Photo: ABC TV
George Monbiot has graced our pixels many time before (see links below). The journalist with Britain's Guardian newspaper believes we need to take swift and decisive action, if we are to avert the effects of man-made climate change.
Ian Plimer, a geologist, is Professor of Mining Geology at the University of Adelaide, Australia, and director of three mining companies. And he is author of the controversial book "Heaven and Earth," in which he denies there is any credible science showing humankind contributes to climate change.
After Monbiot wrote a scathing review of Plimer's book, Plimer challenged Monbiot to a debate. Monbiot, in turn, challenged Plimer to answer some questions in writing. He refused and the debate was cancelled. Until now, see the two go hammer and tongs on the ABC's Lateline TV program.At the time of writing, the ABC transcript for the debate had not been uploaded, so what follows is my own transcription and may contain the odd typo.
George Monbiot is concerned because he sees people losing interest in climate change just as the need intensifies.
Writing that is now on the wall
"The evidence has hardened up to startling degree. And the science of man made global warming is now as solid as the science linking smoking with lung cancer and HIV with AIDS," he says. Then further explaining his concerns. "It seems to me that the harder the science becomes the more people fall into denial, because they simply don't want to face the writing that is now on the wall."
Copenhagen: It's Not About Science
Professor Ian Plimer has his own take on the climate change talks at Copenhagen:
"What I think is happening is that governments cannot resist the opportunity to tax us more, to set up huge bureaucracies, and this is what Copenhagen is about. It's not about science, it's not about morality, it's not about the third world. It's about money."
To which George Monbiot responds: "Let me tell you, that if this is a great global conspiracy, it's a hell of an ineffective one, because these guys [world governments] can't even make a firm agreement on climate change, let alone pursue it, so they can all extract billions and billions in taxes, as Ian Plimer suggests."
And on it goes. Claim and counterclaim. Watch and see who you find more credible.
::ABC Lateline Video Debate - Monbiot vs Plimer
(PS. Did we mention that Ian Plimer was the recipient of Rio Tinto's Award for Mining Excellence in 2005? Rio Tinto being the world's fourth-largest publicly listed mining company.)
More George Monbiot
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• George Monbiot Going to Climate Camp
• George Monbiot: "We Need 100% Cut in Carbon Emissions"
• Monbiot on Theft of our Past, Kunstler on our Future
• "Plastic Bags are a Distraction" - Monbiotr
• Let's Do The Time Warp Again: Monbiot and May vs Lomberg and Lawson
• Monbiot: Canada's Image in Tatters
• Biofuels Cannot Be Called Sustainable in UK Advert: Board Upholds George Monbiot's Complaint