tip off

Ian Plimer takes on the ‘totalitarian’ greens in latest book

Ian Plimer is a highly influential climate sceptic. His new book, via a Ballarat-based Catholic-aligned publisher, takes on the environmental movement. Will Tony Abbott read it?

The doyen of Australia’s climate sceptic movement, Ian Plimer, has a new book — and this time he’s broadened his attack to the entire environmental movement.

Not for Greens: He who sups with the Devil should have a long spoon is coming out this month via boutique Catholic publishing house Connor Court. It’s a polemic that argues that environmentalists harm the environment, have their facts wrong, want to control your money and have a “totalitarian approach”.

Plimer, a mining geologist, has cachet in Coalition circles. His 2009 book Heaven and Earth argued that human-induced climate change is not real, sold 40,000 copies and graces the bookshelves of many Coalition MPs. It is often cited among MPs and has been influential in party room debates. The new book will be well-read within the Abbott government and aligned business elites and will embolden those who dislike greens. Expect to hear it quoted in Parliament, and to see Plimer lauded on climate sceptic blogs (Andrew Bolt is already onto it) and hosted on Tory radio shows.

Not for Greens uses the allegory of a metal teaspoon to conclude that modern life depends on fossil fuels and that environmentalist policies would deprive us of cutlery and reduce us to cave people.

This is how Plimer sums up his message: “If you’re a green, and you’re criticising the coal industry, then you should not use cutlery, you should go out into the bush and starve.”

In a sympathetic recent interview associated with a mining conference, as dogs howl in the background, Plimer said this to environmentalists:

Go out in the bush, live your sustainable life, don’t bother me. And if I want some advice from you, I’ll go to your cave and see how you’re going with your sustainable living. But until then get out of my life, because I’m very comfortable …”

Plimer says the humble teaspoon was created through mineral exploration, mining, smelting and refining, and without coal it would not exist. This apparently proves that a modern, middle-class life is incompatible with environmentalists.

The 200-page book, RRP $29.95, claims wind farms and solar panels use more energy to build than they will ever generate. Plimer, an academic at the University of Adelaide with a background in mining and energy, says renewable energy policies have left hundreds of thousands of people in “fuel poverty”. He says greens have a “totalitarian approach … the greens are not interested in environmentalism”.

The book may prove popular. Plimer claims it “will be a very good seller because the average punter is not a fool, they’re treated like fools by the greens and many others”. It’s already No, 1 on Connor Court’s bestseller list, beating out a 1970s book on sex in Christian marriage with a moving foreword by a Catholic priest, and the memoirs of B.A. Santamaria’s brother Joe (B.A. was a Democratic Labor Party identity and Tony Abbott’s mentor). The Institute of Public Affairs (of which Plimer is an associate) is promoting Not for Greens as a gift idea.

Last month academic Clive Hamilton named Plimer as one of Crikey’s “dirty dozen” who have done the most to block action on climate change. Plimer has some high-profile allies. Former PM John Howard launched his last book How to Get Expelled from School: A guide to climate change for pupils, parents and punters. Gina Rinehart has put Plimer on two of her boards.

Connor Court publisher Anthony Cappello has ordered a print run of 10,000 copies of the new book. The small Ballarat-based publishing house, which specialises in climate scepticism and religious works, is confident. “The signs are good,” Cappello told Crikey. “All his books are controversial, he’s not afraid of a fight.”

Cappello said it might not sell as well as previous works because “Heaven and Earth was a bit of a freak … and the timing was perfect”. Plimer will tour nationally in June (he has previously toured with Lord Christopher Monckton).

The book has a foreword by Patrick Moore, a Canadian spin doctor for nuclear power and the mining and energy industries who was an early member of Greenpeace. While Plimer claims Moore “started Greenpeace”, Greenpeace denies this, saying Moore did not found or start the organisation but joined the year after it started.

While Heaven and Earth was a success, it may have been overhyped as a bestseller. Connor Court claims the book sold 40,000 copies worldwide and it’s the publisher’s biggest-selling title. Research by Crikey has found it failed to make the top 20 list for best-selling non-fiction books in Australia in 2010-11 or 2011-12. (To be fair, those lists are dominated by cookbooks and memoirs, while books on politics and science often end up in the bargain bin.)

At any rate, Heaven and Earth has been a cash cow for Connor Court, assisting it to publish some works with limited appeal. Sex Love in Christian Marriage, written in 1973 and with a foreword by Father Anthony Percy ($9.95) may not be a big seller, while Cory Bernardi’s Conservative Revolution is more contemporary. There’s Joe Santamaria on Catholic values and Liberal MP Guy Barnett’s guide to lobbying. Mark Lawson, a senior journalist at The Australian Financial Review, has published A Guide to Climate Change Lunacy. Cardinal George Pell has four titles with Connor Court, one of which allows readers to “feel closer to Christ”. And there’s tracts by noted climate sceptics James Delingpole and Donna Laframboise.

52
  • 1
    wayne robinson
    Posted Wednesday, 7 May 2014 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    I take it Ian Plimer’s latest book will be just as unreadable as ‘Heaven and Earth’, which was very tedious to read.

    I suspect that Ian Plimer had a stack of some 2,000 references, which he referred to in order, making the same point over and over again over 5 or 6 pages. And often getting the reference wrong, as when he stated that the Sun is a pulsar star (a rapidly rotating neutron star) - with the reference given as a ’70s paper ‘Is the Sun a pulsar star?’ (Well, is it? I suspect it was a typo’ in 2 places). Or stating something as fact (eg the Sun has a solid iron core) when it’s a controversial idiosyncratic theory of a retired American astrophysicist, which is almost absolutely certainly wrong.

  • 2
    Roger Clifton
    Posted Wednesday, 7 May 2014 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    As any mining engineer would know, all of the metals can be reduced from their ores by electrolysis, including iron. Admittedly, you’d probably need nuclear electricity to electrolyse the nation’s entire steel production, but you don’t have to emit CO2 to do it. We can make our teaspoons without coal.

  • 3
    Roger Clifton
    Posted Wednesday, 7 May 2014 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Oops — 
    “As any mining geologist would know …”

  • 4
    Honest Johnny
    Posted Wednesday, 7 May 2014 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    Many cultures around the world eat without metal cutlery and don’t live in caves. I drink green tea, so I guess that makes me a ‘greenie’, but at least I never have the need to use a teaspoon.

  • 5
    aswann
    Posted Wednesday, 7 May 2014 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    He obviously is an extremely stupid person. Stupid people argue that it is ok to destroy the planet for the sake of a teaspoon. Clever people on the other hand figure out how to make the teaspoon _without_ distroying the planet. What a bonehead. Who is this guy?

  • 6
    The Hood
    Posted Wednesday, 7 May 2014 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    Aswan

    No he is not stupid, he is paid handsomely to sound stupid by his masters in the energy and mining industries.

  • 7
    Electric Lardyland
    Posted Wednesday, 7 May 2014 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    I see, so Plimer’s publisher also specialises in obscure religious tracts. I’m just a bit surprised, that they don’t seem have any books, attacking climate change belief for being an alleged religion.

  • 8
    pseudomys
    Posted Wednesday, 7 May 2014 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    “If you’re a green, and you’re criticising the coal industry, then you should not use cutlery, you should go out into the bush and starve.”

    i.e. either you’re with us, or you’re against us (sound like a totalitarian much?)

    Does that mean if you’re not a green (whatever that actually means!), then you’re not allowed to enjoy national parks, or like trees, or argue for more efficient use of resources, or breathe oxygen… ??

  • 9
    Liamj
    Posted Wednesday, 7 May 2014 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Another aging white male elite plays the victim card, do they get them free at their private school reunions or what?

    The fatuous ‘go live in caves’ argument seems to have been developed after too much port, by the same logic Plimer should live in a mine pit, baste himself in DDT and snort asbestos. Instead i’ll bet he’s a leafy suburb NIMBY like most Torys and actual mining is work that poor people do (and no, being an academic geologist doesn’t count).

  • 10
    dazza
    Posted Wednesday, 7 May 2014 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    His family name will be tarnished forever

  • 11
    Honest Johnny
    Posted Wednesday, 7 May 2014 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    dazza, he’ll no doubt have some silvo to keep polish it.

  • 12
    Posted Wednesday, 7 May 2014 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Plimer says the humble teaspoon was created through mineral exploration, mining, smelting and refining, and without coal it would not exist.”

    Plimer has his faith in god to cover-up his lack of facts. The Chinese, the Egyptians, the Aztecs, the Romans and the Greeks all used spoons, made of a variety of different substances; ivory, ceramics, wood being but three of the choices open to them. To the best of my knowledge I have failed to discover the evidence of ancient coal mines in countries like Egypt, Oman, Tunisia, Iran, Jordan, Syria are but six countries suffering this appalling lack of finesse.

  • 13
    Roger Clifton
    Posted Wednesday, 7 May 2014 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    You have to admit that it does challenge you to answer the question, how are you going to make everything from bottles to battleships without coal or gas?

  • 14
    noel murphy
    Posted Wednesday, 7 May 2014 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    No mention of Plimer’s clever Telling Lies for God book … an oversight, or just not in line with the Catholic-ridiculing tone of this?

  • 15
    Bob's Uncle
    Posted Wednesday, 7 May 2014 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    Using Plimer’s fatuous logic, climate deniers who reject scientific consensus shouldn’t get to use anything created by science.

    No spoons for anyone!

  • 16
    zut alors
    Posted Wednesday, 7 May 2014 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    Stick a coal-generated fork in him to see if he’s done…oops, he overcooked!

  • 17
    extra
    Posted Wednesday, 7 May 2014 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    Sad about Ian. He did good work arguing against creationists several years ago, but then seemed to loose it (well, IIRC he ended up losing his house to pay legal costs, anyway).

    Unfortunate then, that he decided to hitch his horse to the climate change denialists’ wagon. His facts are invariably cherry-picked, his arguments selective, and while he clearly has a grasp of geology, his limited knowledge of climate science means he puts his foot in it again and again.

    The (then) Department of Climate Change website once had a point-by-point rebuttal of his 101 point ‘How to get expelled …’ book. It might still be there …

  • 18
    Roger Clifton
    Posted Wednesday, 7 May 2014 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    Zut alors”, if you can’t describe another way to make that fork, Plimer wins the argument.

  • 19
    Pointy Hatted Party Monster
    Posted Wednesday, 7 May 2014 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    the average punter is not a fool, they’re treated like fools by the greens and many others”

    The many others including environmental obscurantists like Ian Plimer, I suppose?

  • 20
    Graeski
    Posted Wednesday, 7 May 2014 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    On the one hand you have people who eagerly await the end of the world and the extinction of all life other than human. On the other you have people who argue that we should be developing a sustainable system that allows all life - including non-human life - to continue to exist indefinitely.

    Is it any wonder, given such divergent world views, that both parties glare at each other in total incomprehension?

  • 21
    Tom Jones
    Posted Wednesday, 7 May 2014 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    It seems that Climate Denialists and religious beliefs are far closer than previously thought.
    The climate sceptic is a peddling snake oil to make money for himself using beliefs which are unverifiable. Who would have thought that these accusations hurled at climate change advocates by the Denialists actually describe a the failings of the denier brigade.

  • 22
    Roger Clifton
    Posted Wednesday, 7 May 2014 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    Venise, it is a humble steel teaspoon, and the book would have said so. If steel needs coal, then the world cannot support the present 7 billion people without coal, let alone the future. If Plimer says we are addicted to coal, then we who are concerned for the greenhouse must show that we can do without. Or more accurately, without coal, oil or gas.

    Okay, so how are we going to make steel?

  • 23
    fractious
    Posted Wednesday, 7 May 2014 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    Aside from being an interminably dull read, the “facts” Plimer used in H&E were quickly shown to be utter balderdash, and his stance on the planet’s climate was repeatedly exposed for the unscientific gibberish that it really was. I have no doubt this most recent spray will follow similar lines, with (by the look of it) the addition of several measures of vitriol and a good dash of smugness.

    The thing I wonder about is this: “Plimer, an academic at the University of Adelaide…”. At some point I imagine Adelaide Uni would have thought it prudent to tell Plimer to either stfu with all this unscientific claptrap or clear off, lest he bring the university’s reputation in the sciences (and possibly other disciplines as well) into disrepute.

    But knowing what I know about how universities operate these days, I’m probably being naive.

    Thanks for the article Cathy, though I have deliberately *not* clicked on any link that suggested that doing so would encourage this Plimer fossil.

  • 24
    Roger Clifton
    Posted Wednesday, 7 May 2014 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    Ian Plimer is respected by a large number of geologists who earn, or stand to earn an income helping industry extract coal, oil and gas. Trained in general science as well as geology, they know that this damages the greenhouse. They don’t want to hear the consequences spoken, any more than a lawyer wants to feel the crimes of his clients.

    It is a lot more than geologists who benefit from the traffic in fossil carbon. Our buoyant economy, exemplified in the ever-expanding values of our real estate, means that we all have been benefiting. But in the comments above, you can see there is no will in our community to completely replace our use of fossil carbon. We are willing to remain addicted, as long as no one actually says so.

    But Ian Plimer has just said so, out loud. Perhaps we should have our noses rubbed in it as well.

  • 25
    fractious
    Posted Wednesday, 7 May 2014 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    Our buoyant economy, exemplified in the ever-expanding values of our real estate, means that we all have been benefiting”

    All? Drivel. Those already on the gravy train - yes. The rest of us, no.

    in the comments above, you can see there is no will in our community to completely replace our use of fossil carbon”

    You can read whatever you want into “the comments above”, that doesn’t mean you can extrapolate (or even interpret, come to that). There are many alternatives to fossil fuels, it’s just that in the so-called clever country all the intelligent solutions have had to fcuk off overseas to get the funding they need to develop their ideas. There is also plenty of “willingness”, all that’s needed to tap into that is to give those alternative forms of enegy generation a fair go.

  • 26
    PaulM
    Posted Wednesday, 7 May 2014 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

    This would be the same Ian Plimer (mining geologist) who is Barnaby Joyce’s favourite climate expert. Barnaby Joyce (country accountant), who criticised Tim Flannery on “Q&A” for deigning to speak on climate change when he was only a paeleontologist. Joyce didn’t acually say “what would you know”, but ihe might as well have. Gee, these Tories have a hide!

  • 27
    PDGFD1
    Posted Thursday, 8 May 2014 at 2:16 am | Permalink

    Hmmm… My colleagues in the USA say that the most highly-funded ‘climate’ research area at the moment is Geoengineering.
    Frankly, one of the reasons I am in favour of doing whatever is necessary to avoid the need for using this drastic ‘reaction to inaction’ is a concern that we may find ourselves in a position where the sky can never be clear and blue again (using particles to ‘seed’ the atmosphere).
    Perhaps the ‘sheeple’ voters , and especially the currently young, would be interested to know that should the geoengineers be called upon at the ‘11th hour’ their clear blue skies will be gone forever…
    S.A.D. disorder forever…time to crank up the fear tactics since everyone in the ‘west’ seems to thing that rising sea levels and mass-migration will never affect them!

    Venise @ 12:-
    Here’s an idea we could support… all the creationists actually respecting the creation of their god(s)…
    A number of the ‘religious’ are trying to light this flame. Perhaps atheists (including myself) could focus on the need to ameliorate climate change, rather than worry about the differences we hold re deities.

    Roger @2, 12,17, 21 (etc)-
    Here’s and idea. We limit the use of coal to steel-making in the interim, ie we limit steel-making to essentials only (EG: We need to be able to sharpen knives, but we don’t need steel forks and spoons. Then we make discovering an alternative to the current process an R+D priority whilst the changes we need to make are made.

    Not impossible when you think about it. Just takes some compromise and will

    Back to Plimer… So - now he’s fully exposed himself as an exponent of the ‘I’m alright Jack’ and ‘Devil Take The Hiindmost’ camps… perhaps it’s time to turn up the heat on this selfish, greedy and stupidly dangerous fcuknuckle!

  • 28
    PDGFD1
    Posted Thursday, 8 May 2014 at 2:23 am | Permalink

    pseudomys @8, and Bob’s Uncle @14: Clear argument… go forth and multiply it where ‘ere you roam!! Right beside you!

  • 29
    prodigy
    Posted Thursday, 8 May 2014 at 4:17 am | Permalink

    The link with Gina is hardly surprising. I wonder if she has bankrolled the book? Of course this is one of her ideologies which she is promoting to further her mining business. Nasty.

  • 30
    Lord Muck
    Posted Thursday, 8 May 2014 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    In the short term, there is no major alternative feedstock for metallurgy; however, metallurgical coke only accounts for 3 per cent of coal use.

    The overwhelming majority of coal is used to simply boil water for power generation; there are many other ways to boil water. Those innovative Australian scientists and engineers developing alternative methods of power generation are to be congratulated.

    The thrust of Professor Plimer’s spoon-f***-off argument is a combination of puerile and churlish.

  • 31
    Cathy Alexander
    Posted Thursday, 8 May 2014 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Roger Clifton #22, yes he is talking about a steel teaspoon:

    The processes required to make a humble stainless steel teaspoon are remarkably complicated and every stage involves risk, coal, energy, capital, international trade and finance. Stainless steel cutlery has taken thousands of years of experimentation and knowledge to evolve and the end result is that we can eat without killing ourselves with bacteria. We are in the best times to have ever lived on planet Earth and the future will only be better. All this we take for granted.”

    http://www.connorcourt.com/catalog1/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=285#.U2qy8fmSw1I

    In the radio interview quoted above, he says there is iron, chromium and nickel used to make a teaspoon, plus energy (60% of which comes from coal, he says).

  • 32
    Itsarort
    Posted Thursday, 8 May 2014 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Plimer’s book, “Telling Lies For God”, whilst I agree with his ideas, was in my opinion one of the worst written books I have ever read. Poor syntax, clunky style and puerile argument. I won’t be buying this one.

  • 33
    wayne robinson
    Posted Thursday, 8 May 2014 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t read ‘Telling Lies for God’, but ‘Heaven and Earth’ was dreadful. It wouldn’t have been so bad if the science hadn’t been so bad. But it was. Plimer made a huge number of howlers, almost on every page.

  • 34
    Tyger Tyger
    Posted Thursday, 8 May 2014 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    How does saying that because you need coal to make steel, you therefore can’t develop a more sustainable economy, even qualify as an argument? It’s moronic.

    Given he places so much importance on steel-making, how does he propose future generations are going to do it once, as Lord Muck @30 rightly points out, we’ve burnt all that coal to boil water to run generators?

    The claim that wind and solar use more energy than they’ll ever generate is equally moronic, given the more renewable energy comes on stream, the more out-of-control fossil fuel-burning costs come down. To blame dying technologies for adding costs to burgeoning ones is laughable. No doubt having to transport materials to early automobile factories via barges and horse and cart was pretty costly at the time, too. Not to mention that renewables technology is not static and costs are coming down all the time while efficiencies improve.

    As to, “We are in the best times to have ever lived on planet Earth…” No doubt that’s true in many ways. But what of the consequences? The rabid right always bangs on about “mortgaging the future” when a government incurs any debt (even when, as in 08-9, it’s done to avoid a severe economic downturn) yet justifies leaving it’s descendants to deal with the mess we leave behind because we don’t want to stop the party.

    Finally, the idea that we either stick to business as usual or go back to living in caves is risible. We move on as we’ve always done. New technologies are developed and improved and the old ones die. That’s progress, Ian. The surest way back to the cave is to stand in its way.

  • 35
    Posted Thursday, 8 May 2014 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    ROGER CLIFTON and others who commented on my comment.

    The mess that man has created in over population, degradation of land masses, and the old fashioned technologies we are presently lumbered, is very well encapsulated in ROGER CLIFTON’s inane question. “Okay, so how are we going to make steel?”

    The whole idea of bio-diversity, and a healthy environment is to seek better ways of doing things. So my answer to ROGER CLIFTON is “Why is it necessary to have steel teaspoons?”

    Great civilisations have existed without steel. Are we so mentally incompetent that we can think of no alternative. Why can’t we think of things to use instead of using steel?

  • 36
    Sid Danger
    Posted Thursday, 8 May 2014 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    Is it true he’s married to Meryl Dorey?

  • 37
    Kevin Herbert
    Posted Thursday, 8 May 2014 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    Please list those sources where Plimer’s facts “…were quickly shown to be utter balderdash, and his stance on the planet’s climate was repeatedly exposed for the unscientific gibberish that it really was”….OR withdraw your claim.

    Hearsay does not constitute compelling data…you may be right, but you have to tell us why.

  • 38
    Kevin Herbert
    Posted Thursday, 8 May 2014 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    Same goes for Wayne Robinson…give us your sources.

  • 39
    Kevin Herbert
    Posted Thursday, 8 May 2014 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    Tyger 2:

    Let’s take but one of your strident claims:

    You say ‘The claim that wind and solar use more energy than they’ll ever generate is equally moronic, given the more renewable energy comes on stream, the more out-of-control fossil fuel-burning costs come down”.

    So in what year do you predict that renewable energy technology will provide global base load power requirements necessary to maintain planned rates of global economic growth by regions?

  • 40
    Kevin Herbert
    Posted Thursday, 8 May 2014 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    Roger Clifton: isn’t an answer to your question ‘nuclear power via thorium’?

  • 41
    Honest Johnny
    Posted Thursday, 8 May 2014 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    Kevin, this is a Crikey forum of opinions not peer reviewd science, contributors don’t “have” to do anything. Stop being such a bully.

  • 42
    wayne robinson
    Posted Thursday, 8 May 2014 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    Kevin Herbert,

    You only have to read ‘Heaven and Earth’ to realise what a shoddy piece of work it is. In particular, I refer you to the chapter on the Milankovitch cycles. You weren’t impressed by my noting that Plimer claimed that the Sun is a pulsar star (a rapidly rotating neutron star) and has a solid iron core?

    Plimer just doesn’t understand climate science. For example, he claimed that a glaciation, by causing a drop in sea level, would expose the continental shelves, causing ‘warming’ resulting in a lessening in the glaciation. A negative feedback.

    That’s a monumental fail. Oceans have the lowest albedo, and absorb the greatest amount of the Sun’s radiation. Bare ground reflects more of the Sun’s radiation. Exposure of the continental shelf as a result of a falling sea level would result in more cooling - a positive feedback.

  • 43
    Tyger Tyger
    Posted Thursday, 8 May 2014 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    Kevin Herbert @36, it’s not that difficult to find things on the net, but just this once I’ll do the work for you:

    http://www.climatechange.gov.au/accurate-answers-professor-ian-plimer

    Ditto @38: That depends on a lot of factors, Kevin. To begin with, if the $531 billion a year spent by governments worldwide on fossil fuel subsidies were redirected to renewables, storage systems and creative ways of solving the intermittency problem like using solar to hydrolyse water, thus producing hydrogen for fuel cells, the answer to your question would be: a lot faster than it’s happening now. Even without such reforms, the economics of renewables is such that utilities are already facing up to the fact that solar and wind are fast becoming cheaper than fossil fuels and worrying about stranded assets and antediluvian business models. (That’s the smart ones. The dumb ones, Canute-like, are using their power to lobby politicians to stymie the growth of renewables by ripping off household solar customers, killing the RET, calling wind turbines “those things”, spreading demonstrably false nonsense about the health effects from said turbines, and the list goes on.) If you’re interested, check out renew economy.com.au and see what power utility executives all over the world are saying on that hot little topic.
    Another development that is being seen as a potential tipping point is Tesla’s plan to invest US$4-5 billion dollars in a lithium-ion battery “gigafactory” with the objective of cutting battery prices by 30% in three years and halving them by 2020. It’s being talked about as potentially having the same impact as Ford’s model T, which halved the price of U.S. cars thanks to the mass production techniques pioneered by that company. At the turn of the 20th century, people said the car was an interesting novelty but it would never replace the horse and cart. Sound familiar? Had you paid attention to more than just one of my “strident” claims, you might have noticed I spoke about how technology doesn’t stand still. Conservatives yes, technology no.

    Since we’re speaking of stridency, what was your reaction to this little beauty?

    “If you’re a green, and you’re criticising the coal industry, then you should not use cutlery, you should go out into the bush and starve.”

    It’s a cracker, innit! I should hope to be so hysterical.

  • 44
    Tyger Tyger
    Posted Thursday, 8 May 2014 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

    Correction to comment awaiting moderation in response to Kevin Herbert. My reply is to yours @37, not @38.

  • 45
    Tyger Tyger
    Posted Thursday, 8 May 2014 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

    Oh dear, the numbers keep changing. I think you’ll get the drift. Meanwhile, @Crikey!, your moderation “process” is a dog’s breakfast.

  • 46
    Roger Clifton
    Posted Friday, 9 May 2014 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Kevin Herbert alone has had the courage to address the question, “how will we make steel without fossil carbon?”.

    So how would you replace fossil fuels? By all means try to answer the question without saying “nuclear”. If you were instead to use the salesman’s term, “natural gas”, you would be committing us to leak methane into the greenhouse. Fossil gas is the backup implied in the concept of “wind-and-solar”.

    The necessary word is “replace”. When we echo our cowardly leaders in using the weasel word, “reduce”, let’s remember that we will be condemned for what we emit — without remission for what we don’t.

  • 47
    klewso
    Posted Friday, 9 May 2014 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    This level of elastic bare-faced hypocrisy - he could have worked for Murdoch?

  • 48
    Kevin Herbert
    Posted Friday, 9 May 2014 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    Honest Johnny:

    I must agree with you..how dare I expect Crikey posters to make a contribution of any substance to this hysterical public discourse on climate change….as witnessed by the paucity of reason in all of the above responses to my questions.

    Each of the above responses are in the ‘throwing rocks at planes flying overhead’ category i.e. it feels good to the rock thrower, but is of no consequence in to the discussion at hand……wilful ignorance, sophistry with ad hominem slurs included…reminds me of a US Presidential campaign.

  • 49
    wayne robinson
    Posted Friday, 9 May 2014 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Kevin Herbert,

    This thread wasn’t on the truth or otherwise of AGW. It was on the limitations of Ian Plimer as an author to make a cogent readable argument. In which he has failed miserably in the past. And which doesn’t give me much hope for his next book.

    I read ‘Heaven and Earth’ and found it a torture. If you want, you can look at my Amazon.com review of it, under my name, I think from 2009, in which I think I gave it 2 stars (meaning I finished it, but found it a battle).

  • 50
    Reechard
    Posted Friday, 9 May 2014 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    Pilmer is a clown.
    That some in this government holds him up as some wunderkind authority is utterly beyond understanding and a cause of great despair to intelligent, thinking and caring people.
    It is sad and frustrating that at this stage of the play, so few people appear to be aware of the potential of the Beyond Zero Emissions plans which demonstrate how Australia could have a ZERO carbon energy industry within 10 years.
    It relies on Concentrated Solar Thermal with Hot Salt Storge for Base Load Power, combined with Wind (Hockey’s Horrors!!) and some BioMass.

    It would require an upgraded power distribution network.
    To build this will cost us approx 3% of GDP perannum for approx 10 years. At the moment we pay about 5% of our GDP as an indirect cost of burning Filthy Fossil Fuels.
    The benefits are many.
    Clean, CO2 free energy.
    Unending supplies thereof..
    No need to build anymore coal, gas or nuclear plants.
    Shutting down those already running.
    No dependence on Fossil Fuels.
    Revitalisation of the economy.
    Revitalisation of Rural Australia.
    Significant expanded employment for above.
    Potential HUGE O/S markets for our electricity.
    http://www.bze.org.au … I have no financial interest. I donate.

    Only people who suffer?? The purveyors of the dirty fuels. Coal mining is becoming increasingly mechanised, even as they plan to dig up and burn enough coal to snuff out life as we know it on this planet.

    Incidentally, I know for a fact that Julie Bishop outright “denied” on Radio National, the availability of this technology (other than Filthy Fossil Fuels) even after being briefed on it.

Womens Agenda

loading...

Smart Company

loading...

StartupSmart

loading...

Property Observer

loading...