Australian news, and some related international items

How Sky News and Peter Ridd try to mislead Australians about the Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef: Sky News and Peter Ridd are deliberately misleading, Independent Australia, By Graham Readfearn | 6 April 2019According to misinformation from sources such as Sky News and scientist Peter Ridd, the Great Barrier Reef is in perfect health, writes DeSmogBlog’s Graham Readfearn.

AUSTRALIA’S GREAT BARRIER REEF is in some serious trouble, with the latest research in the journal Nature showing the number of new corals has dropped by 89%.

In 2016 and 2017, the Reef was smashed by back-to-back mass bleaching events and heat stress caused by global warming that killed about half the corals.

‘Dead corals don’t make babies,’ said James Cook University’s Professor Terry Hughes, the paper’s lead author.

‘We used to think that the Great Barrier Reef was too big to fail — until now,’ added colleague Professor Morgan Pratchett.

The paper was just the latest in a steady and, many would agree, depressing parade of findings for the World Heritage icon. And if the scientific papers don’t do it for you, then there are always the pictures.

But the release of the study served as a remarkable contrast to the way the Rupert Murdoch-owned Sky News, furnished with material from climate science denial think tank the Institute of Public Affairs, has been “reporting” on reef science in the past week.

On at least five occasions, the channel has interviewed the IPA’s policy director, Gideon Rozner, who has been updating the channel on the case of Dr Peter Ridd, a marine scientist specialising in sediments who was fired in March 2018 from James Cook University.

According to the various interviews, the Reef is in great shape, the science is probably wrong, and Ridd is a “world renowned” Reef expert in a historic fight for freedom. None of this is true, yet the claims have been allowed to stand unchecked.

The saga of Peter Ridd

Ridd’s saga is a long one, but here’s the short version (and, while we’re here, in the interests 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).

Ridd does not think that human-caused climate change is a problem and he thinks the Reef is in fabulous health. This has been his public position for at least a decade.

But in 2017, Ridd started to publicly accuse his scientific colleagues, some of who were based at his own university in Townsville, of being untrustworthy. This went against the university’s code of conduct. The university censured him. Ridd refused to back down and made more statements. He published “private” university correspondence on his website. He was further disciplined, so he sued his employer. Then they fired him.

Last week, Ridd’s case was finally heard in court with three days of hearings. A judgment is expected in the coming months.

Now, the IPA has gone all out to create a narrative around Ridd’s case. …….,12545

April 7, 2019 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, media, secrets and lies

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: