Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Murry Salby and Macquarie University

The Climategate emails exposed the story of how a journal editor was attacked by the alarmists for
Prof Murry Salby
approving an article contrary to the falsified AGW hypothesis.
The emails will track how annoyance at the publication of a ‘contrary’ article in a journal develops into an attack on the editor, Chris de Freitas, an accomplished scientist. The attack includes a plot to see if they can get him sacked from his job at University of Auckland. Within the story, it is evident exactly what kind of ‘scientists’ the key authors are. The word scientist applied to these people has denigrated the meaning of the word. (link)
Recently we have seen the alarmists force several scientists out of their university posts.

The story of Don Easterbrook's departure from Western Washington University can be found here - http://theclimatescepticsparty.blogspot.com.au/2013/04/peer-review-vs-smeer-review.html

More recently Professor Bob Carter was black-balled by James Cook University - http://joannenova.com.au/2013/06/jcu-caves-in-to-badgering-and-groupthink-blackballs-politically-incorrect-bob-carter/

Now Murry Salby is the latest to suffer this fate.  Here is Murry's story:

Thanks for your interest in the research presented during my recent lecture tour in Europe.


Remarks from several make it clear that Macquarie University
is comfortable with openly disclosing the state of affairs,
if not distorting them to its convenience. So be it.

Macquarie’s liberal disclosure makes continued reticence unfeasible.
In response to queries is the following, a matter of record:

1. In 2008, I was recruited from the US by "Macquarie University",
with appointment as Professor, under a national employment contract with
regulatory oversight, and with written agreement that Macquarie would provide
specified resources to enable me to rebuild my research program in Australia.
Included was technical support to convert several hundred thousand lines of computer code,
comprising numerical models and analyses (the tools of my research),
to enable those computer programs to operate in Australia.

2. With those contractual arrangements, I relocated to Australia. 
Upon attempting to rebuild my research program, Macquarie advised that
the resources it had agreed to provide were unavailable. I was given an excuse for why.
Half a year later, I was given another excuse. Then another.
Requests to release the committed resources were ignored.

3. Three years passed before Macquarie produced even the first major component
of the resources it had agreed to provide. After five years of cat-and-mouse,
Macquarie has continued to withhold the resources that it had committed.
As a result, my computer models and analyses remain inoperative.

4. A bright student from Russia came to Macquarie to work with me.
Macquarie required her to abandon her PhD scholarship in Russia.
Her PhD research, approved by Macquarie, relied upon the same computer
models and analyses, which Macquarie agreed to have converted but did not.

5. To remedy the situation, I petitioned Macquarie through several avenues provided 
in my contract. Like other contractual provisions, those requests were ignored.
The provisions then required the discrepancy to be forwarded to the Australian employment tribunal,
the government body with regulatory oversight.

The tribunal then informed me that Macquarie had not even registered my contract.
Regulatory oversight, a statutory protection that Macquarie advised would govern
my appointment, was thereby circumvented. Macquarie’s failure to register
rendered my contract under the national employment system null and void.

6. During the protracted delay of resources, I eventually undertook the production
of a new book - all I could do without the committed resources to rebuild my research program.
The endeavour compelled me to gain a better understanding of greenhouse gases
and how they evolve. Preliminary findings from this study are familiar to many.

http://www.thesydneyinstitute.com.au/speaker/murry-salby/  Refer to the vodcast of July 24, 2012.

Insight from this research contradicts many of the reckless claims surrounding greenhouse gases.
More than a few originate from staff at Macquarie, which benefits from such claims.

7. The preliminary findings seeded a comprehensive study of greenhouse gases.
Despite adverse circumstances, the wider study was recently completed. It indicates:

    (i) Modern changes of atmospheric CO2 and methane are (contrary to popular belief)
        not unprecedented.

   (ii) The same physical law that governs ancient changes of atmospheric CO2 and methane                        
        also governs modern changes.

These new findings are entirely consistent with the preliminary findings,
which evaluated the increase of 20th century CO2 from changes in native emission.


8. Under the resources Macquarie had agreed to provide, arrangements were made
to present this new research at a scientific conference and in a lecture series at
research centers in Europe.

9. Forms for research travel that were lodged with Macquarie included a description
of the findings. Presentation of our research was then blocked by Macquarie.
The obstruction was imposed after arrangements had been made at several venues
(arranged then to conform to other restrictions imposed by Macquarie).
Macquarie’s intervention would have silenced the release of our research. 

10. Following the obstruction of research communication, as well as my earlier efforts 
to obtain compliance with my contract, Macquarie modified my professional duties.
My role was then reduced to that of a student teaching assistant: Marking student papers
for other staff - junior staff.

I objected, pursuant to my appointment and provisions of my contract.

11. In February 2013, Macquarie then accused me of "misconduct",
cancelling my salary. It blocked access to my office, computer resources,
even to personal equipment I had transferred from the US.

My Russian student was prohibited from speaking with me.
She was isolated - left without competent supervision
and the resources necessary to complete her PhD investigation,
research that Macquarie approved when it lured her from Russia.

12. Obligations to present our new research on greenhouse gases (previously arranged),
had to be fulfilled at personal expense.

13. In April, The Australian (the national newspaper), published an article which
grounded reckless claims by the so-called Australian Climate Commission:

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/opinion/last-summer-was-not-actually-angrier-than-other-summers/story-e6frgd0x-1226611988057  (Open access via Google News)

To promote the Climate Commission’s newest report is the latest sobering claim:

      “one in two chance that by 2100 there'll be no human beings left on this planet”


Two of the six-member Australian Climate Commission are Macquarie staff.
Included is its Chief Commissioner.

14. While I was in Europe presenting our new research on greenhouse gases, 
Macquarie undertook its misconduct proceedings – with me in absentia.
Macquarie was well informed of the circumstances. It was more than informed.

15. Upon arriving at Paris airport for my return to Australia, I was advised that
my return ticket (among the resources Macquarie agreed to provide) had been cancelled.
The latest chapter in a pattern, this action left me stranded in Europe,
with no arrangements for lodging or return travel.
The ticket that had been cancelled was non-refundable.

16. The action ensured my absence during Macquarie’s misconduct proceedings.

17. When I eventually returned to Australia, I lodged a complaint with the
Australian employment tribunal, under statutes that prohibit retaliatory conduct.

18. In May 2013, while the matter was pending before the employment tribunal,
Macquarie terminated my appointment.

19. Like the Australian Climate Commission, Macquarie is a publically-funded enterprise.
It holds a responsibility to act in the interests of the public.

20. The recent events come with curious timing, disrupting publication of our research
on greenhouse gases. With correspondence, files, and computer equipment confiscated,
that research will now have to be pursued by Macquarie University's "Climate Experts".


                                                                    Murry Salby

Science Is About Evidence, Not Consensus

Image: Jo Nova.
Matthew White Ridley, 5th Viscount Ridley, FRSL, FMedSci, DL, is a British scientist, journalist, and a member of the House of Lords. 

Matt has written an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal titled "Science Is About Evidence, Not Consensus."

Some extracts:  
Science does not respect consensus. There was once widespread agreement about phlogiston (a nonexistent element said to be a crucial part of combustion), eugenics, the impossibility of continental drift, the idea that genes were made of protein (not DNA) and stomach ulcers were caused by stress, and so forth—all of which proved false. Science, Richard Feyman once said, is "the belief in the ignorance of experts."
After discussing Charles Darwin and the evidence for and against evolution, he goes on
A decade ago, I was persuaded by two pieces of data to drop my skepticism and accept that dangerous climate change was likely. The first, based on the Vostok ice core, was a graph showing carbon dioxide and temperature varying in lock step over the last half million years. The second, the famous "hockey stick" graph, showed recent temperatures shooting up faster and higher than at any time in the past millennium. 
Within a few years, however, I discovered that the first of these graphs told the opposite story from what I had inferred. In the ice cores, it is now clear that temperature drives changes in the level of carbon dioxide, not vice versa. 
As for the "hockey stick" graph, it was effectively critiqued by Steven McIntyre, a Canadian businessman with a mathematical interest in climatology. He showed that the graph depended heavily on unreliable data, especially samples of tree rings from bristlecone pine trees, the growth patterns of which were often not responding to temperature at all. It also depended on a type of statistical filter that overweighted any samples showing sharp rises in the 20th century. 
The column can be found at this link.

A sad ps to the column:
I have decided that this is my last Mind & Matter column, having written about 130 since September 2010. I am delighted to hand the torch to Alison Gopnik and others. Thanks, kind readers.

H/t Joe Bast Heartland Institute