More disinformation from Dr Peter Ridd in response to the ocean thermostat study

I see over on “The Politics and Environment Blog” in response to the ocean thermostat study published recently that the following comment from the ill-informed Dr Peter Ridd’s diatribe “The Great Great Barrier Reef Swindle” is again being misconstrued as evidence that warmer waters will be beneficial for corals:

“The scientific evidence about the effect of rising water temperatures on corals is very encouraging. In the GBR, growth rates of corals have been shown to be increasing over the last 100 years, at a time when water temperatures have risen. This is not surprising as the highest growth rates for corals are found in warmer waters. Further, all the species of corals we have in the GBR are also found in the islands, such as PNG, to our north where the water temperatures are considerably hotter than in the GBR. Despite the bleaching events of 1998 and 2002, most of the corals of the GBR did not bleach and of those that did, most have fully recovered.

Of course, some corals on the Queensland coast are regularly stressed from heat, viz. the remarkable corals of Moreton Bay near Brisbane which are stressed by lack of heat in winter. A couple of degrees of global warming would make them grow much better.”

See my response to Dr Ridd’s comments here. I’d like to extend an open invitation to Dr Jennifer Marohasy, the blog’s main author (or anyone else) to provide evidence from the scientific literature that warmer waters will be holistically beneficial to corals from the Great Barrier Reef, and look forward to your response.

The “GBR Swindle” comes round one last time

Dr Pete Ridd has responded to my latest response to his comments. Given that he raises a few issues of fact, I think it is useful to explore his conjectures point by point in a final post. Some of these conjectures are easily dispelled which I think will be useful to the wider audience. I do think, however, that we will draw the line under the "Swindle" issue after this post. Continue reading

“The Great Global Warming Swindle”: a critique.

My friend and colleague, Dr Janice Lough (AIMS), directed my attention to the careful review of the “The Great Global Warming Swindle” by Dr Jones and colleagues at the National Climate Centre, Bureau of Meteorology (Bull. Aust. Meteor. Ocean. Soc., 20(3) 63-72). It is rigorous and worth reading. I think we can close the case on Martin Durkin’s “swindle”.

Oh dear, here comes another expert on the Reef.

peter_ridd.jpgThis time it is Dr. Peter Ridd (an expert in marine physics) who is claiming that there is an even greater swindle going on with respect to the Great Barrier Reef. The title of Dr. Ridd’s opinion piece dated 19th of July 2007, says it all – “The Great Barrier Reef Swindle”.

His thesis? Hundreds of scientists who work on the Great Barrier Reef are all also involved in the same sort of cover-up and conspiracy that we were told about in the Great Climate Change Swindle! Big news indeed.

Yes, same story, scientists make up the doom and gloom tale so that they can get lots of research money from unsuspecting agencies and donors.

Sound familiar? Jennifer Marohasy has written similar things in the past (and she loves his opinion piece!). Oh, and guess who Dr. Peter Ridd reports to in his role as Science Coordinator to the newly created” Australian Environment Foundation“? Continue reading

When journalism fails!

Piers Akerman, the conservative journalist from the Daily telegraph, with his extensive (sic) background in science is now an expert on … climate science! More so, apparently, than the Australian of the year Professor Tim Flannery or Australian Federation Fellow, Professor David Karoly. Just have a look at the latest contribution to his blog — a response to the ABC showing of the BBC production “The Climate Change Swindle“. Not that Ackerman hasn’t been wrong before.

Apparently Akerman knows something that scientists from the best academies in the world don’t know, and that is that climate change is bunk. Do not get me wrong here: true skeptic arguments make important contributions to the debate on global warming and climate change. This is actually the way science works – by continually criticizing its ideas, and by thereby improving its accuracy and veracity. Continue reading

Australian Academy of Sciences rebuts skeptics swindle.

It would seem that no one who has any credibility supports the recent airing of the climate skeptic film, ‘The great global warming swindle’. Here is the press release from Australia’s most exalted science body. It is also worthwhile going to the specifics of the Academy’s rebuttal (

Thursday 12 June 2007 : Verdict remains the same: the CO2 is guilty

The Australian Academy of Science maintains the view that recent global warming is caused by unprecedented CO2 levels in the atmosphere, despite claims made in a recent documentary. Continue reading

Swindled – an evening lost

After putting the kids to bed, I got my mug of cocoa and sat down to watch The Great Climate Change Swindle. Let’s call it ‘Swindle’ because that is how I felt once it had rolled out across Australia.What I was rather disappointed by was the attempt to sell me, the average citizen, a series of thinly disguised half-truths about the lack of a linkage between carbon dioxide and global temperature, and then how the activity of that vicious orb in the sky was driving the climate.

The dulcet tones of Durkin waxed and waned, through the ‘facts’ and how dodgy scientists must be – I must have dozed off, but I seemed to come to as I was told that Margaret Thatcher had started the equivalent of Marxist, greenie plot called Climate Change so she could get into nuclear energy. Wow, I never knew!

Continue reading

Further commentary on the “Swindle”

From a colleague and good friend of mine, Dr. Paul Marshall, (Acting Director – Climate Change, Great Barrier Marine Park Authority):

“It is extremely frustrating to see the inordinate influence these so-called climate skeptics have on the broader community’s perception of climate change. Uncertainty and doubt about the reality and causes of climate change can no longer be justified in the face of the conclusions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The IPCC’s findings represent the consensus of thousands of the world’s leading experts, developed through a highly scrutinised and transparent process, and adopted by the majority of the world’s governments, including Australia and the USA. None of us want climate change to be real, and we certainly don’t want to think that we might be the cause of it. But denial and self-delusion are luxuries that we cannot afford. Ecosystems are already beginning to decline and people are starting to suffer due to extremes in environmental conditions that will only get worse with climate change. Anyone who has seen the effects that abnormally high water temperatures have on coral reefs can not sit back and hope that climate change isn’t happening, or that it will simply fix itself. Mass coral bleaching has already caused lasting damage to sections of the Great Barrier Reef. While we have been lucky compared to many other reef areas (some of which lost 50-90% of their corals in 1998 alone) the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority is taking the threat of climate change very seriously. If we have any hope of helping coral reefs survive climate change, it will require a concerted and dedicated effort to reduce the effects that our activities are having on the world’s climate.” Continue reading

ABC & Lateline

Thursday 12th July, 8.30pm – ABC television are showing the controversial documentary “The Great Global Warming Swindle“, written and directed by Martin Durkin followed by a Lateline analysis (10.30pm) interviewing Durkin and a range of scientists who oppose and support Durkin’s proposition. This will be essential viewing – originally shown in Britain by Channel 4 as ” Everything you’ve ever been told about Global Warming is probably untrue” (more).

Analysis of the “scientific facts” and social commentary to follow shortly from and John Quiggin’s blog ( – watch this space. Meanwhile, take a look at two contrasting pieces published in The Australian newspaper yesterday (10th July)”:

“Sun not behind global warming”
– Leigh Dayton (10/07/07)
“It’s good sense to avoid consensus on global warming”
– Bob Carter (10/07/07)

Updated: See Professor Ian Lowe’s detailed response in today’s Herald Sun (11/07/07):

“The Channel 4 film is indeed a great global warming swindle. It purports to show scientific evidence casting doubt on the conclusion that most of the recent climate change is due to human burning of fossil fuels. In fact, most of the “science” is either wrong or selective, so the film does not pose any real question about even the cautious conservative conclusions of the IPCC. If it is shown without an appropriate public health warning, it could give the misleading impression that the science is still uncertain and delay even further the urgently-needed concerted response..”