2011-04-04 15:04:54Plimer Pretenses - a motherlode of Plimer rebuttals from Ian Enting
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
60.231.60.165

I got an email from Australian academic Ian Enting who has spent an extraordinary amount of work compiling an extensive rebuttal of Ian Plimer's Heaven & Earth book. Plimer is an important figure as he is quite prominent here in Australia where we're currently engaged in a fierce public debate about climate change and pricing carbon. Plimer is the go-to guy for the leader of the opposition Tony Abbott and other public figures like Cardinal Pell. Here's Enting's rebuttal:

http://www.complex.org.au/tiki-download_file.php?fileId=91 (PDF version)

I pitched to Enting the idea of making his work more accessible to the general public by repackaging his work as a series of blog posts (that could form part of the Plimer Pretenses resource). He was interested in the idea but as he's about to travel, lacked the time to implement it. I asked if he'd be interested in the SkS team having a go at taking his source material and adapting it into blog posts. I suggested we do a test run by creating an initial sample blog post for him to peruse. He was interested in this idea and emailed me a HTML version of his rebuttal so it was easier to copy and paste text:

http://www.skepticalscience.com/plimer.php

So my question - is anyone interested in attempting to adapt Enting's rebuttals into blog posts? I think it would require grouping various points into topics so each blog post hits a certain topic. A key would be not to try to include every error by Plimer but instead, clearly communicate how Plimer misleads - what his common errors are - provide a narrative for the reader so they understand Plimer's techniques as well as the science.

So this is a bit like the process of converting all my intermediate rebuttals into basic rebuttals - except it's completely different to that. Well, similar and different - this is about repackaging existing content into a more readable version that will appeal to a more general audience. The goal is to make more people aware of how Plimer misleads so that he is less of an authority figure for people like Abbott and Pell. If anyone is interested in being involved in this, post in this thread.