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 – 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:

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

  1. Shamik Das

    RT @leftfootfwd: Today give carte blanche to ‘scientist’ who denies link between CO2 and temperature: <— Incl. audio

  2. Claire Spencer

    This crystallises what was so worrying about the outcome of the Tim Nicholson case – man-made climate change is not a religion, it’s not a leap of faith, and if people are invited to speak on the scientific evidence (for and against), they must be qualified to do so, and what they needs to be placed in context.

    I thought more of Radio 4 than this.

  3. Claire Spencer

    RT @leftfootfwd: Today give carte blanche to ‘scientist’ who denies CO2/temperature link: – Commented, a disgrace!

  4. Billy the Kid

    In view of the recent New Labour clamp down on scientific truth with Professor Nutt and the dangers from cannabis…

    …what qualifications does this “Joss Garman” have to describe this guys opinion as nonsense?

    Why does a perfectly fair (and true) comment about ‘extra-terrestrial forces’ get highlighted by ‘Flat Earth’ Garman?

    Hey Joss – he means asteroids and the like – not ET that you probably believe landed at Roswell. Or were the dinosaurs (probably) not made extinct in this fashion?

    (I know there are a few dinosaurs in the bunker in Downing Street but this type of opinion is ludicrous and in any event a mass extinction is due within six months anyway)

    Leaving aside that this whole thing was invented by Maggie Thatcher (I love it when leftys don’t realise that!) to beat the Coal Board why is the Earth getting colder (again).

    More importantly for myself, (as a designer of certain sections of Eco Enabled products and with an interest and education in this subject), why is the only eternal heat source this planet has (the sun Joss – that big fusion reactor in the sky called a star – remember what your mum said and don’t look directly at it) not included in the Climate Change computer programs?

    Why? – it’s mad not to.

    This scientist should be tackled on his science Joss, not derided for having an opinion different to yours. That is *so* New Labour control freak stuff.

    I hope Will reads this post and reflects on his comments this morning about “playing the ball and not the man” on this blog and quickly advises you that just copying sections of someone else’s site is not the same as research and that since you (clearly) do not have a clue about science, like Alun Johnson, you should stop commenting on it.

  5. Shamik Das

    Plimer has been derided for his science. Read the links – this one in particular:

    Which part of this piece has been copied from someone else’s site? Give me the url…

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