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Don Aitken: Peter Ridd was sacked because he threatened the Money Making Engine at Uni

Climate Scare Machine, Green Blob funding, Climate money. Diagram. Chart.

The university grant engine is just a part of the whole Green Scare Machine. Click to enlarge.

Science Funding is monopsonistic, one-sided and poses a real threat to science. Governments are strangling research. The more money governments throw at politicized science, the tighter the deadly grip.

Read the cutting commentary from Don Aitkin — the former vice-chancellor of the University of Canberra and foundation chairman of the Australian Research Council. There’s a vested interest here, rarely discussed, that has ballooned in the last thirty years to billions of dollars.

In The Australian and on Aitken’s blog

Don’t you Dare Upset The Money Making Machine

The engine works this way. There is strong pressure on all academics to bring in research grant money for the department, the faculty and university. Those who do it well find their careers advancing quickly. To assist them there are media sections in universities whose job it is to frame the research work of academics in a way that will gain the attention of the media. Such media releases will come with as arresting a headline as the media section can devise. Buzzwords like ‘breakthrough’, ‘crucial’, ‘cutting edge’ and ‘revolution’ will be used. If possible, the staff members will appear on television, with the accompaniment of familiar stock images of laboratories and machines. The staff members will also be aware (or made aware) of the opportunity they have to advance their careers and names through writing another version of their published journal article for The Conversation, a website in which academics can write in more accessible language for an inquiring lay readership. Free from the requirements of journal house-rules, the staff members will be able to lard up their findings, call for urgency in funding and, where that is apposite, demand political attention. The output of the engine is heightened recognition of the name of the university, the academics and their area, and of course the likely prospect of more research money. All those in the engine-room think that they are just doing their jobs. The engine did not exist thirty years ago.

None of this is much of a problem in the more recondite areas of academic research, string theory in physics, for example, or advanced econometrics in the social sciences. But it is a problem, and a rapidly growing one, in areas of research where what is actually the case is contested vigorously by others. An eye has to be kept on the source of the money going to higher education research, which in our country is overwhelmingly the Australian Government. In 2014, not quite four billion dollars was available within the higher education system for research, all of it from the Commonwealth. In addition universities made another billion or thereabouts from consultancy and research for other funders. That is a lot of money. As the last Chairman of the Australian Research Grants Committee in 1987 I had a little over $30 million to parcel out. The engine has been most effective.

To have people such as Ridd decrying the hyperbole with which some research has been couched is obviously to imperil ­future grant money, and it would be understandable if academics within JCU have appealed to their vice-chancellor to shut Ridd up.

Something like this was presumably the reason Bob Carter, an internationally distinguished geologist at JCU who died in 2016, was stripped of his adjunct status (which meant he could not use the university library’s resources, a real penalty). Carter, like Ridd, was concerned to point to the errors of balance and rigour in research and publication on the reef.

There is no likely good outcome from this. Early on, I wrote to the JCU vice-chancellor to suggest she move to settle the issues quickly and away from the court.

JCU’s reputation can only worsen as the trial continues…

Read it all and comments at both The Australian and Don’s blog.

h/t to Jennifer Marohasy and Bob Fernley-Jones.

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198 comments to Don Aitken: Peter Ridd was sacked because he threatened the Money Making Engine at Uni

  • #
    Sceptical Sam

    Well, with $450 million of Commonwealth grant money going to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation rather than directly to the university sector, you can see why they are panicking.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/aap/article-5751687/No-competition-450m-reef-grant.html

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      • #
        OriginalSteve

        The green nonsense is a zero game……if money keeps being sucked up into it, eventually it has to stop because there aren’t enough taxpayers to fund it indefinitely. Funding it indefinitely will break the economy, and not actually produce anything, so we will have another Venezuela.

        If it gets bad here, and the economy crashes, we may have to go and work overseas….

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        • #
          James Murphy

          Looking at how some of the prominent Greens talk, economic collapse is exactly what they want, and they want it by any means necessary. They are now so far removed from being any form of environmentalist (not that they ever were, arguably), that they should face legal action for collecting donations under false pretences.

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          • #
            Graham

            I was rather stunned some years ago when talking with an old friend who was very active in the Greens, and whose husband in fact ran as a Greens candidate a few times, when she commented that the total collapse of the western economic system would be a good thing. They both came from quite privileged background and we’re living very comfortable lifestyles. Quite extraordinary I thought.
            The Greens are truely just the old Communist Party.

            270

          • #
            Latus Dextro

            Don Aitkin — the former vice-chancellor of the University of Canberra and foundation chairman of the Australian Research Council, is a very hard man to dismiss. After all, he is from within the institutional priestly fold. One wonders how The Con will treat him. He has nailed the crisis in science and academic institutions perfectly, joining a large but largely oppressed chorus. :
            “We are in an era of ‘policy-based evidence’. We are also in an era of a particular political correctness, where it is very difficult indeed to get funds for research if the purpose of the research seems antithetical to current government policy.”

            James Murphy @ 1.1.1.1. wrote,

            [The Greens] are now so far removed from being any form of environmentalist…

            Naturally, no pun intended. Always was about politics. The Green brand merely conflated the gamut of deep Leftist ideology with environmentalism. On a more practical political level where it is always a matter of do as I say not as I do, we witness on a daily basis the bilious green hypocrisy, the definitive eco-Left signature.

            Today is no exception — recently exposed investment in “fossil” fuels:

            According to leaked documents, environmental groups, including the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the American Museum of Natural History, and several left-leaning funds had investments in private equity firms specializing in oil and gas even as their public messaging hyped concerns about the role of fossil fuel use in climate change.

            The Greens regressive and wilful environmental destruction continues apace. Pointed out previously, you’ll be paying someone to remove the toxic solar junk from your roof … Environmentalist Sounds Alarm On Coming Wave Of Toxic Solar Panel Waste

            I think the great unravelling is upon us. It’s almost time to crack a bottle of fine champagne and enjoy the dulcet tones of the fat lady.

            80

        • #
          Jeff

          It might be time to invest overseas anyway.
          The left is blocking corporate tax cuts.
          Australia’s rate is an exceptional high 30%.
          UK 19%, Europe average 19.5%, Asia average 21.2 %, US reduced to 21%.
          Maybe a recession on the way here, if things don’t change.

          143

          • #
            Lawrie

            If there was a recession could we ensure the necessary cuts are to the various left wing groups such as the ABC, AHRC, ARC, universities, writers festivals and so on. The left never spend their own money but take it from people that do not agree with them. The left could be killed off by being deprived of funds.

            202

    • #
      Komrade Kuma

      THe LPU (Least Publishable Unit) is the trading commodity for contemporary academia and in particular cliamte scientology. Like any commodity there forms a market including a futures market is such stuff and if you reckon the financial sector loses its moral compass, try academia. Given the annual turnover of the global climate related industry (I use the term lightly) there are all the ingredients of a bubb;e sector. Little wonder that the most aggressive and intolerannt proponents of climate alarmism are the sort of folk who are collectively the least STEM literate.

      Can’t wait for the Royal Commission into climate scientology.

      50

  • #
  • #
    Jennifer Marohasy

    Thanks for reposting this, Jo.

    Bob Carter explained how science funding changed in the 1980s in an article published in the IPA Review some years ago, ’tis here:

    https://ipa.org.au/wp-content/uploads/archive/review554%20Science%20is%20not%20a%20consensus.pdf

    “Between the 1950s and the 1970s, Australia built a national capability in science which, given the small size of the population, was outstanding. At
    that time, leadership in science matters often came from CSIRO or university researchers, but excellent science was also accomplished within
    many State or Federal government agencies. As an example, all States supported some type of geological survey organization (often under the um-
    brella of a Department of Mines or Primary Industry), which was responsible for systematic geological mapping and mineral and other resource
    surveys, and which provided the government with generally dispassionate advice on related matters.

    “With the 1980s, however, came a restructuring of the way in which such groups operated. Public-good programme funding for the activities of
    government science agencies shrank,and was replaced by funding for individual projects with limited lifetimes,a management technique which turns
    out to be in large part responsible also for the ongoing imbroglio at the Australian Museum. An individual scientist’s salary thus often comes to be
    funded as a part-charge against several different projects, and when a project ends, so does the salary. So, too, comes an abrupt end to the chances of a gov-
    ernment getting disinterested advice on science matters of the day…

    Read the article, to find-out more.

    552

    • #
      Ted O'Brien.

      The ACTU spent the whole of the 1970s preventing Australian firms from innovating. As a result Australia’s new science was sold off to overseas interest for a song.

      It was especially galling then to hear Hawke calling in the later 1980s for Australia to become the clever country. Before he came along Australia was a remarkably clever country.

      In December 1986 the Hawke government appointed a partisan board of. Management for the CSIRO, with Neville Wran the first non scientist to hold the position of chairman.

      152

      • #
        WXcycles

        I hear he ended child poverty, while expanding the Federal debt to $96 billion, and givinv us interest rates at 17% and the last recession. Mal speaks very highly of him, a policy man, a great reformer, a visionary for the times.

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  • #

    Academia, corporate business, media, govt and admin have formed a kind of closed system. Like a planet, fashionably green in colour but with little evidence of complex life.

    Now your banker, CEO, media chief, president or mandarin are interchangeable and it’s hard to know where one authority stops and the other starts. Your heroic capitalist is now a loss-making data-collector for Big Brother…when he’s not actually Big Brother. Your blear-eyed scholar, on the other hand, had better show a good bottom line and some suitable “findings”, even if Lysenko would find them a bit too predictable for realism.

    But we’re still a democracy. You can have any flavour of Macron so long as its Macron.

    253

  • #
    PeterS

    Yes it’s pretty obvious why he was sacked. I just hope he has the will to continue the fight and brings the University into account and sues them for millions. What really should happen of course is the people who made the decision to sack him should be fined heavily and lose their jobs. THat’s what would happen in a fair and honest world, especially in the real scientific community. Of course we all know that the science community these days is a mixed bag, including charlatans, scam artists and cowards to their own cause.

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    • #
      Rupert Ashford

      Good comment. As long as we can rely on “Big Law” not to be in on this as well…laws can be “interpreted” unfortunately.

      152

      • #
        Lawrie

        President Trump has been found guilty of breaking the first amendment by barring some from commenting on his twitter account. Google, Wiki and several other social media platforms have been systematically closing down those who do not toe the party line. Milo was barred for example. That must now be seen as infringing on the first amendment and following precedent those platforms should also be charged, forced to reinstate those barred and forced to allow any comment. Marvellous how the law can be a double edged sword. I just hope a few people start to swing it.

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        • #
          Kinky Keith

          I hear that its impossible to get a sensible comment allowed on the ABC blogs.

          Of course if you toe the party line, no problem.

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          • #
            William

            Of course, that also holds true of “The Australian”.
            My postings last about 30 seconds before they are deleted.
            On weekends, they last about ten seconds.

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        • #
          PeterS

          So I presume then that the same ruling can be applied to all other twitter accounts, including Obama’s. What the dumb leftists can’t see is every time they open their mouths they shoot themselves in the foot.

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          • #
            sophocles

            PeterS said:

            every time they open their mouths they shoot themselves in the foot.

            It only hurts once. Every time, after the first one, all successive projectiles just go through the original hole, so they don’t notice.

            They just keep limping along …

            71

        • #
          WXcycles

          Stumped why people read twitter but people eat tofu as well

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        • #
          Latus Dextro

          Google, Wiki and several other social media platforms have been systematically closing down those who do not toe the party line.

          Add AMAZON and YOUTUBE to that list. Their demonetising (demonising) tactics against anyone expressing rational discourse against the crony capitalist eco-Marxist polemic is in full operation. They and those you mention, along with so many others are categorically against free speech, signalling clearly their comfort with a totalitarian globalist agenda.

          61

          • #
            Latus Dextro

            The search engine bias in Google is well established. It is sound and wise policy to detach from Google, Gmail, Farcebook, Amazon, Twattersphere et al. before becoming too entangled or ensnared. There are many alternate and adequate providers.

            A Method for Detecting Bias in Search Rankings, with Evidence of Systematic Bias Related to the 2016 Presidential Election. Epstein et al. 2017.

            “We have found that between May and November 2016, search results displayed in response to a wide range of election-related search terms were, on average, biased in Mrs. Clinton’s favor in all 10 search-result positions. This bias could not be accounted for by the bias in the search terms themselves. We also found different levels of bias in different search engines, as well as evidence of demographically-targeted bias. We don’t know what caused these patterns of bias … “

            And the deplorable electorate that voted for DJT still defeated the Left globalist kollectiv.

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    • #
      Curious George

      The Illustrious JCU should be disbanded. It could be founded again, but only in a new place, under a new name, and with new people. Continuity has to be avoided at all costs.

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      • #
        Latus Dextro

        Jordan Peterson suggests an online University. That model might work quite well as a replacement for JCU. The trick is to disband the totalitarian University administration.

        Now Peterson is working on, and accepting donations for, an online university. This was a plan he teased out over the past year; now he’s begun development on its first “module,” according to recent interviews. The institution would revolve mostly around the humanities and the great books of Western civilization. It would also be, as he’s said in his lectures and interviews, “autonomous and self-improving, a minimum of administrative overhead, extremely low cost, widespread availability, crowd-sourced in its structure and autonomously self-improving.”

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        • #
          C. Paul Barreira

          Are not “online” and “university” contrary terms.

          How do tutorials—the crux of university life—operate online?

          We need now for the universities themselves to shrink just as revival and expansion of the humanities is very urgent indeed. This requires a serious and devoted effort. Science cannot revive without this. Coincidentally, we require urgent rebiblification of the universities, that is, rebuilding and expansion of libraries. Is that asking too much? Is there a real choice?

          10

  • #
    thingadonta

    Ponzi schemes don’t function well if the people within the scheme don’t collectively protect it.

    162

  • #

    We were discussing a certain Dutch university – these days very green, natuurlijk – on another thread.

    Now, it is well known that a certain Dutch corporation, dominant in the life and economy of that nation, was rather naughty in its dealings with Germany in the years around WW2. Even Dutch royalty had a few PR probs over this pursuant to the war.

    But it couldn’t have been as bad as all that. You see, the university got the very well paid gig of writing the history of that company with the full support of that company. I’ve haven’t read the book (though it could be mine for a few hundred), but I’m assured that the chapter on WW2 is crafted with great sensitivity.

    And the relationship between that university and that corporation is excellent to this very day. Abundant yummies for Big Green help keep the activists and coal carts from the door, do they not? And if you’ve got lots of oil to sell you don’t want any solid fuel hogging the market. That hard stuff can cost you more than a million activists.

    Not that any of this support/funding could colour a three volume scholarly history.

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  • #
    John F. Hultquist

    This all sounds very true, although I was only involved from about 1970 to 1980.
    I’ve been close enough to know it got worse.
    In the USA, agencies direct research via a “Request for Proposal” for research. [A so called RFP when I was there.] A researcher with an “out of the box” idea has nowhere to go for funds, except maybe to a private foundation.

    In the 1960s, public colleges were inexpensive. That’s changed.

    102

  • #
    robert rosicka

    Publish or perish .

    52

  • #
    manalive

    Don Aitkin:

    The staff members will also be aware (or made aware) of the opportunity they have to advance their careers and names through writing another version of their published journal article for The Conversation, a website in which academics can write in more accessible language for an inquiring lay readership …

    They certainly do that with bells on and the common theme of the articles one way or another is that the state of GBR is at best precarious and heading for destruction only to be avoided by more money, including for research.

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  • #
    Bob Fernley-Jones

    There is also an interesting article at Quadrant Online; James Cook’s hip-pocket nerve, starting with a table of funds for JCU. The opening lines are:

    “If Education Minister Simon Birmingham is paying more attention to his portfolio than seems to be the norm with the Turnbull cabinet, two articles in today’s Australian should give him pause.”.

    Also, Zed Seselja, Assistant Minister for Science has spoken against the sacking on the Bolt Report here. He reports to Michaelia Cash Minister for Jobs and Innovation but I can’t find anything from her on it.

    142

    • #
      Bob Fernley-Jones

      Dear red-thumb,

      What is it you disagree with?

      The big sums of money going to the modestly named ‘ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies’, the suggestion that the Minister for Education should show an interest, the protest by the Assistant Minister of Science that there should be debate (rather than voting on a consensus) in the science, or what?

      I’m puzzled.

      213

      • #
        RickWill

        It appears the red thumber is very selective; that is not usually the case. Maybe someone did not hover the curser at the right spot; gave red rather than intended green.

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        • #
          sophocles

          You could always go through and give everyone the red thumber has red thumbed an extra green thumb :-)

          61

      • #
        Another Ian

        Bob

        It was felt to be your turn

        92

      • #
        el gordo

        The red thumb is a variable auto bot, do not take offence.

        73

    • #
      toorightmate

      Zed is impressive. Ms Cash is extremely unimpressive.

      31

  • #
    pat

    read all:

    22 May: ABC: Great Barrier Reef $444m budget funding awarded to small foundation without tender process
    By David Chen and Laura Gartry
    Under questioning in Senate Estimates, departmental officials revealed $444 million had been given to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation without it having to go through a tender process.
    The funding is proposed to be given in one payment, which is the largest donation that any Australian Government has made to a single foundation for environmental projects.

    Labor senator Kristina Keneally questioned why the funding wasn’t allocated using a public grant process which was “competitive, open and transparent” so others, including the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA), could apply.
    Senator Keneally said the foundation has six full-time members, and five part-time members.
    In comparison, GBRMPA told the ABC it had 206 full-time equivalent employees.

    The Great Barrier Reef Foundation idea was floated by a small group of businessmen at an airport waiting for a flight and set up in 2000.
    The board is comprised of representatives of Australian business, science and philanthropy and is supported by companies including BHP, Qantas, Rio Tinto, Google and Orica.

    The foundation is headed up by former Commonwealth Bank of Australia chairman Dr John M Schubert.
    “The Government still can’t explain why the money went to the foundation instead of being managed through the department or the Marine Park Authority, nor can it explain why the decision was taken without the foundation even being aware that it was being considered to carry out work on a scale completely beyond its historic capacity,” Senator Keneally said…READ ALL
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-22/great-barrier-reef-funding-labor-accuse-due-diligence/9785782

    heard Ove Hoegh-Guldberg on ABC radio this morning without knowing who it was, and it was all about the money going to the Foundation. all sounded rather odd. from memory, interviewer was Hamish Macdonald and it was either AM or Breakfast, but I can find nothing on the ABC program websites for today or any previous programs I’ve checked.

    (it was only at the end of the interview that the names of interviewer and interviewee were mentioned. basically the interview took the Labor position above)

    80

    • #
      toorightmate

      What are we doing spending $444million on the GBR when we could be simply giving it to Indonesia to purchase more fighter aircraft?

      41

    • #
      Geoff Sherrington

      Pat,
      John Schubert headed up Esso Australia in the early 1990s before his banking stint.
      In those days there were fine industry/academia/CSIRO research collaborations like AMIRA. Great research was done by this pooling and the bang for the buck in exploration for example was among the best in the world and the best of times before or after.
      In those days major corporations were making strides pro free enterprise, fearful of government regulators and dismissive of things green.
      These days it is hard to characterise how influential corporations react to greenish. Some have sold their soulS. However, there are still many benefits in a move to fund research of unix and CSIRO from industry and not from government especially the socialist type that is now pervasive. Geoff

      31

      • #
        toorightmate

        Everyone has forgotten the great work AMIRA did on environmental issues.

        11

      • #

        Geof, know of John Schubert. He went to Melb. UNI IN 1960s getting a degree in Chemical Engineering, I think his PhD is also in Chem. ENG. He knows about oil &z gas. Then he eas CEO of Pioneer International. So knows about Uranium (Mary Ksthleen mine) and quarrying construction msterials. He would have better knowledge of what happens aroind the GBR than anyone at JCU with respect to ocesns, climate, geology etc

        31

  • #
    michael james

    JCU does not care where the money comes from. Grant from the USA military for brain damage research.

    11

  • #
    MuzoftheRiverina

    That’s why 97% of climate scientists agree with the Anthropogenic Global Warming hypothesis, it’s where the money is, where career advancement is.

    Ridd, and Carter before him are two of the very few that have displayed integrity and credulity.

    Looking forward to where this imbroglio goes. Like Aitken I believe,no matter the result, JCU is on a hiding to nothing.

    302

    • #
      Another Ian

      “where career advancement is.”

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walking_the_plank

      52

    • #
      PeterS

      Well just imagine if someone was abut to come out with undeniable and definitive proof that mankind is not causing any global warming at all and never will. I bet his life would be in danger. That’s what big money does to some people with big egos. There’s just too much money and power at stake for such a revelation to be released to the public. That’s why we are continually bombarded with so much propaganda from all directions, be it at school, Universities, politics, MSM, high ranking scam artists, many companies that are making massive profits from the hoax, etc..

      222

    • #
      Mickey Reno

      MuzoftheRiverina, I hate grammar flames, and this is not one. You have the sign wrong. It is incredulity that Ridd is displaying. Credulity is akin to gullibility, a bad trait in any scientist.

      10

      • #
        tom0mason

        Mickey Reno
        I’m credulously comforted by your creditable correction of ‘credulity’ catachresis.

        00

  • #
    Bob Fernley-Jones

    Of course, James Cook University is understandably anxious to protect the reputation of who is described in their 2017 report as “Distinguished Professor Terry Hughes” with whom Prof Ridd has much in disagreement. Hughes is Director of the modestly named ‘ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies’.

    The ARC (Australian Research Council) provides part of the generous funding for that centre, which heads a list of 31 centres or facilities in that JCU report. On the other hand, the formerly Prof ‘Ridd’s ‘Marine Geophysics Laboratory’ has no mention and has a diminutive website (not yet closed down) compared with that of Prof Hughes. (The relativity would seem to be a proportionality to available funding).

    Distinguished Prof Hughes made his agenda clear back in 2012 when he convened the 12th International Coral Reef Symposium in Cairns where beforehand he ingeniously had a consensus that he set-up with activists in the USA that was endorsed by over 2,000 even before the 5-day event opened in Cairns.

    Hughes was well pleased in his closing address and party here

    Have your vomit bag handy

    Another money spinner was with various field trips at over $2,000 per person extending up to three weeks after the symposium closure that must have been nice, and presumably funded by the 80 represented countries involved.

    252

    • #
      Another Ian

      More research – JCU-style?

      “Delingpole: No, Cute Puffins Are Not About to Go Extinct Because Climate Change”

      http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2018/05/24/delingpole-no-cute-puffins-are-not-about-to-go-extinct-because-climate-change/

      “#Fakenews environmental crisis stories like this, repeated day in day out, have a cumulative impact in generating precisely the kind of mass hysteria which has led to the great climate change scare.”

      62

    • #
      WXcycles

      For years now spokes-people from JCU have been pushing fake and pseudo-sciencey ‘news’ to media. It’s what they do. Any time you see a person from JCU in the media, it’s always the same unrelenting hysterics and hyperbole, pretending to be concerned ‘science’. Just look at the absurd clown in Attenborough’s BBC Blue Planet II, that moron dropping sea shells in a fish tank of hydrochloric acid, as fizzing off CO2 off sea shells, and pretending that represented the oceans now, when it’s alkaline.

      Well that idiot was from JCU too. That’s where you get them from. They make ‘em at JCU. And they’re real cheap.

      And then JCU wonders why they’re now openly regarded as cons, fakers and marine-science jokes, scaring-up yet more of the poorer people’s tax money with a confected conglomeration of psuedo-science ‘news’ baloney.

      80

  • #
    TdeF

    “There is no likely good outcome from this. Early on, I wrote to the JCU vice-chancellor to suggest she move to settle the issues quickly and away from the court.”

    Fully agree. Clearly ignored.

    So the American Vice Chancellor Sandra Harding must want fame, even notoriety, name in the papers, TV interviews, photos in and out of court, mentions in a number of parliaments, vision at the trial, to win and tough it out. Fame. Great for a CV and with her honorary PhD.

    According to JCU “As Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Sandra Harding is the equivalent of the Chief Executive Officer of a substantial company.”

    A win would be great for that tough image. A loss and it is arguably the wrong sort of fame. Lousy each way for the University and for Peter Ridd too, win or lose. Reminiscent of Sol Trujillo or Andy Vesey of AGL blow up Liddell fame. You can always take the money, go home and blame the Australian hicks.

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    • #
      TdeF

      As for the good name of the University? If that is what Ms Harding says she is protecting, you must be kidding. The reputation of James Cook University will get world fame. For firing an honest man simply for making his views known. Professor Ridd is the one trying to protect the reputation of the University and demanding honesty. The Vice Chancellor will make the University famous for all the wrong reasons.

      As for that Billion dollars a year for ‘fake news’ and made up science and pier review. Watch that money dry up too.

      There is also the fundamental question of whether what Professor Ridd says is right. If it is right and he has tried to make these views known within the university, this is the stuff of financial scandal, not science. While the University is going to try to pretend this is a justifiable disciplinary action, it is just too clear it is an extreme and punitive action based solely on his opinions and the publicity given to them. An employer does not own people. The unfair dismissal charge will stick and the Vice Chancellor will be the one packing her bags.

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  • #
    Peter C

    Is Professor William Laurance able to comment on this?

    I hope he is still a reader of the blog.

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    • #
      Peter C

      NO further response from William Laurance.

      However there were two responses on the Don Aitken blog that I thought were interesting:

      JMO

      May 23, 2018 at 6:13 pm

      Ad a former JCU student I see this as evidence based academic malfeasance and feel ashamed this university has sacked the late Bob Carter and now Peter Ride. Thanks Don for your article in today’s OZ. I hope your representation, as a former VC, will put pressure on the right people to resolve this embarrassing situation.

      Reply

      JimboR
      May 23, 2018 at 6:46 pm

      “Not many professors in Australian universities have ever been fired, and sacking should require some extraordinary misbehaviour on the part of the professor. ”

      How about repeatedly breaching the Code of Conduct (a non-negotiable code for all employees at the University), even after several warnings? Shouldn’t that be extraordinary enough? Here’s the Code of Conduct: https://www.jcu.edu.au/policy/corporate-governance/code-of-conduct-university-council. Do you think he breached it?

      JMO says he was a former student of the University and was very critical of the JCU. JimboR does not reveal his association. However his familiarity with the JCU Code of Conduct suggest that he may work there.

      I had a look at the Code of Conduct. I do not see how Peter Ridd has breached it but others might be able to enlighten me.

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        The Code of Conduct is a requirement of zthe Public Sector Ethics Act Qld. This act requires conduct to br apolitical which is not mentioned in the JCU code. It is suggested that is the administration of JCU who have breached their code and the Act.

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    ‘Academia, corporate business, media, govern-mint
    ‘n administration have formed a kind of closed system.’

    When hip pocket nerve and
    noble cause corruption inter-sect,
    science goes out the window, Dwight
    Eisenhower said it would be so,
    Michael Mann, JCU, Al Gore and Co
    demon-strate ’tis thus.

    https://www.acsh.org/news/2017/12/26/eisenhowers-less-famous-warning-government-controlled-science-12219

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    Chad

    Lets not be surprised if the GBRF decides to “partner”. with JCU in some form or other to develop research programs for fund allocations !.

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      Sceptical Sam

      I Agree. That could happen. However, should it, then at least it would put another set of eyes over the quality of the research and, in addition, probably focus the research onto areas that actually need investigating.

      At the moment the much of the university research focus is determined by the academic interest of the grant proponent irrespective of the need. And, so many of the current funders let the researchers know what they’re hopeful they’ll find, so as to underpin their broader agenda.

      One would hope that the Foundation might set up a review panel to ensure the research being undertaken meets strict scientific integrity standards. Those members could well include academics with proven integrity like Ridd, Salby, Evans, de Freitas etc.

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    Another Ian

    Somewhat O/T but little sign of this here IMO

    ” Ken (Kulak)
    May 23, 2018 at 7:09 pm

    Charles Krauthammer finally woke up?

    This is from Charles Krauthammer who did not go for Trump, now read what he thinks of him now.

    To my friends “of a different persuasion” I’m not trying to sell anything or anyone but I do feel this is an interesting take on our
    very controversial president who I truly believe is not Republican or Democrat.

    A different take on Donald Trump: (a non-political agenda)

    Trump Is Not A Liberal or Conservative, He’s a “Pragmatist.” (Definition: A pragmatist is someone who is practical and focused on reaching a goal. A pragmatist usually has a straightforward, matter-of-fact approach and doesn’t let emotion distract him or her.)

    “We recently enjoyed a belated holiday dinner with friends at the home of other friends. The dinner conversation varied from discussions about antique glass and china to theology and politics.

    At one point, reference was made to Donald Trump being a conservative, to which I responded that Trump is not a conservative.

    I said that I neither view nor do I believe Trump views himself as a conservative. I stated it was my opinion that Trump is a pragmatist.

    He sees a problem and understands it must be fixed. He doesn’t see the problem as liberal or conservative, he sees it only as a problem. That is a quality that should be admired and applauded, not condemned. But I get ahead of myself.

    Viewing problems from a Liberal perspective has resulted in the creation of more problems, more entitlement programs, more victims, more government, more political correctness, and more attacks on the working class in all economic strata.

    Viewing things according to the so-called Republican conservative perspective has brought continued spending and globalism to the detriment of American interests and well being, denial of what the real problems are, weak, ineffective, milquetoast, leadership that amounts to Barney Fife Deputy Sheriff, appeasement oriented and afraid of its own shadow. In brief, it has brought liberal ideology with a pachyderm as a mascot juxtaposed to the ass of the Democrat Party.

    Immigration isn’t a Republican problem, it isn’t a Liberal problem, it is a problem that threatens the very fabric and infrastructure of America. It demands a pragmatic approach not an approach that is intended to appease one group or another.

    The impending collapse of the economy wasn’t a Liberal or Conservative problem, it is an American problem.

    That said, until it is viewed as a problem that demands a common sense approach to resolution, it will never be fixed because the Democrats and Republicans know only one way to fix things and the longevity of their impracticality has proven to have no lasting effect.

    Successful businessmen like Donald Trump find ways to make things work, they do not promise to accommodate.

    Trump uniquely understands that China’s manipulation of currency is not a Republican problem or a Democrat problem. It is a problem that threatens our financial stability and he understands the proper balance needed to fix it. Here again, successful businessmen, like Trump, who have weathered the changing tides of economic reality understand what is necessary to make business work, and they, unlike both sides of the political aisle, know that if something doesn’t work, you don’t continue trying to make it work hoping that at some point it will.

    As a pragmatist, Donald Trump hasn’t made wild pie-in-the-sky promises of a cell phone in every pocket, free college tuition, and a $15 hour minimum wage for working the drive-through at Carl’s Hamburgers.

    I argue that America needs pragmatists because pragmatists see a problem and find ways to fix them. They do not see a problem and compound it by creating more problems.

    You may not like Donald Trump, but I suspect that the reason some people do not like him is because:

    (1) he is antithetical to the “good old boy” method of brokering backroom deals that fatten the coffers of politicians;

    (2) they are unaccustomed to hearing a president speak who is unencumbered by the financial shackles of those who he owes vis-a-vis
    donations;

    (3) he is someone who is free of idiomatic political ideology;

    (4) He says what he is thinking, is unapologetic for his outspoken thoughts, speaks very straightforward using everyday language that can be understood by all (and is offensive to some who dislike him anyway) making him a great communicator, for the most part, does what he says he will do and;

    (5) he is someone who understands that it takes more than hollow promises and political correctness to make America great again.

    Listening to Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders talk about fixing America is like listening to two lunatics trying to “out crazy” one another.

    Jeb Bush, John Kasich and Marco Rubio are owned lock, stock, and barrel by the bankers, corporations, and big dollar donors funding their campaigns. Bush can deny it, but common sense tells anyone willing to face facts is that people don’t give tens of millions without expecting something in return.

    We have had Democrats and Republican ideologues and what has it brought us?

    Are we better off today or worse off? Has it happened overnight or has it been a steady decline brought on by both parties?

    I submit that a pragmatist is just what America needs right now. People are quick to confuse and despise confidence as arrogance, but that is common among those who have never accomplished anything in their lives (or politicians who never really solved a problem, because it’s better to still have an “issue(s) to be solved,” so re-elect me to solve it, (which never happens) and those who have always played it safe (again, all politicians) not willing to risk failure, to try and achieve success).

    Donald Trump put his total financial empire at risk in running for president and certainly did not need or even want the job; that says it all.

    He wants success for the U.S. and her citizens because he loves his country.”

    http://www.smalldeadanimals.com/index.php/2018/05/23/art-of-the-deal-8/#comment-1115815

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      robert rosicka

      Brilliant read thank you for finding and sharing it .

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        Kinky Keith

        :-)

        America has done good.

        Can we do similar?

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          PeterS

          Impossible for two reasons. One, Australia is far more to the left than the US so a Trump-like figure would be hated as much if not more so that conservative Abbott. Two, we don’t have anyone like Trump – not even close. What billionaire would want to become PM given all the factional groups on the left in both major parties? Perhaps someone might rise out of the ashes after we had our crash and burn scenario, and our political system has gone through a necessary reset.

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            Dennis

            The Weekend Australian

            COMMENT
            The revolution has started

            JANET ALBRECHTSEN
            The intellectual free thinkers have stormed the barricades and are fighting back against the champions of left-liberal mindlessness.

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              PeterS

              Yes I’ve been following some of them on YouTube for some time. However, I don’t really see much activity here in Australia. That’s why I keep saying wake up Australia. The U S already has woken up and is the reason why Trump was elected, but I also suspect they will go back to sleep as voters always have very short memories. Many politicians have relied on that fact for a long time.

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    • #
      PeterS

      Trump Is Not A Liberal or Conservative, He’s a “Pragmatist.” (Definition: A pragmatist is someone who is practical and focused on reaching a goal. A pragmatist usually has a straightforward, matter-of-fact approach and doesn’t let emotion distract him or her.)

      What happened to the good old Australian tradition of calling a spade a spade, very similar to the above? Anyone remember that? I do. We’ve lost it, partly thanks to the politicians and partly thanks to shoddy business practices.

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      ColA

      Excellent post, I agree completely, Trump is a “Pragmatist”

      Exchange words;
      America to Australia;
      Democrat to Labor;
      Republican to LNP;

      and Trump to …….. no wonder we are in trouble

      hmmm no wonder Aunty and MSM hates him so much! = GROSS Trumpaphobia!!

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        Kinky Keith

        Great summary!

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        PeterS

        Well there is one way to complete the list:
        Trump to Trump.

        In other words make Australia another state of the US. Yes I know almost impossible but it would be a blessing at least for a short while depending who eventually replaces Trump. They eventually could have someone worse than Obama, if that is at all possible. The thing to remember though is voters have extremely short memories. We know that here from experience.

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          Kinky Keith

          A very interesting suggestion.

          Especially compared to the alternative of being all but owned by China.

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          WXcycles

          ” … In other words make Australia another state of the US. … ”
          —–

          Absolutely N.O.T.

          I’m not the slightest bit interested in being a pawn appendage of some arrogant empire on the other side of the planet, once again.

          If you want to hero-worship Trump, them emmigrate to the USA, and renounce your Australian citizenship.

          Not a healthy sign either to be sucking-up to disgusting politicians, anywhere, unless you aftually like being a mere human condom.

          They sure don’t like you, as you like them. Stop falling for banner slogans and grandstanding gestures. The swelling speaches are ‘written’ by algos for goodness sake!

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            Kinky Keith

            Well apparently that comment did what it was meant to do; get you thinking.

            The context of the discussion was that we had been sold down the river by our politicians in so many areas and coupling that with the expansion of China into newly annexed land was threatening.

            With a population of 22 million we would be of no more significance to the Chinese military than a small back country province on their mainland. Very vulnerable.

            We really need to think about our priorities in our defence and alliance.

            KK

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              WXcycles

              Too much hystetia though, Taiwan has similar population, is within artillery spitting distanceof mainland China, no nukes, nor umbrella, and it remains defiant, free and quasi-independent, regardless.

              Should they become a State of USA?

              Israel also maintains borders and expanded them against overwhelming numbers, in multiple wars, against multiple states simultaneously. Are they a state of the USA. No, they wouldn’t even consider that an option, they’d rather face defeat, as that’s how you earn soverignty and independence. It’s the fight in the dog, not the dig in the fight.

              Don’t be so defeatist.

              And a back province in Chija does not require a very large navy and intercontinental bombers to take, or take back, the nearby police units can mostly do that.

              Strategic depth and advantages is sonething Australia has is spades, and Israel and Taiwan do not. Plus we have standoff distance, outstanding intel and early warning sensors and comms, and very advanced anti-ship and anti-bomber capabilities, plus numerous powerfully armed close friends who share many mutual steategic objectives and imperitives. Plus our fighting forces are very professional and highly motivated and a proud force.

              It is laughably ludicrous to suggest that China would find Australia to be a conquerable push-over, when they can’t even deal with a much weaker Taiwan in a vastly weaker strategic position.

              There are far to many fools in Australia who carry on about Trump, like he’s some sort of political messiah, no, he’s just USA’s version of Silvio Berlusconi, at best. A good and timely change of agendas, but no messiah, just a very naughty boy.

              And that comment did not get me thinking, I already think, which is why I reject those ideas and see them as counterproductive and unbalanced.

              We not need anyone’s foreign help to manage our own business, we just need to believe in our own decisions and plans, rather than be weak, give up and try to farm our security off to foreigners, which is the same mistake we made before WWII, and the Poms were nowhere to bee seen.

              And guess what, we had to trust our own decisions and our own emergency redefined strategic planning, and act independently of our no-show messiah, to survive.

              To hell with trusting the Ameticans to be our saviors, or strategic mentors.

              We have our own strategic regional imperitives, that Trump and Co simply don’t understand, or care much about. Stuff that.

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                Kinky Keith

                Well it seems that it did get you to think, but the main issue for me was the appalling lack of any action or planning for our country by our politicians.

                Maybe there was a little bit of sarcasm there in that if we don’t get our politicians to attend to business we may become a takeover target.

                We have:

                No motor vehicle fuel reserves.
                No capacity to refine oil.
                No dams.
                No reliable future electricity.
                No plans for the future.
                No trustworthy politicians.

                And as far as China taking us over the most important reason is that many rich and mobile Chinese have stashed a lot of their wealth outside of their homeland, perhaps even Australia.

                They no doubt see us as a safe bank, a bit like Switzerland, so these influential people will want us to be as separate from their homeland management as possible.

                KK

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        RAH

        I wonder if you guys have a handle on what just happened today. Trump canceling the summit was telling China to stick it where the sun doesn’t shine. For the first time the US is playing hardball with the Chinese on trade. Fat little NORK Kim is a Chinese bargaining chip. The trade negotiations are contentious and a summit with Kim was to be a quid pro quo. The Chinese failed to realize they are dealing with a different animal and Trump can’t be bought off even with a potential Nobel Peace Prize (which he wouldn’t have gotten. Reagan drove the Soviets down and the socialist Norwegians gave it to Gorbachev)

        Anyway, the Chinese are playing Chinese Checkers and Trump is playing Chess. And Trump is playing to win and I think he will win. What is the prize? A whole bunch of manufacturing jobs returning to the US. It is so refreshing to see a US POTUS actually fight for welfare of the common citizen of our nation. And as Trump has said, this is not just an economic issue because economic security is a big part of national security.

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        • #
          Ted O'Brien.

          Sorry, RAH. I can only give you one green thumb for that. It deserves more!

          ” It is so refreshing to see a US POTUS actually fight for welfare of the common citizen…this is not just an economic issue because economic security is a big part of national security.”

          Absolutely true!

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          PeterS

          RAH, I’ve been told Trump’s book on “The Art of the Deal” explains it. I haven’t read it but I like to just to see if it confirms my suspicions about the man, which are both good and bad, mostly good.

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  • #
    Ruairi

    In our times, an ominous sign,
    And for science, a portent malign,
    That academics must yield,
    To research in a field,
    If it follows the government line.

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    Sean

    The money engine to research grant access comes at a high cost but not necessarily where you might expect to find it. In the US, there are two trends in education that makes no sense. One is the constant increase in tuition and fees such that the cost for a year of college exceeds the annual household income in many places. The second one is the proliferation of adjunct professors who are doing the lion’s share of lower level and undergraduate teaching in many big research universities. These people are paid $3,000 per class taught per semester and often teach at multiple institutions to avoid benefit payments. These adjuncts with PhD’s then are making similar wages to fast food clerks but student are paying for 5 star dining. Where is the money going? It turns out that a lot of money is going to “internal research” rather than education. Unfortunately “internal research” is often a euphemism for grant proposal writing by the permanent faculty that should be teaching students.

    How long will it take for students to realize they are taking on massive amounts of debt to fund faculty they never see so said faculty can spend half their time writing grant proposals for research funding and the other half of their time doing government funded research projects? What would higher education look like if the full time tenure track faculty actually taught classes as their primary endeavor? How many administrators would be made redundant since half the research grant money is spent on administration? Would students get a better education at lower cost? Could faculty actually become independent thinkers again rather than slaves to a narrative?

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      Funding add-ministration and treadmill-research, what a farce!

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      John F. Hultquist

      If you have access to the Wall Street Journal, read this:
      LINK

      As many as one in four students at some elite U.S. colleges are now classified as disabled, largely because of mental-health issues, entitling them to a widening array of special accommodations like longer time to take exams.

      This is not the fullest explanation of where the money goes, nor of the dilution of the teaching/learning experience. There is much more not mentioned, such as many levels of administrators.
      When an instructor has to give a special test to a single student, meet and discuss very simple concepts {example: why Earth has seasons} with students that are failing and not likely to be back the next semester, there is little time left for good students, thinking, preparation, and so on.

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      Another Ian

      Sean

      ” One is the constant increase in tuition and fees such that the cost for a year of college exceeds the annual household income in many places.”

      In my experience tuition at US universities was much higher for out-of-state students. Sounds like it must be really spectacular now.

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    RAH

    Was reading Joe Bastardi’s collection of thoughts in his book Climate Chronicles

    His alma mater is Penn State (A big American Football school). When he graduated in 1978 the football program brought in more money than academia. But the coach of the football team has to keep winning to keep his job. Now Academia brings in substantial money, but the academics can lose every game and keep their jobs.

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    KinkyKeith

    On an earlier thread one of those potentially affected by the Peter Ridd sacking has written a long descriptive piece to be found at:
    http://joannenova.com.au/2018/05/james-cook-uni-goes-nuclear-on-free-speech-professor-peter-ridd-sacked/#comment-2008075

    Tuition fees in the US are much higher than here and a number of people have commented on this here.

    Other observations regarding the long dissertation:

    ” Tragic.

    More padding and Verbalese.

    A few years ago I looked through the course requirements for a number of University courses in the USA.

    The courses checked were those related to climate change and environmentalism.

    None of those I found required university study in Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Modelling or Geology.

    Without these very basic skills there is no capacity to understand or act as an “expert” on the subject of CO2 induced climate change.

    What those people are able to do is strictly limited to collating the “research” of others and then write descriptive material which is unverified and unverifiable.

    This you have clearly demonstrated above where the volume of material, to you, seems to be more relevant than the scientific content which is notably absent.

    Governments world wide have used the meme of dangerous CO2 induced Climate Change™ to divert voter attention from the thimble that represents all of the rorts they have boiling away in the background.

    Those of us with the scientific skills to understand the situation would laugh at how stupid the idea of human origin CO2 causing global warming really is.

    But we can’t. This guilt inducing climate change concept is a real human tragedy of immense proportions.

    Many years ago I introduced the link between the old story of The Emporer’s New Clothes and the Global Warming scare.

    Nothing has changed since Mr Andersen wrote that.

    Nothing.

    KK “

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    Bob Fernley-Jones

    The Australian reports today:

    The federal government has voiced its support for sacked marine science whistleblower Peter Ridd.
    Environment minister, Josh Frydenberg said he was concerned about the handling of Professor Ridd’s sacking by James Cook University which had raised important issues of academic freedom and the right to challenge accepted wisdoms.
    Mr Frydenberg’s support, in a letter to The Australian today, follows criticism of how $444 million of additional Great Barrier Reef funding was allocated in the Federal budget.
    “The controversy around Peter Ridd raises important issues,” the letter begins.
    “Academic freedom and the right to challenge what may be perceived as accepted wisdoms are essential in any free society and for that reason I’m concerned about the handling of this matter. It is only with scrutiny and open debate that we test theories, reach conclusions and take public opinion with us.”

    The budget money will be administered by the private sector charity Great Barrier Reef Foundation.
    The federal government has said the Foundation, which includes representatives of some of Australia’s biggest corporations, would provide opportunities for joint public and private funding of Reef projects.
    Opposition environment spokesman, Tony Burke, has said the federal government grant would increase the Great Barrier Reef Foundation budget by 45 times. Foundation Revenue for 2015 and 2016 was $9.6 million and $8 million respectively.
    “This is the largest donation that any Australian Government has made to a single foundation for environmental projects,” Mr Burke said.
    “The Government still can’t explain why the money went to the Foundation instead of being managed through the Department or the Marine Park Authority, not can it explain why the decision was taken without the Foundation even being aware that it was being considered to carry out work on a scale completely beyond its historic capacity.”
    The Foundation was established in 2000 in response to the United Nations World Heritage Convention encouraging countries with world heritage sites to establish a national foundation whose purpose is to invite donations for their protection.
    Foundation managing director, Anna Marsden, said the organisation was committed to leveraging the new funds with additional private funding.
    “Over the next three months, the Foundation will work closely with the Department of Environment and Energy and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to ensure this investment will be delivered to best effect,” she said.
    Professor Ridd told The Australian he supported the new funding being administered through the Foundation.
    He said a portion of funds should be directed towards better quality assurance on reef science, the issue that ultimately led to his sacking by JCU.
    “We should spend one per cent of the $500 million on quality checking,” Professor Ridd said.
    “So next time we are spending $500 million we might be able to spend it better,” he said.
    Professor Ridd said he did not think scientific organisations could be expected to manage the money better than the Foundation.
    “I have no objection to the government giving the money to the Reef Foundation through the Reef Trust,” Professor Ridd said.
    Mr Frydenberg said the right to challenge accepted wisdoms was essential in any free society.
    “Professor Ridd has challenged the view of some that bleaching in the Reef is “ a new phenomenon” and has questioned that some peer-reviewed science around the Reef is not proven,” Mr Frydenberg said.
    “Just because one says the problem is exaggerated, doesn’t mean one denies there is a problem,” he said.
    “For my part, I accept that the Reef is facing a number of serious challenges including those posed by climate change,” Mr Frydenberg said.
    “I do, however, see the Reef as remarkably resilient, more so than others might, and with the application of the best scientific research which is continually subject to scrutiny, we will continue to ensure a bright future for the Great Barrier Reef.

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      el gordo

      “Professor Ridd has challenged the view of some that bleaching in the Reef is “ a new phenomenon” …’

      Yeah from my research I can definitely say its ben around since Adam was a boy.

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        robert rosicka

        Windjana Gorge is surrounded by a Devonian Reef system but the have mistakenly called it Devonian because reefs never suffered from bleaching this place has only been here since 1980!
        Wow isn’t nature amazing .

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          el gordo

          Tim Flummery reckons bleaching only began a short while after the Beatles left The Cavern.

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      KinkyKeith

      Good news.

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      Graeme#4

      Frydenburg’s entry into the issue may put further pressure on JCU to respond, as it seems to indicate that the Federal Govt sides with Ridd. Will be interesting to see how JCU responds now – there is a lot of GBR grant money at stake.

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        PeterS

        The government should do what JCU did to Ridd. Sack the lot of them for the same points that Ridd allegedly did. What good for the goose is good for the gander. That’s if science has any truly honest standing today.

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        Lewis P Buckingham

        Perhaps Professor Ridd will be allowed to apply for Chief Scientist at the newly funded GBR Trust.
        Were he to do that he would be able to uniquely bring back to our shores the scientist’s
        who have gradually left Australia due to the poor working conditions available in Marine Science.
        A win win for Aussies and the GBR.

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    Another Ian

    Now here IS a threat to the likes of JCU!

    “WINNING: Trump officials discussed whether to ‘ignore’ climate data”

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/05/24/winning-trump-officials-discussed-whether-to-ignore-climate-data/

    “Having the courage to “do nothing” is probably the best option, because so far, all the claims of “dangers of climate change” have been nothing but hot-air generated by rent-seekers.”

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      Another Ian

      In comments

      ” dodgy geezer
      May 24, 2018 at 7:14 am

      They should have picked No. 2 – “reviewing the scientific studies under the Administrative Procedure Act”. And used Steve McIntyre to do the reviewing…

      It really is important to highlight the fraudulent nature of much of this data….”

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    spoon

    He was sacked because his science was sh*t and he attacked other academics. end of story.

    02

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      el gordo

      So are you saying coral bleaching is caused by human induced global warming and not El Nino?

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    Macspee

    For some the result of the law of unforeseen consequences will have its way and the JCU will go the way of all things that seek to evade reality. For others it is the rule of forseen circumstances for th JCU must know the consequences of ignoring and evading its raison d’être will be the loss of confidence and of real scientists and students will look elsewhere (at least those who seek the truth as all good scientists must).
    I think there is much to learn from the wider political world and suggest that for actually seeing what happens when you bury your head in the sands of political correctness you can’t really go past the disaster that is the EU, do have a look at this….
    https://theblueanchor.wordpress.com/2018/02/19/the-graphs-that-demolish-remain/

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      robert rosicka

      There is a lot at stake here and I have to wonder if the government and JCU can afford to have Ridd win this case ,seems to me they have two options .
      Stack the jury and select a friendly judge .
      Offer a large settlement with non disclosure .
      If it goes to court the science being done will end up being scrutinised and if cheating is found the repercussions will be vast for the trough feeders .
      Which then leaves Peter Ridd with a conundrum, does he take the money and run which would be understandable given the circumstances or does he fight for the injustice and expose the shonky science being done .
      One things for sure either way the pressure on Peter Ridd is enormous and I for one would not blame him if he does settle .

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        rollo

        If it goes to court the science being done will end up being scrutinised

        Will science get a mention at all? The legal system may deem that this is all about PC attitudes and collegiate behaviour.

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          robert rosicka

          Depends Rollo , on wether or not it’s a fair and impartial evidence based judge or a judge that has decided that consensus is evidence enough .

          32

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          el gordo

          ‘Will science get a mention at all?’

          Hopefully he will have a chance to prove that industrial CO2 has nothing to do with coral bleaching, it would open a huge can of worms.

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          William

          As I said in a posting I made on WUWT a few days ago:I was fired from one of our “prestigious” Melbourne universities where I had for several decades entertained myself lecturing part time in the evenings.
          At the beginning of my last lecture, I noted that about half the class was Chinese.
          I asked for a show of hands to indicate how many spoke English; seeing the non response I asked a follow up question: “How many understood my previous question?”. Same response.
          I was fired a couple of days later.

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            el gordo

            Wonderful anecdotal evidence, thanks William.

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            Glen Michel

            Problem passing students who do not understand English and course material. Up front fee payers so failure is not a option .Politics for you.

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    pat

    don’t know why I couldn’t find this on the “Breakfast” site yesterday:

    Hamish intro: Foundation/fossil fuels; Ove on Advisory Committe to the Foundation.

    AUDIO: 11mins11secs: 24 May: ABC Breakfast: Hamish Macdonald: Business, science collaboration crucial to save reef, Great Barrier Reef Foundation says
    This month’s Federal Budget pledged an unprecedented $444 million to a single organisation — the Great Barrier Reef Foundation…
    Labor though has questioned whether the foundation is the right organisation to receive so much money given many of its members have close ties to the fossil fuel industry.
    But those working with it say its collaborative approach between business and scientists could be the last chance to salvage the reef
    Guest:
    Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, Director, Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland
    http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/breakfast/business-science-collaboration-crucial-to-save-reef/9794704

    at end of interview, Ove says he should invite Hamish to visit the Reef…Hamish responds it wouldn’t be on behalf of vested interests though.

    Great Barrier Reef Foundation: International Scientific Advisory Committee (ISAC) plus Technical Advisory Group
    https://www.barrierreef.org/the-foundation/our-governance/isac

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      robert rosicka

      I understand it’s the largest single donation to a private org but how many millions were pumped into the Clinton foundation by the Libs and Labs ?

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    pat

    24 May: 9News: AGL to transform coal mine into pumped hydro facility
    By Chris OKeefe
    Power giant AGL is pushing ahead with plans to get out of coal, with the company on the cusp of signing a deal to turn an open cut coal mine into a pumped hydro-electric facility.
    9NEWS understands a contract is being finalised between AGL and Japanese company Idemitsu to re-purpose Muswellbrook Coal into a pumped hydro-electric plant.
    Muswellbrook Coal is Australia’s longest continuous operating open cut coal mine and is around 15 kilometres from AGL’s Liddell coal fired power station.

    The move is part of AGL’s plan to supplement the loss of supply from the planned closure of Liddell in 2022, with the deal understood to be worth around $400 million.
    Muswellbrook Coal mine is at the end of its life-cycle, with Idemitsu flagging closure within the next three years. A pumped hydro-electric facility would allow AGL to store significant amounts of energy…
    “I think it’s a disgrace that we are living in a country with some of the best gas, best coal and we are asking Australians to pay the highest power prices in the world,” Federal Resources Minister Matt Canavan told 9NEWS…

    Local State MP for Upper Hunter Michael Johnsen has been briefed on the Muswellbrook plan by AGL.
    The National Party member said while he doesn’t support the company’s move away from coal, he is backing the hydro-electric plan.
    “It’s a good use of what might be a final void of that particular mine,” Mr Johnsen said.
    “It doesn’t take away our need to build greater base load power… the way to do that is to build new coal fired power stations.”

    The CFMEU has around 60 members working at the Muswellbrook facility. The Union says it’s comfortable with the move as long as the workers are considered for jobs…
    https://www.9news.com.au/national/2018/05/24/17/21/agl-pushes-ahead-with-plans-for-pumped-hydro

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    Geoffrey Williams

    In Australia our universities are money making machines and just like any other business model they have to show a bottom line profit. And that’s it.
    Unfortunately somewhere along the line between the research and the results the truth is distorted to achieve the end purpose of the business model.
    I have watched this process evolve over the 37 years since I arrived in Australia and it did not take many years as an ABC radio listener (to the Science show for example) to become aware of what was taking place.
    Since that time the ABC has become a disappointment to myself.
    GeoffW

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    Bob in Castlemaine

    Nor it seems should one get between the ubiquitous grants gobblers of the progressive Left inhabiting ANU and a bucket money bequeathed to that august institution for a specific purpose. Even, it seems, when very specific conditions have been clearly spelt out by the benefactor on the use of that money.

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    pat

    who made off with the money from these two failed GREEN “ghost towns”?

    the $40 billion project:

    25 Mar: SouthChinaMorningPost: South Korea’s ‘Smart City’ Songdo: not quite smart enough?
    Promoted as the answer to the ills of modern-day living in Seoul, the development is overdue, overpriced and underpopulated. ‘A Chernobyl-like emptiness’, as one critic puts it
    By Chris White
    LOOKING wistfully around at the surroundings, a strange mix of marshland and random high-rise buildings, Shim Jong-rae shakes his head, echoing the sentiment of many residents: “It’s a ***ghost town.”
    For more than a decade, urban planners have been studying the construction of Songdo, South Korea, the world’s first Smart City…

    The brainchild of developers and the government, the vision was to construct a car-free world, with 40 per cent green space and dozens of kilometres of cycling routes…
    But the reality is somewhat different…
    PHOTO CAPTION: State University of New York has a campus in Songdo, South Korea
    One critic said it had a “Chernobyl-like emptiness” to it…

    Now it’s trying to entice US citizens to save the US$40 billion project from failure with the construction of a colossal “American Town”…
    Songdo was designed by the New York office of architect Kohn Pedersen Fox, while labour and funding was provided by the metropolitan city of Incheon…
    The completion date for the city keeps being pushed back. It was meant to be fully functional by 2015, then 2018, now it’s 2022. One American who is already here and taking advantage of the green spaces is golfer Jack Nicklaus…READ ON
    http://www.scmp.com/week-asia/business/article/2137838/south-koreas-smart-city-songdo-not-quite-smart-enough

    the $22billion project:

    24 Apr: Popular Science: Is Masdar City a ***ghost town or a green lab?
    Tour Abu Dhabi’s ambitious, and incomplete, eco-utopia.
    By Molly McArdle
    Between the Abu Dhabi airport and an enclave of suburban villas is a neatly delineated, 2.3-square-mile plot of…mostly desert. It’s not quite a mirage, but it is a work-in-progress: Masdar City, the most ambitious — and expensive — urban planning experiment on the planet today.

    Abu Dhabi, the largest and richest of the United Arab Emirates, first announced the project in 2008. Masdar City was to be the first-ever human settlement with no negative environmental impact—zero waste, zero carbon, car-free, fed by recycled water. But even Abu Dhabi’s famous oil reserves — which power a nearly trillion-dollar sovereign wealth fund, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority — were not immune to the global financial crisis that rocked the world economy that same year. Even as the government-funded Masdar Initiative first broke ground on the city more than a decade ago, its dimensions had already begun to change…

    Today, green technology is a major component of the UAE’s plan to transform their singular, oil-focused economy to a heterogenous, knowledge-based one. It’s why Masdar aims “to be a model for the commercial adoption of clean technologies,” as the company explained in an official statement. Stakeholders want Masdar City to become “a ‘greenprint’ for sustainable urban development.”
    But more than 10 years after construction began, most of Masdar remains empty — a lot of sand…

    As originally designed by London architecture firm Foster + Partners in 2007, Masdar City anticipated up to 50,000 new residents within a decade. Today, that number is closer to 1,300 — most of whom are students at Khalifa University of Science and Technology (formerly the Masdar Institute) and living in on-campus housing. Masdar City’s ecological aims have also shifted.

    Today it works toward being a carbon neutral, rather than a carbon free, settlement. Much of the energy used in Masdar City’s construction was produced by fossil fuels rather than by its on-site solar panels. It’s revolutionary underground Personal Rapid Transit system, or PRT, was abandoned after only two stations — out of a planned 1,500 — opened. It’s ground-level streets, meant to be pedestrian only, are filled with cars.

    “The PRT costs a fortune,” explained one Masdar Initiative manager to urbanism scholar Federico Cugurullo in a 2018 Economy and Space article, “and Masdar City is not an environmental crusade.”
    Another defended the project’s attention to the bottom-line. “Actually it is very good if you treat [Masdar City] as a business. If you can’t make money it is not sustainable.”

    Created to help propel Abu Dhabi beyond its petroleum-based economy, Masdar City can only be as environmentally friendly as it is profitable. Masdar City is an “eco-city,” argues Cugurullo in a 2016 Urban Studies article, where ‘eco’ “does not stand for ‘ecological’ but for ‘economic.’”

    Cugurullo, who has written extensively about Masdar, describes the city instead as a lab or a showroom rather than a home. When Mitsubishi installed the first rapid electric car chargers in the Middle East in Masdar in 2012, it used the urban landscape as both.

    Today more than 535 companies from six continents have operations based in Masdar City, including Lockheed Martin, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Schneider Electric, Siemens, and Etihad Airways.
    “The business is real,” Cugurullo says (in) a 2013 Journal of Urban Technology article, but the city itself is not. It’s more of a showpiece and an experiment.

    While much of what Masdar City promises has been slated for an undetermined future — in space yet to be built, leased, or occupied — its projections are noticeably more modest than in 2008. Rather than 50,000 residents by 2018, they now speak of 3,500 by 2020.

    But Cugurullo urges Masdar City to rethink its business-only focus.
    ***Without a more cohesive view of what an eco — as in ecological — city could look like, “Masdar City will remain a non-place and quickly turn into a ***ghost-town.”…
    https://www.popsci.com/masdar-city-ghost-town-or-green-lab

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    pat

    25 May: Bloomberg: India Criticizes Rich Nations on Broken Climate Promises
    By Mathew Carr, Abhay Singh, and Anindya Upadhyay
    2020 extension of Kyoto Protocol still not ratified by nations
    U.S. role in Paris talks seen as not terribly ‘constructive’
    As negotiators haggle the details of the Paris climate agreement that starts next decade, India is frustrated that rich nations still haven’t fulfilled pledges made in a previous treaty.
    “We are very disappointed,” Ravi Prasad, head of the climate change division of India’s Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, said in an interview. “In the pre-2020 period, we have not seen the kind of ambition that was expected” from developed countries, he said…

    Germany, which hosted climate talks earlier this month, will probably miss its 2020 emissions-reduction target. And while U.S. fossil fuel-fired power generation dropped last year for the first time since 2008, President Donald Trump is rolling back domestic measures designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
    In 2009, the U.S. pledged to cut emissions by 17 percent in the 2005-2020 period. As of 2016, its emissions had fallen 12 percent, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

    Critical Chorus
    Other emerging nations have joined a chorus of criticism on rich countries’ lack of progress on emission cuts and funding to adapt to the increased frequency of storms, droughts and floods.
    “What we’ve found over the past three years, since Paris, is that pre-2020 commitments are not being met, in terms of emission reductions and financial contributions,” Mandy Rambharos, a negotiator on carbon markets for South Africa, said in an interview.
    Under an extension to Kyoto, known as the Doha amendment, 37 nations agreed to cut greenhouse gases by 5 to 40 percent by 2020 versus 1990 levels. It’s ratified by 112 countries, short of the 144 required, according to the United Nations climate unit.

    It doesn’t bode well for a speedy agreement on the Paris accord. Climate negotiators achieved less than expected when they met in Bonn earlier this month to set the Paris deal’s rule book. Envoys are now gearing up for an extra set of negotiations in Bangkok before ministers and heads of state meet in Poland at the end of the year.
    “We don’t see a lot of constructive involvement” from the U.S. in the negotiations, Prasad said. “They have a responsibility and we are concerned about them not being part of the Paris agreement in the coming years.”
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-05-24/india-disappointed-by-rich-nations-climate-treaty-track-record

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    pat

    behind paywall:

    24 May: UK Times: EU report ‘shows failure to tackle climate change’
    by Aaron Rogan, Senior Ireland Reporter
    The government’s climate plan has been criticised by the European Commission for failing to provide new proposals to tackle Ireland’s emissions.
    The commission’s recommendations also warned that Ireland would fail to reach its 2020 EU targets and have to buy allocations from other member countries to meet its obligations.

    The report says the government’s national mitigation plan “offers few specific new mitigation measures”. The plan outlines more than 100 initiatives aimed at decarbonising the economy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It was dismissed as a token gesture and wishful thinking by opposition parties when it was published last July…
    The report said that there had been only limited progress in decarbonising key parts of the economy, mainly in agriculture, road transport and housing…
    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/eu-report-shows-failure-to-tackle-climate-change-z6mhrfqt9

    23 May: Reuters: Few energy technologies, sectors on track for climate goals: IEA
    by Nina Chestney
    Only four of 38 energy technologies and sectors were on target last year to meet long-term climate and air pollution goals, a study by the International Energy Agency showed on Wednesday.
    The IEA tracks energy technologies, including solar, wind, nuclear, coal and gas, as well as energy-intensive sectors such as transport, chemicals and aluminum, to assess progress toward international goals to limit the rise in global temperatures and to curb pollution.
    The IEA study said four of those – solar photovoltaic (PV), lighting, data centers and networks and electric vehicles – made “tremendous progress” last year.

    “There is a critical need for more vigorous action by governments, industry, and other stakeholders to drive advances in energy technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said in the report.
    “The world doesn’t have an energy problem but an emissions problem, and this is where we should focus our efforts,” he said…

    Progress in deploying onshore wind and energy storage also slowed last year, it added.
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iea-cleanenergy/few-energy-technologies-sectors-on-track-for-climate-goals-iea-idUSKCN1IO14U?feedType=RSS&feedName=environmentNews

    time for other Nations to get out of Paris. the bullying will not stop until every economy is destroyed.

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    pat

    24 May: Arstechnica: Newest NOAA weather satellite suffers critical malfunction
    Cooling system isn’t cooling, knocking key sensors offline.
    by Scott K. Johnson
    The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released some bad news today: the GOES-17 weather satellite that launched almost two months ago has a cooling problem that could endanger the majority of the satellite’s value.
    GOES-17 is the second of a new generation of weather satellite to join NOAA’s orbital fleet…

    Several weeks ago, it became clear that the most important instrument—the Advanced Baseline Imager—had a cooling problem. This instrument images the Earth at a number of different wavelengths, including the visible portion of the spectrum as well as infrared wavelengths that help detect clouds and water vapor content.

    The infrared wavelengths are currently offline. The satellite has to be actively cooled for these precision instruments to function, and the infrared wavelengths only work if the sensor stays below 60K—that’s about a cool -350°F. The cooling system is only reaching that temperature 12 hours a day. The satellite can still produce visible spectrum images, as well as the solar and lightning monitoring, but it’s not a glorious next-gen weather satellite without that infrared data…

    If GOES-17 doesn’t fully come online this fall as planned, it’s not like US weather forecasters will be in the dark—the satellites currently covering that portion of the globe are in good shape. That said, GOES-17 was set to be a shiny new toy for forecasters, and any hitch in the satellite succession plan is potentially costly. So here’s hoping GOES-17 can just chill.
    https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/05/newest-noaa-weather-satellite-suffers-critical-malfunction/

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    pat

    24 May: In-Cumbria: Carbon footprinting expert headlines nuclear conference warm-up event
    by Luke Dicicco
    A leading expert on carbon footprinting will deliver a keynote speech on green energy to senior figures in Cumbria’s nuclear sector tonight.
    Mike Berners-Lee will give an overview of the energy challenge facing the world the role nuclear can play in the UK’s attempts to tackle climate change, when he speaks at the second of four warm-up events for September’s Cumbria Nuclear Conference.

    Mr Berners-Lee, who lives in Kendal and runs his business Small World Consulting from Lancaster University’s Environmental Centre, will address around 100 invited delegates who will gather at Rheged near Penrith.

    ***The brother of world wide web inventor Tim Berners-Lee, he has published two books, ‘How Bad are Bananas – The Carbon Footprint of Everything’ and ‘The Burning Question?’, written with Duncan Clark…
    http://www.in-cumbria.com/Carbon-footprinting-expert-headlines-nuclear-conference-warm-up-event-0e0be8dd-996a-4370-97a8-c93a76f47d6c-ds

    23 May: TheLocalGermany: AFP: Berlin agrees to compensate power firms for nuclear phase out
    The German government approved a draft law on Wednesday that paves the way for energy giants RWE and Vattenfall to receive hundreds of millions of euros in compensation for the country’s decision to phase out nuclear power.

    The exact sum has yet to be determined but the environment ministry said the amount was unlikely to surpass a billion euros.
    The draft law will bring Germany into compliance with a 2016 court ruling that found energy suppliers had a right to financial compensation over Chancellor Angela Merkel’s U-turn on nuclear energy…
    https://www.thelocal.de/20180523/berlin-agrees-to-compensate-power-firms-for-nuclear-exit

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    pat

    (rough translation)

    23 May: Liberation France: Despite the nuclear reduction target, EDF still hopes for new EPRs
    by Jean-Christophe Féraud
    (EDF) has submitted Monday to the National Commission of Public Debate (CNDP) its “actor’s book” to push its preferred scenario: “a complementarity between renewable and nuclear” in which the atom would remain in the decades to come “a a major asset for the country “alongside hydropower, solar and wind energy…

    According to this document, to which Libération has had access, EDF recalls that the current nuclear fleet (58 reactors spread over 19 plants) “insures each year 400 TWh [terawatt hour] of safe, competitive, carbon-free, export-oriented and backed an important industrial fabric “. And the group believes from the outset that “the rise of renewables” must combine with the atom, “without the effect of eviction between nuclear and renewable.”
    EDF wants above all to obtain the construction of new EPR reactors to offset the planned closure of its oldest power plants…

    But EDF can count on a president of the Republic and a government who remain very sensitive to the lobbying of an atom industry employing more than 220 000 employees in France. The objective of the Energy Transition Act, which was to reduce the share of nuclear power from 75% to 50% in French electricity production, has already been postponed from 2025 to 2035 by the government.
    It was the Minister of the Ecological and Solidarity Transition, Nicolas Hulot, who had to announce the death in his soul on November 7th. A first victory for EDF..

    EDF wants to get in exchange “a first commissioning of a new plant in 2030 or shortly after”. Without quantifying, once again explicitly, the number of reactors that would comprise this new production unit, nor its location…The term “central” leaves the way open to two, four or even six new reactors! It would obviously be the EPR model…

    But the first two Chinese copies of the EPR, built with the help of EDF, should come into service this year in Taishan, in the south-east of the country. The electrician has also started to build two more EPRs at Hinkley Point, in the south of England. And he is now hoping to win a contract for six new EPRs in India after Emmanuel Macron’s official visit…

    The answer is expected before the end of the year…
    For the first time, all the actors were able to make their arguments heard, up to the activists of Greenpeace who denounce the security flaws of the French nuclear power stations.

    But given the heavy energy, financial and social issues, the voice of EDF may count a little more than that of antinuclear in the corridors of power…
    http://www.liberation.fr/france/2018/05/23/malgre-l-objectif-de-reduction-du-nucleaire-edf-espere-encore-de-nouveaux-epr_1651833

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    Kinky Keith

    I am presently 500 metres or so from the UTS in Sydney and about to make my way over to the conference venue where Jo and Ian Plimer will be speaking tomorrow.

    Looking forward to hearing some interesting views on things.

    KK

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    neil

    For more than a decade every research has been aware that if you want funding your area of research must end with a phrase like:

    “Due to Climate Change”

    My favourite is:

    The extinction of native species due to predation of feral cat’s and Climate Change.

    I actually heard the author being interviewed on ABC radio and he referred to his paper as:

    The extinction of native species due to predation of feral cat’s………………….OH! and Climate Change.

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      robert rosicka

      It’s believed through DNA testing that a lot of the feral cats in mid north WA have come from Dutch ships very early on before English settlement .
      Our country has an appalling record with feral animals and mitigation efforts , it’s usually wait till the horse is bolted scenario .
      In Victoriastan and Tasmania wild deer are still listed as game animals and regulation prevents the shooting of feral animals in vast areas of vic which are ok to shoot ducks or deer but nothing else .

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    Peter C

    My letter to Simon Birmingham, Minister for Education:

    Dear Minister,

    I am dismayed by the way that James Cook University has treated Professor Peter Ridd. It seems that his crime is to mention his disagreements with the settled science of the other climate academics in Public. According to the JCU that constitutes uncollegiate conduct.

    Professor Ridd made his concerns about the science of the Great Barrier Reef known in the mildest possible way in a publication called “Climate Change – The Facts 2017″ edited by Dr Jennifer Mahrohasy, and then mentioned them again on the Alan Jones radio program.

    I fail to see how that could be called uncollegiate, but even if it is Peter Ridd is making public statements that the public needs to know.

    Your government has increased funding for the Great Barrier Reef by half a Billion dollars. That is taxpayers money and the government is accountable to taxpayers for spending that money wisely. If the science of the reef is weak or wrong then it must be debated in the most vigorous way.

    James Cook is undeserving of any more money spent on Reef and Climate research. They have closed their minds on a singular view.. They should be defunded now.

    I am also asking to spend the diverted research funds on a Red Team of Climate skeptics including but not limited to Peter Ridd to restore balance to the Climate/Reef debate.

    You have already received a free copy of the book “Climate Change -The Facts 2107″ provided by the IPA. I hope you have read it or will read it.

    I also refer you to these references:
    Don Aitkin: http://donaitkin.com/the-unfolding-saga-of-peter-ridd/
    JoNova: http://joannenova.com.au/2018/05/don-aitken-peter-ridd-was-sacked-because-he-threatened-the-money-making-engine-at-uni/#comments
    and
    Jennifer Marohasy: https://jennifermarohasy.com/2018/05/university-professor-sacked-telling-truth/

    Peter Ridd’s case against his sacking by the JCU may not even get to the scientific issues. That is why it needs separate Red Team funding..

    I also ask that the government either supports Peter Ridd’s legal case financially or denies the JCU and its officers from using any public funding in their own defence.

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      Peter,

      Could not concur more. I will write to the Minister also.

      bts.

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        Bob Fernley-Jones

        @Peter and Beth,

        Me too, but with a twist by comparing very bad Great Barrier Reef “science” also at Melbourne University.
        Don Aitken mentioned the elite universities-sponsored blog The Conversation where UniMelb made ludicrous claims including that following the mass bleaching in 2016, GBR death was 175x more likely because of climate change. It went globally viral. I provided data including from the Bureau of Meteorology that proved their claims to be false but the Head of Science and the Dean refused to retract it. Instead Prof David Karoly emailed mid 2016 that they would publish a more comprehensive study and that when it was peer reviewed he would send me a copy for my review. Apparently, it has not passed peer review after all this time……… strange.

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    pat

    the only coverage of this story, which sounds a bit like the recent solar threatens WA grid story.

    however, ABC makes it sound like there wouldn’t be a problem if there were even more renewables!

    25 May: ABC: Territory Generation slashes value by $150m, gets government bailout in face of renewables threat
    By Jano Gibson
    The cash-strapped, government-owned corporation that runs power stations in the Northern Territory has been forced to slash its value by $150 million, with Territory Generation’s long-term viability under threat from large-scale, privately owned solar generators.
    “You’d be sticking your head in the sand if you weren’t to recognise that electricity markets across the world have changed and the Territory is well behind it,” said NT Treasurer Nicole Manison.
    The NT Government is expected to inject another $15 million into the corporation by the end of next month…

    Territory Generation’s latest Statement of Corporate Intent, tabled in Parliament earlier this month, acknowledged the rapid introduction of solar generation was an “existential risk to the corporation”.
    It has forecast a $150 million asset impairment for 2017-18, which equates to a write-down of about a third of its value.
    “That is $150 million of taxpayers’ money that has been invested, that is [now] lost to T-Gen, and also lost to the value of the NT,” said David de Silva, former chairman of Territory Generation…

    He and his board were replaced by the Treasurer in December last year following the publication of the damning Colvin Report which revealed multi-million-dollar budget blowouts caused by soaring fees, bloated staffing levels, and over-spending on projects.

    Mr de Silva said the board’s removal was a “contrived process”, and that some of Territory Generation’s most challenging issues — increased costs associated with requirements to provide greater system reliability and the loss of revenue from a key contract — were beyond its control.

    Mr de Silva said he and the former board wanted to diversify Territory Generation’s revenue streams to include renewables.

    Instead, the Government required the corporation to act as “a generator of last resort”, using its gas and diesel power stations to ensure reliability and stability across the network when renewable energy was unable to be produced.
    “Things look pretty grim for the corporation, as was predicted some time ago, with the massive impact [that] solar and renewables are bringing to the generation market,” Mr de Silva said…

    The Treasurer said allowing private investors to deliver solar generation in the Territory was in line with the Government’s 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030.
    “Rather than government fully controlling renewable energy and not driving a bit of competition in that market, we are saying that it’s important to get renewable energy generators in,” Ms Manison said.
    “We believe that’s going to be the best value for the Territory and it’s also going to help drive innovation.”
    Mr de Silva described the Government’s approach as “privatisation by stealth”…
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-25/nt-power-corporation-slashes-value-by-a-third-renewables-threat/9796722

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    Dave in the States

    Follow the money indeed, but I think the problem is much deeper than mere money. The problem of academic freedom at the academy, or lack there of, is rooted in the saturation of lefty true believers among the academic elites. True believers usually do not practice tolerance of ideas that do not fit their agendas. Moreover, as true believers they always believe that the ends justify the means.

    In my experience these types are not only intolerant, but want to force other people to live according to their (the elites) will, telling them not only their lifestyles, but also how to spend their money, and even what they should think.

    Meanwhile, the elites feel entitled to do as they please, without consequence, and if possible on other people’s money. The very definition of corruption.

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      TdeF

      This example of bad management is brought to you by someone who thinks the University is a major corporation and the Vice Chancellor role is a corporate position with unlimited power.

      In fact and so unlike in the US, JCU is entirely public service State owned institution and Federal government instituion set up under charter by Queen Elizabeth but behaving like an autocratic for profit independent and all powerful company with a CEO.

      This is brutal American management principles and about making billions in the Climate game. Professor Reid is a nuisance and whistleblower and has been summarily fired merely for the sin of disobedience, and all his years of public service and teaching awards are as nothing. In a way, this extreme action is the best thing which could have happened to expose the Climate Change industry, peer review and the rivers of cash for credibility which only Universities can give. It is and will become a wake up call to everyone who thinks universities are independent and balanced and incorruptible. You can add the ABC.

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        Dave in the States

        Yes, in this specific case. Nevertheless, we are facing a general crisis of restricted academic freedom world wide, particularly for those who challenge the left’s narratives. The alleged concern for JCU’s reputation among academics says it all.

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          TdeF

          The difference is between Principle and Principal. Academic rigour, the truth vs rivers of cash.

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          • #

            The difference
            between objectivity
            and subjectivity, i.e,
            science testability
            versus shaman mythology.
            - The record’s so important,
            (else serfs will likely git
            bamboozled by fake news.)

            What’s new?

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    TdeF

    Yes. “(a) .. perceived as undermining public confidence in the good name or integrity of the University”.

    This has a presumption that what is done has no justification, slander if you will.
    At the same time it says “Professor Reid” has an obligation to “behave honestly, impartially and with integrity”.
    What happens when these are in conflict? What happens if alleged slander is the truth?

    So the critical question is whether what Peter Reid says is true. Tellingly the University denies nothing of what he said.
    They say simply he is not allowed to say it. Why?

    If what he says is true, the behaviour of others in the University has already undermined the integrity of the University. He is only pointing it out. If he has already done so internally and been ignored, he is given no choice under the second rule of honest behavior.

    So it looks like the Vice Chancellor sees this document as giving the University the right to silence and then fire whistleblowers. Amazing. This would not be acceptable in private industry and this is the public service, bound by a whole regime of such rules covering the rights of employees. He is not a contractor. You cannot take away people’s rights with a fatuous document like this. If this document is legally wrong, improper, socially wrong, at odds with rights of employees or just internally contradictory, it will not bind anyone.

    The real question remains and may be tested in court. Is what Professor Reid said factual? If so, consequential damage to the reputation of the University is not being done by Professor Reid. He is simply pointing it out, as is his requirement to be honest. Slander is not slander if it is true.

    Slander. “the action or crime of making a false spoken statement damaging to a person’s reputation.” Banning the truth is Professor Reid’s basic allegation. The University is doing everything to undermine their own reputation. Again, amazing. Also somewhat positively, may lead to the allegations being tested in court in a trial which will have world attention.

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      TdeF

      This has lost position and in response to #17 from Peter C specifically with respect to the “Code of conduct” document.
      This fatuous document has the same credibility as the popular Welcome to the Country ceremonies.

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  • #

    Perhaps off topic, perhaps not! Great battle ‘tween the Roger Tallbloke ‘talkshop’, and A. Watts WUWT promotion of “fake science”! A Watts et all dismiss any\all possible angular momentum coupling, between solar system massive orbital bodies. OTOH this coupling plus gravitationally induced atmospheric temperature lapse; measurably defecates/defeats any claim that atmospheric CO2 levels affect Earth surface temperature at any location! Only paid corrupt Climate Clowns insist that some global statistical average ‘temperature’; has any scientific meaning WHATSOEVER!
    All the best!-will-

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    • #
      Kinky Keith

      Yes.

      The Sun and Orbital Mechanics did it.

      CO2 is innocent.

      KK

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      • #

        Yes. The Sun and Orbital Mechanics did it. CO2 is innocent. KK

        Indeed! But here on insane asylum Earth; we have mostly lovely critters; kittens, young deer,etc! Some willing to become food for kind Earthlings! OTOH please recognize vile varmints, armadillo, banksters, politicians, that wish to dominate all kind Earthlings!
        What now? :-)

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        PeterS

        I tend to think the curvature of space-time continuum is to blame. According to Einstein, gravity and hence the simplified description of the movements of celestial bodies as prescribed by Newtonian mechanics is the result of or symptom of that curvature, not a force at all as most people think of it. Being a Physicist I can come up with a good enough explanation how so (tongue in cheek) using Einstein’s General Relativity field equations. Therefore, we should instead place a tax on time and space.

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          [ Being a Physicist I can come up with a good enough explanation how so (tongue in cheek) using Einstein’s General Relativity field equations. Therefore, we should instead place a tax on time and space.

          Interesting! TAX, A fee on slaves, cattle, serfs only because you claim some pitiful “knowledge” of Einstein’s understanding’!! STOMP viscously in your face!

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          • #
            PeterS

            Yes most people don’t understand even the simple concepts of Einstein’s General Relativity theory let alone the deeper more complex parts. Many don’t even understand his Special Theory of Relativity. Clearly you didn’t get my sarcastic comment.

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            • #

              Many don’t even understand his Special Theory of Relativity. Clearly you didn’t get my sarcastic comment.

              Perhaps I did not “get” your comment! Can you restate? I do not understand Einstein’s STR!! I cannot decide if “scratching watch”, or “winding ass” may help! :-)
              All the best!-will-

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                PeterS

                I was simply extending KK’s sarcastic comment about how celestial mechanics is to be the blame for climate change nonsense being perpetrated by global warming alarmists. I thought of being smart and use Einstein’s ideas instead since it’s more accurate than the Newtonian mechanics we used to use for prescribing the motions of celestial objects. As for Einstein’s theories about relativity, there are two types; special and general. Special relativity describes the effects of a moving object relative to another one at constant velocity, such as time dilation and length contraction. General relativity involves acceleration, and as such is more advanced, is made of 10 field equations that describe the interaction of gravitation as a result of space-time being curved by mass and energy. In other words, gravity is not actually a force per se but we see the effect of gravity due to the curvature of space-time. Those equations are used to provide a number of fascinating possibilities, some of which have been verified by observation, such as the gravitational red shift of objects due to the space-time curvature even though we perceive the object to be stationary wrt to us. I can go on for hours on this topic, one of my favourites.

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                PeterS

                Oh another interesting aspect about his general theory is reason why GPS satellites need to correct for the difference in gravitational potential between their position in orbit and the earth’s surface where the latter has a stronger curvature of space-time. If they didn’t take that slight difference into account the GPS positioning we use say in a car would be out by a 50 m or so. What’s also interesting is general relativity says that clocks go slower in a stronger gravitational field. That is the clock on the GPS satellites runs faster than the clock down on Earth. Yet special relativity says that a moving clock is slower than the stationary one so this will slow down the satellite clock compared to the one down on Earth. The two effects are opposite in direction but not equal in magnitude.

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                PeterS May 26, 2018 at 3:21 pm

                “I was simply extending KK’s sarcastic comment about how celestial mechanics is to be the blame for climate change nonsense being perpetrated by global warming alarmists. I thought of being smart and use Einstein’s ideas instead since it’s more accurate than the Newtonian mechanics we used to use for prescribing the motions of celestial objects.”
                Not the motions but the coupling effect of such motions and the effect on unknown mass temperature!

                I can go on for hours on this topic, one of my favourites.

                Me to! Can you establish some meaning for something called mass ‘temperature’? :-)
                All the best!-will-

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              • #

                >I thought of being smart and use Einstein’s ideas instead since it’s more accurate than the Newtonian mechanics we used to use for prescribing the motions of celestial objects.

                Com on man! do the orbital and rotational angular momentum transfer between all solar system bodies affect local Earth surface temperature, or not? Where is your evidence?
                Gerrr Chomp, delicious! :-)

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              • #
                PeterS

                Normally the total angular momentum remains constant so there should be no net change in temperature purely as a result of the angular momentum but in reality this doesn’t happen as other factors come into play. For example, the total angular momentum of the moon and earth declines over time due to a transfer of some of the angular momentum energy to heat as a result of frictional forces with the earth tides. Why are we discussing this anyway? What’s your point and how is it relevant to my original comments? Trying to prove Einstein wrong or something?

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              • #
                PeterS

                For completeness I should also mention the angular momentum is also transferred to heat energy by way of friction due to the movements of the others parts of the earth, the moon, the man-made structures, the earth’s atmosphere, etc.

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                PeterS May 26,1820 at 8:48 pm

                Normally the total angular momentum remains constant so there should be no net change in temperature purely as a result of the angular momentum but in reality this doesn’t happen as other factors come into play.

                N For example, the total angular momentum of the moon and earth declines over time due to a transfer of some of the angular momentum energy to heat as a result of frictional forces with the earth tides

                .SO you claim1 Where are your repeatable measurement that angular momentum need be conserved within a gravitational field (GR vs SR)

                NWhy are we discussing this anyway? What’s your point and how is it relevant to my original comments? Trying to prove Einstein wrong or something?

                I have highest regard for Sir Einstein and his fine writing effort attempting to express his learning!— I have no regard for ignorant self appointed academic venture into diverting ‘science’ into feelings! CAN YOU DEFINE TEMPERATURE OR NOT? Perhaps ‘whatever the thermometer indicates!!
                All the best!

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              • #

                Will Janoschka
                May 28, 2018 at 5:55 am

                I have highest regard for Sir Einstein and his fine writing effort attempting to express his learning!— I have no regard for ignorant self appointed academic venture into diverting ‘science’ into feelings! CAN YOU DEFINE TEMPERATURE OR NOT? Perhaps ‘whatever the thermometer indicates!!

                Since there is no function of ‘science’ other than concerted effort to ‘falsify some premis’; where are your detailed measurements that tend to ‘falsify’ your own conjecture?

                All the best!-will-

                02

    • #
      el gordo

      Anthony thinks all that barycentric stuff is astrology, which is extremely short sighted.

      My money is on the cyclists, we just need a little more time.

      http://www.pattern-recogn-phys.net/1/117/2013/prp-1-117-2013.pdf

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        My money is on the cyclists, we just need a little more time.

        Not cyclic but repetitive! Cyclic is but 2D While this solar system is but a 3D helix through 4D space-time! The past indicates the future but nothing ever actually repeats!!
        All the best!-will-

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        • #
          el gordo

          Quasi periodic.

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        • #
          Kinky Keith

          Hey Will,

          Over here in Australia a couple of us met at the conference in Sydney to listen to Jo.

          PeterC has already given an outline of Jo’s talk on the other thread. It was humorous and engaging.

          There was also an avid reader of the blog but he can’t be named for security reasons. I arrived early for the dinner and found a group of 3 blokes drinking red wine.

          So I joined them and then there were 4 drinking red wine.

          A good night was had by all.

          KK

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  • #
    Another Ian

    O/T

    “M.E.C.A. – Make Electricity Cheap Again”

    http://pickeringpost.com/story/time-to-wake-the-odd-man-of-asia/8326

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    • #
      PeterS

      After listening to various LNP ministers of late, I truly believe there is no hope of the LNP changing their current pro-CAGW policies and anti-coal fired power stations actions, not words as they are meaningless and are full of Orwellian double talk. At least the ALP+Greens are more open and honest about these matters. That’s one up on the ALP+Greens in my book. Might as well have an honest thief than a dishonest one. There is of course still some hope for a change but only if voters wake up and place ACP and ON above the two major parties in all elections from now on. The more support those two minor parties receive the more likelihood they can control the balance of power and force whoever is in government to stop this nonsense that if left to continue will destroy this once great nation. The other hope is a large enough group of LNP members, most of not all on the backbench, either somehow caused a spill to put in place a new leader with the right attitude to all this, or they resign and join the ACP. I doubt though they have the guts to do either action before the next federal election. Time will tell.

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        toorightmate

        Yep,
        LNP is pathetic at present aided by pathetic “leadership”.

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        • #
          PeterS

          And still supported by pathetic ministers who are voted in by pathetic voters. Let’s hope the next election will demonstrate the public are not still pathetically asleep but I will not hold my breadth.

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      • #
        el gordo

        Pauline Hanson holds the balance of power in the Senate and she scuttled Scott’s budget.

        Peter its a mistake to ignore the Coalition ginger group, with Abbott and Barnaby leading the charge, so my strongest advice for Cory and Pauline is ride tandem on that platform.

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    PeterS

    BREAKING NEWS: Tommy Robinson Arrested and Imprisoned, Media Silenced | True News

    As I expected Britain and the rest of the West is eerily moving closer and closer to an agenda not too dissimilar to that depicted in some movies like “V for Vendetta”. Ridd is just another “victim” of the establishment that’s gradually closing in on us. US is the exception for now as long as Trump is President but probably will catch up after he is gone.

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    pat

    VIDEO/PICS: 25 May: CBC: Mother Nature sets new snowfall record in central Newfoundland
    Late spring snowstorm dumps 32 cm and counting
    Gander has set a new record as central and parts of eastern Newfoundland go through a late-season snowstorm.
    Snowfall began Wednesday evening, setting a record of 20.2 centimetres for May 23.
    The snow continued to be heavy overnight, and another 12 centimetres had fallen by 7:30 a.m. NT Thursday…

    Snowfall warnings were in effect from Terra Nova to Grand Falls-Windsor, and schools in the area were closed for the morning, with another five to 10 centimetres expected during the day…
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/nl-central-snow-1.4675739

    24 May: Global News: IN PHOTOS: Newfoundland digs out of more than 30cm of snow on May 24 – and there’s more to come
    by Adam Frisk; with a file from The Canadian Press
    Bonavista Peninsula and Clarenville-area remained under a special weather statement Thursday and dozens of schools had postponed the start of classes as a result of the weather…

    Residents shared photos on social media showing the ***cruelty of Mother Nature…
    https://globalnews.ca/news/4228458/newfoundland-may-24-snowstorm-photos/

    ***more like beauty than “cruelty”.

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    pat

    26 May: ABC: Albany burn-off program defended in wake of devastating bushfires
    By Charlotte Hamlyn and Kate Leaver
    Bushfires near the WA town of Albany have sparked a blame game between farmers and authorities with many questioning why prescribed burns were conducted, despite an unfavourable weather forecast and multiple warnings that conditions were about to change.

    Both private landowners and the Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPAW) had been carrying out burns in the region in recent weeks, trying to make the most of the mild autumn weather to reduce fuel loads.
    Thursday’s strong winds caused many of those fires to escape, with more than 50 reportedly burning simultaneously.
    As fires raged around them, some farmers took to social media to criticise DPAW, describing its prescribed burn in the Stirling Ranges as an “absolute disgrace” and accusing the department of not learning from previous mistakes.

    DPAW incident controller for Torndidup and Stirling Range national parks, Drew Griffiths, said it would investigate what went wrong but defended its program.
    “Whenever our department has an escape from a prescribed burn such as this, then it’s completely investigated,” he said.
    “But prescribed burning is done under very strict conditions and we rely on the best technology and the best predictions for those conditions and that’s the way it was done.
    “I am fully confident in my colleagues in this department for the decisions they make under prescribed burning.”…

    Others directed blame at the farmers conducting their own burn offs on private land.
    Volunteer Bush Fire Brigades Association president, Dave Gossage, said many landowners had ignored warnings and had put his members’ lives at risk.
    “People were still going out because there was cloud cover thinking they could burn,” Mr Gossage said.
    “That’s just irresponsible and very inconsiderate of their fellow man and their neighbour.
    “The consequence of that was the fires got away and that was the main cause of the majority of the fires…

    The weather bureau’s Neil Bennett said he was warning authorities about the fire risk at the beginning of the week…
    “We had a fire danger warning on Wednesday afternoon along with as a severe weather warning.”
    In a statement, Fire and Emergency Services Minister, Fran Logan, said now was not the right time to examine how these blazes had got out of control, saying that would be done later…
    “We need to deal with these blazes now, and look at how they happened when it is appropriate…

    Professor Dixon said six-year rotational burns were having an unprecedented impact on the land.
    He said alternatives such as improved designs around urban areas near bushland needed to be put in place to protect lives and assets.
    “We only have to look at the recent increase in budget to the prescribed burning this year of $5.5 million. Over a five-year period we’re spending $250 million on burning bushland yet we’re only spending two thirds of that on suppression systems,” he said…
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-26/albany-bushfire-burn-off-defended/9802094

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      robert rosicka

      I know a bit about how they determine variables before burning off here in Victoriastan and it’s highly stacked on the side of safety.
      Moisture content
      Available fuel load
      Humidity
      Wind both direction and speed
      Previous burns in and around location
      Weather forecasts
      Etc etc etc
      If you live close to the bush or on its edge you really want prescribed burning and want it regular and yes occasionally something happens and burns get out of control but I for one will never blame or criticise a burn gone wrong but will criticise if they don’t burn .
      Our original inhabitants learned the value of firestick farming .

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    pat

    25 May: Scotsman: Leader: Scotland must rise to this ‘defining challenge’
    Climate change is leading to a technological revolution and Scotland should be at the forefront of it…
    The need to switch from fossil fuels to a zero-carbon economy to prevent dangerous climate change is a clear imperative that the world has belatedly come to realise…
    And, just as the UK stole a march on the rest of the world at the dawn of the coal-powered Industrial Revolution, being at the forefront of the renewable revolution holds out the prospect of considerable economic rewards – on top of the benefits for the climate…

    As has been pointed out, Scotland is extremely well placed to both adapt to and take advantage of this enormous change because of the vast amounts of wind and wave energy on our doorstep. Last year saw the first day Britain had gone without electricity produced by coal since the 1880s, electric cars are here, hybrid and electric planes are coming. So Scotland should be ambitious, it should be a world-leader, out of self-interest if nothing else. We also need, with some urgency, to build industries to provide a long-term replacement for North Sea oil, which is still extremely important to this country’s economy but which will gradually diminish in the coming decades…

    Oil companies in new rush to secure North Sea drilling rights
    Financial Times-23 May 2018
    The North Sea “is back” after a “transformational” licensing round in which more than 60 companies secured rights to explore for oil and gas in one of the world’s most mature basins, the UK industry regulator said on Wednesday. “The UK continental shelf is back,” said Andy Samuel, chief executive of the Oil and Gas Authority…

    23 May: Reuters: In vote of confidence, oil firms mop up new North Sea blocks
    by Ron Bousso
    The UK Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) on Wednesday awarded 123 licenses to 61 companies to explore for and develop new fields in the North Sea, in the latest sign of confidence in the aging basin that has enjoyed a revival in recent years.
    Companies ranging from Royal Dutch Shell, BP and Norway’s Equinor, to smaller independents including Siccar Point, Chrysaor and Premier Oil were awarded 229 blocks covering a total area of 26,659 square km, the OGA said in a statement…

    The round could unlock about a dozen undeveloped discoveries containing an estimated 320 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe), it added…

    24 May: BBC: ‘Disappointment’ over climate change target
    By Kevin Keane, BBC Scotland’s environment correspondent
    The Scottish government has stopped short of committing to a target for Scotland to become carbon-neutral by 2050.
    Its draft Climate Change Bill, just published, sets a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 90% by the middle of the century.
    Although the bill pledges to achieve a 100% cut, no date is set for the target.
    Environmental groups say ministers are missing an opportunity…

    Tom Ballantine, chairman of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland: “The government claims Scotland will be one of the first countries to achieve zero emissions, but the bill does not commit to that. It sets a target of only a 90% reduction in emissions by 2050.
    “By failing to ally with the global momentum towards zero emissions, led by countries like France, Sweden and New Zealand, Scotland is missing a huge opportunity to end its contribution to climate change in a generation, attract clean investment and retain its position as a leader on the global stage.”

    Greens MSP Mark Ruskell said: “This is hugely disappointing and will shock the many thousands of Scots who fed into the government’s consultation, calling for a net-zero target…
    “Science says we need strong action now. Other countries such as New Zealand, Iceland and Sweden have already set net-zero targets in their legislation, thanks to Greens in government.”…

    Claire Mack, chief executive of Scottish Renewables, added: “Countries around the world are looking to increase their climate change targets to deliver the ambition of the Paris Agreement, so it is right that Scotland does so too…

    Ministers say 90% is deemed “at the limit of feasibility” by the UK Committee on Climate Change.
    The legislation will commit to net-zero carbon emissions when there is sufficient evidence to demonstrate the target date is credible and achievable…

    25 May: BBC: Climate change: Welsh emissions target progress ‘disappointing’
    Wales is expected to miss its own target for cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, AMs have admitted.
    Welsh Government ministers set a 10-year target in 2010 to slash emissions by 40% below levels of 1990. But by 2015, only a 19% drop has been reached.
    The assembly’s climate change committee report said Wales’ industrial profile and ***cold winters should have been taken into account when the targets were set…
    New, lower emissions targets are now being set with advice from the UK Committee on Climate Change – a move AMs called “regrettable but necessary”…

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  • #
    Gazman

    This whole Ridd affair, and the Carter affair before it from JCU reminds of the song “Welcome to the Machine” from Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here album.
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9qEsTCTuajE

    It’s amazing how often leftists are the prophets of their own evil.

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    pat

    22 May: World Bank: More Governments Taking Up Carbon Pricing and Seeing Big Benefits in Revenues: World Bank Report
    In 2017, Governments Raised About $33 Billion In Carbon Pricing Revenue, a 50% increase from 2016
    Frankfurt, May 22, 2018 – Governments at national and subnational levels around the world continue to prepare for, and implement, carbon pricing initiatives as a means to curb their emissions while ***raising revenues, a new World Bank report finds…

    Launched at the Innovate4Climate conference in Frankfurt, the annual State and Trends of Carbon Pricing 2018 report (LINK) shows that carbon pricing continues to gain traction…

    “Governments at all levels are starting to see the effectiveness of carbon pricing in their efforts to cut harmful carbon pollution while also raising revenues for climate and ***other policies, including environmental action,” said John Roome, World Bank Senior Director for Climate Change…

    “Governments at all levels are starting to see the effectiveness of carbon pricing in their efforts to cut harmful carbon pollution while also raising revenues for climate and other policies, including environmental action,” said John Roome, World Bank Senior Director for Climate Change.

    To download the full report visit LINK
    http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2018/05/22/more-governments-taking-up-carbon-pricing-and-seeing-big-benefits-in-revenues-world-bank-report

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  • #
    Peter C

    I made it to the Australain Libertarian Comference in Sydney.

    I met Kinky Keith in the first few minutes! Then I listened to JoNova and Ian Plimer talk about Energy and the Environment. They had 30 minutes each. Plimer talked about the benefits of CO2 and the total failure of correlation between CO2 levels and temperature on geological time frames.

    Jo talked about how to ruin the Australian Electricty Grid in 3 Easy Steps, with power point slides. At lot of her material likely came from people here on the blog. She was direct and funny at times, even though it is a depressing story overall.

    A few minor things to address for the next talk;
    50 Hz, 3000 cycles per second and 3000 revs per minute got interchanged a few times,
    The grid frequency was shown as 48.85-50.15. I think 49.85 was intended. Nice slide however showing what happens when a slightly off frequency signal is introduced,
    Flinders Is in Bass Strait was an example of renewables replacing diesel fuel but I wondered if King Is was intended.

    Nick Minchin chaired the session and said that the introduction of the RET was the Howard Governments worst mistake.

    The next session I went to was entitled Shifting the Overton Window. It was all about how to communicate a message. The left has become very good at that and is running rings around us. We need to get more savvy.

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    pat

    LOL:

    ABC8: AP: Emails show collaboration among EPA, climate-change deniers
    By Ellen Knickmeyer
    Newly released emails show senior Environmental Protection Agency officials collaborating with a conservative group that dismisses climate change to rally like-minded people for public hearings on science and global warming, counter negative news coverage and tout Administrator Scott Pruitt’s stewardship of the agency…

    Follow-up emails show Konkus and the Heartland Institute mustering scores of potential invitees known for rejecting scientific warnings of man-made climate-change, including from groups like Plants Need CO2, The Right Climate Stuff, and Junk Science…
    They were obtained by the Environmental Defense Fund and the Southern Environmental Law Center, which sued to enforce a Freedom of Information request and provided them to The Associated Press…
    John Konkus, EPA’s deputy associate administrator for public affairs, repeatedly reached out to senior staffers at the Heartland Institute, according to the emails.
    The public hearing referred to in the May 2017 email ultimately was canceled when the EPA official who runs it fell ill, the EPA said…

    Konkus was a Republican political consultant when Pruitt named him to the agency. His duties include reviewing awards of hundreds of millions of dollars in federal grants. The Washington Post reported in September that Konkus had been scrutinizing grant applications for mentions of climate change, which he reportedly calls “the double C-word.”…

    And an email from Bast, shared with EPA staffers and others, shows the then-Heartland president celebrating news that a reporter, Justin Gillis, was leaving The New York Times.
    “Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead . Still waiting for Chris Mooney and Juliet Eilperin at the WaPo and Seth Borenstein at AP to flame out,” Bast writes.
    Spokespeople for the AP, The Washington Post and The New York Times declined comment
    http://www.wric.com/news/national/emails-show-collaboration-among-epa-climate-change-deniers/1199655604

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    pat

    24 May: Bloomberg: Climate Change Warriors’ Latest Weapon of Choice Is Litigation
    By Jeremy Hodges, Lauren Leatherby and Kartikay Mehrotra
    “The courts are our last, best hope at this moment of irreversible harm to our planet and life on it,” said Julia Olson, an attorney for Our Children’s Trust, a legal challenge center in the U.S. that is involved in climate change litigation across 13 countries, including the U.S., Pakistan and Uganda…

    “The political branches of government have had decades to stop destroying our climate system; now only court-ordered mandates will stop the destruction our governments are perpetuating, and increasingly supporting,” said Olson…

    And the American suits look to be influencing lawyers the world over: Similar cases could be imminent in the Netherlands and France…

    More cases are using human rights arguments, in which plaintiffs make the case that climate change has threatened or taken away populations’ basic rights to shelter, health, food, water and even life…
    Some cases may not focus on climate change itself but center on factors that lead to climate change, like air pollution…

    Governments fighting climate change litigation reflect a power struggle. Courts could force adjustments to the political platforms that got some of these officials elected…
    https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2018-climate-change-lawsuits/

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    pat

    ramping up the pressure on pension funds. scary stuff:

    behind paywall:

    MPs tackle pension fund ‘complacency’ over climate risks
    Financial Times · 20 hours ago
    Six of the UK’s biggest pension funds have come under fire from British MPs over their failure to address climate change risks…

    5 March: CityAM UK: MPs grill top pension funds over climate change risks
    by Courtney Goldsmith
    The UK’s top pension funds are being grilled by MPs over how they manage financial risks posed by climate change as the government admits there is “widespread misunderstanding” among trustees on the scope of their duties.
    The chair of the cross-party Environmental Audit Committee has written to the top 25 pension funds in the UK, which have about £555bn in combined assets under management, as part of an inquiry into Green Finance.
    “We want to know what pension funds are doing to safeguard people’s pensions from the financial risks of climate change,” said Mary Creagh, the chair of the committee…

    One survey by the trade magazine Professional Pensions suggested 53 per cent of trustees did not see climate change as a financially material risk to their own or their clients’ portfolios.
    “Whilst there are clearly trustees who understand the issues, are actively engaging with them and are reviewing and where necessary amending their investment strategies accordingly, good practice appears to be far from universal,” the DWP said.
    The Bank of England meanwhile said: “Climate change and society’s responses to it, presents financial risks which impact upon the Bank’s objectives.”…
    Breeden also said the Bank was engaging with initiatives to support an orderly market transition to a lower-carbon economy.
    http://www.cityam.com/281616/mps-grill-top-pension-funds-over-climate-change-risks

    25 May: Business Green: James Murray: ‘Worryingly complacent’: MPs warn too many pension funds are failing to engage with climate risks
    Environmental Audit Committee finds a majority of large pension funds are addressing climate change, but warns a number of funds are ignoring strategic risks
    The UK’s leading pension funds are pursuing a decidedly mixed approach to tackling escalating climate risks, with some moving to reduce their exposure to high risk assets and others failing to acknowledge climate-related impacts present a strategic risk to their investments.

    That is the conclusion of the Environmental Audit Committee of MPs as it today’s publishes responses it has received from the UK’s 25 largest pension funds, as well as the Parliamentary Pension Fund…
    Significantly, it also calls for firms to undertake scenario planning, where they assess how their strategic plans and investments measure up against a range of climate scenarios, including if the world succeeds in meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement and develops a net zero emission global economy this century.

    Investors and campaigners have consistently warned that if the world successfully decarbonises a raft of high carbon assets and investments, many of which are held by pension funds, will become stranded and see their valuations plummet as economies switch to cleaner alternatives…

    More broadly the EAC found that only 12 of the 25 pension funds that responded had considered climate risks at board level, while five respondents could not point to even one action on climate risks…

    Joanne Etherton, pensions lawyer at ClientEarth: “Pension funds, by their nature, are longer-horizon investments and those who manage them are well aware of that,” she said. “This new data shows a worrying minority of funds which are still not formally considering climate change as a strategic risk.”…

    She added that the entire investment and pensions community now needed to do more to encourage effective climate risk management. “The laggards need to catch up,” she said. “It falls to everyone on the investment chain to look at climate change – whether you’re a trustee, an actuary or an asset manager, there is no excuse not to turn your attention to climate change.”
    https://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/3033017/worryingly-complacent-mps-warn-too-many-pension-funds-are-failing-to-engage-with-climate-risks

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      Latus Dextro

      UNEP Divestment dogma in action. ‘Scary’ doesn’t begin to describe it. It’s terrifying. And so much of the financial sector are at it, presumably motivated by ‘fear’? Imposing their Green dogma on locked in pensions, under the guise of ‘we know best’ and we own the high ground on ‘ethical’ investing. They deem and impose their interpretation of ‘ethics’ as policy. The punter has no say.

      I know of one Assurance Society in NZ that has engaged in Green divestment dogma. Amusingly, they’re also in the enthusiastic and expensive process of changing their letterhead to adopt greens and blues instead of the current crimson. Virtue signalling is strong here. They intend to turn the company into a a tax free charity, and use funds to support a separate entity, a national ‘do gooder’ trust. The Board of this trust is not electable by the membership of the Assurance Society and can presumably decide what it funds and by how much. I’m guessing that then they will then seek accredited NGO status from UN ECOSOC. Meanwhile, the elected government loses out on the tax, and the people on an opportunity to chose which MP’s to elect to spend it.

      Why few see this is as depressing as it is beyond me. For this is exactly how the eco-Marxist globalism ideology is implemented, beneath the government and beyond the people.

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        pat

        Latus Dextro -

        every country needs the equivalent of:

        22 May: The Hill: Former Trump adviser heads effort to crack down on climate shareholder resolutions
        By Timothy Cama
        A former top energy and environment adviser to President Trump is leading an industry-backed effort to crack down on corporate shareholders’ resolutions on hot-button controversies like climate change.
        George David Banks, who was the top White House adviser on international energy and environment policy, is serving as executive director of the project, dubbed the Main Street Investors Coalition.

        In recent years, investors such as big firms, state pension funds and nongovernmental organizations have pushed shareholder votes — frequently nonbinding — asking corporations to take certain actions like better account for their greenhouse gas emissions or distance themselves from the gun industry, a process known as shareholder advocacy.
        The new group, backed by the National Association of Manufacturers, the American Council for Capital Formation and the Savings & Retirement Foundation, argues that the resolutions hurt investors like 401(k) holders.

        “The rise in low-fee passive investing has been a good thing for retail investors,” Banks said in a statement. “But as the size and influence of these massive institutional holders has grown, so too has their ability to drown-out the voices and interests of Main Street investors who, despite controlling the single largest pool of equity capital in the world, have no ability to influence the decisions these funds make on their behalf, with their money.”

        The group will focus on public advocacy, trying to convince individual investors that the resolutions are a bad idea.

        Banks is also the executive vice president of the American Council for Capital Formation and an adjunct professor at Columbia University.
        He left the White House in February after he was denied a security clearance due to his admission that he smoked marijuana previously.

        Banks had a leading role in the administration’s policies regarding the Paris climate agreement, energy-related sanctions and energy trade, among other matters.
        http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/388763-former-trump-adviser-heads-effort-to-crack-down-on-climate

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          pat

          reminder:

          Dec 2017: San Diego Union Tribune: Report says CalPERS investments too focused on environmental and social activism
          By Rob Nikolewski
          The American Council for Capital Formation (ACCF) said CalPERS board members have overemphasized what are called Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investments — and the sluggish returns on those investments are dragging down the pension fund’s bottom line…

          Established in 1932, the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) is the nation’s largest public pension fund, covering 1.8 million public workers and retirees in California. Earlier this year, the fund reported $326 billion in market value.
          But the ACCF report, pointing at CalPERS’ annual report released last month, said the pension fund’s future liability exceeds its assets by $138 billion.
          The report takes aim at CalPERS’ nine worst-performing funds, four of which were ESG investments. By contrast, the pension fund’s 25 top-performing funds were not ESG investments…

          ACCF criticized CalPERS investments in a number of solar panel manufacturers that soured when the market hit a glut. The report also questioned the pension board’s plans to increase climate-related shareholder proposals from 12 to 17.
          The report also takes aim at individual board members. ACCF said a review of public disclosure records of the fund’s chief investment officer and two senior executives did not show any ESG investments, prompting the report to call it “ESG investing for thee — but not for me.”…
          http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/business/energy-green/sd-fi-calpers-report-20171211-story.html

          27 Apr: Pensions&Investments: California Senate committee kills bill allowing employees to opt out of CalPERS
          By Arleen Jacobius
          Three California state bills, including one that would have allowed new state workers to opt out of CalPERS and divert the employee and employer contributions to a new defined contribution plan, failed to pass the California Senate Public Employment and Retirement Committee…

          read all:

          21 May: LA Times: After questions raised about CalPERS CFO’s background and experience, he’s ‘no longer with’ the pension fund
          By Michael Hiltzik
          http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-hiltzik-asubonten-20180521-story.html

          22 May: WSJ: Calpers CFO Becomes Latest Official to Exit Largest U.S. Public Pension
          After several months on the job, Charles Asubonten ‘no longer works’ at Calpers
          By Heather Gillers
          The CFO reports directly to Chief Executive Marcie Frost but doesn’t oversee Calpers’ $355 billion in investments; ***that job belongs to the chief investment officer…

          14 May: LA Times: AP: ***Chief investment officer is leaving CalPERS, California’s $350-billion pension fund
          The chief investment officer of California’s $350-billion pension fund is stepping aside.
          Ted Eliopoulos announced Monday that he’s leaving the California Public Employees’ Retirement System after a replacement is hired. He is one of California’s highest paid state workers and responsible for the nation’s largest public pension fund.
          Eliopoulos’ five-year tenure coincided with significant volatility in financial markets.
          CalPERS investments returned 11.2% last fiscal year after they fell short of the system’s 7% target for several years…
          CalPERS said he would assist in the transition through the end of this year…

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            pat

            9 Dec 2017: Los Angeles Daily News: CalPERS exposes taxpayers to unnecessary risks
            By Jon Coupal
            (Jon Coupal is president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association)
            Listing all the deficiencies of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System would be a daunting task. A long history of corruption involving so-called “placement fees,” dysfunctional governance, undue union influence and poor rates of return are themselves reasons why California needs fundamental pension reform.
            Now we can add to that list how CalPERS’s mindless pursuit of progressive, feel-good causes exposes taxpayers to even greater risk.

            In a scathing report released earlier this week, the American Council for Capital Formation blamed CalPERS’ poor investment results over the last decade on its increasing focus on “sustainable” investing strategies. Often referred to as ESG policies (environmental, social and governance) this strategy applies subjective opinions in an effort to measure the sustainability and “ethical impact” of an investment in a company or business…
            According to the report, “During this time of increased ESG investing and activism, the fund’s performance has suffered, converting a $3 billion pension surplus to nearly $140 billion deficit over the past 10 years.”…

            The shift by CalPERS away from basing investment decisions on objective financial performance has also caught the eye of current employees and retirees who depend on CalPERS for their pensions. According to a recent Sacramento Bee article entitled, “Before CalPERS can save the world, public workers want it to save their pensions,” a police officer testified before the CalPERS board on ESG investing. The officer, who was also the treasurer of his local police association, stated, “We cannot afford to lose funding for law enforcement officers in exchange for a socially responsible investment policy.”…

            As noted above, even public employees are beginning to question ESG investment strategies by CalPERS, as well they should. But let’s not forget who remains the ultimate backstop for California’s public employee retirement plans — California taxpayers. Bad investment decisions and dysfunctional governance have already taken their toll as the slice of general fund budgets for both state and local governments dedicated to pension costs continues to “crowd out” other public needs.

            Nothing could be more succinct than this statement from the Council of Institutional Investors: “When the managers take their eyes off the ball and the funds are mismanaged, taxpayers often have to make up the difference, especially with public systems like CalPERS — the largest public U.S. pension fund.”

            Ultimately, the answer is phasing out California’s system of defined benefits and, as other states have begun to do, shift to defined contributions. For the employees, the latter are similar to 401(k) retirement plans, are portable and allow the employee to choose the level of risk that is right for them. The best feature, however, is eliminating future risk to taxpayers because their financial obligation would be met at the close of every pay period. That’s much better than having hundreds of billions in unfunded pension obligations that will burden future generations for decades.

            In the meantime, however, Exxon and Smith & Wesson are still good investments.
            https://www.dailynews.com/2017/12/09/calpers-exposes-taxpayers-to-unnecessary-risks/

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    David Maddison

    “Thought crime” is now a pubishable offence.

    First Peter Ridd here in Australia.

    Now Tommy Robinson in the UK.

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      Peter C

      I wondered about the connection between Peter Ridd and Tommy Robertson.

      Frank Davis gives his take here,
      https://cfrankdavis.wordpress.com/2018/05/26/reporting-restrictions/

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        PeterS

        Yes there’s a pattern in all this. It’s the intractability by an individual to stand up for freedom of speech regardless of the repercussions on the one hand, and the inflexible nature of the authorities to carry out their demands on people who have been warned not to step away from the line. It’s a clash of worldviews. One side believes in the freedom to think and say whatever they feel is right even if they are wrong, the other side believes we must do what we are told under the law regardless of whether it is right or wrong.

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    David Maddison

    *punishable

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    pat

    worthwhile noting “renewables” weren’t the only thing the Weatherill Govt got wrong…read all:

    26 May: news.com.au: Billion dollar bungles at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, Australia’s most expensive building, puts ‘lives at risk’
    IT COST more than a Las Vegas casino or Taiwanese skyscraper but this new Aussie hospital is such a disaster it may have to be rebuilt.
    by Benedict Brook
    For its $2.4 billion price tag, patients and medical staff were promised Australia’s most modern medical facility; a paperless building brimming with robots where patients were fast-tracked not on to wards but to private rooms with ensuite amenities…
    What they got was a multi-billion dollar debacle which had such a calamitous opening that next month it could be stripped of the accreditation it needs to keep operating, according to the Advertiser.

    Eight months after the first patient entered the new facility in Adelaide’s CBD, serious problems persist, say people at the coalface.
    The new State Government, which took office in March, said bungles at the hospital were “staggering” while parts of the building were “not fit for purpose” and would have to be rebuilt…

    Phil Palmer, General Secretary of the SA Ambulance Employees Association, told news.com.au staff morale was low, the move to the new hospital had been a “recipe for disaster” and lives were being put at risk…
    “The government of the day made a mistake of building a new hospital with a new geography, new models of care and a new electronic patient system, and it all happened at once and it was a recipe for disaster.”…READ ALL
    http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/billion-dollar-bungles-at-the-royal-adelaide-hospital-australias-most-expensive-building-puts-lives-at-risk/news-story/21e0e5a278e9a4d1f5cab0b153c702e

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    Lewis P Buckingham

    Just came across this analysis of a situation where work in a medical establishment in Sweden was corrupted but no one whistleblowed until
    the fourth estate became involved.
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048733318300817

    Highlights

    We study scientific misconduct associated with the decease of several patients.


    We use institutional logics to investigate misconduct defenders and opponents.


    We analyze the role of a market-oriented logic versus scientific and medical logics.


    We show how leading journals accepted unethical papers and resist to retract them.


    We suggest comparisons of misconduct management in academia and other fields.

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