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Ian Plimer’s ‘Heaven + Earth’ — Checking the Claims - page 54 / 64





54 / 64

Response to criticism of my analysis

number of these criticisms come from the letters blog of The ustralian. Since The ustralian did not accept my posts of replies, even when I kept my comments separate from the URL issue, a few short comments are given here:

Why didn’t I attack l Gore in the same way? i: I wasn’t engaged in public debate until early 2007 when I started writing Twisted: The Distorted Mathematics of Greenhouse Denial. ii: Plimer claims to be writing as a scientist and his op-ed Hot-air doomsayers (5/5/2009 in The

ustralian) challenges scientists to address the science. I am taking him at his word.

s noted

above, Heaven politician and

  • +

    Earth is being

n Inconvenient

promoted as a scrupulous and scholarly analysis.52 Gore is a ruth is largely a political book, arising from the difficulties of

responding to ‘politically-inconvenient’ science.

iii: the

Even if one thinks that Justice Burton was wrong and one accepts all the errors claimed in UK court case, Gore’s book has many fewer scientific errors than Heaven + Earth. (This

assessment was based on my own notes.

Earlier versions, 1 to 1.3, did not document enough of

the errors in Heaven + Earth to demonstrate that claim.)

Item 3 above lists errors in the graphics in n Inconvenient ruth.

Concentrating on Plimer’s inconsistencies is nit-picking that doesn’t address scientific issues

theme that I tried to get across is Twisted is that for a scientific theory, a lack of internal consistency is even more fatal than discordant observations. Thus, to the extent that Plimer claims to be proposing an alternative theory53, his own lack of consistency becomes an issue of science and not just an issue of editorial quality.

My literal interpretation of ‘IPCC computers’ (in item 150) is disingenuous (or silly) Part of Plimer’s ‘shoot the messenger’ attack on the IPCC is to portray is as a corrupt ‘bogey- man’. Creating a bad impression about something that exists only in Plimer’s (and others’) imagination frees him for nasty constraints like facts. In talking about ‘IPCC models’, ‘IPCC climate models’ or ‘IPCC climate modellers’ he is talking about something that doesn’t actually exist. The IPCC doesn’t:

  • run climate models,

  • develop climate models, or

  • fund climate models.

When Plimer adopts this approach of criticising something that doesn’t really exist, I go for closest meaning — presumably the one he is hinting at. Mislabelling the models as ‘IPCC models’ gives him a two-fold attack — he not only misrepresents the content of the models, but by mis-attributing them he also links them to his various misrepresentations of the IPCC (see page 49). However, unlike ‘IPCC climate models’, ‘IPCC computers’ really do exist and so rather than interpret an indirect implication (which is done elsewhere), I interpret his actual words. The real issue is Plimer’s bogey-man approach — it is of course nice and safe — you

52 53

From cover blurb on paperback edition, by Lord Lawson of Blaby. as opposed to spreading doubt and confusion for political purposes


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