Eerder schonk ik aandacht aan de alarmerende berichten over de vermeende aftakeling van de Australische koraalriffen, die – zoals wij dat van klimaatalarmisten gewend zijn – voornamelijk wordt toegeschreven aan de opwarming van de aarde (die zo’n 18 jaar geleden is gestopt).

Onder de titel, ‘The Reef’s Self-Serving Saviours’, schreef Walter Starck in Quadrant een kritische analyse van wat er werkelijk aan de hand is en de stelselmatige desinformatie die over de toestand van het ‘Great Barrier Reef’ wordt verspreid.

All the many and varied claims of threats are based on speculation and the flat-out fabrications of researchers, bureaucrats and activists seeking grants and donations. Let us hope that a political leader emerges to decry and defund the gold-plated alarmists and the immense harm they are doing

Virtually every year for the past half-century news reports have bannered dire proclamations by “reef experts” on imminent “threats” to the Great Barrier Reef. This has sustained an ongoing, ever-growing charade of “research” and “management” aimed at saving the reef from a litany of hypothetical threats conjured up by a salvation industry which now costs taxpayers over $100 million annually. Although none of these “threats” have ever proven to be anything other than hypothetical possibilities or temporary fluctuations of nature, the doomsters never cease to rummage through their litany of concerns to find something they can present as urgent in order to keep the funding flowing.

For a time in the 1970s and ’80s genuine basic research was beginning to reveal a fascinating range of new understanding about the reef. Sadly, this all too brief golden age of discovery faded away when researchers found that the surest path to funding was to go with the flow and float their careers on the rising tide of environmentalism. We now have a whole generation of researchers whose entire involvement has been in the context of investigating various environmental concerns. Understandably, they perceive and/or present every fluctuation of nature as evidence of some threat.

In this process the open, sceptical, inquiring approach of science has been displaced by what has become the environmental facet of political correctness.  Like the latter, it is weak on evidence and brooks no questioning of its doctrine, the penalty for any such heresy being personal denigration, the rejection of research funding, and the rejection of papers by peer-reviewed journals. At its most sinister, even dismissal from employment. …

Walter Starck is niet de enige die dit soort praktijken aan de kaak stelt. Van officiële zijde bevestigen de uitspraken van de voorzitter van de ‘Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’ (GBRMPA), Russell Reichelt, dat de verhalen over de verbleking van de Australische koraalriffen op zijn minst sterk overdreven zijn.

Activist scientists and lobby groups have distorted surveys, maps and data to misrepresent the extent and impact of coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef, ­according to the chairman of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Russell Reichelt.

A full survey of the reef ­released yesterday by the author­ity and the Australian Institute of Marine ­Science said 75 per cent of the reef would escape unscathed.

Ook een andere Australische wetenschapper liet zich kritisch uit over de alarmistische berichtgeving over de staat van de riffen. Onder de titel, ‘Reef whistleblower censured by James Cook University’, schreef Graham Lloyd in ‘The Australian’:

When marine scientist Peter Ridd suspected something was wrong with photographs being used to highlight the rapid decline of the Great Barrier Reef, he did what good scientists are supposed to do: he sent a team to check the facts.

After attempting to blow the whistle on what he found — healthy corals — Professor Ridd was censured by James Cook University and threatened with the sack. After a formal investigation, Professor Ridd — a renowned campaigner for quality assurance over coral research from JCU’s Marine Geophysics Laboratory — was found guilty of “failing to act in a collegial way and in the academic spirit of the institution”. …

Commentaar van Walter Starck:

A further exposure of the rot in reef science appeared only a few days ago in The Australian (June 11) entitled “Reef whistleblower censured by James Cook University” reports that Professor Peter Ridd, a very experienced and highly regarded senior professor at James Cook University, was threatened with a charge of serious misconduct for questioning the scientific integrity of some blatantly alarmist claims about the GBR.

In academic speak “serious misconduct” is code for the sack. If a highly regarded senior professor is so treated take it as a given that the 90+% of academics who are more junior in status will take note to avoid any appearance of dissent. It appears that, as far as the administration at JCU is concerned, maintenance of a comfortable place at the public trough must override any considerations of academic freedom or scientific integrity. It would seem the official definition of “serious misconduct” is more concerned with exposing it than with its commission.

Lees verder hier.

Op zijn website veroordeelde Luboš Motl, een bekende Tsjechische klimaatscepticus, de beslissing van de James Cook University scherp.

Peter Ridd is a coral reef expert who used to work with Bob Carter as a postdoc (among others). He has seen lots of evidence that many of the catastrophic claims about the coral reef are based on sloppy or intentionally misleading observations or downright indefensible.

For example, a month ago, Peter Ridd was heard that some recent claims about the death of the coral reef by 2021 are laughable. Also, he decided to replicate or check some recent photographs claimed to show a rapid demise of the coral reef system. He sent some collaborators over there – and, surprise, the coral reef was doing fine.

Because of these inconvenient findings, the corrupt officials at the James Cook University … ordered some official ethical committee to investigate Mr Ridd. It concluded that he “failed to act in a collegial way and in the academic spirit of the institution”. If something like that will occur again, he will be sacked, he was directly threatened.

So if you find a serious mistake in your colleagues’ work, you fail to be “collegial” over there. You know, in genuine science, the virtues are different. It is extremely important to systematically verify the quality of the research. A genuine scientist is always grateful when an actual mistake is found in his research. Instead, the James Cook University openly tells Ridd – and everyone else – that to publish any finding about the coral reef that may be interpreted as good news means an existential problem for the researcher, much like some forbidden activities in the Third Reich. Can the scientific research constrained in this way lead to any outcomes that have a positive value? I don’t think so. …

Aldus Luboš Motl.

Lees verder hier.

De groenbevlogen subsidiezoekers houden maar niet op met het verspreiden van desinformatie en het smoren van kritische geluiden. De moedige wetenschappers die met gevaar voor de eigen carrière daartegen weerstand bieden en de wetenschappelijke integriteit hoog houden, verdienen ons aller respect en bewondering.

Voor mijn eerdere bijdragen over klimaat en aanverwante zaken zie hier, hier, hier, hier en hier.