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 The ‘get ridd of Peter Ridd’ saga in Senate committee inquiry

16.09.20.  “The Senate committee inquiry into the regulation of farm practices impacting water quality on the Great Barrier Reef has yielded some remarkable confessions by science institutions about the state of the reef. It has been the first time many of the scientists have been asked difficult questions and publicly challenged by hard evidence. They have been forced out of their bubble.”
It was revealed by Paul Hardisty, boss of the Australian Institute of Marine Science, that only 3 per cent of the reef, the “inshore reefs”, is affected by farm pesticides and sediment. He also stated that pesticides, are a “low to negligible risk”, even for that 3 per cent. The other 97 per cent, the true offshore Great Barrier Reef, mostly 50km to 100km from the coast, is effectively totally unharmed by pesticides and sediment.

Source: Peter Ridd for News Corp

Senate inquiry is bringing evidence about state of Great Barrier Reef to the surface

This has been evident in the data for decades but it is nice to see an honest appraisal of the situation.
Why has this fact not been brought to the public’s attention in major documents such as the GBR Outlook Report produced by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority? Why has everybody been deceived about the true extent of the problem?
AIMS was also forthcoming on other important points. Records of coral growth rates show no impact from agriculture. Large corals live centuries, and have annual growth rings like trees. They record their own rate of growth. If farming, which started about 100 years ago on the reef coast, was damaging the it, there should be a slowing of the growth rate. The records show no slowing when agriculture started a century ago, or when large-scale use of fertiliser and pesticides began in the 1950s.
I have written previously that AIMS has been negligent in not updating the GBR-average coral growth data for the past 15 years. We have the scandalous situation that there is data going back centuries – but nothing since 2005. AIMS claimed coral growth rates collapsed between 1990 and 2005, due to climate change; however, there is considerable doubt about this result because AIMS changed the methodology for the data between 1990 and 2005. At the Senate inquiry, under some duress, AIMS agreed it would be a good idea to update this data if the government will fund the project.
Updating the coral growth rate data will be a major step forward. It will prove or disprove the doubtful decline between 1990 and 2005. It will also give the complete record of how the GBR has fared in the past 15 years, a period when scientists have become more strident in their claims that it is on its last legs.
Hardisty, to his credit, has recently implemented red-blue teams within his organisation to help with quality assurance of the work that AIMS produces. A red team is a group of scientists that takes a deliberately antagonist approach to check, test and replicate scientific evidence. A genuine red team is a far more rigorous quality assurance approach than the present system used in science – peer review – which is often little more than a quick read of the work by the scientist’s mates. What AIMS has done internally is similar to what I have been proposing – an Office of Science Quality Assurance that would check, test, and replicate scientific evidence used for public policy.
Unfortunately, Hardisty’s commitment to quality in science was not reflected by many other important witnesses at the Senate inquiry. Many are in denial and resorted to shooting the messengers. An extract from a letter signed by Professor Ian Chubb, a former Australian chief scientist, was read out by Senator Kim Carr.
Disputing the conventional wisdom on the reef was likened to denying that tobacco causes cancer, or that lead in petrol is a health risk. Worse still, the reason sceptics do this, apparently, is “usually money”. Scientists such as Dr Piers Larcombe, the pre-eminent expert on the movement of sediment on the reef, with decades of experience, is thus written off as a corrupt charlatan.
It is scientific “cancel culture”. It is easier than confronting Larcombe’s evidence that farming has very limited impact on the GBR.
It is customary to be very cynical of our politicians, but it was senators Roberts, Rennick, Canavan and McDonald who forced some truth from our generally untrustworthy science institutions. Only our politicians can save us from them.
The evidence about the reef will not be buried forever. All the data indicates agriculture is having a negligible impact on the reef, and recent draconian Queensland legislation against farmers is unwarranted. And this issue will be influential come the Queensland state election on October 31.
Peter Ridd is an independent scientist.

{ 12 comments… add one }
  • seadogger 16/09/2020, 5:08 am

    At long last some sensical reporting is happening re the GBR. Human activity does a heap more damage than anything else, eg Go look at Lady Musgrave Island and lagoon to see what the policy of the GRMPA in the major zoning exercise of many years ago decided because of LMI/Lagoon was a safe haven for vessels it should be open to all and sundry and the destruction has been monumental.
    Only cyclones do more physical damage than humans.

    • Botswana O'Hooligan 16/09/2020, 9:36 am

      Raine Island is another case in point for they have apparently built sand barriers to combat sea level rise that hasn’t risen and the turtles that nest there can’t get over the barriers. They always depict an aboriginal bloke on TV when Raine Island is shown but Abo’s might have been backward but they are certainly not stupid, and what person in their right mind would paddle a canoe of wood or even bark many miles out through reefs and currents to get a turtle and have to dig foe any water when tucker abounded and still does along that FNQ coast?

  • Graham Richards 16/09/2020, 7:46 am

    Good results. Now let’s have Senate Inquire into the skulduggery of the CSIRO and their climate data.
    NOW. No more pissing into the wind on this as well!!

    • wal1957 16/09/2020, 8:04 am

      I can’t see that ever eventuating Graham.
      The numpties in power would have to admit that they were wrong and have squandered billions on a make believe power grid based in part on the manipulated BOM data.
      They would rather see industry in Oz fail and power prices increase and blackouts increase rather than admit they stuffed up.

  • luk1955 16/09/2020, 8:16 am

    Scientists have allowed themselves to be taken over by non science people and the scientists have allowed the global warming charlatans to take over their fields. And it is not just limited to climate science. The chemical and pharma industries are just as bad as the climate science charlatans. Glad I got out 6 years ago.

    • Aktosplatz 16/09/2020, 8:52 am

      Very True, Luk. The Money Trail control the Pseudo-Scientists of today who have betrayed the community.

      Peter Ridd is a marvelous exception.

  • Penguinite 16/09/2020, 8:26 am

    What happened to the, almost, half a billion of our $$$ Turnbull donated to the GBRMP? Nil return on that investment eh Malcolm! Snowy 2.0 will bear the same level of fictious fruit!!

    • Disgruntled 16/09/2020, 10:27 am

      Really good question Pen. I am curious as to what is going on; seems smelly but what could be expected from that bloke? He was good at spending O P’s money. Snowy 2.0 is going to be another part-dud also!!

  • Honeybadger 16/09/2020, 8:33 am

    So good to read, but the MSM will bury it.

  • Graham Richards 16/09/2020, 9:17 am

    Here’s a real doozy that the MSM will not only ignore but bury it under a huge pile of BS.

    Of course relying on science from a crumby place of learning & science like Stanford uni in the “fantastic” state of California is only permissible if it’s to do with BLM or gender bending.


  • DT 16/09/2020, 1:46 pm

    Well done Professor Peter Ridd, you’ve lifted the veil of secrecy.

  • Walahwalah Bishbin 16/09/2020, 8:06 pm

    I did a few GBRMPA reef biology courses in the early 90s. The reef was within a year or two of “wipe out” back then too. All the Townsville locals knew GBRMPA had been taken over by the usual sinecure hunting blowhard mob. It always was a total crock. Reefs are rapaciously thriving mega colonies – only a complete tool would fake a line that they were perennial anaemic deaths door dwellers.
    GBRMPA home of the multi-tool.

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