An Australian Scientist on Coral Reefs, Climate Change, Peer Review, and Universities

I will no longer be debating or commenting on Peaceful Science, but as a parting gift, I provide this link to a video which concerns many of the questions that have been discussed here. Would that all academics had the integrity of this Australian scientist!

See also Jon Garvey’s excellent discussion of connected issues at:

More rhetoric from Eddie the fundamentalist AGW denier. This is laughable, and Jon Garvey’s extended rant (which is characteristically long on claims and short on evidence), outs him as an AGW denier despite all his previous protestations that he isn’t, and his transparent attempts to conceal his own views.

  • “But for myself, I think the global warming scam is going to come crashing down in a few years, just as eugenics and acid rain did before”
  • " Only this time round, the difference is that the propaganda has been so relentless that even if nature is as it always was, the human world will have changed, and greatly for the worse"
  • the poor quality of the science and the worse quality of the IPCC reports for policy-makers”
  • “people will have realized that they sacrificed hard-earned trillions upon trillions of dollars, pounds, euros and yen for a lie
  • “You would assume that mass anger will, under such circumstances, be vented on those who have propagated that lie:”

Here are a few pertinent facts.

  1. Peter Ridd has been an AGW denier for years. His recent claims about the Great Barrier Reef are nothing new; they are part of his systematic campaign to discredit the science of AGW. His claims about the Great Barrier Reef are rejected by the overwhelming majority of scientists involved in this field.

  2. Ridd is a supporter of the infamous Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank which has tried to convince people that cigarettes are not harmful, that climate change is not happening, and other idiotic claims.

  3. Jon Garvey says this.

Ridd’s opponents have tried the usual tactic of suggesting he sacrificed his career and reputation to gain money and fame, which is a little implausible given that he’s the kind of old fashioned guy who never even accepted payment for chapters in books, on the basis that writing on science was what his university paid him for. It was simpler just to live on his salary.

He is clearly completely ignorant of the fact that Ridd is funded by the Institute of Public Affairs, an astroturf lobby group funded by the mining and fossil fuel industries, with the aim of reducing regulations and taxes for these industries.

  1. Jon Garvey says this.

If you are one of those who think that the Dover trial dealt the death-knell to ID, then to be consistent you must also accept that all is not well in the practice of science in universities, and ask whether those in your country are exempt.

Clearly he does not understand the trial. Unlike Dover, Ridd’s trial had nothing to do with his science, and his (pseudo)scientific claims were neither on trial nor scrutinized. The trial was a civil suit he brought against an employer for unfair dismissal.

  1. Jon Garvey represents this as a case of breach of academic freedom, and censorship of an individual for their disagreeable scientific views. But the university’s own statements have made it clear neither of these are the real issue.

Dr Ridd was not sacked because of his scientific views. Dr Ridd was never gagged or silenced about his scientific views, a matter which was admitted during the court hearing.

  1. Surprisingly (or perhaps not surprisingly), Jon Garvey failed to quote Ridd’s agreement that the Great Barrier Reef is changing as a result of its reaction to global warming, and his acknowledgment of coral deaths due to ocean acidification (which Ridd glosses over with typical obfuscation, saying it is “perhaps yet another example of science that has not been properly scrutinised, or subjected to proper quality assurance”).

@Jonathan_Burke do you intend to push him out?

What I don’t understand about AGW denial is the extent of the alleged hoax on the part of scientists.

Realistically, this hoax would need to extend 100 or more years into the past, starting with the first discoveries of the greenhouse effect. The greenhouse effect itself would need to be a hoax, and I don’t see how a 100+ year conspiracy could have worked when simple experiments in an undergrad laboratory could expose the whole thing. Arrhenius did the first calculations estimating the impact of increased carbon dioxide in the late 1800’s, and those calculations are still largely accurate.

Assuming the greenhouse effect is real, then the next big hoax would have to be measurements of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, both in modern times and extending through geologic history as measured in ice cores and other geologic records. These would obviously need to be a hoax in order to keep the denial going. If greenhouse gases increase, then you trap more heat. There is no getting around this basic conclusion from physics. Therefore, there is a world wide hoax of making up carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, and I just don’t see how this could be pulled off.

So what are we left with? It seems that the only thing the AGW deniers have left is to complain about the accuracy of the predictions, which is ludicrous. It’s a bit like saying that cancer is a hoax because a doctor said someone would die from cancer in 6 months but they didn’t die until 8 months later. Predictions are difficult because climate is complex, but the large scale conclusion is still unavoidable: increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere increase temperature.

All I can really see is a cult of conspiracy. We see the same thing in creationism, ID, flat earth, moon landing conspiracies, and geocentrism. Some people are just drawn to contradictory positions, for whatever reason.


No. On the contrary, I was hoping he would stay around and address the facts.

Jon Garvey does that in his article.

Every prediction from climate change models, and from the politicians and activists who laud them, has proved wrong so far, and I see no likelihood of that pattern changing.

Naturally he provides no evidence for this claim, which is totally false.

1 Like