When you’ve been following, analyzing, and reporting on climate science and politics for as long as I have, a few things become apparent. First, most climate disruption deniers have no real clue about actual climate science and are instead simply regurgitating talking points they heard from their favorite denial-peddling think-tank, politician, commentator, or news source. Second, the arguments against human-caused climate disruption almost never change, so you’ll be rebutting the same thing over and over again. And third, most arguments you hear are incompatible or self-contradictory, although not always obviously so.
Today, John Cook of the denial-debunking uber-site Skeptical Science published a detailed examination of some of the many self-contradictory claims by Ian Plimer, the Australian author of the thoroughly and widely debunked book Heaven and Earth – global warming: the missing science. Cook writes in his introduction to the examination itself that
On 30 October, Ian Plimer wrote to The Weekend Australian, lamenting that noone had explained to him how anyone could be concerned about carbon dioxide given that most of its sources were supposedly natural. However, a thorough explanation of how we know humans are causing the increase in CO2 levels can be found on pages 414 and 415 of a 2009 book on climate change. The book is called Heaven and Earth. The author, Ian Plimer.
My personal favorite contradiction from Cook’s list is this, from Heaven and Earth:
Together with water vapour, CO2 keeps our planet warm so that it is not covered in ice, too hot or devoid of liquid water. (p411)
Temperature and CO2 are not connected. (p278)
So global temperature and CO2 aren’t related, and yet CO2 and water vapor keep the Earth warm enough for liquid water to exist. Riiiiiight….
Plimer’s book is considered by many climate disruption deniers to be an excellent source of information on how the vast majority of climate researchers are totally, completely, and utterly wrong about everything (or are supposedly paid to lie about it in service of some socialist/communist agenda). Given the glaring self-contradictions, Plimer and his book should probably be laughed out science.
Alas, there is another thing you learn after following climate disruption news for as long as I have – human-caused climate disruption deniers have a remarkable ability to ignore facts that conflict with their talking points.