Climate science denier Ian Plimer telling porkies on primetime telly

MINING company director and University of Adelaide geologist Professor Ian Plimer managed to get a spot on prime time television a couple of night’s ago to spruik his new climate science denial book, How To Get Expelled From School.

Professor Plimer appeared on Channel Ten’s popular show, The Project (as I mentioned in an update to my blog post of a couple of days ago on Plimer’s book and his associations with the Institute of Public Affairs and other think-tanks which promote climate misinformation).

During the segment (The clip’s blocked for overseas visitors) Professor Plimer makes at least two statements which would make excellent fillings for porky pies – so fulsome were they in their porky-pieness.

Firstly, Professor Plimer claimed there was no way that Melbourne University’s Professor Ian Enting, who appeared on the show as a critic, could have read a copy of his book, which former Australian Prime Minister John Howard endorsed at an event earlier this week.

Professor Plimer said on air: “The book came out and was launched last night [Monday December 12] in Sydney. [Professor Enting] could not possibly have read a copy of this book. He is making things up and just skating on thin ice.”

Yet it was Plimer himself who officially launched the book at an IPA-organised event on November 24 in Melbourne a full 18 days earlier.  The Sydney event was a second launch.

So how did Professor Ian Enting and two other academics get copies of the book to enable them to review it? The answer is that the Australian Science Media Centre bought three copies and sent them out for review.

And how did the AusSMC get them? They got them by the underhand and surreptitious method of walking into a Dymocks bookstore in Adelaide on Monday 5th December and plucking them from the “New Release” display stand.

Also during the Channel Ten segment, host Charlie Pickering asked Professor Plimer: “Isn’t there a bigger question here that you actually didn’t send the book out to the ABC or the Fairfax press, so it’s actually been very difficult for people to scrutinse the work itself?”

When Higson Pickering then asked if copies had been sent to News Ltd papers, a now flustered Professor Plimer said: “I have no idea what the publisher sent copies to. I don’t know whether it’s gone to News or whether it’s gone to this paper or that paper. That’s not the business of an author to worry about.”

Except the reason we know the ABC and Fairfax were not sent review copies of the book was because Plimer himself said so at the Melbourne launch of his book on November 24, when clearly he did know who had been sent copies of the book.

He told the Melbourne audience: “You will be very pleased to hear that Connor Court [the publisher] are not giving review copies to the ABC…. Fairfax press are not getting a review copy.”

If Professor Plimer is willing to deceive a prime time TV audience, then what chance does the young target audience of his new book have of  deciphering his polemic?

Here is Professor Plimer speaking on November 24 at the IPA event, where he holds up what looks suspiciously like a copy of the book that he claimed nobody could have got a copy of before Monday 12 December.


Author: Graham

Graham Readfearn is a Brisbane-based journalist. Go to the About page in the top navigation for more information.

10 thoughts on “Climate science denier Ian Plimer telling porkies on primetime telly”

    1. Not quite Tom. Charlie did point out that Enting had a copy of the book, but he wasn’t aware of the fact it was launched three weeks ago, which Plimer knew but didn;t disclose. Charlie also pointed out that Connor Court had refused to send copies to the ABC and Fairfax, but then Plimer claimed not to know about this – when he did know. But Tom – I think Charlie did a good job. He seemed pretty well briefed.. maybe he’d read my blog !!!???

  1. An evil genius of earflumping. Thanks for the write up and call for accuracy, Graham.
    It is time Plimer’s spray of insults turned back on his own propaganda and massaging of the facts.

    A geologist’s time-frame is fine if you have a million year life expectancy.
    Doesn’t help us in the near decades – in which the man-made influence on climate is critical and our kids are the sacrifice.

  2. If lies made one’s nose grow, Plimer would be able to drill for oil with his by now. His latest book is a “carbon copy” of the Creationist’s attack on The Theory of Evolution. I believe that pressure should be applied to the University of Adelaide to expel this shameless hypocrite. His continued status as an Emeritus Professor brings the University and their Geology department in particular into disrepute. The ABC has been more than generous in their response to his whining about being given a right of reply to his critics, most of whom spoke only in response to his blatant mis-representations of their work and the work of other reputable scientists whose name Plimer has dragged through the mud. Plimer is lying yet again when he claims that he wasn’t given a fair hearing. This lunacy must end.

  3. Dear Lads

    your bious is quite obvious. For all you running down of Prof. Ian Plimer he is actually an Alumini at 2 major universities and ex professor at 5 other major universities including University of Melb . He did not know who his publishers sent copies to excepting the joking denial to the ABC and Fairfax , well known antagonists to his widely excepted viewpoint.NOTE :JOKE!!! Perhaps instead of attacking the man you attack his evidence which clearly shows the CO2 tax is a farce and thankfully will be thrown out by weight of sensinbly minded Australians .

  4. You’re having a lend of us aren’t you Peter ? I watched that clip (the passage in question starts around 4:59) and clearly Plimer *WASN’T* joking. What would have been immediately obvious to anyone who has been paying attention to the debate over the years is that this was going to be yet another of those patronising, blustering, and superficial performances that characterise Ian Plimer’s media appearances of recent times.

    Typically, Professor Plimer didn’t go on to try and rebutt Ian Enting’s assertions when Charlie pointed out that Prof. Enting did indeed have his own copy of the book – and who, for mine, is eminently qualified to substantially and robustly critique Plimer’s flaccid arguments – instead it was immediately consigned to the ‘memory hole’. Just pathetic.

    You are right when you allude to the fact that “Plimer The Geologist” is well credentialed but perhaps that is what is so disappointing when he becomes “Plimer The Denialist”. We have a right to expect better from a man of his standing but all we get are contradictory diatribes like this latest useless book of his (for his general lack of consistency have a look at some of the examples documented here

    And just to end on a note of mindless pedantry at your expense Peter … that would be “bias’ not ‘bious’.

  5. Actually Peter, if you’ve survived the pasting on the subject of CO2 that Plimer receives at his own hand (comment #7 above) you might begin to understand that he is held in a good deal of contempt by the vast majority of members of the geological fraternity.
    He recently displayed his failing understanding of even the fundamentals of the subject he professes when he berated journalist Matt Peacock:

    MATT PEACOCK: … but chrysotile is part of the family called asbestos. Is it not?

    IAN PLIMER: I am sorry. You are just a journalist. I have spent my life studying minerals. Look up any basic mineralogy textbook, the sort of thing that we give to 18-year-old students at university, and you’ll see that chrysotile is a serpentine mineral.
    Dana’s Handbook of Mineralogy, p 438 :
    “The variety chrysotile is the chief source of asbestos.”

    Even Plimer’s favourite newspaper ‘The Australian’ managed to publish a rebuttal to the excerpt from his latest book, in which it is pointed out that Plimer contradicts himself on the SAME PAGE! He states that CO2 level in 1960 was measured at 260ppm at Mauna Loa, when his own graph of Mauna Loa data lower on the page clearly shows the concentration was 317ppm!
    Now, I’m not suggesting that this is evidence should convince you that that the man is demented, but…

  6. I still think the error Plimer made on the ABC lateline interview with Tony Jones was more telling, Jone several times let it slide, when Plimer mentioned it was warmer in the 1930s.
    Till near the end when Plimer mentioned it again and this time Jones pounced. Making the point that the 1930s data related only to the U.S. not the globe, Plimer was left looking an idiot, possibly why he didn’t want to send things to the ABC.
    Just a pity that Lateline doesn’t have the viewer numbers that The Project does.

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