During the week, the increasingly ridiculous Murdoch rag, The Australian, published yet another article by the Coalition’s tame climate change denier, Ian Plimer.
This article hit peak crazy and has been torn apart by experts on Climate Feedback.
Plimer claims that there are no carbon emissions because, if there were, “we could not see because most carbon is black.”
Willem Huiskamp, Postdoctoral research fellow at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, said that was “So absurd as to almost defy comment.”
“Humans are burning coal, petroleum products, and natural gas. Very basic chemistry tells us that a bi-product of this is the creation of carbon dioxide gas.”
As Tony Abbott so eruditely reminded us, carbon dioxide is colourless and odourless.
Mark Richardson, Research Assistant, UCLA/NASA JPL, said the article “uses nonsense logic, is clueless about the science, and says things which are wrong. Some of these false statements have been obviously wrong for years.”
“One example is claiming “[i]t has never been shown that human emissions of carbon dioxide drive global warming.” This shows cluelessness about decades of important research. Direct measurements show that more atmospheric CO2 is causing enough heating to explain the observed warming, and we know that the CO2 rise is caused by us. Those studies are two of hundreds that have built the overwhelming case that human CO2 emissions are now driving global warming.”
Plimer claimed that “[t]he role of the sun and clouds was not considered important by modellers”. That is “completely fake” according to Mr Richardson, who said climate modelling very much takes these factors into account.
Plimer’s assertion that “Great Barrier Reef bleaching has been occurring for hundreds of years” is based on a paper that has been described by experts as “the worst science to be published in a reputable journal in many years”, with demands from the authors of all of the datasets they misused for it to be retracted.
“We’ve had reefs on planet Earth for 3500 million years. They came and went many times. The big killer of reefs was because sea level dropped and water temperature decreased,” says Plimer.
Mark Eakin, Scientist, Coordinator of NOAA’s Coral Reef Watch, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, responded by saying that reefs were actually lost during major extinction events caused by high levels of CO2 and runaway warming.
“When they went away during periods of mass extinctions, they were gone for millions of years. Is Mr. Plimer suggesting doing away with the GBR for millions of years is an appropriate price to pay for short-term fossil fuel profits?”
Plimer referred to “unsubstantiated claims polar ice is melting” despite the fact that we can literally see the Arctic sea ice decrease and have satellite measurements showing a decline in Greenland and Antarctica ice mass balances.
He also subscribes to the conspiracy theory that there was “fraudulent changing of past weather records”, apparently because he is too stupid to understand the completely transparent process of homogenisation of weather records to remove biases and to account for changing surroundings at measuring stations.
According to Plimer, “We are not living in a period of catastrophic climate change. The past tells us it’s business as usual.”
Alexis Berg, Associate Research Scholar, Princeton University, disagrees.
“Absent emission reductions, global mean temperature will likely rise by 3 to 5 °C by 2100 or so. That’s not business-as-usual. It’s a change of geological proportions, almost instantaneous on geological timescales.”
As does Katrin Meissner, Professor, University of New South Wales.
“Current CO2 concentrations have not been encountered by Earth for at least 3 million years. Last time the climate was in equilibrium with today’s CO2 concentrations, sea levels were much higher (order of magnitude of 10 meters). The rates of change are unprecedented. Current rates of change in CO2 are at least 10 times faster than in any records of past climate.”
Many other experts have weighed in on Plimer’s rubbish contribution.
Peter Landschützer, Researcher, Max Planck Institute for Meteorology: “The entire article is just a list of inaccurate and false claims made by the author, contradicting the best scientific evidence (e.g. from measurement records) we have today.”
Martin Singh, Postdoctoral Research fellow, Harvard University: “This article is a mixture of misdirection, misleading claims, and outright falsehoods.”
Twila Moon, Research Scientist, University of Colorado, Boulder: “This article is a laundry list of falsehoods, misleading examples, and facts taken out of context. It is appalling that such a blatantly false article can be published in any credible news outlet today.”
Alexis Berg, Associate Research Scholar, Princeton University: “Just like previous pieces by the same author, this piece is an unorganized collection of the same old misleading “arguments” from climate change deniers that have been addressed thousands of times before. It is frankly appalling that any newspaper that would like to retain some credibility would continue to publish such pieces.”
It’s time The UnAustralian was held to account for their deliberate and destructive campaign to mislead the Australian people about this existential threat.
If we want to talk about “ensuring integrity”, then the Murdoch media would be a great place to start.
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