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Peter Ridd case: James Cook University wins, proving we can’t trust their research as staff can’t speak freely

Peter RiddJames Cook University won a Pyrrhic victory at the High Court today. By spending hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars (how many exactly?), all they have proven is that we can’t trust any research done by that university.

Even if the professors there are being sincere and honest, we will never know whether they are only telling us what their Vice Chancellor, Supreme Ruler Sandra Harding, wants them to say. The government should not be funding this sort of institution. It serves its administration, not the Australian taxpayer.

Two years ago, JCU had already spent $600,000 to make sure all their staff know they can’t criticize the uni.

Peter Ridd was JCU’s best asset until they sacked him. He helped expose  manipulated photos of reef fish by a JCU researcher, Oona Lönnstedt, who had already been caught fabricating data in Sweden. Yet JCU “investigated” and sacked Ridd faster than it investigated her suspicious lionfish shots.

Every JCU employee’s work is tainted by this. We will never know what any JCU researcher really thinks, or which results were dropped in the bin, no matter what they say, because we know employees of JCU will be afraid to report bad behaviour, fraud, or sloppy work from other staff. Staff admitted they were too afraid to use their uni emails. Their quality assurance is terminally flawed. This makes the entire institution useless as a research body. JCU protects reputations, not the reef. The government could fix this entire embarrassing debacle in five minutes. They just need to withhold JCU funding ’til the uni gets new management and demonstrate unequivocally that they support free speech.

Peter Ridd's book. Reef Heresy

Peter Ridd’s book. Click to order.

VC Sandra Harding’s judgement is so poor that JCU’s reputation will not recover until she is replaced. She who earnt was paid $975,000 in 2018 has done far more damage to the university’s reputation than anything Peter Ridd ever did or said. He was the one trying to maintain scientific standards and trying to protect the reef. Weak science, fraud, and false news hurt the environment because real problems get ignored while fashionable-but-fake-ones vacuum up the funds.

The Big Win was free speech laws a year ago

Despite the loss in the High Court today, let’s not forget that the judgement was about Peter Ridd’s original contract. The biggest win from his battle is that the government finally, belatedly, did something a year ago to define academic freedom. This decision doesn’t affect that, though academics, especially at JCU won’t feel inclined to test it. So JCU’s case and the High Court decision will help the cheats, frauds, and fashionable academics to relax.

Winning! Australian Govt writes laws to protect people like Peter Ridd at universities

October 2020: As Education Minister Dan Tehan told Sky News:

“[James Cook University] wouldn’t have been able to prosecute Peter Ridd if these laws had of been in place.”

“By defining academic freedom in legislation, Education Minister Dan Tehan is ensuring the dismissal of an academic like Peter Ridd can never happen again,” said Mr Rozner.

This Act is the Higher Education Support Amendment (Freedom of Speech) Act 2020.

Academic freedom means the following:
(a) the freedom of academic staff to teach, discuss, and research and to disseminate and publish the results of their research;
(b) the freedom of academic staff and students to engage in intellectual inquiry, to express their opinions and beliefs, and to contribute to public debate, in relation to their subjects of study and research;
(c) the freedom of academic staff and students to express their opinions in relation to the higher education provider in which they work or are enrolled;
(d) the freedom of academic staff to participate in professional or representative academic bodies;
(e) the freedom of students to participate in student societies and associations;
(f) the autonomy of the higher education provider in relation to the choice of academic courses and offerings, the ways in which they are taught and the choices of research activities and the ways in which they are conducted.

Though was free speech enshrined in law, or did the Government just make it a “moral code”?

Peter Ridd loses in the High Court

Jamie Walker, The Australian

The decision comes as every university in the country adopted a robust framework to protect freedom of speech among academics, ending a two-year Morrison government push to introduce a model code for the higher education sector.

As of this month, all 41 universities in Australia have either fully implemented the model code for academic free speech – designed by former chief justice Robert French in 2019 – or created pro-free speech policies that completely align with the code.

Professor Ridd was sacked by James Cook University for criticism of colleagues and their research into climate change and the Great Barrier Reef.

Education Minister Alan Tudge – who previously threatened to make the model code law if universities did not implement it – said on Tuesday the successful implementation of the code would help to ensure opposing viewpoints flourish on campus.

“If universities are not places for free, robust speech, then their very purpose is jeopardised. You cannot advance knowledge without challenging existing orthodoxies, and risk causing offence in the process,” Mr Tudge said.

 

Peter Ridd’s note to those who helped fund the legal case.

The Peter Ridd story:

For people interested in Ocean Acidification see this section 5.5 from page 522 of the comprehensive Climate Change Reconsidered Report by Heartland.
9.4 out of 10 based on 97 ratings

113 comments to Peter Ridd case: James Cook University wins, proving we can’t trust their research as staff can’t speak freely

  • #
    Ted1

    This has been a bad week and it’s only half gone.

    530

  • #
    David Maddison

    This is shocking news.

    We almost have no wise or moral people in positions of authority in Australia.

    Rudi Dutschke’s “long march through the institutions” (der lange Marsch durch die Institutionen), started in 1967, has succeeded.

    I very much doubt any Australian government will address this travesty of justice.

    There is no future for science in Australia because if it can’t be questioned it’s not science.

    I object to my taxes being spent to fund “research” that is not allowed to be questioned.

    811

  • #
    Ronin

    No research that comes out of JCU is worth a cracker unless it is Peter Ridds.

    710

    • #

      that is bizarre. now you are saying that anyone remaining there is unreliable…. including people who were there when Ridd was there meaning that Ridd is unreliable (as he too was there).

      272

      • #
        Ronin

        Now you’re being silly.

        401

        • #

          What you mean “now”, Kimosabe?

          191

          • #

            Gee Aye, read what I wrote, even the honest scientists saying honest things about real research are tainted by this. From the outside, how can we tell if they speak the whole truth and nothing but the truth?

            It may be the truth, if the truth happens to agree with the Vice Chancellor’s aims, but it may be a cherry picked version of a half truth which ignores all the awkward things that they don’t think the VC would want them to say?

            If their research was deeply flawed and other researchers knew that at JCU would they speak up?

            Obviously Peter Ridd did, at great cost. So we know he speaks the truth.

            40

            • #

              I have no quibble with the sentiment you stated though the claim by Ronin was just hysteria.

              JCU will take a hit from this but it wont immediately taint established researchers with collaborations, publishing record etc. Remember these people did not grow up at JCU and to say they are suddenly tainted is ignoring their individual histories.

              02

      • #
        Ronin

        “Every JCU employee’s work is tainted by this. We will never know what any JCU researcher really think, or which results were dropped in the bin, no matter what they say, because we know employees of JCU will be afraid to report bad behaviour, fraud, or sloppy work from other staff. Staff admitted they were too afraid to use their uni emails. Their quality assurance is terminally flawed. This makes the entire institution useless as a research body.”

        Have a gander at this. !

        481

        • #
          OriginalSteve

          Well, if I every hear of anyone contemplating a certain uni, I will resoundly warn them off the place…..

          The place appears to be a mini authoritarian tin pot 3rd world regieme…..

          351

          • #

            It is university-industry wide, I’m afraid.

            I am a scientist, a physicist, unemployed as such for the last 30+ years (this is not a personal complaint, by the way, just critical information about the general situation; read on).

            All large institutions have always, when those in authority were bad, lived by the number one rule: We protect ourselves, only.

            I was fired from my last paid position as a scientist, because I pursued my own research within my position as a Research Associate, and sought, through peer-reviewed publication, to inform the broader scientific community of my analysis of the data (on fine particulates in the air at federally-protected, remote sites across the USA). My research showed the need for fundamental rethinking across the entire Atmospheric Sciences community, of their measurements of fine particles in the air.

            When my papers were submitted, without the permission of my boss, I was fired; of course the university and the associated research institute I worked within lied about it, giving the reason as “terminated for lack of funding”. (It is the blatant lying that defines such tyranny.)

            This was par for the course, of course. Your JCU was just following traditional university, indeed institutional, procedure.

            Institutions have to have honest leaders, in all positions of authority, or they are useless, and indeed evil. You’ve just got a dishonest leader at JCU, in league with an illegitimate government working obsessively to shut down all dissent, all personal freedom and sense of integrity. Science, in particular, is in a general crisis of incompetence, and the political rulers are now using that incompetence for…mass evil.

            All is not lost, however. I did not suffer in my case, because I have faith in my professional scientific ability and in the higher power of truth. Within 3 years, working at home in my own research, I made the greatest discovery in all of history (and yes, of course I know that will strike you as grandiose, if you haven’t “discovered” my internet presence, on what my truly monumental, literally unprecedented discovery was. By being thrown out of that job, I gained eventual scientific immortality, having found the next general scientific paradigm, through finding the single objective origin of all the “ancient mysteries”…every one).

            That’s enough. You have been warned (we are in a general testing of mankind, and so far failing).

            253

            • #
              William Astley

              In reply to Harry Huffman’s comment

              “Institutions have to have honest leaders, in all positions of authority, or they are useless, and indeed evil.” I totally support your comment. I am sorry for your personal issues when you tried to speak the truth.

              Institutions will never have honest leaders because the game is now fixed and controlled. ‘Leaders’ of institutions become the ‘Leader’ because they are willing stick with, the evil script/plan.

              The ‘problem’ (we are losing a war) is now bigger than our institutions (universities, medical boards, governments) have been taken over.

              This is an organized sophisticated attack. People need jobs. There are more ‘qualified’ people than there are jobs.

              People will ‘learn’ to be liars/traitors if that is what is need to get a job/high position in an institution. This is exactly what happened in Eastern Europe when the Soviets took over countries, after the second war. There are always traitors/’practical’ people who will willingly work for the evil institutions.

              There is now almost complete control of the mass media, our legal system, our medical system, and there is now the start of world wide internet censorship. The loss of independent internet searches, the hiding of blogs sites, the blocking of facts/videos/discussions about covid/vaccines/CAGW/AGW/Green Scams/Extreme weather/Medical scams/Medical Industry and so on.

              The evil is funded, monitored, and organized/controlled by the second richest country in the world and the billionaire minions that China controls. China/Democrat Party of America have a plan which is destroying our economies and starting fights/riots/racial issues/gender issues/statues/history/past issues, anything possible to fight about.

              200

            • #
              Ted1

              When I was young I didn’t believe in Original Sin. Now I see it all around me.

              But not in the newborn! It’s the Post Moderns that have got it.

              30

        • #
          TedM

          A very good assessment of what this decision actually means Ronin.

          40

        • #
          OldOzzie

          Academic freedom under siege

          The Australian Editorial

          Physicist Peter Ridd and those who value intellectual freedom on campus may be forgiven for thinking the outcome of his High Court case is perverse. In Wednesday’s unanimous rejection of his appeal, the judges nonetheless concluded that Dr Ridd’s whistleblowing about the integrity of marine research was protected by the intellectual freedom provisions of the workplace agreement with his employer, James Cook University. And JCU was wrong to argue Dr Ridd had to show “courtesy and respect” towards the researchers he was criticising. The judges rightly said the purpose of intellectual freedom – to seek truth among contested ideas – must prevail over otherwise desirable norms.

          If Dr Ridd’s criticisms were sound, then the reputations of others ought to suffer. The court also suggested Dr Ridd could have successfully attacked some of the seemingly endless misconduct charges against him as baseless or trivial; one JCU directive ordered him not to satirise the disciplinary proceedings that led to his dismissal in 2018.

          If Dr Ridd has enjoyed a moral victory, he suffered a legal defeat because the intellectual freedom encoded in the workplace agreement did come with some constraints, his protracted struggle with JCU took him outside his protected zone of academic expertise, and the case was run in such a way that JCU only had to make one of its misconduct charges stick, which it did.

          It may seem bittersweet that Dr Ridd’s personal setback coincides with the announcement by Education Minister Alan Tudge that all universities have now adopted the model code for free speech and academic freedom that emerged from the inquiry by former High Court chief justice Robert French. This is a welcome but modest measure when judged against the scale and nature of threats to the intellectual health of higher education.

          Free speech and open debate on hot-button topics such as the environment, gender, history and culture have weak constituencies in many universities around the English-speaking world. These are inconvenient values for the central bureaucracy, which has been growing in size for decades. The corporate university is well equipped to defend its brand power from internal dissent. Also noteworthy is the burgeoning campus officialdom that practises identity politics under the banner of equity, diversity and inclusivity. Viewpoint diversity – the true liberator on campus – is at a discount. Within the EDI world view, the universal value of free speech is seen as yet another tool used by designated oppressor groups to subjugate victim groups. What passes as oppression is often nothing more than a sense of outrage when activists encounter contrary views. In this way, mere words are said to be dangerous, making the university an unsafe place. These corrosive tendencies are most advanced in the US but Australia is not free from them.

          The University of Melbourne has come under pressure from activists because feminist philosopher Holly Lawford-Smith has been documenting claims of risks to women and girls created by allowing biological males to self-identify as transgender women. In Britain, trans activist threats against another feminist philosopher, Kathleen Stock, have led to a wave of revulsion, captured in Tuesday’s editorial in The Times of London, declaring: “It is a scandal and a disgrace that an academic at an English university must keep off campus and teach solely online because of threats to her personal safety.”

          An academic freedom policy is hollow without university leaders who can grasp the civilisational values at stake, articulate them persuasively and stand up to bullies.

          70

      • #
        el+gordo

        Leaf those that remain at JCU are unreliable.

        ‘In 2017, Dr Ridd told Sky News that although scientists “genuinely believe that there are problems with the reef … I think they’re emotionally attached to their subject” and “you can no longer trust their stuff”. (Cowra Guardian)

        190

    • #
      John+R+Smith

      Research, just like conspiracy theories, are valid or not valid on an individual basis.
      No statements about origin, authorship, or funding are relevant to postulate, data, and conclusions.
      Reputation and social status are not pertinent.
      Except for Fauci.
      He is Lord.
      Lets go Brandon.

      151

  • #
    Kalm Keith

    The only good news here is that the Australian government has been made aware of the strong support for changes to university management.

    The administration at “that” university did not win anything and will suffer the ire of past graduates whose hard work and dedication to learning has been tarnished by opportunists.

    Peter Ridd was a brave man to confront the system.

    590

  • #
    Raven

    James Cook University outlaws peer review.

    Prof. Phil Jones would be proud:

    “I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow — even if we have to redefine what the peer‐​review literature is!”

    360

  • #

    I was hedging my bets on the outcome of this. I thought the argument was sound (within some narrow bounds) and with union and IPA on Ridd’s side, I thought that there was a case. On the other hand I’d not gone into the detail of the reasons for dismissal. But now I am a bit more enlightened though not entirely convinced.

    So, before responding to me on this, check out the nature of JCU’s reasons for dismissal and apply it to other workplaces. Should they have dismissed him?

    231

    • #
      Ian

      The university argued Dr Ridd was not sacked for his views but instead breached its code of conduct, which required staff to act in a courteous and respectful way, and confidentiality requirements about the disciplinary process.

      The High Court found intellectual, or academic, freedom as contained in the university’s pay deal “is not qualified by a requirement to afford respect and courtesy in the manner of its exercise” and as a result, an initial censure in 2016 against Dr Ridd was not justified.

      The justices quoted 19th-century philosopher John Stuart Mill in their reasoning.
      “Whilst a prohibition upon disrespectful and discourteous conduct in intellectual expression might be a ‘convenient plan for having peace in the intellectual world’,” the justices held, “the ‘price paid for this sort of intellectual pacification, is the sacrifice of the entire moral courage of the human mind’.”

      The union hailed that aspect of the judgment as a win. But that did not result in a win because the court found Dr Ridd’s conduct extended well beyond the expression of opinion within his area of academic expertise.

      Had his conduct related only to his area of expertise or criticism of the JCU decisions through proscribed processes, it would have been protected by intellectual freedom. Because his case was run on an all-or-nothing basis, that meant Dr Ridd lost.

      “This litigation concerned conduct by Dr Ridd far beyond that of the 2016 censure, almost none of which was protected by the intellectual freedom. That conduct culminated in the termination decision, a decision which itself was justified by 18 grounds of serious misconduct, none of which involved the exercise of intellectual freedom,” the judges found.

      What I cannot understand is why Dr Ridd did not review the work of his colleagues, list his criticisms, state his reasons for the criticisms and submit an article for publication in an appropriate journal. Had he done that, which is the accepted procedure he would not have been sacked.

      515

      • #
        Graeme No.3

        What makes you think that any review of work or criticisms would be accepted by any ‘appropriate journal’?

        260

        • #
          Ian

          “What makes you think that any review of work or criticisms would be accepted by any ‘appropriate journal’?

          Because Ridd pioneered research techniques for studying marine sedimentology, and has published widely on coastal oceanography and the effects of sediments on coral reefs.

          Dr Ridd is respected in this field despite some differences in opinion about his results

          102

      • #
        GlenM

        . reminds me of Johannes Brahms when approached by the university of Breslau to compose a piece , he replied on the back of a postcard. Result: Academic Festival Overture,

        70

        • #
          R.B.

          This is gate keeper garbage. You do not need to be an expert to find fault in somebody’s work. Logic is for everyone.

          I’ve had experiences where expert opinions were deliberate lies to harass me. Experiences where the peer-review process was used to curry a favour.

          It’s already an environment that you only get called out for fraud, or slandered behind your back, if you upset the wrong people higher in the hierarchy, otherwise known as experts.

          Willie Soon was harassed by managers at the Smithsonian for not disclosing that he was getting money from Big Coal, despite the money being given to them and they passing it on to Soon, with the requirement that they are the only ones acknowledged as providing support. This is what needs to be stamped out. Not having a whine to your spouse.

          70

      • #
        Kalm Keith

        Exactly;

        and conversely, the opposite is more often the case in such matters.

        Whether in domestic spats or more public organisational conflict there are great difficulties in avoiding an unpleasant ending, although money is frequently at the root of both.

        Within Australian universities money can play a large part in determining future directions, and the academic deterioration that results can easily be hidden from the general public.

        One example of Campus Covid is the spread of the earlier disease of global warming throughout Australian institutions.

        There has been a March through the institutions beginning with a harmless cagw subject in science courses, then progressing to Law and Economics and built on that insertion there are now degrees in science, law and economics which include the proud boast that these are degrees specialising in describing how climate change dogma must be integrated with such aspects of modern life.

        The core issue of such Degrees and Professorships is that they are built on the concept of man made global warming and death by incineration due to excess CO2 levels.

        Undoubtedly there are many excellent courses and academics still within the system but the use of Climate change “science” as a stepping stone to achieving residence in a high paying sinecure is not ethical nor sustainable.

        Progress can only be built on truth and basic decency.

        31

    • #
    • #
      Ian

      Apologies again The last lines of my comment are my opinion

      10

    • #
      Ronin

      Look, it’s all very simple, JCU are fighting for their survival, no problems with the reef = no funding, simples.

      10

  • #
    clarence.t

    There can be absolutely no doubt that Peter Ridd did the correct and moral thing in calling out the blatant malpractice by some of the JCU clayton’s scientists.

    Pity the legal system and the university contract did not function to protect doing the correct and morally-just action.

    260

    • #
      Ian

      He did do the correct thing but did it in a manner which, apparently, breached JCU’ s code of conduct.

      In 2017, Ridd told Sky News that although scientists “genuinely believe that there are problems with the reef … I think they’re emotionally attached to their subject” and “you can no longer trust their stuff”.

      JCU believed the Sky interview may have constituted a case of misconduct and directed Ridd to maintain confidentiality about disciplinary action, including two censures, before his ultimate dismissal.

      https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/oct/13/peter-ridd-loses-all-or-nothing-high-court-appeal-over-sacking-from-james-cook-university

      212

      • #
        paul courtney

        Ian: The ruthless enforcement of this code of conduct is reserved for those like Ridd who notice the naked emperor. Is there a single lefty academic at JCU who attacked Ridd outside the code of conduct, but it went unenforced? At some point, you may need to decide if you are for the code of conduct (you seem to be) or for free academic speech and thought. Care to decide today?

        250

        • #

          Paul. Absolutely.

          JCU didn’t have to sack him. They didn’t have to pursue the case. Nor trawl through his emails. I seem to recall their censure demand included him not even talking to his wife.

          Their dedication to this says a lot about their priorities. His dissent mattered a lot more than potential research fraud to them.

          Similar flaws by so many others are ignored…

          370

          • #
            Binny Pegler

            The world is full of petty, small minded insecure people, in positions of authority. If you challenge them on even the smallest thing, expect them retaliate with FULL force of whatever authority they have. Like back chatting a copper at a minor roadside pull over.
            Expecting the hierarchy at JCU to be ‘More noble’ is naïve at best.

            150

            • #
              David Maddison

              Regardless of the proposition that there may or may not have been a technical breach of rules, you can be certain that a) the application of such rules was ruthless and b) would not have been applied to an individual that supported the official Leftist “scientific” viewpoint.

              110

          • #
            Ian

            “JCU didn’t have to sack him. They didn’t have to pursue the case”

            If your employer has a code of conduct that you are shown to have breached they have every right to pursue you and dismiss you if they so choose. To not do so would set a precedent for those that subsequently breach the code of conduct to not be dismissed. That would render the code of conduct worthless. And in Ridd’s case the High Court found 18 reasons why he should be dismissed.

            03

        • #
          Ian

          “At some point, you may need to decide if you are for the code of conduct (you seem to be) or for free academic speech and thought. Care to decide today?”

          It depends on the conditions of the code of conduct. Without full knowledge of those conditions it is not possible to decide. To do so would obviously be rather stupid.

          I’ve been a university academic for a very long time and have spoken very freely many an occasion without being threatened in any way. For example at a large meeting discussing problems with the management of the University I made a comment critical of management to which the Dean replied “you’re very cynical’. I replied “My employers have made me cynical”. No one batted an eyelid and the meeting progressed.

          However this meeting was not a public meeting. Had I gone to the media and said “I’m a professor and by their actions my employers have made me cynical” that might have resulted in my running foul of the university’s code of conduct as it could be argued I was bringing the University into disrepute in the eyes of the public. This, it could be argued, damages the University’s reputation in the wider community,

          Perhaps, by Professor Ridd going to Sky, JCU might have considered he had brought JCU into disrepute in the eyes of the public and thus had breached the code of conduct.

          17

          • #
            clarence.t

            The only people who have brought JCU into disrepute…

            are JCU !

            They are now tainted as a totalitarian protector of scientific misconduct.

            141

          • #
            Mike

            Hoorah to Dr Ridd for showing the fortitude to stand up against politicalisation of reef ‘science’ research at this institute and for elevating the Australian public’s and subsequent global community’s awareness of this travesty!

            40

          • #
            paul courtney

            Mr. Ian: Thanks for telling us your choice. You choose the code here. I choose free speech, here and elsewhere, because my way reveals wrongs and yours covers them up. You recognize the need for consistent enforcement but the “18 reasons” somehow means no enforcement against threatening blokes such as yourself is ok? So we get this from you- you don’t care that it was ruthlessly AND UNFAIRLY enforced against Prof. Ridd. You essentially admit that the “Code” is only enforced against dissenters. Nothing more to say to you.

            40

      • #
        clarence.t

        ““you can no longer trust their stuff”

        Yep, the university’s rules of conduct is a contract that attempts to stifle the facts and the truth, in favour of supporting academic misconduct, at the whim of those at the top.

        The people who should have been dismissed were the ones committing the academic misconduct, instead of the person bringing that to light.

        But that is what happens when agendas get in the way.

        JCU… you can no longer trust their stuff.

        140

  • #
    Bill Hall

    I think Sandra Harding has gone already.

    40

    • #
      Robber

      After fourteen years of “exceptional service” to James Cook University, Professor Sandra Harding AO has announced her intention to retire from her role as Vice Chancellor, effective December 2021.
      Dated Dec 2020.

      10

      • #
        Murray Shaw

        JCU could undo a lot of their reputation SL damage by appointing Peter Reid as their next VC.
        Now there’s a thought!

        40

    • #
      John

      From the JCU Alumni newsletter on Sep 27th….

      This morning the University Council approved the appointment of Professor Simon Biggs as the next Vice Chancellor and President of James Cook University.

      This comes after an international search with a remarkable level of interest from eminently qualified people. Each of these candidates had one notable thing in common: recognition of our Power of Place in creating a brighter future for life in the Tropics worldwide through graduates and discoveries that make a difference. My thanks to all candidates who expressed their interest in the role.

      Professor Biggs is currently the Senior Deputy Vice Chancellor at the University of Western Australia …

      20

  • #
    Dave

    Just two words!

    Oona Lönnstedt

    JCUNQ was my University in the 1970’s

    Thankfully was working mainly with DPI then.

    90

  • #
    Yonniestone.

    I hate seeing good people being beaten down with what passes for law in this country now, I believe our judicial system to be a broken farcical show to dupe citizens into believing due process was done despite how much evidence was in the good guys favour.

    Yep David looks like that long march went straight through Westminster to the Enabling Act.

    250

  • #
    Greg in NZ

    Education Minister Dan Tehan told Sky News: “… if these laws had of been …”

    Puh-leeeze! If it wasn’t Sky News’ D-minus transcript then your Education Minister needs to be fired yesterday. Had of? Really?

    150

    • #
      RickWill

      Language is truly consensus. This has been accepted as common speak in Australia for a while. More likely the journalist than the Minister.

      57

    • #
      Robert Swan

      Education Minister Dan Tehan told Sky News: “… if these laws had of been …”

      Tehan told Sky News. It’s whoever took the transcription. Tehan surely said “Had’ve” — as in “had have” — and the Sky News transcriber wrote “had of”.

      50

      • #
        Greg in NZ

        Thank you, gentlemen: I was merely being pedantic yesterday, re had’ve v had of – it’s an all too common ‘mispronounciation’ here too, similar to Herr Cinders saying jep-URRR-dee for jeopardy.

        Far from being an academic of Peter Ridd’s stature, I was ‘medically retired’ (fired) from my job last week due to my employer’s insurance gatekeepers declining my work-related hernia application for ACC. Even though a ‘review’ of this decision is in the works, I do wonder if my choice to NOT take their [optional] clot-shot swayed their process.

        P.S. Long live Jo’s wonderful site and all her contributors, cheers.

        80

  • #

    I think we should consider continuing to support Peter Ridd. Academic freedom of speech and enquiry
    must be upheld for as long as it takes.

    260

    • #
      GlenM

      too right.

      90

    • #
      el+gordo

      The legal process has come to an end, so Peter Ridd is now free to say the GBR is on the way to full recovery.

      ‘The High Court clearly said James Cook uni’s censure of Peter Ridd, stemming from doubts over Reef damage, was not justified.’ (Oz)

      21

    • #
      Ian

      “I think we should consider continuing to support Peter Ridd. Academic freedom of speech and enquiry
      must be upheld for as long as it takes.”

      Dr Ridd wasn’t dismissed for anything to do with freedom of speech but for breaches, apparently 18 breaches, of the JCU code of conduct.

      12

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        clarence.t

        “Dr Ridd wasn’t dismissed for anything to do with freedom of speech but for breaches”

        Yet that code of conduct is all about stifling freedom of speech.

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      PeterPetrum

      You can support Peter Ridd and the work he will be doing with the IPA by donating to the $300,000 fund they have set up to facilitate the work he will be doing, unpaid, with them. Here’s the link

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    PeterS

    I am not surprised. Why do so many people still think there is a chance for us climate sketpics to win? We lost years ago hands down. However, we can continue to resist, but at the end of the day we lost the battle well and truly. If we look back over the years we really had no chance. The combined forces of governments, MSM, education systems and big business were too great. We might as well be mice squeaking against an avalanche. But squeak we must.

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      Graeme No.3

      PeterS:
      Look at events in Europe (and the UK). Panic as various governments and bureaucracies face the possibility of a cold winter AND a shortage of heating. Admittedly Boris (and Greta what’s her name) think that COP26 will “save the world” but the public are getting restless. Unless the coming winter is warmer than usual (and the Russian and Norwegians, and Irish, probably others think otherwise) there will be real unrest. Xi in China has resorted to emergency demands to build energy reserves at all costs, as he knows that failure will be the end of him. The French, under Macron the delusional, are trying to gain influence in the EU (while Germany is paralysed by trying to form a government) and have reversed on Nuclear. Talk about the band playing on as The Titanic sank.
      Reality has a way of catching politicians out. (In a minor sphere see events in South Australia where a cloth headed Premier has sealed future defeat in autumn).

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        Murray Shaw

        Graeme, this is the 26th one of these Climate Conferences, without any change to the climate, what makes anyone think that this is the one to solve everything.
        No just another sojourn at some distant venue on the taxpayers teat. The main item on the agenda will be planning COP 27.

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          PeterPetrum

          And if you have a look at the graph of slowly rising CO2 levels and plot the last 25 COPs on them you will see absolutely no change in trend, nothing, nada, nix. Totally useless gab fests that end up with the “summary for policy makers” being written by a selected team of mostly non scientists who work feverishly for the last 24 hours to salvage something that has absolutely nothing to do with science. This one will be no different.

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      The Truth Will Out. (Lord, that’s ungrammatical too…) The immediate problem is, it will only with certainty win out in “the next world” (whether in far future, or after death in the spirit’s true home).

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      shannon

      Peter …I believe now, that the entire system must crash (beginning signs in Europe)..It must hit rock bottom before anyone will see the light and learn ANY lessons…..so many non thinking people, and money rules the planet…..truly depressing !

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        PeterS

        Be warned. As we hit rock bottom an evil one will take advantage of the situation and deceive many into believing he is the Christ by performing miracles and wonders that will at first appear good. Soon after that things deteriorate even more before the true Christ returns.

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    KevJ

    This was certainly sad news when I checked my email this morning.
    I was optimistic that sanity would prevail, but it didn’t.

    I wish Prof. Ridd well for the future. We need more academics like him.

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    Some years ago I ceased listening to the main stream media and many of my friends are now the same. Basically we knew a lot of it was pure lies and opinion dressed up as fact – and we also knew we did not know about the accuracy of the reporting we had no immediate knowledge on. All was suspect.

    With our universities the same attitude should now prevail. If wokeness and political correctness, not the scientific method and robust debate, now rule then any research and any teaching is now suspect. Employers are starting to realise that the current crop of students, certainly in Engineering, where I have the most knowledge, are shockingly ill prepared and their ability to analyse, problem solve and innovate is way behind where their forebears were even just 10 years ago. The answer needs to be that companies return to the cadetship approach where much like an apprenticeship the students work at the company and have much reduced uni involvement – at lower cost and with a far greater link to the real world.

    Coming on top of the loss of foreign students maybe an extended period of lean times may wake the unis up that high quality teaching = high quality students, and that go woke, go broke is the reality.

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      Binny Pegler

      There’s nothing new here, this is the way it’s always been. Look back through history.
      Once a particular mind set gains authority, it holds that position as long as it can.
      There’s a quote somewhere along the lines of “The academic world progresses one funeral at a time’.
      The good news is at least we’re progressing generation to generation. Instead of century to century, as in the past.

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    Kevin T Kilty

    I see here that the argument of the resident left group is essentially,

    “The university argued Dr Ridd was not sacked for his views but instead breached its code of conduct, which required staff to act in a courteous and respectful way, and confidentiality requirements about the disciplinary process…”

    I became at one time an elected trustee of a college that had all sorts of ethical problems, and I mean serious ones. I had run for the governing board for several reasons but one was that the current board at the time had asked the President to fire me because I had expressed an opinion on a matter of public concern. I fooled them. I quit my job and came back in worse form as a dissident trustee. Replaced one of the worst trustees.

    The college administration worked very hard to get a civility/collegiality policy into employment contracts. These are nothing more than a cover for incompetent and sometimes downright dishonest administrators. Believe me, there is no way to lodge serious complaints while being collegial according to these clauses. It isn’t possible to assure accountability in public institutions in general, and the collegiality clause will make sure complaints are so muted they can’t be heard. Administrators touched by a complaint will make sure that collegiality is used to wire the critic to the 250V supply, not clean up a problem. One telling sign was that the most dishonest and incompetent administrators were those most favorably inclined toward a civility policy.

    By the way, that college trustee experience taught me a lot about the general cowardice and occasional incompetence of faculty and staff, and the unbelievable incompetence and mendacity of adminstrators. It showed me that the entire concept of an elected board of directors or trustees or regents as the guarantors of public interests being served has been inverted everywhere.

    People have to learn that they are on their own as an honest critic. I had to quit a good job to run for the board, Peter Ridd got shoved out the door, and on and on. Read what happened to the whistleblower of cost over runs in the C-5 program at DoD. It is expected you will be punished somehow. I tell my engineering students that if ethics form a part of your genuine persona, then keep 6 months of savings on hand.

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    Wet Mountains

    Of all the institutions and bureaucracies devised by governments across the globe, which ones do you trust?
    • Do you trust Underwriters Laboratory (NGO)? They test products to determine their safety. When they certify a product as “flame retardant” and over one hundred people are burned to death because the product was improperly tested, can you trust their next certification?
    • Or the FDA. 1950’s: Trans-fats are not harmful. 1980’s: Animal fats are harmful (after 5000 years). 1990’s: Trans-fats cause 20,000 deaths each year and are banned. How many products have been approved by FDA only to be found killers later on?
    • How about the FBI, which are now going to arrest persons that were merely on the Capital grounds on January 6th while ignoring other blatant crimes?
    • Or the CDC, that over the past two years has changed its position on Covid almost weekly.
    • And the NIAID with its long-time director, that has changed his position on Covid more often than the wind changes direction.
    • The manufactures of the Covid vaccine. It is perfectly safe, no ill side effects…until there are ill effects
    • How about the AMA. Centuries old positions on medicine have been thrown out for a new politically correct prospective.
    • And the American Psychological Association (APA) that now considers gender dysphoria perfectly normal behavior. And transgender behavior is accepted as routine. Not only is it routine, but a person can also shift back and forth depending on how they feel about themselves today.
    The next question is, “What is normal”? Normal: conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected: Millennia of learning to establish the concept and standards of normal are being abandoned. Is 98.6°F a normal body temperature for a human? Not by new medical standards. It can be whatever you what it to be. So why bother taking temperatures. Is a normal blood pressure 120/80 or can it be 190/120 or 70/40? Why bother!
    After five thousand years of marriage being defined as between and male and female, one man on the SCOTUS decides it can be any old thing you want it to be, and boom, it’s the law of the land. ONE MAN. And your life will be destroyed if you dissent. That same court determines that murdering infants in their mothers womb is as acceptable as going to the head in the morning. Seven people determine murder of a particular class of people is legal and millions die. Similar to one man deciding a particular religious group are to be exterminated. Some will fight tooth and nail demanding there is no GOD. They say, “Prove it”, show me the evidence, while in the next breath insisting there are alien visitors, and place “Big Foot” bumper stickers on their cars.
    People in black robes are human! People in Congress are human! People in bureaucracies are human! THEY ARE NOT GODS! And all too often we learn their motives are far less than honorable.
    We must think for ourselves, using our God given common sense and stop listening to experts that often put their self-interest ahead of all. What is an expert? Someone that has studied a subject for years, can tell you all about it, except how it feels, or smells or tastes. Most know only what someone else has told them.

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    Clyde Spencer

    What has happened to Dr. Ridd is further support of Lord Acton’s observation that “Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

    In any event, apparently the administration is unfamiliar with how scientific criticism and REAL peer review (not gatekeeping) works, nor the level to which disagreements have commonly escalated in the past. They probably could not explain the Scientific Method off the top of their head. These administrators want to keep their cushy, well-paying jobs, and don’t appreciate actually having to deal with unpleasantries that arise between the working staff ‘in the kitchen.’

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    Tim+Spence

    I think the supreme have abdicated their responsibility.
    Any fool can sign a stupid contract, that doesn’t legalise or validate stupid contract clauses, they have to fall within normal definitions of contract law and reasonable expectations within the standards of an industry or sector. Lamentable decision.

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      Binny Pegler

      I think the supreme have abdicated their responsibility.
      Nope, they see their responsibility as protecting the institutions, and maintaining the status quo.

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    Travis T. Jones

    There is still a GBR?

    With half the GBR dead at least half a dozen times, never to return, there would be three dead GBRs. Somewhere.

    JCU has never disputed this.

    JCU, where science is a covered … with a pillow, until it stops moving.

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    David Maddison

    The Left now has academia exactly where they want them.

    Matters of Leftist doctrine such as supposed anthropogenic global warming or permitted treatment modalities for covid will no longer be allowed to be investigated but only “approved” beliefs will be permitted to be “researched”.

    In fact, we are already at that level, no beliefs not approved by Leftist doctrine are permitted. The difference now is that enforcement of those beliefs will be ruthless and result in destruction of one’s career, finances and life.

    The Left are intolerant and even terrified of any alternative ideas and this once again proves it. The Left have us where they want us with a return to pre-Enlightenment ideas.

    The persecution of Professor Rudd is very much like the persecution of Galileo:

    On April 12, 1633, chief inquisitor Father Vincenzo Maculani da Firenzuola, appointed by Pope Urban VIII, begins the inquisition of physicist and astronomer Galileo Galilei. Galileo was ordered to turn himself in to the Holy Office to begin trial for holding the belief that the Earth revolves around the sun, which was deemed heretical by the Catholic Church. Standard practice demanded that the accused be imprisoned and secluded during the trial.

    This was the second time that Galileo was in the hot seat for refusing to accept Church orthodoxy that the Earth was the immovable center of the universe: In 1616, he had been forbidden from holding or defending his beliefs. In the 1633 interrogation, Galileo denied that he “held” belief in the Copernican view but continued to write about the issue and evidence as a means of “discussion” rather than belief. The Church had decided the idea that the sun moved around the Earth was an absolute fact of scripture that could not be disputed, despite the fact that scientists had known for centuries that the Earth was not the center of the universe.

    This time, Galileo’s technical argument didn’t win the day. On June 22, 1633, the Church handed down the following order: “We pronounce, judge, and declare, that you, the said Galileo… have rendered yourself vehemently suspected by this Holy Office of heresy, that is, of having believed and held the doctrine (which is false and contrary to the Holy and Divine Scriptures) that the sun is the center of the world, and that it does not move from east to west, and that the earth does move, and is not the center of the world.”

    [..]

    Galileo agreed not to teach the heresy anymore and spent the rest of his life under house arrest. It took more than 300 years for the Church to admit that Galileo was right and to clear his name of heresy.

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    David Maddison

    At some in the future I was going to gift an amount of money to one or several Australian academic institutions but they are now all likely to run their “research” according to this ruling so I very much doubt there’ll be a university in Australia that permits free and open inquiry by then. Any gift would therefore be a waste because academic scholarship has been extinguished.

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      PeterPetrum

      Donate to the IPAs new fund to support the work of an unpaid Peter Ridd to promote the acceptance of academic freedom to contest ideas and theories. It is about the only chance we have to force change.

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    Robdel

    Maybe another university which specialises in marine science will snap him up?

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    David Maddison

    Captain James Cook would be horrified by the behaviour of the “university” named after him. While not a scientist himself he strongly supported his scientist on board, Joseph Banks, plus Cook himself was open to all new and alternative evidence-based ideas.

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    Neville

    I listened to Bolt interview Peter Ridd last night and you have to admire him and the decent way he talked about his problems plus the lousy way he has been treated by these intellectual pygmies.
    Peter deserves our respect and let’s hope the FED govt can do something to pull these Uni con merchants into line.
    BTW here is a very recent example of the so called Wind energy NET ZERO BS and fra-d from Boris and his delusional govt.
    All the promised thousands of jobs have vanished overnight and a once thriving industry looks like a deserted area today.
    What a CON TRICK played out in Scotland and the jobs just end up in China, AGAIN.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10085865/How-China-mockery-Boris-Johnsons-great-green-jobs-boast.html?mc_cid=0dc388063d&mc_eid=dcbe0ef09b

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      Paul Miskelly

      Hi Neville,
      Thanks for posting that link. Apart from the very valid point of the story, there is one sentence there that I found to be very interesting indeed. Here’s the sentence:
      “They were constructing steel jackets up to 200 feet high — and weighing as much as 30,000 tonnes — which served as the anchoring legs for offshore wind turbines.”
      Here is an outstanding indicator of the basic hypocrisy of the entire so-called “renewables” scam – the emissions cost of the manufacture of the sheer quantity of materials that go into, in this instance, each wind turbine: how many years of operation of each wind turbine standing on one of these jackets will it take to offset the CO2 emissions that result from the manufacture of the so-called “jacket” on which it stands? Perhaps there is a civil engineer reading this article who can help out.
      Good thing I’m not employed by a university these days. I’d very likely be promptly sacked for asking such an “improper “ question.
      Thanks as always, Jo,
      Paul Miskelly

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        David Maddison

        This might help.

        The energy value of the type of coal used for steelmaking is about 8 megawatt hours (MWh) per tonne. So each tonne of ‘new’ steel has typically required about 6 MWh in the process of getting from iron ore to a finished steel product, such as coil used for making the exteriors of cars.

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        Neville

        Paul I must admit I find the steel jacket’s 30 K tonnes hard to believe, but I’m no expert.
        But these Wind sea turbines would probably have a bare 20 years before they have to be replaced.
        The cost would be horrific and of course the whole ugly TOXIC mess would have to be buried in landfill FOREVER. And AGAIN in another 20 years.
        And ZERO change for CLIMATE or TEMP by 2050, 2100 and beyond. Just look up the co2 DATA since 1970 or 1990.
        Indeed this is the greatest GLOBAL FRA-D and CON TRICK in history.

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    David Maddison

    Last night’s Andrew Bolt interview with Professor Ridd.

    https://youtu.be/8nIUm2K4kiA

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    David Maddison

    Many years ago I was offered a very well paid scholarship to do my PhD at JCU. I’m glad I didn’t do it now. People would wonder if the conclusions of one’s research were true or were they just official doctrine.

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    Neville

    Here’s Peter Ridd’s interview last night by Andrew Bolt, 13-10-21.
    I’m sure most fair minded Aussies would share their frustrations.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nIUm2K4kiA

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    Zigmaster

    It’s very frustrating that high court judges given an opportunity to make some historic precedent that is clearly unfair choose the path of least resistance. There is no doubts that a ruling in favour of Peter would’ve subjected them to attacks from the activist left.
    It’s about time to hear from some judges that are prepared to do what’s right and stand up to the noisy mob. Despite the judgement they made , they could’ve just as easily made the exact opposite ruling. It’s all about interpretation and I’m disappointed that they didn’t have the courage to make the judgement that was morally right.

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    Steve of Cornubia

    This is just another example of the authoritarian direction that the world is headed in, and that is happening because more and more leftists have occupied positions of power, in councils, governments, old institutions and boardrooms. We see other examples pretty much everywhere, when a policy or decision is made by those in power and no dissension is tolerated – even if there is evidence that a significant percentage of those affected will be disadvantaged or harmed. Compliance is mandatory.

    But, as I keep saying, this authoritarian approach only ever applies when leftist objectives or agendas are being pursued. The uncompromising, totalitarian instincts of those with a leftist mindset ensure that their every whim is served and objectors squashed.

    They are also relentless. Just try to think of a single demand made by the Left over recent decades that wasn’t achieved or was dropped. If they don’t get their way, they keep insisting, driving their agenda forwards like a slow-motion steamroller. Again, that inner totalitarian cannot accept defeat. Resistance is futile.

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    Alistair Crooks

    I wrote a paper on the “step-change in modern science for Quadrant Online

    Trofim Lysenko looks down and smiles.

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      Steve of Cornubia

      Nicely done Alistair, but you should have pointed out that each and every example of corrupted truth happened, not in the cause of politics per se, but leftist politics alone. As soon as the Left adopts a cause or takes a position on any issue, it becomes the ONLY position allowed and the persecution on non-believers begins.

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    RoHa

    It seems we have no constitutional right to free speech.

    https://spectator.com.au/2021/07/do-we-have-a-constitutional-right-to-free-speech/

    Insofar as we have a legal right, it looks as though it comes from common law or judicial interpretation.

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    Ross

    I donated to his GoFund me campaign and I feel really proud that I did. That’s the best thing I can say from this whole debacle.

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    Bill+In+Oz

    Sadly our High Court Wizards have stuffed up again.
    I admire Peter Ridd enormously.
    I hope that he can continue to do the research he has always done on the Great Barrier Reef.
    Perhaps it;s time to establish an honest true science based research institute !

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    Charles

    Good luck attracting any real academic with a brain.

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    CHRIS

    Sad to see that the High Court has gone woke. They wouldn’t know how to interpret University policies (unless it is left-wing). Just another nail in the coffin for free speech

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      el+gordo

      It was simply a matter of legal definition, the High Court is not woke.

      ‘The High Court has spoken: university codes of conduct that seek to prohibit robust academic debate are inconsistent with intellectual freedom. Win or lose, that is surely worth celebrating.’

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    Paul Siebert

    Peter Ridd could perhaps take comfort from Simon Campbell speaking some proper, legally defensible disrespect to the Pennsbury School Board.
    (I state the above so a search for the clip will get around my link below, which may be 10 thumbs of fumbling)

    https://youtu.be/LxKu6-05n7k

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    PeterH

    To paraphrase Robert Conquest: “Any bureaucracy will always act as though it is controlled by a cabal of its enemies.”

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    Using only satellite images helps hide the truth. It is obvious that from the plane only wide platforms of dead corals can be seen, but no new juveniles can be seen growing vertically. This is not real science. The Great Reef is now recovering and the high SOI favors upwelling, which provides nutrients. The Niño 3.4 index has already dropped below -0.8 C.
    https://www.longpaddock.qld.gov.au/soi/

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