James Cook University @jcu censures a climate skeptic – help him fight back

UPDATE: I made this a “top post” that will remain at the top of WUWT until we reach the goal. New content will appear below. UPDATE2: as of 12:30 PM PST on 2/2/18 we are within 5% of reaching the goal. If you haven’t already, now is the time to help.

UPDATE 3: BOOM! Thanks to everyone!!!! A last minute donation of $5,000 by Rodney Hackett put it over the top! There were other people who also gave $1000 or more. Peter tells me he’ll be in touch with everyone to send thanks. He says this now:

I am astonished, very relieved and most importantly incredibly grateful for the support. I would also particularly like to thank Anthony, Jennifer Marohasy, Jo Nova, Willie Soon, Benny Peiser and many others for getting the issue up on blogs and spreading the word.


Last week we covered this ugly saga of how a colleague of the late Dr. Bob Carter has been singled out for criticism and ruin by his university: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/01/29/the-power-of-grant-money-on-display-at-james-cook-university/

Now we have this announcement from Dr. Jennifer Marohasy, reposted below.

I ask three things of our readers.

  1. Retweet and repost this story wherever you can, Twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc.
  2. To show support, buy a copy of the book in which he says the Great Barrier Reef alarmism is just that.
  3. If possible, donate to his campaign to fight back against the university- link below.

Peter Ridd Asks for your Help – Now

Peter Ridd and Jennifer Marohasy speaking about the need for quality assurance in science last November in Sydney.

PROFESSOR Peter Ridd is a physicist at James Cook University who has dared to question scientific findings that purport to show the Great Barrier Reef is in trouble. Specifically, he has been formally censured by the University and told to remain quiet about the matter – or risk his job.

The issue dates back to August 2017, and comments he made on television promoting the book I edited last year – Climate Change: The Facts 2017.

Peter wrote the first chapter in this book, and in it he suggests that there are major problems with quality assurance when it comes to claims of the imminent demise of the reef. He has also published in the scientific literature detailing his concerns about the methodology used to measure calcification rates, including a technical paper in Marine Geology (volume 65).

After some reflection over the last couple of months, and some thousands of dollars on legal fees – so far paid by the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) that first published the book that got him into trouble – Professor Ridd has decided to fight the final censure.

In short, he has decided he would rather be fired than be quiet.

But he is now going to have to find about A$95,000!

So, this university Professor has set-up a crowdfunding account. It is now your turn to show support and help fight the case.


There is also this story in The Australian:

Marine scientist Peter Ridd has refused to accept a formal censure and gag order from James Cook University and expanded his Federal Court action to defend academic freedoms and free speech.

James Cook University professor Peter Ridd. Picture: Cameron Laird

A revised statement of claim alleges JCU trawled through private email conversations in a bid to bolster its misconduct case against him.

JCU had found Professor Ridd guilty of “serious misconduct”, ­including denigrating a co-worker, denigrating the university, breaching confidentiality, publishing information outside of the university and disregarding his obligations as an employee.

Professor Ridd has asked the Federal Court to overturn the university ruling and confirm his right not to be silenced.

In the revised statement of claim, Professor Ridd has dropped an earlier claim of conflict of interest against JCU vice-chancellor Sandra Harding, but has alleged other senior staff had been biased and had not acted fairly or in good faith.

Professor Ridd’s Federal Court action is seen as a test of academic freedom and free speech, and has been supported by the Institute of Public Affairs.

Professor Ridd said he would seek public donations to continue the fight against JCU. He first took court action in November in a bid to stop a JCU disciplinary process against him for comments he made to Sky News presenter Alan Jones.

The university said by expressing concerns about the quality of some reef science, Professor Ridd had not acted in a “collegiate” manner.

Professor Ridd told Sky News: “The basic problem is that we can no longer trust the scientific ­organisations like the Australian Institute of Marine Science, even things like the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies.”

He said a lot of the science was not properly checked, tested or replicated and “this is a great shame because we really need to be able to trust our scientific institutions and the fact is I do not think we can any more”.

A JCU spokesman said the university’s lawyers had invited Professor Ridd to discontinue his proceedings. “(He) has amended his proceedings. His decision to do so is a matter for him,” he said.

“The university intends to vigorously defend those proceedings (but) as these matters are before the courts, JCU will not comment further.”

Lawyers for JCU wrote to Professor Ridd on November 28 confirming the university had determined he had engaged in “serious misconduct” and issued him with a “final censure”.

“The disciplinary process and all information gathered and recorded in relation to the disciplinary process (including the allegations, letters, your client’s responses and the outcome of the disciplinary process) is confidential pursuant to clause 54.1.5 of the university enterprise agreement,” the JCU lawyers said.

Professor Ridd has subsequently published his concerns about the quality of reef science in a peer-reviewed journal. He said he was determined to speak freely about his treatment “even though it will go against explicit directions by JCU not to”.

“This is as much a case about free speech as it is about quality of science,” he said.

Again, I ask three things of our readers.

  1. Retweet and repost this story wherever you can, Twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc.
  2. To show support, buy a copy of the book in which he says the Great Barrier Reef alarmism is just that.
  3. If possible, donate to his campaign to fight back against the university- link below.



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They can’t use science to disprove him….so they threaten him

Carbon Bigfoot

Love to send him some money but the site won’t recognize by Discover Card. mods what’s up?

I live in Australia and initially it rejected my donation. Rectified by reloading Australia as the country in the drop down menu. Probably you might need a ‘mainstream’ card.


Seemed to work ok with my GB Visa card, so gave my widow(er)’s mite. Funding seems to be going well at present, but will repeat if required.

Bryan A

Just looked at Go Fund Me stats for most gathered and Professor Ridd should top the list but unfortuantely he isn’t even mentioned on the particular page I located from GoFundMe
Even their Trending Page should have him in Second place with almost ALL the needed funds gathered in a single 24 hour period

Concurr it should be on that trending page
but it isn’t listed even though $89,832 of $95,000 goal raised in 2 days


Rodney Hackett in for the slam dunk – $5K > $99,312. Whoom!


As far as Australia is concerned PROFESSOR Peter Ridd is a candle in the wind. When will sanity come to that country?

Mark from Oz

A long way from sanity here, my own feeling is that the progressives are more aggressive towards ‘non believers’ of any of their political ideology in our country. The news media here is nearly left leaning with all the expected coverage and opinions that come with that. There are a few of us attempting to wake the sheeple and critically think and reason, but its a battle, especially when ‘feelings’ are used to justify a position.

I strongly expect never. The groupthink mental illness of liberalism is a function of easy-living reality-divorced coastal metroplises. For obvious ecological reasons Australia is mostly comprised of those benighted tumours.





As per CAGW profiteers’ standard operating procedure, Professor Ridd was declared guilty of wrong-think and informed of his penalty. Any hearing will simply confirm the verdict.
Classy people, eh?


Science in Australia is threatened. Stand up!


The words say it all


Please don’t forget our host that brought us here. There’s a button somewhere.


It is difficult to know which imminent demise he is talking about as they come along every three years.

Keen Observer

One of the few times I’ve felt compelled to participate financially.




What ever happens now let us not forget that JCU is off the spectrum as a respected scientific university. Until they rejoin the true scientific community just treat them as a. Joke.


The JCU has been off the charts CAGWatolagists for many years, look into their history they hounded Bob Carter out as well they have not respect for freedom of speech or scientific method just leftard café late airheads with no grounding in reality! And the rest of our Universities should all be renamed Leftofunverses,
I did read somewhere that this was intentionally instrumented by a former Labor (left/socialist/green) government!


A show trail and mafia style threats , just what has that to do with science?
Sadly now the university has gone ‘all-in’ they cannot now publicly back down.
And if he wins any court case he will find , they will neither forgive nor forget the lose of face which of course they will take no ownership for.
Best he can hope for is an under the table deal and someone from HR , not necessarily the right someone , being thrown under the bus.


Once upon a time the Roman Catholic Church’s trial and censure of Galileo was used by thinking academics as an example of how critical thinking and science should not be persecuted. I guess those at James Cook U missed that lesson.


Galileo was never censured for his science, but rather for his commentary on theological matters.

Alan Tomalty

Was Galileo an athiest? If so my respect for him has increased immensely even though He already has always been considered the Grandfather of Astronomy.


“Was Galileo an athiest?”
Of course not, he was a Christian . . that’s essentially where/who science (in the modern sense of the word) comes from; Christian intellectuals. Even in recent times, about two thirds of all Nobel prizes in physics, chemistry and medicine were won by people who self identify as Christians.
Does that do anything to boost your respect of Christians/Christianity?

Jeff Alberts

“Does that do anything to boost your respect of Christians/Christianity?”


Saw this on the Global Warming Policy Foundation site and donated. Well worth it!!


I predict they will try to have GoFundMe remove the Professor.

February 1, 2018 at 12:08 pm
Could they really do that?
Anyway, made a small donation and passed the WUWT post onto a couple of colleagues…I’m not into social media! Will buy the book too. This is an important battle.

Matheus Carvalho

Donated and distributed to my colleagues in my university.

ivor ward

Donated. Freedom of speech is under attack throughout the Western World. We have Appeaser May and her anti “fake news” department. I can’t do much about that other than write to my MP (done) and I can’t do much for Peter Ridd other than donate a tiny percentage of my pension. That has been done as well. ( I do resent the banks taking a cut in exchange rate conversion and transaction fees though)


ivor ward
Can you post the letter you sent to your MP please, I would like to do something similar but I’m not sure where to start. Suitably redacted of course.

Peter Campion

I just sent this to JCU via their engagement@jcu.edu.au email. I’m planning to build from this for my local MPs here in FNQ.
Dear JCU management team
Your actions against Professor Ridd are becoming big news throughout the scientific community and not in a good way.
As a taxpayer, a resident of FNQ and a science enthusiast I am very, very disappointed in JCU.
So dimly is JCU being viewed, some are arguing you should be required to relinquish the name “James Cook”. The venerable sea captain would be rolling in his grave…
Anyway, I have questions.
Since JCU was established under state legislation I presume you’re bound by the Public Sector Ethics Act, 1994. How do you account for your censure of Ridd in the context of your responsibilities under that legislation?
Secondly, would you please explain how censuring Ridd benefits good science, particularly in light of past upsets of ‘consensus science’ (e.g. eugenics, plate tectonics, heliocentrism, lunar crater formation and stomach ulcers)?
I await your reply
Peter Campion


Excellent, thank you. Suitably modified version has been sent from me.

Doug Hilliard


John Bell

The Left eating their own, been reading up on it lately.




50 is done.


As a kid (we’re talking the late 60’s) my parent(s) led me to believe Captain Cook was part of the lineage
on my moms side, my grandma Cook being the proof.
I’ve never done a genealogy search, but being killed by the natives in Hawaii sounds just about right 🙂


If a university tried to silence a global-warming believer, we would hear screams of ‘censorship’ and ‘anti-science’ from all around the globe. Why isn’t it censorship and anti-science to silence any scientist? Why not invite healthy debate? If you can’t defend your position against the naysayers, you really don’t know as much as you think you do. These people are the same type who would want to silence Albert Einstein for questioning anything to do with the “established science” of Newtonian physics.


And may I suggest that we stop using the left’s pejorative term “climate denier.” Let’s use “climate realist” or something similarly positive and accurate.

Climate Scientist works well.



Climate + scientist akin to witch + doctor.

Peter Campion

Onto it, Techgm
Also “political correctness” is really “progressive conformity”.


PC is really “leftist tyranny”.

Roger Knights

How about Climate contrarian or panic-party pooper or nattering-nabob naysayer?

Roger Knights

Or a “disaster dissenter”?

Roger Knights

Or a doomsday dissenter or doomsday denier.

don't drink the koolaid

‘Heretic’ seems to be the more precise substitute sobriquet for the nonsensical term “climate denier”.

CD in Wisconsin

Donated. And a reminder to my fellow Americans regarding the U.S. to Australian dollar exchange rate.
The donation site is for contributions in Aussie dollars from what I can tell. The link below should allow you to determine your donation in U.S. dollars using the current exchange rate. Currently, the exchange rate is about $0.80 USD per Australian dollar. For example, $25 Australian would be a little over $20 USD. Keep this in mind when donating.

James Cook University at Townsville scores an own goal yet again and once more it’s not in the field of academic excellence or useful or original scientific research.

Thanks. I was able to buy the book and make a GoFundMe contribution.


A warlock hunt. Confess!

Timo Soren

Reminds me of online social media contracts that say we will bill you $X if you post anything negative.
We just have to keep letting people know JCU is no longer an acceptable University and make sure that government support is cut.

Warren Blair

Donated and shared on Facebook.

Warren Blair

WUWT can we have a weekly Posting on Peter’s work during Feb so this cause isn’t forgotten after a day?

Mike of the North

Or at least keep the post at the top for a few days…..

ivor ward

Hot Scot: I cannot find a copy of my original letter as I hand write them, however the correspondence continued in an e-mail the substance of which was in the following paragraphs:
” Dear Scott, (Mann – North Cornwall)
Good to know that you have your eye on the float. I am a little concerned that Theresa May will give away our fishing grounds then declare that information to be “fake news” and have it removed from the airwaves by her new censorship department.
I trust that you are happy in the knowledge that censorship is the first step towards tyranny. We, the proletariat, are not so stupid as to require a Government department to tell us what they deem to be fake news. Attempted censorship in any form can only be destructive to democracy.
regards, Ivor”

Well, if falsifying the GHE (and accordingly “global warming”) is help, then here it is:
“Clouds increase the global reflection of solar radiation from 15% to 30%, reducing the amount of solar radiation absorbed by the Earth by about 44 W/m². This cooling is offset somewhat by the greenhouse effect of clouds which reduces the outgoing longwave radiation by about 31 W/m². Thus the net cloud forcing of the radiation budget is a loss of about 13 W/m².[3] If the clouds were removed with all else remaining the same, the Earth would gain this last amount in net radiation and begin to warm up”
Even though this is a quote from the less venerable source “Wikipedia”, it is a valid summary of the IPCCs 1990 report in this regard. There are two (or consequently even more) major and decisive flaws in this.
1. The albedo effect of clouds is definitely much larger than the quoted 44W/m2, more like in the 70-80W/m2 range
2. and most obvious, you can not argue clouds emit 31W/m2 downward, but nothing upward. Even though clouds might be somewhat colder on their top than on the bottom, they will emit roughly the same amount of radiation upward as downward.
3. Accordingly, as both emission parts will largely even out and denying downward reflections of terrestrial IR, you would end up with net negative CF in the magnitude of their total albedo effect, which is obviously non-sense.
4. If however you accept, that total “downforcing” by clouds will be similar (even if it were somewhat smaller), than total “upforcing”, and the latter amounts to about 110W/n2 (=79W/m2 albedo effect + 31W/m2 IR emissions), then the downforce part will consume most of the GHE of 155W/m2.
5. If you furthermore allow for the fact, that surface emissivity is not 1, but rather 0.92, that will account for another 30W/m2 of the GHE, and essentially nothing remain. You can then determine the GHE due to GHGs, by the formula 155 – 30 – 110 – net CF, or 15W/m2 – net CF. If you assumed net CF to be -13W/m2, as the IPCC states above, that would yet be only 28W/m2.
Of course, the complete story looks even worse..

Crispin in Waterloo but really in Beijing

Consider: clouds are colder on top than on the bottom. Why? Because on top they have radiated energy to space that was not reflected by the ground.
I am saying that there is not necessarily any difference in how much energy is lost from cloud tops and bottoms. Your point 2 leaves the impression it might be less. It is probably more and certainly no less.
If you measure the temperature of a brown stove, and again after painting it black, the black stove will be cooler. It is cooler because it is more effective at shedding heat. Temperatures must be considered in the context of a dynamic relationship with other objects. Heat is perpetually on the move.
I think the cooling by clouds is far more than even you have suggested – on the order of a few hundred Watts per sq m.

Well .. the point about point 2 is, that the consensus model insists on no upward emissions at all. It is freaky claim which very much serves as a foundation for the whole GH-model. It would not work without.

Roger Knights

Were these comments meant for a different thread?

Mike of the North

Donated. Total up to over $35k at 4:11 p.m. CST. Let’s help this guy!

Notable that the cowardly bigwigs at JCU obviously prefer to hide behind the organisational facade than engage – using what I assume to be public funds and the status attached to a prominent university to harass / gag a dissident informed independent voice.
Australian political hacks / warmists have a track record of going after people’s jobs when they can’t / won’t address a challenge by using actual evidence.
As ever – there are individuals behind the attack on Peter Ridd – I think it would level the playing field somewhat if his accusers / persecutors got a few namechecks out on the Internet at least ….
Anybody know who they are?

M.W. Plia.

If Australian jurisdictions are anything like Ontario’s, or Canada’s, it’s your whole political and educated class who are responsible for the tax payer funded climate change fiscal fiasco.
And only time will tell.

Roger Knights

“M.W. Plia. February 1, 2018 at 3:06 pm
If Australian jurisdictions are anything like Ontario’s, or Canada’s, it’s your whole political and educated class who are responsible for the tax payer funded climate change fiscal fiasco.”
If the climate cools, or anyway the Pause resumes, they’ll be the ones to blame for steering us in the wrong direction. Perhaps the Pranksters on Olympus have set them up for a fall. O how they deserve it!

bit chilly

i will second that tomo .

John harmsworth

I don’t know who the aggressors are on this but I would have thought that the university itself should be called on the carpet in legal terms for promoting a biased and scientifically skewed perspective. One assumes the same bias is rammed down the throats of the poor kids who make the mistake of enrolling there for an impartial education. One also assumes this university receives public money to blow on unfair personnel decisions and resulting legal processes.


John there are a lot of jobs at stake and the university’s reputation, so they’ll continue to dig a deep hole.
Ultimately JCU will have egg on its face because coral bleaching has nothing to do with AGW and everything to do with strong El Nino.
Sea level falls in the western Pacific, exposing the shallow coral to bleaching, but such thoughts should never be uttered if you want to keep your job.
A conspiracy of silence evolves and locks out dissenting voices.


A few bucks from Yarmouth N.S., Canada – sent

Duncan Smith

I’ve added some more Canadian Shekels to yours.

Mickey Reno

$25 bucks to the legal fund for Prof. Ridd. The total amount raised is now over $40K, up more than $3000 during the few minutes from start to finish my donation (at 6pm EST).

Randy in Ridgecrest

$35 for the fight

Utterly disgusting. Even if Peter Ridd is wrong, which I doubt, he should still feel free to speak his mind. Otherwise what is the point of academia?

Gunga Din

The problem isn’t the point. It is the hand that holds the shaft.


The question is whether he is allowed to criticise the system outside of it , or only do it through internal processes. Same sort of thing as contempt of court. I’m not sure.

Mike Bromley

Makes my blood boil. Of all the inquisitional things to do in the modern world. Gee, why aren’t those SJWs changing thd name of the university?????

Warren Blair

Express rights to academic freedom in Australian public university employment
School of Law and Justice (Southern Cross University)

Donated! But found Gofundme then tried to grab me and link to all sorts of other stuff I have no interest in and ended up having to exit and return.
Peter Ridd’s case is essential to freedom of speech and academic rigour. Both these are under severe attack in Australia as elsewhere.


I just donated. I am very frightened by the way bureaucrats behave in all aspects of Western society. Instead of protecting citizen rights they are only interesting in policing or squashing them for the “common good”. You could easily substitute “common good” or “mother Gaia” with “The Fatherland” – basically the “collegial behavioural requirements” demanded by JCU is double speak for a fascist controlling bureaucracy. Fascism is rampant today but nobody sees it. The last time fascism raised its ugly head in the West it was pretty much ignored until Fascist boots marched all over Europe in a “collegial spirit”.


“One of the few times I’ve felt compelled to participate financially.”

$43,738 of $95,000 goal raised by 349 people in 1 day
(Forwarded the link to engagement@jcu.edu.au)


Donated. Amazing!
$45,413 of $95,000 goal
Raised by 358 people in 1 day

The belief that there is only one truth and that oneself is in possession of it, seems to me the deepest root of all that is evil in the world.
Max Born