Climate alert – hell freezes briefly

Yesterday morning climate change sceptic Ian Plimer was interviewed on the Today programme. This stunning occurrence caused outrage among eco-activists. The Media Lens message board went nuclear wind turbine over the issue. Among the many who complained to the BBC was Green Party councillor Dr Rupert Read. The response he received from Today programme assistant editor Roger Hermiston included this admission:

We reflect the orthodoxy in the climate change debate, day in, day out, 300-365 days a year. Just every so often – and it is very rarely– we take a look at other opinions… And to talk about the “oxygen of publicity ” at 8.53 in the morning is, I would respectfully suggest, getting things a little out of proportion.

So even when they “very rarely” look at these other opinions, they do it well away from prime time. It’s not telling us anything we don’t know, but it’s nice to see it in writing.

Dr Read sent a follow-up email in which he stated pompously:

“I teach at the University of East Anglia, the world’s premier climate science institutions [sic]”

The email doesn’t mention his speciality, but his Wikipedia entry does:

Rupert Read is a Green Party of England and Wales politician, Reader in philosophy at the University of East Anglia

Ian Plimer, on the other hand, is merely the Professor of Mining Geology in the Geology and Geophysics department of the School of Earth & Environmental Sciences at the University of Adelaide. How dare the BBC interview him about the climate when there are philosophers on hand!

I note also the opening line of Read’s reply:

Dear Mr. Hermiston;
Thanks for writing back, and so swiftly.

Who else has ever received any kind of response from the Today programme, let alone a swift one?

Update. Via David Thompson, here’s a promo clip for a forthcoming edition of BBC World Service programme The Forum in which artist Antony Gormley “reflects the orthodoxy” (as Roger Hermiston might say):

Update 2. Rush Limbaugh has a new climate change related promo, too. Mmm mmm mmm. Heh heh heh.

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26 Responses to Climate alert – hell freezes briefly

  1. moorlandhunter says:

    I heard this interview and I almost cheered when this man of science of geology with his historical knowledge of climate spoke with reason and knowledge to debunk the lies and bunkum spread by the loud mouth environmentalists who repeatedly lie that man is the cause of climate change and global warming. Well done this geologist who totally deflated the bubbles of untruths spread by the harpies that try to force us to believe mankind is changing climate.

    The lie that man is responsible for climate change is only used to raise taxes and produce hot air amongst the environmentalists when they drone on and on about the issue which clearly is an untruth.


  2. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Nice find.  So the BBC admits they generally toe the line of Orthodox Warmism.  You couldn’t make it up.


  3. Travis Bickle says:

    Why not drop Dr. Rupert Read an e-mail letting him know how absolutely RIGHT he is for attempting to silence any opposing views to his dogma.

    Perhaps someone can point him in the direction of a good razor too.


  4. Travis Bickle says:

    As a license fee payer, I resent the fact that – and this is a fact – my money is being spent on an interview with someone irrelevant and dangerous.”

    My thoughts exactly Rupert.  I can’t think of anything more dangerous than someone with an opposing opinion to your own.


  5. Asuka Langley Soryu says:

    “I teach at the University of East Anglia, the world’s premier climate science institutions [sic]”

    Jesus, what a deluded (not to mention illiterate) fool. I like the ‘irrelevant and dangerous’ thing though. It’s the perfect description of the Green Party.


  6. John Horne Tooke says:

    I see Hermiston uses the word “orthodoxy”  which means “the condition, quality, or practice of conforming, especially in religious belief.”

    The “outrage” by people like Read do not suprise me in the slightest. Their case is very weak and getting weaker by the month. If people are allowed to debate the facts openly it would damage the AGW religion even further.

    Maybe the BBCs response should be archived somwhere, so that when they try and say that they have interviewed “sceptics” on their programmes – they can be reminded of how they tried to hide it.

    On most things the BBC are a disgrace – but in the AGW area they are more than that. They are aiding and abetting the biggest fraud in history that will cost trillions and deprive many devloping countries of a future. The BBC are sick and need to be closed down.


  7. Grant says:

    Note the  phrase  “oxygen of publicity”.  Now what does that make you think of  ?  Surely there are no plans to make “denial” a criminal offence akin to terrorism  ?


  8. Guest says:

    Various blog pages of the BBC (Black, Newsnight, Ethical man, Andrew Neil… ) and the Gaurdian (plus others, I imagine) are alive with this.

    Personally I take issue with a lot of Prof Plimer has to offer, but consider his brief outing to be but a small sideshow to the total ineptitude in terms of public service brodactsing that has been shown to date by the BBC.

    And I have been moved to weigh in on most, but on this crass attempt at claiming objectivity most of all:

    Well, after several years passed and a few weeks to go, let’s see where we stand then…

    ps: I shall add ‘reflect the orthodoxy’ to ‘fair representation of events’, ‘enhance the narrative’, ‘interpreting events and (though not used by a BBC employee, responded to) ‘helping with emerging truths’. Not IMHO, anything that objective, balanced reporting entities should be doing, much less trying to spin.


  9. David H says:

    The recent poll that demonstrated that less than half the population has bought into the great global warming – er, sorry, climate change scam should, in an ideal world, cause al-Beeb to give equal air time to both sides of the debate – some hope of that, given their `sod the licence payers’ philosophy!


  10. George R says:

    “Global warming is not our fault, say most voters in ‘Times’ poll”

    The BBC, through its daily propaganda, resolves to put this right.


  11. Mac says:

    Read’s self-penned biography is a caricature of the arrogant academic straying outside his expertise with no self awareness, so terribly pleased with himself as an ‘intellectual’, and with global warming, a conquerer of the moral high ground. Actually, his insecurity is obvious in the way he puffs and over-sells his various achievements – papers read by a handful around the world. He speaks of his experiences in the US and how he became ‘radicalised’ against ‘capitalism’ — so, clearly worn out by his hosts, those awful, crude Americans with thier unfathomable interest in personal freedom, he returns to the UK to decide who ought and ought not to be allowed to speak. Yet again, we have those who live off taxpayers’ money poring scorn on those who create the wealth on which they live, whilst advancing green totalitarianism on the back of the deeply flawed science of global warming (which Read as a PPE is not equipped to scientifically assess).

    It is hardly new that academics, most often the weaker and less able specimens, seeing an opportunity of this nature, take it; a casual perusal of the role played by academics and bureacrats in the great totalitarian experiments of the 20th century (see Hayek’s Road to Serfdom, for example) should be more widely known. Was it G.B. Shaw (a socialist, amusingly) who said something to the effect that ‘What we learn from History is that we do not learn from History’?


  12. poochie says:


    While accepting the criticism of Read, do you not think it’s appropriate to question the motives of Prof. Plimer? Who, by the accounts of the mining companies he holds directorships and millions of shares with – see Ivanhoe Australia, Kefi Minerals and CBH Resources – isn’t going to be the most balanced of sources.

    Oh, yes – and his book. Mmm. Balance. Just what you need.


  13. Mailman says:


    Yes indeed…question away but while you are at it, perhaps you could explain why Al Gore, who is about to become the worlds first carbon BILLIONAIRE is treated with reverence without a hint of questioning his motives?

    You know, I see this line or argument more and more when ever someone comes out questioning man made global warming ™ BUT never have I heard these very same people question anyone who bats on “their” side?

    Funny thing is, who do you think has more influence here…plimmer or gore? Who do you think has more to loose, plimmer or gore?



    • Mailman says:

      BTW, wasnt it plimmer who challenged monboit to a debate but monboit wouldnt turn up unless he was given all of plimmers arguments first (along with accompanying supporting information)?



    • poochie says:

      No idea, wasn’t talking about Gore. If you want to talk about Gore, knock yourself out, but that’s a diversion I’m not interested in. Debate Gore all you want, but he wasn’t involved in the exchange or the comparison.

      I was talking about the similarly superficial analysis of the two characters up there, Read and Plimer. In otherwords, one’s credibility was instantly brought into question because of his discipline, whereas the other’s actual work and interests weren’t declared. It was framed as if Plimer was neutral, when he’s nothing of the sort.

      Here’s the email exchange between Monbiot and Plimer. Read it at your leisure.


      • Mailman says:

        Actually, no its not Poochie. The fact is you guys throw around these conspiracies about “deniers” being on the books of big oil BUT conveniently leave out the big money of eco-loonery.

        Gore will be a billionaire because of global warming yet you want me to believe that the bigger threat here is a lowly geologist? Its funny isnt it…a guy that WONT make billions out of global warming ™ being proven to be a pile of bunkim is more of a threat than a guy who will make billions from global warming ™.

        No, no conflict of interest there 😀

        And yes, I thought I recognised that guys name…but then global warming ™ cultists have form on now wanting to engage in open debate with so called deniers.

        Gee, I wonder why that is?




        • poochie says:

          Does it hurt when you run up against that brick wall? The one where you’re really and utterly convinced that everyone’s out to make money except the people that you want to believe? Does it hurt so much when Plimer turns out to be not even in the pockets of the mining industry, but actually helping to run the industry, that you experience an epic form of cognitive dissonance that instantly leads you to ignore it and go “Yeah, well, what about him!”

          Your global elite stuff making billions out of an industry that governments need to subsidise people to get into in order to meet their treaty obligations gets incredibly boring. Here’s the Fortune Global 500 – how many oil companies can you see? Oh, and just in case you were wondering, here’s Fortune’s industry growth figures. Please note the companies listed in the categories.


          • Bob says:

            It’s been noted on here before that Plimer’s work is rubbish – I admitted I knew nothing about GW and someone mentioned him, then someone else handily provided me with him and told me to have fun, I read it and even a complete layman such as I can spot the flaws, but just google the academic criticisms, they aren’t remotely jargon, more like pointing out unsourced facts and fudges

            surprisingly last time it came up on here, no-one jumped to defend him and it was ignored (sorry I just spotted thsis thread) – so I do not find it surprising that Piimer is given little airtime, I think it’s pretty good that he got anything at all


          • Mailman says:

            Hahaha poochie, whats the matter? Dont like someone questioning your “religion”? 🙂

            Look, the reality is GORE will become a carbon billionaire. That is a fact that NO ONE is challenging. So by that very fact Gore has a lot to lose by global warming going down the gurglar, if not his money then his reputation because that is what he has pinned his “reputation” on, man made global warming ™.

            Also, so what..oil is big money, no one challenges that BUT there is big dollars in eco whackery as well. So not quite sure what your point is, unless you are trying to say that big oil is funding all the global warming denialists?

            If so, I wonder where I should send my invoice to? 🙂

            Again, why do you have to hate plimmer so much? Is he such a threat that the mere mention of his name should be banned in public spaces???



  14. Kevin Richardson says:

    For another perspective see the following from the Australian “Quadrant” magazine, which also includes a link to a different selection of emails.

    I attended that event and since I had not been aware of the previous shananigans I arrived fully expecting to hear an actual debate. I Having paid good money in order to do so I was disappointed to find that only one speaker had turned up though he did speak very well.

    Monbiot had chickened out.

    How bizarre to agree to a debate and then start to add preconditions in the form of preliminary questions.

    My speculation is that Monbiot senses that the wheels are about to come off this AGW bandwaggon and also felt inadequate to contest Plimer’s arguments. So instead of exposing himself he got some “big boys” in the playground to think up some questions for him.

    Unlike many of the self-appointed high priests of AGW theory (Gore, Porrit, Prince Charles, Zack Goldsmith, Roger Harrabin, Caroline Lucas etc) Monbiot does at least have some sort of scientific background so may be becoming at least dimly aware of his own lack of knowledge, of which the others are blissfully ignorant.


    • Mailman says:


      While I thought it was “out of order” for conditions to be put on a debate, what I wasnt aware of was the “help” Monboit was getting from other scientists with a vested interest in Plimmer being destroyed.

      I dunno, what is it about climaters ™ who want to squash all voices that dont agree with their party line?

      Anyway, how did you find the debate? Was it interesting? Do you know if the results are posted somewhere?

      And…who won? 😉




    • poochie says:


      Quadrant magazine: “Its stance is often described as conservative, neo-conservative, or rightwing. In fact it is not necessarily any of these things, but maintains a sceptical approach to unthinking Leftism, or political correctness, and its “smelly little orthodoxies”.”

      Uh-oh. No right-wing agenda there, eh? And edited by Keith Windschuttle. Lovely. If you need to read up on him, he’s all over the internet.

      For a bunch of people so hot on bias, you’ve certainly become immune to the smell of your own shit, eh.


      • Guest says:

        Hard to imagine any source these days without some form of agenda.

        Hence I tend to make judgements on what is actually written (or done) rather than labels appended, and how that stands up to fact. Context can colour one’s opinion of course, but really shouldn’t if you are rational. When the person becomes more compelling than their argument, then it is lost.

        So you have made a very potent case here. Well done.


    • poochie says:

      By the way, I love the link to “different” emails. Do you mean the two carefully selected emails, as opposed to the entire exchange, the link to which I posted?

      When you drive home after work, do you only stop at the traffic lights that interest you?


  15. Kevin Richardson says:

    It wasn’t a debate at all of course since only one side was represented though Andrew Nei, the “chairman”, did make some attempt to play the devil’s advocate.

    There were contributions from the floor afterwards but they were overwhelmingly anti AGW i.e. pro-Plimer. They included Lord Monckton and Tory MEP Roger Helmer. Neil did try to go out of his way to encourage anyone pro AGW warming to speak up but there were few takers and those that did speak were not all that coherent.

    Very poor show from Moonbat not to turn up. Also a pity that the Spectator, who were organising the debate, could not arrange a substitute protagonist.