Ian Plimer is a professor of Mining Geology at the University of Adelaide, South Australia, and Emeritus Professor of Earth Sciences at the University of Melbourne.
He is also the director of seven mining companies, with at least two having coal interests. Mining industries, particularly coal, would be adversely affected if governments enacted climate legislation.
A geologist by trade, Professor Plimer has spent the majority of his career studying metal deposits. In his bio for TNT Mines his expertise is describe very clearly:
"Professor Plimer is a prominent Australian geologist who has spent most of his industry, consulting and scientific life working on base metal deposits, particularly in Broken Hill, epithermal gold deposits, especially in the Mediterranean, and tungsten-tin-molybdenum deposits. He has predicted and discovered a number of epithermal gold deposits in the Mediterranean."
Plimer has written articles for peer-reviewed journals, none of them, however, pertain to climate change. Plimer claims his climate beliefs, which run contrary to climate scientists, are not related to his mining interests, and are based in "pure science." A deeper investigation into his position shows Plimer's positions may be as far from pure science as one can get. Let's take a look at a few examples:
- Plimer states the rate at which climate change is occurring is no different today than it was a billion years ago -- there is no change in the speed or scope of climate variation. He also claims there is no dangerous warming happening, and that average global temperatures in the 20th Century were not abnormal. This runs contrary to findings of more than a thousand scientists working for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a body which shared the Nobel prize in 2007 for their work.
- Plimer asserts that more carbon dioxide is released annually from submerged marine volcanoes than from human activity. The U.S. Geological Survey has found that human activity produces at least 120 times as much carbon dioxide than volcanoes, annually.
- He wrote How to Get Expelled From School: A guide to climate change for pupils, parents and punters, an anti-Warmist manual for the younger reader. The book, designed to encourage students to challenge climate science, was reviewed by numerous sources and found to be scientifically inaccurate. Within the book, Plimer offers 101 questions for students to ask their teachers about climate science. Plimer's answers were so grossly misleading that the Australian government published a document to answer his questions and to serve as a reliable resource for students. In the document, the government states:
"Many of the questions and answers in Professor Plimer’s book are misleading and are based on inaccurate or selective interpretation of the science. The answers [in this document] are based on up-to-date peer reviewed science, and have been reviewed by a number of Australian climate scientists."
Plimer has also spoken at the Heartland Institute's International Conference on Climate Change. Between 1998 and 2010, the co-sponsors of this conference received more than $21 million in funding from ExxonMobil and the Koch brothers.