JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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It’s an Unsettling Climate for skeptical scientists like Murry Salby

UPDATED: The full text is now available at City Journal. Rupert Darwall is the author of Age of Global Warming (and earning excellent reviews). Darwall has a gift for converting tricky scientific concepts into a story. This month in the City Journal, he beautifully summarizes and updates the story of Murry Salby. He’s interviewed Richard Lindzen and others, and discusses Salby’s work in the context of the way heretics are marginalized.

I helped Rupert with some of the background. It’s controversial science, a complex situation, with irrelevant baggage to boot. But that’s exactly the place where science communicators — or in the case of Rupert, excellent historians — are most keenly needed. The scientists, who are more the numbers-men are the ones who need their stories told, because they are the ones not so inclined to play the PR and networking games. Bureaucratized science attracts and rewards the network players instead, and so it has become that even academia favors the social-climber scientists and grant-players over the people who are more interested in data. (Like modern bureaucratized art, where the grants go to those who are good at getting grants, and the art looks more and more like fingerpainting.)

The [...]

Murry Salby responds to the attacks on his record

Murry Salby

Murry Salby was sacked from Macquarie University, and Macquarie  struggled to explain why, among other things, it was necessary to abandon, and strand him in Paris and hold a “misconduct” meeting in his absence. Since then he has been subject to attacks related to his previous employment. I’ve asked him to respond, which he has at length in a PDF here. The figures listed below refer to that PDF, which encompasses 15 years of events.

I don’t have the resources (unlike the  National Science Foundation, the NSF) to investigate it all, but wanted to give Murry the right of reply. On closer inspection the NSF report used by people to attack Salby does not appear to be the balanced, impartial analysis I would have expected. Indeed the hyperbolic language based on insubstantial evidence is disturbing to say the least. Because of the long detailed nature of this I cannot draw conclusions, except to say that any scientist who responds to a question about Murry Salby’s work with a reference to his employment is no scientist.

Remember the NSF report was supposedly an inhouse private document. It was marked “Confidential”, subject to the Privacy Act, with disclosure outside [...]

Macquarie Uni responds to Murry Salby. What they don’t say speaks volumes

In reply to my email request, a spokesperson from Macquarie replied today. The entire response to Murry Salby’s 20-point-list of serious accusations is reproduced in full (my thoughts below):

10 July 2013 STATEMENT REGARDING THE TERMINATION OF PROFESSOR MURRY SALBY

Prof Murry Salby

Macquarie University does not normally comment on the circumstances under which employees leave the University. However, we feel in this instance it is necessary to do so in order to correct misinformation. The decision to terminate Professor Murry Salby’s employment with Macquarie University had nothing to do with his views on climate change nor any other views. The University supports academic freedom of speech and freedom to pursue research interests.

Professor Salby’s employment was terminated firstly, because he did not fulfil his academic obligations, including the obligation to teach. After repeated directions to teach, this matter culminated in his refusal to undertake his teaching duties and he failed to arrive at a class he had been scheduled to take.

The University took this matter very seriously as the education and welfare of students is a primary concern. The second reason for his termination involved breaches of University policies [...]

Did Macquarie University sabotage, exile, blackban, strand and abandon Murry Salby?

Prof Murry Salby

NEWEST UPDATE #4: Both Salby and Macquarie Uni responded today. See this newer post.

UPDATED: After hours of emails and phone calls I still have not heard from Salby but have news that Christopher Monckton has spoken to him and confirms that “

“This case is outrageous. I shall be finding out further details from Professor Salby and shall then arrange for powerful backers to assist him in fighting the university, which – if his side of the story is in all material respects true – has committed multiple criminal offenses. This needs to be a high-profile case.” Christopher Monckton

(Thanks to John Smeed and Malcolm Roberts for passing on CM’s email).

Short of sending Murry Salby to Siberia, Macquarie University have seemingly done everything they could to sabotage and silence him and his PhD student. Is his research is so dangerous to the cash cow that is “global warming” that it had to be stopped at any cost?  Is is difficult to imagine any response they can give which would justify the behaviour described below if it is accurate. The truth will out in the end, and how will Macquarie’s reputation stand up then? I would [...]

Blockbuster: Planetary temperature controls CO2 levels — not humans

There goes another “fingerprint”…

It’s not just that man-made emissions don’t control the climate, they don’t even control global CO2 levels.

Judging by the speech Murry Salby gave at the Sydney Institute, there’s a blockbuster paper coming soon.

Listen to the speech: “Global Emission of Carbon Dioxide: The Contribution from Natural Sources”

Professor Murry Salby is Chair of Climate Science at Macquarie University. He’s been a visiting professorships at Paris, Stockholm, Jerusalem, and Kyoto, and he’s spent time at the Bureau of Meterology in Australia.

Over the last two years he has been looking at C12 and C13 ratios and CO2 levels around the world, and has come to the conclusion that man-made emissions have only a small effect on global CO2 levels. It’s not just that man-made emissions don’t control the climate, they don’t even control global CO2 levels.

CO2 variations do not correlate with man-made emissions. Peaks and falls correlate with hot years (e.g. 1998) and cold years (1991-92). No graphs are available from Salby's speech or paper yet. This graph comes from Tom Quirk's related work (see below).

The higher levels of CO2 in recent [...]