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.
“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.”
“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:Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.