Climate Septic

I’ve heard that Professor Ian Plimer from the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences of The University of Adelaide is giving a talk at the Hong Kong City Hall on the 25th June in relation to the topic Global Warming: Why Skeptical? If any of you follow George Monbiot’s column in The Guardian newspaper, you may recall the correspondence he had with Plimer about his book Heaven and Earth back in 2009. Monbiot pointed out that a host of scientists had rubbished many of the statements that Plimer makes in his book about global warming, and he lists a number of them and asks Plimer for an explanation. I strongly recommend you read the correspondence between the two, as well as a number of follow-up articles, as it is classic Monbiot:

Plimer’s book contains some statements which are completely at variance with published scientific data, but he either does not state his sources, or makes statements which totally misrepresent his sources. Here are some that Monbiot highlights:

Plimer says that in the Arctic ‘the sea ice has expanded’ without providing sources. This is contrary to the evidence. He says that Charles F Keller’s studies reveal that ‘satellites and radiosondes show that there is no global warming’. Keller’s studies do not say any such thing. He says ‘The Hadley Centre in the UK has shown that warming stopped in 1998’. Totally false. He says that ‘volcanoes produce more CO2 than the world’s cars and industries combined’. In fact, the US Geological Survey states that ‘Human activities release more than 130 times the amount of CO2 emitted by volcanoes’. When talking about global warming trends he says that ‘NASA now states…..the warmest year was 1934’. NASA was talking about the US, not the world as a whole. And so on.

Monbiot asks him to explain all of this, and more. He gets a stream of evasions and obfuscation, but not one single explanation. Eventually, he had a debate with Plimer on Australian TV and once again couldn’t get a single answer out of him – just bluster and bullshit. And now this wretched specimen of a scientist has been invited to Hong Kong to talk about his scepticism regarding global warming. Congratulations to the organisers – Hong Kong Concern about Wind Power Stations (HKCAWPS) and the Association for Geoconservation, Hong Kong (AGHK) – for bringing the public debate in HK about global warming to a new low. Until Plimer explains all of the misrepresentations in his book, he disqualifies himself from being considered as anything but a fraud. Any fool can be a climate sceptic if he ignores the scientific evidence, or simply rewrites it to serve his own purposes.

To conclude, let me quote – again from Monbiot – the words of the professor of astrophysics Michael Ashley, “It is not ‘merely’ atmospheric scientists that would have to be wrong for Plimer to be right. It would require a rewriting of biology, geology, physics, oceanography, astronomy and statistics.”

Why on earth has this man been invited to Hong Kong?

Don Latter


About transitionsl

I've been an English teacher for the best part of 30 years, teaching in England, Tanzania, Brunei, Australia and Hong Kong. I've always been interested in nature and environmental issues, but it was the discovery of Peak Oil about five years ago that galvanised me into trying to help my local community to prepare for what will be a dramatically different world to the one many of us have been used to. I've been helping to run a transition group, following the guidelines created by Rob Hopkins's Transition Movement in the UK. This blog is an attempt to engage in discussion with a wider group of people in Hong Kong on the ways to transition from our current oil dependency to a state of fossil-free local resilience.
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