Ian Plimer 'soundly thrashed' in showdown with George Monbiot

Climate change sceptic and Professor of Geology, Ian Plimer and Guardian journalist George Monbiot finally engaged in a live debate on climate change this week. The pair have long been at odds over the science behind man-made global warming; indeed, the quarrel itself warmed considerably in the months following the publication of Plimer's latest book, 'Heaven and Earth', which says that there is no evidential basis to anthropogenic warming of the atmosphere.

Monbiot rubbished Plimer's claims, and Plimer invited Monbiot to a live debate last July. Monbiot agreed on the precondition that Plimer explain or reference his claims. A date was set, but according to Monbiot, Plimer used "a series of excuses and evasions to put [him] off", and ultimately the debate fell through.

Below is the full interview in three segments. Monbiot describes how he "soundly thrashed" Plimer's claims in his Guardian column this week.

Heaven and EarthAn extract from Heaven and Earth:

The Earth is an evolving dynamic system. Current changes in climate, sea level and ice are within variability. Atmospheric CO2 is the lowest for 500 million years. Climate has always been driven by the Sun, the Earth’s orbit and plate tectonics and the oceans, atmosphere and life respond. Humans have made their mark on the planet, thrived in warm times and struggled in cool times. The hypothesis that humans can actually change climate is unsupported by evidence from geology, archaeology, history and astronomy. The hypothesis is rejected. A new ignorance fills the yawning spiritual gap in Western society. Climate change politics is religious fundamentalism masquerading as science. Its triumph is computer models unrelated to observations in nature. There has been no critical due diligence of the science of climate change, dogma dominates, sceptics are pilloried and 17th Century thinking promotes prophets of doom, guilt and penance. When plate tectonics ceases and the world runs out of new rocks, there will be a tipping point and irreversible climate change. Don’t wait up.


With thanks to the Australian Broadcasting Network