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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Hador NYC

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.

Henry Galt

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 ?

John harmsworth

Monkeys? I may burn stuff but I’m no monkey, sir! I am an ape!

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.


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.
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.


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!

Curious George

I second this.


There are more of us than you realise, and we will win out in the end.
You can only hide the truth for so long………

Thanks for highlighting this, Anthony, it is vital information about a crucially important subject.


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.

James Bull

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.


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.



Very well said


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.

Bob Stewart

The gofundme page is “no longer accepting donations”. About $100K was raised from 848 donors, with a start date of Jan. 31, 2018. I hope donations have be closed because Peter decided he had an ample amount, and not because gofundme didn’t like the purpose of the fund. I did buy a copy of “Climate Change: the Facts 2017” from Amazon. The book’s current ranking on Amazon is: #100 in Books > Science & Math > Earth Sciences > Climatology. It would be interesting to see if there has been a recent surge in sales, but I don’t know how to access that information.


Bob Stewart, the stated original goal was ~$95K USD as I recall, so likely it was closed by the author or per an a priori GoFundMe agreement (I don’t know how these work.)


That’s already happened

Peter sent an email to all of us who donated. Apparently with GoFundMe the promoter is supposed to turn the thing off manually when the target is reached, which looked like happening in the early morning here at AEST, so he was setting and resetting his alarm. Then someone at almost the last moment (and possibly with knowledge of how the system works) kicked in a large donation which pushed it to $99,000 🙂

Ed Zuiderwijk

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


I think, this will be just the tip of an iceberg.
Others will follow.

I don’t. A whole morning! Luxury.


Hard hitting is good. Keep it up.


Well done Peter Ridd, a man of honest values.

Greg Woods

‘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?



John harmsworth

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 …
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
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.

John B

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?

ian hilliar

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

AGW is not Science

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.”

Komrade Kuma

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.

Pop Piasa

Dumpster diving, climate ambulance chasers.

Who dares to confront the pseudo-science of the climate change global racket?


‘ 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.

Michael Jankowski
Mark Whitney

Michael, you beat me to it.

Mark Whitney

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

Bryan A

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


Thanks. That’s helpful.


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?
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




Okay, what was the procedure?


Heisenberg’s Proximity Principle?

Steve Keppel-Jones

I think the professor must have been a bogon emitter. I have the opposite situation, with computers: people can’t get something to work until I show up. Then, just by me standing there, it magically starts working 🙂 I emit anti-bogons!


I’ve always said that best way to get the software you are working on to fail, is to demonstrate it to the boss.

Still laugh at the memory of a colleague who discovered that he couldn’t replicate his own work if he wore a white T-shirt instead if a black one. Extremely fickle experiment.


Well documented in: Ioanniddis 2005 Why Most Published Research Findings Are False

John harmsworth

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.


A coin toss.


Not even that favourable.


I agree with you. I had that same thought after I post my first thought.


No that does not mean that 50% are correct, it means that 50% can be reproduced, it does not mean the results indicate what the papers in question say they do.


All the sea urchins are dying….starfish are eating the reef… 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…..

Dunno about “so few”. There are 4.81 million of us here in the Sunshine State, and I think a large proportion of us know.

John B

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.

dodgy geezer

…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.

J Mac

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!

Pop Piasa

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.



AGW is not Science

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.

Andrew Cooke

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.

Geoff Sherrington

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

Ben of Houston

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.
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.

Alan Robertson

“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.


Consensus is the outcome of Salem witch trials.


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.
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.

Andrew Cooke

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.

Ian H

He seems very active on slashdot these days.

John harmsworth

@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.

Ben of Houston

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.

Smokey (Can't Do a Thing About Forest Fires)

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

Smokey (Can't do a thing about wildfires)

honestliberty +a million, you’re gentle-person & a scholar. =)
Best regards,
— Smokey

Robert of Texas

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.

C. Paul Barreira

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?


Ummm. Delete unintended ;


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.

P Walker

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.

Ian W

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.


Most accrediting agencies are as deep into the sc@m as are the colleges.

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.


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”


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.

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!!!

Hats off for a man who’s not willing to be declassified and strangled by charlatans


Peter discovered what we at WUWT already knew. Thanks to WUWT!


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!


Just don’t wear too much sun screen.

“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.


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.

Bob Burban

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.

Smart Rock

He’s probably been advised by his lawyers not to name them. But their names will come out when it goes to court.

Gary Pearse

Eventually you get rid of all your bright lights and end up with Lysenkoite clones.

Jim Gorman

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.

honest liberty

almost correct. We’ve been in it for decades.


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.


“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?

Barry Sheridan

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

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7

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

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.

It is terrific that WUWT highlighted this and enabled us to help out.


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.


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.”


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


Let’s start tracking the enrollment numbers at JCU now.

Gary Pearse

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.



Curious George

Berkeley still teaches courses in racist subjects, like mathematics.

J Mac

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.

Gary Pearse

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.

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.

Reg Nelson

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.

D. J. Hawkins

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?

K. Rogers

It looks as though Yuri Bezmenov was right in many ways.


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.
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”


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…….


Well I hope his got some really thick pants, because the attack dogs will have been set on his rear now.


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


Seems like there ought to be a RICO action in this situation.


Australia doesn’t have RICO-like legislation, nor anti-SLAPP laws.


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.


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.


Probably because they already know what the result of such a review would be.


Meanwhile the reef lives on. Only the fossil reefs are static records.

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.

noble cause corruption. ultimately they will kill you to save your soul.


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.


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.

michael hart

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.

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