Diligent academic sacked for dissent

Peter Ridd and Jennifer Marohasy in Sydney last November during a presentation on quality assurance in science.

Professor Peter Ridd has just been fired from James Cook University, Queensland, for speaking out about misleading science concerning the Great Barrier Reef. He needs a lot of support. He is not the only one.

If your heart beats, strengthen it with a donation to a freedom-loving brother. Fight for freedom now before it’s gone.

Dr Jennifer Marohasy supports her colleague’s battle and exhorts us to contribute to Peter’s legal defence fund. Any surplus will go to the Bob Carter Memorial Fund, of which Peter is a director.

Anthony Watts at WUWT also backs it. A few comments from his readers:

So free speech has died in Australia just as it has in Canada.

A real university is supposed to encourage diverse ideas, not suppress the ones they disagree with.

Those responsible for Ridd losing his job need to be dishonorably discharged from theirs and be publicly shamed.

The academic hierarchy at JCU seem incapable of constructing an argument in disagreeing with Peter Ridd, so they just sack him. Pathetic [rephrased from a comment].

Peter’s GoFundMe story is here (with video). I cannot endorse his cause too strongly.

43 Thoughts on “Diligent academic sacked for dissent

  1. Donated.

  2. Richard Treadgold on May 19, 2018 at 4:57 pm said:

    👍

  3. Stephanie Hawking on May 20, 2018 at 8:41 am said:

    https://www.desmogblog.com/2018/03/28/climate-science-deniers-new-hero-peter-ridd-institute-public-affairs

    Ridd has been happily criticizing the science linking dangerous climate change to greenhouse gas emissions, and the science showing the impacts of humans on corals, for more than a decade.

    Ridd has also repeatedly, over many years, said that the impact of agricultural runoff and water quality on the health and growth rate of corals is overstated.

    But his employer, James Cook University, initiated its own action against Ridd after he had criticized specific organizations at his own university in media interviews, saying they could not be trusted. This, the university alleged, went against the university’s code of conduct.

    So this is not about Ridd’s “freedom” to say what he wants, but is about an alleged breach of the university’s code of conduct — whether you agree with that code or not.

    Ridd said “we can no longer trust” the government-backed Australian Institute of Marine Science and the Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, based at James Cook University.

    But Ridd repeated in detail several of his criticisms in a November 2017 “Viewpoint” article in the journal Marine Pollution Bulletin — opening up his arguments for scrutiny.

    Now, as reported in The Guardian Australia, a team of nine scientists, many based at the Australian Institute of Marine Science and the James Cook University center Ridd has attacked, have issued a response through the same journal. Their assessment of Ridd’s claims is sharp.

    They say Ridd’s criticisms are based on “misinterpretation, selective use of data, and over-simplification” and that they ignore “formal responses to previously published critiques.”

    While Ridd and his colleague Piers Larcombe argue their critiques are “largely ignored,” these researchers point out that in fact, many of Ridd’s arguments have been directly addressed in the scientific literature.

    Ridd is based at the “Marine Geophysics Laboratory” and, according to his university research profile, he “raises almost all of his research funds from the profits of consultancy work which is usually associated with monitoring of marine dredging operation.”

    Several major coal and gas projects are listed as former clients of the lab, which was also home for the late Dr. Bob Carter who was, at one time, associated with 10 or more different climate science denial groups around the globe.

    Ridd says he stands for “truth and honesty” and has “spent my whole life fighting for scientific truth.”

    The problem is that the version of the “truth” he has been standing alongside, including his own arguments, have been repeatedly shot down by the world’s leading scientific institutions.

    If you are going to claim your university can’t be trusted in science, you’d better be right and have some evidence.

    In fact Peter Ridd is just another blowhard and tool of industry, like Bob Carter.

    When are you “sceptics” going to show a modicum of scepticism and face facts?

  4. Richard Treadgold on May 20, 2018 at 11:35 am said:

    Stephanie,

    Face facts sceptically? Yes, well, after this description of one side of the story, I look forward to your equally objective account of Peter’s side. That would be rather the definition of disinterest and scepticism, wouldn’t you say? It would also be the only way to justify Ridd’s sacking and reach a balanced conclusion of the dispute.

    The misleadingly-named Desmogblog, strangely, doesn’t confront smog at all, but harmless carbon dioxide. It has attacked innumerable scientists for daring to question alarmist climate science, but always on ad hominem grounds, employing half-truths, obfuscation and brazen deceit, and attempting when all else failed to link them with coal and oil interests, but never refuting their scientific arguments. Desmogblog would be more conveniently presented on toilet paper, as more befitting its content.

    Ridd is entitled to criticise “the science linking dangerous climate change to greenhouse gas emissions” where he finds discrepancies, and “the science showing the impacts of humans on corals” where it’s misleading. Also, if he discovers (after all, he’s a scientist) “the impact of agricultural runoff and water quality on the health and growth rate of corals is overstated” over many years, it’s his professional duty to repeat that fact. What you present as criticism is nothing of the sort. You would be well advised instead to investigate what he says.

    While we’re on the subject, kindly justify his losing his employment. Which is kind of the real point.

  5. BobD on May 22, 2018 at 10:52 am said:

    Good news: Peter has reached his $260,000 target for legal fees.

  6. Andy on May 22, 2018 at 11:25 am said:

    DeSmogBlog could make their endless hit pieces a lot shorter by not putting “climate science denier” in front of everyone’s name

  7. BobD on May 22, 2018 at 1:20 pm said:

    :%s/climate science denier//

  8. Stephanie Hawking on May 25, 2018 at 9:14 am said:

    Producing science, even if it wrong, like de Freitas and Carter’s, is one thing. Insisting publicly, after being told to desist, that an internationally renowned institution is lying is something else.

    Eventually, after many complaints, Auckland University kept the fool de Freitas away from undergraduate students. James Cook U eventually had enough of Bob Carter’s antics and eased him off the premises too.

    There is no argument to be had with people, scientists or otherwise, who believe increasing runoff, increasing ocean temperatures and acidification from increasing CO2 have no detrimental effect on the Great Barrier Reef.

    Basically scientists just ignore people who insist green is red. Unfortunately politicians are a venal lot who will be long gone when we start losing our farms and coastal cities. We are looking at a human catastrophe: tens of millions of hungry people on the move…

  9. BobD on May 25, 2018 at 10:14 am said:

    SH,

    “Eventually, after many complaints, Auckland University kept the fool de Freitas away from undergraduate students.”

    Please watch yourself. Thin ice.
    It’s also complete drivel. My son and my daughter both attended Chris’s courses as undergrads, not long before Chris stopped lecturing.

  10. Andy on May 25, 2018 at 10:25 am said:

    Speaking of tens of millions on the move, this from TVOne News last night:

    “Families in limbo after projected sea level rise puts home building on ice – ‘Only good for grazing goats’ ”
    https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/families-in-limbo-after-projected-sea-level-rise-puts-home-building-ice-only-good-grazing-goats

    After sinking life savings into a Southshore section, a young couple are told that they can’t build on it because of… climate change,

  11. Maggy Wassilieff on May 25, 2018 at 10:29 am said:

    Peter Ridd was sacked because he threatened the money-making engine at James Cook University
    http://joannenova.com.au/

    And for those who are appalled at Stephanie Hawking’s attacks on one of Australasia’s finest geologists:

    Here is the Geoscience Society of NZ’s tribute to Bob Carter
    https://securepages.co.nz/~gsnz/siteadmin/uploaded/gs_downloads/Newsletter/GSNZ%20Newsletter%2019A%20July%202016.pdf

  12. Richard Treadgold on May 25, 2018 at 10:45 am said:

    SH,

    In calling Chris a fool you flirt with retribution. His intellect towered above yours and his scruples would survive any examination. He was never kept away from lecturing; you lie brazenly. Watch your mouth.

    James Cook U eventually had enough of Bob Carter’s antics and eased him off the premises too.

    That too is a lie. Bob was unceremoniously fired for holding contrary views by an organisation supposedly dedicated to promoting contrary views in all spheres. It was an outrage. Bob had worked tirelessly for decades and published constantly. We expect you to hurl filth at everyone who disagrees with you; that’s unsurprising, if tasteless. However you are not allowed to tell lies; that damages your credibility and threatens your access to this forum.

    There is no argument to be had with people, scientists or otherwise, who believe increasing runoff, increasing ocean temperatures and acidification from increasing CO2 have no detrimental effect on the Great Barrier Reef.

    No, there’s no argument to be had, for in contending with scientists who have searched and found evidence, you have lost. You have one hope: provide contrary evidence.

  13. Richard Christie on May 25, 2018 at 3:11 pm said:

    * In calling Chris a fool you flirt with retribution. His intellect towered above yours and his scruples would survive any examination.

    Yet his grasp on science doesn’t survive examination:

    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10666-018-9606-6

    Comment on “A Reanalysis of Long-Term Surface Air Temperature Trends in New Zealand”
    Brett Mullan, James Salinger, James Renwick,David Wratt

  14. Stephanie Hawking on May 28, 2018 at 8:59 am said:

    Bob Carter won’t be remembered for his work as a geologist, but for his lies about global warming. He repeatedly told audiences that CO2 rises did not cause temperature rises but only followed them. Briefly the reality is CO2 is a feedback and a forcing, and the science is well understood. CO2 always causes warming. The present >40% increase in the CO2 level is caused by human activity; so is the present warming. Earth would otherwise be cooling.

    Chris de Freitas was the subject of complaints to the university about his lectures on global warming. Are you trying to tell me he was allowed to continue bullshitting students?

    If I said it was a mystery to me why anyone would prefer notrickszone and joannenova to internationally recognised legitimate science sites run by experts I would be lying.

  15. Andy on May 28, 2018 at 9:35 am said:

    If Bob Carter was lying, what was Al Gore doing when he presented the Vostok Ice Core data in “An Inconvenient Truth” as “evidence” that CO2 causes warming?

    The Vostok data clearly shows CO2 lagging the warming.

    If the evidence for CO2 causing warming is so overwhelming, you’d think a Nobel Prize winning movie maker would provide it.

  16. Stephanie Hawking on May 28, 2018 at 10:23 am said:

    Oxford professor Myles Allen has an excellent tutorial:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2018/04/the-alsup-aftermath/

    Richard Alley – 4.6 Billion Years of Earth’s Climate History: The Role of CO2. NAS
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujkcTZZlikg

  17. Simon on May 28, 2018 at 11:57 am said:

    Good grief. Not the CO2 lagging warming argument again.
    Ocean warming for whatever reason outgasses CO2 out of the ocean into the atmosphere. The additional atmospheric CO2 causes further warming which drives further CO2 out of the ocean until equilibrium is reached. I’m pretty sure you know this already Andy.
    I recommend the Myles Allen tutorial. I learnt quite a bit from it.

  18. Andy on May 28, 2018 at 12:02 pm said:

    Which “CO2 lagging warming” argument?

    I wasn’t making an argument. I was asking why Al Gore lied in AIT in presenting the Vostok Ice Core data.

  19. Stephanie Hawking on May 28, 2018 at 12:21 pm said:

    Al Gore is not a liar. Al Gore is not a scientist.

    The past shows temperature and CO2 go up and down together.

    When the CO2 level goes up the temperature goes up.

    When the temperature goes up the CO2 level goes up.

  20. Richard Treadgold on May 28, 2018 at 1:20 pm said:

    SH,

    Now you’re doing it: lying about the science.

    Al Gore is not a liar. Al Gore is not a scientist. The past shows temperature and CO2 go up and down together. When the CO2 level goes up the temperature goes up. When the temperature goes up the CO2 level goes up.

    As Andy reported, the graphs clearly show temperature rose first, followed several hundred years later by CO2. Al Gore misrepresented it in public.

  21. Richard Treadgold on May 28, 2018 at 1:29 pm said:

    Simon,

    Ocean warming for whatever reason outgasses CO2 out of the ocean into the atmosphere. The additional atmospheric CO2 causes further warming which drives further CO2 out of the ocean until equilibrium is reached.

    This sounds like a recipe for endless positive feedback, which will transform (destroy) the environment. But it never has, so it’s mere speculation. But let’s assume it’s correct. I have a couple of questions.

    1. What magnitudes of temperature and CO2 are involved in this mechanism?
    2. What stops the warming?

  22. Simon on May 28, 2018 at 3:26 pm said:

    1. All magnitudes.
    2. Greenhouse gas concentration effect on climate is non-linear, each doubling of CO2 has the same efficacy. CO2 ocean outgassing is also non-linear, plus the amount of CO2 in the ocean is finite.

    Watch Myles Allen’s tutorial and then come back to us if you have more questions:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2018/04/the-alsup-aftermath/

  23. Stephanie Hawking on May 28, 2018 at 6:09 pm said:

    Rational informed people know CO2 is a important and powerful greenhouse gas. One would expect increasing Its level in the atmosphere would cause warming. Demonstrable physics and established climate science.

    So how and why would a graph be interpreted to “prove” CO2 does not cause warming, but “proves” warming causes CO2?

    Hint: Where is the CO2 measured? Where is the temperature “measured”?

    ———————————-

    Of course if there were an endless supply of CO2, then once warming started, for whatever reason (cf Sun, obliquity, eccentricity, precession, albedo, volcanism, aerosols …), Earth would see runaway warming and become like Venus.

    The reason normal science looks like speculation to you is quite simple.

  24. Andy on May 29, 2018 at 3:02 pm said:

    In Slide 30 of Myles Allen’s presentation, he claims that the earth’s energy imbalance is 2.5 W/m2

    This seems quite high to me.

    It would mean that the current imbalance is approximately what RCP2.6 projects for 2100, unless I am misreading something here.

  25. Andy on May 29, 2018 at 3:15 pm said:

    This paper: (Trenberth et al)
    https://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/10.1175/JCLI-D-13-00294.1

    claims an energy imbalance of 0.5 to 1.0 W/m2.

  26. BobD on May 29, 2018 at 3:27 pm said:

    Hansen (2011) found it was 0.58 ± 0.15 Wm-2 for the period 2005 – 2010.

  27. BobD on May 29, 2018 at 3:29 pm said:

    In Hansen (2005) he claimed it was 0.85 ± 0.15 Wm-2.

    Numbers flying everywhere! It’s a good thing the science is settled, and the debate over.

  28. Stephanie Hawking on May 29, 2018 at 5:21 pm said:

    Myles Allen. Slide 31. Additional 2.5W/m^2 IN due to increased GHG. Additional 1.75W/m^2 OUT due to observed 1C warming.

    0.75W/m^2 increasing heat of the climate system.

    “Settled” is a contentious word. The evidence for human-induced global warming and climate change is overwhelming. The science is well understood but incomplete. There is no scientific debate. The science is endorsed by every learned society on Earth. Barely a handful of scientists publishing in the field contest the consensus. Most are retired or safely dead.

  29. Mack on May 29, 2018 at 5:41 pm said:

    0.85 w/sq.m. in 2005….or….. 0.58 w/sq.m. in 2011 ? says Hansen,.. whatever… ,Just keep looking for
    numbers transposed and confusing to the second decimal place.
    Precision numerical rectal endoscopy.

  30. Andy on May 29, 2018 at 5:57 pm said:

    The science is well understood but incomplete. There is no scientific debate

    How can there be no scientific debate if the science is incomplete?

    Asking for a friend…

  31. Simon on May 29, 2018 at 7:51 pm said:

    All explained on Slides 31-33 Andy.

  32. Andy on May 30, 2018 at 10:33 am said:

    OK, I see. Allen does seem to focus on the outward radiation though, in his presentation. I don’t find it very convincing. given that it involves the mysterious “ocean sink”

  33. BobD on May 30, 2018 at 1:51 pm said:

    Andy,

    As I’m sure you know, there are two armed camps here – Trenberth with the “deep ocean ate my warming” argument and Hansen claiming (rightly) that that’s nonsense, there’s “warming in the pipeline” instead.

    Good for popcorn sales, if nothing else.

  34. Andy on May 30, 2018 at 1:54 pm said:

    Actually Bob I wasn’t aware that Hansen disagreed with Trenberth, so thanks for the clarification

  35. BobD on May 30, 2018 at 2:19 pm said:

    Andy, Hansen proposes that aerosols blocked some heat inputs, which explains the missing heat in the upper oceans. It is unclear where these aerosols came from (or went) but it’s all bad for the future, because now the warming will begin in earnest.

  36. Andy on May 30, 2018 at 4:59 pm said:

    I think some of the aerosols are things like coal dust and contrails. I heard from Lindzen that the “aerosol forcking” is basically a fudge factor in the climate sensitivity estimates but that’s about all I know on that topic

  37. Richard Treadgold on May 30, 2018 at 6:03 pm said:

    Andy, I’ve never heard a clear description of aerosol magnitude or origin, and they were never quantified. It always sounded to me like an invention to answer a need for a negative influence on temperature to explain the cooling from about 1945 to 1975, while of course man-made warming kept rolling on, “hidden” by the aerosols. There’s never been proof of it.

  38. Andy on May 30, 2018 at 6:18 pm said:

    I think there was an attempt to measure aerosol forcing directly by satellite, but it crashed on launch
    https://www.nature.com/news/2011/110307/full/471143a.html

  39. BobD on May 30, 2018 at 6:20 pm said:

    “Aerosol climate forcing is unmeasured. Aerosol uncertainty is the principal barrier to quantitative understanding of ongoing climate change. Until aerosol forcing is measured, its magnitude will continue to be crudely inferred, implicitly or explicitly, via observations of climate change and knowledge of climate
    sensitivity.”
    -J. Hansen et al.: Earth’s energy imbalance and implications (2011)

    In other words, we guess.

  40. Richard Treadgold on May 30, 2018 at 7:45 pm said:

    Wow. He’s obviously a proper scientist. Hey, does crudely inferred mean that they say: “Well it’s bloody this or it’s flippin’ that?”

  41. BobD on May 30, 2018 at 8:35 pm said:

    Pretty much. They make up a climate sensitivity, then force-fit the data and adjust it until it behaves. Then, when real life fails to conform, they assume the difference must be due to aerosols, thus proving the aerosol values.
    QED.

  42. Andy on May 30, 2018 at 9:57 pm said:

    I had wondered why Elon Musk didn’t send the aerosol satellite back into orbit rather than a Tesla
    After all, we want to settle the science about which there is no debate

  43. Mike Jowsey on May 31, 2018 at 9:43 pm said:

    Stephanie Hawking, you say ” We are looking at a human catastrophe: tens of millions of hungry people on the move…”
    Very emotive, thank you – I have spent many hours and many boxes of tissues coping with your humanitarian apocalyptic scenario. Yet I wonder, where are all these hungry people of whom you speak?

    You also say, “Producing science, even if it wrong, like de Freitas and Carter’s, is one thing. Insisting publicly, after being told to desist, that an internationally renowned institution is lying is something else.”
    Producing science, even if it is wrong, does not justify its censoring. Said science is also “for the greater good”. Who knows, it may be you who are wrong? The key is “after being told” – there you have the “shut-up” clause. No longer, then, free society. Shame on you for supporting such.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post Navigation