Today give carte blanche to ‘scientist’ who denies link between CO2 and temperature

The Today programme have given another climate change denier airtime - unchallenged. ‘Scientist’ Ian Plimer sees no link between carbon dioxide and temperature.

For the second time in a matter of weeks, the Today Programme this morning offered a platform to a climate change denier. Once again, the person invited on was somebody without any credentials to talk about climate science since they are not a climate scientist and have never published a peer reviewed paper on the subject.

Australian contrarian author Ian Plimer was left unchallenged to spout nonsense on the primetime BBC slot despite his argument having been systematically pulled apart by real climate scientists over at realclimate.org – a commentary site on climate science by working climate scientists.

He said:

“The fundamental point is that over the history of time, climates have always changed, we’ve had rapid changes, they’ve been large, they’ve been driven by extra-terrestrial forces, they’ve been driven by many other forces in the past, but not one great climate change in the past has actually been driven by carbon dioxide, and carbon dioxide is plant food, we cannot stop carbon emissions because most of them come from volcanoes, it is a normal element cycled around in the earth, and, my science, which is looking back in time, is saying we have had a planet that’s been a warm, wet greenhouse planet for more than 80 per cent of the time, we’ve had huge climate changes in the past, and to think that the very slight variations we measure today are a result of our life, we really have to put ice blocks in our drink.

“If you put 2 and 2 together, then you have to explain the three periods of cooling since the little ice age finished and during those three periods of cooling we’ve actually had carbon dioxide increase, so there is a disconnect between carbon dioxide emissions and temperatures because since 1850, we’ve had a warming period from 1860 to 1880, then we’ve had a cooling until 1910, then we had a warming until 1940 – in fact the North-West passage was open – then we had a cooling until the 1970s, and the people who are trying to frighten us witless now about runaway global warming were in fact those who were frightening us witless about an oncoming glaciation in the 1970s, then we’ve had a warming, up until the late 90s, now we’re in a cooling phase, so if we’d only had warming, then there would be a connect between carbon dioxide and temperature. There is not.”

Plimer added:

“When you look at my critics, they are people who are rent seekers, they have everything to gain by continuing the process of frightening people witless by following the party line … I’m saying that they are taking advantage of the current situation … Now we have a war against climate change and there’s a huge number of people out there that have their careers staked on it and are the beneficiaries from this process … The word belief is a word of politics and religion, it’s not a word of science; my scientific opinion is married to evidence…”

Leading NASA climate scientist, Gavin Schmidt, who has dissected Plimer’s argument in detail, found it to be based amongst other things on a “basic logical fallacy”. Needless to say nobody from NASA, the IPCC, the Royal Society or the Met Office was invited on to explain why Plimer was talking rubbish. Neither did Justin Webb, interviewing, explain Plimer’s lack of authority on the subject.

Listen to the interview in full below and download it here:

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76 Responses to “Today give carte blanche to ‘scientist’ who denies link between CO2 and temperature”

  1. Henry

    Whatever is Billy on about now? Maybe he’s in the pub.

  2. Billy the Kid

    Henry – just setting out my stall. Setting out my stall is all.

  3. Anon E Mouse

    Ignore him Henry – he might go away – he’s in the workshop next door ranting about something (again).

  4. Yakoub

    The BBC letting deniers loose to spew their pseudo-science over the less than scientifically literate public’s heads is as irresponsible as letting someone claim cancer can be cured by smoking 60 a day. Hey, dudes, the future of our planet is at stake. Why are you trying to prove? That humanity is so unbelievably stupid, they deserve what they get?

  5. Billy the Kid

    Yakoub – Freedom of expression and speech is a bastard eh….

    The only “pseudo-science” I see is the planet getting colder. There is nothing pseudo in that – it’s a fact.

    The effects of the heat from the sun not included in the warming statistics is a fact.

    “The future of the planet is at stake”?

    What a load of unproven pseudo-scientific scare mongering drivel that is.

    The reason the BBC interviewed this guy is because the tide of public opinion is finally turning against this type of nonsense and rightly so.

    To see the likes of Sting and Bono preaching about the Rain Forest in their private jets stinks. Oh there will be an excuse for it. *Yawn* There always is. Leave us alone.

  6. Liz McShane

    Henry – I couldn’ agree with your more re Billy et al having a Phd in ranting & abuse… doesn’t he have anything better to do? I presume he is usefully employed, plus I do think it’s a tad disinegenous/cowardly when people don’t use their own names……

  7. Anon E Mouse

    Liz – you said:

    “I presume he is usefully employed” – he is. Are you? Usefully?

    ” I do think it’s a tad disinegenous/cowardly when people don’t use their own names……”

    Or in your case ranting on another section of this blog and not answering questions from another commenter yourself. Pots and kettles Liz?

    Here’s what was asked:

    Finally Liz does this “connection” you feel wrt ethnicity extend to not condemning the actions ‘Caroline Not Happy’ finds so disagreeable – “burkhas, woman treated unequally, homosexuals threatened with death, female genital mutilation, “honor” killings, forced marriage …etc etc” or do you just pay lip service and just gloss over and ignore the point?

    ‘Caroline Not Happy’ stated as a feminist she found those actions disagreeable. Don’t you Liz?

  8. Rupert Read

    Interesting further news. Were the Beeb aware of this when they got him on-air?: Prof. Plimer is a director of three Australian mining companies: Ivanhoe Australia, a subsidiary of Bob Friedland’s Ivanhoe Mines,[3][4] CBH Resources,[4] and Kefi Minerals.[5][6]
    Plimer argues that the proposed Australian carbon-trading … Read morescheme could decimate the Australian mining industry,[11] and “probably destroy it totally”,[12] as well as creating “massive unemployment”.[12]
    http://sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Ian_Plimer
    So, Mr. Plimer has huge financial interests in being a climate-denier. Shouldn’t the BBC audience have been told this?
    …And don’t you think that it rather undermines his claims to being a disinterested scientist on this issue?…

  9. Liz McShane

    Anon E Mouse (I presume that’s not your real name – but you never know these days…)

    Strange that you are talking about multi culturalism here I thought this post was about climate deniers but maybe I am mistaken but in response to your comment I can happily say yes that I do not like the thought of female genital mutilation and other traditions/beliefs that denigrate and demean women likewise I find lots of other religions also quite dodgy re women’s issues and status including some Christian ones so why single out one? Is this part of the current vogue of increasing islamaphobia?

  10. Anon E Mouse

    Hi Liz. My point was that although everyone is quick to attack Billy they don’t answer points elsewhere in the blog – such as yours above.

    Regarding the Climate Change brigade I don’t believe them either. I’m sorry but the planet just keeps getting colder and has for a decade and as Billy states, the heat from the sun is never taken into consideration which is plainly stupid.

    The left keep smearing and lying about anyone that does follow their “flawed”
    science. Just the way people did to Charles Darwin.

    To be clear Liz. There is no EVIDENCE that CO2 is causing Global Warming. Lots of speculation but NO evidence – flawed science is all.

    This report says it all but you lot won’t challenge it, all you’ll do is attack the guys character, not his points –

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1226808/Earth-absorbing-CO2-claims-climate-change-study.html

  11. Rupert Read

    http://bit.ly/4okm50 Monbiot’s latest GUARDIAN piece (and my response), prompted by my challenge to the TODAY programme on their free-airing of climate-denial, as discussed here.

  12. Steve G.

    Well it seems that this guy in the Guardian agrees with Billy on this blog and not you about shutting down debate.

    Your remarks of: “By doing interviews like that, that you chose to air this morning, you are materially damaging the chances of an agreement at Copenhagen, an agreement that might just save our civilisation and species from self-destruction.”

    What kind of childish rubbish is that? This isn’t an episode of Transformers Rupert. Do you really think this helps the case? It’s no wonder the Greens are where they are in the polls. I thought this blog was supposed to be evidence based.

  13. Billy the Kid

    Hey Rupert – this is a blog about important issues you know.

    This is not supposed to be a platform for your self promotion.

    If you have nothing positive to contribute to this discussion, then go somewhere else and foist your “Survival of our species depends on it” nonsense on them. These stupid remarks do nothing to further your cause and serve only to alienate sensible people.

    This is an adult blog and I’m going to report your actions to the webmaster.

  14. Rupert Read

    Steve G.: so are you saying that evidence is needed to support the claim that without a deal at Copenhagen the future of human civilisation is at risk? The evidence is contained in every climate scientist’s study for the last 30 years.

  15. Rupert Read

    Billy the Kid, who is of course a climate-change-denier, is wonderfully mature in his comment here:
    “This is an adult blog and I’m going to report your actions to the webmaster.”
    Basically the same as saying: “I’m going to go _tell_ on you, and _then_ you’ll be sorry!!!!!”

  16. Billy the Kid

    Rupert – I am not a climate-change-denier, quite the reverse, I just don’t share your views on the matter and unlike you I have an open mind on these things. Being a climate change denier isn’t a crime you know.

    The climate changes all the time – always has done. The reasons for its change are wide and varied and perhaps some of it is man made. Perhaps. You are not a scientist – I deducted that from your childish comments here – so your opinion is just that – an opinion; not one based on fact.

    This guy Steve G above makes a fair point on evidence – there isn’t any and thirty years ago the prediction was for global cooling and it seems to be right since the global temperature has gone down every year for over a decade.

    Not one single scientist involved in this (man made CO2 causes it) nonsense has any proven link since the sun isn’t taken into account which is just stupid. Everything is opinion and nothing more. Even when faced with facts that show you are wrong, facts based on evidence as science should be, you ignore it. People like you Rupert should really be called Flat Earthers.

    When people with narrow closed minds who don’t like inquiry or question what they are told then start preaching their psycho babble hokum *at* decent folk, especially when it will eventually mean those same decent folk will pay more taxes for people like you to be feather bedded in life, it’s just irritating.

    Your silly “We are all doomed” remarks are alarmist, childish and should be treated with the contempt you show the rest of us.

    I said I’d bring the matter up with the webmaster because you are using this blog for your self promotion. Let me guess you’d like to be an MP. Who cares if you questioned some fella who writes for a newspaper about a Radio 4 program? Big deal Rupert. You’re not important. Get a life. Leave us alone.

  17. Billy the Kid

    I need to go to bed – keep hitting F5 to refresh.

    Rupert Read (that name has got to be made up!) I’m going to email Caroline Lucas about you tomorrow.

    I find your patronising tone to be beyond the pale and I have voted for the Greens once in the past but if you are typical of their members, with your hectoring, holier than thou attitude, then people need to be aware of it.

    You do the Green Party no favours with your selfish ambition and I am simply not going to let the matter rest here. Rupert Read you are out of order 🙁

  18. Rupert Read

    “I’m going to email Caroline Lucas about you! I’m going to tell you Mummie off you!”

  19. Rupert Read

    And yes: How DARE I email our state broadcaster questioning their decision to air unchallenged the views of a man who stands to make enormous financial profit from lieing about (denying) the greatest threat facing humanity? How DARE I ‘step out of ine’ to do that?

  20. Rupert Read

    [Sorry: that should have been ‘step out of line’. Still a bit bleary eyed from reading all these hilarious comments.]

  21. Billy the Kid

    Rupert you need help – calm down, it’s just a blog – why are you so serious in life? If you can stop ranting for a minute and catch your breath you might want to answer the points raised here.

    Wolfgang Knorr says CO2 absorption isn’t included in Climate Change modelling – like the suns heat. Since our own government proposes carbon capture then why not? His data shows (data Rupert – not opinion, it’s called science) that CO2 is absorbed at a higher rate than previously believed.

    “The study relied entirely on empirical data, including historical records extracted from ice samples in the Antarctic, rather than speculative climate change models”

    Now, without ranting Rupert and placed with the EVIDENCE in front of you and knowing, as everyone does, that the planet is getting colder…. explain why you’re right, as a responsible representative of people in Norwich, to be ringing and emailing people with stupid unproven scaremongering.

    Read the Times this morning Rupert. The majority of people in this country disagree with you and do not believe man made CO2 is causing Global Warming. You are in a minority (doesn’t mean you’re wrong) and you and your other Flat-Earthers need to get your facts straight.

    You can smear, discredit and lie about people with views different to yours all you want Rupert but you are arguing without any scientific basis whatsoever because the planet is getting colder.

    Let me guess Rupert. You believed it was right for this government to sack the scientist Professor Nutt over his FACTUAL reports on cannabis?

    As regards to reporting your behavior to Caroline Lucas I do so because I have voted Green in the past and hate it when people like yourself make the party look foolish. I’m sure she cares how her party is perceived even if you don’t.

    Same with the BBC. If you rang as an individual I’d have no problem with it but you huffed and puffed up your chest thinking you were important because you’re a Green Councillor and that that gives your opinion and yourself more credence. It doesn’t Rupert because you have NO scientific basis on which to be making your claims. Just flawed opinion.

    Mankind going extinct if an agreement isn’t reached….PAH. Grow up.

  22. Anon E Mouse

    Rupert Read – so you do want to be an MP (what a surprise) – I’ve just checked the Norwich East results where you came in behind UKIP. With the backward views you force on other people I’m surprised you got any votes at all. I guess you “Can fool some of people all of the time”.

    [I’ve removed this last statement – on second reading, it definitely falls outside our comments policy – WS]

  23. Anthony

    It’s kinda obvious that the whole global warming situation is far too complex to calculate what caused it and/or how we can cure it.

    Anyone who does try to figure it all out should take all factors into consideration – the sun, the moon, magnetic fields, asteroids (and the effect), o3 depletion, blah, blah blah!

    Even then, with all the evidence, all you can say is a guess!

    What we should do is play the odds and try fix things as best we can, not bury our heads in the sand like a stupid bird.

  24. willstraw

    This chain is getting a bit nasty. I’m not going to take sides other than to say that one commenter stepped over the line with a personal attack and I’ve removed their comment.

    Be passionate, but be nice, or I’ll put an end to this thread.

  25. Anon E Mouse

    Aw c’mon Will – this thread is just getting interesting!

    Let me guess Bill stepped over the line? (again)

    He’s away next week so your blog should be safe.

    This is a very good blog Will – keep up the good work!

  26. UKIP MEP stands by attack on “biased, censoring” BBC | Left Foot Forward

    […] in the past three months alone, the BBC have given platforms to climate sceptics Philip Stott and Ian Plimer on their flagship “Today” programme on Radio Four, and only last week, on Question Time, […]

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