Professor Peter Ridd is just the latest academic to be punished for challenging the great global warming scare.
Oops. I shouldn’t even have mentioned that James Cook University has ordered Ridd to stop attacking the science behind dodgy claims that global warming is killing the Great Barrier Reef.
You see, JCU insists its dirty work be kept secret. It charged Ridd even for telling his own wife it was trying to censor him, after trawling through his emails for dirt.
What kind of people run this university? They sound to me less like academics than commissars of some Third World tyranny.
No scientific debate today is more important to us than that on the theory that our emissions are warming the world dangerously.
After all, this global warming theory has panicked governments into spending billions of dollars.
They’ve already destroyed a coal-fired electricity system that once gave us cheap and reliable power, even though green power makes no measurable difference to world temperatures.
They’ve spent billions on other green schemes, even though temperatures have risen far less than predicted.
They’ve built desalination plants for Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, and Adelaide — all now mothballed — because they feared a “permanent” drought that never came.
And they’ve thrown our cash at Pacific islands to save them from rising seas, even though more than 80 percent of those islands have actually grown in size or been stable.
So surely we should question the science behind all this?
Isn’t this how Western civilization has advanced — by testing beliefs?
Instead, universities have a shameful record of stifling this debate.
Example: the late professor Bob Carter was one of the first scientists anywhere to note that global warming had, in fact, paused — and it stayed paused for most of this century.
Any university should be proud to have an academic who was first to a truth. Instead, Carter lost his position as professor emeritus at JCU, which claimed it was merely cutting costs.
Then there’s world-renowned Professor Bjorn Lomborg, who proved that most schemes to fight global warming cost a fortune without actually cutting temperatures.
For that heresy, academics, and students at two universities — Flinders and the University of Western Australia — banned him from setting up his fully funded Copenhagen Consensus Centre in Australia.
And now there’s Peter Ridd (right).
Ridd is a professor of physics and attached to JCU’s Centre for Tropical Water and Aquatic Ecosystem Research and he has long warned that much scientific research is not properly checked.
“I have published numerous scientific papers showing that much of the ‘science’ claiming damage to the (Great Barrier Reef) is either plain wrong or greatly exaggerated,” he said last week.
“As just one example, coral growth rates that have supposedly collapsed along the reef have, if anything, increased slightly … and mass bleaching events along the reef that supposedly serve as evidence of permanent human-caused devastation are almost certainly completely natural.”
He says the reef is actually “in excellent condition”, and largely regrows after bleaching or cyclones.
“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.”
Ridd may be right or wrong. Either way, this is a critical debate, yet JCU is trying to shut it down.
It pounced after Ridd went on Sky News last year to outline his arguments, adding: “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.”
JCU found him guilty of “serious misconduct” and of lacking “collegiality” — meaning “groupthink”.
It has further accused him of denigrating the university and a colleague, and of breaching confidentiality.
Some of those alleged breaches were nothing more than Ridd telling his own wife that the university was punishing him. He is now fighting in the Federal Court to defend his academic freedom.
This has so far cost him $95,000 in legal fees, but thank heavens many Australians still think free speech is worth defending.
Ridd’s go-fund-me appeal raised the money in just two days.
But this case is not only about free speech. It is also about whether scientific debates are settled by censorship or by debate.
A mainstay of Western civilization is on trial here. So why hasn’t federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham stepped in?
Why has Chief Scientist Alan Finkel not protested against this muzzling of a scientist? Where are the other academics defending their most sacred traditions?
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