An Australian professor has been fired for telling the truth about the Great Barrier Reef: that it’s not being destroyed by man-made climate change and that the “science” claiming otherwise is bunk.
Until this week Peter Ridd was Professor of Physics at James Cook University in Queensland, Australia. But he has now been fired after a long battle with the university authorities.
The official reason given for his sacking is that he “engaged in a pattern of conduct that misrepresents the nature and conduct of the disciplinary process through publications online and in the media”.
Ridd, however, contends that this was just a pretext. His real “crime” in the university’s eyes was to stick up for honest science and to refuse to back down just to conform with the establishment’s alarmist orthodoxy.
On the fundraising site, where he is trying to raise money for his legal battle against the university, he writes:
On 2 May, 2018, I received a letter from James Cook University (JCU) terminating my employment. JCU have sacked me because I dared to fight the university and speak the truth about science and the Great Barrier Reef.
Ridd is right. There is copious scientific evidence to suggest that the “Great Barrier Reef in crisis” narrative, heavily touted by the liberal media, is a false one.
Ridd himself has studied the subject extensively. As he told Fox News:
I have published numerous scientific papers showing that much of the “science” claiming damage to the reef is either plain wrong or greatly exaggerated. As just one example, coral growth rates that have supposedly collapsed along the reef have, if anything, increased slightly.
Reefs that are supposedly smothered by dredging sediment actually contain great coral. And mass bleaching events along the reef that supposedly serve as evidence of permanent human-caused devastation are almost certainly completely natural and even cyclical.
These allegedly major catastrophic effects that recent science says were almost unknown before the 1980s are mainly the result of a simple fact: large-scale marine science did not get started on the reef until the 1970s.
By a decade later, studies of the reef had exploded, along with the number of marine biologists doing them. What all these scientists lacked, however, was historical perspective. There are almost no records of earlier eras to compare with current conditions. Thus, for many scientists studying reef problems, the results are unprecedented, and almost always seen as catastrophic and even world-threatening.
The only problem is that it isn’t so. The Great Barrier Reef is in fact in excellent condition. It certainly goes through periods of destruction where huge areas of coral are killed from hurricanes, starfish plagues and coral bleaching. However, it largely regrows within a decade to its former glory. 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.
Reefs have similarities to Australian forests, which require periodic bushfires. It looks terrible after the bushfire, but the forests always regrow. The ecosystem has evolved with these cycles of death and regrowth.
Unfortunately, this clashed with the views of several of his colleagues at James Cook University. As Jo Nova reports, what particularly irked the University authorities was when he wrote this:
”…we can no longer trust the scientific organisations like the Australian Institute of Marine Science, even things like the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies – a lot of this is stuff is coming out, the science is coming out not properly checked, tested or replicated and this is a great shame because we really need to be able to trust our scientific institutions and the fact is I do not think we can any more.”
The ARC Centre of Excellence is part of James Cook University. So, as you can imagine, this went down like a cup of cold sick with his colleagues. There is a lot of funding riding on the Great Barrier Reef scare narrative. Ridd’s remarks may be truthful but as far as the university is concerned they are not helpful.
But Ridd believes his duty above all is to honest science. As he writes at his site:
In an era of dangerous group think in science, academic freedom and scientific integrity is increasingly under attack.
James Cook has virtually limitless resources to fight this case.
Ridd is just one brave, lonely whistleblower dependent on the public’s generosity.
You can support his noble cause here.