Plimer Update

I don’t have much more to say on the topic of Ian Plimer and his views on climate change, however an old post from a couple of years ago dealing with an interview he did on the ABC Science show continues to get lots of visits thanks to a link from Brave New Climate. Since these hits are likely to be people looking for info on Plimer due to his recent book and various interviews/opinion pieces in the press I wanted to put in a post to direct people to up to date info. In general you can keep up with the latest by following Deltoid, Open Mind, Greenfyre’s and George Monbiot. In particular much of the recent discussion about Plimer relates to the ongoing saga of a possible debate between him and Monbiot, which has had lots of coverage. Basically Plimer challenged Monbiot to a debate, but given that Monbiot’s problem was that Plimer makes (in his book and in recent interviews) certain claims that do not appear to be backed up by the evidence, then he saw little point in a debate in which those claims would probably just be repeated, so he made a condition that Plimer answer certain questions first. These questions are all about sources for specific claims in Plimer’s book, but thus far he has not answered. Instead he responded with his own set of questions which appeared to be either an attempt to ridicule Monbiot’s (very reasonable) questions, an attempt to intimidate him with technicalities (many of which don’t appear to be terribly relevant – see the Real Climate link below), a rerun of a bunch of the usual denier arguments dressed up as exam-style questions, or some combination of the above. Note  that a two way exchange of questions was not part of the deal anyway. More recently there has been more delay – all the details are in the posts below. There has been plenty of commentary on this and I don’t feel the need to add any more to it, but for anyone who has come here looking for the latest then here are plenty of links to follow.

For reviews/debunkings of Plimer’s book Heaven and Earth, see my earlier post Details of Heaven and Earth which contains many links.

The Debate

These are all of George Monbiot’s posts on the matter:

George Monbiot has harsh words for a Spectator article which quotes many claims from Ian Plimer’s book.

Plimer challenges Monbiot to a debate, but Monbiot wants him to source his dubious claims first.

Plimer accepts Monbiot’s conditions and Monbiot publishes his questions for Plimer, which are all about Plimer providing sources/justification for claims made in his book.

Plimer responds with a list of questions of his own (not part of the original agreement as far as I can tell) and without answering Monbiot’s questions.

Plimer continues to avoid Monbiot’s questions.

(Added 15/9) Monbiot gives up on getting answers.

Commentary on Monbiot’s questions

Tamino can’t wait for the answers

Analysis of Plimer’s Questions

Answers at Real Climate.
Tim Lambert’s comments
Greenfyre’s – here and here
Chris Colose

The latest
Commentary at Greenfyre’s on Plimer avoiding the questions.

(added 16/9)  (Tim Lambert on why it must suck to be one of Pimer’s students.

The ABC Unleashed Article

Another recent development is that the ABC published an opinion piece by Ian Plimer.

Tim Lambert says that Plimer is not entitled to his own facts.

Tamino questions Plimer’s claims about Volcanoes and then   says that Plimer’s pants are on fire.

Deep Climate complains to the ABC, more here, and the ABC’s unsatisfactory response.

One reply

  1. […] (9/9/09 – Note that this is a post from 2007 about a radio interview, well before the publication of the book Heaven & Earth, though many issues dealt with here are still being raised in more recent interviews, so you may find it to still be of interest, but for up to date info you can see this update) […]

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