A challenge to the Chief Scientist

Peter Ridd

Professor Peter Ridd makes the excellent point that if no funding is made available to sceptics wishing to challenge the consensus on dangerous AGW, then it is like a court case without a defence. The defence is there to test, on an adversarial basis, the case put forward by the prosecution by means of questioning the evidence, cross-examination and forensic inquiry.

However, the alarmists don’t want that. They want to shut down debate crying that the science is settled (or “Guilty! Hang him!” to continue the analogy), and for everyone simply to trust what they are saying. What court in the land would accept the word of the prosecution on trust? Similarly, the claims of the alarmists must be subjected to equally rigorous scrutiny, similarly funded out of public money, in order to put them properly to the test.

It is a very powerful argument indeed, and Professor Ridd has put it directly to Ian Chubb:

Dear Prof Chubb,

I wish to support A/Prof Franks comments in his email to you on 30th June.

In addition I would like to add that it is evident that the scientific systems needs considerable modification if we can have faith in some of the conclusions about the big environmental issues of our time such as Greenhouse, the supposed demise of the Great Barrier Reef and such like. I have no faith that both sides of the arguments on these issues are being funded. This comes partly out of personal experience. It is not enough to rely upon peer review and hope for impartiality of scientists. We need to spend money to try to prove that the case against CO2 is flawed. That may seem strange but, if this debate was a court case against the criminal CO2, the conviction by the court (mostly the IPCC etc) would be thrown out on appeal because no resources have been expended mounting a defence of CO2. Can you imagine a court case without a counsel for the defence – a person whose sole aim is to destroy the prosecution case. We need an organisation to do this for CO2. If after spending considerable resources on such a defence it still looks like CO2 is guilty, then I at least would be satisfied about the conventional wisdom on this issue. Presently I have as much faith in science as I did in the Police system in Queensland in the 1980’s before sweeping reforms cleaned it up.

You may feel that the present systems in science make it reliable, but the fact that scientist like me, with a better than average record, in addition to a growing number of the educated and uneducated public have lost faith in science and scientists means that something has to be done to regain confidence. And bashing people like Stewart Franks will do nothing to that end even though he can be pretty brutal at times.

If you have time, I have written more on what I think needs to be done about the systems of science at http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=11455

I would be very grateful if you could at least contemplate this issue further.


Prof. Peter Ridd
HOD Physics
James Cook University

Thanks to Bolta.


  1. Sundance says:

    I don’t believe the CAGW promoters are interested in a fair fight because I don’t think they believe they could win a fair fight. Recent court cases in the USA involving climate change law suits found courts unimpressed with IPCC AR4 and favored the skeptic argument.

    • When we have the spectacle of an engineer believing he has the all-withal to challenge Emeritus Professors whose collective efforts total hundreds of thousands of hours–i wonder if it is amiss of others to attempt to discover if the corresponding effort might apply to such a ‘ tyro of intellect’ ??

      A brief perusal should convince even the importune– that such is not so–and it is ‘superstition’ rather than ‘any science’ that is being presented as warranting our attention.

      Lets briefly look at the so-called key points–[the lack of credible acumen soon becomes evident].

      Key point claim 1:

      ‘The earth’s climate is always changing’ .

      This simplified explanation fails to disclose that clearly defined Ages of fixed weather and associated conditions is the ONLY way that climates progress.

      It is beyond doubt–[unless we postulate Hollywood alone cataclysms as fact] that ice ages with regards to temperature-change occur extremely slowly.

      One would not detect even a decimal point temperature rise or fall in a lifetime or for that matter generations of a life time.

      So imperceptible is the factual change.

      Unless we specify ‘this imperceptibility’ then we totally ignore the nonsense this claim creates.

      Unfortunately (for scientific types)– these processes become even less comprehensible when they themselves are generalised and simplified even further:

      We could call this ‘misrepresentation’ step 2:

      WE read that Science has declared the following assumptions as proven and given.

      Nothing could be further from the truth.

      1.”There is nothing particularly special about the climate we live in at the moment”.

      This is a grotesque distortion of the position climate plays when we factor in the loss of life occasioned purely because of the climatic imputs of winter freeze or summer heat wave.

      Climate is NOT only ‘special’ —but it creates the universal truism– that there is not a single engineer whom in their line of duty– would not reside or work within structures which have had their origin entirely from the need to protect one from the vicissitudes of the weather.

      These structures are not only purposively designed but they also are deliberately designed to counter the, we are assured, the ‘non-special’ climate.

      Key Claim 2. [and misrepresentation two]

      2. ” [the] harmless gas carbon dioxide (CO2)”

      C02 is far from harmless and is lethal at very small levels.

      The proposition that “levels of CO2 have been far higher (thousands of parts per million compared to a few hundred at present)” in the past, rather than signifying climate predictability–instead should inform us that these past CO2 levels WERE UNLIVABLE.

      (perhaps we should add the blog speculation that if scientists propose the consideration of the human race originating from an isolated asteroid and therefore [sic] must have arrived after the C0 and C02 cleared–then the need for a climate review must be ‘beyond doubt’).

      Such is pure science[sic] we presume.[??]

      TO REPEAT–Carbon Dioxide is a POISON.

      And to suggest otherwise is a nonsense.

      Ask any industrial hygienist how they might investigate the ‘harmless assumption’ when they have to attend to mutagenic smogs, daily exposure health impacts and hospital admissions on every continent of the globe.

      Key Claim 3.

      ‘Al Gore is not ‘scientific”

      1. Climate and Temperature Increase are NOT defined as stated in this section.

      Fact instead–climate monitoring also involves the stratosphere and ionosphere:


      Not a deviation occurs.

      ACM’s author’s given Key Points then continue by employing disingenuous logic- predicated only upon the erroneous model cited above.

      [the exclusion of any mention of continuous temperature increase should invalidate any further claim of ACM’s knowledgeable insistences.

      The hypotheses are instead null and void

      For example:
      the below is not actually caused by faulty modelling–it is recognised instead as resulting from the individual unable to comprehend we cannot create a logical sequence of feasible hypotheses when the original proposition is patently false. ie

      ‘Climate’ cannot be modelled without its inner space components.

      Climate is 95% dependent upon the first 40 miles of atmosphere.

      NASA and astronomical climate definition.

      Without these inclusions we cannot be expected to remotely model climate and instead we notice the then reliance upon the secondary and non-impact claims regards ‘long term oceans’ and ‘CO2 budgets’.

      Regardless–we find the upper atmospheres continue to rise in temperature.

      The increase cannot be explained by sun spot effect, cosmic ray or so forth as proposed by ACM as these factors have already been accounted and shown not to be major cursors.


      These may be listed as:

      (i) Anthropogenics in any shape– do not merely contribute CO2.

      (ii) This then supplies the reason why scientists state that they underestimate rather than overstate preventable effects.

      A simple example illustrates this very clearly:

      When we medically discover 300 or 400 percent increases of an incidence occurring over a relatively short period of time-we immediately know to look for an overriding third effect.

      We do this also with climate (and its effects).

      There are 243 monitoring stations in Europe that monitor the climate effects of nuclear tests.

      It is possible to predict an increase in cancer incidence,as well as thirteen other health parameters that range from asthma in children, diabetes in both children and adults, leukemia in young males, and so on.

      These figures are correlated to where we expect the weather conditions to deposit the breakdown products.

      The monitoring utilises the fact that immediately following a nuclear test a five and six year window exists.

      We now know that incidence has followed this modelling exactly.
      Each and every test has witnessed a corresponding rise.

      [commencing with the first test right through to the Indian, Pakistan and Chinese testing of the 80’s and 90’s]

      Rather than reiterating that radioactive material is proven to be transmitted generationally ( parents pass mutations onto their children) and then discover that persons who could know better will instead attempt to obstruct and shout down the rights of others to open discussion– lets instead take the position of an engineer and offer a key important issue:

      ‘Nuclear power stations act the same as nuclear bombs’

      Professor John Goffman co-discoverer of protactinium-232, uranium-232, protactinium-233, uranium-233, and proved the slow and fast neutron fissionability of uranium-233. Associate Director Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and Director of Biomedicine Lawrence Livermore 1963-65.

      We now will un-engineer ourselves and offer instead that there is not a single scientist who would be stupid enough to place his or her professional standing by claiming that these ‘ test toxins’– will cease their destructive radiating anytime soon.

      If we also note that we eploy over 1100 operational reactors to heat water (rather than coal or gas) we might also discover that since 1990 alone, the
      collective quantity of airborne toxic material waiting to be inhaled, precipitated or ingested is the equivalent to amount of fallout from 400,000 Nagasaki events..

      [Tokyo faculty of Physics]

      At this point we could invite your readers and contributors to reconsider why
      they are mistaking what climate change implies.

      From observing most of the comments–including Townsville University it appears that the enjoyment of the bogus debate– based entirely upon bogus science has overtaken most rationalism.

      One example should suffice to prove the above:

      “Every day, new peer-reviewed scientific studies (appear)”

      The creator of this gem must either have purchased his degree– which is not that far-fetched in compromised communities or be in great need to divest himself from the academic process.

      The claim is ridiculous.

      Which is even more disillusioning when we know that:

      x amount of graduates create x amount of research over y amount of time; and
      y amount of review requires an additional y amount of time, plus x and y amounts of time for editing, proofing, publishing and printing each step.

      What though do we really expect from those that claim that the ‘climate is always changing’ .


      To continue the rest of [the keypoint[ presentation is as imprecise and demeaning to readers even when its attempts to be objective:

      ‘The livelihood of many (most?) climate scientists depends on perpetuating the existence of the climate crisis, and there is presently a worrying lack of impartiality in this discipline.”

      Some science boffin once thought that ‘evidence rather than surmise was a responsible approach’.

      For many a shared responsibility.

      ‘Studies are written with a pre-conceived agenda in mind, and the peer-review has, to an extent, been corrupted – in other words, alarmist papers are being reviewed by similarly alarmist reviewers.’

      Must be too busy thinking are they??

      ‘The story of the Michael Mann hockey stick is a prime example of how scientists with an agenda can manipulate data in order to produce the desired (alarmist) result – see here to read more about this particular example.’

      The media and the government have already closed their minds to the subject – you will rarely read anything that contradicts the so-called consensus in the mainstream media.

      Hence the importance of the blogosphere and independent sources of information on climate.”

      When we refuse to understand how an argument both factually and in the cyberworld may have moved on then perhaps we might entertain why over a thousand professionals of which 634 are of Emeritus standing or higher would prefer if some were able to call a spade a spade.

      Partially rephrased to accomodate the increasing ACM alienation of facts:

      WE CLEARLY KNOW that if we presently practice any form of physical occupational or recreational exercise whereby we ingest the present air quality then we should propose that we might altruistically agree that we had already subconsciously planned to donate our organs to science anyhow; or more rationally, we could be intellectually irate, that the scientists most involved with populist and defamational blogs have, by using hoodlum tactics and by offering only replicated falsities, collectively and mindlessly have contributed to increasing the fall in normal life expectancy by 20 to 30 years, all of whose results have been fully preventable for the last forty years.

      Well done guys–a wonderful achievement.

      Al Gore material:

      “Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth showed a large graph of temperature and CO2 fitting together very closely, except that it was at such a small scale that it was not possible to determine that rises in CO2 actually lag behind rises in temperature (and vice versa) by about 800-1000 years.

      The long term warming and cooling of oceans releases and absorbs huge quantities of CO2.
      On shorter time-scales, temperatures rose in the early part of the 20th century with little or no man-made emissions of CO2.
      They also fell in the period 1950-1970 when CO2 emissions were rising rapidly in the post-war economic boom.
      The link between future global warming and CO2 is based predominantly on computer climate models.
      None of the computer models predicted the pause in warming (and even slight cooling) we have seen since 2001, despite rising emissions, so we must assume those models are flawed.
      There must be other factors at work, such as solar variations, cosmic ray variations, cloud cover, ocean currents etc, which have a far more significant effect on the climate than anthropogenic CO2 (which in any event is only a tiny part of the global CO2 budget)”

      thanks for your time.

  2. I expect it is more like the alarmists think the case is already lost, including any appeals, however science is nothing like the law. Galileo was also told the case was lost, including any appeals.

    The very essence of science means that nothing is ever settled.

  3. Confusious says:

    Well what else one can expect from [snip]……………….?

  4. Confusious says:

    [Chubb] is for most of his life on Labor payroll so no amount of reasoning will achieve anything. Too deep with his snout in the taxpayer funded through!

  5. Baldrick says:

    I’m sure Professor Chubb is a very eminent and well educated scientist, but his recent comments do nothing but demean the role of Australia’s Chief Scientist. Whilst he is entitled to his own personal opinion, his professional opinion, as Chief Scientist, should be based on scientific facts and not populist green ideology or political spin. The mere fact that he suggests the science of man-made global warming has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt says more about his political opinion than any scientific fact.

  6. Herbert says:

    I found Professor Chubb’s use of words in his recent piece of journalism a little strange.

    The description “beyond reasonable doubt” is a phrase used by lawyers.

    Have any scientists used this phrase in recent commentary on climate change? Does it actually have a scientific meaning?

    Professor Ridd’s analogy is perhaps more than apt.

    • [snip – as I have said several times before, this is not a forum to push your own views on the science – you have your own blog for that – please keep your comments RELEVANT to the topic or they will continue to be moderated out]

  7. brilliant idea in theory , but can you imagine what kind of underhanded kangaroo court it would be

  8. [snip – irrelevant – please keep on topic]

  9. Kelly Liddle says:

    Thermal emissions warming.

    The following study done by myself and assisted by a scientist is only to demonstrate that the warming can be mostly if not all explained by thermal emmissions or basically a large scale heat island study using energy use data. This is not intended to give any exact warming extent as average values are used and wind land cover etc are not taken into account (this is virtually impossible despite the claims of organisations such as NASA or CSIRO) Also the energy use is not constant and will have greater effects when weather is cold and heating is more widely used.

    The energy use we shall use is the total annual use of fossil fuels and nuclear. These 2 energy sources are being released by humans.

    Numbers used for calculations.

    Area m2 is square metres

    USA 9626091000000 m2

    China 9596960000000 m2

    France 547030000000 m2

    Germany 357021000000 m2

    United Kingdom 244820000000 m2

    Planet Surface 510066000000000 m2

    (Source : http://www.worldatlas.com)

    Annual energy use based on energy use in 2009. Includes fossil fuels and nuclear energy. Does not include others such as wind solar biofuels geothermal or hydro.

    Mtoe is Million tonnes or oil equivalent.

    USA 2119.8 Mtoe

    China 2037.7 Mtoe

    France 228.8 Mtoe

    Germany 285.6 Mtoe

    United Kingdom 197.7 Mtoe

    World 10424 Mtoe

    (Source : Statistical review of world energy full report 2010 (Beyond Petroleum))

    The following formula was used. It basically is working out the amount of energy in continuous watt output per hour per metre squared and then calculating out the expected change in temperature by using the average input of energy from the sun using Albedo and Suns energy per square according to NASA. This is not intended to give any accurate prediction but just a general prediction.

    Mtoe* 11.63*1 000 000 000 000 (conversion of Mtoe to Watts)*0.7 (energy available as thermal energy)/365/24(conversion to Watt output per hour)/land area in square metres(to give energy output per square metre per hour)*Kelvin 287/342/.703(to give estimated temperature change where Kelvin 287 is earth average temperature 342 is available energy from sun and 0.703 is the amount available to the troposphere after the albedo)

    After doing these calculations if the air never left the country and everything else such as albedo remained constant mentioned these would be the approximate temperature changes.

    USA 0.24 degrees increase
    China 0.23 ,,
    France 0.46 ,,
    Germany 0.88 ,,
    United Kingdom 0.89 ,,
    World 0.0224 ,,

    Conclusions: If a climate model printout has not taken this into account the printouts highest value shall be the greater of the recycling price to the use as a biofuel (but watch out for the thermal emissions). Most fuel use is over land and in the northern hemisphere so this is where the expected highest results are likely. Anecdotely this could be the effect in the antarctic peninsular but it is very difficult to get any fuel use figures. If this is the case the increases are likely to be in summer as this is when the scientists travel there.

    Note; The energy available is a very conservative estimation based on average power station efficiency and vehicle efficiency and uses eg. domestic use of energy is far higher with average households spending over 50% of energy dirrectly for heating (hot water cooking and space heating). The amount of energy from sun will not be accurate as the albedo and latitudes on the earth could have a big effect.

  10. [snip – ditto]

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