|Born||12 February 1946|
|Fields||Earth Science, Geology, Mining Engineering|
|Institutions||University of New England, University of Newcastle, University of Melbourne, University of Adelaide|
|Alma mater||University of New South Wales, Macquarie University|
|Thesis||The pipe deposits of tungsten-molybdenum-bismuth in eastern Australia (1973)|
|Notable awards||Eureka Prize (1995, 2002), Centenary Medal (2003), Clarke Medal (2004)|
Ian Rutherford Plimer (born 12 February 1946) is an Australian geologist, professor emeritus of earth sciences at the University of Melbourne, professor of mining geology at the University of Adelaide, and the director of multiple mineral exploration and mining companies. He has published many scientific papers, six books and is one of the co-editors of Encyclopedia of Geology. He has been an outspoken critic of both creationism and the scientific consensus on anthropogenic climate change.
- 1 Early life and education
- 2 Career
- 3 Views on climate change
- 4 Critic of creationism
- 5 Awards
- 6 Bibliography
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Early life and education
Ian Plimer grew up in Sydney and attended Normanhurst Boys' High School. He earned a B.Sc. (Hons) in mining engineering at the University of New South Wales in 1968, and a Ph.D. in Geology at Macquarie University in 1976. His doctoral thesis (from 1973) was titled, The pipe deposits of tungsten-molybdenum-bismuth in eastern Australia.
Ian Plimer started as a tutor and senior tutor in Earth sciences at Macquarie University from 1968 to 1973. After finishing his Ph.D., he became a lecturer in geology at the W.S. and L.B. Robinson University College of the University of New South Wales at Broken Hill from 1974 to 1979. Plimer then went to work for North Broken Hill Ltd. between 1979 and 1982, becoming chief research geologist. Due to his publication of a number of academic papers, he was offered a job as senior lecturer in economic geology at the University of New England in 1982. After two years, he left to become a professor and head of geology at the University of Newcastle through 1991. Plimer later served as professor and head of geology of the School of Earth Sciences at the University of Melbourne from 1991 to 2005. He was conferred as professor emeritus of earth sciences at the University of Melbourne in 2005, and is a professor of mining geology at the University of Adelaide.
He is a member of the academic advisory council for the Global Warming Policy Foundation, a member of Australians for Northern Development & Economic Vision (ANDEV), and was an allied expert for the Natural Resources Stewardship Project.
Plimer is a fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, the Australian Institute of Geoscientists and the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy; an honorary fellow of the Geological Society of London; a member of the Geological Society of Australia, the Royal Society of South Australia, the Royal Society of New South Wales and the Royal Society of Victoria.
Plimer is the former non-executive director of CBH Resources Limited from 1998 to 2010, former non-executive director of Angel Mining plc from 2003 to 2005, former director of Kimberley Metals Limited from 2008 to 2009, former director of KBL Mining Limited from 2008 to 2009 and former director of Ormil Energy Limited from 2010 to 2011.
He is currently the non-executive deputy chairman of KEFI Minerals Plc since 2006, independent non-executive director of Ivanhoe Australia Limited since 2007, chairman of TNT Mines Limited since 2010, non-executive director of Niuminco Group Limited (formerly DSF International Holdings Limited) since 2011, and non-executive director of Silver City Minerals Limited since 2011. Plimer was appointed director of Roy Hill Holdings and Queensland Coal Investments in 2012.
According to a columnist in The Age, Plimer earned over $400,000 (AUD) from several of these companies, and he has mining shares and options worth hundreds of thousands of Australian dollars. Plimer has stated that his business interests do not affect the independence of his beliefs. He has also warned that the proposed Australian carbon-trading scheme could decimate the Australian mining industry.
Views on climate change
Plimer accuses the environmental movement of being irrational, and says that the vast bulk of the scientific community, including most major scientific academies, is prejudiced by the prospect of research funding. He characterised the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as: "The IPCC process is related to environmental activism, politics and opportunism" and "the IPCC process is unrelated to science". He is critical of greenhouse gas politics and says that extreme environmental changes are inevitable. Scientists in the field say that his writings misrepresent climate data and display numerous other errors.
Volcanoes and CO2
Plimer has said that volcanic eruptions release more carbon dioxide (CO2) than human activity; in particular that submarine volcanoes emit huge amounts of CO2 and that the influence of the gases from these volcanoes on the Earth's climate is drastically under-represented in climate models. The United States Geological Survey has calculated that human emissions of CO2 are about 130 times larger than volcanic emissions, including submarine emissions. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) stated that Plimer's claim "has no factual basis." This was confirmed in a 2011 survey published in the Eos journal of the American Geophysical Union, which found that anthropogenic emissions of CO2 are 135 times larger than those from all volcanoes on Earth. A 2015 study from The Earth Institute at Columbia University published in Geophysical Research Letters indicated that the level of eruptive activity from undersea volcanoes, and by extension, the amount of CO2 released from them, varies with sea level, with greater emissions during ice ages, which the author theorized could contribute to the end of those ice ages, but that today, undersea volcanoes are relatively quiet and emit much less CO2 than humans are responsible for emitting.
Heaven and Earth
In 2009, Plimer released Heaven and Earth, a book in which he says that climate models focus too strongly on the effects of carbon dioxide, and do not give the weight he thinks is appropriate to other factors such as solar variation. Critics of the book have accused Plimer of misrepresenting sources, misusing data, and engaging in conspiracy theories. Some critics have also described the book as unscientific, and said that it contains numerous errors from which Plimer draws false conclusions.
Copenhagen Climate Challenge
During the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009 (COP15), Plimer spoke at a rival conference in Copenhagen for sceptics, called the Copenhagen Climate Challenge, which was organised by the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow and attended by 60 people. According to The Australian newspaper, Plimer was a star attraction of the two-day event. In closing his speech, Plimer stated that "They’ve got us outnumbered, but we’ve got them outgunned, and that’s with the truth."
El Niño, earthquakes and sea levels
Plimer has stated that El Niño is caused by earthquakes and volcanic activity at the mid-ocean ridges and that the melting of polar ice has nothing to do with man-made carbon dioxide. Plimer told Radio Australia that Pacific island nations are seeing changes in relative sea level not because of global warming but quite commonly due to other factors, such as "vibration consolidating the coral island sands", extraction of water, and extraction of sand for road and air strip making.
|“||I think that in response to the IPCC alarmist — in inverted commas — view, there've been quite a lot of other reputable scientific voices. Now not everyone agrees with Ian Plimer's position, but he is a highly credible scientist and he has written what seems like a very well-argued book refuting most of the claims of the climate catastrophists.||”|
— Tony Abbott, The Sydney Morning Herald
By 2011, Abbott had modified his position and stated that climate change is real and humanity makes a contribution to it.
In early 2010, Plimer and Christopher Monckton toured Australia giving lectures on climate change, and Plimer's views came to be associated with Monckton's claim that the international left created the threat of catastrophic global warming. On this association, left-wing columnist Phillip Adams commented: "Praise the lord for Lord Monckton! For Ian Plimer! For [conservative columnist] Andrew Bolt! Not only does this evil axis of scientists tell lies [about the Greenhouse Effect] but they've also doctored the weather to frighten people with huge droughts, cyclones and tsunamis to prove what they now call 'global warming'."
In 2013-14, Prof Ian Plimer donated to conservative political parties in Queensland, WA, NSW and ACT.
Critic of creationism
Plimer is an outspoken critic of creationism and is famous for a 1988 debate with creationist Duane Gish in which he asked his opponent to hold live electrical cables to prove that electromagnetism was 'only a theory'. Gish accused him of being theatrical, abusive and slanderous.
In 1990 Plimer's anti-creationist positions were criticised in Creation/Evolution journal, in an article titled "How Not to Argue with Creationists" by skeptic and anti-creationist Jim Lippard for (among other things) including false claims and errors, for "behaving poorly" in the 1988 Gish debate, for misrepresenting the views of Michael Denton, author of Evolution: A Theory in Crisis in that debate, for making unsupported (and false) claims about alleged financial fraud involving the Australian Creation Science Foundation (CSF), which led to an apology for Plimer's remarks by the magazine Media Information Australia, for falsely claiming on Australian national radio that the CSF had not submitted financial reports for 1986, 1987, or 1988, a claim which led to an apology by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and for writing a letter to a creationist following the debate with Gish in which Plimer offered unsupported sexual innuendo about Gish.
Book: Telling Lies for God
In his book Telling Lies for God: Reason vs Creationism (1994), Plimer attacked creationists in Australia, in specific the Queensland-based Creation Science Foundation (now called Creation Ministries International or CMI), saying that claims of a Biblical global flood are untenable. In the book he also criticised aspects of traditional Christian belief and literal interpretations of the Bible, with chapters titled "Scientific Fraud: The Great Flood of Absurdities" and "Disinformation Doublespeak". The ministry published a rebuttal criticising the statements made in the book.
In the late 1990s, Plimer went to court alleging misleading and deceptive advertising under the Trade Practices Act 1974 against Noah's Ark searcher Allen Roberts, arising from Plimer's attacks on Roberts' claims concerning the location of Noah's Ark. Before the trial, Plimer was forcibly ejected by police from public meetings at which Roberts spoke. The court ruled that Roberts' claims did not constitute trade or commerce, and so were not covered by the act. It found that Roberts had indeed made false and misleading claims on two of 16 instances cited by Plimer, Plimer had failed to show the other 14, and the two were minor enough to not require remedy, so Plimer lost the case, and was ordered to pay his own and Roberts' legal costs estimated at over 500,000 Australian dollars.
- 1994 - Daley Prize, for communication of science, Australian Museum 
- 1994 - Goldfields Prize, for best paper in Institution of Mining and Metallurgy 
- 1995 - Eureka Prize, for promotion of science, Australian Museum 
- 1995 - Australian Humanist of the Year, Humanist Society of New South Wales 
- 1998 - Leopold von Buch Plakette, German Geological Society 
- 2001 - Centenary Medal, Australian Government 
- 2002 - Eureka Prize, for best science book - A Short History of Planet Earth, Australian Museum 
- 2004 - Clarke Medal, Royal Society of New South Wales 
- 2005 - Rio Tinto Award, for Mining Excellence 
- 2005 - Sir Willis Connolly Medal, Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy 
- 2009 - 'Plimerite' a new phosphate mineral named in honor of Plimer for his contributions to the geology of ore deposits, in particular the Broken Hill deposit.
- Telling Lies for God - Reason vs Creationism, Ian Plimer, Random House, Sydney, 1994 (ISBN 0-09-182852-X)
- A Short History of Planet Earth, Ian Plimer, ABC Books, 2001 (ISBN 0-7333-1004-4)
- Heaven and Earth, Ian Plimer, Quartet Books (1 May 2009 hardcover ISBN 978-0-7043-7166-8) and Taylor Trade Publishing, Lanham, MD, (July 2009 Paperback ISBN 978-1-58979-472-6)
- Not for Greens: He Who Sups with the Devil Should Have a Long Spoon, Ian Pilmer, Connor Court Pub., 2014 ISBN 9781925138191
- "Professors Emeritus". University of Melbourne. Retrieved 11 July 2012.
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- Selley, Richard C.; Cocks, L. Robin M.; Plimer, Ian R., ed. (2005). Encyclopedia of Geology. Academic Press. ISBN 9780123693969.
- "Warming up". The Mining Journal. 27 March 2009. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
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- Plimer, Ian R. (1976). "The pipe deposits of tungsten-molybdenum-bismuth in eastern Australia". Retrieved 10 July 2012.
- "Geology Chair" (PDF). University News: Newsletter for the University of Newcastle (University of Newcastle) 10 (10): 5. 1984. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
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- James Randerson (4 December 2009). "Climate sceptics: are they gaining any credence? | Environment". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 7 April 2011.
- Gocher K (21 April 2010). "Volcano climate change". Rural Online. Australian Broadcasting Corporation."Professor Ian Plimer has long argued that large volcanic eruptions will release more carbon into the atmosphere than human-induced activity..."
- Plimer, Ian (29 May 2009). "Vitriolic climate in academic hothouse | The Australian". www.theaustralian.com.au. Retrieved 24 May 2010.
Some 85 per cent of volcanoes are unseen and unmeasured yet these heat the oceans and add monstrous amounts of CO2 to the oceans. Why have these been ignored?
- Plimer, Ian, Heaven and Earth: Global Warming — The Missing Science, Conner Court Publishing (2009), pp. 207-225.
- "Volcanic Gases and Their Effects". Volcano Hazards Program. U.S. Geological Survey.
- "Ian Plimer's volcano claims vaporise under questioning on Australian TV | George Monbiot | Environment | guardian.co.uk". London: guardian.co.uk. 16 December 2009. Retrieved 21 April 2010.
- "Iceland volcano gives warming world chance to debunk climate sceptic myths | Leo Hickman | Environment | guardian.co.uk". London: guardian.co.uk. 21 April 2010. Retrieved 21 April 2010.
- "Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases Under Section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act: EPA’s Response to Public Comments Volume 2: Validity of Observed and Measured Data" (PDF). US EPA. May 2009. Retrieved 23 April 2010.
- Jessica Marshall (June 2011). "Humans Dwarf Volcanoes for CO2 Emissions". Discovery News. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
- Lee, Jane J. (15 February 2015). "Seafloor Eruptions Triggered by Tides, Ice Ages". National Geographic. Retrieved 1 March 2015.
- Sheehan, Paul (13 April 2009). "Beware the climate of conformity". Smh.com.au. Retrieved 14 April 2009.
- Grubel, James (8 September 2008). "Scientists say Australian carbon targets too weak". Reuters. Retrieved 30 March 2010.
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Updated at TalkOrigins
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- Elliott P. et al. (2009). "Description and crystal structure of a new mineral — plimerite, ZnFe3+4(PO4)3(OH)5 — the Zn-analogue of rockbridgeite and frondelite, from Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia". Mineralogical Magazine 73 (1): 131–148. doi:10.1180/minmag.2009.073.1.131.
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|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Ian Plimer|
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