Peter Ridd hits back at @jcu James Cook University – hard

This is a MUST READ op-ed. WUWT readers will recall that just a few days ago, we spearheaded an effort to make a legal fund go “over the top” to help Professor Ridd fight back against the bureaucracy at James Cook University that was censoring him. Today, he penned an op-ed that appeared on Fox News online, and I’m please to say, he pulls no punches.


Science or silence? My battle to question doomsayers about the Great Barrier Reef

Around the world, people have heard about the impending extinction of the Great Barrier Reef: some 133,000 square miles of magnificent coral stretching for 1,400 miles off the northeast coast of Australia.

The reef is supposedly almost dead from the combined effects of a warming climate, nutrient pollution from Australian farms, and smothering sediment from offshore dredging.

Except that, as I have said publicly as a research scientist who has studied the reef for the past 30 years, all this most likely isn’t true.

And just for saying that – and calling into question the kind of published science that has led to the gloomy predictions – I have been served with a gag order by my university. I am now having to sue for my right to have an ordinary scientific opinion.

My emails have been searched. I was not allowed even to speak to my wife about the issue. I have been harangued by lawyers. And now I’m fighting back to assert my right to academic freedom and bring attention to the crisis of scientific truth.

The problems I am facing are part of a “replication crisis” that is sweeping through science and is now a serious topic in major science journals. In major scientific trials that attempt to reproduce the results of scientific observations and measurements, it seems that around 50 percent of recently published science is wrong, because the results can’t be replicated by others.

And if observations and measurements can’t be replicated, it isn’t really science – it is still, at best, hypothesis, or even just opinion. This is not a controversial topic anymore – science, or at least the system of checking the science we are using, is failing us.

The crisis started in biomedical areas, where pharmaceutical companies in the past decade found that up to 80 percent of university and institutional science results that they tested were wrong. It is now recognized that the problem is much more widespread than the biomedical sciences. And that is where I got into big trouble.

I have published numerous scientific papers showing that much of the “science” claiming damage to the reef is either plain wrong or greatly exaggerated. As just one example, coral growth rates that have supposedly collapsed along the reef have, if anything, increased slightly.

Reefs that are supposedly smothered by dredging sediment actually contain great coral. And mass bleaching events along the reef that supposedly serve as evidence of permanent human-caused devastation are almost certainly completely natural and even cyclical.

These allegedly major catastrophic effects that recent science says were almost unknown before the 1980s are mainly the result of a simple fact: large-scale marine science did not get started on the reef until the 1970s.

By a decade later, studies of the reef had exploded, along with the number of marine biologists doing them. What all these scientists lacked, however, was historical perspective. There are almost no records of earlier eras to compare with current conditions. Thus, for many scientists studying reef problems, the results are unprecedented, and almost always seen as catastrophic and even world-threatening.

The only problem is that it isn’t so. The Great Barrier Reef is in fact in excellent condition. It certainly goes through periods of destruction where huge areas of coral are killed from hurricanes, starfish plagues and coral bleaching. However, it largely regrows within a decade to its former glory. Some parts of the southern reef, for example, have seen a tripling of coral in six years after they were devastated by a particularly severe cyclone.

Reefs have similarities to Australian forests, which require periodic bushfires. It looks terrible after the bushfire, but the forests always regrow. The ecosystem has evolved with these cycles of death and regrowth.

The conflicting realities of the Great Barrier Reef point to a deeper problem. In science, consensus is not the same thing as truth. But consensus has come to play a controlling role in many areas of modern science. And if you go against the consensus you can suffer unpleasant consequences.

The main system of science quality control is called peer review. Nowadays, it usually takes the form of a couple of anonymous reviewing scientists having a quick check over the work of a colleague in the field.

Peer review is commonly understood as painstaking re-examination by highly qualified experts in academia that acts as a real check on mistaken work. It isn’t.  In the real world, peer review is often cursory and not always even knowledgeable. It might take reviewers only a morning to do.

Scientific results are rarely reanalyzed and experiments are not replicated. The types of checks that would be routine in private industry are just not done.

I have asked the question: Is this good enough quality control to make environmental decisions worth billions of dollars that are now adversely affecting every major industry in northeast Australia?

Our sugar industry has been told to make dramatic reductions in fertilizer application, potentially reducing productivity; our ports have dredging restrictions that threaten their productivity; scientists demand that coal mines be closed; and tourists are scared away because the reef is supposedly almost dead – not worth seeing anymore.

Last August I made this point on Sky News in Australia in promotion of a chapter I wrote in “Climate Change: The Facts 2017,” published by the Australian free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs.

“The basic problem is that we can no longer trust the scientific organizations like the Australian Institute of Marine Science, even things like the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies … the science is coming out 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,” I said.

The response to these comments by my employer, James Cook University, was extraordinary.

Rather than measured argument, I was hit with a charge of academic serious misconduct for not being “collegial.”

University authorities told me in August I was not allowed to mention the case or the charges to anybody – not even my wife.

Then things got worse. With assistance from the Institute of Public Affairs, I have been pushing back against the charges and the gag order – leading the university to search my official emails for examples of where I had mentioned the case to other scientists, old friends, past students and my wife.

I was then hit with 25 new allegations, mostly for just mentioning the case against me. The email search turned up nothing for which I feel ashamed. You can see for yourself.

We filed in court in November. At that point the university backed away from firing me. But university officials issued a “Final Censure” in my employment file and told me to be silent about the allegations, and not to repeat my comments about the unreliability of institutional research.

But they agreed that I could mention it to my wife, which was nice of them.

I would rather be fired than accept these conditions. We are still pursuing the matter in court.

This case may be about a single instance of alleged misconduct, but underlying it is an issue even bigger than our oceans. Ultimately, I am fighting for academic and scientific freedom, and the responsibility of universities to nurture the debate of difficult subjects without threat or intimidation.

We may indeed have a Great Barrier Reef crisis, but the science is so flawed that it is impossible to tell its actual dimensions. What we do know for certain is that we have an academic freedom crisis that threatens the true life of science and threatens to smother our failing university system.


Professor Peter Ridd leads the Marine Geophysical Laboratory, James Cook University, Australia and has authored over 100 scientific papers.

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292 thoughts on “Peter Ridd hits back at @jcu James Cook University – hard

  1. i read this, and I was thinking of that old 1980s Twisted Sister song, “We’re not gonna take it”. In truth, that sense of rebellion, is appropiate here. The closed minded attitudes that he is fighting is dangerous to free society, and every little push back is necessary. I was glad to be one of the folks that gave him some money to help with his efforts.

    We must never forget 2 things: our position might be wrong, and it’s okay if the other person’s position is wrong.

    • One of the Australian ‘preeminent experts’ in the ‘coral reefs are dying because monkeys burn stuff’ field is being prosecuted for falsifying results in papers that have been cited hundreds of times are they not ?

      • In a case like that where a paper has to be withdrawn, all the papers citing that paper should _also_ be withdrawn. If that was to happen then replication may suddenly return as an activity.

      • Ian W:
        “In a case like that where a paper has to be withdrawn, all the papers citing that paper should _also_ be withdrawn. If that was to happen then replication may suddenly return as an activity.”

        I agree. Totally.

        But – realistically – will half of the science establishment [who, surely, will have cited one of these papers, or one that has had to be withdrawn because of it – or a third generation citing . . . . .] go along with this?

        There may – possibly [Am I holding my breath? No. Actually] – be a limited retraction of obviously erroneous papers.
        Perhaps.
        And then a republishing of papers citing those retracted papers, with, at most, a line of four asterisks, indicating that a paper [or more] that have been withdrawn, had been cited, obviously in all innocence.

        Auto – not at all holding my breath.

    • Ian, you touched on what might be the more serious consequence of replication failure. Many of these unreplicable studies get cited in other work: i.e. they become part of the basis, the foundation, of other research. I’m curious to know the extent to which they act like a virus, silently contaminating modern-day science.

  2. Go Peter, go!

    As you saw from the funding effort, there are a lot of ‘little’ people out there who care about this. I am sorry for you and your wife, the stress must be appalling, but at least you now know you can count on a lot of long-distance support.

    Stay strong!

    • Willis Eschenbach

      Undoubtedly. As an I’ll educated layman, even I recognise the need for scientific debate, not scientific ‘concencus’ and debate suppression.

      As one who has been sacked from jobs myself (happily, I might add) for insisting on commercial analysis and debate, I find this story deeply disturbing, being that it emerges from a section of society I have hitherto admired for its analytic rigour.

      I suspect many of the contributors to this campaign will be from the alarmist side of the discussion who value scientific integrity over climate dogma.

      The amount raised in such a short period is a credit to free thinking individuals. I missed the appeal (new job) but I’ll be buying the book to add some support.

    • The consensus viewpoint has always struck me like the scene in the film Matilda where her Dad hasn’t got a sensible answer to her comments so goes for the “I’m big you’re small I’m right you’re wrong” etc way of dealing with it and like this they don’t like it at all when you’re right and they’re wrong and they haven’t got anything left but to shout shut up or else.

      James Bull

    • “In science, consensus is not the same thing as truth. ”
      I’ve been trying for years to get the Warmites and Greens to understand that, with little success. I’m glad the tide may be turning and I completely support the efforts!

      • Oh you can count on the alarmists to ignore this even if it bites them in the rear they will gloss right over it and continue with business as usual.

  3. The history of Global Warming is rife with attacks against people who dare to speak against it. People are losing their lively hoods and integrity to totalitarian attacks without basis. It’s time we speak up and defend freedom of thought and speech. Peter Ridd,and those before and after him, deserve our support.

  4. Can someone help to set up a ‘GoFundMe’ for this guy. I can’t, I don’t know how. I could learn but we don’t have the time. I’ll donate $50 right now. Fight fire with fire. Let’s all put our money where our mouth is. There’s enough of us to make a difference. Kick ass Peter, we have your back.

  5. I, with personal experience of the subject, fully agree with what Dr Ridd says about the peer review system.

  6. ‘By a decade later, studies of the reef had exploded, along with the number of marine biologists doing them. What all these scientists lacked, however, was historical perspective. There are almost no records of earlier eras to compare with current conditions. Thus, for many scientists studying reef problems, the results are unprecedented, and almost always seen as catastrophic and even world-threatening.’

    – No ‘historical perspective’ – sound familiar?

    • No doubt Michael Mann has a grant proposal in to throw a tree out onto the reef and then core into it to tell us the entire history of the reef. Brace yourselves. It’s gonna be worse than we thought. I just know it.

    • I JUST watched a documentary about how the crown of thorn starfish are are decimating the Great Barrier Reef … https://youtu.be/E8WXiEBf4Oc

      Of COURSE … the invasion of these killer starfish is all down to Global Warming, Agricultural runoff … dredging and generally … man’s rotten evil existence.

      Wanting to learn more … I searched and found quite a different take on the crown of thorns starfish that suggests they eat only the fast-growing corals making way for the slow growing varieties to expand. And they they have always had “blooms” when they behave destructively.

      Guess which one of these scientific analyses receives the MOST $$$ FUNDING?
      A. The documentarians of doom and gloom
      or
      B. The responsible research which looks at historic cycles of coral health

      Aren’t these starfish acting beneficially? Like forest fires … left to burn in order to germinate certain seeds? I had to watch in horror as Yellowstone nearly completely burned … with Dept. of Ineterior and Foresty experts telling me to rejoice in the “natural cleansing” of the forest. Well … isn’t a coral reef just an underwater forest? Come on all you (Marxist) Marine Biologists … enjoy the decline. It’s only natural.

      • The starfish outbreaks tend to be on the outer reef, further from any source of agricultural runoff (which has been massively mitigated by Land Care projects anyway) so no correlation exists. One problem may have been the practice of chopping starfish up. This does not kill the thing; cut it seven times, and you get seven more of them.

      • The Crown of Thorns has been around for ages. There was huge concern in the 1980s that it would “destroy the reef” and so we had a government funded program of scuba divers who would go to reefs and kill the starfish, literally stabbing them with a poisoned spear. We also ran a breeding program for the Triton shellfish which is a predator of the Crown of Thorns.

        A complete waste of time, effort and money really. But we had to act “the science said” that the reef would be gone within 20 years if we didn’t.

      • Oh come, come. The Crown of Thorns was well on its way to destroying the reef per a Jacques Cousteau program around 1968. There must be nothing left as of decades ago.

        Sort of like how Polar Bears went extinct in the Roman Warm Period, and then the Medieval Warm Period and most recently late last century.

        A little more seriously – what does limit the Crown of Thorn’s damage?

      • marinc 19, did you read the article? As Peter Ridd said,more water from the pacific flows over the reef in 8 hours than all the water from all the rivers in a year. And the river mouths are 50 km from the GBR proper. Runoff is BS

    • Oh yeah! Ignoring inconvenient history (or ignoring the fact that they lack historical references, which is just as bad) is a hallmark on the pathetic pile of dung they call “climate science.”

  7. Science has been commodotised and modularised into little more than income generating, ‘ratings’ boosting, volumetric ‘output’ by the cult of managology. It is little wonder so much of it is conducted with not much more attention to integrity than ‘dumpster diving’. Yep, thats what we have here folks, dumpster diving science.

  8. ‘ 50% of recent science is wrong, can’t be replicated’

    Wow, a few examples of this and maybe a link to more information would be really helpful.

      • Interesting to note that the WIKI article claims a 60% failure rate in earth/environmental studies.

      • Truly interesting that the Big Green AGW backed WIKI would allow articles that call the potential validity of any Science into question, especially that which is utilized as Truths in WIKI articles

      • Mark Whitney February 8, 2018 at 9:58 am

        “Interesting to note that the WIKI article claims a 60% failure rate in earth/environmental studies.”

        Mark – noted – but still the l o w e s t [reported] rate of replications of the [few] fields quoted.

        Of course CAGW is exempt from this overview and potential criticism – didn’t a Community Organizer indicate thus?

        Auto
        In case there is doubt, no: I don’t rate B. H. Obama as a pre-eminent scientific authority.
        And D. Cameron – less so, even.

    • I once worked with a physicist who said that while a post-doc student he could never replicate a procedure if a particular professor was present. One day, he could not get it to replicate…and that professor was not at the school at all. BUT…they later found that he was on the commuter train that was passing the school

    • That would more or less mean that 50% is correct. Considering the modern state of things and my proud scepticism I would require more proof. For starters, much less than 50% of published climate “science” is correct.

  9. All the sea urchins are dying….starfish are eating the reef…..new coral disease discovered…permanent bleaching….and on and on
    …and every one of them were supposed to destroy the reefs forever

    They get away with it because so few people actually know…..

      • But around the nation and the rest of the world they think “Great Barrier Reef” is just a name and have no idea how big it is. This is why they think it’s easily destroyed, they think it’s a reef around a few islands.

        Talking to an American recently who had this problem, believed the anti coal mine hype, until I pointed out the reef would cover the entire western seaboard of the USA from Mexico to Canada. Once he realised that even a port as big as Los Angeles wouldn’t “destroy” something of that size he stopped worrying.

  10. …The types of checks that would be routine in private industry are just not done….

    To a point, Lord Copper….

    In many cases private industry holds speed to be far more important than reliability – so any checks are often simple and superficial.

    More importantly, profit is more important than either speed or reliability, and so checks which do find problems may be ignored if the potential profit is high enough. I am sure you can think of a number of ‘due diligence’ checks in the financial world which gave the go-ahead to proposals which later turned out to be complete failures….

    • Like the crony-capitalistic premature commercialization of technology not fit for purpose – like wind turbines and solar arrays without functional storage capabilities.

      • Those are examples of socialist governments choosing ‘winners’ in the market place by subsidizing both products and supporting research (solar energy, wind turbines, etc.), whilst destroying competing products with crippling regulations (e.g: coal power plants). It is crony socialism, not capitalism!

      • J Mac’s right. The renewables industry is run by oligarchs who use politicians as “errand boys, sent by grocery clerks to collect the bill”.

    • Checking takes time. Time that could be spent writing grant requests.
      Promotion is based on the number of papers published. Not the number of good papers published.
      In such an atmosphere it’s only “collegial” to ignore the problems with other people’s papers and hope that they will return the favor by ignoring the problems in yours.

    • Private industry has their own money on the line. The last thing they want to do is put out a product that doesn’t work, or much worse, hurts people.
      The first is bad for your bottom line, the second could mean the end of your company.
      The idea that the private sector doesn’t care about quality is usually put forward by people who haven’t spent any time in the private sector.

      • A good point, but one with certain notable exceptions, in particular the pharmaceutical business where billions may have been invested, and viewed as “sunk costs,” and the company with said “investment” may be loathe to write such “sunk costs” off by accepting that their product is not in fact worthy of release for the types of reasons you mention.

    • Smart companies think long term. Only stupid companies with a desire to be sued do not have due diligence checks – very few companies get away with what banks get away with, don’t use them as an example.

      Well run companies with intelligent leadership have robust risk management and due diligence, ESPECIALLY in terms of financial oversight.

      Even the new hire out of college knows that you need to account for the time value of money. Apparently, the same can’t be said for Climate scientists.

    • DG,
      Do you have data about industry performance to show us, or are you one more of the crowd who make stuff up? Geoff

    • Dodgy, I disagree. Profit only comes if you are right, so I often find that reliability is paramount whenever proposing something that will cost money.

      Speed is best when the answer doesn’t matter. You only need to be so precise in most situations.

    • “dodgy geezer February 8, 2018 at 9:35 am
      …The types of checks that would be routine in private industry are just not done….

      To a point, Lord Copper….
      In many cases private industry holds speed to be far more important than reliability – so any checks are often simple and superficial…”

      It simply ain’t true.

      Private and corporate industry does not have a government to hide behind for protection.
      Bogus or sloppily performed research always comes back to bite them; either through lawsuits, government fines, patent evasions, missed or lost business, etc.

      Commercial finances are much tighter controlled which means there is not an open bank for unending research.
      Researchers must show benefit and clear paths to profit or the research ceases.

      Researchers that shortchange, fudge, stretch research findings get released to find new employment.
      Nor is duplicative research appreciated when researchers fail to fully research history, patents, related products, etc. Another failing that sends researchers searching for new jobs.
      Companies firing said researchers gladly inform prospective employers.

      • The crisis started in biomedical areas, where pharmaceutical companies in the past decade found that up to 80 percent of university and institutional science results that they tested were wrong.

        what?
        from what Ive read its the pharmas trials and the fiddled results to make lousy/no better at all/ or harmful drugs and appliances look ok or better than placebo when theyre not..or the placebo wasnt inert but simply another version of the same med
        ie so side effects can be blurred as if..(untruthfully) that placebo recipients had the same adverse event ratios, a classic one is using 2 NSAIDS in dogs – using two nsaids and NO saline or other inert control. those meds often kill the patients and now have been forced to carry kidney/liver function tests required before use.(still rarely done and pets still die!)
        a huge amount of implants and other devices dont even have to be trialled in patients in long term trials before release,ie the wires on pacemakers that degraded, the hips that added ground cobalt into joints
        and the GMO trials and duration/control groups/adverse event etc are as bad if not worse
        if an animal dies you do NOT replace it and just add a new one. 3mths feeding max and no autopsy of recipients is NOT a proper trial either and that is what was done for gaining approval for a GMO soymeal to be allowed into aussie chickenfood markets(one i followed)
        retractionwatch@wordpress is a good place to read

      • And that is just the surface of. Good luck getting anyone to look critically at your points on that topic, or agenda 21/2030, or vaccines though, even the there is a mountain of evidence of fabrication, collusion, cover ups, etc. The science of vaccines is pseudo science and the mouthpieces of the MSM who continue to regurgitate the lies are guilty accomplices.

  11. “In science, consensus is not the same thing as truth. But consensus has come to play a controlling role in many areas of modern science. And if you go against the consensus you can suffer unpleasant consequences.”
    ——————
    Consensus is a jury, sentencing an innocent woman, to death.

  12. Neo-Marxists have taken over many academic institutions. Freedom of speech and academic freedom are liberties of the individual. But neo-Marxism is about group identity and conforming to group thought. Freedom of speech means freedom of thought and this is antithetical to group conformity.

    In the USA, we see this plainly in the Identity Politics of the Democratic Party of today. During her Presidential candidacy, Hillary Clinton frequently liked to talk about the village, as the village could impose conformity on the individual. This was all music to ears of young Leftists indoctrinated on our campuses in the ideology that is essentially neo-Marxism totalitarianism.

    The kind of persecution Dr Ridd is facing is now rampant on many campuses in the US, running below the radar. Another example: Does anyone ever wonder why user “rgbatduke” never comments here at WUWT anymore?

    Again, I point back to the Dr Jordan Peterson interview and his writings where he compares today’s academic neo-Marxists to Mao and the mindset that led to millions of deaths in China during the “Cultural Revolution.” Dr Peterson pushed back against the speech code that the Canadian Trudeau leftist government attempts to impose on him and academics in Canada.
    http://www.c2cjournal.ca/2016/12/jordan-peterson-the-man-who-reignited-canadas-culture-war/

    For his push-back not to have the government tell him what pronouns were permissible, he was viciously attacked in the Left leaning press. In the USA, we see it in the Antifa thugs who hide in black masks and assault those who openly disagree with their Marxist views. Colleges and universities that have become echo chambers, dis-inviting speeches and lectures from conservatives andanyone who challenge the Left’s orthodoxy, in either culture of gender identity, the pseudoscience of climate change, of feminism, and a whole host of topics for which the Left demands GroupThink conformance.

    There is most certainly a Cultural War on-going. In the US. In Canada, In the UK. In Australia. How it will end is TBD.

    • I have been wondering about “rgbatduke” lately. I was going to look him up, but then I thought that if it’s pressure from Duke, nothing would show up anyway – leftists do love their gag orders, don’t they?

      • Democracy dies in the darkness.
        – The WaPo.

        That mantra apparently only applies in its application to conservatives, Trump, Republicans. The Left depends on the media double standard to maintain their societal dark march towards Marxism.

      • It is time to turn off the money spigot. We should change the law so that only STEM degrees get student loans from the government.

      • @Andrew Cooke
        I pretty much agree with this statement except to say that I think it is a very poor practice to enable and encourage students to embark on careers that have very limited utility in the real world. Student loans should be more generous for careers which are in demand and for students who test strongly for those careers. We are tempting kids of little talent to go into serious debt and depriving the trades of good people just because the trades are misunderstood and looked down upon.

    • It’s not just academia. There’s a reason I don’t use my surname on this board. Industry is very strong on stifling dissent as well. You might interfere with profits.

      • Or, for that matter, their attempts to virtue signal. Many Australian companies use virtue signalling to appease the hard left.

    • I’ve mentioned his relevance to climate change repeatedly and most on here don’t want to remark. oh well.
      Just for sport I went to Salon and the Guardian today, read some nonsense rubbish hitpiece on Dr. Jordan Peterson (ok, I actually only stomached about 3 sentences because that is exactly what it was) and then I decided: hmm, let’s get a pulse on the readership.

      Two things struck me:
      1. There are people that eat it up and have zero capacity for self reflection- this is almost solely a trait of the modern post modernist neo-marxists, although many religionists refuse to eliminate their own internal conflicts as well (hello, virgin birth!? to be fair the Islamists are much worse, at least Christ is one awesome figure to mirror one’s life – only good comes from that). Anyway, they say “Conspiracy theorists making claims that a marxist conspiracy to rule the world, blah blah blah). They repeat the same old tired cliches and memes, have absolutely ZERO evidence to back up what they claim, and generally get walloped by the 2nd item.

      2. There are a TON of dissenting opinions on Guardian, Salon, and the likes. Almost every commenter was polite, factual, and logical. The echo chamber of marxists had their panties in a serious bunch. It was almost laughable if it wasn’t so disgusting to see the levels of self-deception capable in the human experience.

      I don’t know how this is going to turn out, but I would assume at some point logic will prevail. When is the real question. It’s tough to say though with the current affairs and technocratic agenda of AI, transhumanism, and transgenderism. I know this though, the anti-gun lobby sure picked the wrong side to be on if it ever escalates. Let’s just hope it never gets to that point.

      • honestliberty I appreciated your comment, & generally agree. I do have one quite minor bone to pick regarding your method of illustration however:

        How would we, even w/today’s technology, prove conclusively that:
        (1) the “virgin birth” MUST have happened via the usual method(s) — Joseph: “Uh-oh, it slipped off;” Mary: “I swear, I’m on the pill;” Both, in response to parents “Where were you??”: “Just out in the workshop, sanding some wood;” etc. — and ALSO,
        (2) that divine decree alone was incapable of producing the end result?

        It’s a conundrum: logically, if one allows for the existence of the omnipotent — which is really the whole point of the Bible — then many things become possible/plausible that would otherwise typically be considered fantasy, certainly not just this instance of divinely-caused pregnancy; likewise eliminating the omnipotent as a viable explanation eliminates the premise of the entire book, not just this one event recorded in it.

        As such, the “virgin birth” idea is an awkward example of an “internal conflict” requiring “resolution” by “religionists.” It’s for precisely this reason that I tend to leave out references to religion/emotion/faith, etc. when my points are otherwise logically, factually supported. Religion (or lack thereof) tends to be a highly volatile subject for many people anyway: why would I alienate those who would otherwise agree with me by calling into question their belief system? ^_^

      • Thank you for that response, and I think you have an excellent point.
        I’ll have to go back and read my original comment (I can’t find it) but if I recall it was because claiming with God all things are possible, even something that is actually impossible given the foundation of biology (that women cannot impregnate themselves) is the weakest if arguments and a fallacies way to build your worldview. I can’t recall the specifics but I think my point was that it’s odd that people can have such glaring internal conflicts. However, I agree with your response and I’ll find better avenues in the future to make my point

      • honestliberty +a million, you’re gentle-person & a scholar. =)

        Best regards,
        — Smokey

  13. There is a LOT of vitriol coming out of our Universities – but none of it has anything to do with science. Most of it is the angry mob response in trying to shut down the free and open exchange of ideas. Silence anyone who disagrees. Beat them if necessary.

    Now anyone straying from an approved idea pool is being threatened too, despite the possibility they may be right. And it isn’t the angry mob reacting, its the education priesthood at the top.

    How has higher education turned into the training grounds for fascists?

    The only way to fight these institutions is to begin defunding them and taxing them. Start new ones that have written constitution-like “laws” that prevent this kind of behavior within the institution, and fund these. Make it illegal to even consider a persons ethnicity, sex, country of origin, or religious beliefs when hiring and for picking students (other than they MUST be here legally). Serious minded students will start attending the new institutions, and the old ones can be left to rot – no more funding, grant money, or tax shelters for them.

    If there was a serious discussion along these lines, many institutions would start cleaning up their act.

    • The most important thing that can happen is for parents to steer their children away from considering such colleges and universities. Let the market punish the universities and the administrators in their pocketbooks.

      • In Oz that’s difficult. The uniformity of view—prejudice (per Gadamer)—exists throughout the system. There may be individuals here and there who still employ recognisable scientific method, but they won’t be young. There is, in all likelihood, no real market. And government, if only by its silence, will support JCU (Professor Ridd’s employer).

        Further, until the humanities repair the damage of the past half-century and more, reform of the sciences is unlikely, even perhaps impossible.

    • Robert: Too many unqualified students, too many unqualified professors. Tremendous misallocation of capital; how many students are awarded a degree and cannot find meaningful employment in that area? How many cannot repay the loans that they ;undertook in order to get the degree? We need to cut the student body by about a half or more; cut the professors, similarly. Prune the courses that are not productive (or are counterproductive, such as those concentrating on divisive curricula). But…one can dream, can’t one?

      • This is one of the reason’s why conformity has become so important in the modern university.
        There aren’t enough jobs in teaching and research. The result is that anyone lucky enough to actually land such a job knows better than to rock the boat.

      • Agreed. But turning loose an entire generation of ill educated, unemployable malcontents would serve the Marxists well.

    • BA degrees in gender identity, intersectionalism, feminism are all junk degrees. The colleges that produce those merely indoctrinate and produce people with no marketable skills. The few that can get jobs in their field – those jobs are at Liberal NGO’s where the group think mindset fosters and multiplies with the inflow of Progressive “philanthropy” money.

    • “How has higher education turned into the training grounds for fascists?”

      Because it’s being run by fascists.

    • The best way to deal with such universities is remove their accreditation to award degrees. Once they have no accreditation they cannot be funded and in any case students would not stay. It would only need to be done a couple of times.

      • Just how deep is that scam?
        Well, first, the intended purpose is to ensure debt slavery for the next generation. A flooded market of bachelors diminishes the pay of those fields comparative to the rising cost of the “education” (I’ll touch on that next). Bachelors are essentially yesterdays HS diplomas, so now it takes a Masters and PHD to set oneself apart. Except that in many cases employers then say “overqualified”. Because the whole point was to flood the market to decrease pay, at least as far as I can tell.
        Coupled with that, the state subsidizes these major institutions through tax payer monies and guaranteed loans that can’t be bankrupted, thereby ensuring Universities can charge more and more and more because no one is saying “no, you have no appreciable knowledge or skills, you cannot have 125k loan for the next four years on the assumption you will then begin to create something of value that can return on our investment”
        guaranteeing monies to no-nothigns with no collateral was not some pie in the sky accident, is was absolutely purposeful. These schmucks are coming out of college in debt up to their eyeballs, conditioned like pavlovs dog to obey authority, and all the creativity was sucked right out of them. CREATIVITY people. Imagination. These are the critical foundations for individuals to make a healthy society.

        None of this was by accident, and not a snowballs chance in haides the system that set this up would ever smack the gavel on itself. I wish, but no.

        The only viable option is more independent venues where those of who genuinely care just start making our own curriculums (the state would crush anyone doing this independently almost immediately), or setting up anything we want (business or otherwise) and saying no to the system of debt slavery. But since it is unlikely that a critical mass of individuals at this point in our history would begin to just say no and create for themselves, we all know how strong the iron fist of the state is and how it responds.

  14. Would appreciate the names of the officials and committee-members involved in this attempt to censor academic freedom. Then, their cloak of anonymity would be removed and they could stand on equal ground with their named adversary.

    • Here is a start:
      As Chancellor of the University, Bill Tweddell is the Chair of the University governing body, Council and presides over all Council meetings.

      The Chancellor is elected to this honorary position by the members of the Council. The Chancellor provides leadership and facilitated the work of the Council effectively and ethically, providing a focal point for ensuring the achievement of the Council’s own objectives, Statement of Strategic Intent and effective governance and maintaining the high standing of the University in the wider community.

      Here is the webpage to get at the names of these “people”
      https://www.jcu.edu.au/chancellery

    • Getting any of those officials and committee members to make a simple declaration of agreement/disagreement of the position of Peter Ridd will show everyone where the ‘official’ position stands – either WITH Mr Ridd and his concerns or AGAINST Mr Ridd and ‘part of the problem’.
      No doubt they will all defer their position statements on the basis of ‘non interference with internal affairs’ or, as we otherwise know such people – cowards.

  15. Freedom is far from free! It must be fought for, protected, defended, and spread, and the spreading comes at great cost too!

    Paraphrasing Churchill – “Never relent, never surrender, never give up know when to temporarily retreat, but never give up!!!”

    Well done, Peter, and know that you have allies!!!

  16. I can say that me and my lovely wife have visited and snorkeled at the Great Barrier reef twice in the last two years and each time it was fantastic.

    I’m not a marine scientist but as a tourist, I say to anyone who is staying away because of greenies and negative publicity – forget what you hear – If you visit the reef you most certainly will not be disappointed!

    Cheers

    Roger

    http://www.thedemiseofchristchurch.com

      • “Just don’t wear too much sun screen … ” More than likely more bs. Sure if you tip sunscreen into a tank with live coral, it will have an effect. Best advice is forget the sunscreen and put on a decent wet suit if you are anywhere near coral. I have scars that demonstrate the wisdom of this.

  17. Just like today’s stereotypical “millennials” who can’t take no for an answer or criticism from someone else, it sounds like the scientific method is evolving with them. Now I don’t mean to say all of today’s younger generation is full of whiners or what have you, its just a common analogy that I felt plugged in well here.

    If scientist A comes out with a discovery or theory and scientist B decides to challenge it (as they should), scientist A should not kick and scream about possibly being proven inaccurate or just plain wrong. Scientist B should also help validate the results with scientist A as a team. Then we can further ourselves as a society.

    We will be our own worst enemy, not for radical effects of climate change or the GBR possibly dying, but because every day we are getting closer and closer to more and more people of higher power saying “my way or the highway” – hence Al Gore. When the number of people in power who think like that are greater than those who think differently, society is at a loss.

  18. The JCU’s treatment of Bob Carter was deplorable and pulling the same stunt on Peter Ridd is doubly so. Rather than enjoying the coward’s anonymity provided by the University, the morally bankrupt individuals behind this sorry saga should have their names published.

  19. It’s everywhere! Political correctness run amok. It not just that you disagree, it’s that you are “dead wrong” and have triggered feelings that can not be allowed. Government bureaucrats have seized control of research through the billions and billions of dollars they disperse. Do you really think research that disagrees with the bureaucrats will ever be funded? How about funding for studies to replicate previous studies? No way. It is not in the bureaucrat’s best interest of maintaining and expanding their power. We are on the way to 1984, like it or not.

  20. If Democrats can play politics with painful racial issues and sexual harassment, they are certainly capable of play politics with science. They also love the tactic of personal destruction and censorship. CAGW is all politics and no real science.

    Can You Spot the Racist?
    Where were the 500 Women “Scientists” when we needed them? The above videos highlight just how dangerous it is to entrust a Nation to Progressives.
    https://co2islife.wordpress.com/2018/02/08/can-you-spot-the-racist/

  21. “a charge of academic serious misconduct for not being “collegial.”

    Dang. First science by consensus, now science by collegiality. What’s wrong with this picture?

  22. Not ‘collegial’! Cannot discuss with his wife! Who on earth do these academic thugs think they are?

    • People who think Franz Kafka novels are the University Policies and Procedures guide.

  23. Dr. Ridd’s plight and his eloquent retort clearly points out how the climate wars are denigrating the scientific process. Enforced consensus rules the day. Universities have developed programs focused on catastrophic climate and those programs draw billions of extra funding. No catastrophe, no funding! So they act harshly against anyone who challenges and upsets their gravy train.

    Dr. Ridd is a bright light, whose fearless truth seeking brings objectivity and respectful debate back to the scientific process.

    • Yes it is. Excellent editorial too. But unfortunately it appeared on Fox News, which means no one other than conspiracy theory mongers will believe it. I hope the editorial becomes more widely published.

      • ” I hope the editorial becomes more widely published … ” Being reproduced here will help, meanwhile record it on a wayback machine, cd/dvd/bluray/flashdrive/ssd/fire&waterproof storage/bolt it to the wall. I have stuff in a safe deposit box at the bank.

      • ” But unfortunately it appeared on Fox News, which means no one other than conspiracy theory mongers will believe it.”

        Kill the messenger.

  24. Even beyond research, university faculty object to people/organizations (billionaire businessman Charles Koch) giving major donations to the university. Recently it was stated “Their critics at USU and elsewhere in academia argue the money given to the universities is meant to advance conservative political principles.”

    https://www.usu.edu/today/index.cfm?id=57072

  25. Good for him. Extortion is less effective when you call their bluff and let everyone know you’re being extorted.

    • NYT article says enrollment off because of racial bigotry. The real reason that parents don’t send their kids there now is they are worried it had become a den of identity politics goons. I would have steered my kids away for this reason.

      • Yes, I agree. I linked the NYT version to show how even the explanation of the enrollment decline is biased.

    • The NYT analysis is Leftist nonsense, of course. They say:

      “Since then fights over overt and subconscious racial slights, as well as battles over free speech, have broken out at Middlebury College in Vermont, the University of California, Berkeley, and The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash.”

      The NYT should have said “…alleged overt and imaginary racial slights…” They slant the article by only quoting students who say Mizzou is perceived as a hotbed of prejudice. The truth is: parents won’t send their children to a school controlled by mob-ocracy.

      • If my skin color is not within the limited spectrum of skin colors currently popular with the ‘people of color’ fascists, should my skin color be considered an overt racial slight or a subconscious racial slight? Any one feel ‘privileged’ enough to respond?

        By their ‘standards’, the free speech hope of Martin Luther King’s dream “…that one day my little children will be judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin!” ….. would be overt racism indeed.

  26. The GBR is the Ozzy “Polar Bear” icon for these promoters of the NeoMarxbrothers Manifesto. Can you imagine the kind of people who want to rule overus in global gov putsch? I’ve considered myself a problem solver over the decades but I must confess that I see little possibility of rehab of our universities, scientific institutes, technical journals, etc. that have bought into this global Philistine movement. My thoughts keep returning to the natural death of newspapers. I think we have to simply reinvent new institutions and let the others atrophy. Yeah, I know that Harvard is over 300 years old, but a replacement with a new institution and an ethical code like that for engineers, doctors, etc. backed up by statute with removal from practice and other disciplinary remedies for professional misconduct, etc. Scientists can no longer be left on their honor to be honest and objectrive. The new institutions would have high standards for admission into the sciences. Over half of the faculties are mindless indoctrination and identity politics mills created for the huge influx of mediocre students that rushed in with the Wide Open Door Policy in which enrollment numbers were used to subsidize them. It gave us Feminine Glaciology – which produced papers that they dared journals to reject. Oxford, Cambridge, Heidelberg…..I would choose some Red State university (after I cased the joint).

    • The pressures on the Left to control the internet are becoming extreme. Google and Facebook may continue down that path. But as long as websites are able to independently publish apart from the Social media platforms, then Google and FB efforts at censuring free speech would ultimately be their own undoing.

      What is to be feared more is for the UN to gain control of internet domain name assignments, assignments that were once protected by the US constitution’s first amendment, but no more due to Obama. If that happens, then UN bureaucrats can begin enforcing speech codes (and dissent against their climate change pseudoscience, etc) by threatening to revoke domain name recognition and IP address resolution by “offending” web addresses.

    • My guess is that employers will start to look outside colleges for good employees. In theory colleges did the training and the employer got a trained employee. When in actual fact they get a useless moon-bat, employers may decide it is worth the expense of doing the training themselves. When students then find they can be trained as a sort of intern, (and be paid, even if the pay is meager), and that they can skip the huge burden of college loans, what do you think the students will chose to do?

      I foresee a day when many universities become ghost-towns.

      • When calculating the cost of a degree you have to include the opportunity cost as well as the direct cost of the college itself.
        That’s 4 years of foregone income, plus 4 years of seniority that you will never get back.

      • Agreed.

        I have two sons who are burdened by huge college debts. One is an intern who needs a second job to pay debts, and the other is struggling to even find a job that uses his degree in biology. Both would do things differently, if they had it to do over again.

      • The University-based business model is completly obsolete and outdated.

        In most larger Uni’s you don’t participate in lectures, you simply observe them. It’s a one-way dialogue.

        I had a foreign-visiting Engineering Professor, who openly admitted, in my class, that he was there (at UCLA) to do research, not to teach. “Tough shit,” he said.

      • Because so many people have them, college degrees aren’t worth what they were 50 years ago. Because there is a high demand, they cost a lot more proportionally than they did 50 years ago. This is buying into a falling market. What don’t we have enough of? Electricians, plumbers, carpenters…

    • Wouldn’t it be nice to develop universities determined to produce a graduate with a meaningful education. Degrees would be limited to areas where the market sets the need and the graduate could find a job that would add to the benefit of society.

      Only the best candidates chosen. Meritocracy rules. No more using diversity as a metric for entrance to any university. Can you imagine the quality of the graduates? Can you imagine how the wealth and health of the nation would improve?

      No sports. Potential students should choose an institution that meets their academic needs, not one that develops the winning football team. All sports teams could be taken over by the cities the unversities are located in. Players would be paid as semi-pro participants and their needs would not impact the operation of the university. And the universities wouldn’t have to develop useless curriculum to funnel players through five years of shady academic courses meant, not to educate, but to keep the players eligible. The idea of a student/athelete could be dropped and the focus put on “student”.

      The entire focus of the university would be to teach, but to teach with a purpose other than pushing as many graduates through a flawed system: a system, like the current system, that does not require a quality student with a quality degree.

      I can dream can’t I?

  27. How much you wanna bet this never goes to trial and the university tries to settle out of court or backs down?

    • Based on what we’ve read the university would be insane if they didn’t either settle it or back down. The key is that Peter Ridd be vindicated and that it becomes widely publicized.

      • Universities are loathe to admit any wrongdoing. Saving face is paramount to those posers. My bet is that they will offer him a lot of money to disappear.

      • Since it isn’t there money they will be spending, they don’t likely care much either way.
        Most important is maintaining their social acceptability with the in kids.

    • What if Peter Ridd goes ‘all in’. He has already stated “he will fight it all the way” here on WUWT.

      =========
      platogbr
      February 2, 2018 at 3:18 pm

      Thanks To everybody especially Anthony for all the support. I really am astonished and incredibly grateful. We will fight this all the way.
      Peter Ridd
      =========

      Don’t back off. Science is at stake and you’ve got a winning hand.

    • JCU == James Cook University

      JCU also == Januis Clausis University

      where Januis Clausis == behind closed doors (or private ,
      in secret, secretive, etc etc.)
      We need more people like Peter Ridd, especially in “high places”

  28. The business of shutting people up whose views do not tally with the Worldview imposed from above (govt., the MSM & its unquestioning herd) has become ubiquitous in many aspects of life, climate science and mass immigration come to mind. In order to go full steam ahead with their policies, in what purports to be a democratic system, they have to ‘persuade’ the People by hook or by crook, by constant repetition, by lies, ridicule, bullying and ultimately repression, that their view is the only tolerated view. As many have suggested, this practice increasingly resembles the methods of totalitarians.
    If only there were more with the courage of Professor Ridd…….

  29. With respect to mainstream climate science, the word science should always be used in quotations: “science.”

  30. Imagine you are a young scientist hoping to make a name for yourself and knowing that the work you want to do requires support from the university and grants from government. Would you dare do what Peter Ridd has done and question the credibility of colleagues and the very institution at which you work?
    The answer is obvious. Of course not. If you are paid to be collegiate and not upset colleagues by suggesting their work is wrong, then that is exactly what you will do. And it is not science. Which is why the whole model is beyond flawed; it is corrupt.
    This must go to Court. The university must be publicly shamed and humiliated for its appalling actions. Others must see and take note.

  31. Several points:
    University of Chicago has taken a strong stance in support of academic freedom and against safe spaces. If interested, you can google President Zimmer’s statement.

    Growing up in Pakistan, I watched pitch battles between left wing and right wing, Islamist student groups. One of the reasons I came to the U.S. for university studies. I hope we can stop the craziness that is going on in our universities before they become full indoctrination centers.

    When I was studying for my Ph.D at Chicago, one of the courses required us to replicate the econometric/statistical analysis in published papers. I am pleased to report that we found very few with significant errors. Why can’t universities require this practice for papers in climate science.

  32. Thanks for sharing this Anthony. Great letter and helps reveal the moral bankruptcy of so many in academia and in many other places. Contrast this letter to the one highlighted a couple of days ago where Micheal Mann used his postilion as a climate expert to try and harm a private individual. He is the one that should e censored and investigated. But he is allowed to continue his biased garbage because he is on the “correct” side of an issue.

    I really appreciated Professor Ridd bringing up the fact that so many scientists do not have historical perspective. So many people now believe that time starts when they remember it did or when they were born. That sets a dangerous precedence. I have been involved in several blog debates and when you bring up the past you are discounted as not being up to date. Great example: along the shore in South Carolina, an area had been eroding for years and growing in another area. It is called the shoreline of an ocean and is dynamic. I was told that man made climate change was responsible for the erosion. I relayed to the people making this claim that the erosion had been occurring at least since the 1930s and it was common for the shoreline to be eroding in some areas and building up in others. Not only that but dredging and installation of piles in the harbor had changed the ocean dynamics and had resulted in accelerating the erosion. Their response was I was an idiot.

    If you think about it, a lot of the problems we are encountering in society today is due to same issues that Professor Ridd discusses above. The premise of so many is that they are right and you have to prove they are wrong. Not only that, but they are right and facts do not matter. The exact opposite of how ideas are advanced.

  33. Funny how climate change misses out –
    The 5% of coral that is protected.
    The coral at Bikini Atoll- where man does not go – which is in pristine condition and growing like a forest.
    The Coral around Cuba- where they do not use pesticides or fertilizers that leach into the sea- which is in pristine condition.

  34. Funny how climate change misses out –
    The 5% of coral that is protected.
    The coral at Bikini Atoll- where man does not go – which is in pristine condition and growing like a forest.
    The Coral around Cuba- where they do not use pesticides or fertilizers that leach into the sea- which is in pristine condition.

  35. I suspect he made a mistake in naming whole institutions as being untrustworthy, rather than detailing their failings solely on a case by case approach. Even if it is true, the lawyers can probably get him for the generalization.

  36. Freedom of speech is under attack by criminal thugs who belong in jail.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/11/27/a-big-goose-step-backwards/#comment-1800850

    Here is a list of those forced from their institutions by global warming thugs:

    George Taylor – Oregon State Climatologist

    Sallie Baliunas – Harvard University

    Pat Michaels – University of Virginia

    Murry Salby – Macquarie University, Australia

    Caleb Rossiter – Institute for Policy Studies

    Nickolas Drapela, PhD – Oregon State University

    Henrik Møller – Aalborg University, Denmark

    Bob Carter, James Cook University, Australia

    Regards, Allan

    Post Script

    Hello Peter and thank you for your courage. I visited your wonderful country in 2005 and spent a week on a dive boat out of Cairns, snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef. The areas of the reef that I visited were in perfect condition and it was one of the best experiences of my life. Note to all – as a tourist, you don’t need scuba gear – the colors disappear below about 15 feet, and most people can easily free dive down to that depth.

    • Oregon State’s brown shirt enforcers have been particularly active. When is the book burning scheduled for?

  37. Yet always unmentioned is that common sun screen products contain a potent toxin for coral that in ppb concentration can cause coral to die.

    Those same “researchers” finding coral death slathering it on by the pint. Everywhere they go they find coral death and destruction, but never think it could be them…

    • There was also the frogs that were dying in some rainforest, there were several studies that tried to link these deaths to global warming. Until they found out the frogs were being killed by a fungus that had been brought in on the shoes of the researchers.

  38. Reminds me of the 1960s TV classic The Prisoner. One of the biggest accusations you could be hit with was being “unmutual”. Universities are so blinded by the righteousness of their ideological causes they have no sense of self-perspective or irony.

  39. This seems to be how australian universities operate.

    mlsxmq.wixsite.com/svmq-r/page-1f

    [Please check your link. .mod]

  40. I recall rending of garments about the imminent disappearance of the G.B.R. at least twenty years ago. Unless I am very much mistaken, it is still there, in roughly the same condition as twenty years ago. I leave the obvious deduction as an exercise for the reader.

  41. If consensus in science worked, we would be living on a flat earth. Terry Pratchett’s Disc World would be real life instead of a great escape from the insanity of Earth.

    • If ‘consensus’ had not changed the last few hundred years, we would still be literally burning witches……

  42. This is the same James Crook University which expelled Bob Carter! Collegiality is merely groupthink. And to think this mob are funded by taxpayers!

  43. It would seem that today the cyclic events in nature are only accepted in science by “the consensus” are those those that claim Man is doing the peddling.

  44. “And if observations and measurements can’t be replicated, it isn’t really science – it is still, at best, hypothesis, or even just opinion.”

    Or just pigs finding new ways to feed at the government trough because their “science” is complete hogwash.

  45. it is no coincidence the problems in science developed at the same time as PC speech.

    PC speech is totalitarianism. only the approved consensus is permitted.

    once you accept this limit on freedom of expression it is a very small step to apply this to science. only the approved consensus is permitted.

    how long until it is agreed the word “human” is sexist and must. be replaced by huperson?

    how long until it is agreed the word “woman” is sexist and must. be replaced by woperson?

    are we not falling into the trap of the ancients that believed that science could be determined by logic devoid of observation? is that not the very definition of a computer model?

    • PC speech is totalitarianism. only the approved consensus is permitted

      “In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate;
      and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when
      they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is…in some small way…to become evil oneself.
      One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the
      same effect and is intended to.” [Theadore Dalrymple or Anthony Daniels]

    • “how long until it is agreed the word “human” is sexist and must. be replaced by huperson?”

      Well Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada berated an audience member for using the word ‘mankind’ and told her that the term ‘peoplekind’ should be used instead. So you are a little behind the times already.

  46. Well Done, Peter Ridd!
    Your stand for Freedom of Speech serves all of us and honors the American tradition. I can not find words to laud your personal sacrifices sufficiently so I’ll offer these excerpts from the movie ‘The Alamo’:
    John Wayne on Our Republic and Right and Wrong.

  47. Well done! Sadly however, Australians will never hear of this in the MSM. Only those who visit sites like WUWT will know the truth. But it is a start.

  48. For me the biggest issue with the problems with replication is “publish or perish” combined with university rankings. Researchers and professors at Government universities are being forced to get anything published or risk losing their jobs. Then they are also induced to writing ‘splashy’ kinds of articles, designed to get many citations.
    It’s like a loyalty card for coffee shops. If you are the only one doing it, it’s fantastic for you. When everyone does it you are cutting each other’s throats with no way out of the cycle.
    The inducement system is encouraging government universities to publish low quality shoddy research, and is doing far more damage to science than any profit induced distortments from private industry. Private industry has a natural brake, which is the ability to get sued if they get things wrong.
    This is why JCU is so worried about the professor being non-mutual. If the snowflakes are triggered and peoplle stop citing JCU papers then their rankings and their funding suffer. So its far better for the universoty that no one rocks the boat.

    Don’t blame wthe administrators at JCU. All they are doing is responding rationally to the inducements offered by the government ranking/review process.

    • Abetting this is a kind of go along to get along attitude as demonstrated by the university in this case.
      It’s a gentleman’s agreement. I won’t point out the problems with your research if you won’t point out the problems with mine.

  49. “And if observations and measurements can’t be replicated, it isn’t really science – it is still, at best, hypothesis, or even just opinion. This is not a controversial topic anymore – science, or at least the system of checking the science we are using, is failing us.”

    And herein lies the root of the problem. Climate Science is no longer Science; it is Political Science and therefore can never be falsified by experiment or observation. And as long as the Totalitarian Progressive Left is in power, it will continue unabated.

    Morals? Ethics? The Scientific Method? Pfft, who needs them? They only get in the way of “The Cause”..

  50. If the reefs are similar to our forests, & can start deteriorating because of overgrowth, then to prove a point why not remove a part of the dead coral & see, if over the next decade the reef starts to regenerate!

  51. Excellent comments on this sorry state of affairs in Oz. Peter Ridd is doing exactly what needs to be done when one’s integrity is challenged. Let’s keep this in the headlines until the shabby clowns responsible for censoring truth are exposed and hounded from their undeserved positions of authority. Sic ’em Peter!

  52. I notice that the usual (paid) trolls: Griff, Nick, TonyB, Chris, and Simon, are notably absent/silent on yet another example of the demonic political corruption of true, actual Science.

    Hardly surprising.

    Sad state that Science as devolved into.

  53. The (replication) crisis started in biomedical areas, where pharmaceutical companies in the past decade found that up to 80 percent of university and institutional science results that they tested were wrong. It is now recognized that the problem is much more widespread than the biomedical sciences. And that is where I got into big trouble.

    The replication crisis became acutely obvious in the biomedical sciences because that is almost the only place where replication is routinely attempted.

    Drug companies follow journals looking for research findings that they can develop into new drugs. The first thing they do when they find something interesting is to try to replicate it. As detailed in the book Rigor Mortis one drug company found that nearly 90% of research findings can’t be replicated. Much of the time the original researchers can’t even reproduce their own results.

    All of science suffers from the same things that beset biomedical science. There is no reason to believe that there is any scientific field that is more reliable.

    It’s about publish or perish and perverse incentives. Journals want interesting results to publish. There’s no penalty for being wrong. What the heck do you think is going to happen!

    Dr. Michael Mann can be as sanctimonious as he wants. All he’s doing is displaying his abysmal ignorance … and that’s being charitable. Every scientist, including him, should be acutely and painfully aware of the replication crisis. If he isn’t, it’s because of wilful ignorance. Disgusting.

  54. One thing people should be asking themselves is why doesn’t Ridd, a scientist, tackle his opponents through the scientific literature? He has published up to 2015 or 2106, mainly on water stuff in the barrier reef, why not document his grievences like the scientist he is?

    He is criticising people who have published their work, who have documented their findings. He says it’s fake, but doesn’t document his findings like they do.

    Because of the manner he has approached this, he is beginning to sound more like a crank than a scientist.

    • Ridd is JCU Head of Department MARINE GEOPHYSICS LABORATORY http://www.marinegeophysics.com.au/
      Your suggestion he’s a “crank” reveals your a troll in training.
      Ridd attempted to resolve many issues internally over many years.
      A wall of obstruction and/or silence.
      Now and as ever the left don’t take kindly to whistle-blowers .

      Publishing research critical of matters relating to funding . . . well you clearly don’t understand how the game is played.

      • What sort of issues? How was the obstruction manifested?

        It’s not the left that doesn’t take kindly to whistle-blowers, it’s whoever is the entity charged with wrongdoiing. In order for a “whistle” to be blown, there should be some kind of misconduct. Lack of replication of experiments is not misconduct. I’m not saying it’s not a problem, but it’s not confined to any institution or field. There are systemic issues that science as a whole needs to tackle (and scientists are aware of them; things are slowly changing), but that does not in any way justify telling the public they shouldn’t trust science. That won’t accomplish anything but turn people against it, decrease funding and make problems worse.

        I’m not sure why Dr. Ridd is so certain that coral bleaching isn’t a problem, but there are thousands of scientists who study it around the world and disagree. But, of course, they are all dishonest and part of the conspiracy, while he is unquestionably honest and correct.

        To me the timing of his complaints is odd. He went on TV to publicize the book he contributed to. This whole affair is a great way to get publicity….and he doesn’t even have to pay his attorney’s fees! Pretty nice publisher who will cover that, at least to begin with.

  55. In business and government work, we are told of the two cardinal rules early on.
    1) The boss is always right.
    2) If, for some reason, you discover that the boss is wrong, see rule 1.

    Even if Peter wins, he will still have lost because of rule 1. The boss has a million and one ways to punish you without even exposing himself to the claim of open action. All of Peter’s co-workers and their subordinates will actively distance themselves. Worse, they may openly white-ant your work.

    So yes, a very brave act. But almost certain to fail, even if he wins his court case.

    • Everyone who wants to know what Peter Ridd is up against should read Walter Starck’s document (especially the letters at the end).
      Current politicians, academics and ‘authority’ management are no different to those in ‘power’ when Walter was actively challenging their corruption.
      The GBR-salvation-industry is a criminal cartel ripping Australian taxpayers in the name of science.
      It’s Australia’s peak white-collar crime on steroids.

    • I took the trouble to see what you were talking about.

      I read some of your claims. The “report” is so long and wordy, I didn’t go through them all. I did read the responses at the bottom. I agree with the one saying that if you want to criticize the things you do, you should go through the process of doing it in the published literature, so that the scientific community can evaluate your claims.

      I saw your three biggest complaints. The paper says UP TO 2X the fish on non-fished reefs, so I don’t see what your gripe is about that. I don’t know what you mean by 5 of the 8 reefs show declines in fish following restriction. Out of the eight reefs, there is only one point that doesn’t show higher abundance on non-fished reefs, and all show higher biomass. There are declines (and increases), yes, but they are mostly similar for both fished and non-fished. You are aware that the data for outer reefs are all post-restriction, right?

      Funding is discussed under acknowledgements. There is no conflict of interest assumed just because a management agency monitors the effects of its management practices (do companies hire independent contractors for their quality control?).

      Bucks from the reef may come from reef tours and associated income (some hotel and restaurant visits), game fishing, productivity of the reef itself, meals for tourists of fresh-caught fish…maybe even preservation of the coastline and it’s habitat, I don’t know. I don’t know how they calculated it, and you don’t either. Perhaps it would have been more effective to ask rather than accuse them of misconduct, of which I see no evidence based on your accusations.

      Did you ever contact them to ask for the data before demanding it? it is not their responsibility to put it online for public access, as long as it’s available to those who would like it.

      I don’t know what your beef with them was, but you come across as being combative, nit-picky, and needlessly insulting. I wouldn’t want to spend much time on your accusations, either. You would have been better off choosing a few points you thought were particularly important than a long list of (sometimes erroneous) gripes. That’s my honest evaluation, though I admit I didn’t read all your charges.

      Scientific misconduct is a very serious accusation.

      • “Scientific misconduct is a very serious accusation.”

        Ms Silber, if you truly believe this statement, as do I and all of my colleagues, then how do you feel about the Mann hockey stick, Climategate, or a recent paper by Garner, A.J., Mann, M.E., Emanuel, K.A., Kopp, R.E., Lin, N., Alley, R.B., Horton, B.P., De Conto, R.M., Donnelly, J.P. & Pollard, D., 2017. Impact of climate change on New York City’s coastal flood hazard: Increasing flood heights from the preindustrial to 2300 CE. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114(45):11861-11866,
        proclaiming SLR for New York City of 17.5M by 2300?

        The Hockey Stick curve for temperature has been repeatedly shown to be in error by many scientists; Climategate was a disgrace to its perpetrators and showed clearly exactly what kind of manipulations have been carried on to silence true scientific debate about climate; the paper I cite above makes outrageous claims that cannot be proven or substantiated by field research.

        There is no such thing as settled science! In my lifetime I have witnessed many major changes in what we believe, starting with “Continental Drift” that I learned about in the 5th grade from my Friends School teachers, a promising theory, now studied as plate tectonics.

        I am sorry if you are offended by my comment, but I have been reading your numerous comments and criticisms of Peter Ridd and they offend me. What is your field of expertise? Do you know anything about how corals grow or how many millions of years they have survived? As it happens I do and am fairly confident that the GBR will be around in excellent condition long after all the commenters on this site are dust.

      • Sigh. Pameladragon. I’m sorry if I offended you. I just say what I think. Ridd may be a fine, smart guy, but I don’t like what he did.

        I’m not a fan of Michael Mann, either. The Hockey Stick is not wholly accurate, but not bad… but I don’t really care. it’s old. From what I gather, Mann made a statistical error, and that wouldn’t qualify for misconduct; I suspect after all this time he doesn’t want to admit it. BWDIK? I don’t know the whole story.. I wish the whole thing could be dropped. It’s irrelevant now, except as a symbol. Boy, deniers really loathe him, don’t they?

        For some foolish reason, I believe it’s unlikely that 8 independent investigations are going to find no misconduct in the Climategate affair if there really was misconduct. Crazy me, huh? Instead of assuming I know the truth (without knowing any of the background, the conversations and emails and science and statistics that went into the investigations), I trust the investigators did their jobs.

        I haven’t read the whole NYC paper, but on the surface it seems OK. I don’t know, I’m not qualified to tell. Pretty optimistic to try to predict that far in the future, and some assumptions are made, and it is pretty hard to believe that a 500-yr flood is now a 25-yr flood…but I really don’t know and even if I did read the whole thing I don’t know if I could say. It does talk about high uncertainties associate with some models, and one model hasn’t been run enough times to be very informative, it seems. It’s one paper. I wouldn’t take it as gospel. “proclaiming SLR for New York City of 17.5M by 2300?” I have no idea where you get that figure.

        My field of expertise is in ecology and evolution. While I’ve only done research in terrestrial systems, there are similarities across biomes. I’ve also been scuba diving for 30 years; I’ve dived the GBR dozens of times.

      • Sigh…if you had read the paper and understood it (ok, I admit, the paper is poorly-written but the numbers are clear), you would have seen that the 17.5 M increase in SLR by 2300 is quoted from the paper. They also predict SLR of up to 2.6 m by 2100, 10.5 m by 2200. This is not science but pure speculation designed to alarm people with little or no knowledge of the science of SLR. That this trash paper was published in the Proceeding of the National Academy of Science should tell you a lot about what is going on in scientific publications today. Thirty years ago, this paper would have been rejected immediately.

        As an ecologist and environmentalist, do you get that warm is good, cold is bad? I have done field work in the tropics and am well aware of the tremendous amount of diversity there. Just traveling from New England in the US to south Florida it should be impossible to miss how biodiversity increases on the way south. But them, as a field researcher, I am always extremely aware of my surroundings….

        You say you are familiar with the GBR, what are your observations? It is dying, sinking into the benthos, from bleaching and pollution? I doubt very much you would have returned after your first visit if that were the case.

        2 or 5000 scientists agreeing on something does not make it correct if they are just repeating what they have been told. There is no place in science for consensus. Science is the one place where a single researcher can come up with an entirely new way of looking at things and change the paradigm forever for everyone until the next revolutionary discovery. Remember Darwin? Copernicus? When I was a child the continents did not move but by the time I was an undergrad there was a new science called Plate Tectonics and all the texts had to be rewritten.

      • pameladragon,

        I don’t consider myself an environmentalist and have always disliked being called one.

        I searched for the 17.5 in the article, came up with nothing, and don’t know what you are referring to.

        Relative SLR at NYC is likely to be greater than the global mean, due primarily to the combined effects of glacial isostatic adjustment and the static-equilibrium fingerprint of AIS mass changes (21, 36). Under RCP8.5, relative SLR for NYC will very likely (P = 0.90) be 0.55–1.4 m (median of 0.96 m) between 2010 and 2100 and 1.5–5.7 m (median of 3.2 m) between 2000 and 2300. Our projections increase to 0.88–2.5 m (median of 1.5 m) and 10.7–15.7 m (median of 12.7 m) for 2100 and 2300, respectively, for the enhanced AIS input scenario (Fig. 4).

        As the paper states, the AIS scenario is not reliable for prediction. That’s the highest figure, though, and even the upper limit of the the possible range is only 15.7 m – is that what you meant to write, perhaps, and go the numbers reversed? But this is not a prediction, it’s the highest of the potential range (according to these models).

        “As an ecologist and environmentalist, do you get that warm is good, cold is bad? ” No, not at all! There is no “bad” or “good” about particular temperatures, it’s a matter or what communities are adapted to, how quickly they can move or evolve in response to climate change, and what benefits or stressers are affecting them. A background in ecology is useful in considering how climate change may disrupt interactions of species and their environment, and knowledge of evolution gives an idea on the factors that influence whether organism can adapt. Both fields are highly mathematical and make ample use of statistics and modeling.

        Examples of just a few (probable) effects of warming: there is evidence that bark beetle populations have benefited from higher low winter temps and/or longer growing seasons, allowing plagues of them to kill huge swathes of forest in the Rockies. Prey fish (e.g. sardines) numbers have declined drastically of the west coast, where there is a giant blob of warm water – the theory is that they’ve moved elsewhere, but it’s disrupting the food web. And, of course, warmer temps mean sea level rise, which threatens many coastal communities around the world.

        You say the article about NYC is pure speculation. Is that because you quibble with something about the models they used, or do you think that models in general are useless?

        It’s been 18 years since I lived in Australia. The reef seemed healthy then, although there were issues caused by sedimentation and in some areas crown-o-thorns were prevalent. Dive operators are going to take people where the reef looks best.

        “2 or 5000 scientists agreeing on something does not make it correct if they are just repeating what they have been told.” True, but that is a baseless assumption you have no reason to make.
        “There is no place in science for consensus.” Sure there is. Consensus is a measure of the regard the scientific community in general holds for an idea. It’s a way for society to interpret how likely it is that an idea is supported by scientists. An idea that only half of scientists support should be given different attention than one supported by over 90% of those who work in the field. Of course it may be wrong, but at some point scientists and others have to take scientific ideas as their working hypotheses in order to advance the state of knowledge and (sometime) so that policy can be made. Policy decisions could never be based on science if people waited for “proof” because, as you point out, science is never “settled.”

        “Science is the one place where a single researcher can come up with an entirely new way of looking at things and change the paradigm forever for everyone until the next revolutionary discovery.”

        Sure, but that doesn’t mean we should wait around for a scientist who has an ability to see into the future or come up with an explanation that fits all the data and tells us what to expect in the future. The models aren’t perfect, but they are getting better. There’s nothing about computer modeling that is inherently untrustworthy, it all depends on how they are built, tested, used, and interpreted. The problems are known and discussed. not hidden. Maybe AR4 wasn’t transparent enough in discussion of uncertainties, but AR5 seems better.

        Until that revolutionary scientist comes around, we need to work with what we have.

        What’s your field, Pamela?

    • They are his enemies as they are only important while the hypothesis that the ‘Great Barrier Reef is being destroyed’ is accepted as true. As soon as that ceases to be the case a lot of their funding, power and bragging rights vanish not only that but if they are shown to be wrong, then all that money and all those regulations that they supported were wrongly imposed too. They literally cannot accept that Professor Ridd has falsified their hypothesis.

      • @Kristi Silber

        You’re assuming he didn’t. Do you have any data to back up your claim he hasn’t refuted the alarmist claims? Please provide links.

      • Andrew, I’m not assuming he didn’t find evidence that coral can recover or that there has been cyclic bleaching, or even that bleaching isn’t widespread on the GBR (though when it comes to one scientist vs. 2500 that bleaching is a global problem, I’m betting on the latter). My point is that people here are assuming that he’s right and everyone else is wrong. On what basis?

        BUT THAT’S IRRELEVANT TO MY MAIN POINT.

  56. Well done Peter Ridd. Keep up the good fight.

    Whoever thought that Stalin’s Lysenkoism would be alive and well in AGW/Climate Change issue.

    • Hardly a character assassination! A critique of reporting is more like it.

      Interesting…

      Last month [June 2016], some 2500 of the world’s coral reef experts met in Hawaii and agreed to send a letter to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, warning him that:

      “Coral reefs … are threatened with complete collapse under rapid climate change.”

      But what’s 2500 scientists vs. one guy who says everything is hunky-dory, and if the science doesn’t say so then they’re all doing it wrong?

      • Kristi – so you believe science should be put to a vote?
        Would it not be better to actually show the problem demonstrate that areas that were ‘irrecoverable and destroyed’ say 5 years ago remain irrecoverably destroyed now? All Professor Ridd has done is show that the reef has recovered and hypothesized that periodic bleaching is a normal process. For that hypothesis he is not even allowed to talk to his wife? If he is wrong demonstrate where he is wrong that is how science progresses. Putting a gag order on the professor rather than show where he is wrong, makes it look as if those 2,500 world coral reef experts may have a guilty secret and they are worried he may let the cat out of the bag. After all they are claiming rapid climate change and like Flannery’s perma-drought that is not the case either.

      • “But what’s 2500 scientists vs. one guy who says everything is hunky-dory”

        Nothing, if the “one guy” is right. That’s (real) science.

      • Kristi write this silly dribble since being ignorant of past history of science controversies doesn’t help you here,:

        “But what’s 2500 scientists vs. one guy who says everything is hunky-dory, and if the science doesn’t say so then they’re all doing it wrong?”

        J. Harlan Bretz is a perfect example of being right and 2,500? Geologists being wrong. Alfred Wegener (amateur geologist) was another example of being right about Continents moving around, which many degreed Geologists of the day disputed.

        You suffer from Consensus ideology, which has no place in science research.

      • “Would it not be better to actually show the problem demonstrate that areas that were ‘irrecoverable and destroyed’ say 5 years ago remain irrecoverably destroyed now?” I am not qualified to do so. No, science shouldn’t be put up to a vote, but if it’s a choice between believing thousands of scientists who have studied coral bleaching around the globe vs. one guy who has studied the GBR, why would I believe the latter? How do you know he has shown that the reef has recovered? Is his research beyond question, while all contradictory research is automatically wrong? Even his arguments are foolish. Sure, storms come along and wreck parts of a reef, but not 1000-km swaths of it. Storms are single events, ocean temps are going up generally – the cycles he talks about could come more often or be more extended. Coral recovery doesn’t mean it’s as diverse as it was before – some corals are much faster growers and much more resilient. Etc., etc.

        But all that’s beside the point. The point is the way he went about airing his grievances is not acceptable. If he were pointing to systematic scientific misconduct, that would be one thing, but that’s not at all what he did. He made claims to the public that the public is not capable of evaluating and that don’t qualify as misconduct. His are criticisms that belong in the scientific community where they can be properly understood and addressed if merited and possible.

        I am sick an tired of hearing how corrupt the scientific community is from those who aren’t a part of it and don’t understand it. Many people believe there is a global conspiracy of climate scientists out to fool the world for political or financial reasons. It’s just ridiculous, but some Americans believe it. I have no patience for scientists who blithely throw around accusations that only compound the problem. Ridd is free to discuss particular issues, but saying that science is not trustworthy is not good for anyone.

  57. The irony is that if the university had left him alone , he wouldn’t have gotten all this attention. My advice the James Cook U is to double down, maybe hire some private detectives to follow him around. You can’t do academic suppression half assed.

  58. I get the desire to defend ones freedom of speech rights , the scientific method and the bullying attacks
    from James Cook university . Why would anyone send there kids to such a concentration camp ?
    We are increasingly seeing “educators ” use their platform to do a polluted brain dump on students who are sitting ducks . Keep it up and online education will blow the doors off these overly expensive brain wash facilities .

  59. ” the responsibility of universities to nurture the debate of difficult subjects without threat or intimidation”

    True! But going to the local TV station and tell the public that they shouldn’t believe science or trust scientific institutions is not debate.

    Dr. Ridd doesn’t seem to understand (or pretends not to) why things are the way they are.

    If he has issues with methods or interpretation or peer review or whatever, that’s something to be settled within the scientific community, among the people who understand the issues, not among the general public. He also published (evidently against JCU policy) in a book that is very clearly biased, by an institution that has a clear climate science agenda. Scientists are supposed to eschew bias. That’s their JOB, the object of science is to eliminate it; it’s central to the methodology. Dr. Ridd made his bias clear, and that casts doubt on his research and his ability to objectively evaluate others’.

    Why do you think there are so few scientists vocally advocating pro-AGW, or lobbying for policy change? There’s a reason scientists stay out of politics, even though that has it’s drawbacks: the voice of science is filtered and twisted by media, blogs, and propaganda on both sides.

    Do you see? Dr. Ridd says he’s fighting for academic freedom, but instead he’s undermining his profession as well as his own credibility as impartial and objective.

    Why is it contrarians only seem to start getting into trouble after they’ve become affiliated with conservative think tanks?

    The bleaching is happening all over the world, not just on the GBR. Yes, coral often recovers, but some species are much more resilient, so you end up losing diversity. Storms affect areas of reef, not everywhere at once. Yes, there are cycles of bleaching, but not usually ones lasting two years in a row – if they are bleached too long, they often die. His arguments have holes.

    • How else is his point of view to be heard? And if he tried the ABC he would be stifled anyway. Science is not about being ‘nice’ it is about truth, objectivity, thought and reason.

      • That’s what debate within the scientific community is for. It’s active. It’s effective. If there really are major problems, people pay attention. But the reality is that studies can’t all be replicated – there’s no funding for it. If people try, and the results turn out differently, that it interesting in itself, but 50% of the time? In what field? Where’s the evidence? That’s the kind of statistic that can be very misleading, thrown out like that.

        Taking debates about science to the public is NOT about academic freedom and discourse because the public cannot engage in academic scientific debate. He is telling people not to listen to scientists, and the scientists are not present to defend themselves.

        “Science is not about being ‘nice’ it is about truth, objectivity, thought and reason.” I agree completely…but it’s also about the ethics and methodology of the profession, and doing one’s best to preserve objectivity. That means don’t join think tanks or hang out on biased blogs.

      • Dr Ridds view is that the science needs replication, otherwise its not good enough to commit $A Billions of our money to ‘repairing the reef’.
        The reality is that better science is replicated science.
        Sure, money is not being spent on that particularly.
        That’s one problem.
        The win win is for better funded science and the ‘examined life’, of the science and so the reef.

      • “That’s what debate within the scientific community is for. It’s active. It’s effective.”

        Ms Silber, if you will present some examples to support that claim we would be pleased to present to you numerous examples of the opposite. You appear to think in the style of Peter Ellington.

      • “…That means don’t join think tanks or hang out on biased blogs.”

        But it’s apparently OK to host a biased blog, as so many in the post modern science clique do. But I suppose you have noticed that this blog doesn’t ban folks for presenting data and observations which are contrary to its assumed bias.
        This site is about freedom of thought and is dangerous to the preconceptions the indoctrinated youth who have recently passed through the bowel of common core education.

      • Pop Piasa: “But it’s apparently OK to host a biased blog, ABSOLUTELY NOT IF ONE IS A PRACTICING RESEARCHER! as so many in the post modern science clique do POST MODERN SCIENCE CLIQUE??? WEIRD. But I suppose you have noticed that this blog doesn’t ban folks for presenting data and observations which are contrary to its assumed bias.”

        That’s good that it doesn’t ban people for that. Nonetheless, it is most certainly and obviously biased and pushing an idea.

      • Kristi says: ” this blog doesn’t ban folks for presenting data and observations ”

        Kristi, you do not know who is and who is not banned on this blog. So your statement has no basis in reality.

      • Rob – True! Someone else said that, but I have no reason, per se, to believe it. Good point. I know i could get banned any time. I was banned from another site, not because I insulted people or disobeyed policy, but for expressing my views.

        (I have read your many comments that I do not agree with, but you have stayed on the good side of the blog rules, which is what is important to Moderators) MOD

      • That is not at all the impression I have from this or other sources. Certainly, focusing attention on what can be done to save reefs is great, and that should be done, too, but although they may be resilient now under some conditions, that doesn’t mean they will be as the oceans keep warming. It’s not just about what’s happening now, which is bad enough, it’s about what’s going to happen.

        Jeremy is paraphrased in this speech to the President https://www.whitehouse.senate.gov/news/speeches/time-to-wake-up-coral-reefs-and-ocean-acidification:
        ‘Imagine you go camping in July somewhere in Europe or North America, and you wake up the next morning, and you look around you, and you see that 80 percent of the trees, as far as you can see, have dropped their leaves and are standing there naked. And you come home, and you discover that 80 percent of all the trees in North America and in Europe have dropped their leaves….And then you read in the paper a few weeks later, “Oh, by the way, a quarter of those trees died.”’

        I have no idea how much we will be able to do to stop it. Everyone knows it’s an uphill battle to slow the CO2 emissions. But when we have contributed more CO2 to the atmosphere than any other country, and we are still second in the world in emissions, have we no responsibility for the problems? Are we going to sit back and do nothing while the rest of the world is dealing with (partly) our mess? While Miami Beach is spending hundreds of millions on infrastructure to deal with king tides? While industries like the Pacific Oyster growers in the NW are jeopardized by ocean acidification?

        “Oh, it will be nice if it’s a few degrees warmer. Plants will grow more quickly. Better for everyone!” Denial and ignorance! Effects on the oceans will probably be more problematic than those on land..but who knows? There haven’t been conditions like these for at least 800,000 years.

      • “There haven’t been conditions like these for at least 800,000 years.”

        What??!! Now you are showing your ignorance of climate, past and present. We were much warmer in the Medieval Warm Period, warm enough that Vikings were able to live and thrive in Greenland. It was a bit warmer still during the Roman Warm Period. Both occurred less than 2K years ago.

        Then we had that delightful cold time called the Little Ice Age which brought famine, disease, and many deaths just from the cold.

        Cold kills, warmth encourages life of all kinds, encourages diversity, and creativity.

        How’s your biology? Are you aware that the closer you get to the equator the greater the diversity of flora and fauna? This is a fact. Warm climates have an amazing number of different plants and animals, as you move farther north or south, the amount of biological diversity decreases until you get to the poles where you have either penguins or polar bears….

      • Pameladragon, the CO2 has not been this high in over 800,000 years. In fact, it’s about 100 ppm higher than it has ever been during that period.

        My biology is very good, and so is my biogeography, particularly my knowledge of the tropics. I don’t have time or inclination to argue with those who are so ready to call me ignorant.

    • If he has issues with methods or interpretation or peer review or whatever, that’s something to be settled within the scientific community, among the people who understand the issues, not among the general public.

      If he as issues about the methods used to prove the existence of god and the interpretation of holy texts or whatever , that’s something to be settled within the religions community, among the people who understand the issues, not among the general public.

      By the way above the door of entrance the The Royal Society’s, is a Latin script that is translated as ‘take NOBODIES word for it’
      Think about why that is.

    • “Why do you think there are so few scientists vocally advocating pro-AGW, or lobbying for policy change?”

      Because:

      1. Despite the “97% meme/lies, not many scientists actually SUPPORT the “pro-AGW” catastrophist point of view. Many suffer in silence to avoid EXACTLY the type of character assassination and vilification seen in this situation.

      2. Because they don’t need to; the media and Eco-Fascist politicians parrot that point of view excessively already.

      3. Because not being vocal provides them with cover to “change sides” when the house of cards that is “climate science” collapses (i.e., “I always had my doubts but…”).

    • You seem to be all about protecting scientists and not the actual principles of science itself. That’s a HUGE difference. This is why the left and its supporters hate scrutiny of any scientific hypothesis. Einstein never made his science about him or money it was all about the science then he pleaded with the scientific community to scrutinise his hypothesis. There was none of this hatred or censoring of professors for an opposing view. What the left (I find yourself in this column) is doing is monopolising science for two things, to take ownership or custody of it for political purposes and for the funding. The blatant attempts to shut people up have no place in the scientific world and those who propagate such tactics need to have a very long, hard look in the mirror, because one day someone stronger than they, with a greater political purpose will dethrone them and place their scientific religion over all others and then science is dead. If you or anyone doesn’t like the science, come up with better data, and this is what Peter Ridd has done. He uses science to debate his critics where his critics use bullying and threats of law suits to shut him up. Professor Ridd has nothing to fear from the scrutiny of science, so why does JCU fear his? If you want to defend a side try defending science not political ideology, these more truth in science.

    • @Kristi Silber

      Coral ALWAYS recovers. 100,000 years of data had proven this. Even Bikini Atol where numerous nuclear bombs were detonated has a thriving coral reef. Your scaremongering only proves your own bias. So unless you have done any scientific research in this area at all, may I suggest you stop degrading an emeritus Professor who actually has done his research. Your obvious political purposes do not add to the debate, you just advocate for shutting it down. If you wish to see a truly biased Professor, try Prof Hughes. A man who actively campaigns to stop the Adani coal mine which is hundreds of kilometres away from the coast and on the other side of the great diving range. Hardly an objective agent of science. Time to stop throwing stones.

      • You don’t understand me or my point. You makes many assumptions about me that aren’t true. You also make scientific assumptions about the future based on the past, which is not always appropriate – but I’m not about to argue with you when you are unwilling to take what I say at face value and instead make false, insulting assertions.

        “You seem to be all about protecting scientists and not the actual principles of science itself. ” You start with nonsense, and it just goes downhill from there.

      • “You also make scientific assumptions about the future based on the past, which is not always appropriate – ….”

        Really? That’s a hoot, we geologists types have always gotten along just fine assuming that what went before is likely to come by again, given enough time. We don’t go around making silly predictions 100s of years into the future either. Or make unfounded claims that winter is going away and taking the snow with it, or that our much greener planet is going to turn into Dune. It will sooner become flat and be supported on the backs of four elephants standing atop the Great Turtle, Atun, as he slowly swims through space!

  60. Congratulations to Peter Ridd for sticking up for truth in research and freedom of speech.

    Please add Jorden Peterson to this list. He too is being pilloried because he will not succumb to using the 29 silly pronouns demanded by the Canadian government and their universities.

    On the forever doom filled predictions – none of the researched ever seem to look at history. Maybe they just aren’t old enough!

  61. Peter,
    make it so hot for them that hellfire will feel like sitting inside a fridge.
    @ JCU: next stop Tartaros.

  62. My next door neighbor is a tenured professor at a local university. She spends about half of the year travelling the world and giving lectures on her work. She is evidently well regarded in her field, and her work is cited as the basis for policies worldwide. She is, coincidentally, a hard core leftie.

    Over coffee one day, I asked her what she would do if someone asked her for a copy of her data in order to verify her results. Her reply was: “I would refuse, and would tell him to get his own data”.

    She was totally oblivious to the implications of her attitude. When I explained these to her, she stormed off in a huff, and has been very cold and distant to me ever since.

    So here is a tenured professor, who is very well regarded world wide; whose work is the foundation of policy
    decisions all over the world, and her work has never been verified. And she sees no problem with that.

    • I imagine that in some fields it would be an affront to question someone’s data or analysis, it would show a lack of respect and confidence in her professionalism. In some cases there are also privacy issues. But I don’t know anything about her or her field. Do you know the norms for her field?

      • “an affront to question someone’s data or analysis, it would show a lack of respect and confidence in her professionalism”

        Too bad Mike Mann didn’t say it like that. It sounds more 2015 this way.

      • …’it would show a lack of respect and confidence in her professionalism’… And the problem is…?
        Respect can not be demanded, it has to be earned. In science this should only be obtainable by applying a true scientific method, which (as I always have thought) is based on reproduction of results and testable data. (Reminding me of Pons/Fleischmanns ‘Cold fusion’ hoax from a few decades ago).

      • Kristi you obviously do not work in an area where there is a come back if your data is wrong. In areas that are safety related it is normal practice to have people go over your work and criticize it as people may be harmed if you are wrong. Yet apparently it is fine from your point of view that government policies that result in millions world wide being put into energy poverty with many thousands of them dying, can be based on unchecked unverified hypotheses and science that cannot be replicated? Presumably, that is purely to protect the ‘feelings’ of the researchers?

      • KS,
        Are you being deliberately and willfully obtuse? Ask yourself why the motto of the Royal Society is

        “Nullius In Verba”

      • Kristi:
        I don’t understand what you mean by “the norms of her field”.
        But I do know that her work has very significant health and safety implications; furthermore, it is used as the justification for policy decisions that I personally see as government revenue raising under the guise of “public safety”.
        Prior to my retirement I was a consulting engineer; in the 1970’s I managed several studies which are parallel to her area of expertise. The results we got in our studies differ significantly from the results she reports.
        I have noted that her work is cited in policy decisions that are purely ideological by governments, in variance to objective scientific fact.
        Hence the discussion we had over coffee a couple of years ago.

      • Ian: “Yet apparently it is fine from your point of view that government policies that result in millions world wide being put into energy poverty with many thousands of them dying, can be based on unchecked unverified hypotheses and science that cannot be replicated? Presumably, that is purely to protect the ‘feelings’ of the researchers?”

        Yep, you pegged me. How you got all that out of what I’ve written, I don’t know, but sure, I want the whole third world to starve because I don’t want to offend any scientists. Makes sense to me!

        LISTEN UP, YA’LL – I’m not going to defend myself against empty, baseless and often false accusations about my politics, desires and ideas. You know almost nothing about me, and apparently most of you don’t want to understand what I say. You are free to insult me – I’ve seen plenty worse – but you’ll lose my interest and attention pretty quickly.

  63. If Dr. Ridd truly thought JCU’s reaction to his TV interview was “extraordinary,” he’s a plain fool . He MUST have known what he did would get a very strong reaction. I wonder if it’s a publicity stunt for the book – that’s what the interview was for, we now learn.

    • I was on the phone for 3 hours a few weeks ago to a major university professor and world expert in infrared mineralogy. He went over a draft paper I had written where I detailed exactly how 8 major world scientists screwed up and got the data on an elusive mineral all wrong. In fact, laughably wrong. He was unconcerned, but wanted some X-ray data as the best source on the matter. Many instruments saying the same thing kind of logic. He found the challenge to the established science fascinating. Rebutting people in science goes on all the time, and is not unusual or cowardly or seeking attention. It is just science. The emotional garbage impugned to it does not exist in the actual science process. Others are right or others are wrong, and if wrong, you just explain why and show your data.

      • Yes, it seems Kristi has science, where the process is supposed to be based on actual evidence and without regard to the “position” of those advancing a poorly supported point of view, with ideology, where one needs to keep dissent under wraps for fear of loss of “belief” by the minions.

      • Donald – Oh, I know! Science is all about debate and critique, it’s essential to it and good scientists are open to considering other views. And I also know that scientists are human and can get stubborn, but generally if enough data is presented MOST will change their minds.

        EVERYONE – MY WHOLE POINT IN A NUTSHELL; Scientists have an obligation to the profession to uphold its reputation as credible, at least as a whole. Science becomes utterly useless if the public doesn’t believe it (which is a major reason I’m so concerned about the global warming debate). This is why I don’t like alarmists. I despise Al Gore. People in the media and activists exaggerated the predictions and the certainty, and it ended up backfiring. …But anyway, one thing scientists must do to uphold the reputation of science is AVOIDING AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE THE APPEARANCE OF BIAS IN THEIR AREA OF RESEARCH. This is why scientists (in my opinion) should not directly advocate concerning policy. They need to stay out of politics if they are doing research that is at all politically sensitive. And this is why I have a problem with scientists and think tanks.

        Of course, that doesn’t mean that scientists can’t provide information to the public. I very much appreciate the comments from scientists on this site as long as they watch what message they convey.

        By the way, everyone – science doesn’t have to be reproduced to be science, it has to be reproducible. There are ways mistakes get corrected without actually reproducing an experiment exactly. Many experiments overlap in what they study. Effects and interactions must fit the wider picture, like a puzzle piece; if the picture doesn’t make sense, time to go back and check the research and the assumptions. Of course, there is exceptions to this, especially in medical and pharmacological science, or anywhere there’s good reason to do multiple experiments for safety’s sake.

        Climate models are reproduced MANY times – not exactly, that would be dumb, but with variations – yet they more or less agree on many things, qualitative if not quantitatively. For some predictions it appears the average of the lot is most reliable. Climate models are tested in a few different ways. No model will ever be without uncertainty. We can’t predict the future with certainty and presumably we never will be able to. We depend every single day on all kinds of models. But decades of propaganda saying uncertainty means untrustworthy have led to people say climate models are useless hogwash. What a shame.

    • Repeating what I previously posted . . .
      Ridd is JCU Head of Department MARINE GEOPHYSICS LABORATORY http://www.marinegeophysics.com.au/
      Your suggestion regarding the book is in trolling territory.
      Ridd attempted to resolve many issues internally over many years.
      A wall of obstruction and/or silence.
      You well know publishing research critical of issues that ‘need’ funding is not an option.
      In the end Ridd’s only option was to become a whistle-blower and predictably the left (including you) don’t like academic whistle-blowers.
      Your platform is as transparent as JCU’s.

  64. Ridd is up against an institution of higher indoctrination. That is what this whole episode makes clear, and the more publicity this gets the better.

    Hope he becomes another Jordan Peterson.

  65. Peter Ridd is the new Galileo. James Cook U is the new Inquisition
    “James Cook U: Inquisition in the 21st century” This is a good story for Fox News. Calling on Tucker Carlson and Judge Jeanine!

    Torturing climate heretics to recant their blasphemy

  66. Reminds me when interviewing pioneering Qld. GBR researcher Dr Walter Stark for my Marine Park documentry Drawing the Line with Cameramen
    Matt Blyth and Alaneo Gloor.
    Quote; “This one thing a Coral Sea Scientist will never admit to when researching a GBR problem.
    Is that there was never a problem in the first place!”
    Watch Dr Walters interview…
    Searching for the Truth in the Coral Sea.

    Watch my Great Barrier Reef Marine Park documentary Drawing the Line on this link re Corruption of Reef Science.

    (PS If DTL Film starts at 5 minute mark.
    Reset Play slider to the start) xo
    Bruce Wildcard xo

  67. Not being “collegial” is the new club to beat up anyone who questions the work of others. While screaming at faculty in your department might not be collegial, the idea that trying to replicate the work of others or criticizing it are impolite undermines the whole process of science. It is the mark of lazy people with small minds and an agenda.

    • I think it is highly “collegial” to tell others where there are weak points or even flaws in their work. If this is done before publication: excellent. If it is done after publication, then it is still OK, because science lives from things like “Thesis – Antithesis – Synthesis”. Correct me if I am wrong. ;=)

  68. No doubt CBC Quirks and Quarks Rob McDonald will jump on this story and bring it to Canadian audiences…
    /sarc

  69. Do we need a law that says that it is illegal to lie and call it science?

    That anything called science has the same status as being on oath.

    It would be OK to be wrong but not to lie. The bar is very high, it would be necessary to show that the person telling the lie knew it was not true and represented it as science.

  70. I am starting to think especially with respect to climate science and certain scientific institutions the scientis are becoming lazy. They stick with group think, and seem to cherry pick some data, but even their work does not seem as robust as it should. I used to work with a professor at the University of Calgary who would not submit a paper until he had completed thousands of replications because he wanted the statistics to be tight, and he did not want anyone accusing him of not having reproducible results. He worked with mice so it is easier to get those thousands of replications, but I would think that other scientists should be equally concerned about the quality of their work. What I also find very disturbing is this trend towards shutting down any dissenting voice. Science used to promote free thought, new ideas, and debate.

  71. I simply don’t understand why any university would want to silence opposing research or opinions. If the science is robust, there is no need to fear dissent from naysayers. If the science is not robust, why wouldn’t you want to encourage debate with the goal of making the science more robust? Whenever debate is silenced, there is no progress in science. So any learning institution that tries to silence debate is anti-science.

    • I don’t think that’s the problem at all. I think the problem is that he said two institutions, and science in general, are not trustworthy. That’s a potentially very damaging statement. He has also made it clear that his ideas about climate change are biased through his association with a conservative think tank and his contribution to the book they published. Apparently there are JCU policies concerning what he did, and he broke them.

      People here are saying that his ideas about coral bleaching are right, and others’ are wrong. Based on what? He’s not a biologist, he’s a physicist, and I wasn’t able to find any publications of his looking at coral bleaching.

      There’s a trend on this site to assume the science (and scientists) supporting skepticism is automatically more trustworthy than that (those) supporting AGW.

  72. Could the professor give an opinion on the science being used to vilify the commercial fishing sector in the GBRMP.

    [Great Britain ? Maritime ? .mod]

  73. Sadly his university email is not “private” and the University does have the right to censure him. He can complain all he wants but he will get fired and have no legal recourse.

    • So you will fire him because he sent private messages in his university email. Do you have any proof for your accusation Grand Inquisitor Bertrand? Show us the university bylaws that state sending private messages using university email is punishable by job termination of professors. The Grand Inquisitor is inventing charges to torture climate heretics

    • [snip – being deceased, the man can’t defend himself against your charges, so I’m not going to entertain them here – Anthony]

  74. Amazing how these Ecologists, attain expertise in all fields of Climate Science including the GBR. I listened with amazement today as a TV interviewer allowed professor Lesley Hughes, ecologist to spout out all the usual global warming myths, rampant sea level rise, warming to hell in Australian interiors, climate change and the need to stop mining coal, hit all the alarmist points without a peep of protest from the female interviewer who enthusiastically hung on every word. Sadly that is how Australians get their dose of alarmist science, these days. then to top that off the final scientific expertise was to declare that she was a “Climate Councillor”. With all her rabid predictions of doom and wild guesses, surely the Energy industry in Australia, should challenge her wilful economic destructive statements and sue her for evidence to back up HER scary predictions as she tries to wreck their businesses in Australia. Tim Flannery of the same Climate Council has been so discredited for exactly the same wild assertions.

  75. My parents spoke to Peter several years ago about coral bleaching. They informed him that Ian Croll who established Shark World at Nelly Bay in the 60’s had told them that bleaching had been occurring on the reef for years and was a natural occurrence. Well before coal shipping and Global Warming.
    My brother got out of marine science due to falsification of results. Check out the fertiliser tests conducted at One Tree Island.
    No effect except algal growth from millions of times concentration.
    The head of another department at JCU is also being stifled whilst enjoying first class travel and lifestyle so puts up with it. Science requires questioning and repeatable proof before being accepted as fact.

  76. My parents spoke to Peter several years ago about coral bleaching. They informed him that Ian Croll who established Shark World at Nelly Bay in the 60’s had told them that bleaching had been occurring on the reef for years and was a natural occurrence. Well before coal shipping and Global Warming.
    My brother got out of marine science due to falsification of results. Check out the fertiliser tests conducted at One Tree Island.
    No effect except algal growth from millions of times concentration.
    The head of another department at JCU is also being stifled whilst enjoying first class travel and lifestyle so puts up with it. Science requires questioning and repeatable proof before being accepted as fact.

  77. Me: “I wonder if it’s a publicity stunt for the book – that’s what the interview was for, we now learn.” Sorry, this was written poorly. I didn’t mean that the accusations Ridd made during the interview were (necessarily) part of a publicity stunt, but that he was on TV to publicize his book. Sorry.

  78. Trent Lott’s use of the term “collegial” when handing a plaque to Rehnquist when the Senate ruled that a President can be more of a liar than lawyers allow among themselves ( Clinton was disbarred by AR as soon as he left office ) saying at least the they had remained “collegial.” is what drove me Libertarian .

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