Dr. Peter Ridd climate skeptic dismissal case finally heads to court

Dr. Peter Ridd writes on his GoFundMe Page.

My court case is scheduled for 26-28th March in Brisbane. The main arguments of both sides have been submitted to the court and the James Cook University arguments will certainly make interesting reading when they become public during the hearing. My legal people have been excellent and I am confident that if this can be won, then they will do it.

On a philosophical note, in my opinion JCU will lose the ethical argument even if they manage to win on some narrow legal definition. If they win, it will mean that a judge has decided that a university has set up legally binding contracts that give them the power to effectively take away the right to intellectual freedom of an academic and silence him/her. That would be something of a pyrrhic victory. The university hierarchy may feel vindicated but the general public, especially those in North Queensland who are most affected by the questionable Great Barrier Reef science, will take a different view.

But without getting over-confident, I reckon the chances of us winning are considerably above average, so we will see.

For me the last few months waiting for the court case has been productively spent writing a book on the Great Barrier Reef. It documents why it is actually in excellent shape, looks at all the supposed threats to the reef, and with one exception shows that they are massively exaggerated. It documents some of the appalling “science” and explains how our science institutions, especially those of the Great Barrier Reef, have become so untrustworthy. 

Thanks again for all the help, and we will let you know how it all develops. For those living close to Brisbane you would be most welcome to come to the proceedings.

46 thoughts on “Dr. Peter Ridd climate skeptic dismissal case finally heads to court

      • No you cannot.

        That was famously let go when Julia Gillard, the Prime Minister, tried to bring it in and Tim, her partner made a public joke about men’s preferences for a doctor giving a prostate examination.

        With Julia on stage, he proudly made the public announcement. Asian, female and with small hands.

        It scuppered the offensive legislation better than 1000 lobbyists.

      • It offends me that they can sue just for having their tender feelings offended. I should sue. It might make me feel empowered. Oh, but then, having to sue would show my insecurities.

    • No. Freedom of speech as guaranteed and respected in the US is a rare commodity in the rest of the world.

      • Well… ‘sort of’ guaranteed and respected in the US! Do NOT try free speech at U of Cal Berkeley or at Evergreen State College in Olympia WA. In those places, any speech which someone says causes them to ‘feel bad’ is deemed to be hate speech and is banned on those grounds. ie if anyone feels uncomfortable because you said something (or, even better DIDN’T say something) you are guilty and are banned (or punched in the face in Berkeley).

        • That’s not universal. Only certain protected minorities have the right to suppress speech that hurts their feelings.
          If you are a straight white male, you are expected to man up and take it.

        • I’m a lukewarm Trump supporter. I’m glad about getting out of the Paris Accords, Supreme Court nominees, and tax cuts; negative on tariffs and Tweets. But when I read that wearing a Make America Great Again hat was considered hate speech I immediately bought one and wear it occasionally, usually daily when we take our dog Radar to play ball on our nearby beach here in Northern California. No one has directly mentioned the hat yet, but when I wear it they seem distracted talking to me, rather like they are talking to my hat. I assume it’s only a matter of time before one of our tourists comes unglued about me wearing a MAGA hat.

          • Michael Combs,

            I wouldn’t consider myself lukewarm, more like average. After the attacks on the Covington children in DC, I bought a Make America Great Again hat. I wear it when walking my dog, when I go shopping, anywhere that does not involve food being served to me. I have had a few people say “Nice hat.” and then ask where can they get one. No one has complained, yet.

          • I fully support some of the causes Trump supports, am cautiously agreeable to some others, and am totally appalled at the rest, as I am by the boorishness and mendacity of the man himself. It’s a shame that his gross defects contaminate those few needed and positive things he does.

      • A portion of the first amendment to the US Constitution says, “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” So, yes we have freedom of speech and it is a rare personal freedom in the world, but many don’t really understand the extent and limitations of that right.

        From the Constitution Daily website…
        “Although the First Amendment says “Congress,” the Supreme Court has held that speakers are protected against all government agencies and officials: federal, state, and local, and legislative, executive, or judicial. The First Amendment does not protect speakers, however, against private individuals or organizations, such as private employers, private colleges, or private landowners. The First Amendment restrains only the government.”

        The site goes on to explain (as I paraphrase from them below) that the government can restrict speech in 3 general areas:
        (1) “Low value” speech such as defamation, true threats, “fighting words”, obscenity, child pornography and misleading commercial advertising.
        (2) The government can restrict speech under a less demanding standard when the speaker is in a special relationship to the government. For example, the speech of government employees and of students in public schools can be restricted.
        (3) The government can also restrict speech under a less demanding standard when it does so without regard to the content or message of the speech. Content-neutral restrictions, such as restrictions on noise, blocking traffic, and large signs (which can distract drivers and clutter the landscape), are generally constitutional as long as they are “reasonable.”

      • I love it when someone makes a blanket statement about “the US”. You name any area of life especially alledged freedoms like speech and gun ownership and the reality is thats its massively fragmented by State , county and even city like most things in the US. Complexity, confusion and ill defined interfaces and boundaries are the norm.

    • You can have “freedom of thought” like in the armed services. It may not be politic to voice your thoughts.

    • An Australian here – no we’ve lost the right to freedom of speech down here – truth has become the new “hate speech”.

  1. Good luck Peter, we’re proud of you and will be watching.

    ” … For me the last few months waiting for the court case has been productively spent writing a book on the Great Barrier Reef. It documents why it is actually in excellent shape, looks at all the supposed threats to the reef, and with one exception shows that they are massively exaggerated. It documents some of the appalling “science” and explains how our science institutions, especially those of the Great Barrier Reef, have become so untrustworthy. … ”

    A much needed examination of the topic, it will be read by many. The buckets of public money doled out by grandstanding knee-jerking governments and associated manias pushed by NGOs pandered to by an irresponsible delusion-promoting media which corrupted the process of discovery, understanding and education of the natural world. Take care as whipping money-changers out of the temple and back on to the streets tends to get one crucified. All the best.

    • Let’s hope that you have a publisher willing to go against the consensus and risk the attacks of the CAGW community.

  2. Dear Dr Ridd
    I hope you are in contact with Dr. Paul Kench, University of Auckland, School of Environment

    an expert on coral and coral reefs
    a hands on researcher usually out there somewhere digging for data with his phd students
    a real scientist without an axe to grind against fossil fuels

  3. Good luck and Godspeed to Peter. The Universities now act like religious zealots in the church of climate change. It’s the only religion where you have to be too smart to believe in religion but not smart enough to know you already belong to one.

  4. Interesting. I will have to check, but looks like this case will fall on one of the possible dates of the New South Wales (NSW) state election. Although this case will be heard in Brisbane, Queensland, the case will be deflected by media attention of the NSW election.

    I am confident this was deliberate given all the attention of all thing climate and the GBR.

    • The NSW State election is on Saturday 23 March. Peter’s case starts on the Tuesday following.

      There is little to no likelihood that the date was arranged by anyone other than the clerk of the court and then only for the requrred “gap” (a scheduled three day hearing)

  5. Good on yer Dr Ridd. I’ll certainly be buying the book. Our great reef is too wonderful to be used as a pawn by rabid ecoloons!

  6. Dr. Ridd,
    Go get ’em!
    May your victory be financially rewarding and devastatingly complete over your James Cook university opponents.

  7. I’m an American citizen that was born in Brisbane by American parents, we left when I was 8 years old. I’m sad to see how Australia, a land that once epitomized the free spirit, has devolved into yet another eco-socialist dystopia. I was looking forward to finally visiting my old stomping grounds…and of course go visit the GBR that isn’t going anywhere in the next few millennia. Although I do have the a birthright to Australian citizenship, given recent events in Oz , I’m not sure if such a plan B for the 2020 US elections is worth anything.

      • Agreed. I can’t vote as I am just a full taxpaying permanent resident. To be honest, none of then would earn my vote.

  8. Dr Ridd sets a fine example. I’m glad that you are still able to maintain a positive outlook despite the abuse and attacks by those in positions of power and authority.

  9. The second paragraph is an astute observation. Should the uni win then any academic worth his or her salt will avoid it like the plague. And so will the students, the more intelligent ones that is.

    • I wonder whether we are witnessing the final demise of the Western university as a place of free intellectual enquiry and openness.

  10. I wish Dr Ridd the greatest success.
    Hes not alone in having issues with uni powerholders seeking to control or remove anyone who dares dissent, or show their practices up as in error( being polite)
    I can’t say more but I know one other uni and board in Qld is facing some very embarrassing court proceedings sometime soon.

    as for free speech in Aus, well we never really had it in writing in law like usa.
    our constitution is all for protecting the PTB and the pommy govt system it was engendered by.
    that said, people like me still call a spade a shovel and dont give a damn who I “offend”
    pc and snowflakes can go to hell or present their own argument back if theyve actually got one;-)

  11. By the early 1600s, England’s Star Chamber had become an agent of absolutist government.
    And under Archbishop Laud extremely nasty.
    Politically incorrect people were subject to fines, ears being lopped off and face brandings.
    Eventually, popular opinion bypassed such authority and freedom accomplished a big step with the “Glorious Revolution” of 1688.
    The Wiki sums it up clearly.
    Ordinary folk had had enough of in-your-face and in-your-wallet government.
    The establishment going in Dr. Ridd’s favour would be a wonderful step.
    For him and for history.

  12. Can James Crook Uni admins get Ridd of a skeptical scientist? Sheep are welcomed to fill in his place, never enough of them.

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