporate funded think tanks and the like? Those with no expertise whatsoever in climate science? The problem with debating sceptics, as I see it, is that they will lie through their teeth and distort the truth, while appearing confident in doing so. Honest scientists, on the other hand, will assert their views but be very cautious in doing so. Audiences with no grounding in climate science - that is to say the vast majority of the lay public - will side with the liars, because they speak with so much assurance.

Debating climate change deniers is a no win situation anyway. If scientists debate them then they are suggesting that they have something useful to say which I do not believe that they do; refusal to debate and they crow that scientists are "running scared".

Dave Andrews: Having read critiques of the mainstream media from a range of sources (Robert McChesney, Fairness in Accuracy and Reporting, MediaLens) and many others, far from being a ` left-leaning` paper the Guardian, like the other corporate owned media is pro-establishment all the way. David Edwards and David Cromwell at MediaLens have done a fanatastic job deconstructing the myth of the liberal media in their two most recent books; read their latest media alert and it shows just what utter bias the paper exhibits for the most part in promulgating western corporate propaganda with respect to Palestine, Israel and Iran. The paper relies heavily on western "official" sources for much of its information, and relays this with hardly a challenge as to its authenticity. Simon Tisdall wrote a piece two years agoon the front page of the Guradian which was nothing more than pure Pentagon propaganda:


And Medialens critique of it here:


This is nothing new for the Guardian. Read "Guardians of Power: The Myth of the Liberal Media" to find out more. Same goes for the BBC, which is deconstructed in the latest book by Edwards and Cromwell, "Newspeak in the 21st Century".

The Guardian and so-called `left` (in reality establishment) media in the UK is hardly a conduit for pro-climate change information. Note that they frame climate change within narrow parameters; that is to say they may talk a lot about it but they never ever suggest the real ways in which it should be tackled. This is because the paper, like most of other MSM, is big business, a profit making entity. It could not survive without immense amounts of corporate sponsorship and advertising, and it is part of a corporate media chain. So, whereas the Guardian may *tell us* that climate change is here and is most likely down to human activities, that is where they stop. Its a tricky thing for the corporate MSM because much of their advertising comes straight from companies anxious for consumers to spend, spend and spend even more. You will often find articles in the MSM discussing the seriousness of climate change juxtaposed with ads for cheap flights abroad or great deals for new cars. In other words, their message is simple: the world may appear to be going to hell but don`t lift a finger to change anything. Keep consuming. Business-as-usual.

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 04 Sep 2009 #permalink

Neil Craig writes:

>*Deltiod censors honest debate here.*

Care to provide an example of 'honest' debate that was censored?

By Mark Byrne (not verified) on 04 Sep 2009 #permalink

I think he means that Tim only lets the deniers run rampant on their own threads and draws the line at them sockpuppeting onto others.

Evil 'dem green Nazis!

Dave virtuially all newspapers make their profit (or solvvency) out of their advertising. Most newspapers get a broad range of commercial advertising but if you look at the Guardian you will see that its advertising is overwhelmingly from government organisation or government funded Fakecharities. The Guardian is thus, like the BBC & almost all "charities" & political groups supporting warming propaganda, state funded.

This is the "man behind the curtain" of this tax & regulation justifying swindle.

Mark here is an example of Deltoid doing so http://a-place-to-stand.blogspot.com/2008/12/brave-new-climate-censorsh…

Coicidentally, Jeff Harvey, a former Nature editor, can confirm that censorship since it was on that thread that he attacked me by saying that sir David king the government's science advisor was capable of only "kindergarten" science. Jeff hadn't properly read what I said & didn't rea,lise who I was quoting but nonetheless his assessment of king was dead on.

In his latest comment he continues with ad hominum attacks on people about whom he is cleary eith wholly ignorant or wholly dishonest. There are very many people on the sceptical side who are good scientists (indeed good scientists are automatically sceptical because that is what science is about). On the other hand I would challenge him to name a prominat alarmist scientist who has not been, like the Guardian, government funded.

Certainly Sir David isn't one. I would be interested to see if Jeff or indeed Nature has ever publicly attacked him in the same way when they knew who they were talking about -though Jeff is an ignorant fool that does not prevent him being a scientist but if he were unable to show that he had treated claims equally irrespective of the source that certainly would. Another government scientist, Alan Thorpe, responsible for handing out £300 million government subsidy has promised to engage in a public debate on warming & has had his challenge accepted by several prominent sceptics.

Admittedly his challenge was issued in December 2006 but it would be discourteous to asasume he has hidden simply because, as a typicla alarmist, he is a corrupt lying fraud who knows perfectly well, that their story is a lie that cannot withstand the light of honest investibation. There are other posible reasons - perhaps he was kidnapped by aliens.

Neil, follow the links to you check your claims the [first thing](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2008/05/open_thread_7.php#comment-907974) I read is your claim of *eco-fascist* and *eco-Nazi movement*

Sir you were not offering honest debate, you were plain and simply ranting and smearing. If you had something sensible to add perhap you could attempt civil debate instead of trolling.

Thus I find you example does not fit your accusation of censorship of honest debate.

By Mark Byrne (not verified) on 05 Sep 2009 #permalink

Iâve received a (wholly inadequate) response from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation about my complaint concerning Plimerâs âUnleashedâ online piece. ABC actually claims that Plimer's is a "legitimate voice in the debate" on climate change, and that ABC's Code of Practice was followed in this case.


Several ABC pieces had previously demolished Plimerâs various assertions. Yet ABC claims that the publication of Plimerâs âUnleashedâ piece was in accord with the ABCâs requirement to âtake reasonable steps to ensure factual accuracyâ. I beg to differ.

I find it quite amusing that Neil Craig would not realize that Sir David King, whom I greatly admire, was almost certainly making an off-the-cuff remark about Antarctica being the only inhabitable land mass left on Earth by painting a stark picture to show how seriously he views the current environmental situation and future projections. I am sure that Sir David is well aware that, if push came to shove, that if the rest of the planet`s land masses were rendered lifeless by human actions that it would be pretty hard for humans to survive for long in any numbers on Antarctica.

Talk about making a mountain from a molehill. Neil, you must be pretty desperate when you have to stoop to these depths. I actually was amused how loosely you throw around terms like "Eco-Nazi" - Mark BLR take note - against those who tend to disagree with your world view.

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 05 Sep 2009 #permalink


going through Neils website was a little disturbing, a little creepy. And the way he made such a deal on his site out your quote said a lot.

By Mark Byrne (not verified) on 05 Sep 2009 #permalink


I agree. Since I very critically co-reviewed Bjorn Lomborg`s book in Nature in 2001, I have been the recipient of all kinds of attacks from bloggers and even some think tanks. But Neil was, in my view, taking my statement last year with respect to Sir David`s remark a bit far. I think that Sir David`s remark was essentially made as a wake up call as to his opinion of the seriousness of the predicament we are facing, but I don`t think he meant it literally. I am sure he knows that its very unlikely that humans could sustain ourselves very long in any numbers on the land mass of the south pole, that is if most terrestrial life has already been extirpated on other continents. I still assert that such a situation would mean that we would be on the precipice between existence and extinction.

And talking about name-calling, Neil constantly referred to me as an Eco-Nazi. But, as I said above, I am used to being called names. Scientists have to have thick skins. I am sure that James Hansen, Paul Ehrlich, Steve Schneider and other esteemed scientists have been called much more and worse names than that by the anti-environmental lobby and for far longer than I have. It is par for the course.

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 05 Sep 2009 #permalink

bi-IJI, your attempted hounding out of barry was really pathetic. Dude was asking a question, there was no trolling going on there.

John Mashey, what a good idea about Amazon. off to do my bit!


> Dude was asking a question,

...and making unfounded insinuations about Monbiot.

Maybe if barry didn't act like a concern troll, then he wouldn't have been, um, 'mistaken' as a concern troll.

nah dude, your triggers are set too sensitive. Maybe your first response, not the subsequent ones after he fully explained himself.


Allow me to help you.

I wondered if Monbiot had elected to be vague about the challenge in order to manage perceptions. I don't mind that per se, but it didn't fit the Monbiot narrative I'm comfortable with.

Whatever the case, that omission sows confusion even after being rectified.

Frank bi wondered if barry was electing to bring this up over and over to manage perceptions of Monbiot - in a pejorative direction.

barry's harping on several details where he thought he could score points on Monbiot sowed confusion even after being rectified.

Plimerâs return questions are silly, but so is Monbiot for accepting a general debate on climate change. Monbiot really wants to do a hostile interview with Plimer on his book, which is properly within Mobiotâs job description. Thatâs what he should have arranged with Plimer instead of trying to narrow the terms of âdebateâ with his questions. Monbiotâs acceptance was not given in good faith. That leaves a lot of wiggle room for Plimer, I think.

Frank bi's response is hostile, but so is the persistent way barry pretends he can read Monbiot's mind (to find fault with him), and the way he revises the history in a false and defamatory way, apparently because he "think[s] that discussion has been a little lop-sided" between mainstream climate science and ant-scientific politicized denialism. He said that Greenfyre was indeed a "partisan" site because it took a "side" on climate science. He should have actually asked honest questions, instead of a bunch of push-poll-type question-begging disingenuous inquiries. This leaves frank bi a lot of wiggle room in responding before he can be fairly said to be hounding someone out of a blog.

I could go on and on, but the responses barry's gotten mirror his inputs fairly closely. and if he's concerned about the response to comments, and how it plays out to others, in my case it led me to killfile barry. You might say that's unreasonable or an outlier, but that's what actually happened.

By Marion Delgado (not verified) on 06 Sep 2009 #permalink


> nah dude, your triggers are set too sensitive.

I don't think so.

OK, so you think that barry was merely asking a question out of curiosity. But was he? He couldn't have been asking what Plimer's original challenge to Monbiot was, because he already knew the exact words of the debate challenge by the time he came to this blog.

And if barry was asking some other question that was totally honest and innocent, then I must have missed it.

Monbiot should have done that without agreeing to participate in an open debate in which he is unqualified. In the context of a debate, Monbiotâs conditions were a gambit to bend the discussion his way. Itâs lamentable for us that Plimer didnât accede without his own provisions, but Monbiot made the debate public and he made it a tactical game.

All of that is sheer nonsense. It got its ass kicked on Greenfyre, and should have. When it went on the road over to Deltoid, it had bad reviews already.

By Marion Delgado (not verified) on 06 Sep 2009 #permalink

Re John Mashey @ #28

You know that JM is right, you have no excuses.

Go to Amazon and review Plimer's book. No amount of griping here will have any effect.

Make some impact: Post your review!

By ScaredAmoeba (not verified) on 06 Sep 2009 #permalink

Scared Amoeba:

If our library has a copy. Otherwise, leave them to their game, I say. It becomes pretty obvious that it's a bunch of what Americans call "dittoheads" who probably haven't even read the book. I have no problem with downgrading their unhelpful reviews as unhelpful, though, since they're boilerplate agitprop.

I would rather get and review the long thaw. working on that.

By Marion Delgado (not verified) on 07 Sep 2009 #permalink

Hey guys - anybody wasted thier time reading George Moonbat's book 'Heat'?
What a bunch of alarmist tripe. Try finding any comments on the effect of the SUN vs temperature - it doesn't even rank a mention in the index.... as for his graphics!! both graphs are obviously intended for his retarded regular readers.
You can't seriously suggest that Moonbat's grasp of science is remotely comparable to Plimers!

Lank, please, the polite way is to say "alertist", not "alarmist".

Lank writes:

>*You can't seriously suggest that Moonbat's grasp of science is remotely comparable to Plimers!*

Interesting that Plimer has continued to run from Monbiot's simple questions, isn't it Lank?

Straight forward questions unless Plimer is making gross mis-representations.

By Mark Byrne (not verified) on 07 Sep 2009 #permalink

Mark...."Monbiot's simple questions" you hit the nail on the head!

Sorry Gaz for you I'll reword "What a bunch of alarmist tripe" to "What a bunch of alertist tripe". Does that make you feel better?

Yes Lank,

So simple unless Plimer has put himself in a 'spot' and can't backup his own claims.

Shows Plimer up don't you think?

By Mark Byrne (not verified) on 07 Sep 2009 #permalink

Does that make you feel better?

Yes, marginally, for the time being.

By the way, once you get past the index and two graphs you might like to offer some reasoned comments about Monbiot's book. Until then I'll assume the "tripe" comment is nothing but a wild guess, guided by your prejudices.

Lank, this is very simple, i will try not to use any big words: Monbiot is a journalist, it's his job to ask the questions of Plimer. Monbiot does not claim and never has claimed to be a climate scientist, but he knows enough to know what questions to ask. Plimer is the self-proclaimed expert who should very readily and easily be able to answer some simple questions.

There's really nothing more to it than that - anyone defending Plimer's behaviour has well and truly drunk the Kool-Aid. As a scientist, his behaviour is indefensible.

"n Plmr s n ncmptnt chckn" s gnst Grgs Mnbt (Frnch sndng) wh s vrfbl "ngns". r y ntrntnll knwn n yr fld lk Plmr?


Since when is Plimer "internationally known" is his field? Says who - you? I looked up his peer-reviewed publications list on WoS and it was mediocre at best. But perhaps you are correct - thanks to his error-filled book he is "internationally known", but this does not mean "reknowned".

Its people like you who claim that Bjorn Lomborg is "internationally known" but the guy has a single peer-reviewed paper to his name. Another contrarian wrote into Deltoid two weeks ago claiming that Richard Lindzen was the world`s best climate scientist. I challenged the writer to prove this based on Lindzen`s credentials - never heard from him again. In other words, the qualities of a scientist or scribe depend on the perspective of the writer - is this not what you are saying? You think Plimer is "internationally known" because you are a climate sceptic like he is. Isn`t this it? I might just as well say that "George Monbiot is an internationally known journalist". Wouldn`t you agree?

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 07 Sep 2009 #permalink


You can't seriously suggest that Moonbat's grasp of science is remotely comparable to Plimers!

Anyone who suggests that the Sun is mainly iron and that atmospheric CO2 has varied according to Beck's graph doesn't have much of a grasp of science (not to mention reality).

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 07 Sep 2009 #permalink

> Lank:

> > You can't seriously suggest that Moonbat's grasp of science is remotely comparable to Plimers!

Chris, that statement IS CORRECT.

Monbiot's grasp of science is FAR MORE based in reality than Plimer's, and comparing the two is disparaging Monbiot's capabilities in the field.

Lord Sidcup,

That is priceless!


By Mark Byrne (not verified) on 08 Sep 2009 #permalink

I see that Neil Craig has been here. It's good to know that the UK can produce denialist nutters to rival world-class contenders like Graeme Bird.

By TrueSceptic (not verified) on 08 Sep 2009 #permalink

If NeilC and Neil Craig are one and the same, I've also been graced by his presence at my thread on ABC's bizarre justification of Plimer's "Unleashed" column.

ABC just gets weirder and weirder. In the latest update, ABC spokesperson Kirsten McLeod actually claims that the requirement to "ensure accuracy in factual content" does not apply to opinion content, even though that requirement appears in ABC Code of Practice section 4, which explicitly and exclusively concerns opinion content!

The updated post (along with some great comments from Michael Ashley) is at:


[Neil Craig](http://a-place-to-stand.blogspot.com/search/label/eco-fascism)
is borderline psychotic.

In their attacks on me & from my viewing figures I know a number of Deltoids have read my blog so anybody at all among presumably hundreds of readers who believes in free speech will be willing to say here why I am wrong. One complaint there was that I had used the terms eco-fascist & eco-Nazi on my own blog. Obviously if so much as 1% of the readership of Deltoid aren't such they will respond to the chance of uncensored debate & also to Deltoid's presumed censorship of anybody who Harvey's allegations are untruthful & could not be maintained by anybody who was not both as fascist & happy to engage in the group lies common to Nazism.

I will be interested to see if as much as 1% of this random selection of the more educated of alarmists turn out to be non-fascist. Experience suggests not.

I had expected GM Bird to win the coveted 'Excellence In Wingnuttery' awards this year but Craig is looking like a strong candidate.

By TrueSceptic (not verified) on 08 Sep 2009 #permalink

Reading Neil Craig's blog I learned new definitions of truthful and lie (his text is fill with claims of both). Apparently evidince is less important, the "truth" and "lie" are descerned simply by Neil Craig's opinion.

Thus those who Neil agrues against are by definition "liars".

By Mark Byrne (not verified) on 08 Sep 2009 #permalink

I actually find Neil`s ranting posts amusing. He really winds himself up and if he gets his kicks attacking me *ad libutum*, then he is leaving some other poor buggers alone. So his rage has its utility.

I see he was also told to get lost by Oliver Kamm on his web site some time ago. Given he has called me every name under the sun (and my responses to his drivel which were far less personal) I find it takes remarkable hubris for him, of all people, to label my comments as *ad hominem* attacks. Talk about calling the kettle black. I stand by the fact that most of the sceptics (NOT ALL but most) are not statured scientists with healthy publication records, and the silly lists they draw up supports this contention. I also stand by the fact that there is little or no empirical proof that an increase in atmospheric C02 concentrations will generally (using Neil`s word) increase primary productivity and thus alleviate starvation. This is a simple linear conclusion drawn by many of the libertarian right based on a few lab or controlled studies. Most importantly, these studies ignored a huge range of important ecological parameters - effects on soil biota, both mutulaists and antagonists - as well as a huge array of trophic interactions above-ground that ultimately determine productivity and plant fitness. It also ignores the effects of changes in C:N:P ratiosin plant tissues that are important determinants of plant quality.

Basically, the contrarians have used this C02 fertilizer nonsense in order to support their de-regulatory agendas. It suits their narrative. An appropriate analogy is this: in order to understand a complex process we need to take 100 steps. Those arguing that increased atmospheric C02 generally increases plant productivity have taken the first two steps. They ignore steps 3-100, which entail integrating a wide range of complex ecophysiological processes into the field of research. They do this because they want simple answers to affirm their pre-determined worldviews, and thus steps 1 and 2 do this. When some scientists come along and say, "Whoa there, you are drawing linear conclusions without much more rigorous research", much like I did in response to Neil`s initial posts last year, they are criticized and attacked with vigor. I asked Neil to explain why he thinks community-level interactions with soil and above-ground biota are not important in determining the effects of increased atmospheric concentrations of C02 and he did not respond. I leave it up to Deltoid readers to decide for themselves why this was so.

And Neil, if you are reading this, I stand by what I said about the prospects of humans surviving in the Antarctic if the rest of the planet was rendered uninhabitable by warming. Our fate would be pretty much sealed if life was extirpated across most of the rest of the planet. I do not think that most scientists would disagree with that conclusion, at least in the mid-long term. Lastly, you ought to check out what others here think of you. It seems that their opinion of you is not a very good one.

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 08 Sep 2009 #permalink

Oh, and I should add that it is hypocritical of Neil Craig to complain about censorship. The comments on his website are pre-moderated, and some comments are never published. I know this as I have been foolish enough to waste my time challenge some of the nonsense on his blog. Some of my comments were never published.

"Debating" with people who fall way below the threshold of rational thought is a waste of everyones' time.

By lord sidcup (not verified) on 08 Sep 2009 #permalink

The Klein conjecture, aka benthic bacterial breakthrough, is anything but a hoax. The so-called confession by the author is simply the sad, constrained hostage speech of a broken man. The alarmist fanatics stop at nothing to reduce your will and destroy your life.

I recall the early research like it was yesterday. I was a young graduate student at the University of Ulan Bator. We had a visiting exchange student working on the rudiments of the theory in his native Cherokee. I saw at once that it showed promise in defending both our scientific understanding of climate and our way of life. Much later, after he was blackballed from the peer-reviewed literature, he took his charts and graphs back home to his reservation, where I imagine they still reside today. His colleague has been unwilling either to continue the research or come forward. All I am permitted to say is that he is very near to the British monarch's thrown.

Already feeling pressure in prepublication, the first article was yanked from Mongolian Nature, however amusingly a reviewer published a letter praising it in the same journal. The censorship by climate alarmists backfired.

By Marion Delgado (not verified) on 09 Sep 2009 #permalink

Marion Delgado.

You do the anthropogenic global warming cause a disservice by acknowledging the renegade work at Ulan Bator.

The dubious research on the BamB-00 meta-circadian gene in deep-sea prokaryotes was never properly corroborated by independent laboratories, and the paper's withdrawal from the literature was a wise move for science. Heaven help us if Girma orssengo over on the [Matthew England thread](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/08/matthew_england_challenges_the…) found out about the 31-year proto-blooming/senescence cycle - it would fit too neatly into his theory of climate cycling for comfort.

I for one do not want to explain that sordid chapter in science to him - it would only fuel the anti-warming cause, and put dangerous research into the hands of people who are not qualified to understand it.

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 10 Sep 2009 #permalink