Saturday 20th of July 2019

the sludge is in great health...


A couple of my European friends got disappointed with the GBR. They went to three "touristic" places and all they saw was green sludge on dead corals...


Meanwhile the great debate continues with a judge not judging on the judgeable Climate Science or Freedom of Speech, but on terms of employment, meaning that should you employ an idiot who goes against your trading integrity and damages your goods, you can not sack him as this would be something like breaking a contract of employment. How stupid is this?


Sacked Australian scientist and hero of climate science deniers everywhere — Dr. Peter Ridd — has won his case against former employer James Cook University (JCU).

Judge Salvatore Vasta, in Australia’s circuit court, said actions the university took to censure and ultimately fire Ridd were all “unlawful.”

In a long statement, JCU said it was “considering its options” and said it disagreed with the judgment, adding it “does not refer to any case law, nor any authority in Australia to support its position.”

Climate science deniers and right-wing commentators around the globe have been championing the case, helping Ridd to raise AU$260,000 for his legal costs.

As I’ve argued before, Ridd’s supporters have tried to claim he was sacked because of his fringe beliefs on human-caused climate change and his claims that the Great Barrier Reef is in “fantastic shape.”

Since the judgment was published, this trend has continued.

'None of the Above'

While Judge Vasta did have some harsh criticisms of JCU, he went out of his way to be clear about what the trial and his decision were, and were not, about.

He wrote that some had “thought that this trial was about freedom of speech and intellectual freedom” and that media reports had considered “this trial was about silencing persons with controversial or unpopular views.”

Even though those views had been canvassed, wrote Vasta, “this trial was about none of the above.”

“Rather, this trial was purely and simply about the proper construction of a clause in an Enterprise Agreement,” he wrote. 

Contrast this with an editorial in The Australian, which said the case had “struck an important blow for academic integrity and freedom.”

Or contrast the judge's comments with the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) that has campaigned heavily alongside Ridd and claimed the academic had won his “battle to speak for science against the Climate Inquisition.” The IPA is a think tank heavily funded by billionnaire mining magnate Gina Rinehart.

“Fearmongering about the health of the Great Barrier Reef must now desist,” said the IPA in a media release, despite the judgment having nothing at all to do with marine science.

On Breitbart, right-wing commentator and climate science denialist James Delingpole claimed the “underlying reason” that Ridd was fired was “his refusal to play ball on the subject of the Great Barrier Reef.”

(Gus note: James Delingpole is an idiot)

In 2016 and 2017, the World Heritage-listed ocean icon was hit with back-to-back mass coral bleaching caused by rising ocean temperatures. About half the corals died and research has found that the number of new baby corals growing has since plummeted by about 90 percent.

In the interest of full disclosure, in the time since I first started writing about Ridd's case, I've taken a part-time job at an Australian marine conservation charity as a media adviser.

JCU Appeal?

So what now? Ridd wants his old job back, but JCU says it is “considering its options” on the case decided by Judge Vasta.

In an article in the Australian Financial Review, the newspaper’s legal affairs editor Michael Pelly asked in February “Is Salvatore Vasta Australia's worst judge?

Pelly was reviewing what he described as “withering denunciations” in appeal courts of three of Judge Vasta’s findings. Pelly has also reported on the “prospect of a parliamentary inquiry on his fitness to remain on the bench” over concerns about his judgments.

If JCU is considering an appeal, its lawyers may consider that, according to Pelly, Judge Vasta has been “overturned on appeal at least 15 times” since he was appointed in 2015 by then-Attorney General George Brandis, a conservative politician.


Read more:

we're in trouble...

More to come...