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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The Deification of climate saints – Curtin University’s sacred Nobel wall

UPDATE: Commenters are reporting that the bio page has changed. Does anyone have a screenshot of the original? – Jo

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A friend at Curtin University, Western Australia reports that a new mysterious and imposing mural appeared on the facade. It is as if passers-by can look through the bricks and see a Saint-of-Science himself working.

The words on the plaque (which must be something like 5m wide) read “Inside our walls Professor Richard Warrick is continuing the climate change research that led to a Nobel Peace Prize. “  (Sing Hallelujah and praise Al Gore).

Richard Warrick [Jo particularly likes the aura effect Curtin create around this Saint.]

From the anonymous dissident within the enclave:

“We were showered with press releases when Richard Warrick joined Curtin last year… we have our own piece of the IPCC here with us! It’s the closest most of us will ever get to touching the holy hockey stick. (I heard stories that blind students have regained their sight after touching Curtin’s sacred wall)

“Warrick’s bio pages say that he is a “co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize” and that “he shared a Nobel Peace Prize with former U.S. Vice [...]

Monckton accuses Tony Press (Uni Tasmania) of fraud and deception

UPDATE: University VC Rathjen reponds. Press will be investigated.

University Climate Researcher to be investigated for unprofessional conduct.

Professor Peter Rathjen, Vice Chancellor of the University of Tasmania (UTAS) has ordered an investigation into professional and academic misconduct by Dr Tony Press, the CEO of the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre based at the University of Tasmania.

Lord Monckton, who spoke to 150 scientists and members of the public at the UTAS last week, has complained, in an interview with the Sunday Tasmanian last week, Press had misrepresented both Climate Science and what Lord Monckton said in his talk.

The investigation comes under the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research.

Professor Rathjen’s letter to Lord Monckton says, “…the processes will be followed rigorously!”

The Vice Chancellor added that the University strongly supported a culture of courteous, critical dialog on all matters of academic and public interest.

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Christopher Monckton has written to Professor Peter Rathjen, Vice-Chancellor, University of Tasmania to point out that one Tony Press has committed “serious professional and academic misconduct and scientific fraud, contrary to Australian Standard AS 8001 [...]

UWA sponsors world wide junkets for poor research, inept smears: Oreskes

I wondered who was funding Oreskes to fly all the way around the world to deliver two seminars in Perth to audiences of mostly evangelical believers. Michael Kile (Quadrant magazine) reveals more of the details. Presumably she is funded by the Professors-at-large program at the Institute of Advanced Studies at the University of Western Australia (UWA). We still have no details on the amounts.

UWA think achieving “international excellence” is so important they’ve put it in their logo.

We see below how many of the UWA hosts benefit from climate change grants, and thus would potentially gain from promoting a baseless smear against critics who threaten their funding or status. These hypocrites are happy to promote the untruth that skeptics are funded to speak, when the they themselves are the ones who benefit financially from a dubious scare campaign. The professors-at-large program is supposed to foster public debate, but four of the ten Oreskes hosts signed a letter seeking to silence a skeptic from speaking at another university.

Who would sponsor an expert that is ignorant of 99.99% of their topic?

Oreskes claims skeptics are funded by big-oil, but misses that most oil companies [...]

A journalist who confuses journalism with propaganda

Great news: This commentary appears in The Weekend Australian today (in a slightly different edited version). Below was what I submitted, before the edits, with the links intact. Comments are open at The Australian. I’ll be posting less often over the Southern Summer, possibly quite irregularly, so if you want to get an email from me and find out when the more important posts go up, please add your email to my list (top right, see “register”).

In the print edition the headline is “Journalists who think Newspapers should lead the country”*

David McKnight’s criticism of The Australian (Sceptical writers skipped inconvenient truths) makes a good case study of the intellectual collapse of Australian universities.

Here’s a UNSW “Senior Research Fellow” in journalism who contradicts himself, fails by his own reasoning, does little research, breaks at least three laws of logic, and rests his entire argument on an assumption that he provides no evidence for. Most disturbingly — like a crack through the façade of Western intellectual vigour — he actually asserts that the role of a national newspaper is to “give leadership”. Bask for a moment in the inanity of this declaration that newspapers “are our leaders”. Last [...]

Science associations give science a bad name

In this story from The Australian, we have the ludicrous double-irony of subscribers paying to read a story that disguises how their own taxpayer dollars are used against them to fund the  propaganda that’s used to justify milking them for more taxpayer dollars….

Sometimes, you’d think media releases from science associations and universities were Commandments from God.

If football associations put out media releases that tried to whitewash the news of clubs rampantly breaking rules, or of officials letting them get away with it, or of umpires placing bets on the outcome of games they rule over, the sports journos would bake the officials, grill the umpires, and lampoon the clubs. But, when the topic is “science”, and the spokespeople have polysyllabic titles, they are untouchable.

Admittedly, there is that other effect: advertising. The Higher Education Supplement is designed to sell advertising space to universities, and asking the top dogs biting-hard questions is probably not the way to win big contracts (the journalists might be cynical, but Australian universities are a $12 billion dollar industry). And look in the last budget: There’s a neat pink icing on the cake in the graph below, thanks to the man-made theory of global warming. That [...]