A couple of weeks ago, you may have seen, I wrote a piece in the Spectator which drove the global warming alarmists almost insane with frothing indignation. It was an interview with the Aussie geology professor Ian Plimer whose bestselling book – Heaven And Earth – is being hailed as the great turning point in the debate on anthropogenic global warming.
Methodically, rigorously and above all scientifically, it carefully demonstrates to the lay reader truths that to large swathes of the scientific community are already quite obvious: viz that “climate change” has been happening for 4,567 million years, regardless of man’s presence on earth; and that “climate” will go on changing regardless of what idiotic, ineffectively and mind-boggling expensive ploys man adopts to try to stop what is in fact a perfectly natural process.
Enough detail: read the piece; then read the book; then make up your own mind.
The climate change alarmists, though, do not even want you to do that. What they’d much rather you did was go onto the internet, find a page of nit-picking quibbles put up by a parti-pris computer modeller from the “man is doomed, it’s all our fault and we must spend gazillions on windmills now” brigade, write Professor Plimer off as a complete crank.
It’s what they do to Christopher Booker; its what they do to Professor Pat Michaels at the University of Virginia; its what they do to Marc Morano at the marvellous Climate Depot website; it’s what they do to Stephen McIntyre and Ross McKitrick who exposed the “Hockey-Stick curve”; it’s what they to do anyone who produces inconvenient truths which undermine their cause and threaten their claim that there is any kind of scientific “consensus” on climate change.
It’s a classic ploy of eco-fascists and libtards alike: if the facts are against them – as they usually are – they’ll always try to shut down the debate by taking the argument ad hominem instead.
The response of the Guardian’s resident eco-moonbat George Monbiot was a case in point. He sputtered that I knew about as much about the environment as he knew about F1 racing; and wrote a huffy piece effectively saying that Plimer too far beyond the scientific pale to be taken seriously.
Plimer’s response? To offer to fly from his native Australia at his own expense and publicly debate with Monbiot at the time of his choosing. The event would be conducted under the auspices of the Spectator and would, I’m sure, be informative, exciting and sublimely entertaining.
I say “would” because I don’t think it’s ever going to happen. Here is George Monbiot’s response to the challenge:
“Sir, Ian Plimer challenges me to debate his claims about climate change. I accept.
In fact I accepted a fortnight ago, when I began this debate by taking him to task. Along with other critics, I have laid out a list of specific errors of fact and misrepresentations, which he uses to support his argument.
The ball is now in his court. To participate in this debate, he should answer the points I listed, as well as the other issues raised by Tim Lambert, Ian Enting and David Karoly. Then we can reply.
But Plimer, as far as I can discover, has yet to produce any specific response to the very serious allegations made by his critics, preferring to heap insults on them instead.
These are all scientific matters, some of which are complex. To engage in this debate, we need to establish the facts and provide references. This is why it is better to debate these issues in writing; ideally, as Plimer’s critics have done, in electronic format, so that people can follow the links. Attempting to resolve these issues in person is likely either to become extremely boring or to degenerate into a slanging match. The Guardian’s website is open to him, and we look forward to his responses. Is he up to this, or will he keep ducking our challenge?
The floor is his.
Now does that read to you like the letter of a man who is happy to venture his reputation in the cut and thrust of open debate?
Or does it read like the squirmy, weaselly get-out of a no-good, snivelling, yellow-bellied, milquetoast loser quite terrified of having the massive holes in his puny argument mercilessly exposed in public by a proper scientist who actually knows his subject inside out?
Plimer, meanwhile, has imposed no conditions on the debate. All he asks is that it be conducted in public and that Monbiot turns up.
The ball’s in your court Monbiot and let’s have no more of that legalistic wriggling. Are you up for this debate?
Or are you – as I strongly suspect – going to bottle it?