An Australian Professor of Physics is suing his university, which is trying to gag him from telling the truth about the “dying” Great Barrier Reef.
The truth, of course, is that the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) isn’t dying at all. (As we’ve written here and here)
In fact it’s doing just fine and the gagged professor – Peter Ridd of James Cook University – has plenty of solid scientific evidence to prove it.
Ridd has been studying the GBR for 30 years and believes that the oft-heard claims that it is seriously threatened by climate change or pollution are just environmentalist scaremongering. He is also highly critical of those supposedly reputable institutions which have been promoting this alarmist myth, among them the Australian Institute of Marine Science and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies.
But when Ridd pointed this out in a published essay and a radio interview last year his university accused him of serious misconduct. It claimed that his criticisms were “not collegial” (the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies is actually part of James Cook University) and threatened him with dismissal. Furthermore, the university ordered him not to mention to anyone the existence of its allegations, let alone any detail. Ridd ignored this order and went public.
Now he is fighting not just for his job and his academic credibility but also for the integrity of science itself.
The study authors, from NOAA’s Marine Mammal and Turtle division in La Jolla, California, analyzed sea turtle populations on beaches at the northern and southern ends of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.
Because incubation temperature of turtle eggs determines the animal’s sex, a warmer nest results in more females. Increasing temperatures in Queensland’s north, linked to climate change, have led to virtually no male northern green sea turtles being born.
For the study, scientists caught green turtles at the Howick Group of islands where both northern and southern green turtle populations forage in the Great Barrier Reef. Using a combination of endocrinology and genetic tests, researchers identified the turtles’ sex and nesting origin.
Of green turtles from warmer northern nesting beaches, 99.1% of juveniles, 99.8% of subadults, and 86.8% of adults were female. Turtles from the cooler southern reef nesting beaches showed a more moderate female sex bias (65%–69% female).
If global warming continues, the study concludes, then so many turtles may turn female that there will be no males with which to mate. Extinction will then be inevitable.
The Great Barrier Reef is dead. It has ceased to be, expired and gone to meet its maker, kicked the bucket, shuffled off its mortal coil, run down the curtain and gone to join the bleedin’ choir invisible. It is an Ex Great Barrier Reef.
Well, at least it is if you believe the left-wing media such as the Guardian, which claims today that the reef is at “terminal stage” because of damage allegedly caused by “climate change”.
Lots of eco loons have been rending their garments and throwing their (recyclable, organic, gluten-free) toys out of the pram in horror at this hideous disaster.
But it’s OK. As I keep trying to explain here to anyone who’ll listen – and obviously, also, to annoy the greenies – is that the Great Barrier Reef isn’t in the remotest danger. Yes, it has experienced bleaching, but this is normal – especially in dramatic El Ninos like the one we’ve just had – and there is no reason to suspect that the GBR won’t recover.
Today is Earth Hour and as usual I shall be lighting a candle – several, actually; plus turning my Rayburn up to eleven; plus turning on all the house lights; plus lighting the patio heaters; plus starting my Landrover and leaving its diesel engine to idle outside in the drive; plus switching on the immersion heater; plus running several hot baths – in tribute to the world’s climate heroes.
I refer, of course, to the tiny, elite fellowship of scientists, economists, politicians, journalists and bloggers who have bravely taken the right side of the climate argument and spoken up for truth, integrity and the scientific method in defiance of the vast and terrifying propaganda behemoth they call the Green Blob.
Many of them were present at the annual Heartland Institute Climate Conference in Washington DC this week. I was sorry not to have been able to make it there myself this year because these people have become my friends. Shared adversity does that for you: everyone from our elder statesman Fred Singer downwards has been brutally vilified, traduced, mocked and monstered by the Servants of the Green Blob over the years – because when the evidence isn’t on your side (as it hasn’t been for a long time where the alarmist cause is concerned), blustering appeals to authority, affectedly high-minded ridicule and below-the-belt cheap shots are pretty much the only weapons left to you.
My sceptical filmmaking friends Phelim McAleer and Anne McElhinney once made a movie exposing the nonsense of the greenies. It was called Not Evil Just Wrong. In my view this was a misnomer. It should have been called: Wrong – And Totally Bloody Evil Too.
There many reasons why the alarmist establishment – the Climate Industrial Complex as Myron Ebell calls it – is so totally loathsomely evil. If I had to list them all this would be longer than War & Peace.
One is that they’re such hypocrites: if you really cared about the environment in the way these fascistic loons claim they do, then you’d be vigorously opposing renewable energy (such as the bat-chomping, bird-slicing eco-crucifixes defacing our landscape and slicing and dicing our avian fauna) and instead going all out for fossil fuels.
This was a point often made in the Heartland panel discussions – which you can catch up with here .
In the one on Sustainability – Panel 5A – independent scientist Indur Goklany pointed out that without fossil fuels we wouldn’t have the fertilizer we need to make our agricultural land so productive. This in turn would mean we wouldn’t be able to leave nearly so much space free as fallow land, as nature reserves or as wilderness.
You’d think the Greenies would get this fairly basic scientific point – given how much they’re always banging on about “the science” – but they never do because, as I argued in my book Watermelons, their commitment to environmentalism owes much more to quasi-religious ideology, to straightforward greed and to anti-free-market control-freakery than it does to a genuine love of nature.
Then there’s the hatred. Pretty much everyone speaking at the Heartland Institute will have suffered personally for speaking out against the Great Global Warming Scare. Willie Soon‘s travails are typical. It’s why only the brave – or the elderly, who have nothing to lose – who speak out.
The same applies, of course, to all the other professions which dare to confront the climate “consensus”. I wrote in my book, for example, about how popular British TV presenters David Bellamy and Johnny Ball both effectively had their careers destroyed when they took the “wrong side” on global warming.
Journalists get it in the neck too, of course.
Let me close by treating you to some examples of the kind of hate I got recently simply for pointing out that Australia’s Great Barrier Reef isn’t actually being wiped out by man-made global warming. Sure, it has experienced some serious bleaching in some parts – probably the result of the recent El Nino – but not nearly on the scale that has been claimed by politically- and financially-motivated climate alarmists. And it will recover, just like reefs always do and have done for millennia, sometimes in warming far more extreme than anything we have experienced today.
‘The Great Barrier Reef is dying’ claims the Washington Post.
This is classic fake news.
Like the thriving polar bear, like the recovering ice caps, like the doing-just-fine Pacific islands, the Great Barrier Reef has become a totem for the liberal-left not because it’s in any kind of danger but because it’s big and famous and photogenic and lots and lots of people would be really sad if it disappeared.
But it’s not going to disappear. That’s just a #fakefakenews lie designed to promote the climate alarmist agenda.
Yes, if he didn’t exist you’d have to invent him. Tripp Funderburk describes himself as “a Duke football fan. Lover of coral reefs. Advocate for climate change solutions.”
There’s a big clue to where he’s coming from ideologically in that last sentence. Even so, it would be a mistake to dismiss him as just a random eco-loon with a funny name. As Tripp Funderburk thinks, so does pretty much everyone else in the entire greenie-left-liberal universe.
“Is the Great Barrier Reef dying due to climate change caused by man’s selfishness and greed?
I’ll lay money that if you asked this question to your kids’ biology teacher or to Bill Nye the Junk Science Guy or to that nice Richard Osman off Pointless or to Matt Damon or anyone else who would have voted for Hillary Clinton or to any Labour (and a good many Conservative) politicians or anyone who works for the ABC in Australia, the BBC, the Guardian, MSNBC, CNN and the New York Times or comedy Senator Al Franken or Myles Allen, Professor of Geosystem science at Oxford University or pretty much any other science prof from Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard or Yale or any marine biologist or a lawyer from a big City law firm or anyone who voted Remain in the EU Referendum, you’d get the same answer: “Yes.”
How do they know?
Have they been out there personally – as I have – to check?
No, of course not.
The reason all these people believe the Great Barrier Reef is dying is because they all get their fake news from the same green-left-liberal echo chamber.
Teams of divers in a joint two-week expedition sponsored by Mike Ball Dive and Spirit of Freedom surveyed 28 sites on 24 outer shelf reefs along a 300km section of the hardest-hit part of the reef from Bathurst Head to Raine Island.
Spirit of Freedom owner Chris Eade said reports of 93 per cent bleaching on the 2300km long Great Barrier Reef had made global headlines and damaged the reputation of the $5 billion reef tourism industry.
“Scientists had written off that entire northern section as a complete white-out,’’ Mr Eade said.
“We expected the worst. But it is tremendous condition, most of it is pristine, the rest is in full recovery.
“It shows the resilience of the reef.’’
Mike Ball Dive Expeditions operations manager Craig Stephen, who conducted a similar survey on the remote reefs 20 years ago, said there had been almost no change in two decades despite the latest coral bleaching event.
“It wasn’t until we got underwater that we could get a true picture of what percentage of reef was bleached,’’ Mr Stephen said.
“The discrepancy is phenomenal. It is so wrong. Everywhere we have been we have found healthy reefs.
“There has been a great disservice to the Great Barrier Reef and tourism and it has not been good for our industry.”
All right, so it’s local dive operators saying this stuff and, of course, they have a vested interested in keeping the tourist industry alive.
But if we’re talking vested interests, what about all the marine biologists and environmental activists whose funding is dependent on promoting catastrophism and junk-scientific environmental scares like “ocean acidification”?
According to one scaremongering report earlier this year only 7 percent of the reef remains undamaged by “coral bleaching” – one of the dire consequences, we’re repeatedly informed by experts, of global warming.
I have just been snorkelling over the Great Barrier Reef. (Not all of it: it’s 1,600 miles long). And I can now officially confirm that it’s doing just fine. The fish and corals are in excellent shape. Not one of the bits I investigated showed any signs of a) overheating due to global warming, b) dissolving due to ocean acifidication or c) collapsing in despair at man’s selfishness, greed and refusal to amend his lifestyle.
Who’da thunk, eh?
But this didn’t, of course, stop our snorkel guide slipping in global warming, as a matter of course – a bit like when in the old days Christians used to say grace before dinner – into his introductory talk.
Nor did it stop the craft on which we travelled, spewing, to the reef bearing signs from the Queensland park authorities claiming that ocean acidification is real.
Why do they expose us to this alarmist drivel? Because, like the polar bear (but unlike, say, the snail darter), the Great Barrier Reef is big and impressive and captures the public imagination. If somehow it can be co-opted by the eco-loons into their ongoing campaign to destroy the world economy and ensure that as many parts of the globe as possible become virtual no-go areas for humans, policed by brown-shirted enviro-zealots, then co-opt it they will.
Take it from me: the Great Barrier Reef is going to survive a hell of a lot longer than Catastrophic Anthropogenic Warming Theory.