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James Cook Uni goes nuclear on free speech: Professor Peter Ridd sacked

UPDATE Watch Peter Ridd on Sky News. I’ll be on the show myself next Sunday. – Jo

Peter Ridd was a student at JCU. Photo, James Cook University.

Peter Ridd as a first year undergraduate science student at James Cook University back in 1978.

This is so much bigger than just one man and one university. Academic staff everywhere will be watching, most to see if they can say what they really think, but others, conversely to see whether James Cook University can get away with this. Can they squelch opinions they don’t like this easily?

James Cook Uni needs to be punished, mocked and heads should roll. We didn’t ask for this test, but it’s here. JCU don’t deserve a single dollar of taxpayer funds while they maintain this ridiculous anti-intellectual and political pogrom.

Peter Ridd wants his job back and he’s willing to fight to get it. Let’s help him!

Peter Ridd’s new website.                             Donate at his GoFundMe page.

Summary of Allegations with brief explanation

First they tried to punish Peter Ridd for daring to question divine institutions and sacred peer review. These are the words JCU wanted banned:

 ”…we can no longer trust the scientific organisations like the Australian Institute of Marine Science, even things like the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies – a lot of this is stuff is coming out, the science is coming out not properly checked, tested or replicated and this is a great shame because we really need to be able to trust our scientific institutions and the fact is I do not think we can any more.”

Then it became an order for him not to discuss their campaign to silence him. Now this is about his right to free speech to discuss their effort to stop free speech. JCU objects to him raising funds to defend himself — Did he breach a confidentiality agreement that James Cook Uni had no right to ask for? Does he have a conflict of interest by accepting money from the IPA given to help him defend himself?

This is a pure free speech battle — uni’s can accuse, but victims can’t defend

This taints all research James Cook University puts out. We know all reports will be pre-filtered or self censored.

It’s nothing but a legal hammer to stop the uni being exposed for behaving like a parasitic political tool. JCU accepts funds as a scientific institution but if it sacks people for saying the wrong thing, it proves it is really producing political documents disguised as unbiased research. Obviously no JCU researchers are free to “discover” anything that threatens the grand gravy train or suggests taxpayers are not getting good value.

This taints all research the institution puts out. How do we know that any news they announce is the whole truth — we must assume every result is put through the political filter and inconvenient conclusions or implications are removed.

It’s become a parody — JCU are denying they curtail academic freedom while they shift to an Academic-DefCon1 level, and type in the launch codes to stop him not only speaking about scientific matters, but also legal and free speech matters. JCU are nice people but Ridd should be sacked for talking to his wife and using words like “amusement”. The mildest irony is illegal!

JCU say he was making things up when he claims they told him not to talk to his wife but it was “misconduct” to email her:

(d) [James Cook University] Claims that Ridd was wrong to state in the GoFundMe campaign that the university did not allow him to tell his wife about the original allegations. It is certainly true that after a couple of months the university finally relented and allowed Ridd to talk to his wife. Then shortly after, the university made two allegations of serious misconduct about emailing his wife information relating to the case.

Ridd is free to speak, as long as he says the right things. He is not free to trvialize, satirize or parody JCU:

(e) Accused Ridd that he “trivialised, satirised or parodied” the disciplinary process by sending a copy of a newspaper article about the case to an old friend with the subject line “for your amusement”.  The university particularly objected to the use of the word “amusement”.  Naughty word apparently, but the university thought-police got it totally wrong. Ridd sees nothing amusing about what is happening to him. The strain and pressure is constant and potentially crushing – he was being ironic.

JCU claims he intimidated them after they intimidated him: It is so unfair!

(f) At the initial, and very frightening, serious misconduct interview in August 2017 when Ridd was handed by the Dean and HR representative the first set of allegations, and where there was a clear and imminent threat of dismissal, Ridd made it clear that he was going to fight the allegations all the way. Ridd said the words, “You should look at me as a poisonous fruit” and “[the University] could eat me…but  it will hurt; I will make sure it hurts”.  The university claims that this “language used is threatening, insubordinate, disrespectful”. In context, Ridd had just been told he was going into a procedure where the university is the judge, jury and probable executioner.  He was simply being defiant against the odds.

Peter Ridd‘s GoFundMe page for Donations.

Of professors, there are only a few,
Who dare challenge or doubt peer-review,
Of all topics climatic,
Which is so problematic,
For alarmists who think it taboo.

–Ruairi

 

Jennifer Marohasy battles on: University Professor Sacked for Telling-the-Truth:

To be clear, the university is not questioning the veracity of what ex-professor Ridd has written, but rather his right to say this publicly. In particular, the university is claiming that he has not been collegial and continues to speak-out even after he was told to desist.

New allegations have been built on the original misconduct charges that I detailed back in February. The core issue continues to be Peter’s right to keep talking – including so that he can defend himself.

In particular, the university objects to the original GoFundMe campaign (that Peter has just reopened) because it breaches claimed confidentiality provisions in Peter’s employment agreement. The university claims that Peter Ridd was not allowed to talk about their action against him. Peter disputes this.

Of course, if Peter had gone along with all of this, he would have been unable to raise funds to get legal advice – to defend himself! All of the documentation is now being made public – all of this information, and more can be found at Peter’s new website.

The Institute of Public Affairs published Climate Change, The Facts 2017, and continues to support Peter’s right to speak the truth. For media and comment contact Evan Mulholland on 0405 140 780, or at emulholland@ipa.org.au.

Buy the book if you haven’t already: this is another way of showing your support.

Just yesterday (Friday 18 May), Peter lodged papers in the Australian Federal Court. He is going to fight for his job back! 

If you care about the truth, science and academic freedom, please donate to help bring this important case to court.

It doesn’t matter how little or how much you donate. Just make sure you are a part of this important effort by donating to Peter’s GoFundMe campaign.

There is more information at my blog, and a chart showing how much some reef researchers have fudged the figures.

Marohasy has a lot more about Ridd’s scientific importance, read it all.

See also WattsUp. “Climate skeptic professor Peter Ridd fired for his views by James Cook University @jcu”

“Let’s make them miserable using every legal method available.        – Anthony Watts”

Graham Lloyd at The Australian: Marine Science Rebel sacked at James Cook Uni

Suspending him from duty last month, JCU deputy vice-chancellor Tricia Brand said Professor Ridd had engaged in serious misconduct, including denigrating the university and its employees.

Terminating his employment, Vice-Chancellor Sandra Harding said he had “engaged in a pattern of conduct that misrepresents the nature and conduct of the disciplinary process through publi­cations online and in the media”.

“You have repeatedly and knowingly breached your obli­gations to maintain the confidentiality of disciplinary processes,” Professor Harding wrote in a letter to Professor Ridd. “You have repeatedly and wilfully denigrated the university and your colleagues, and in doing so damaged the reputation of the university.”

Ridd is fighting back:

Professor Ridd responded by lodging new legal documents with the Federal Court. He said he would fight the sacking alongside 25 charges behind JCU’s “final censure” of him last year.

After already raising $100,000 from international donors in one day, Professor Ridd has turned again to the public for support.

“JCU appears to be willing to spend their near unlimited legal resources fighting me,” he said.

Professor Ridd claims he had been censured because he had “questioned the reliability of science coming from some of our most prestigious organisations who are claiming that the GBR is badly damaged”.

“All I am saying is we need to check this ‘science’,” he said.

Handy contacts:

Share your thoughts. Speak now while we still can:

 Peter Ridd‘s GoFundMe page for Donations.

The group-thinking warmists who preach,
A consensus, will censure free speech,
And those who might dare,
Have their science laid bare,
They would gladly dismiss and impeach.

–Ruairi

Jo Nova
Last chance to book for the Friedman conference!
Science is nothing without free speech. Join the ATA and friends — people who fight for it.  I’ll be speaking with Ian Plimer next weekend on How to Destroy an Electricity Grid. It’s a great line up of speakers on May 25-27, or come for the Gala dinner. Get a 10% discount with the code Nova18. Bookings close tomorrow.

h/t Jennifer, Steve H, Pat, Another Ian, Albert Parker, William Happer, David B.

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James Cook Uni goes nuclear on free speech: Professor Peter Ridd sacked, 9.8 out of 10 based on 94 ratings

Tiny Url for this post: http://tinyurl.com/ya3qzbkb

337 comments to James Cook Uni goes nuclear on free speech: Professor Peter Ridd sacked

  • #
    David Maddison

    Disgraceful.

    261

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      Simply put….Alea Iacta Est….

      21

    • #
      Bite Back

      David,

      You left out a few applicable words. Along with disgraceful I can easily say disgusting and more that our hostess probably would not allow.

      BB

      71

    • #
      Alfred

      Sorry about jumping up front.

      I have created a meetup.com group based in Cairns to try and get people more aware of what is going on here. The Cairns Post seems to be ignoring the story – while telling us all about the wedding of the son of Diana and the ex-army officer.

      Cairns Supporters of the Scientific Method

      If you live in Cairns, please join and try to come along at our next meeting.

      41

  • #
    Another Ian

    Bumped from last thread

    And Andrew Bolt

    “SCEPTIC PETER RIDD SACKED. DONATE TO DEFEND”

    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/blogs/andrew-bolt/sceptic-peter-ridd-sacked-donate-to-defend/news-story/c74a43613140a93fd1c6dbc8c29c0600

    162

  • #
    Another Ian

    Reply to Tony in Oz

    Similar results for Wikipedia with DDG – William Connelly back in action?

    JCU won’t like the number of headlines on the subject that come up in the DDG search either IMO

    Found this

    “Contact – Prof Peter Ridd – Research Portfolio – James Cook University
    Use this form to contact Prof Peter Ridd directly.
    [Search domain research.jcu.edu.au] https://research.jcu.edu.au/portfolio/peter.ridd/contact

    Which gives a staff list but doesn’t find him

    111

  • #
    cohenite

    Good article Jo.

    182

  • #
    Latus Dextro

    Hi there JCU and your friends over at The Con, you’ve just precipitated the Streisand Effect of the Schneiderman Syndrome. You really don’t want to draw attention to the ideological usurping of science, the scientific method or university culture, but you simply can’t help yourselves. The pecksniffian Left never can.

    372

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      Thought up what the letters might stand for….

      Just Crucify U…

      Maybe there might be others?

      61

  • #
    TdeF

    I have donated as before.

    However this is feeding the problem not the solution. All this money is about making lawyers rich. JCU has infinite funding and as a recipient of perhaps hundreds of millions directly related to the Great Barrier Reef and the alleged Man Made Global Warming, Man Made bleaching, man made destruction of the reef, has a lot to lose with anyone questioning ‘the science’. Imagine if the funding stopped?

    So we all know what is at stake. It is not about the reputation of one University. If it was, the Vice Chancellor and friends would have no fired him.

    However death by lawyer is not a good result for anyone involved but so far the Vice Chancellor Prof Harding is pontificating on the rights of the University.

    Ms Harding is an American arts and social sciences graduate and professional administrator with an honorary doctorate and has joined every administrative organization and club it is possible to join. The only thing missing is a sense of responsibility to Dr Ridd or a concern about his welfare. Seemingly he should be made to suffer for her principles. Sentenced to exile then.

    The Vice Chancellor who avoids the elephant in the room, massive funding for Reef Research, pretends it is all about propriety. What about Professor Ridd’s physical and mental health and well being? Is he to be sacrificed? Then what if his comments are right? What is the university doing about it? Why not investigate his comments and prove him wrong? At least in Stalinist Russia he would be made to confess before being sent to the Gulag.

    However you have to personalize it. Make the pushers of this punishment of one man to enjoy the fun process of torture by the legal system over the next decade. Torture by delay, by endless negotiation, meeting, public opinion and the thousands of hours spent talking about nothing and strategy and pressure while the court takes six months for every formality. Look at Mark Steyn, Professor Peter Ball, the total lack of action. I knew one solicitor who said in his long experience he had never seen justice done.

    So Peter must identify and join the individual perpetrators to the action personally. Let them enjoy their time with their lawyers. No one ever gets their costs back, even when so rarely awarded. Better still, he needs to threaten to do so and settle this now with his reputation intact.

    Settlement is what must happen in the end. Even a verdict can be appealed and so on. The courts are never about right and wrong. The Science will never be settled, but feeding the legal machine does not help either. He must join at least the Vice Chancellor to the action personally for the pompous justification of extreme punishment for a man who expresses a professional opinion. Silencing one man is not so easy and Ms Harding needs to explain why he is being punished to a judge. In every sense at her own cost, not that of the university.

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    • #
      TdeF

      Sorry about the typos. The university would noT have fired him.

      Surely firing Peter seemed like a simple decision at the time, but it is high handed, unjustified and utterly unfair for anyone in any job. He has done no wrong, expressing an opinion. These are not State Secrets. At least they should have addressed his comments to say he was right, wrong or they would look into them. This is execution for the fact of expressing a personal opinion. It seems opinions in science should come from the Vice Chancellor. No member of staff is allowed comment. Unbelievable dictatorship in what is, after all, the public service.

      311

      • #

        Yes TdeF but sometimes it helps to fight fire with fire. Qld has a Public Sector Ethics Act which which directly applies by wording in the Act to Qld Univerties. The vice-chancellor and her deputy should be charged with breaching the ACT. I believe charges can be filed at no cost with QCAT. Is there a lawyer or orgsnisation that can do that. These two clearly have no ethics beside being in competent. They are the ones ruining the reputation of Universties and JCU in particular.

        30

    • #
      TdeF

      Sorry, again, Professor Tim Ball.

      101

    • #
      sophocles

      JCU saw Macquarie “get away with it” with Salby, so they fitted Ridd with a hemp collar.

      I remember reading something many years ago, a work of fiction wherein an academic came into conflict with the high level administration of a college of Oxford University and commented that:

      there is nothing so petty and vicious as academic politics”

      Sometimes fiction is surprisingly accurate … :-(

      81

      • #
        Latus Dextro

        “there is nothing so petty and vicious as academic politics”

        Academic communities, misguided and ideological as they currently appear, are intense places of great agitation, neurosis and anxiety underpinned by a intelligence base of, for the sake of discussion, >1.5 – 2

        30

        • #
          Latus Dextro

          Full post. Inadvertent truncation for unknown reasons.

          “there is nothing so petty and vicious as academic politics”

          Academic communities, misguided and ideological as they currently appear, are intense places of great agitation, neurosis and anxiety underpinned by a intelligence base of, for the sake of discussion, >1.5 – 2

          00

        • #
          sophocles

          What we are seeing are the results of the post 1980s efforts of the World Bank to deform reform all nations’ economies along the lines of the Bank’s “economic vision” in which everything has to be run like a commercial organization, without exception, and that includes Universities. It was all part and parcel of stamping out global “socialism”

          Services, whether natural monopolies or not, must be reformed into profit-making organizations. If they can be sold off into “private” ownership, that’s not only even better but encouraged. Under this paradigm, a university is not a place of “higher learning” but a factory: a diploma, degree and research mill. It’s name is its “brand” and it’s “competing” with all the other world universities. Advanced education is a personal “good,” not a national one, and it has to be paid for. Everyone has to carry lots more debt.

          Performance of the university is now measured by pass rates and research publications.

          “Hard” courses are threatened by non-funding by government so academic rigour is sacrificed. (I’m waiting for more bridges and tall buildings to collapse as engineering degree rigour is reduced. It’s happening.) Research is measured by published output and the ability to “monetize” the result, so researchers respond by wringing as many papers as possible out of any one piece of original research. The research is for sale: it’s “intellectual property” not public good, not an extension of mankind’s knowledge. Therefore level of trivia climbs every year. “Fake data” is ever more attractive.

          A lot of research cannot be replicated in order to check it or extend it. Ridd is so right.

          This is why tertiary education has deteriorated alongside real research.

          This is also why economies have steadily stagnated—the growing debt-load suffocates. It’s going to worsen with “sustainability,” but that’s another topic.

          Peter Ridd has run head-on into this paradigm. Peter is, unfortunately for him, right but he is seen as wrong, and the modern JCU will fight tooth and nail because their “brand” has to be protected. Unfortunately for JCU, they’re run by small minds. Their actions to “man the trenches,” arm the rocket launchers and go to war to protect their “brand” is risible. A larger mind would have looked closer and annulled Ridd’s critiques by seeming to listen, proclaiming their willingness to “investigate” and “modify to improve” to the world and won our hearts and minds as a forward looking and serious scientific organization.

          It wouldn’t have mattered if behind the scenes they did sod all about it; the global public, “the ignorant plebs” (in their view) and Prof Ridd would all be left with the warm fuzzies that, yes, the Uni cared and they were doing something about it. A few “minor” reform announcements would have kept those warm and fuzzies going for years.

          But no, they had been attacked, so it was out with the napalm, the rocket launchers and the tin hats to attack the perceived source of “the danger.”

          They had been criticized!

          Petty and vicious.

          60

          • #
            Radical Rodent

            Just to let you know – I am nicking this post in its entirety! A fantastic summation of all that is going wrong!

            20

  • #
    TdeF

    Also universities, in fact all education is a State matter. Thanks to the iniquity of Federal collection of most taxes, principally income tax, much of the funding is given directly and with discretion Federally through a loophole in the constitution. Even so, the points Peter has raised go to the heart of this funding, the control of Science by science unqualified people in the University. It is important to go to the state administration of the University and to the Federal funding bodies to question this funding.

    After all, if Peter is found to be right, we the public, the taxpayers are funding a self justifying and questionable research program into the Great Barrier Reef. This is [snipped for legal reasons]. For cash. Questions need to be asked about this blatant attempt to silence a critic of the Climate Science at JCU. We remember well the attempt to silence and destroy the late great Prof. Bob Carter and the pressure he must have been under. Plus the late great cartoonist Bill Leak. This is more than a man and his job. This is the politically correct brutally silencing dissent.

    281

    • #
      Concerned Senior

      TdeF, I don’t know if you are related to the late Dr.Chris de Freitas, Climatologist and Professor of Geography at Auckland University who was hounded and vilified for daring to have a different opinion to the supporters of CAGW. I have and still do have the greatest esteem and respect for Chris. His passing saddened me immensely. If you are related I want you to know that he was a brave and fearless fighter for the truth.

      00

  • #
    TdeF

    Also universities, in fact all education is a State matter. Thanks to the iniquity of Federal collection of most taxes, principally income tax, much of the funding is given directly and with discretion Federally through a loophole in the constitution. Even so, the points Peter has raised go to the heart of this funding, the control of Science by science unqualified people in the University. It is important to go to the state administration of the University and to the Federal funding bodies to question this funding.

    After all, if Peter is found to be right, we the public, the taxpayers are funding a self justifying and questionable research program into the Great Barrier Reef. Questions need to be asked about this blatant attempt to silence a critic of the Climate Science at JCU. We remember well the attempt to silence and destroy the late great Prof. Bob Carter and the pressure he must have been under. Plus the late great cartoonist Bill Leak. This is more than a man and his job. This is the politically correct brutally silencing dissent.

    131

    • #
      el gordo

      ‘After all, if Peter is found to be right ….’

      Coral bleaching is caused by strong El Nino, a natural enigma, and not by industrial CO2. Peter agrees with me, so let right be done.

      91

  • #

    ‘Nullius in Verba,’ the motto of The Royal Society, should be
    every university’s motto and steadfastly upheld.

    151

  • #
    manalive

    Neither the vice-chancellor (economic sociologist) nor the deputy vice-chancellor (B. Comm accountant & “champion of sustainability”) would seem to have any idea what is proper empirically-based scientific inquiry.

    321

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      It seems now we have our own swamp that needs draining……

      I wonder also how many hapless academics might also get stuck in sea ice investigating global warming…ha ha!

      50

      • #
        sophocles

        …only when the sea ice is supposed to be “melted by AGW” and is ““not there”

        We definitely know that happens …. because it has! :-)

        42

    • #
      Latus Dextro

      Neither the vice-chancellor (economic sociologist) nor the deputy vice-chancellor (B. Comm accountant & “champion of sustainability”) would seem to have any idea what is proper empirically-based scientific inquiry.

      The Peter Principle appears quite accurate in stating that such people rise to the level of their incompetence.
      These two seem to have exceeded their wildest dreams and the nightmare of everyone else.

      31

  • #
    ROM

    As a taxpayer and retired farmer who had quite a lot of contact with agricultural scientists, I know that nothing is set in concrete when it comes to science and any conclusions that might arise out of the current day’s scientific research.

    Whatever scientific conclusions were reached yesterday and today, tomorrow science requires those conclusions to be further questioned, tested and refined or even repudiated as the science advances.

    And that requires constantly questioning minds and attitudes that are open to alternative lines of research and thought.

    As James Cook University [ JCU ] now appears to have deliberately closed off any questioning of its current science re the Great Barrier Reef by the dismissal of a scientist who was prepared to both question the current sreef science claims and offer alternative views on the Barrier Reef science done at JCU, we can only assume that JCU Reef science and the JCU Reef scientists now believe they have reached a point where any further research on the reef is unneccessary and perhaps even futile.

    JCU apparently believes that there is literally no point anymore in questioning Reef science as it stands today. They know it all and cannot be questioned or doubted on this subject

    Therefore as a taxpayer I believe that a corollary to this is as the JCU apparently believes it has reached the ultimate pinnacle in its researching of the Reef, there is no further need for the further lavish outlaying of tax payers dollars to be expended on Reef science.

    On that basis from an economic and scientific point of view it would be wise for the politicians and the bureaucratic scientific funding structures to remove all funding from the JCU Barrier Reef Unit and to dispense those rather large amounts of annual funding to other areas of science who have suffered a paucity of funding over the years due to the concentration of lavish funding on projects such as Barrier Reef science.

    In short, if the JCU does not believe that anybody particularly other scientists, should be allowed to question their Reef Science in any way, we have to assume that the JCU believes its Reef science unit has every field covered and fully researched and anything still possibly needed is now little more than a scientific archive of reef science.

    On that basis further expenditure on research and Reef reseachers is merely a waste of the public’s resources, resources which can be much better used in other areas of research science` particularly when all the relevant reef information is now contained within the Barrier Reef scientific archives.

    And so JCU’s Reef Science unit can be disbanded with little or no trauma and its scientists reassigned to other projects if the quality of eache’s personal research is high enough and the justification can be made for retaining them for other scientific research units, based on the quality of the Reef Science work they have done at JCU

    311

    • #
      Kinky Keith

      Scientific logic at it’s best.

      :-)

      KK

      121

      • #

        Scientific logic at it’s best. :-)

        Indeed; but only political (funding) post modern BS science; for profit, with not a smidgen of scientific method\effort! Learning\discovery is hard to do! Most cubical conjecture leads to the same dirt road; going in the direction of the same stinky SWAMP! PM science is getting your three cubie mates to agree with your BS!
        All the best!-will-

        40

        • #
          Kinky Keith

          Hi Will.

          ROMs comment was the epitome of logical deduction.

          James Cook university is obviously an institution with integrity.

          I’m sure that once they realize that they have attained the complete and absolute understanding of the coral environment there will be only one course of action.

          They will see that the only honorable thing to do is to refund the $500 million to the federal government and reassign staff.

          Thanks for that insight ROM.

          KK

          51

    • #
      David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

      I’ve sent an email to my local federal member asking him to request that the (federal) minister for education withdraw all commonwealth funding for JCU until it undertakes to guarantee freedom of speech on its campus.
      Cheers
      Dave B

      111

      • #
        David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

        PS I included a link to this post of Jo’s as a reference in my email.
        I think this is worth doing, regardless of any differences between yourself and your rep. At least it alerts them to the problem, Jo’s work and the reactions expressed here.
        Cheers,
        Dave B

        61

  • #
    Bob Fernley-Jones

    I suspect that James Cook University is very anxious to protect its source of funding for the modestly named ARC* Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University (JCU).

    *Australian Research Council (fund providers).

    Its Director is Prof Terry Hughes (JCU) with whom Prof Ridd has indicated some very valid differences in the scientific analysis of the state of the Great Barrier Reef.

    Hughes was convener of the 12th International Coral Reef Symposium in 2012 in exotic Cairns (Queensland Oz) where his agenda was clearly exposed and wherein a consensus of thousands was already documented even before the five-day event started.

    They partied here: http://www.icrs2012.com/Default.htm

    See more on this in my post at WUWT: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/07/25/six-easy-steps-for-saving-the-coral-reefs-for-our-grandchildren/

    111

    • #
      Kinky Keith

      Looks like New Years Eve on the great barrier reef.

      51

    • #
      Ted O'Brien.

      JCU does have a reputation to defend. And now would be a good time to call on them to defend it.

      97%.

      31

    • #
      WXcycles

      Oh they don’t like their dead ‘n deader Great Barrier Reef myth being challenged, too many hundreds of millions $$$ to risk allowing people to just present the unvarnished scientific counterpoints, or reveal that the Emporer is running around out of his trouser again.

      That one’s the sacred cash cow, the future of JCU finance and perpetual swaggering global fear-campaign, to scare-up some more pork.

      You can never have too much tax pork.

      71

  • #
    TdeF

    $150,897 of $260,000 goal at 5:21pm Eastern Standard Time.
    Surely this will give the Vice Chancellor something to reflect. This is not just about unfair dismissal, it is about the integrity of the University management, research and the handling of hundreds of millions in public money. It is not a very political problem.

    If the intent was to crush Dr. Ridd, it has backfired. Worse, it will be have to be defended in a number of courts, in Federal and State Parliaments and in the court of public opinion. This might have gone away, buried in the legal system. Now it is high drama.

    301

    • #
      PeterS

      Indeed he has a good case and I really can’t see how he can lose but I suppose the University will do all it can to obfuscate the case and try to weaken Peter Ridd to the point of giving up. I hope he doesn’t and he appears to has the stamina and conviction no to give up.

      161

      • #
        TdeF

        They need to settle this. It can only get worse and just did. The courts do not dispense justice, the system just destroys everyone. Big settlements are appealed. Cases are deferred. Justice delayed in justice denied and as long as the money keeps flowing, the lawyers keep going. Even a judgement can take weeks or months or years. I have never understood why?

        Consider poor Dr Tim Ball in Canada. Michael Mann’s refusal to honour an explicit undertaking to the court to present his data is simply refused after getting the case adjourned. In response the judge has done .. nothing. It is now over a year and in a case which started in 2011.

        So it is not about determination or stamina. Scientists need to understand the legal system is a money machine. When everyone stops paying, the case is quickly settled. Sadly, crowd funding may change that.

        111

  • #
    PeterS

    Why is this a surprise? Universities are not what they used to be. Today they are not interested in searching for the truth but instead teaching their students how to fight a cultural war against the West using the propaganda of leftism and socialism. Much of what passes as science today is actually philosophy. Nothing wrong with philosophy as I enjoy a good philosophical discussion (especially about ancient Greek philosophers) around a warm fire and a good bottle of wine or port (being Greek it’s in my blood) – except given 3 philosophers you will start off with at least 5 different opinions and over time during the discussion the count increases gradually, many of which are contradictory. So don’t expect to find many people at Universities seeking the truth in science unless it’s a rare individual like Peer Ridd who seeks the truth as traditional scientists did in the past.

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    • #
      Ted O'Brien.

      What’s a philosopher?

      12

    • #
      Ted O'Brien.

      What’s a philosopher?

      02

      • #
        PeterS

        A person who tries to conduct rational arguments and critical thinking to study the way we perceive and think about the world around us in terms of physical and non-physical abstract descriptors. At least that’s the original idea. Today it’s sometimes just irrational babble.

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        • #
          Ted O'Brien.

          The next question is who judges a philosopher? How can we tell a real philosopher from a fake philosopher?

          00

  • #
    Graeme No.3

    What effect do you think would the finding of research misconduct against Dr. Lonnstadt and Peter Eklov have on this ase?
    At Lund University (Sweden) after investigations led to their paper being withdrawn?
    “According to The Times of London, Dr Lonnstedt completed her undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral degrees at James Cook University.”

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    • #
      PeterS

      It’s amazing to see how many scientific papers were forced to be retracted for various reason, not the least of which is the deliberate falsification of the evidence. See https://retractionwatch.com/
      Peter Eklov is mentioned there in detail.

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  • #

    Repeating from an earlier thread, tell them what you think.

    alumni@jcu.edu.au
    engagement@jcu.edu.au

    I notice one of the “charges” against Peter is discussing the disciplinary action against him with someone else? If so, that is easily dealt with. It is an offence under industrial relations law for the University to say that, irrespective of whether there is provision in his contract to that effect.

    191

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      I think any internal matter thats not before the courts is fair game to be discussed with others …otherwise in effect you are effectively a slave of your employer.

      20

  • #
    Lewis P Buckingham

    TdeF makes a number of valid points.
    Back in the day at Sydney Uni the Proctorial board and Panel ruled with powers to ‘send down’ students.
    There was a star chamber system where the student could be arraigned before the Board, without legal representation.
    Those days are now, hopefully gone.
    It was almost impossible to remove staff.The Staff Association would never stand for that.

    However I am begining to wonder what happened here.
    Was the Professor allowed to argue his case, with representation, according to natural justice,before his accuser?

    How did this end up as a series of correspondence?

    The major question, that of public funds being used on science that needs verification,is not being addressed.
    This proceedings may well end with a stalemate and settlement.

    In the meanwhile the verification of science on the GBR remains a high priority, as it should, in the minds of the public.

    We are watching a slow decay in our institutions listed below.You may skip this paragraph if desired.

    The institutional response to child abuse,the quality of controls and verification in our financial system,the inability
    of elected members of federal parliament to indicate their nationality, the failure of those empowered under relevant acts
    to prevent abject suffering in the live sheep trade, the inability of the monopolist electricity producer to deliver
    stable, cheap electricity,the deaths of numerous aboriginals in custody, particularly in the NT.

    While Professor Ridd argues his case,with a little help from his friends, there needs to be a broader plan to resolve this ‘Reef Science’ issue.

    My POV is that we need confidence in the science, as the reef is part of our culture and children’s heritage.
    To resolve the issues we need a Royal Commission to sort out the mess.
    Without a Royal Commission and confidence in the science,support for the scientific process will prevent those of
    enquiring mind and search for scientific truth, ever doing Marine Biology, let alone wanting a career in it.

    The taxpayer will want better targeting of funds in science.
    North Qld is a great place to build a spaceport, and spend on high tech.
    Particularly if it has a stable power system.
    So institutions like the one in question will be starved of funds, while engineering and applied physics will
    get the money.

    This is a poor prospect as one hopes both enterprises would prosper.

    One needs natural allies in such a goal, to have a proper enquiry, a Royal Commission.
    Otherwise they will be scattered, reacting to each scapegoating as and when it happens, but paying the price in taxes and
    loss of enduring confidence in our systems of science education and governance.

    As in all things, a leader must emerge.

    Perhaps she is reading this.

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    • #
      Jennifer Marohasy

      Hi Lewis

      The university really wants to focus on everything except the science. There has been no attempt to dispute Peter Ridd’s core issue, which is the integrity of the data.

      Rather, the university wants to focus on Peter’s conduct. Specifically, the accusations are that he has not been collegial, and not shut-up when told to. Further, he has questioned the findings of some of this colleagues… publicly, on television.

      It is not disputed that he may have good scientific reasons for questioning their methodology. Rather, it is written that he doesn’t have a right to do this… because according to the code of conduct he can’t bring them into disrepute.

      So, it seems, according to the University… rubbish science is tolerated, but rocking-the-boat is not?

      Thanks for caring.
      Jennifer

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  • #
    RickWill

    This university council is spending your money on legal fees to fight free speech.

    CHANCELLOR: Lieutenant General John Grey AC (Retd)

    DEPUTY CHANCELLOR: Hon. Peter Lindsay

    MEMBERS OFFICIAL:

    CHANCELLOR Lieutenant General John Grey AC (Retd)

    VICE-CHANCELLOR Professor Sandra Harding

    CHAIRPERSON OF THE ACADEMIC BOARD Professor Stephen Naylor

    APPOINTED:

    Mr Cam Charlton

    Mr Ryan Haddrick

    Hon. Peter Lindsay

    Ms Lynette McLaughlin

    Hon. Steven Mosch

    Mr Peter Phillips

    Mr Trent Twomey

    Mr Les Tyrell

    ELECTED: ACADEMIC STAFF

    Professor Peter Leggat

    Dr David Smorfitt

    Associate Professor Anthony Leicht

    GENERAL STAFF

    Ms Vanessa Cannon

    Ms Julie Caswell

    STUDENTS

    Mr Mark Dodge

    Mr Edward Harridge

    Ms Laura Walker

    CONVOCATION

    Mr Robin Gilliver

    Mr Graham Kirkwood

    ADDITIONAL MEMBER

    Mr Ernie Landy

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    • #
      Ted O'Brien.

      Deputy Chancellor The Hon Peter Lindsay, who if I am not mistaken has been reported this week as resigning in protest from the Liberal National Party and joining the ACT Liberal Party.

      31

    • #
      WXcycles

      There are a lot of has-been politicians on that JCU pecking-order list, all experts at how to wrest milk and honey from a Treasury, and how to play the politics of legal conquests of uppity natives, then how to spin it out to the media.

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  • #
    pat

    will forward this thread to others who might wish to donate. hope Ridd gets justice.

    at least there’s a debate in the US:

    10 May: Scientific American: Climate Science Can Be More Transparent, Researchers Say
    Making data more publicly available is complicated by the large volume
    by Scott Waldman, E&E News
    A group of researchers presented their findings on reproducibility in climate science to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine yesterday as part of a monthslong examination of scientific transparency.
    The awareness of issues around reproducing scientific data has been driven by the political nature of climate science, said Andrea Dutton, a geologist at the University of Florida and expert in sea-level rise.

    “Climate science has undergone a lot of public scrutiny as we’re all aware,” she said. “And I think dealing with that has really increased our awareness as a community of being very rigorous about quantifying our uncertainties and being transparent in reporting, being transparent in data archiving.”

    There is a broad effort underway by researchers to address the challenge of data transparency in science. A group of researchers from the academies is reviewing the issue at the behest of Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee. The National Academies will produce a report by the end of the year that explores the issue.

    Smith has accused federal climate scientists of committing fraud and misrepresenting humanity’s role in driving climate change. He was also instrumental in helping shape a new rule proposed by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt that would require research used by EPA to craft regulations to have data that are public and transparent. Critics say the effort is really designed to exclude definitive studies that have driven air pollution regulations and other public health protections.

    EPA’s proposed rule appears targeted toward air pollution regulations in particular, and some of those who helped shape the policy have criticized studies that connect soot to serious human health problems for decades. Less clear is the rule’s effect on climate science used by the agency.

    Critics, including Smith, have often targeted the data relied on by climate scientists, calling their conclusions into question. Scientists speaking at the academies meeting said the increased public awareness presented an opportunity to increase the public’s understanding of the underlying data that inform their work.

    “This public scrutiny has I think helped us to up our game in all these areas and be better about being transparent and making it open to the public so that the people who want to see it and how reproducible things are or are not as the case may be,” Dutton said.

    Researchers yesterday said that there was a need to make data sets more widely available for anyone to download and understand. In particular, there is a lack of established standards for archiving data and metadata, they said. There is also lax enforcement by funding agencies and editors of journals in data reporting. They are now looking to create discipline standards for data reporting, as well as requirements such as those that would require data to be reported within two years of collection or when the research is published.

    Making data available is part of publishing in the modern era, and there needs to be better methods for verifying the results of a study are statistically valid, said Rich Loft, director of the technology development division at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

    “In the age of big data, journal publications which would have been suitable a hundred years ago [are] not suitable anymore because it’s not actually enough information to reproduce the thing, so somehow we have to extend our definition of peer-reviewed into these analyses,” he said.

    One of the challenges faced by researchers trying to make their work more transparent is the complexity of dealing with a vast amount of data, said Gavin Schmidt, director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies at NASA. In addition to storing the data, researchers must make the coding used to synthesize it available, he said. In the science community, reproducibility often consumes a lot of time that doesn’t always have a clear benefit to the individual researcher, other than altruism, he said.

    “Reproducibility is not free, it has a cost to the community because if you’re always spending time reproducing scenarios, experiments that other people have suggested are interesting, then you’re not exploring something that you thought was interesting,” he said.* “So there is a cost to the community, but the benefit is of course understanding how robust particular results are.”

    *Correction: This story has been updated to reflect that Schmidt said “exploring” in the preceding quote, not “exporting,”
    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/climate-science-can-be-more-transparent-researchers-say/

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    • #
      Ted O'Brien.

      They used to say the science is settled!

      31

      • #
        Curious George

        The science IS settled, because WE say so, and WE have the power to fire anybody who dares to doubt.

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    • #
      Steve Richards

      It seems strange to a practical person like me, that when someone says it is difficult to replicate climate data outputs, when we all know you only need to publish the ftp directory that contains your input data *AND* most importantly the script you use that processes you data creating your claimed output that you published.

      Just think, you would only be a download away from being able to confirm that a scientists published output can be recreated or replicated.

      Only then do you need to analyse the technique.

      Since these researchers need to keep their data on a computer somewhere, especially if it is a multi member team doing the work, it is a cost free activity to allow instant data/code transparency.

      Those who say there is a tremendous cost involved are stupid or corrupt.

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  • #
    pat

    Waldman is way too political in this one, but might as well note E&E spin:

    18 May: Scientific American: New NASA Chief Says He Will Protect Climate Research
    After his previous rejection of climate science, Jim Bridenstine tells employees he will keep politics out of the agency’s work
    by Scott Waldman, E&E News
    Bridenstine didn’t acknowledge his previous rejection of climate science…
    Still, Bridenstine, who is the first politician to run the agency, said he would keep politics out of NASA.
    “We need to make sure that NASA is continuing to do the science, and we need to make sure that the science is void and free from political kind of rhetoric and to do that, what we do and have been doing,” he said.

    Bridenstine said he would protect NASA’s climate research, which has repeatedly been targeted for cuts by the Trump administration and House Republicans.
    Bridenstine said he would accept the recommendations of the decadal survey of earth science conducted by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. Those recommendations include a series of missions that would provide insight into all of the ways that humans are transforming the planet…

    The decadal survey is designed to set the course for earth science research at NASA, NOAA and the U.S. Geological Survey. The academies recommended answering dozens of key questions, including how human-caused global warming is affecting water and energy cycles, how much sea levels will rise over the next decade, and what role ice sheets and the oceans’ storage of heat play in transforming the planet. Researchers also want to reduce uncertainty around future climate change projections.

    Bridenstine said he would follow the recommendations for three separate “Earth System Explorers,” which the academies estimated would cost about $1 billion. They would provide some of the most important climate change information, monitor atmospheric greenhouse gas levels, and document how Earth and water ecosystems are being transformed. Three projects, each funded at $350 million, would be developed and selected competitively out of a field of seven…
    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/new-nasa-chief-says-he-will-protect-climate-research/

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    • #
      Ted O'Brien.

      Reject the science? Will protect the science?

      Well, there’s science, and there’s science. Right both times!

      12

      • #
        OriginalSteve

        The nonsense has to stop!

        Thibfs coukdnt have got this far unless the education industry, govt, the NGO industry and business hadnt all been Collaborators.

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  • #
    pat

    comment in moderation re: 10 May: Scientific American: Climate Science Can Be More Transparent, Researchers Say

    17 May: National Assocn of Scholars: Irreproducibility and Climate Science
    by Edward Reid
    (Edward A. Reid, Jr. has fifty years of experience in the energy industry in technical research and development, market development, marketing and consulting. He writes frequently on climate science)
    The recent report by the National Association of Scholars, The Irreproducibility Crisis of Modern Science (LINK), describes a crisis which pervades modern science in general. It refers only peripherally to issues with climate science, which shares most of the aspects of the broad crisis, but has its own distinctive issues as well.

    Albert Einstein is alleged to have defined insanity as continuing to do the same things and expecting different results. He might perhaps have defined irreproducibility as continuing to do the same things and achieving different results.

    The earth’s climate is a constantly changing, extremely complex chaotic system, driven by the sun and influenced by numerous external factors including the positions of the other planets in the solar system and cosmic radiation. Many of the factors which influence climate are not well understood (LINK). Therefore, while it is reasonable to assume that human activities can influence climate, it is not reasonable to assume that humans could effectively control a complex, chaotic system they do not understand…

    This consensus is viewed as climate orthodoxy and is aggressively defended by the orthodox climate science community. Those who question the orthodoxy have been labeled “deniers” and “anti-science”; and, efforts have been made to prevent publication of their work in major scientific journals and to exclude their work from the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (LINK) (IPCC). One member of the orthodox climate science community even expressed a willingness to destroy data (LINK), rather than make it available to a team questioning the statistical techniques used to analyze the data.

    The approach to measuring and tracking changes in near-surface temperatures is fraught with issues. The instruments used to measure near-surface temperature are acknowledged to be in error by an average of more than 2oC in the United States (LINK), where the instrument sites have been surveyed and rated. It is reasonable to assume that the instruments located in other nations have similar issues. Therefore, these temperature data are “adjusted” in an effort to resolve the errors. However, once “adjusted” (LINK), the temperatures are no longer data, but merely estimates of what the data might have been, had they been collected timely from properly selected, calibrated, sited, installed and maintained instruments…READ ON
    https://www.nas.org/articles/irreproducibility_and_climate_science

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  • #
    Antoine D'Arche

    yeah so Vice-Chancellor Sandra Harding thinks that Peter is damaging the university’s reputation.
    Sandra (cause I know that you or one of your lackeys will be tracking comments; your ego dictates this) you and the rest of the clowns conducting this witch hunt are doing a fine job of damaging JCU’s reputation ALL BY YOURSELVES.
    Why do I say this? Because I’m an impartial observer reading about it and this is how it appears to an outsider.
    If you had left it all alone it would have GONE NOWHERE, and ALMOST NO-ONE would have known about what was going wrong at JCU WRT fudged data and messy science.
    But hey, nothing shines a light on dodgy science like a FEDERAL COURT CASE.
    Except perhaps a High Court case, which is where it will probably end up and then all the bad conduct will be on show for the WHOLE WORLD.
    You go, girl.

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    • #
      RexAlan

      When you are in a hole stop digging, comes to mind.

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      • #

        Would it not be nice if anyone at all could actually demonstrate an (1) example of thermal (spontaneous) EMR flux being emitted in any direction, at any waveband interval, that has a measurably higher “radiance”? Why is this claim made while no one has ever observed such emission? Higher surface temperature has nothing to do with changes in atmospheric CO2! :-)
        All the best!-will-

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    • #
      OriginalSteve

      The education industry is panicking that through the integritybof a few good men & women , that its funds investigating the intellectual equivelent of “does father christmas exist?” is going to stop should the Emporers New Clothes be exposed.

      If any academics reading this dont have the backbone to actually do the right thing, then you and the whole motley mess along with your “leadetship” rightly deserves to go down with the ship.

      I am so glad i graduated years ago, back when integrity still existed…..

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    • #
      Sweet Old Bob

      Sandra ? Or Tanya ?

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  • #
    NB

    Like the EU, the Democrats in the USA, and universities everywhere, leftist institutions are undergoing a slow train crash. No matter whether JCU wins this particular issue or not, it loses. Because people with half a brain and the smallest amount of integrity are deserting. It’s over.

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    • #
      Ross

      Agree NB.
      The bigger political picture shows that the people are starting to back their own thinking. Look at Eastern Europe, the recent Italian elections and resultant coalition, the Malaysian election result and recent polls in Sweden show the party with a strong anti immigration stance now “neck and neck” with the ruling party which a couple of months ago was miles ahead (their election is later in the year).

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  • #
    pat

    criticise the CAGW orthodoxy, and you will be called political and you will be attacked:

    20 Apr: Wired: Science’s “Reproducibility Crisis” Is Being Used as Political Ammunition
    (This story originally appeared on Undark and is part of the Climate Desk collaboration)
    by Michael Schulson
    David Randall and Christopher Welser are unlikely authorities on the reproducibility crisis in science. Randall, a historian and librarian, is the director of research at the National Association of Scholars, a small higher education advocacy group. Welser teaches Latin at a Christian college in Minnesota. Neither has published anything on replication or reproducibility.

    But when a report the two men wrote, “The Irreproducibility Crisis of Modern Science (LINK),” was published by the National Association of Scholars on Tuesday afternoon, it received a Congressional reception. The launch took place in a House office building on Capitol Hill. The Texas Republican Lamar Smith, chairman of the House science committee and one of the most powerful science policymakers in Washington, spoke at the event. In a statement to Undark, he described the NAS report as an “important study.”

    The report offers a lucid overview of the reproducibility debate. It also suggests 40 measures to help scientists produce more rigorous, reliable research. Most of these proposed reforms will sound familiar—and welcome—to scientists concerned about the issue…

    To be sure, reproducibility issues pose serious challenges for scientific communities. But what happens when those issues get picked up by political activists? And what, exactly, does the National Association of Scholars hope to achieve with the report?.

    Randall and Welser insist that their goal is to help depoliticize science, by pushing for more objective, reliable research. And yet there is a clearly discernible political edge to their work—and that’s likely in part because of NAS’s own history with science and climate issues. The organization regularly publishes articles assailing mainstream climate science. Wood, an anthropologist by training, has written about “the bogus ‘global warming consensus,’” and in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published Monday and linked to the report, he and Randall describe “the whole discipline of climate science” as “a farrago of unreliable statistics, arbitrary research techniques, and politicized groupthink.”

    The organization has received donations from the Charles Koch Foundation, one of the country’s most prominent anti-climate funders.

    It receives a sizable portion of its annual budget from the Sarah Scaife Foundation, which climate change activists have identified as a major backer of attacks on climate science.

    Kerry Emanuel, a climate scientist at MIT and former member of NAS, says he was initially drawn to the organization because he was worried about what he saw as a growing relativism in the academy, evident in the work of deconstructionist philosophers like Jacques Derrida. NAS seemed to be taking a stand against those intellectual currents, Emanuel said—though he adds that he eventually became concerned about the organization’s stances on climate change, especially during a much-publicized incident in which hackers stole thousands of emails from a group of climate scientists and accused them of misusing data.

    In a 2010 article published on the NAS website, Emanuel described the event as “a scandal” — but he didn’t see it as a challenge to the scientific consensus on climate change. The National Association of Scholars, on the other hand, sought to extrapolate the Climategate incident “into a universal condemnation of the field,” Emanuel told me. “It was just patently disingenuous.”
    He left the organization soon afterward.
    “It sort of revealed them not to be what they claimed to be—people who stood for scientific truth and scientific integrity. It was just another organization that used that as a front,” Emanuel said. “They’re basically a political organization posing as an organization dedicated to free inquiry,” he added.

    Wood disputed Emanuel’s characterization of NAS. “It’s a false charge,” he said. “Professor Emanuel is someone who seems to have a closed mind on the issue of climate change.”

    For Emanuel, though, the organization’s stance on climate wasn’t just misguided—it was a betrayal of their mission to challenge the deconstruction of truth. “They were publishing articles that were just as bad as the ones that the organization was founded to counter,” he said.

    For many scientists and advocates, the most concerning part of the National Association for Scholars’ report is likely to be its advocacy for the Secret Science Reform Act—a piece of legislation, first introduced in 2015, that would bar the Environmental Protection Agency from using research that is not “substantially reproducible.” Lamar Smith has been the chief sponsor of the bill, which was recently renamed the HONEST Act. Scott Pruitt, the Trump administration’s embattled EPA director, has tried to apply some of its principles at the agency…

    Naomi Oreskes, co-author of “Merchants of Doubt,” an influential study of foundation- and industry-backed attacks on science, said the reproducibility debate has already been exploited by political activists. “These guys are loving it,” Oreskes, a historian of science at Harvard, told me. “Any time scientists themselves admit there’s a mistake or a problem, they’re all over it. They have a feeding frenzy because this is exactly what they want. And what they want to do is use this now to try to discredit all science.”…
    https://www.wired.com/story/sciences-reproducibility-crisis-is-being-used-as-political-ammunition/

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  • #
    TdeF

    Why didn’t the University just put him under House Arrest, like Galileo?
    Or deported to Antarctica, in the manner of Solzheinitzyn?
    Or to Melbourne, as Pushkin was sent to Odessa.
    At least until he recanted and repented and apologised to all those administrators whose feelings he hurt, especially the Vice Chancellor. No one should challenge the right of the University to control science. It would be like questioning the IPCC.

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  • #
    pat

    23 Apr: TimesHigherEducation: Is science really facing a reproducibility crisis?
    NAS calls for US lawmakers to bring change also brings warning that crisis talk may ultimately ‘stifle frontier discoveries’
    By Rachael Pells
    US researchers have called for Congress to pass a new science reform act to prevent government agencies from making decisions based on “abused statistics” amid claims of a reproducibility crisis in science.
    Publishing an extensive new report, the National Association of Scholars – a network of academics and campaigners set up in support of “intellectual freedom” – has warned of “shoddy ‘science’ flooding journals, conferences and news releases” in the US.

    Too much of this science is irreproducible, and statistics are being misinterpreted by government bodies and by members of the judiciary system, according to the NAS, which is often considered to have politically conservative leanings, although it states that it has no political affiliation.

    The report, The Irreproducibility Crisis of Modern Science, was presented to policymakers including Lamar Smith, chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, in Washington on 17 April. In it, the NAS offers a number of recommendations for improving scientific standards and the treatment of data in academia and in the law.

    “Federal and state judiciaries should review their treatment of scientific and social-scientific evidence in light of the crisis of reproducibility,” the report states. “While judges generally have maintained a degree of scepticism toward scientists’ and social scientists’ claims to provide authoritative knowledge, such claims have influenced judicial decision-making, and have helped to weave the nation’s tapestry of controlling precedent.”

    The group argues that legislation should be enacted to oblige researchers to employ a reduced margin of error with regard to statistical standards. It also says that researchers “should make their data available for public inspection after publication of their results”.

    “Government agencies should fund scientists’ efforts to replicate earlier research,” the report continues, and should prioritise grant funding for those who “pre-register their research protocols”, meet “new best practice standards” and make their data publicly available through open-access channels.

    Speaking to Times Higher Education after the presentation of the report, David Randall, director of research at the NAS and co-author of the report, said that the reproducibility crisis narrative had been an “ongoing, long-term and serious problem for the conduct of scientific research”.

    Responding to the report, Daniele Fanelli, a fellow in methodology at the London School of Economics, said that he agreed with some of the recommendations made but remained “sceptical” of others, while adding that, fundamentally, the report gave him a “weary” feeling. “The report premises embody perfectly the kind of ‘crisis narrative’ that I think is factually incorrect and unnecessarily damaging for the public’s support for science,” he told THE.

    A paper published by Dr Fanelli last month, “Is science facing a reproducibility crisis?”, rejects the crisis narrative, arguing that the debate distracts from more important issues in science.
    But he agreed with the NAS recommendation that the quality of science could be improved by introducing better teaching of statistics from a young age. “A great number of ill-advised debates and flawed evidence would disappear not just from science, but from society at large,” Dr Fanelli said.
    “I am generally more sceptical, and sometimes concerned, about suggestions to impose universal standards of research or publication practices on all fields,” he continued. “We do not have standards even to define what reproducibility exactly consists in, let alone how to measure it and enforce it.
    “Moreover, in making such recommendations we are oblivious to the potential costs that these initiatives entail in terms of resources, time, and possible stifling of frontier discoveries.”
    https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/science-really-facing-reproducibility-crisis

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  • #

    Heard the one about the Vice Chancellor who got a big salary bump-up just before pasturing so the retirement benefits (sensational in any case) would be calculated much higher?

    Actually, there’s more than one. It’s sort of what they do all the time in Bubble Land. Sorry, I meant Centre of Excellence Land. Or Institute of Higher Learning Land. Or maybe Centre of Excellence in Higher Learning Institutes Land. Or…you know what I mean.

    Didn’t mean to mock. So unlike me.

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    • #

      ‘To mock, mimoso, is it enough? ‘Peut-etre it’s more serious
      than that, more vorpal, the lie at the heart of darkness,
      Joseph Conrad, Iago, et George Orwell. (

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      • #

        Come let us mock at the great
        That had such burdens on the mind
        And toiled so hard and late
        To leave some monument behind,
        Nor thought of the levelling wind.

        Yeats on the fast turn-around Publish-or-Perish industry?

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        • #

          Can’t disagree with Yeats, who said,

          ‘Turning and turning in the widening gyre
          The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
          Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
          Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
          The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
          The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
          The best lack all conviction, while the worst
          Are full of passionate intensity.

          Surely some revelation is at hand;
          Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
          The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
          When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
          Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
          A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
          A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
          Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
          Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.

          The darkness drops again but now I know
          That twenty centuries of stony sleep
          Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
          And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
          Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?’

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          • #
            PeterPetrum

            Why would anyone red thumb a poem by Yeats – such as all mind.

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            • #

              Post-modernist-Derrida-leftist-feminists
              don’t care for the western canon and its
              dead white males, Yeats, Shakespeare or
              George Orwell, for that matter, memory-holes
              are the preferred, well-tried and tested
              O
              p
              t
              i
              O
              n.

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    Lionell Griffith

    It is clear by the information presented that JCU is a faith based authoritarian institution and not scientific educational one. As such, it should not be supported by public funds. I do not know the charter under which it was founded. But if its founding charter was to be a scientific educational institution of higher learning, it is in direct contradiction of the reason for which it exists. Thereby establishing that it has unilaterally violated its contract with the public and has lost the right to claim to be a publicly funded institution.

    Those who wish to continue to work and study within such an institution should, from this point on, personally be required to pay for the privilege. Sadly, this is unlikely to happen. Since the general notion institution holds is that truth as such cannot be known, faith, force, and the authority of The Sacred Institution cannot be questioned. Thereby establishing they have no valid reason to exist as a public institution.

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      WXcycles

      Time for JCU to send the tithes and offerings bucket around to see if they can scare-up a payday from the fellowship.

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    This institutional tyranny has been going on, with unknown numbers of victims, for a long time. I was terminated (my position was “cut due to lack of funding”…even while two other people were being hired to take my place) from my last paid scientific position as a Research Associate 24 years ago, for daring to publish on my own. It was the only way for me to tell the truth, that the field we were working in was mired, at bottom, in incompetence and intellectual avoidance of that fact.

    Most of us who have found ourselves in such a situation, in the last 50 years of an increasingly incompetent consensus across virtually every field, I dare say have not been professors, with any employment rights. Nor did the first generations of the present backslide of science have the internet to tell the world.

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      …”first generations” of victims of…

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      Lionell Griffith

      You are not alone. Not that helps all that much.

      I take it that since the “powers that be” cannot tolerate honest discussion, they know they are in the wrong. They cannot withstand ANY counter evidence or opinion. Ultimately, the only thing they have is the ability to use the gun of government to force compliance. That is why they spent most of the last 150 years taking over the government, academia, and the MSM so they could at long last have their way.

      Now that they have their long sought power, they don’t know what to do with it except be at war with reality. THAT is a war that cannot be won.

      In the short run, their guns might win short term battles but reality will constantly assert itself and be what it is. After far too much suffering, death, and destruction will eliminate all who attempt to go against what it is.

      Our challenge is to avoid being collateral damage.

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    Leonard Lane

    Can a democracy survive when leftists take over? Apparently a University cannot survive as a place of open minded teachers and students when leftists control the administration and faculty.
    Sad day for Australia.

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    TdeF

    This also shows why so many people do not speak out. That would include Professor Geoffrey Blainey, hounded out of his job. Dr. Murry Selby, fired and left stranded overseas delivering a lecture debunking man made CO2 driven Global Warming. Dr. Bob Carter, hounded out of his own university. Even cartoonist Bill Leak whose job was to prick consciences and had a really important message. No wonder so many of the experts coming forward are retired, beyond firing and with nothing to lose. Many from NASA itself.

    In modern society scientists, like artists are always dependent on the largesse of their masters and in Australia, almost all are government employees. They dare not speak out. However freed from the constraints of his oppressive employement, we can expect real expose from Dr. Peter Ridd. They would have been smarter to keep him on the payroll.

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      Another Ian

      TdeF

      Neville Shute (Norway) in “Slide Rule” makes mention that (in his opinion) the most effective officers in the WW2 Royal Navy were those of independent means.

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    Anton

    The reputation of James Cook University is without any doubt suffering because of this case. But not because of the actions of Peter Ridd.

    This institution must be made to suffer for this act, to discourage others from attacking basic freedoms.

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    graham dunton

    UK-Universities must “open minds, not close them” and face tough new penalties if they do not promote freedom of speech,
    Jo Johnson will warn today.
    Climate Bullies Face Tough Penalties: Student Beliefs Must Be Challenged, Says University Minister
    • Date: 26/12/17
    • The Times
    https://www.thegwpf.com/climate-bullies-face-tough-penalties-student-beliefs-must-be-challenged-says-university-minister/

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    Rud Istvan

    Sent $500 when first learned of this at WUWT US time yesterday. Would volunteer pro bono legal services if qualified to practice in AUS as well as US. Alas not. But if there are any US ramifications, the pro bono offer stands.

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    Wombat

    Go fund me website links are down since Saturday. Tried several websites’ links to no effect.

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    manalive

    Obviously no JCU researchers are free to “discover” anything that threatens the grand gravy train or suggests taxpayers are not getting good value …

    My guess is that most taxpayers wouldn’t begrudge financing genuine objective research aimed at protecting the GBR but would bitterly resent being ‘taken for a ride’ by false and exaggerated claims like those made during the recent El Nino event, claims that caused serious problems for the local tourist industry.

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    Bribiejohn

    When a university, or anyone else, decides it is the sole arbiter of truth,it, or they are denigrating themselves.

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    Ve2

    “but if it sacks people for saying the wrong thing,”

    “But if it sacks people for saying what it considers to be the wrong thing,”

    Fixed.

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    thingadonta

    Anyone now still wonder why all the so-called ‘statistical experts’ at the BOM just tow the line and adjust the data to always get more warming?

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    Kim

    Very simple – If it’s CO2 that is causing the supposed problems with the Great Barrier Reef then why is Ningaloo Reef not effected?

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      thingadonta

      there are no universities near Ningaloo.

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      el gordo

      Kim there has been bleaching there as well, but my hypothesis is that the Indian Ocean sea level falls during El Nino, exposing shallow corals for an extended period. Solar irradiance kills.

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    Mark M

    August 17, 1999, Sydney University Professor Ove Hoege-Guldberg:

    ”Reefs around the West Indies in the Caribbean look as though they will be gone by 2020 while the Great Barrier Reef will probably last for just another three decades,” he warned.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/422759.stm

    January, 2017: 10 Best Scuba Diving Sites in the Caribbean

    https://www.fodors.com/news/outdoors/10-best-scuba-diving-sites-in-the-caribbean

    Reprive, 2014: Caribbean coral reefs ‘will be lost within 20 years’ without protection

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jul/02/caribbean-coral-reef-lost-fishing-pollution-report

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    mmxx

    An insidious malady is rife in western universities. It is akin to a severe allergy to free speech and to conservative values and any expression of them.

    JCU seems to be affected by a consequential symptom, a manic need to create “safe spaces”. In this case, its safe space is being reinforced by the sacking of a sceptic about climate science as it relates to the Great Barrier Reef.

    JCU can’t have these “triggering” types like Prof. Ridd upsetting its covey of CAGW believers.

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    Kim

    @el gordo
    The ocean is pulled around by the gravity of the Sun and the Moon and this is a daily, lunar monthly and seasonal occurrence. However the reason why Ningaloo Reef is in so much better state than the Great Barrier Reef supposedly is could well be down to a number of reasons :- 1) us Sandgropers are much better at looking after it than the Banana Benders are looking after the Great Barrier Reef, 2) we have much less activity around the reef – not many tourists and university researchers, 3) we don’t have the WA equivalent of the Gold and Sunshine coasts and all the effluent and fuel pollution etc. that comes from it, 4) we don’t have all the run off from farms that they have.

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      mmxx

      A couple of comments on your four points, Kim.
      1) rhetorical – no further comment
      2 )2017 scientific reports claim that the most serious bleaching occurred in the northern section of the GBR above Port Douglas, that is above 16.6º S (equivalent latitude of WA’s Cape Leveque). Little tourism occurs there compared to more southerly sections. Ningaloo lies at about 23º S – at the equivalent latitude of the relatively unaffected southern-most point of the GBR. Perhaps solar irradiance effects at that latitude are less than much further north.
      3) Gold and Sunshine Coasts are more than 250km south of the GBR. The offshore current there is the East Australian Current which flows southwards (away from the GBR) from Fraser Island towards Tasmania.
      4) Almost no farming occurs in the FNQ/Cape York water catchments that flow onto the worst bleaching affected section of the GBR.

      I think that the good news about Ningaloo’s reef health and that corals thrive in some tropical/subtropical waters which have greater water temperature that the GBR affected sections (such as the Red Sea) leaves open many questions about the impact of any AGW on the GBR.

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    thingadonta

    Definition of a ‘reverse Ponzi’ scheme-”if it’s too bad to be true, it probably is.”

    The stock market has its’ Ponzi schemes, and governments have their ‘reverse Ponzi’ schemes, but the principle is the same: you need to keep making false and increasingly exaggerated claims and use incoming money to pay for pre-existing investments/interests.

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    TdeF

    Now the Peter Ridd fund is $187,000 at 11:34am Sunday Eastern Time. Andrew Bolt is also running the story. It should give the universities and politicians reason to pause, that there is so much popular support for freedom of speech. Of course, like Dr.Murry Selby, the University will try the line that it is absolutely nothing to do with his opinions or science, the sadly successful line against Selby but it is too late for that given the injudicious and arrogant comments of the Vice Chancellor. She made it very clear he was fired for what he said, not his failure to do his job.

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    pat

    VIDEO: 1min27secs: 19 May: Twitter: Sky News Australia: Outsiders: Marine physicist Peter Ridd: In the case of almost all the Great Barrier Reef science, in my view it doesn’t go through the full range of checks and replications that makes science science.
    https://twitter.com/SkyNewsAust/status/997986827859509248

    VIDEO: 58secs: 19 May: Twitter: Sky News Australia: Outsiders: Marine physicist Peter Ridd on Great Barrier Reef funding: What I’d like to see the government do is take 1% of the $500 million that they’re going to spend and allocate it to checking the science. I guarantee you a lot of it is wrong. https://twitter.com/SkyNewsAust/status/997985754520289280

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    pat

    check the replies attempting to discredit Ridd by “Roadkill Wallaby Spirit”:

    18 May: Tweet: The Australian: Peter Ridd has been sacked after defying a gag order relating to his criticism of the quality of Great Barrier Reef ­science
    https://twitter.com/australian/status/997640026765844481

    19 May: Spectator: The Climate Inquisition burns a heretic
    by Jennifer Marohasy
    Back in 2016, when I asked Peter Ridd if he would write a chapter for the book I was editing I could not possibly have envisaged it could contribute to the end of his thirty-year career as a university professor.
    Considering that Peter enrolled at James Cook University as an undergraduate back in 1978, he has been associated with that one university for forty years.

    Since Peter was fired on May 2, the university has attempted to remove all trace of this association: scrubbing him completely from their website.

    But facts don’t cease to exist because they are removed from a website. The university has never challenged the veracity of Peter’s legitimate claims about the quality of much of the reef science: science on which billions of dollars of taxpayer-funded research is being squandered. These issues are not going away…
    https://www.spectator.com.au/2018/05/the-climate-inquisition-burns-a-heretic/

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    pat

    mentions 2 people they will speak to, but this is full Ridd interview only. don’t know why the summary should finish with “controversial” as a description of Ridd’s views:

    20 May: Weekly Times (NewsCorp): VIDEO: 14mins42secs: Sky News Outsiders: Controversial marine physicist sacked by James Cook University
    Marine physicist Peter Ridd has been fired from James Cook University for speaking out against science regarding the Great Barrier Reef. Dr Ridd told Sky News he was hit with serious misconduct allegations by the university after breaking a gag order over his controversial claims surrounding the health of the Great Barrier Reef. Dr Ridd is also known for his controversial views regarding climate change.
    https://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/national/marine-physicist-peter-ridd-has-been-fired-from-james-cook-university-for-speaking-out-against-science-regarding-the-great-barrier-reef/video/332c42cfbfb9087883aa05b2dc563e33

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    pat

    just saying -

    those great defenders of free speech, including some who are fully or partially funded by the taxpayers of Australia – ABC, SBS, FAIRFAX, GUARDIAN – have nothing showing up online on the shocking treatment of Prof Ridd so far.

    19 May: IPA Media release: Professor Peter Ridd Sacking Outrageous
    by Evan Mulholland
    The sacking of Professor Peter Ridd by James Cook University (JCU) in Townsville, Australia is outrageous and will do irreparable harm to the international reputation of Australia’s universities according to the free market think tank, the Institute of Public Affairs.

    “What the university has done is outrageous and will stain its reputation forever. JCU has shredded the idea that Australian universities have any sort of commitment to scientific integrity and free academic inquiry. JCU’s actions prove the depth of the crisis confronting Australia’s universities. The search for truth has been replaced by unquestioning allegiance to group-think,” said John Roskam, Executive Director of the IPA…READ ON
    https://ipa.org.au/publications-ipa/media-releases/professor-peter-ridd-sacking-outrageous

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    robert rosicka

    Just typed his name in the search bar of the ABC news just in and nothing at all for him but did get Rudd though .

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    Bite Back

    The gag order is the worst thing of all. You can’t tell anyone that we’re about to hang you? Why would anyone obey such an order?

    A gag order is a despicable thing. It tells me that JCU is afraid to be exposed because their action against Ridd is the only real problem. He appears to have supported everything he’s said with that wonderful little thing in science called evidence.

    BB

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    Bob Fernley-Jones

    I would like to advise the chief scientist Dr Alan Finkel over this matter but already have a different big item in with him. Might anyone here be interested in doing so? His email address is in the public domain: alan.finkel@chiefscientist.gov.au

    As more background, (being careful what to say) I suspect that James Cook University is very anxious to protect the reputation of who is described in their 2017 report as “Distinguished Professor Terry Hughes”. He is Director of the modestly named ‘ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies’.

    The ARC (Australian Research Council) provides generous funding for that centre, which heads a list of 31 centres or facilities in that report. On the other hand, Prof ‘Ridd’s ‘Marine Geophysics Laboratory’ has no mention and has a diminutive website compared with that of Prof Hughes.

    Prof Hughes made his agenda clear back in 2012 when he convened the 12th International Coral Reef Symposium in Cairns where he had a consensus originating in the USA endorsed by over 2,000 even before the 5-day event opened.

    Hughes was well pleased in his closing address and party here: http://www.icrs2012.com/Default.htm

    Have your vomit bag handy

    Another money spinner was with various field trips at over $2,000 per person extending up to three weeks that must have been nice, and presumably funded from the 80 countries involved. http://www.icrs2012.com/FieldTrips.htm

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    PeterPetrum

    As at 5:40 EST (Aus) the fund has passed the $200,000 mark from less than 2000 doners – an average of more than $100 each – fantastic result – I wish Peter Ridd all success.

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      Andrew McRae

      When I read it earlier today it totaled 191000 from 1695 donors at approximately 3:30pm, so that’s another 9 grand in 2 hours.
      At 7:10pm it said $200,969 from 1781 donors, so in the last 3.5 hours the average donations per person (115) has been only a few dollars more than in the previous 3 months (112). This is possibly due to previous donors making another donation.
      Still am a bit surprised the new developments have not spurred on donors to a greater degree than a $3 difference.

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    RoHa

    This “not collegial” accusation was thrown at Norman Finkelstein (when he was denied tenure at DePaul University) and at Steven Salaita (offer of postion withdrawn by University of Illinois).

    It looks as though it will be a very useful weapon to be used against academics who say the wrong things.

    https://www.aaup.org/report/collegiality-criterion-faculty-evaluationhttps://www.aaup.org/sites/default/files/SotoKannan.pdf

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    Bitter&twisted

    Donation sent.
    Academic freedom is under sustained attack.
    JCU’s outrageousl decision must be challenged.

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    JAMES COOK UNIVERSITY IN QUEENSLAND BEHAVES AS COMMUNIST REGIME
    Posted on May 20, 2018 Hoa TruongPosted in Published Articles

    The French proverb quotes:” Autant de tête, autant d’avis”. In the democratic country always respects the free speech. Therefore, in the communist regime as China, Vietnam, North Korea, Cuba and the others have not, whoever talk and express the difference with communist policy, they would be punished by the bush law.

    Australia is the democratic country, everyone has the different concern in the same matter, it is the free choice and free option. Nevertheless, the scientific subject, the study based on the results of multiple scientists, they measure and discuss the impact carefully before concluding. The mobile phone user’s health has been debated between the groups of a scientist with different issues, Soybean has the same argument about the good and bad.

    However, James Cook University at Townville, Queensland has sacked Professor Peter Ridd who has a different concern about the climate change with the university. In August 2017, Professor Peter Ridd attended an interview with Alan Jones on Sky News about a chapter in his book” Climate Change”. Its book published by Institute of Public Affairs in 2017, in this chapter Professor Peter Wrote:” Policy science regarding the Great Barrier Reef is almost never checked” and he continued:” Over the next few years, the Australian Government will spend more than a billion dollars on the Great Barrier Reef; the costs to industry could far exceed this. Yet the keystone research papers have not been subjected to proper scrutiny. Instead, there is a total reliance on the demonstrably inadequate peer review process.”

    Professor Peter Ridd could have his study and concern, even the James Cook University’s spokesman said:” strongly supports academic freedom”, therefore, this University sacked Professor Ridd. What is going on?. The Australian people doubt some” climate change’s supporters and activists” as Doctor Tim Flannery, in 2005 he predicted within next 10 years, the Eastern states will be faced the drought, indeed, the flood. The wrong predictability cost more than $AUD 10 billion for the desalted water plant. So the warning of Professor Peter Ridd is reasonable and responsible of a concerned scientist.

    James Cook University’s Vice-Chancellor Sandra Harding may violate the free speech and the scientific study that needs the different issues before release applying. The Great Barrier Reef has studied carefully before putting a billion dollars of the taxpayers. As NBN, the Labor government wasted $AUD 65 billion but it becomes the national disaster because NBN could risk the life of Australian people when the Router disabled that cause the internet and landline telephone couldn’t call the emergency.

    Vice Chancellor Sandra Harding behaves as the bush law in the communist countries, so Professor Peter Ridd has the rights to take the legal action against James Cook University’s staff and the education department reviews the case, it harms the national prestige./ (thedawnmedia.com)

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    ivan

    they have got him on a technicallity..difficult to defend legally…unless can prove it was contrived or others who did same did not get sacked

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    I believe that academics like Dr Peter Ridd have a right to express even the most controversial perspectives within their legitimate field of expertise. Expressing unpopular opinions and flying against strong headwinds is the primary reason that we have academic tenure in the first place.

    However, I am a Distinguished Professor at JCU, the director of a major JCU research centre, and the author of eight books and over six hundred scientific and popular articles. I am also an amiable colleague of Peter Ridd’s, as I am sure he would verify.

    All this having been said, I have never–ever–had anyone at JCU tell me to tone down, alter, re-spin, or change in any way one single word that I have written in my fields of expertise. Those who know me know that I have written a great deal on many controversial topics. I speak my mind, often very bluntly.

    Hence, whoever wrote the following simply has no idea what they are talking about: “This taints all research James Cook University puts out. We know all reports will be pre-filtered or self censored.”

    Has the university made a strategic error in firing Peter Ridd or pressuring him to resign? I don’t know; I haven’t tracked the details of his case closely enough to have an informed opinion (though, in many settings, I have defended Peter’s right to make arguments that are highly unpopular).

    But what I can say is that sometimes you read something that is absolute bullshit. And that is the only way I can describe the quote above.

    Whoever wrote that ought to be embarrassed. In fact, it only draws into question their own judgement and objectivity, and weakens their case. There’s an art to emotive, persuasive writing–and one of the key principles is not to blow off your own foot–and taint your own arguments–with a statement that is laughably indefensible and untrue.

    If nothing else, then Peter deserves a more credible and honest defense than that.

    Bill Laurance, PhD, FAA, FAAAS, FRSQ
    Distinguished Professor & Australian Laureate
    Director, JCU Centre for Tropical Environmental & Sustainability Science
    Director, ALERT–the Alliance of Leading Environmental Researchers & Thinkers

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      Professor Bill Laurance,

      thanks for your thoughts. I appreciate you taking the time.

      Obviously, I wrote that phrase. I’d like to be convinced I was wrong, but where is the uprising by JCU academics in protest at this draconian threat to the very process of scientific inquiry? Where are the outspoken JCU researchers who are appalled that Ridd could be sacked the way he has been and for such minor “offenses”. If the rest of JCU staff stood together on free speech, this would be over tomorrow.

      I’d need more than hearing that other academics have felt no pressure. The selective enforcement of extraordinary rules is exactly how management creates a monoculture. By excising the people from tea rooms who might “think” the wrong thing, provide critical review, or be looking for problems that no one else is looking for, the admin extinguishes politically incorrect research and removes a whole layer of scientific checks. This makes science at JCU so much weaker.

      By making sure that all JCU researchers now know they cannot question the institutions of science, nor government grants, or the peer review process, we now know that all JCU publications will not raise these discussion points. We won’t know if those matters should have been raised, but we do know that if they are relevant, they won’t be. Therefore all JCU publications are tainted.

      The chilling effect is already in full swing, whatever the outcome in Ridds case. Even if he wins his job back, what researcher wants to go through this? The die is cast at JCU already unless other researchers show they will not allow the admin to intimidate them.

      How can research in any field be improved by removing dissent and debate?

      In the future if you were to come across results that showed that scientific institutions would not be trusted in your field would you say so publicly knowing that it was career suicide?

      If there are deep seated problems in the process or industry of science, or in particular fields, the JCU actions make sure that JCU will be the last place to find them. Therefore the integrity of science itself is at risk here. Is that not enough reason to take the time to read the details on Ridd’s case?

      That you have not, speaks for itself. Like us, you didn’t ask for this test, but it is here.

      Sincerely,

      Jo

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        Kinky Keith

        What can you say to that?

        Some of the points made seem very unlikely, take for instance the paragraph following the highlighted quote.

        A measured response Jo which contrasts with the comments that precipitated it.

        KK

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          Radical Rodent

          Ah, but Ms Nova does not have so many letters after her name, or so many authoritative positions! Nor, I suspect, would she sink to such blatant argumentum ad verecundiam.

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      I can not say I have ever heard of your name and I do not know your qualifications. It would seem that you are not a registered Professional Engineer. I wonder if those at your centre comply with Professional Engineers Act which requires those giving an engineering must be registered and comply with the Act including the code of ethics. Having the word Sustainability in the titles questions the politics, ethics and engineering. I have met Prof George Walker who did so much for the reputation of JCU with his cyclone research and buildimg codes to protect people and properties.

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      Geoffrey Williams

      To William Lawerence,
      Dear Sir, you say in you letter above that you are an amiable colleague of Peter Ridd, and I don’t doubt it. You say also that you have defended him in the past for his unpopular opinions. But in the next paragraph you say that you haven’t tracked his case closely enough to have an informed opinion (on this current issue). So which is it? You cannot have it all ways. Please speak out now for Peter Ridd’s right to free speech both within the JCU and outside of it.
      Geoffrey Williams

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      Mark D.

      William Lawerence, as an “amiable colleague”, have you donated to his cause? How much would be telling………..

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    [...] this clashed with the views of several of his colleagues at James Cook University. As Jo Nova reports, what particularly irked the University authorities was when he wrote [...]

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    [...] this clashed with the views of several of his colleagues at James Cook University. As Jo Nova reports, what particularly irked the University authorities was when he wrote this:  ”…we can no [...]

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    Ross

    Did Tim approach his union regarding his ‘unfair dismissal’?
    What was their advise?
    He did approach the union, didn’t he?

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    Ross

    ‘…advice…’

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    Ross

    And replace ‘Tim’ with Ridd, and my question just about makes sense. (Blush)
    So…Did Prof. Ridd approach his union. What did they say?

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    Kleinefeldmaus

    Their reputation has long been trashed – all by themselves.
    here

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    Kleinefeldmaus

    While I am still appalled at the behaviour of the antics of the folk at James Cook University – I prefer to recall the wonderful tribute to Bob Carter made by Christopher Monckton shortly after Bob’s death in 1016. here

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    Treeman

    Hello Jo.
    This is something I’ve been watching for a while and just now, someone sent me a link to an article in Guardian, which did not touch on any of the freedom of speech issues you and others have raised.

    Institutions like JCU and indeed UQ have to take a serious look at the way they deal with those who challenge the orthodoxy or the so called settled science that they peddle.

    Just looking over the comments here to date, it seems there are at least two who have given thumbs down to much of the commentary, especially those who attracted the most likes! To those anonymous dislikers, my challenge is get in there and make a serious comment or forget about being counted!

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    Treeman

    Meant to add that creatures like the JCU are the Butterfingers irvings of the modern era, gunning themselves down at every opportunity!

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    Dear Jo,

    Thank you for your reply as well. In fact, I have seen JCU researchers rise up in anger on many occasions. There is no lack of courage, nor moral outrage, among our group when the circumstances are right.

    I believe the reason that there is no current groundswell against what happened to Peter is that others simply don’t see evidence of what you claim is happening. What I am aware of is this: Peter made blanket claims against the university and its research integrity.

    That’s not how one does it. If you think That Dr X or Professor Y has sinned egregiously or systematically you call them out, lay down your evidence, and let the court of public (or scientific) opinion decide the winner.

    For example, if I were to disagree with you, I wouldn’t write that everything you have ever said is biased and untrustworthy. I am sure not is not so. I would call you out on a specific issue, and in such circumstances my actions would be defensible and my evidence subject to being supported or falsified.

    Peter has failed the acid test among his colleagues because they see him not as an unfortunate martyr who’s been wronged, but as someone who tried to sink the ship of scientific inquiry and university research with a tsunami of vague claims of bias–claims that were only too happily exploited by those with certain political agendas.

    If you really believe that Peter is correct, please cite the specific evidence that supports his claims. Let’s then have a close look at it and see if it stands up to tough, thorough, public scrutiny.

    You seem to be espousing something like a conspiracy theory–an Orwellian view of intellectual oppression at JCU. That’s just not the case. After forty years in academia, I know of what I speak. If you really want to see the chilling effect of intellectual oppression, go to a place like mainland China. You absolutely see and feel it there.

    Best regards,

    Bill Laurance

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      Thanks again Bill,

      You appear to be new to the debate about the integrity of science?

      Peter’s claims are not just public but peer reviewed: Larcombe and Ridd (2017)”The need for a formalised system of Quality Control for environmental policy-science” Marine Pollution Bulletin 126 (2018) 449–461. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2017.11.038

      I have already made the case many times that monopsonistic funding, grants, intimidation, pal review by unpaid anonymous peers is slowing and distorting science.

      All JCU or yourself and others needed to do was to welcome his criticisms and explain why they were misplaced, wrong or exaggerated. Instead the uni threatened his job.

      Given that Ridd’s comments are obviously a criticism of academics, scientific institutions and government funding and he’s lost his job — everyone can put two and two together. Thus the onus is on JCU (and the staff who value their university’s reputation) to explain how these events are NOT related. So far the excuses have been weak.

      Worse, this is harder for JCU because it already fits a pattern. Bob Carter was subject to petty eviction, loss of his title, office and even his email.

      If JCU researchers are indeed keen to defend free speech, please point me to where they spoke up, discussed Ridds legitimate concerns, protested at his draconian punishment. Did the media censor this?

      As for “conspiracy theories” — hardly — I talked of systemic and cultural effects which are self-evidently obvious, and which you have not even tried to rebut. You don’t seem at all concerned that discoveries in the science of sustainability might be slowed by poor standards of peer review, or a culture of intimidation in academia.

      If staff at JCU value their institutions reputation, they need to do something. The damage is already done. Convince us JCU encourages open debate, rigorous peer review, and makes sure its researchers do not fear the loss of their jobs for speaking the unpopular truth.

      Is JCU just a grants-generating machine which produces politically favourable advertising or is it a place of the highest intellectual and logical rigor?

      Over to you…

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    • #

      Quite a disconnect between Professor Laurance’s comments,the
      first @ 1.31am and follow up @ 7.13pm, from ‘don’t know the
      details’ to ‘confident assertion.’

      ( 1.31 am.)’Has the university made a strategic error in
      firing Peter Ridd or pressuring him to resign? I don’t know;
      I haven’t tracked the details of his case closely enough to
      have an informed opinion (though, in many settings, I have
      defended Peter’s right to make arguments that are highly unpopular).’

      (7.13pm.)’Peter has failed the acid test among his colleagues because they see him not as an unfortunate martyr who’s been wronged, but as someone who tried to sink the ship of
      scientific inquiry and university research with a tsunami of
      vague claims of bias– claims that were only too happily
      exploited by those with certain political agendas.’

      Apart from the matter of non sequitur, there’s that straw
      man, ‘trying to sink the ship of scientific inquiry’ with
      ‘a tsunami’ of vague claims of bias. Is that what happens to
      science when a scientist ‘makes arguments that are highly unpopular?’

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    JB

    It isn’t just JCU but all universities’ reputations are on the line. It is surely time to review university funding and maybe allocate moneys elsewhere.

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  • #
    abt

    Is there a way of contributing to Dr Ridd’s GoFundMe using PayPal? I am uncomfortable with putting all my credit card details on the GoFundMe site.

    10

    • #
      Kinky Keith

      I’m worried about PayPal.

      10

    • #

      Good question.
      Peter Ridd has a bank account specifically for it. The details are

      BSB 062692
      Account number 3118 3352
      Name Peter Vincent Ridd

      He does not have a paypal account. If that is the only way you can donate, please send it to me through paypal (button top right col), marked as “For Peter Ridd”, and I will pass it on to his bank account.

      30

  • #

    Thank you, Jo.

    I am having difficulty following your line of thinking. A lack of response from JCU academics about Peter’s circumstances is not evidence of top-down pressure. Citing this as evidence of anything at all appears to be flawed logic.

    The real reason that JCU academics are not hopping up and down is that most of them disagree with Peter, often strongly so. His views and his means of operating are not popular (which is fine) nor are they widely respected (which is not fine).

    Academics also have plenty of other things to worry about (such as declining university budgets and heavy workloads) so one tends not to waste time defending someone whose arguments are generally regarded as misguided or misplaced. We will fight like hell for people we regard highly–and many of us have the scars to prove it.

    That having been said, I won’t claim that science is perfect any more than I’d claim that democracy (or any other human endeavour) is perfect. Science just happens to be, for all its flaws, our best and most workable system for arriving, eventually, at defensible conclusions.

    And I am indeed aware of the Larcombe & Ridd (2017) paper you referenced above (Peter kindly sent me a copy). I thought it interesting but, in some important ways, seriously off-base. That is why I assisted the President of the Royal Society of Queensland in composing a detailed rebuttal, published in The Brisbane Courier-Mail on 13 January 2018. (Perhaps one of your readers will be a subscriber and can post a copy of our response for all to read).

    Anyway, writing a blog is easy and not evidence of intellectual merit or factual accuracy. One can say anything in a blog, and indeed you seem to be doing so.

    To my eye, your blog has some interesting insights but also suffers from an excess of speculation and baseless allegation. I write a blog myself (more than 1 million readers on a good week; http://www.alert-conservation.org) and I would be embarrassed to see my name associated with some of the claims you have made.

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    • #

      Thank you for this warning:
      “Anyway, writing a blog is easy and not evidence of intellectual merit or factual accuracy. One can say anything in a blog, and indeed you seem to be doing so.”

      I’ll be very wary of blogs now, on principle. Like, for example…
      http://www.alert-conservation.org/

      I won’t go near that site, promise. It’s a blog!

      69

    • #
      robert rosicka

      Just love this quote !

      “Anyway, writing a blog is easy and not evidence of intellectual merit or factual accuracy. One can say anything in a blog, and indeed you seem to be doing so.”

      This describes http://www.alert-conservation.org/ to a tee ,well read means a lot to you doesn’t it but the works of Dr Suess is also well read and also nonsense but the great doctor is an enjoyable read and unlike you admits his is pure fantasy which pretty much covers yours .

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    • #

      Bill,

      You had trouble following my reasoning? Read more carefully:

      You said: “A lack of response from JCU academics about Peter’s circumstances is not evidence of top-down pressure. Citing this as evidence of anything at all appears to be flawed logic. “

      Except I said:

      Quote:“We won’t know if those matters should have been raised, but we do know that if they are relevant, they won’t be. Therefore all JCU publications are tainted. — Jo”

      i.e. all JCU research is now tainted because we cannot know if people omitted something they are afraid of saying or didn’t find anything controversial to say.

      Given the pall of career destruction hanging over JCU, a lack of response to Ridds situation from fellow staff could mean one of three things:

      1. 1. supporters of Ridd are afraid to speak. Or
      2. 2. opponents of Ridd would rather not fight for free speech or higher standards at JCU because (a) they know their own research is politically correct and therefore there is no threat to them (so they think) or (b) perhaps they fear their funding might be reduced if he continued to speak and they “know” he is wrong?
      3. 3. JCU researchers are so poorly trained in the scientific method that they are oblivious to the problems with scientific integrity and the need for free speech.

      Your pick.

      Your comments imply point 2 may apply to you and 3 definitely does. I’ll quote you:


      … one tends not to waste time defending someone whose arguments are generally regarded as misguided or misplaced. We will fight like hell for people we regard highly…

      Free speech and the scientific method have nothing to do with “people we regard highly”. Either you care whether the people you disagree with can speak freely or you don’t care about free speech at all.

      Will you fight for Peter Ridd to say the things you disagree with? Does slower progress and less rigor in “sustainability” bother you?

      You have not tried to explain why or where he might be scientifically wrong, just that you don’t like the way he does things.

      As for “blogging is easy” — either you don’t write controversial ideas, or you have not yet attracted critics to criticize you with the rigor that brings. Out here in unfunded science commentary land I am peer reviewed publicly 24 hours a day and I live by my wits and off donations.

      PS: I see you have 30+ co-writers on your blog. If you’d like to get more than one comment and 11 likes per post, perhaps I can help?

      79

    • #
      Bite Back

      William Laurance,

      Anyway, writing a blog is easy and not evidence of intellectual merit or factual accuracy. One can say anything in a blog, and indeed you seem to be doing so.

      I don’t know quite what to make of you. I first thought you were trying to keep a foot in both camps, something only the most naive would do because it compromises your integrity directly to anyone wise enough to do critical thinking.

      But now here you are saying Joanne Nova doesn’t know what she’s talking about. You’re now exposed as someone who stepped into a debate he’s unprepared to handle. I think you need to read her blog for a few months before you speak.

      You don’t know me and neither does any reader of this or other blogs. But if my name was made known it would be recognized by most readers here immediately. I know what I’m talking about and I’m afraid you don’t.

      BB

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  • #
    Phil Brown

    William,

    All I see is hand waving here. You state most of the academics disagree with Peter, but provide no evidence of this. Why is this? Are they afraid to put their head above the parapet? If so why? Perhaps this is JCU pressure? Perhaps fear the same would happen to their own careers.

    You say you rebutted his 2017 paper then can not be bothered to provide a link for us to read your rebuttal and make our own conclusions. You must have a link somewhere to this piece?

    Your last sentence is merely an attempt to advertise your blog, but more importantly it outlines how deeply embedded into the environmental movement you lie and therefore offer a biased view point. It is of no surprise that you support the scaremongering of the ARC and for the removal of Peter Ridd.

    I wonder what professors of Mathematics, Physics or Chemistry etc think of the Peter Ridd treatment by JCU? I would value those opinions far more than someone who seems to think humans are destroying the earth at every opportunity.

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  • #
    Mickey Reno

    My comment to Minister Birmingham:

    I’ve just donated, again. Please let’s get JCU shamed and get Peter Ridd his job back. In fact, let’s get him the university president’s job.

    What the hell are Australian academics thinking? Is there a new 20th century revival of Fascist ideology? The firing of James Cook University professor and scientist Peter Ridd is outrageous, even on the other side of the world. When did a public university employer get the right to tell scientists the “correct” professional opinions to hold? When did the public authorize them to be jack-booted enforcers of professional collegiality? When did they legislatively win the role of Orwellian 1984 style marriage counselors? Professional misconduct now includes speaking to the press? To climate change “deniers?” To your wife?

    From Jo Nova’s article on this topic: “Terminating his employment, [JCU]Vice-Chancellor Sandra Harding said he [Ridd] had “engaged in a pattern of conduct that misrepresents the nature and conduct of the disciplinary process through publi­cations online and in the media”.

    I hope Ms. Harding loses her job. She and all others who made this particular decision, do not deserve to be public employees. For that matter, ministers who fail to protect the public from thuggish bureaucrats like this don’t deserve it, either.

    Respectfully, but angrily offered,

    92

  • #

    Phil, it’s annoying but the Courier-Mail blocks the URL, so that only subscribers can access the article. I’d certainly have provided the URL if I could have.

    I’m offering my perspective of Peter’s circumstances based on my conversations at JCU. That’s it–I’m saying it the way I see it and hear it. You seem to have a preconceived idea of what’s happening so I don’t think anything I say is going to influence that.

    And Mickey, I really ‘get’ your point, and I’d agree with you if Peter were in fact fired simply because of his scientific opinions. But academics DON’T have carte-blanche protection to say anything we want, in any way we want. There are rules and norms of behaviour, even in academia. We all have to live by these standards–not just Peter. Plenty of academics in plenty of universities and in plenty of nations have lost their jobs for comparable reasons. It’s not a recent phenomenon at all.

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    • #
      wert

      “I’m offering my perspective of Peter’s circumstances based on my conversations at JCU. ”

      Do you think, given your opinion, that you’d get a honest picture on what people think? Those who think their career is at risk, will just shut up to keep their job.

      The GBR scare, with respect, sounds so *impossible* for general reasons, that you’d need very extraordinary, good, balanced evidence to make me believe there is anything more than local and temporary issues. Frankly, not all people reading this blog are not scientifically illiterate. Convincing us just requires something else than a photoshopped polar bear, or a sick dying polar bear, or an Al Gore movie (well the last one actually fooled me for a while). No, bleached coral in a picture is just climate p***. You need good, scientific stuff without spin. I trust you can try. Pay no attention on name-calling. It happens here.

      102

    • #
      Mickey Reno

      William Laurance, I would say you quite exquisitely missed the point. Peter WAS fired for his scientific opinion. He was fired for going on the air and saying the GBR is NOT dying and that claims about the GBR dying are overblown and exaggerated and that science backing such claims are weak and not reproducible. Presumably, his scientific opinion embarrasses the alarmists on the faculty who made those claims (and who want to continue making those same claims and getting more grants in future). Where is JCU’s presumably equal responsibility to protect Ridd from their overblown claims embarrassing HIM!? Everything subsequent to that is just them being jack-booted thugs and, not getting their way, not getting him to obey, they fire him, proving themselves to be every bit the jack-booted thugs I think they are.

      I think you should watch the infamous 10:10 No Pressure video and imagine Sandra Harding with her hand on the red button.

      99

    • #
      Peter C

      Plenty of academics in plenty of universities and in plenty of nations have lost their jobs for comparable reasons. It’s not a recent phenomenon at all.

      Is that so! I am astounded. Can you provide details of names of any of them? I would like to check the reasons for the dismissals.

      57

    • #

      Response 1: ‘Phil, it’s annoying but the Courier-Mail blocks the URL, so that only subscribers can access the article. I’d certainly have
      provided the URL if I could have.’

      Peposte 2: ‘Academics DON’T have carte-blanche protection to say anything we want, in any way we want. There are rules and norms of behaviour, even in academia.’

      Re Response 1: ‘Trust but verify.’ Does this not this underpin the Western Scientific Revolution? ‘ Don’t you, Professor Laurance, have yr own hard copy? Archiving data, like citation in critical debate, is a must.

      Reposte 2: Seems to me yr ‘carte-blanche’ statement is a blanc-mange-fall-back position. Science is conjecture and refutation involving
      tests, has to be robust and FREE and evidence based.

      56

    • #

      Sorry Jo, I dunno what happened. (

      40

      • #

        Sorry Jo, I dunno what happened. (

        I wish to discuss your new Turnips with fine graphine jacket! You can dig up with shovel, but not harming jacket! Feeding such to rhinoceros only results in more durable rhinoceros shat!
        All the best!-will-

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  • #
    Phil Brown

    William,

    Surely you have a hard copy of the rebuttal saved somewhere. I am sure it could be place on here for us to view? Why is there not a rebuttal paper available in a peer review journal?

    RE: preconceived ideas….I have no reason to have preconceived ideas, I try to look at all the evidence and frankly Peter Ridd seems to be on the right side of science from what I have read and learned.

    I have read what Peter Ridd said and the ARC reports and looked at observations since they were published, and it seems to me that Peter Ridd was spot on and this also fits in with past Reef scare stories like the Maldives after the 1982 and 1997 bleaching events. You don’t hear anymore about it because it was a non problem and a natural phenomenon.

    Surely you can see that ARC take an emotional view of saving the GBR from an environmental perspective which could from an outsiders perspective seem biased and subjective. Here is an example:

    Terry Hughes
    @ProfTerryHughes
    I showed the results of aerial surveys of #bleaching on the #GreatBarrierReef to my students, And then we wept.

    I am sorry but these are not the statements from someone who is emotionally detached and looking at science in an unbiased way or objective manner.

    Your expertise is strongly environmental centred and therefore you are likely to relate to the ARC view of the GBR over other opinions on the GBR science like Peter Ridd.

    Whether you claim “it is the way I see it or hear it” is coming from someone with environmental filter on their views. This issue needs to be assessed by someone completely free of bias and focused on the science and I do not see how you qualify for this. Hopefully the courts will do this. Have you ever published or been a co-author with Terry Hughes or the ARC? This may also bias your opinion.

    Phil

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    • #
      Kinky Keith

      I weep for modern society.

      In a sane and caring society you would believe that real issues come first.

      Unfortunately the embarrassingly high youth suicide rate here in Australia is simply swept away, out of sight, and ignored while half a billion dollars is thrown at the perceived issue of cyclical behaviour of tropical coraline life forms.

      The coral is doing just fine, we aren’t.

      Australian children need guidance and leadership based on real values and to be able to live and thrive in a society with its feet set firmly on the ground.

      We need leadership to take us up and out of the current fantasy world which allows cynical leadership to go from strength to strength.

      KK

      43

  • #
    Philip Brown

    William,

    One more thing, what exactly qualifies yourself to claim Ridd’s paper was “off base” and for that matter “Assist” the royal society to write a rebuttal? Why go out of your way to write the rebuttal at all? What was your motivation?

    37

  • #

    Peter Ridd target has been achieved!

    80

    • #
      wert

      Awesome, really. It is interesting how the JCU is ready to use its full machinery and tolerate huge expenses in order to get rid of him. How annoyed they must have been! Peter talked about a replication crisis, which is an important subject worth billions. I understand what they meant. Ridd’s critical comments might easily be counted in losses of millions of grant money, so no wonder they used every reason imaginable to sack him.

      This will be an interesting case, that defines freedom of speech for professors in future. I wouldn’t bet Ridd wins, but if he looses, it will have a really chilling effect on opposing corrupt science or science organizations in Australia and elsewhere.

      In my opinion, colleagues should be handled with some respect; but that does not mean you should not be able to tell in your blog, or newspapers what you think about scientific quality of a certain department. No, that is part of your core academic freedom.

      82

    • #
      Peter C

      $260,028 of $260,000 goal
      Raised by 2,405 people in 3 months

      Average donation about $100. In fact it did not take 3 months. The first $100,000 was raised in 1 1/2 days and the second $160,000 took about 3 days.

      What I liked was that so many people donated small amounts. That is real crowd funding and every one of those people demonstrated that they understand the threat and that they are prepared to spend some of their own money to try and fight back.

      60

  • #
    Roy Hogue

    I haven’t quite known how to respond to this. I taught in the evening division of the Los Angeles Community College District for more than enough years to know that a logical fallacy carried more weight than empirical evidence and there were no professors on campus who were willing to say no to pushing global warming as a done deal, no more debate is possible and you must do what we say. I could have shot down the arguments easily to anyone interested in all points of view but I had no audience, no bully pulpit and no standing as an expert in “climate science”, whatever that is.

    The expectation seems to be that you just go along to get along.

    The student newspaper was more than happy to pick this up and print it which distributed it all over the campus. Academia is not exactly a bastion of honesty and integrity. It’s as competitive as any place else in society and it does all it can to protect those with the most political power, the truth notwithstanding.

    Thankfully I taught computer science, a non controversial subject. Otherwise I might have been fired several times over.

    JCU is not the only place needing some housecleaning.

    100

    • #
      Roy Hogue

      The problem I mentioned came about because Al Gores worthless movie, An Inconvenient Truth was run on campus but it happened during the day when I had a full time job to keep going so I couldn’t be there. If I had been there I could have asked some questions no one would have been able to answer. Maybe better for me that I wasn’t there.

      And now the problem has grown to proportions I never expected. Is the Great Barrier Reef in trouble? I don’t know but I’m a whole lot more willing to trust someone who will raise questions and demand answers than I am to trust the present JCU power structure.

      52

      • #
        Graeme No.3

        Roy:
        We have it on ‘good’ academic authority that the Great Barrier Reef will be gone in 6 months. That was in 1971. It must be true because it has been repeated ad nauseam just about every time Federal Government Grants are decided.

        11

    • #
      Kinky Keith

      Roy,

      I am in complete sympathy with your opening statement.

      If you read comment #58 you might see in the last four lines the word “director” used twice.

      Note that there is no mention of exploration or scientific enquiry, just “direction” that implies guidance from a lofty tower.

      Moving on to subsequent comments you see the initial humble approach of “gee I don’t know” readily morphs into something more akin to ” well, he got what he deserved, didn’t he learn anything from what happened to Bob Carter?”.

      If you read all the comments you can see the transition and then sit and ponder the impartiality of modern science™.

      We are in trouble when, as a society, we endorse “direction” such as this.

      KK

      48

  • #
    thingadonta

    Statement from JCU:

    “The University has not objected to Professor Ridd’s right to comment on quality assurance.

    However, the University has objected to the manner in which he has done this. He has sensationalised his comments to attract attention, has criticised and denigrated published work, and has demonstrated a lack of respect for his colleagues and institutions in doing so. Academic rebuttal of his scientific views on the reef has been separately published.”

    Holes in this argument:
    ‘The manner in which he has done this’ is part of his right to comment. The university cannot use the code of conduct to stifle his right to comment, even if they don’t like the way he does it.

    ‘Sensationalised’ is irrelevant, whether or not something is sensational or boring or not the issue.
    ‘Critisised and denigrated published work’: also irrelevant: that’s part of his ‘right to comment’.
    ‘demonstrated a lack of respect for his colleagues and institutions” also irrelevant, that’s also part of his ‘right to comment’.
    ‘Academic rebuttal of his scientific views on the reef has been separately published’, also irrelevant and the real reason they don’t want him to comment, they don’t agree with his views, and only like hearing about academic rebuttals of his views.

    I think he has a case, universities are not like private companies (which they consistently refer to), in that they can’t fire someone without due cause, which also needs to be serious, and I don’t think this the case. Commenting ‘on his scientific views’ , and ‘critisis(ing) and denigrated published work’ in public also does not constitute ‘serous misconduct’.

    60

    • #
      Lewis P Buckingham

      One of the points made was that his comments were already published in a peer reviewed journal.
      He just repeated them.They were his own, but politely ignored.

      31

  • #
    Kleinefeldmaus

    These guys just shoot from the hip – all over the place while poor old Bill who wandered in to this site couldn’t even get his ‘piece’ out of the holster.
    here

    29

    • #
      Kinky Keith

      I think one of the “shooting his own foot” moments was when he produced the rather undignified term “b$llsh$t.

      Real stylish chap.

      KK

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  • #
  • #
    Steve Turton

    Here is the link to the rebuttal article that people are asking for:

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0025326X18301425

    This is an Open Access journal article.

    20

  • #
  • #

    In response to “Peter C” (comment 75.3), this a completely fair question to raise, and fortunately it’s an easy one to address.

    This took me a few minutes on Google:

    “The [U.S.] National Education Association found that approximately 2 percent of tenured professors are dismissed each year.” https://www.universitybusiness.com/article/coming-terms-tenure

    “The reality is that tenured faculty can and do get fired with some regularity.”
    http://higheredprofessor.com/2017/08/07/can-tenured-faculty-member-fired/

    So, the answer is an obvious ‘yes’. I think a more critical question is WHY are some tenured faculty losing their positions?

    Some are doing seriously dumb things — like having sexual relations with a student they supervise, misreporting grant expenditures, or falsifying data.

    Crucially, I have never heard anyone accusing Peter of ANYTHING like that. So, the question then becomes, can tenured academics lose their jobs for other reasons?

    Again, the answer is a clear ‘yes’. This took another few minutes on Google:

    [Tenure can be terminated for] “anything from poor teaching, insulting and demeaning behavior, failure to publish or get grants, disruptive behavior, etc.” https://www.quora.com/Can-tenured-professors-lose-their-jobs

    At the University of Illinois, a tenured professor was fired for violating a university order not to publicly discuss the issue of a “distressed student”
    https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/01/08/questions-raised-firing-tenured-professor-u-illinois

    At the University of Colorado, a tenured professor was fired for comparing the victims of 9/11 to an infamous Nazi, asserting that his arguments have a basis in historical fact. He continues to argue his case.
    https://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0411/p03s01-ussc.html

    From an article “Can a Tenured Professor be Fired for Defaming a University?”

    “As scholars and educational officers, [tenured faculty] should remember that the public may judge their profession and their institution by their utterances. Hence they should at all times be accurate, should exercise appropriate restraint, should show respect for the opinions of others, and should make every effort to indicate that they are not speaking for the institution. So if the defamation was extreme enough, it would not be covered by academic freedom.”

    https://www.quora.com/Can-a-tenured-professor-be-fired-for-defaming-a-university

    I could have listed MANY more examples. But, bottom line: Yes, tenured academics CAN AND DO lose their positions with some regularity, and for a remarkably diverse number of reasons.

    But, look, there’s no need to take my word for it. Google is there for anyone to use (or whatever search-engine you prefer).

    I have a few questions myself about this website, which I only discovered yesterday. This is one: Do Jo Nova, and the other frequent commenters, disclose their funding sources?

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    • #

      Bill asks: Do Jo Nova, and the other frequent commenters, disclose their funding sources?

      Ah the ad hominem? C’mon Bill. You don’t have to sink to that unscientific sledge.

      My funding is irrelevant to the logic of my arguments is it not? A logical guy like you would know that.

      And there are no secrets. I’ve discussed my funding with the ABC more than once, Funnily enough they always edit my answers out? Guess they don’t want to tell the world there is a mass movement of tens of thousands of citizens and scientists online who are fed up with the way science has been politicized, abused and used to prop up bad policies and green industry profits. Perhaps they are in denial?

      We funded ourselves, and now live off small donations from doctors, engineers, dentists and farmers and small business folk who are utterly fed up.

      Look at who funded Peter Ridd. See the GoFundMe names. I’m supported by the same crowd.

      I’m sure a smart guy like you didn’t fall for the ABC conspiracy theory about “big-oil”?

      1211

    • #

      We’re used to being patronised on this site. But this lengthy google-is-your-friend non-answer is really going over the top.

      William, we know that if you punch some comprehensible phrases into a search engine you will get relevant results. Do your students need this degree of guidance? We don’t. Few do. None should.

      Peter C asked for dismissals which have actually occurred for “comparable reasons” – of which there are supposed to be “plenty” – and he got zilch from you except generalities any wally can find on the net. All explained at great patronising length! Please, if you can’t come up with specifics, spare us over-30s the life-coaching.

      Don’t get me wrong. It would not surprise me if there was a case similar to that of Peter Ridd. What surprises me that you gave such a long answer without naming one. I believe this is called padding-out?

      As for the disconnected question about funding at the end of your laundry list of non-answers to Peter C, that’s about as odd as your warning against blogs just above the link to your, er, blog. Is the funding inquiry just to add a little noirish atmosphere?

      Well, Jo gets by on not-much by the look of it and I, retired in the scrub, occasionally throw in twenty bucks. I do know that Big Oil was funding, very logically, the War on Coal till they got caught out. (I’m sure an ace googler can find out all about Sierra and Chesapeake’s tens of millions without any help from us slow coaches.) Seems that Jo’s closest connection to drillers is a dentist or two. Harden up, Jo!

      1110

    • #
      Peter C

      William Laurance,

      re JO’S FUNDING

      If you go to the top right hand corner of this blog you will find the “Tip Jar”. You can click on that without giving anything. But if you do go there you will read this from Jo;

      *Why this dumb arrangement? Would you believe — the Australian government say that I need permission to accept “donations”. (It’s your money, but you can only donate it to a Registered Charity.) So instead I’m “selling” units of $1 emergency chocolate kits which go to needy bloggers (me) – just choose the quantity you like!

      Your help makes a big difference
      We can’t do it without you. With David doing full time research now since November 2012, our household is funded largely through donations by people like you who are fed up at the failure of institutions, science associations and journalists. Thanks for your help.

      The dumb arrangement that she talks about is that we buy bars of chocolate @$1 each but we don’t actually get any chocolate.

      It appears that Jo is funded mostly by people who read her blog. If she had corporate donors she would not have to ask for donations.

      63

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      William Laurance:

      Changing the subject slightly, I would suggest that you, and most of your colleagues believe that CO2 causes Global Warming which causes Climate Change. Have you any proof of that?
      I will make it slightly easier in that I think that extra CO2 does cause some warming, i.e. using the Ideal Gas Law an extra 100ppm will bring 0.02℃ rise and an extra 410 ppm CO2 will result in 0.07℃ rise (although that may be moderated by extra vegetive growth).
      I think your, and your colleagues problem is that Prof. Ridd is responding to the torrent of “the Reef is DOOMED real soon” press releases over the last 46 years in suggesting some looseness in the evidence, and not to the recent disclosure of claims against a former student about academic fraud. Unfortunately you can’t get him burnt at the stake like Giordano Bruno, nor confined to house arrest like that nuisance Gallileo Gallilei.
      There also seems to be an element of group think that the accepted theory cannot be challenged which resulted in some problems for Lavoisier, Darwin, and Einstein et al. That attitude has been around since at least the Phlogiston theory, and indeed earlier when the ‘Neptunians’ claimed that basalt had to be a sedimentary rock to fit in with their beliefs.
      Perhaps you should suggest to your colleagues that the University be renamed the Piltdown Uni? Although the Neptunian Uni sounds classier.

      01

  • #
    Phil Brown

    In response to Steve Turton:

    I just wasted a good part of my life reading that link. The whole thing could have been boiled down into a paragraph. Most of rebuttal was dedicated to his methodology, wording and the way he went about rebutting the 9 GBR papers in question. They accepted reluctantly that some of his claims of error were true, but then tried to downplay the errors as only minor. What a waste of text and time.

    Has anyone else noticed that the most dubious AGW or environmental papers seem to have a ridiculous number of authors? Why is that? Terry Hughes seems to be especially author top heavy.

    42

    • #
      Kinky Keith

      I flicked through a bit of it but got bogged down by the verbalese.

      Verbalese sandwiched between an intro and the summary.

      Modern politics at its best.

      14

  • #
    ferdinand

    This is not just stupid. It smacks of the evil practices in Germany before the second world war. It is akin to the burning of those books, or papers, with which you do not agree. It is a most serious issue. I trust the courts will perceive the evil in the attitude of the JCU and ensure that they are suitably penalized.

    28

  • #

    My goodness, I am startled at the level of defensiveness that my few posts, and my single question, are provoking among certain commenters on this site.

    Jo, if I actually wanted to get ad hominem, you would find yourself answering a far longer list of questions than who funds you.

    Asking about funding is NOT an ad hominem question, at least not in the highly defensive and pejorative sense that you have framed it. It goes directly to motivation, intellectual integrity and independence.

    If either you or I were in a court of law, a lawyer could ask us this question without drawing even a blink of objection from an impartial judge.

    And to take it a step further, every academic these days has to answer this same question before publishing their research: does the researcher have any potential conflicts of interest, or receive funding from any body that would benefit from their research or their arguments?

    So, let me be very specific. Jo, please tell me if any of the fossil-fuel lobbies, corporations, or industry-funded think-tanks, or any other organisations with political or industrial agendas, fund your activities? If so, please identify which ones.

    What I am asking is BASIC, Jo. You can answer it without sounding so defensive or maligned. We scientists have to do it ALL THE TIME.

    And in fairness, Jo, I discovered your website only two days ago. Prior to that, I had never even heard of you. I haven’t seen the ABC programme you mentioned, nor any other media coverage about you. I literally know nothing about you other than what I’ve seen on your website.

    That might, however, change. I am ridiculously busy, but you are beginning to pique my curiosity a bit.

    126

    • #

      “Level of defensiveness” being patronese (branch of academese) for “disagreement” or “criticism”.

      My goodness. A long and diffuse comment with five pointless links a budgerigar could google (devoted to not answering Peter C’s question) and concluding with an utterly unrelated inquiry as to the funding of Jo Nova and even her commentators? I’d say that merits a level of defensiveness. Or, as we say in ordinary English, it merits criticism.

      811

      • #
        Kinky Keith

        William’s level of erudition, if there is such a word, doesn’t seem to extend to understanding the difference between making reasonable statements and so called “defensiveness”.

        There is nothing on Jo’s blog that requires “defensiveness” and that suggestion itself, is Offensive to those who comment here in what appears to us to be an outpost of reasonable inquiry.

        KK

        611

      • #
        Kinky Keith

        “Patronese” an immediate example of which might be,

        “My PhD beats your BSc.

        And, as I have seen all too often in terms of capacity to assemble and explain the real world, it doesn’t.

        I like it; Academic Patronese!

        KK

        611

    • #
      Kinky Keith

      William.

      I am truly, truly sorry to hear that you are “so ridiculously busy”.

      Speaking of things ” ridiculous ” I did have a quick look through your blog.

      Did you do that on work time, or after hours?

      As a taxpayer I am interested in how my tax contributions are spent.

      Another matter that has me concerned is that you went to the trouble to hide your initial degree behind the symbols “PhD”.

      Why?

      I suspect that you have been so “ridiculously busy” that you may have missed the main point about Global Warming and its little brother “Coral Catastrophe”.

      They are both political issues with no supporting science, just advertising from selected government sponsored media outlets using my tax dollars again for one purpose only.

      MONEY.

      KK

      811

      • #

        At 1.03 am Jo wrote: “We funded ourselves, and now live off small donations from doctors, engineers, dentists and farmers and small business folk who are utterly fed up.”

        At 6.50 am, 5 hours and 47 minutes later, William asked: “So, let me be very specific. Jo, please tell me if any of the fossil-fuel lobbies, corporations, or industry-funded think-tanks, or any other organisations with political or industrial agendas, fund your activities? If so, please identify which ones.”

        You have to hand it to William. He’s either a ridiculously busy non-reader or a never-quitter. It’s enough to make one feel “defensive or maligned”, is it not?

        William’s own site declares simply that it (or at least ALERT) has no fees or donors. But maybe we should ask him about lobbies, corporations, industry-funded think-tanks etc anyway…just in case he was joking the first time.

        810

        • #
          Kinky Keith

          I think your last line is on the money.

          With the passing of time, there is often a new perspective offered which may be contrary to the earlier one.

          “Gee I dunno” in the space of a few posts morphs into ” My considered opinion, as a high ranking, sorry, make that very high ranking university Incumbent” is so and so.

          Opinions are all very well but I would rather stick to the science.

          610

    • #

      William,

      Here’s a junior logic puzzle for you: Explain one thing I’ve said that “depends on my funding”?

      I’ve asked you to explain problems with Peter Ridds scientific arguments (which you seemingly can’t do). I’ve helpfully pointed out why the reputation of JCU academics is being damaged by this and how you can stop that. What I’ve said is self-evident.

      2 + 2 still equals four even if Attila the Hun sayth so.

      I’ve merely given my freelance opinion and offered you unlimited space to explain where I’m wrong.

      Still waiting…. ?

      Those who cannot argue with reason resort to ad hom.

      Sincerely,

      Jo

      811

      • #

        PS: William, I did answer your question. You may be baffled that there are people out there who give up high paid jobs purely to fight for science but get ready to be shocked. Some people fight for principles. Peter Ridd is one and so am I. Are you? You fight for friends, but not for free speech.

        I’m held to far higher standards than academics. If I lied or was boring, inane or illogical my readers would desert me.

        As academia has expunged critics and governments won’t fund them, a groundswell of citizen scientists has amassed online to fill that vacuum. The ABC won’t tell you there are literally tens of thousands willing to put their names to this battle for reason, logic and empirical evidence. And it includes Nobel Prize winners, men who walked on the moon, and professors from every branch of science.

        Go look at Peter Ridds GoFundMe page. That’s my support base. Those same mums and dads support me, and who’s defensive? I’m damn proud of it.

        1111

        • #
          Peter C

          I’m held to far higher standards than academics. If I lied or was boring, inane or illogical my readers would desert me.

          Absolutely we would. But we don’t. And the readership is growing!

          67

    • #
      Peter C

      See my answer at #85.3

      32

  • #
    Kleinefeldmaus

    So William Laurance has a little list –wotta nerd- here so – he’s got a bigger list that you – cor blimey!

    411

  • #
    Kinky Keith

    I knew a fellow in the 1960s who was a good athlete and after completing the local high school course began a non university level teacher training course here.

    A few months into that he received a scholarship to an American university and took up the offer.

    He returned two years later with a Masters degree.

    In Australia it would have taken between 5 and 6 years to accomplish that in a reputable uni.

    I have still not had an answer as to what preceded the PhD list in another post.

    I was particularly keen to learn how much hard science was involved.

    Perhaps something is being hidden.

    Something embarrassing that might make one think that the authority with which Peter Ridd is baseless?

    KK

    20

  • #

    Jo, so I gather you are not going to answer the very simple question I asked.

    What have you written that might be coloured or affected by your sources of funding?

    Potentially, all of it. Or some of it. Or none of it.

    But we will never know. Because you are not going to answer this question:

    Please tell me if any of the fossil-fuel lobbies, corporations, or industry-funded think-tanks, or any other organisations with political or industrial agendas, fund your activities?

    It’s an easy question. All you have to say is “no”. Or “yes”.

    You write fluidly, Jo. Which is it?

    910

    • #
      kevin george

      Who funds you?

      41

    • #

      Please see my post above, #88.2.1 at 7.36 am. It quotes Jo at 1.03 am.

      Are you being coy or have you actually missed all this?

      Jo answers question, 5+ hours later William again asks question, rephrased for accusatory effect. It is pointed out to William that question has been answered by Jo and her answer is also quoted exactly by me. Not to be deterred, at 12.31 pm William asks question again.

      William, I am prepared to believe that ALERT receives no funding and that you and your associates would not dream of using your work time and work resources for a private venture. You’ve said as much, so I see no need to press you on the matter. Why are you pressing Jo when she has answered your question and that answer has been re-quoted by me just in case in you missed it (being ridiculously busy, perhaps)?

      By the way, your original simple question was “Do Jo Nova, and the other frequent commenters, disclose their funding sources?” After it was answered by Jo the “simple question” transformed into “Please tell me if any of the fossil-fuel lobbies, corporations, or industry-funded think-tanks, or any other organisations with political or industrial agendas, fund your activities?” I hope you can see that this is manipulative behaviour.

      I’m almost tempted to ask you if any work-time or work-resources were used for ALERT. But I’ll leave the manipulating to the adherents of Big Green. It’s what they do so well, after all.

      Just so we’re clear. At 11.01 pm last night you asked Jo “Do Jo Nova, and the other frequent commenters, disclose their funding sources?” And at 1.03 am this morning Jo wrote “We funded ourselves, and now live off small donations from doctors, engineers, dentists and farmers and small business folk who are utterly fed up”. Jo could not answer for her commenters, and I cannot answer for commenters other than myself. Why is all this so hard for you to grasp, William?

      79

    • #

      Ahh William, I fear your poor training in logic and reason at JCU is being advertised for all to see.

      You appear to not even know the banal difference between free citizens pointing out 2 + 2 = 4 and those who get government funds to maintain public data, conduct research, and issue conclusions from positions of authority that must be taken on trust.

      You admit you cannot quote one single sentence I’ve made that is logically dependent on my funding.

      Your repeated enquiry would thus be a pure Ad Hominem attack seeking to criticize my character or motivation rather than answer my scientific and logical questions.

      Defeated by a mere blogger. That can’t feel good.

      But keep digging.

      As I said:

      The damage is done. Convince us JCU encourages open debate, rigorous peer review, and makes sure its researchers do not fear the loss of their jobs for speaking the unpopular truth.

      Is JCU just a grants-generating machine which produces politically favourable advertising or is it a place of the highest intellectual and logical rigor?

      You have dodged nearly every question I ask and resorted to ad homs while I’ve answered your questions openly — which you don’t appear to even have the manners to acknowledge and which keep changing.

      Unlike you, there is no onus on me to disclose anything. Despite that — In the last tax return 100% of my income came from individual reader donations. I got zero funds from any corporation or fossil fuel interest. I am not employed by any group of any political bent — though I once raised funds for The Greens. I’m a freelance writer who lives off her wits.

      If only the same could be said about professors?

      1011

  • #

    Thank you, Kevin. I am pleased to respond.

    These would be my funders in the last 10 years. The earlier ones wouldn’t be much different.

    For any philanthropic foundations, I’ve indicated what the funding was for. The others are all national science councils, universities or research organisations–that means they fund research (almost exclusively on the ecology and conservation of tropical forests, in my case).

    1. NASA (National Aeronautic and Space Administration)

    2. U.S. National Science Foundation

    3. Australian Research Council

    4. European Union Joint Research Centre

    5. Arcus Foundation (ape research in Africa)

    6. Asia-Pacific Research Foundation (logging in Papua New Guinea)

    7. Blue Moon Fund (forest fragmentation in the Amazon)

    8. Smithsonian Institution

    9. James Cook University

    10. Utrecht University, Netherlands

    11. WWF-Netherlands (tropical forest conservation)

    12. We have a philanthropic foundation that funds some of our research on road and infrastructure impacts in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Papua New Guinea, but they do not identify themselves publicly because they only fund researchers that they identify and contact themselves (if they identified themselves publicly they would receive many unsolicited grant applications).

    13. Brazilian National Science Foundation (CNPq)

    14. Marisla Foundation (Amazon forest fragmentation)

    15. Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (Amazon botanical research)

    16. U.S. Agency for International Development (training Amazon researchers)

    17. Brazilian National Institute for Amazonian Research (INPA)

    18. Amazonas State Fund for Research (FAPEAM)

    I am not including here various small grants that my students have received. These are from sources like the Skyrail Rainforest Foundation, the Wet Tropics Management Authority, Panthera, etc.

    This is the kind of transparency that I was hoping we would get from Jo. It really isn’t that difficult.

    And maybe she IS being fully transparent. What I haven’t heard from her yet is a simple yes/no response to the specific question I have posed repeatedly (most recently in message 91).

    I just want that from Jo. Yes or No. Then I’ll be satisfied.

    126

    • #
      kevin george

      So lots of government taxpayers money. Same as Lysenko.

      59

      • #

        We need to balance out private donors with public. What would Utrecht University do without Royal Dutch Shell? On the other hand, WWF would not be lost without BP and Shell. They’ll always have Coca-Cola.

        Big Oil is making sure its chief competitor gets eaten first by Big Green. Sadly for Australia, that chief competitor is our trump resource. Well, I’m sure some other lobby will make sure we can keep gouging and flogging our coal, even if we can’t put it to our own use and benefit.

        74

    • #

      Number 4 – funding from The European Joint Research Centre,
      https://ec.europa.eu/info/departments/joint-research-centre_en
      where Mt George Soros has meetings with The President of
      The EU Commission Jean-Claud Juncker and other globalist
      bureaucrats to discuss its ten political policy programs…

      63

    • #
      Robert Swan

      William,

      The odd thing is that big oil and big coal, etc., do fund Jo.

      I and, I assume, most of the people who contribute to this website do so at least partly in the hope that the logical arguments made here will help allow us to continue using oil and coal for the betterment of our lives.

      Oddly enough, you also help to fund Jo’s good efforts. I have only posted occasional comments here, but I read it nearly every day. I have been remiss to date in not having made a monetary contribution, but your comments here prompted me to make amends. As far as Prof. Ridd goes, I contributed to his appeal the day I read about it here. You and JCU can take a bow right alongside big oil et al.

      66

    • #

      Funding number 16, oh those Soros tentacles!

      ‘The conservative watchdog Judicial Watch has filed a lawsuit
      to try to obtain records from the State Department about the
      taxpayer-funded political activities of George Soros’s groups
      in Colombia and Romania.

      The watchdog said it took the action because the State Department
      and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) failed
      to respond to its Freedom of Information Act requests last fall
      for records relating to contracts, grants and other “allocations
      /disbursements of funds” by Open Society Foundation offices in
      Romania and Colombia.

      The watchdog is also seeking information about Soros’s activities
      in Macedonia and Albania.

      “It is time for Americans to be allowed to see State Department documentation regarding the public funding of Soros’ Open Society Foundations,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said Wednesday.
      “The billionaire George Soros needs zero assistance from U.S. tax
      =payers to promote his far-left agenda abroad.” ‘

      Read more at
      https://sovereignnations.com/2018/04/02/judicial-watch-sues-for-soros-projects/#1jgLmX52QtuhDLFl.99

      50

    • #
      robert rosicka

      The gigs up we’ve been sprung, might as well fess up about our multi billion dollar stipend from big oil .

      15

    • #
      Bite Back

      William Laurance,

      This is the kind of transparency that I was hoping we would get from Jo. It really isn’t that difficult.

      You get exactly that kind of transparency. Donations from readers support the entire Nova/Evens operation from paying the household bills to paying the cost of this blog. You’ve no doubt seen the place where you can buy “chocolates” in $1 increments. Believe it because it’s true.

      My point? I hope you’re not asking her to disclose the names of individual private citizens who donate. She would never do that for at least several reasons, it would put readers into a competition with each other and might disclose the names of those who post under a screen name for good reasons.

      BB

      210

  • #
    kevin george

    11. WWF-Netherlands

    Aren’t you the cutest little scientist activist.

    511

  • #
    Phil Brown

    William,

    There is a lot of tax payer funding in that list. However, how about you put down your time sheets for the amount of time you spent on the Conversation or you blogging? I bet you will have contributed your time and resources to this or at least not able to prove you didn’t whilst being funded by the tax payer which is a misuse of funding.

    I remember from my time at Reading University in the UK that lecturers and professors would use the University time and equipment for their own personal agendas…as though it were their right.

    I have employed people who have spent a long time in academia and it nearly always never works out. The reason is they have lived in a bubble away from the outside world and when they step out of it, they don’t like it and can’t cope. You are one of those people. One who continues to throw stones from within your academia castle, whilst the rest of us outside have to get on with running the world and dodging stones as we go.

    Try stepping in the real world one day and see it from our side.

    Phil

    610

  • #

    Given that Sky’s Andrew Bolt has waded into this – can we have some Sky folk pointing their mics and cameras at JCU folk and asking questions and eliciting reactions?

    It would I reckon be enlightening to get some reaction from Terry Hughes – as he seems to be the most prominent self avowed GBR catastrophist at JCU – and an obvious aggrieved party :-)

    51

  • #

    Well my goodness. I FINALLY got a straight answer from Jo. THANK YOU.

    Here is Jo’s response:

    In the last tax return 100% of my income came from individual reader donations. I got zero funds from any corporation or fossil fuel interest. No advertising. I am not employed by any group of any political bent.

    Jo, that can’t have been so hard. I am surprised it seemed to cause such distress.

    Why did you delay, and let others speak for you, and employ so many personal slights and insults, and sound so consistently defensive, and not give a straight answer until just now?

    And when you FINALLY gave us a direct answer, why did you stipulate “IN THE LAST TAX RETURN”?

    When I was asked who funded me, I INSTANTLY revealed my sources. No delay, no complaints, no vitriol, no aggrieved accusations, no long-winded rants, no tricky qualifications about “the last tax year”. I simply listed my funders.

    Why not just do the same, Jo?

    Would you be willing to repeat your statement above, but remove the utterly crucial qualification about “the last tax year?” It will take you 5 seconds.

    I will be waiting. And while I’m waiting, I’ll be gathering evidence. Evidence that will appear on this blog. And in other places.

    You can tell your readers the truth, or you can let me do it, Jo.

    98

    • #

      William Laurance reveals himself. That
      old ‘We know where you live,’ threat,
      … Now who was it said that?

      58

    • #
      Peter C

      Whow, This is getting Interesting!.

      When I was asked who funded me, I INSTANTLY revealed my sources. No delay, no complaints, no vitriol, no aggrieved accusations, no long-winded rants, no tricky qualifications about “the last tax year”. I simply listed my funders.

      William: Please list your own funders here and now, with out qualification. Can you do it instantly?

      Jo has responded and we would like to know.

      What do your mean by:

      No delay, no complaints, no vitriol, no aggrieved accusations, no long-winded rants, no tricky qualifications about “the last tax year”. I simply listed my funders.

      Has anyone made any complaints, vitriol, aggrrieved accusations? Has any one made a long winded rant (excepting yourself)?

      79

    • #

      How many times must “others” repeat this? Jo answered your question, WITHOUT DELAY (I see you’re a caps guy), you ignored the answer and re-phrased your question.

      If, by her last tax return, she received zero funds from any but readers then she is not funded by any but readers. Present tense. (Unless she has received corporate funding SINCE her last tax return.)

      If, in the past, she has received funds from corporations etc that means that she WAS funded IN THE PAST (some caps for you again). This is irrelevant since both your first question and the re-phrased gotcha version were about the PRESENT . Please look back and see that your questions were both about her present funding situation.

      If Jo has received corporate funds SINCE her last tax return, that’s another matter. Let’s hope the funds came from less dodgy sources than USAID, destroyer of small Indian savings, or the creepy European Joint Research Centre.

      And let’s all hope this isn’t a childish and manipulative gotcha to distract from the very important subject of Peter Ridd.

      610

    • #
      Peter C

      You can tell your readers the truth, or you can let me do it, Jo.

      Bring it on William!

      410

    • #
      Mary E

      Master Laurence – you may sit atop the precious hill of academe upon a marble throne and cast your aspersions and show your lifted brow to those watching as you deign to take on the uppity woman and her lowly toads, but the fact is, you haven’t shown a thing to anyone worth two red cents beyond your own petty and over-valued sense of position.

      You do not know, in truth, who any of the readers of this blog are, where they come from, what their education is. Do not assume we are not educated, are “on the take” and rolling in cash from Big Oil, or on the dole with little else to do.

      You might even be patting yourself on the back and chortling to yourself over how clever you are, how well you have shown us all the “door” and even how kind you were in not letting it slam shut. Unfortunately for you, that wasn’t a door, and you aren’t clever. You are a prime example example of the typical, everyday, ho-hum academic with an inflated sense of self and no idea of how trite and amateur your sallies have been.

      What you have done, dear sir, is made certain that neither I, nor my relatives, or anyone I have the honor of advising, shall ever donate a thing to your University, to the causes and concerns which fund you, or may fund you. That’s a fact.

      Resorting to histrionics and drama in your assertions and denials of Joanne’s responses is proof enough of your intent- and perhaps points to an audience you are playing to, one that is not participating but is, rather, being show how to dispose of the pesky peoples who insist on having answers to their questions.

      Joanne is quite capable of defending herself and her words – so are those who choose to post here, or just lurk in silence. So please do not take this as a “rallying” of another troop – this is, quite bluntly, a response to your rather chauvinistic, high-brow, condescending and, most egregiously, boring attempts at discourse.

      812

    • #
      Graeme#4

      “I’ll be gathering evidence. Evidence that will appear on this blog. And in other places.”
      Wow. Prof, you started off all nice and friendly, and now you seem to have turned to threats. What the heck prompted that? Don’t you think that’s being rather infantile? You don’t seem to have made any effort to discuss the issues as an adult.

      610

    • #

      William,

      Jo, that can’t have been so hard. I am surprised it seemed to cause such distress.

      Why did you delay, and let others speak for you, and employ so many personal slights and insults, and sound so consistently defensive, and not give a straight answer until just now?

      And when you FINALLY gave us a direct answer, why did you stipulate “IN THE LAST TAX RETURN”?

      When I was asked who funded me, I INSTANTLY revealed my sources. No delay, no complaints, no vitriol, no aggrieved accusations, no long-winded rants, no tricky qualifications about “the last tax year”. I simply listed my funders.

      Other priorities maybe? I took my husband to A&E Tuesday and he is still in hospital. I have young dependents and I’m flying tomorrow to deliver a keynote interstate.

      I took 2.5 hours to answer your ad hom demands and you are angry? I will give you a full refund…

      If I YELL at you will that mean you finally answer my scientific questions about why you disagree with Peter Ridd and where he is wrong?

      Or maybe science isn’t that important to a Professor of Sustainability?

      88

      • #
        Annie

        Oh dear Jo…you have a lot on your plate atm. I hope all will be well and the get- together in Sydney goes well. I will be thinking of you all…can’t attend…am in Dubai atm.

        21

  • #
    StewGreen

    William said

    - “Do Jo Nova, and the other frequent commenters, disclose their funding sources?”
    ( Then when Jo pointed out her funding is already in the public domain William rephrased the question )
    - “Asking about funding is NOT an ad hominem question,
    at least not in the highly defensive and pejorative sense that you have framed it. It goes directly to motivation, intellectual integrity and independence.”

    Are William’s questions Ad Hom ? Do they attack the character of the debater ?

    Yes because it is rhetorical question to the effect

    “Ya boo sucks, bet you are paid to say this
    .. you have questionable motives and integrity”

    Bottomline evidence stands on its own feet no matter who makes it
    ..eg the small boy who pointed out the emperor was nude.

    I have a £10/life expense and am entirely self funded, no benefits no government pension etc.
    A blogger once bought me a beer.
    =====================================

    Note then how William employs the disingenuous tactic of ploughing on, flooding the discussion with BS.

    I’ve seen this pattern many times from passionate activists
    who are not interested in fair debate…as I said disingenuous.

    128

  • #
    StewGreen

    typo : a £10/day life expense

    50

  • #
    Phil Brown

    Those who throw stones may expect retaliation.

    A quick search revealed

    http://www.kur-world.com/files/media/original/061/89d/9c2/Response-letter_L02.pdf

    In which these comment stand out.

    Response to Prof. Bill Laurance, James Cook University
    I refer to a presentation delivered by Bill Laurance at a ‘Stop Kur‐World’ fundraiser held at the
    Kuranda Amphitheatre on the evening of Friday 28th of July 2017. In giving his opinions, Bill has
    incorrectly attributed certain information to me. Bill has either misunderstood or misrepresented my
    comments. In either case, the information attributed to me by Bill is not correct.
    I have taken the
    time to prepare the following to inform the public:  

    So past form of doing this type of behaviour

    and this comment is particularly disturbing

    4. Bill made comments about Ken Lee concerning his ethnicity and English language skills.  
    o These comments are Bill’s alone.
      
    o The proponent is required to fulfil regulatory requirements under Australian law which
    are articulated in statutory documents.

    Neil Boland
    Principal Environmental Scientist
    Natural Resource Assessments Pty Ltd (trading as NRA Environmental Consultants)

    I leave it up to readers about his behaviour.

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    robert rosicka

    “though I once raised funds for The Greens. I’m a freelance writer who lives off her wits.”

    Really Jo the Greens ? Ok ok I voted Labor a few times .

    62

  • #
    Phil Brown

    Robert,

    I once joined up to the Sierra Club when working in the USA in the early 2000s and I think there have been studies on this trend of younger people starting out Socialist and Green leaning, but then evolve away from this when older…probably when they actually have to start paying bills and bringing up kids. I used to believe the whole AGW threat because I did not think to question the academics pushing the agenda…now I have…I realise the science of AGW is seriously flawed, confidence in it overstated and it has become very political.

    I wonder how many others out there are like me and what percentage of AGW sceptics flipped opinion from pro AGW to become AGW sceptic? And how does this compare to percentage of pro AGW people who have flipped to the sceptic side?

    It is my unsubstantiated opinion that most environmentalists, Greens or Socialists that I have met would never contemplate changing views…..on anything.

    51

    • #
      robert rosicka

      This is the thing that’s hurting the CAGW movement , when suddenly we realise we were being lied to and usually by some clear and concise arguments against from sites like this one .
      You don’t need to be a scientist to work out that no the oceans aren’t becoming more acidic and the claim by these “experts” that Reef bleaching is a modern phenomenon.
      You can tell Jo has hit a nerve with this one by his lack of answers that Jo asked and the question about her funding .

      58

  • #
    Peter C

    PROFESSOR WILLIAM LAURANCE.

    I would like to share this. Perhaps Prof Laurance would like to reply.

    This is from his own web site;
    https://research.jcu.edu.au/portfolio/bill.laurance

    Prof Bill Laurance ~ Distinguished Professor

    Why are you Distinguished? Are you more eminent that other Prtofessors?

    AboutPublicationsCurrent FundingSupervisionCollaboration
    William Laurance is a Distinguished Research Professor at James Cook University in Cairns, Australia, and holds an Australian Laureate Fellowship, one of Australia’s highest scientific awards. He also holds the Prince Bernhard Chair in International Nature Conservation at Utrecht University, Netherlands.

    What is a Laurate Fellowship? Do we taxpayers fund it? Do you work for two or even more Univerities at the one time? Do you get paid twice for the same job?

    A leading voice for conservation, Laurance believes that scientists must actively engage policy makers and the general public, as well as other scientists. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and former president of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation.

    So here you are, Engaging. Do your memberships to then AAAS and the Assoc of Tropical Biology contribute anything? Just Credentials?

    Laurance received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1989. His research focuses on the impacts of intensive land-uses, such as habitat fragmentation, logging, hunting and wildfires, on tropical forests and their biodiversity. He is also interested in protected areas, climatic change, the impacts of roads and other infrastructure on biodiversity, and conservation policy. His research over the past 35 years spans the tropical world, including the Amazon, Africa and Asia-Pacific regions. To date he has published eight books and over 400 scientific and popular articles.

    He is also founder and director of ALERT—the Alliance of Leading Environmental Researchers & Thinkers, a group that advocates for environmental sustainability.

    So you are a self confessed Activist for environmental causes. But do you have any knowledge obout the actual causes of Climate Change?

    56

  • #
    Peter C

    [snip repeat]

    42

  • #

    Dear Peter C.,

    Thank you for sharing some of my credentials.

    You’ve asked some relevant questions about my professional accomplishments. But if I were to respond frankly it would sound highly immodest. I’ve bragged enough already (message 58).

    However, another senior scientist would understand what my credentials mean.

    But therein lies a problem. Many readers of this blog do not trust scientists. Scientists are, they believe, mostly group-thinkers who are lined up against them in a grand conspiracy about climate change.

    Either that, or the scientists are berated souls who actually do agree with them, but are afraid to say so — because they would be criticised by their group-thinking colleagues or even lose their jobs.

    However, there might be a solution to this conundrum.

    One of the few scientists that this group seems to trust implicitly is Peter Ridd.

    Peter would be able to give you an informed synopsis of my credentials. There is plenty that he and I disagree about, even heatedly, but fundamentally we do respect each other.

    So, why don’t you ask Peter?

    I only ask this: If Peter does reply, it would be best if he writes himself to this website, or emails someone here and copies me in.

    I just want the group here to read Peter’s full response, not merely a few bits that are selectively quoted or taken out of context.

    Thank you,

    Bill

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      robert rosicka

      Why don’t we trust scientists like you ? In sixth grade I was taught About PH levels both acid and alkaline or acid and basic whatever floats your boat .
      Later in life I was told about the oceans becoming more acidic and we needed to do something to curb fossil fuel use because of the Co2 we were emitting , with help from sites like this I was able to recall those earlier lessons and from owning a swimming pool I became more familiar with the PH scale .
      I took an interest in what I was being told by scientists and believed you all until I discovered the lie about ocean acidity and went looking for more lies , mistruths and error by omission .
      What struck me the most was the fact that after spending Trillions of dollars over thirty plus years you 97% trough feeders have nothing that is repeatable nothing that wasn’t fiddled and fudged nothing that can be proven that Co2 does anything much except make my beer frothy .
      Peter Ridd was obviously one of the 3% with a conscience who threatened you and your fellow trough feeders by exposing the science being done for what it was thereby threatening the status quo .
      Climate gate proved there was deception and how many of them lost their jobs ,knowing that the earths climate is never static but always changing yet scientists omit this is but one reason we have no faith in science .
      The idea about corral bleaching only starting in the 80′s further damages scientific credibility and reinforces that if all this is garbage what else is garbage and the more we look the more we see .
      It seems to me that the only science you have is modelled made up guessed chopped and changed then fed into a computer and altered again until you get the result you were after .
      But then what do I know I’m not a scientist .

      512

    • #

      William, enough speculation about what “we” think about a nebulous group called “scientists”. Do you always assume and presume in this manner?

      I don’t even know Peter Ridd, and trusting him implicitly is not what this is about. So far the lack of substance and the tendency to self-importance exhibited by you in these comments have given me doubts about William Laurance…but even a bush-beater and credential-flasher is entitled to his professional opinion. Who knows? You might know something interesting about coral. You might have an interesting contrary opinion, which would be delicious.

      But enough pouting, patronising and self-importance, okay?

      812

  • #

    Thank you, Robert Rosicka.

    I was just curious: Did you pass sixth grade?

    Now, dangit, see what you made me do… I’m ignoring all the goofy replies on this website (of which there are MANY) and yet you made me break my own rules. Just kidding: I’m sure you passed sixth grade.

    It’s late and I need a beer. Goodnight.

    Bill

    106

    • #
      robert rosicka

      Just Willie just but even a simpleton can count to ten so what’s your excuse mate .

      28

    • #
      Graeme#4

      Not bad Bill – you managed to include both an ad hominem attack and an ad Verecundiam in one paragraph! Do you think these attacks and threats from a JCU staff member are in line with its stated values?

      511

  • #
    Sceptical Sam

    eter would be able to give you an informed synopsis of my credentials. There is plenty that he and I disagree about, even heatedly, but fundamentally we do respect each other.

    So, why don’t you ask Peter?

    I only ask this: If Peter does reply, it would be best if he writes himself to this website, or emails someone here and copies me in.

    This fellow exhibits all the symptoms of a fanatic. The green movement is full of these personality types. He should be ignored. He probably should also seek counseling for his aberrant behaviour.

    Peter Ridd should stay away from the bait this fellow has just laid.

    Shut it down. There is nothing to be gained from arguing with a fanatic.

    712

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    Roy Hogue

    What are the qualifications for being a professor of sustainability?

    Anyone?

    New sciences(?) pop up like mushrooms in my lawn after the rain.

    87

    • #
      DaveS

      ‘Sustainability’ is just a buzz-word that happens to be in vogue at the moment amongst virtue-signalling types. No specific qualifications required.

      76

  • #
    Annie

    Time to ignore the self-important troll, I think. It displays the usual ‘ignore what you’ve actually said’ syndrome and keeps changing the terms of the discussion.

    511

    • #
      Annie

      We had hoped to contribute to Peter Ridd’s fund but have been beaten to it by the fund reaching its aim. Lack of a working mobile ‘phone here messed things up for money transfer from here (England atm).
      If he needs more in due course I hope we can help then.

      42

  • #
    Kleinefeldmaus

    here.William Lauwrance never said a truer word – but he is too pompous to realise that it should be applied to himself.

    612

  • #

    Since encountering this website and making my first comment (58), I’ve quickly realised this is one of those ‘no-win’ situations.

    Regardless of what I might say, someone here will try to discount, distort, or dismiss my words.

    Or, even worse, write childish insults, of which an embarrassing number appear here. (Just read above, starting at comment 58 at skimming down, and don’t miss the cartoons and videos–which I’m saving for future seminars).

    But mixed in among such silliness are some readers who are asking serious, legitimate questions, and trying to get real responses.

    Peter C. is one such contributor. He’s been trying to trip me up, obviously, but at least he’s been doing so in a civil way. I have responded to him on at least two occasions.

    If we’re able to communicate in a civil and even open-minded way, I would be happy to do so. You might be surprised at what I actually think about climate change.

    For example, I agree that some climate-change research is weak, or overstated, or even crappy science.

    I am sorry such research is out there. It gives fuel to those who want to throw the scientific baby out with the bathwater.

    And some of the journalism about climate change is even worse than the bad science–true cow dung.

    I myself have gotten very annoyed at some climate scientists, and on occasion have dealt with them quite bluntly. I have a public seminar on this topic that I have given dozens of times, in many different venues across Australia (for example, ANU, Univ. of Queensland, Griffith University, JCU, Macquarie University) and internationally (too many to list).

    And beyond this, I would be the first to admit that there is a great deal that we do not know about climate change. It really is quite frightening to me personally how big and gaping some of those uncertainties are.

    This article gives a brief idea of my viewpoint: https://theconversation.com/the-scariest-part-of-climate-change-isnt-what-we-know-but-what-we-dont-45419

    I’m attaching this for those who might wish to have a civil and serious discussion. There’s just one of me, and my time is limited, but I will try to respond to the first one or two relevant, straight-up questions.

    Just one caveat: I can’t effectively answer questions outside of my area of expertise. I focus on tropical ecosystems, land ecosystems, not reefs and oceans. But that still leaves plenty of important issues…

    Regards, Bill

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    • #

      It is indeed a no-win situation, reaching a peak of futility when Peter Ridd was only mentioned again in the context of what he might say in favour of William’s lofty credentials. Yet another situation where William “only asks” for that “one thing”, in this case Peter Ridd’s opinion of William’s expertise, which, mysteriously, we or Jo are supposed to provide. Must be in full!

      Now, Peter Ridd again forgotten, we are invited to William’s personal altar at (groan) The Conversation. Mind you, there’s just one of William, and his time is limited. But we could get lucky!

      I’m reminded of the Bette Midler Line: “But that’s enough about me. Let’s talk about you. What do you think about me?”

      710

      • #

        Who are you addressing mosomoso? Are you picturing yourself on a stage somewhere belting out your rhetoric to the baying blog denizens?

        104

        • #

          Not sure what this comment means, but I’m guessing Gee Aye is not happy. Extreme displeasure sends Gee Aye especially cryptic.

          On the subject of William again, note how he cycles through various personalities. Those who have to deal heavily with the public in one way or other learn that manipulators to try on different personalities, and do so quickly, to see which one is a good hook for getting their way or establishing dominance.

          In short succession, we were treated to sweet, offended, offensive, lofty, threatening, demanding, persecuted, reasonable, jokey-bloke etc William. I should have realised sooner and taken “blog denizens’” good advice to stay away. I will from now.

          611

      • #
        Kinky Keith

        Mosomo,

        did you notice how he “allowed” the uncertainties in Climate Change™. Very big of him.

        Always leave an opening for a new grant.

        Perhaps; The effect of climate change on the tawny frogmouthed black snake in Rio Di Janeiro.

        I’ve never been to Rio.

        Perhaps I could carry his bags.

        KK

        510

    • #

      William, in your estimation from your own realm of research, what is being lost with regards to say stopping species extinction (or any other environmental problem) by a focus on climate change? Are things changing due to other human activities at a rate that means that by the time the effects of climate change become significant there will be bugger all for it to damage?

      I don’t see us as doing a very good job at walking and chewing gum at the same time and I have the view that a kind of climate panic is gripping various sectors to the immediate detriment of the planet.

      This question, btw could be asked about humans (access to clean water, shelter etc, poverty, international risks) but that’s not William’s area.

      152

      • #

        Dear Gee Aye,

        Personally, I do not believe that climate change is the greatest environmental danger that we or nature faces.

        Two other perils–the rapid destruction and degradation of habitats, and the intense overharvesting and overhunting of many species–are bigger and more immediate threats, in my opinion.

        And there are other important dangers too, of course. Such as serious pollution in some places.

        And on some islands and other places, introduced species such as feral rats, cats, pigs, goats and snakes are a devastating problem–wiping out some local species completely.

        And, as one more example, truly awful pathogens, such as the chytrid fungus that has wiped out over two hundred frog species so far, are spreading around the planet. We’ve only just learned that this killer fungus originated from the region of the Korean Peninsula.

        What really worries me is the combination of environmental threats — the series of punches and blows that some species are receiving.

        For instance, some species in the tropics, such as African forest elephants (as just one example), are being decimated by habitat loss and poaching. In the last decade, it’s believed that about two-thirds of all forest elephants have been killed off, according to recent research.

        And a species discovered only recently–a new type of Orangutan in Sumatra–may be killed off by a Chinese-funded dam project, plus poaching and illegal land encroachment. There are only about 800 of these orangutans alive today.

        Climate change is only one of the environmental threats we need to think about. And in my opinion, there are a number of threats that are actually more immediate and serious.

        In the coming decades and centuries, the situation might change. For instance, if climate change screws up rainfall badly in some places, then that could have really serious ramifications for nature and people alike. For example, we’re presently seeing really bizarre droughts in the Amazon–like nothing that has ever been seen before, at least in the last 150 years in which weather records have been collected.

        The combinations of different threats is one of the perils I identify as most worrying in that essay I mentioned recently (https://theconversation.com/the-scariest-part-of-climate-change-isnt-what-we-know-but-what-we-dont-45419).

        Thank you,

        Bill

        130

        • #

          thanks William -I’m completely with you on this and it would be great if the ragers on this blog would mobilise their efforts towards something that actually matters.

          What also seems astounding is that the types of things you mention (well not all – few would notice frogs dying of fungus specifically) are in the form of “empirical evidence”, that anyone can see. ie things are changing in ways that even the anecdote loving skeptics would find hard to deny. The astounding thing is how little we are mobilised to do anything about stuff that is so immediate and observable.

          Even if we find it difficult to do something directly then at least we could whine about it more.

          124

          • #
            Kinky Keith

            Hi Church Patronese.

            As someone pointed out the other day, Patronese is only spoken within Australian government funded universities and during Television interviews of personnel of said universities.

            KK

            31

        • #
          robert rosicka

          Agree with pretty much all you have said William but on the subject of climate change how do you propose man being able to stop something that’s been going on for Billions of years and there is still no proof man has any detrimental effect on the climate .

          46

          • #

            OK, Robert, I’ll give this a shot…

            I don’t think man is ever going to stop climate change. As you said, it’s been happening for billions of years. Everyone agrees with you. We have to live with climate change.

            But here’s where we will disagree somewhat. I do believe that there’s a strong body of evidence that some climate change is occurring as a result of human activities.

            In a nutshell, we’ve got big changes in atmospheric chemistry since around 1700 (rapidly rising CO2 and greenhouse trace-gas levels, such as methane and nitrous oxide).

            And correlated with that is an oddly set of weird weather, which are known as “temperature anomalies”. What is it–something like 14 out of the 15 hottest years ever recorded have occurred since 2000?

            Now, you can argue this is just coincidence. Or some maintain it’s biased scientific interpretation. I am very cynical about certain aspects of climate-change science (e.g. the General Circulation Models) but, broadly speaking, I buy into some of the more mainstream conclusions.

            And, no exaggeration, the large majority of people who are serious climate scientists agree that there’s compelling evidence that the warming anomalies we’ve seen in recent decades (after you factor out other things, such as El Ninos and multi-decadal climate cycles) are at least partly driven by the big spike in greenhouse gases. The spike has taken off dramatically since around the end of World War II.

            You can say you don’t believe that. I do. Most do.

            But putting that aside, nobody can really argue with all the thermometers around the world. We REALLY HAVE HAD a bunch of very warm years, on average, when you look across the entire planet. Mixed in with that are cold spells, and freezing storms, and all kinds of things, but those are just part of the normal variation.

            To me, the really critical question is this. Given that we’ve always had weather extremes, such as heat waves, and that climate change appears to me making those heat waves at least a little more intense, what does that mean for wildlife and nature?

            And even more critically, we also have various kinds of evidence that suggest that climate change MIGHT alter rainfall and snowfall. The really bizarre Amazon droughts I mentioned are one example. Not proof. Just really weird stuff happening that seem to be associated with things like exceptionally warm Atlantic sea-surface temperatures.

            It’s the rainfall thing that scares me more than temperature. But before I dismiss temperature too much, let me say that I am really scared about heatwaves. What we do know is that lots of wildlife die in heatwaves.

            Here’s a piece I wrote for Yale University about heat waves and tropical animals: https://e360.yale.edu/features/the_worlds_tropical_forests_are_already_feeling_the_heat

            For example, did you know that when the thermometer hits about 41.5 degrees, that flying foxes start dying in their thousands? In just a few hours, in a single large colony, many thousands of animals will die, right before your eyes.

            But, look, let’s leave it there for the moment. I could say so much more. And I’m sure you could too.

            Maybe we can come back to this a bit later today or tomorrow.

            Best, Bill

            130

            • #

              sadly you are wrong about this

              But putting that aside, nobody can really argue with all the thermometers around the world.

              this observation, indeed any observation no matter whether it is oft replicated, that might even hint at something that goes against a strongly held view, will be argued against here.

              122

            • #
              Kinky Keith

              Two sad uneducated posts in a row.

              Coral Catastrophism at its finest.

              Weaving and bobbing amongst the verbalism that is applied only as padding.

              510

              • #

                Who are you addressing KK. Standing on the shouting podium as well?

                “Look at me I’m heroically writing stuff to get opprobrium from my peers”

                Run before the irony of your comment catches you up.

                113

              • #
                Kinky Keith

                Early Australian explorers had seen heat affected birds and bats.

                It happens every hundred years or so.

                It’s called Nature.

                Maybe you haven’t heard about King Canute.

                He was O.K., he was just making a point but to carry on supporting CO2 Catastrophism is really sad.

                The weather ain’t gonna change because of CO2 levels, that’s scientifically baseless.

                511

              • #

                good on you kk you not only addressed something that you replied to but you also agreed with the comment.

                93

              • #
                Chad

                Who are you addressing KK. Standing on the shouting podium as well?

                Gee Aye.. …incase you forgot, .. This is a “blog” , not a organised debate.
                Folk post “comments” for other readers to contemplate as they wish.
                If you prefer some form of managed discussion, may i suggest you get some tickets to ABCs Q & A ordiance.

                56

            • #
              robert rosicka

              Thank you William for your insight and on the topic of AGW you seem to saying weather is changing ! And from all I’ve seen it’s nothing but weather .
              Thermometers, the temps being used to make world averages are somewhat tweaked and some just made up from what I can see .
              This country we live in is born of droughts and flooding rains so to say either is a sign of AGW is speculative and consensus counts for zip but empirical proof that’s repeatable counts for everything .
              Know nothing of flying foxes but given their vast numbers an occasional cull from Mother Nature is surely just that and nothing more .
              On this planet extinction is the norm and survival is the exception ,no matter what we do or plan for nature and this planet works to its own clock and occasionally we get thrown an asteroid curve ball .
              We are merely spectators in this game , I do agree about pollution and feral animals but draw the line with Co2 being a pollutant .
              Longest drought in OZ was about 26 years from memory sometime during the Middle Ages and if that happened again it would of course be blamed on AGW .

              87

              • #
                Kinky Keith

                Recent newspaper reports claim that local coal fired power generators have been given a special dispensation to exceed emission limits of Nitrous Oxide.

                No doubt this wouldn’t worry the decision makers who live in Sydney but again the community is being short changed. Obviously money was involved. Installing or replacing the scrubbers was going to cost too much, and after all, it’s not the highly political CO2.

                Its just a Real poison.

                Are politicians who direct the pollution control commission taking us for granted.

                KK

                90

              • #
                Gee Aye

                We are merely spectators in this game , I do agree about pollution and feral animals

                in other words

                We are not spectators in this game as shown by pollution and feral animals

                nice one

                82

              • #
                Gee Aye

                you know the problem with the absolutist argument is that one counter example brings it down 100%

                no matter what we do or plan for nature and this planet works to its own clock

                let’s start with pigeons – passenger and dodo. Oh, that’s all I need since you argued that so poorly. I can stop now and harvest my soy.

                102

              • #
                robert rosicka

                Seriously troll seek professional help for what ever it is that your suffering from , medication has come a long way really .

                28

              • #
                robert rosicka

                Just for you leaf .

                The eradication of bafflegab in all hereafter memos
                In riposte to the overabundant profusion of indeterminate scriptures mandated as to amplify unproductive overwhelmingness. The heretofore stated negligence is inharmonious with the preponderance of the unprejudiced motivated dysfunctionalities. Linear delineation must predominate any aforementioned aspiration oriented objectionals. As in preceding unsolicited preconceived concepts as requested, it behooves us to spontaneously endeavour to persevere. Preceding essayists in this substance have consummated deficiency. Displacing oral incontinence will invalidate inconclusively the negative yield of expectational priorities. Inexperienced innocence will only preclude conclusionary postulates, which will be included in the ensuing preceding memorandum. Spasmodic proclivity previously undemonstrated will not be endured. In eventuality, all retroactive forethought will be discouraged through implemented conservative liberalistic proclivities. Antisubversive tendencies will agonize disciplinary investigational probabilities. Unyielding persistencies of impassivity is contingent upon overconsumptiveness. Preceding inclusions will be exclusively denied admission to output passage for an indeterminate predetermined duration of time. Hereafter gatherings will be held retroactively. Uninterconnected deinstutionalized oversimplification is simply a contemplation of self determined mediocrital improvisation. Unconsolidated ambiguosity will be treated with inappropriate ambivalent fortudinous credulity. Tridirectional foci can be amplitudinally resisted chronologically.

                62

              • #
        • #
          Mark D.

          Bill, on most of these important (but off topic) subjects I’d agree with you. I hope you’ll stay around and offer your insight.

          Please allow some room for us skeptics to jump hastily to incorrect early conclusions about new comers.

          100

      • #
        kevin george

        William, in your estimation…?

        Ask a silly question…you know the drill.

        32

  • #
    Phil Brown

    William,

    This is probably too long for most to read, but at least I feel good about putting it out there.

    I think a lot people here agree with you that AGW is not the greatest environmental threat to the planet and that we should focus more on human impact on land use, saving species habitat and our impact on the earth surface in general.

    The trouble is that AGW has distorted this goal with AGW research sucking the funding from more important issues and it appears that the academic world has realised that if they want funding they have to include AGW somehow in their research.

    With respect to some of your concerns about AGW.

    I am a Meteorologist with 25 years experience and another 30 years prior to that living a life very much in the outdoors and close to nature and was taught by my parents to respect and protect nature at every opportunity.

    My problem with the whole AGW scare is that there were very few genuine climate scientists around the world 25 years ago. These are people who have atmospheric science as a degree or PhD on their CV. Now days there are thousands of “Climate Experts” who have transitioned from their field into climate science and start crunching data and come to the conclusion that AGW is a major problem… because their models say so.

    This is where Meteorologists come in and their opinions should count more in the debate. We are the glue that joins all this together. We are trained in weather observation, forecasting, modelling and past climate. All the ingredients to know what is realistic change and what is not.

    As an active Met for the past decades, I have not seen the increase in weather extremes that you referred to on a global scale. In fact I would say I have seen the opposite. Weather extremes compared to past climate have reduced on so many fronts. Tropical cyclone activity, Floods, Droughts, Famine…etc All appear to me to have reduced in my lifetime at time when the AGW scaremongers models and their lazy obedient media pals say the opposite should be happening according to modelling.

    When it comes to past data. Mets know the limitations of it and how difficult it is to make assumptions from it. The vast proportion of the earth is covered by oceans and we have not had proper sampling of it until 2003 onwards with the Argo program. Any assumptions on global temps prior to this have to have huge error bars attached because we simply do not know what the sea temps were on average 20 or 50 or 100 or 150 years ago. Therefore to make assumptions on global temps prior to this is also folly. Sure you can point to land glaciers and arctic ice melt as observed warming and I don’t disagree that some warming has occurred, but I am sure when Eric the Red was burying his dead in Greenland in permafrost free lands and growing barley that the arctic ice and land glacier ice was also in rapid retreat as well, but how would we know and more importantly what caused this warm period without the “CO2 climate control knob”?

    I was taught multiple times over that the Medieval warm period was warmer than today in my training. However, because of one very dodgy tree ring study adopted by the IPCC and copied multiple times by others as if to prove it is true has seen the MWP erased from history, this despite many examples of observational and written evidence to contrary. When this is presented, out come the many excuses like “it was only regional not global”. Well frankly there are records of this MWP warmth around the globe and even if that is not enough to confirm it for the AGW crowd, it could equally be said it is impossible to prove it wasn’t global for the same reasons.

    You refer to heatwaves becoming more extreme. The BOM weather archives show that around the late 1800s and early 1900s droughts and heatwaves were more extreme than recent times, but because this falls outside what the BOM considers accurate observations records they are ignored. Modern automatic weather stations have introduced a new form of error as well with rapid short term temperature fluctuations being recorded as new record temps. Many of these have less than 25 years of past data, but are happily touted by the media as record breaking temps and proof of AGW. And now the plague on weather observation which is the American date record system is infecting the earth. Yet know one bothers to look at how easy it is to break a date record temp.

    I digress a bit…well a lot, but my main point is that I look at weather every day and all Mets compare this weather to climate. Every day. Who better is out there to determine if this weather extreme is unprecedented or not? The older and more experience the Met the better as well because they have seen a lot more examples of extreme weather. The majority of climate scientists as far as I can determine from conversations with them, have no idea about or interest in weather and how it relates to climate. Events like Super Storm Sandy and Hurricane Harvey etc….seem like major divergences from climate…but actually if you look back at both locations there have been multiple events similar in the past and stand by my view that there has yet to be conclusive evidence of any weather event or extreme that can be directly related to a warmer world and CO2.

    Finally, on the heat risk. Cold kills more life on this planet than heat whether that be from increased droughts (from lower water vapour), cold temps or stronger mid latitude storms (from stronger thermal gradient between the poles and the tropics). An whilst we have cold poles and warm tropics, animal and plant life will adapt to their desired temperature range by latitudinal migration for every cold or warm climate shift that the earth throws at them. In the context of this threat, a good example of this would be the GBR. 5 deg C SST range from north to south. Corals will migrate and adapt to their desired sea temps. Sure they may be some casualties regionally from this, but this has been happening for millions of years and is commonsense….which is not something programmed into climate models.

    Apologies again for the long post.

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      Kinky Keith

      A great comment Phil.

      CO2 is innocent, it was all done by Orbital Mechanics and the Sun.

      :-) KK

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        robert rosicka

        How is it possible they can’t with any real confidence predict the weather next week but can accurately predict the weather in 100 years ?

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          They can’t predict the weather in 100 years and never will.

          What they’re trying to do is come up with really broad-scale models that try to predict EXTREMELY GENERAL trends, often at the scale of the whole planet. Or sometimes at continental and sub-continental scales.

          I have PLENTY of criticisms of such modelling approaches myself. Some of it strikes me as really dubious.

          Some of it, however, seems somewhat more robust to me — in the sense that the modellers can generate relatively consistent ‘projections’ (guesses about the future) that seem to hold up pretty well under a wide range of possible scenarios (such as the highest and lowest greenhouse-gas scenarios we can plausibly imagine, for the end of this century).

          I am as cynical as anyone about complex computer models. But I will say that I don’t entirely throw the baby out with the bathwater.

          And I would also say this: whether we realise it or not, this group (ME INCLUDED) buys into a whole bunch of computer-model forecasts all the time.

          It’s just that the models don’t happen to pertain to AGW. The models relate to next year’s stock-market trends. Or projected oil or wheat or milk prices. Or the long-term effects of a particular government policy on urban growth in a particular city.

          We hear this stuff EVERY DAY and yet almost nobody jumps up and down yelling about it.

          But it’s all basically the same idea: using computer models to make forecasts, and then estimating how uncertain we are about those forecasts.

          So, my BIG confusion is this. For the climate sceptics, why not complain about the thousands of things that economists and scientists and demographers and city planners and industrial engineers and stock-market analysts do, every day, that involve computer forecasting?

          Why just argue that AWG models are crap — but then not say the same thing about all the other computer models too?

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            robert rosicka

            Fair and valid point William your scaring me , as I see it models are guesses that cost millions upon millions in fancy computers and yes doesn’t matter much what the area involved is be it Soya beans futures or what the weather will be doing in 30 years time.
            When the Americans sent Astronauts to the moon they used a slide rule ,science and maths but I can’t find any mention of modelling .
            The reason why I’m personally vocal about climate modelling is none of the various entity’s that produce them can use the same model on past weather and come up with anything that’s even close .
            If mankind is going to spend trillions on trying to prevent Co2 from changing the climate I would love to see any evidence (empirical) that they are right .
            Call me an idiot call me a denier call me whatever you like but I’m not buying into consensus or models that say they prove AGW and that it will be disastrous .

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              Robert… for goodness sake all that slide ruling etc was to make measurement based around whatever model they were applying to, for example, their landing. It was all models!

              Here is an interesting and not overly dumbed down explanation of one that was used – the Kalman filter that gave those attempting to model flight path a much better confidence in heir predictions. https://plus.maths.org/content/understanding-unseen

              There were all sorts of problems of knowing where a craft was at any given moment and knowing what effect would result from any given operation (e.g a burst of a positioning rocket) – you can’t know the answer, you absolutely have to apply a model which gives you the best estimate with errors.

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                robert rosicka

                For Gods sake call a spade a spade even William has the guts to call it a guess . I have no real problem with guesses in any field but I wouldn’t trust a guess with my life .
                Now do I need to cut and paste from your well read blog again on your faith about models .

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                robert rosicka

                How did the modelling for the US election go leaf ? did Hillary win as predicted ?by all .

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                robert rosicka

                Very good but what has this to do with climate science modelling and accuracy ? I suggest the answer to both would be nothing .

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            Chad

            Aware that this is veering of topic again but,..
            W. L. ..the difference between the models you may use daily, be they financial, productio forcasts, political, ot other, is that most of them ase simply a “tool” to help with a decision, or at least have little indirect effect on my daily life that i can detect.
            But the AGW “models” are being used for major political, and global decisions that do have a very apparent impact on me personaly and most other citizens here.
            …Important decisions with direct consequences on the cost of power , insurance costs (coastal flood zones etc) as well as the future of entire industries , and possibly even the economic future of the country !
            That is why, so many are concerned that the real science is clearly understood and not abused or distorted by missinformation, or bad modeling.

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              Thanks Chad.

              Regarding these models…

              They’re all tools.

              Most of them are used to aid decision making.

              Some of them involve billions or even possibly trillions of dollars. Imagine a model to predict oil futures? Or gold futures? Or the stock of oil and natural gas remaining on Earth?

              Now keep imagining and imagining, because these models are driving everything from our economy to our high-tech cars.

              There’s no hard line separating the economic impact of the climatic-change models from lots of other models, if the bottom-line is how much money is involved.

              Some involves modest amounts, some huge amounts.

              Regards, Bill

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                The Deplorable Vlad the Impaler

                Greetings, Dr. Laurance:

                I’ve stayed on the sidelines here, and watched this exchange of thoughts. I have one, and it does NOT require a response on your part, unless you feel it necessary.

                First, I agree that we all use ‘models’ of various types for many things. Some models are good, some are decent, some are worthless. I make models myself (geophysical data analysis), and in fifty years of doing so, I’ve found that as the level of complexity of the system being “modeled” increases, the ‘value’ of the model drops, and it is not uncommon for that value to approach zero.

                Second, that being said, climate models are attempting to reproduce one of the most complex systems in our solar system. As the level of complexity increases, we should have less confidence in the ‘models’. If memory serves, you have indicated a level of skepticism about climate models yourself.

                Third, models themselves are fine, for whatever purpose they are employed, but a model based on a false premise is completely worthless. Any climate model that purports to show an effect of changing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration on temperature, is, a priori, going to be wrong. The geological record is quite clear that carbon dioxide, whatever the source (human, natural, … … … ) does not have a measurable influence or impact on temperature, or temperature change.

                Unless, and until, one can quantify the level of “human” influence on the climate, it is all simple speculation, and does not have a basis in reality. You state that you believe there is a level of human influence; then the “alarmist” community must put a firm, verifiable, quantified number on that level of influence. Not a model, not a guess, not ‘we are confident at the 95% level that there may be {more of this/less of that}’, but a firm, “humans are responsible for 101% of all climate change since June, 1971, in the amount of 7.932 Celsius degrees … “.

                Again, the record from Geology is clear: it is a false premise to believe that atmospheric carbon dioxide and average climate/average temperature have any relationship to each other. To base any beliefs on such a non-existent relationship is to ‘bark up the wrong tree.’

                I regret I may not see any reply you care to make, as we, on the other side of the Big Pond, are on holiday this last weekend of May (called “Memorial Day”), and I’m taking the grandkids out to enjoy some of the Geology of Utah at the Canyon of Lodore and Dinosaur National Monument. We’ll also be spending some time learning outdoor survival, orienteering (using the ‘old-fashion’ GPS, called a “Brunton”), so please allow me some time to consider any response you may make.

                Thank you for taking time to consider my post, which I submit at the discretion of our lovely hostess, and with all due respect,

                I remain, sir,

                The Most Deplorable Vlad the Impaler (a crashing bore, and big bully, according to C.T.) [yes, a pseudonym bestowed upon me by one Harry "Dr. DeHavilland" TwinOtter]

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                Kinky Keith

                To Vlad,

                Very well put.

                As I have said many times in the past, all factors potentially impacting on the model absolutely must be considered.

                It has been shown scientifically that atmospheric CO2 levels are driven by the impact of variations in Solar insolation on the Earth.

                CO2 levels are arguably an irrelevance to any model of Earth’s atmospheric temperature when the primary driver is Orbital Mechanics coupled with Solar output.

                It is scientifically incorrect to imply that CO2 levels can “drive” atmospheric temperature when the reverse is actually the case.

                KK

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            robert rosicka

            Enjoying our chat and unlike the resident troll I am capable of making my own mind up when the evidence is there William .
            When you wrote this -

            “What they’re trying to do is come up with really broad-scale models that try to predict EXTREMELY GENERAL trends, often at the scale of the whole planet. Or sometimes at continental and sub-continental scales.”

            Please correct me if I’m wrong but all I see is they fired a blunderbuss at the barn door in the hope one pellet would lodge .

            Not exactly doing anything to help the AGW cause really .

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              Not really the correct analogy, Robert.

              It’s true that SOME the models are really coarse-scale (in some cases, involving the whole planet).

              But what they’re doing is at least comparing a single parameter in a consistent way, for the future.

              For example, the frequency (number per year) of:

              -severe droughts

              -severe heatwaves

              -extreme high-rainfall events

              -extreme cold events

              -intense storms/cyclones

              For the 20-year time-period in the future (e.g. 2080-2100), versus a 20-year time period at present (e.g. 1990-2010).

              Regards, Bill

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                robert rosicka

                What you’re describing is weather William and we’ve already been over future forecasting and it’s accuracy , given the 20+ year drought OZ had in the Middle Ages and massive rain storms etc that happen from time to time your trying to pin point which are cyclic and which are AGW .
                Earths weather and climate are complex and few factors are known and understood from what I can see .
                Sure you can guess but how is that any different to using a seer and crystal ball of which the latter would be cheaper and probably more respected as well as just as accurate .

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      Annie

      That’s a great comment Phil. Thank you.

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      Thanks for taking the time to lay all that out, Phil. While I guess we may have strayed from the topic of Peter Ridd’s dismissal, what you are talking about is certainly relevant to his case.

      My own interest was piqued a few years back by the more obvious memory-holing being practised by some in the suddenly booming climate industry. Like you, I’d always been aware of a Medieval Warming through accounts of the Greenland expansion. It fitted with what was generally thought of Western European climate prior to the 14th century and pre-Ming conditions in China.

      It was not a neat affair but it was nonetheless a real warming episode, just like the warming episodes we refer to as Roman, Minoan and Optimum. While attributing all major civilisational change to climate change is a bit too pat, it’s hard ignore the link between cooling (and drying!) climate and the Old Kingdom fall around 2200 BC and the Bronze Age collapse some thousand years later. Egypt didn’t beat the Hittites (despite Rameses II’s propaganda) but something sure crashed their power shortly after the Battle of Kadesh, and it wasn’t people. It’s reasonable to connect this to the fate of other civilisations of the time, such as the Mycenaeans of the Greek Dark Age.

      So much we know from history alone. Recent archaeology has found that grazing was a real deal in Saharan Africa and it was likely a climatic shift which drove humans to concentrate along the Nile. The fact is that we see the sites of old communities in Africa and Turkey but we don’t see their climates. The big climate change for modern humans is the one which ushered in the present interglacial a mere fifteen thousand or so years back, and the second big change was the one which caused a brief plunge back into cold before a very radical warming which culminated in the swamping of Doggerland, the filling of Bass Strait and the cataclysm of the Storegga Slides, barely yesterday in geological terms. I’m sure the Doggerlanders would think we are wimps as we fret over a dribble of sea level rise since the chill of the 1700s. (And we still can’t paddle a canoe into Ephesus, Ostia etc where the Romans parked fleets. As for Thermopylae, the Persians would love to have another crack at the Spartans with that big wide plain now formed up between the sea and the pass.)

      These matters are not so much denied by the climate industry as ignored. It’s okay to talk about remote climate or brand new climate, but we’re not encouraged to step back and look at the compact period which contains all civilisational development. When we do, we see ceaseless climate change, both lineal and cyclical, and often radical.

      I don’t have any trouble accepting that, in the very slow two-horse race between warm and cool, warm may be winning in recent times. That’s trivial, and it too shall pass. But when people try to use every major weather event or disaster to make a case for modern climate exceptionalism I baulk. Long before Hurricane Sandy I wondered how the climate industry would carry on when the inevitable happened and another big storm hit New York, which is built near sea level in a hurricane belt notorious since the 1600s. Well, now I know. Let’s hope a Cat 3 doesn’t actually make landfall in New York as a Cat 3, as happened in a grazing shot in 1938. Last I checked, all the measured sub 880 mbar blows were in the 1950s and 1970s. It would be nice to get ready for another Typhoon Tip rather than wait for it, tell everyone it’s “unprecedented” and hope they don’t check. Conservation and commonsense have already saved lives in danger zones, eg Leyte since Thelma. More of that.

      Phil, the matters you raise about overreaction and memory-holing have to be heard loudly. I imagine that corals didn’t find the period of shock between twelve and eight thousand years ago a walk in the park. It would be great to know heaps more, which is where guys like Peter Ridd come in for me. I don’t know him, don’t know if he’s right or wrong in the main. But if he knows plenty about his subject and he prepared to contradict vigorously and honestly that’s too valuable to lose.

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    Dear Phil,

    Thank you. I have to reply quickly as I it’s late; I would like to write much more than what I’ll be able to say here.

    I’ll just number these points to save time.

    1. Obviously there’s a fair bit we agree on, some things I think we disagree on.

    2. “AGW”. As used in these blogs, I assume this includes the full gamut of things we associate with what most call “climate change”: alterations in atmospheric chemistry, and the full range of physical processes that could link GHGs with precipitation, storm intensity, atmospheric circulation, etc? No one has defined this term here but that’s my assumption.

    3. Technical specialists. I don’t doubt that you’re a qualified meteorologist and I agree that the opinions of specialists deserve particular weight. What seems counter-intuitive on this website is that the opinions of specialists only seem to count when they follow the consensus viewpoint, which is to conclude that AGW is either a fallacy or so minor that we don’t need to worry about it. Many other meteorological specialists would not agree with your particular viewpoint. I KNOW this because I’ve worked with many Met specialists from NASA-Goddard, Hadley-UK Met Office, Harvard, Caltech, and INPE-Brazil, among others.

    4. Extreme temperatures and weather. I’ve based my assumption on the rising likelihood of extremes on a range of refereed jounrnal analyses that use various analytical approaches to examine the projected incidence of extreme events (heat waves, extreme rainfall events, and many other phenomena) on global-scale analyses. These models have all the problems associated with complex models, of course, but they appear robust under a wide range of future GHG scenarios. The robustness checks I know about include backcasting and checks for spatial and temporal concordance among model projections. There are other approaches that fall outside my area of expertise.

    5. I know that some of the models are just crap. GCMs, for instance, tend to be highly variable in terms of the temperature and especially precipitation projects AT SPECIFIC LOCATIONS (i.e. downscaling). But I understand that future projections, especially for extreme events this century, are considered much more robust AT GLOBAL SCALES, and under a wide range of possible future GHG scenarios. In other words, we don’t know when or where the next big heatwave or drought or giant flood will occur, but the models project they will definitely occur more frequently.

    6. The increased likelihood of weather extremes could be very serious if linked with rising temperatures, given the very clear ‘threshold’ effects of temperature on species. In other words–and this is where my specialisation trumps yours–when things get too hot, many species die very quickly. In most cases there isn’t a gradual increase of mortality; when the temperature hits a certain point, individuals start dying en masse. This has been observed in a wide range of species, ranging from Sonoran Desert lizards, to tropical birds, to certain possums, to flying foxes, and to many insects. Not much evidence of plant death from heat stress, however–but add in droughts and fire and the situation can get very bad for plants too.

    7. Corals — yes, corals — also show strong mortality at extreme temperatures. Yes, many corals bleach and many of those eventually recover. But at higher temperatures certain types of corals die en masse–they don’t slowly starve to death (because their symbiotic algae have gone, leading to bleaching). Rather, they die very quickly from heat stress. Not all corals respond in the same way. Fast-growing, highly branching coral species are most vulnerable to extreme heat, according to recent analyses in Nature.

    8. You are correct that most (not all) species have adapted throughout Earth’s long history by migrating in response to climate changes. But remember, migration is becoming far harder today because we’re also clearing much of the native vegetation. Many species can’t cross the hostile, human-dominated landscapes we’re creating. Such species–and there are MANY–are going to be more sensitive to climate change and extreme events because they’re confined to small, fragmented habitats.

    9. Remember that many species don’t just have climate change to worry about. What the real worry is the combined effect of everything–habitat loss and fragmentation, severe poaching, changing fire regimes, exotic pathogens, invasive species, pollution, etc. etc. ad nauseum, ON TOP OF CLIMATE CHANGE–all potentially happening at once. The BIG question is, what will all those things piled on top of one another mean for nature.

    10. Don’t forget that there are a LOT of thermal specialists in the tropics. Especially many species confined to cool, wet, cloudy mountaintops. Tiny ranges, small populations, very cool-adapted. What happens to these species if we have longer or more frequent heat waves or droughts? Where do they migrate to? Heaven?

    11. If I’m right, we better get moving fast and start addressing these serious problems or we’re going to lose a lot of Earth’s biodiversity and natural ecosystems.

    12. If I’m wrong then we should just relax and have a beer. I’m not drinking nearly as much beer these days as I would like!

    I really haven’t done my arguments above justice or provided any references (of which there are many hundreds). But it would not be difficult to provide MANY refereed studies, often in top journals, that echo the points I’ve made above.

    So, overall, we agree on quite a few things, but we spin things differently and in general, I am quite a bit more worried about the future than you are, at least if I’ve interpreted you correctly.

    I do definitely include climatic change on my list of worries–it just happens to be number 3 or 4 on my list, especially after habitat disruption and overharvesting & overhunting.

    Regards,

    Bill

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      Kinky Keith

      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 Emporers New Clothes and the Global Warming scare.

      Nothing has changed since Mr Andersen wrote that.

      Nothing.

      KK

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    robert rosicka

    Or are you talking about your idols apparent disdain for models .

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    Philip Brown

    but what they’re doing is at least comparing a single parameter in a consistent way, for the future.

    For example, the frequency (number per year) of:

    -severe droughts

    -severe heatwaves

    -extreme high-rainfall events

    -extreme cold events

    -intense storms/cyclones

    For the 20-year time-period in the future (e.g. 2080-2100), versus a 20-year time period at present (e.g. 1990-2010).

    Regards, Bill

    Here lies the problem with climate modelling. There is no way climate models have the ability to predict timing, strength or regional location of these event past or future. Any backcasting done to pick up 1990-2010 extremes can only be achieved by tweaks to make the models fit the past. Therefore you can not compare future projections in any meaningful way. It is more like wishcasting.

    Any modellers who claim otherwise are fooling themselves.

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    [...] 7.Ridd.  James Cook University in Oz fired a marine scientist who rejects research showing major human-caused climate impacts on the Great Barrier Reef.  He was fired May 2 after ignoring previous warnings and disciplinary action by the university based on wrongthink.  The university’s deputy vice chancellor claimed that the firing was due to “numerous ways seriously and repeatedly breached the code of conduct” which is now being used to cleanse this campus of voices that have the temerity to disagree.  Ridd has been fighting the university in court over wrongthink for years and it appears the university finally had enough.  He opened a crowdfunding campaign to pay current legal bills in excess of $260,000.  It raised over $95,000 in a couple days.  The final straw appeared to be comments he made to Australian media pointing out that they can no longer trust research from the university’s Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Science or the Australian Institute of Marine Science, pointing out that the science is not properly checked, tested or replicated.  As health of the Great Barrier Reef turned into one of the great political excuses used by the greens to enforce their edicts on how we all should live, those edicts should be based at some level on actual data.  Ridd publicly stated they aren’t, and for that he now unemployed.  This will be a lot of fun to watch unfold.  http://joannenova.com.au/2018/05/james-cook-uni-goes-nuclear-on-free-speech-professor-peter-ridd-sac… [...]

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