Give us a break from the doom peddlers


So world-renowned Great Barrier Reef expert and climate change debunker Dr Peter Ridd is coming to Bundaberg on 12 August.

Welcome, Dr Ridd. It’s about time. We need a break from all the doom peddlers who keep telling us the Great Barrier Reef is dying, that we face perpetual drought (that was Tim Flannery, who has since been proved very wrong), that the seas are rising or heating up, and that carbon emissions are causing global warming. In short, we’re all doomed.

These harbingers of doom all get plenty of coverage and credence from both government and the media. But what if they’re wrong? What if the science hasn’t been audited and verified independently? Or what if there are hidden incentives of a funding-driven nature?

The problem is twofold. Firstly, a lot of “policy science” is going on, with generous government funding to organisations that will deliver “scientific facts” supporting a set political agenda.

Secondly, opposing voices – those not predicting a catastrophic end to the world as we know it, or who oppose the close-minded approach to science around the environment – are too often shut down. They are gagged and “de-platformed”, regardless of international credentials and years of expertise. This transpires even when they are only seeking balanced conversation with a view to solutions.

Yet Flannery continues to be revered and quoted widely, despite his completely off-the-planet predictions that have been shown to be without any grounds. That’s because he talks up climate change and the demise of life as we know it. In fact, Flannery’s outrageous predictions caused much unnecessary hardship and financial penalties for ordinary householders who subsequently faced increased home insurance or were even unable to get cover.

The reason behind the climate change hysteria is simple. How can taxpayers continue to be leeched of every hard-earned cent to “fix global warming” if we are not convinced of the heinous state of our environment?

James Cook University (JCU), at which geophysicist Dr Ridd was a Professor, is a case in point. JCU tried to gag him, and then sacked him, for speaking the truth about the Great Barrier Reef, namely: “The water quality of the 3000 reefs of the Reef is as sparkling blue and pure as the Pacific Ocean.”

That dismissal has been ruled illegal in the courts, by the way.

Dr Ridd raises issues around “major problems with quality assurance” (as do other significant scientists) around the science being used to drive governmental decision-making around the environment.

He says: “Policy science concerning the Great Barrier Reef is almost never checked. Over the next few years, Australian governments will spend more than a billion dollars on the Great Barrier Reef; the costs to industry could far exceed this. Yet the keystone research papers have not been subject to proper scrutiny. Instead, there is a total reliance on the demonstrably inadequate peer review process.”

This is not a first for JCU. In 2013, internationally distinguished geologist Professor Bob Carter was punished for questioning whether humans were actually causing global warming. Like Dr Ridd, Professor Carter pointed to lack of balance and rigour in research.

Anyone remember David Bellamy OBE, the once globally famous environmentalist? He had the audacity a decade ago to speak against the climate change hysteria. Back then, he was as famous as Sir David Attenborough. Today, Attenborough is all over the media predicting the end of the world. Bellamy is invisible for saying the opposite.

Another Climate Realist is Ian Plimer, Australian geologist and Professor Emeritus of Earth Sciences at the University of Melbourne, who pointed out that volcanoes produce more CO2 than all the world's cars and industries. In 2016, he reported: “What is now regarded as human-induced climate change, any scientist will say well that's just normal variability. Climate varies, temperatures vary, sea levels go up and down like a yo-yo.”

Then there’s Lord Christopher Monckton, who for decades has been labelling the concept of manmade climate change as “a hoax”. An expert on climate change science and policy, he faces consistent attempts to shut him down. In December 2012, he fronted the COP18 Climate Change Conference in Doha. Did they want to listen? No, he was banned for life from attending UN climate talks.

At that time, Lord Monckton also said that there had been no global warming over the past 16 years, and thus the science should be reviewed. There’s definitely a theme here – the science needs to be checked before policy is made.

At the heart of this climate change hysteria is the identification by governments of a “cash cow” that can be milked without condemnation.

It is a hysteria that, according to Lord Monckton, has the power to topple prime ministers. In 2015, he claimed the United Nations scuppered Australian PM Tony Abbott because of his anti-global-warming views and because he would have pushed back against plans to form a world government at the Paris Climate Summit.

So now Dr Ridd is coming to Bundaberg to talk to us, bring 30 years of scientific excellence and a world-class reputation in relation to the Great Barrier Reef. He says of our Reef: “There’s some absolute rubbish being spoken about the Reef and people’s livelihoods are being put in jeopardy. If nobody will stand up, then this is just going to go on and on and on. It has to be stopped.”

It’s been a while coming, but Dr Ridd’s speaking tour seems to be part of a slight change in the wind (and no, the Greens’ Bob Brown, we can’t increase the use of wind turbines. Oops, sorry, now Mr Brown says that these are no good!)

Public opinion is slowly shifting away from accepting the unverified scaremongering to a demand for common sense and verification around science to support evidence-based policy decision-making. And woe betide a government that ignores the “quiet voice” of Australia, as the Federal Election recently showed.

This week, the Coalition Federal Government indicated that because of the “public importance” of the Ridd case, it might step in to fund his fight against JCU, which is appealing the court ruling (with our taxpayers’ money, by the way. Around $700,000 has been spent by JCU on the case so far).

In those immortal words, “it’s time”. Time to stop financially and legislatively penalising taxpayers, farmers and other industries to “fix” environmental issues that don’t exist. Time to stop gagging free speech. Time to have frank and full discussions about what is real, and what is simply a furphy.

Let’s have the open conversation. So welcome, Dr Ridd. Your visit to Bundaberg to speak up for the Queensland farmers facing the financial and red tape impost of more Reef Regulations will be a breath of fresh air in a politically correct environment that is smothering free speech.

There are other options and or solutions around our environment, and our Queensland farmers have long been showing that they are committed to protecting our land and sea. As a farmer recently said to me, “I’m not an environmentalist, I’m and actual conservationist”. And that is the real difference.

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