Home > AGW, Catastrophism, Climate Change, Global Warming, greenhouse effect, Omniclimate, Policy, Science, Skepticism > The Funnier Side Of Monbiot & Schmidt’s “Plimer Débâcle”

The Funnier Side Of Monbiot & Schmidt’s “Plimer Débâcle”

It is clear that George Monbiot has made himself the loser by not agreeing to publicly debate with Ian Plimer about global warming in London in November. The rule is very simple and universal: a no-show is invariably a loss.

The whole thing looks like an elaborate trap prepared by experienced debater Plimer with the goal of convincing Monbiot to run away from the debate. And it looks like it worked.

Talk about the elephant being afraid of the mouse. Yet again, one is glad not have the likes of Monbiot (and Schmidt) on one’s side! 😎

But wait…it gets even funnier. What I just wrote might have crossed a few minds already, of people unfortunately too eager to bite the bait, therefore missing the chance to take their own reasoning to its natural conclusions:

  • Take Schmidt’s blog on the topic, where he argues that Plimer’s list of questions “is quite transparently a device to avoid dealing with Monbiot’s questions and is designed to lead to an argument…” and then…marches on onto the device regardless!
  • Greenfyre defines Plimer’s questions as “pure juvenile bafflegab” that should not be “dignif[ied]…with repetition“. Perhaps. Why then repeat that very same concept FOURTEEN times? It certainly looks like dignifying them to me
  • Greenfyre even identifies as “possible answers…to answer them in the spirit in which they were asked…give answers equally convoluted and nonsensical“. If that is so, what is the meaning of going on and on with links to sites where Pilmer’s questions are taken instead at face value?
  • Likewise for Tim Lambert: “I suspect that this is a tactic so he can weasel out of answering Monbiot’s questions” before a link to RealClimate to respond to Pilmer’s questions nevertheless…
  • Chris Colose appears to have a vague idea that there is something going on: “all together this is jumbled up nonsense and shows that Plimer is intentionally trying to mislead others“. Mysterious cue then to “for other of Plimer’s questions, I’ll let commenters tackle those“. Isn’t that a way for Colose to participate in the misleading?
  • Tamino…well, Tamino is obviously too superior a human being to recognize a thing.

=======

Dear Schmidt/Greenfyre/Lambert/Colose: one suggestion if I may dare.

If you are debating with anybody, and they use any logical device of any kind, please oh please DO NOT follow through along the device, for any reason whatsoever.

Otherwise, it’s not going to look pretty…

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  1. geoff chambers
    2009/09/19 at 00:18

    I had doubts about who could be said to have “won” and “lost” in the Monbiot / Plimer non-debate. Now (7 hours ago) Peter Taylor, author of “Chill” has challenged George Monbiot author of “Heat”, to a debate, with no conditions at
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/georgemonbiot/2009/sep/16/global-temperature-cooling
    The moderators have been blocking my comments, so I am prevented from expressing my opinions; not only about Monbiot, but about the insane, egotistical suicidal sceptics who continue their utterly pointless, boring point-scoring exercises, instead of concentrating on bringing Monbiot to the debating table. Would someone like to do it for me?

    • 2009/09/21 at 00:03

      Monbiot’s blog should be nominated for the Guinness Book as the blog with most “This comment has been removed by a moderator. Replies may also be deleted” statements in the world…

  2. 2009/09/17 at 11:52

    PKD – I am obviously not explaining myself and for that I can only apologize.

    I am not finding Greenfyre’s post “funny” just because he repeated the same concept 14 times.

    I am finding Greenfyre’s post “funny” because

    (1) he repeated the same concept 14 times
    (2) thereby spending a lot of time on the topic
    (3) thereby dignifying Plimer’s words with his (Greenfyre’s) time
    (4) despite having started by saying he (Greenfyre) did not want to dignify Plimer’s words

    ADDENDUM: I was tempted to use the “doth protest too much” quote but will refrain for the time being 😎

    As of now, Plimer knows that without replying to Monbiot he will get an easy time in London with plenty of free publicity on top of what this has given him already. Therefore I really doubt any answer will surface.

    Concerning his arguments: I am not here to defend Plimer. I do not know Plimer. I have not read his book, and have no intention to buy it (perhaps I’ll order it at the library). And unless I read somewhere there is something truly revolutionary in Plimer’s book, I have no intention to change my mind about it.

    As I pointed out many times, and lately to Chris Colose, there is no consensus among global warming skeptics, and there cannot ever be.

    Some believe AGW is a hoax, others think warming is going to be mild and beneficial, others say it’s mostly natural, others refuse to take a stance before enough evidence (in their judgment) is collected.

    Actually, given that there is a scientific consensus towards AGW, you are guaranteed to find all sorts of nutters and outright crazy people in the “skeptical camp”. This of course says nothing in favor of the truthfulness of the AGW arguments, or against it.

    Plimer, or Singer, or anybody else, they will never represent anybody else but the people that believe in what they are actually saying.

    And so once again, by opening his latest article with a silly assertion such as “As the Plimer affair shows, climate change deniers are all leaf and no plums“, Monbiot shows himself mistaken, illogical and with little hope to be able to withstand a debate against the most naive astrologer.

  3. PKD
    2009/09/17 at 10:37

    Good grief – what a load of old tosh.

    Sure Plimer never wanted to debate really, but thats about the only thing you’ve got right in these little rants.

    What I love though is your bit about…

    why then repeat that very same concept FOURTEEN times?

    Oh the irony as you write ostensibly write the same post twice on the same day!

    But the bottom line is – Plimer agreed to answering Monbiots questions before the verbal debate. Plimer agreed to a debate ver two rounds – one written, then one verbal.

    Except Plimer then chickened out of the 1st round, thereby disqualifying himself from the debate. Clear enough?

    • 2009/09/17 at 10:49

      PKD – You’re a little confused. I can repeat any point I want to make as many times as I want. It was not me declaring that Greenfyre (or anybody else) should not be dignified by reporting their words. And I hope nobody confuses “repetition” in Greenfyre’s blog (=”quote”) with the repetition I am talking about now (=”returning several times on the same concept”).

      Greenfyre proclaimed he did not want to dignify Plimer’s words. Still, he proceeded to dedicate to them a huge part of the following text. That means that Plimer’s words deserved Greenfyre’s attention, several times, in Greenfyre’s own worldview.

      That looks like Greenfyre dignifying Plimer’s words then. Hope this is clearer.

      And about your second point…however you want to look at it, ultimately it has been Monbiot chickening out of the original offer. A better debater would have definitely jumped at the opportunity of showing the public Plimer’s tactics. It was all in print!!

      Monbiot can for ever and ever talk about creationists and climate change skeptics. Fact is, apart from specific circumstances, no evolutionist in their right mind will want to be seen as avoiding a debate with a creationist.

      • PKD
        2009/09/17 at 11:02

        I can repeat any point I want to make as many times as I want.

        Sure, but by criticising Greenfyre for quote…”repeating that very same concept FOURTEEN times?”… you’re being a *tad* hypocritical by reserving the right to then do it yourself!

        And about your second point…however you want to look at it, ultimately it has been Monbiot chickening out of the original offer.

        Having read Monbiots blog just now it would appear that Plimer has 3 more days to finally answer the written part of the 1st round of the debate. Course the real reason Plimer doesn’t is because the questions expose the ludicrously bad science that has been exposed upon scientific peer-review of his book.

        Course you can prove me wrong if you like and answer one of the simpler question put to Plimer. How about the 1st one?

        1. The first graph in your book (Figure 1, page 11) shows global temperatures, as measured by the Hadley Centre (HadCRUT), falling by 0.3C between 2007 and 2008. In reality the fall recorded by the HadCRUT3 data series is 0.089C.

        How do you explain the discrepancy between the HadCRUT3 figure and your claim?

        Well – any ideas as to how Plimer got that one so wrong???
        Or has Monbiot in claiming the real figure is 0.089C?

  4. Marg
    2009/09/16 at 08:20

    Is greenfyre that angry greenie who spends all day spewing vitriol at climate skeptics and tells people that global warming is to blame for global cooling. Pls lets leave the debating to the experts rather.

  5. 2009/09/15 at 20:17

    You really need to try and keep up with events

    • 2009/09/15 at 20:44

      Yes but…my point is that Plimer (who didn’t actually want to debate with Monbiot, but could have lived with it), on the basis of his long debating experience managed to build things up so that for all intents and purposes it is Monbiot (who had no intention to actually debate with Plimer) the one chickening out of the debate.

      And now Plimer has had a huge publicity boost, as thousands more people know about his travel plans than ever before. Game, set and match.

      You know, del Potro didn’t win by playing Federer’s game…

      There is something strange about Climate Change, and it’s that the most vocal AGW scientists and thought leaders are consistently poorer in debating skills than the most vocal AGW-skeptic scientists and thought leaders. This is completely at odd with the experience I have had by following other areas where the scientific consensus has been challenged (you know the list…creationism, chemtrails, UFOs, astrology, homeopathy).

      In those fields, the consensus scientists regularly win all debates (6-0, 6-0, 6-0, if we metaphorically stick to tennis). About Climate Change, Al Gore won’t debate, Monbiot won’t debate, Pachauri won’t debate, Schmidt did debate once, lost and posted a childish blog about the pointlessness of debating. Come on, AGWers, what’s wrong with you people?

  1. 2009/09/19 at 19:34

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