Uni tarred

The Saturday Paper - - Diary -

Pro­fes­sor Peter Ridd, of James Cook Univer­sity, is a hot favourite on the cli­mate de­nial/scep­tic cir­cuit, with his the­ory that sci­en­tists have it all wrong about the Great Bar­rier Reef, which ap­par­ently is in rude health. His em­ploy­ers at the univer­sity are not fans of this the­ory or his con­tri­bu­tion to the In­sti­tute for Paid Ad­vo­cacy book Cli­mate Change: The Facts 2017. They have sought to dis­ci­pline Pro­fes­sor Ridd, who says his aca­demic free­dom is un­der at­tack.

He has filed a claim against the uni in the Fed­eral Cir­cuit Court and launched an ap­peal on GoFundMe, where he has raised about $95,000 to­wards his lit­i­ga­tion. Nat­u­rally, the IPA and The Par­rot are right be­hind him.

Among the donors to his cam­paign we find the names Keith Wind­schut­tle, toss­ing in $500, and Pro­fes­sor Chris Cock­lin, with a hefty $10 do­na­tion. Co­in­ci­den­tally, there is a Pro­fes­sor Cock­lin at James Cook Univer­sity, as se­nior deputy vice-chan­cel­lor.

There’s also the name Bryant Mac­fie, who has pro­vided sup­port to the tune of $2000. Mac­fie is a Perth doc­tor who do­nated $350,000 to the Univer­sity of Queens­land for “cli­mate re­search” on top­ics selected in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the IPA. That is the same univer­sity that pro­vides a course called “Mak­ing Sense of Cli­mate De­nial”, where you can learn how to counter ar­gu­ments ad­vanced by peo­ple such as the king of sweep­overs, Mor­rie New­man.

Any­way, in the same year he made the do­na­tion Mac­fie gave a big speech in which he made the in­ter­est­ing point that “the cru­ci­fix has been re­placed by the wind tur­bine”.

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