A brief overview of on-going climate research.
by Dr. Bill Johnston
Australian taxpayers spend inordinate amounts of money each year on “saving” the Great Barrier Reef and to keep the bucket brimming with cash there is little wonder that the myriad of organizations involved want careful control over the spin and the people who do the work. The dust-up between Peter Ridd and James Cook University (JCU) is a case-in-point.
The Reef is indeed wonderful, big, can be seen from space; its worth this much or that depending on how its counted and of-course the bigger the better and therefore whatever they spend is an ‘investment for future generations’ … And JCU defends “Peter’s right to make statements in his area of academic expertise …”; except of course doubts he may have about other researchers’ research (otherwise known as the failing-to-act-in-a-collegial-way-and-in-the- academic-spirit-of-the-institution gotya). It does not help that with 15 coauthors, the Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies Professor Terry Hughes makes the ambit claim that “Global warming is rapidly emerging as a universal threat …to the long term future of these iconic ecosystems” in the prestigious journal Nature (http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-018-0041-2); especially if it isn’t true.
The Number-1 problem faced by the Reef
The biggest problem faced by the Reef in the 21st century is the feeding-frenzy resulting from too much money being flung at too many institutions all pedalling their own exaggerated versions of catastrophe so they can demand more money and thus keep the gravy train puffing along. The players have habits to support – boards, over-paid vice chancellors and professors; administrators of this and that, travel budgets, meetings, multiple media-teams etc. all of which are proportionally paid-for from the Australian Research Council’s cash-for-science bucket. For every dollar that actually lands on the Reef, three or four dollars or more is likely to be swallowed by such overheads. Then there are the well-organised and well-funded climate drum-beaters like WWF, Nature Australia, GetUp!, Greenpeace, the Climate Council and the Australian Youth Climate Coalition doom-merchants, who prey on vulnerable children who are integral to the success of the enterprise.
It follows that if 50% of the big-spenders were forced to find something more useful to do, the amount of research done on the Reef could double or treble; alternatively, more could be spent on more pressing issues somewhere else. The question is, do the boards of the organizations, consisting mostly of lawyers, engineers, lobbyists, accountants and mates ever undertake due-diligence on their ‘brand’ or on the research they supposedly oversee?
As cause de jour for everything, climate change is looking very wobbly. Careful analysis cross-referenced by documents, plans and aerial photographs held by the National Library and National Archives of Australia shows that the Bureau of Meteorology has questions to answer about how data have been gamed to warm the climate. It is not feasible they can’t remember locations of the original Aeradio weather stations at Cairns, Townsville and Rockhampton and when they moved and changed. Rather than reciting untrue claims about climate warming to The Conversation, ABC and the Fairfax press, Blair Trewin et al. should front-up to taxpayers and explain how badly and why they got it so wrong. For their part, from CSIRO down, the good ol’ mates and fellows on flag-waving boards and in science institutes and academies have failed dismally to uphold their glossy governance statements. It is clear that scientists like Peter Ridd should be free to do their work without the burden of implied support for climate change, for which there is no evidence in any Australian weather station dataset. It’s also valid for scientists of Peter’s standing and repute to call out peers doing poor or shifty work especially where the hierarchy is more protective of their brand-and-gravy than they are concerned about excellence in science.
Behind the closed doors of political correctness and vested interests, Australian science has lost its way and it’s a hideous situation that taxpayers are constantly misinformed and manipulated by organizations they once held in high-regard. Despite the Bureau’s best efforts, including deliberate bias (https://s3.amazonaws.com/jo.nova/guest/aust/bom-audit/johnston-bill/2018/bourke/back-of-bourke-v1.3_10.pdf), there is no evidence the climate has changed or warmed or that climatic extremes are increasing. Except in fluffy-duck-science stories based on modelling, which are mainly perpetuated by competing doomsayers and institutional catastrophists via the left wing press; neither the Reef nor the Murray-Darling Basin are or have been under threat from climate warming.
Temperature across Australia are being reported as getting warmer because in November 1996 the Bureau changed to networked automatic weather stations, and over the ensuing 2 decades sacked their trusty observers and reduced the size of instrument shelters (Stevenson screens) from 230 to 60-litres. Without even considering site biases (obvious in time-lapse Google Earth Pro satellite images) unattended small screens beside dusty tracks and at airports are biased-high from accumulated grime. Biased data that changes the colour of summer from red to purple looks scary, but doesn’t change the climate.
Pushed from the top by CSIRO and the Australian Research Council’s money bucket and from the bottom by green groups; climate change is a billion-dollar scam the likes of which Australians have never experienced before. Chairman David Thodey who heads-up the CSIRO brand has no relevant scientific credentials (https://www.csiro.au/en/About/Leadership-governance/Minister-and-Board/Members), yet via silo-structures it is Thodey and his Board that oversees the Bureau and signs-off on “The State of the Climate”; “Climate change: Science and Solutions for Australia”; “Climate projections”; … “Climate Adaptation” ….. It is a problem that individual weather station data don’t support their rhetoric. Unlike Peter Ridd, Thodey didn’t have the spine to push back. He and his Board have allowed science to be hijacked for political purposes and the Great Barrier Reef gravy train is the product of that failure. Further, it’s well known that like JCU; within the Bureau and CSIRO, jobs are on the line for speaking-out.
In the name of ‘climate-justice and ‘climate-action’ and with a general election looming, it is time to put climate fallacies to bed so Australians can get on doing and making things that build wealth and contribute to the country’s future; and hopefully, so wannabe-politicians co-opted by vested interests like WWF don’t run amok and make decisions that affect everyone for all the wrong reasons.
Exemplified by Peter Ridd vs. JCU and for the sake of our nation’s future, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison should commit to an open inquiry into climate change including the role of the Bureau of Meteorology in creating trends and changes that don’t exist.
Here’s the backstory, complete with photos and diagrams: