Doomed Planet

Go Ahead, Climate Scientists, Make Our Day

Some stories I come across are so weird that I don’t know how to write them. No-one will believe I am serious. For example, in 1974 I attended a talk by Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dr Jim Cairns at the ANU in which he called for the abolition of money and for Australia to return to barter along pre-Sumerian lines. He was in love at the time with a stunning Eurasian lass. I’m sure the Treasury and Reserve Bank were not in favour of a barter economy. It was 39 years before I mustered the chutzpah to actually report on Dr Jim’s proposal.

These days “climate science” has equivalent oddities. Try page 1 of the PhD thesis of psychotherapist Dr Sally Gillespie, of Psychologists for a Safe Climate. It’s about the dream that turned her into a climate activist:

It’s the end of the world through climate change. Whole continents are sinking beneath the sea as water levels rise. Millions of people are attempting to cling to the shore, and to their lives, fruitlessly. At one stage I swing in the air clinging to a rope as land masses shift around beneath me. At another stage I cling to the shore line and a poodle swims up into my arms. I steal biscuits for us… I know billions must die and only tens of thousands will remain… The air is running out, death is close.

These examples help me now to write about the recent peer-reviewed climate paper of three senior Australian-New Zealand climate professors titled “The Tragedy of Climate Change Science.” It’s in the learned journal Climate & Development and has undergone the rigours of peer review.

What’s in it? The professors call on their fellow climate researchers to go on strike from climate doomism and also scuttle the plans for a Seventh IPCC Report. This strategy, they imagine, will force Western governments to stop their shilly-shallying about emissions and finally get serious about the Year Zero agenda – not that China, India and Russia would cooperate. As winter looms, Germany and the UK are frantically back-pedalling to fossil fuels, so our Antipodean climate savants must be crying themselves to sleep.

The professorial troika is Bruce Glavovic of Massey University, NZ; Timothy F. Smith of University of Sunshine Coast; and Iain White of Waikato University, NZ.[1]

The paper has been accessed at least 32,000 times. Moreover, Professor Glavovic was coordinating lead author of the sea-level chapter of the IPCC’s Special Report on the Ocean and is lead author in the IPCC Sixth Report. IPCC authors seem to moonlight as activists.

Tim Smith, of our sparkling Sunshine Coast, is also an adjunct professor at Brock University (Canada) and a Senior Research Associate at Uppsala University, Sweden. He’s an ARC Future Fellow and on the steering committee of the green/left Australian Academy of Science’s even wackier Future Earth Australia affiliate. Incidentally, my perusal of Sunshine Coast University’s climate content for local teens has left me with post-traumatic stress disorder (more on that later).

The third author Iain White at Waikato Uni explains that “he is committed to engaging beyond the discipline to researchers, practitioners and communities to generate real world impact”.

You’re muttering by now, “Stupid Tony Thomas, making up stuff again.” But pasted here is the paper’s conclusion, verbatim but with my emphases (throughout this essay):

Climate change science is settled to the point of global consensus. We have fulfilled our responsibility to provide robust knowledge. We now need to stop research in those areas where we are simply documenting global warming and mal-adaptation, and focus instead on exposing and renegotiating the broken science- society contract. The IPCC’s 6th Assessment will be completed in 2022. Will the response to this assessment be any different to the previous five assessments? Nothing indicates that this will be the case. In fact, given the rupture of the science-society contract outlined here, it would be wholly irresponsible for scientists to participate in a 7th IPCC assessment.

We therefore call for a halt to further IPCC assessments. We call for a moratorium on climate change research until governments are willing to fulfil their responsibilities in good faith and urgently mobilize coordinated action from the local to global levels. This [third] option is the only effective way to arrest the tragedy of climate change science.

The three options we set out here are either untenable or unpalatable. Readers may well agree with the nature of the tragedy of climate change science outlined here but disagree with our analysis of viable options. Some may want greater detail on what a moratorium could encompass, or argue for expanding traditional forms of advocacy.

Equally, while some may see the third option [strikes] as damaging the credibility and objectivity of the scientific community, we see this option as a new powerful possibility for scientific advocacy and a further means by which scientists can act in the public interest when all other avenues have failed. The moratorium will be hard, and there will be short-term pain for researchers, with an uncomfortable spotlight on the scientific community. Questions will be raised regarding whether it is our ‘duty’ to use public funds to continue to improve the state of climate change knowledge, or whether a more radical approach will serve society better? We argue that a critical juncture has now been reached for human and planetary well-being. Given the tragedy of climate change science outlined here, a moratorium offers the only real prospect for restoring the science-society contract. Other options are seductive but offer false hope.

I hope the three professors won’t also throw cream-cake at the Mona Lisa in the Louvre to raise awareness of climate doom.

The paper is short at 2300 words. I’m not complaining: Einstein needed only 760 words to wreck Newtonian mechanics. An elaborate diagram, with data from WWF shills, occupies one of their four pages. The professors explain:

Figure 1: The tragedy of climate change science. Governments concur that climate change is occurring. Yet scientists are compelled to do more research. The tragedy is conducting more climate change research even when the science is settled. Governments need to take action to halt global warming and enable transformational adaptation and climate resilient development.

Actually, it repeats six times that “the science is settled”. At one point it even says, “climate change science is settled and has been for decades” (p2). Wow, by 1991 (or maybe 1981), climate scientists had nothing left to learn about climate change. Any scientist saying that cancer research or earthquake research is settled would be fired, but not one of this paper’s 32,000+ readers has complained (or complained successfully) to Climate & Development.

The study was part-funded by the NZ Earthquake Commission. Under “Funding”, the paper also says, “Tim Smith acknowledges support by the Australian Research Council’s Discovery Projects Funding Scheme (Project FT180100652).”  This grant totalled $1.047 million but was for Australian coastal protection research. [2] Smith could have made a typo about Grant FT180100652 supporting his paper urging strikers to pressure governments. Smith and the ARC assessors can readily sort this out.

The professors see the now increasingly-discredited COVID-19 responses as a model for enforcing climate policies by “radical government action”. [3] In my home state of Victoria, the “radical government action” included hand-cuffing pregnant Zoe Buhler in pyjamas at her Ballarat home because of her social media post about a protest event.

The authors have been conditioned by our catastrophist Will Steffen, Potsdam’s fanatics, and conspiracist Naomi Oreskes to imagine that  climate sceptics are members of Mike Myer’s “Dr Evil” crew striving to destroy the planet. They say:

Vestiges of inevitable scientific uncertainty are being exploited by ‘merchants of doubt’. This is a tragedy for humanity, for current and future generations, and for life on Earth. It is also a tragedy of and for science, especially climate change science.

Neither the authors nor peer reviewers do fact-checking. The authors say the 1990 First IPCC Report

concluded with certainty that human activities were substantially increasing the concentration of greenhouse gases and warming the earth’s surface (IPCC, 1990).”

Stop it there, professors, you’ve screwed up with certainty. The 1990 Report actually said the opposite,

“The unequivocal detection of the enhanced greenhouse effect from observation is not likely for a decade or more”.[4] Section 1. Page 53.

♦ “Scientists working in this field cannot at this point in time make the definitive statement: ‘Yes, we have now seen an enhanced greenhouse effect.’” Section 8, Page 254. Part 8.5.

“On the basis of this simple analysis alone we might conclude that detection [of the enhanced greenhouse effect] with high confidence is unlikely to occur before the year 2000. If stringent controls are introduced to reduce future greenhouse gas emissions and if the climate sensitivity is at the low end of the range of model predictions then it may be well into the twenty-first century before we can say with high confidence that we have detected the enhanced greenhouse effect.” Section 8, Page 253. Part 8.4.

Climate & Development might retract or withdraw the paper any time now. And professors, CO2 hypocrite Al Gore and high-school dropout Greta Thunberg have no credentials to be shouting about “the warnings of climate change science”.

Given that the strike is option Three, what are options One and Two? No. 1 is research as usual, to “stay politically neutral and avoid being policy prescriptive.” In climate science, that would never do, hence “Not tenable”.

Option Two (also not tenable): “Intensified social science research and advocacy on climate change” to deliver to the masses unreliable and expensive renewables. The professors bemoan that most of the delicious government funding is going to the hard sciences of climate, leaving the “political scientists, sociologists, economists, human geographers and the like” (and I assume themselves) to whinge in corners during Varsity House happy hours. That’s despite the social-science crowd heroically exposing all the fossil-fuel money allegedly pouring into denialists’ pockets, according to the professors. Strange that top sceptics like Paul Homewood, Joanne Nova and Anthony Watts rely on their website tip-jars.

Thus Option Three, the Great Researchers’ Strike, is to bend governments to their will. I assume the trio, as strike leaders, will cheerfully forfeit their $200,000 pay-packets (with packaging), 17% super, tenure and seventh-year sabbaticals. They do talk about “hard” times and “short term pain”.

I mentioned climate courses at Professor Smith’s University of Sunshine Coast. It’s a hot-bed of climate fanaticism. The School of Science, Technology & Engineering offers credulous Sunshine Coast teens a course, Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation. The course notes start:

Two centuries of burning fossil fuels and clearing land have changed our climate and produced largely irreversible and almost exclusively negative impacts on the environment and our wellbeing.

For a start, our extra CO2 has helped green the planet to the extent of 2.5 times the area of Australia. For seconders, rising agricultural yields and output, with CO2 help, have underpinned unparalleled living standards notwithstanding huge population growth. For other benefits, see here.

The course ends with Assessment Task 3:

In this simulation task, you will take on the role of Special Advisor to the Chair of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. You will be responsible for using actual global emissions data and the Model for the Assessment of Greenhouse Gas Induce Climate Change (MAGGIC) used by the IPCC to produce a plan for cutting global emissions … sufficient to avoid a 2C global average temperature change. The plan will include…strategies to address issues of equity, historic responsibility [of colonial imperialists] and future emissions growth; technology transfer and funding arrangements; and other features you see fit to include, such that it can be presented for discussion by 165 signatories to the UNFCCC at the next Convention of the Parties (COP) meeting. [What? The correct number of signatories  is 198].[5] Effectively, you will produce a plan to save the world as we know it.

 I came across the three professors’ paper while checking out other Sunshine Coast University piffle (peer reviewed) about getting Inside the mind of a sceptic: the ‘mental gymnastics’ of climate change denial”. Why are there no studies, inside the mind of a green/Leftie: the ‘mental gymnastics’ of belief in climate doom?

Given a choice between the professors’ strike paper, enrolling at Sunshine Coast for climate brainwashing, or dreaming about poodles paddling around chasing a biscuit, I’ll take the poodles every time.

Tony Thomas’ essay collection “Foot Soldier in the Culture Wars” ($29.95) is available from publisher ConnorCourt. A new title, Anthem of the Unwoke —Yep! the other lot’s gone bonkers, is in production.

[1] Attempts to contact them for comment were unsuccessful

  • [2] Summary:Coastal governance. This project aims to discover coastal governance approaches that embrace vulnerability and change. Current coastal management approaches are failing as existing threats intensify and new threats emerge. This project expects to generate knowledge on diverse vulnerabilities, with insights advancing the disciplines of human geography and public policy through improved understanding of the relationships between people, place and change. This is expected to support ongoing economic, environmental, social and cultural benefits that are derived from the Australian coast.

[3] “Covid-19 has provided a window of opportunity to restructure economies and budgets away from reliance on fossil fuels.”

[4] “Associations of locus of control, information processing style and anti-reflexivity with climate change scepticism in an Australian sample.”

[5]   Apart from all the scammers and swindlers: Disclaimer   The UNFCCC secretariat has become aware that certain admitted observer organizations are using commercial business model packages to solicit business. As an inducement to sell these packages, potential clients are assured participation at UNFCCC conferences, sessions and meetings through quotas of admitted observer organizations. The UNFCCC secretariat would like to make clear that it does not endorse such practices nor does it charge any fees for participating…”

19 thoughts on “Go Ahead, Climate Scientists, Make Our Day

  • Daffy says:

    Gee, if I believed my dreams, I’d be building dams out of roof tiles stacked on their edges…that was last nights dream!

  • rod.stuart says:

    Some accuse me of being a “climate skeptic”.
    That is simply not the case. Skepticism implies doubt, and I have never had any doubt that the entiere AGW theme and the climate change nonsense is a hoax.

  • IainC says:

    Unfortunately, I think we are arguing at cross purposes due to definitional confusion. Climate realists believe that science is collecting evidence and data then constructing a narrative around those, whilst discussing how it fits in with other science in the same area. Climate activists believe that science consists of hysterical fantasizing, exaggeration and inversion of data, published as a chain of easily understood slogans. The latter seem not to have read climate science at all. If they had, how could they possibly ignore the following recent summary paper that quashes many activist claims? I already had many of the original papers on which it is based, as well as a NASA study that found global wildfires had decreased over the last 25y, in contrast to many hysterical hashtags. The real science is not secret, and irresponsible hysteria should be publicized for the anti-scientific crusade that it is. The study is freely available online.
    I excerpt from a recent Australian Newspaper report (International study finds no evidence in records of ‘climate emergency’ (
    An international study of major weather and extreme events has found no evidence of a “climate emergency” in the record to date.
    The paper – “A critical assessment of extreme events trends in times of global warming” – found the most robust global changes in climate extremes are found in yearly values of heatwaves, but it said global trends in heatwave ¬intensity were “not significant”.
    The study by Italian scientists provides a long-term analysis of heat, drought, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and ecosystem productivity and finds no clear positive trend of extreme events.
    The team, led by Gianluca ¬Alimonti from the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics and the University of Milan, extended the analysis to include natural disasters, floods, drought, ecosystem productivity and yields of the four main crops (maize, rice, soybean and wheat).
    “None of these response indicators show a clear positive trend of extreme events,” the report said.

  • sabena says:

    If the science is settled,then their talents in their current positions are not required.

  • Citizen Kane says:

    Glavovic, Smith & White et al. have done more to discredit the intellectual authority of professorship than they will ever do to enhance the world’s understanding of climate. Like Rod Stuart above, I am not the least bit skeptical about AGW rather I have absolutely no doubt that climate changes, is changing and always will change and this has almost zero relationship with 0.03 or 0.04% atmospheric CO2 as preached by these AGW high priests.
    What concerns me even more, however, is yet again in these excerpts provided by Tony we see the manifestation of the ‘hero’ complex (rife throughout the COVID response) whereby these so-called scientists are going to single handedly ‘save’ the world from ‘annihilation’ of the biosphere by their activist engagement against the ‘dark’ elements of society in the name of the ‘greater good’ on behalf society at large for evermore, resulting presumably in a climatic utopia that outlasts the sun itself. Once more we encounter the manifestation of the narcissistic elements of the postmodernist, anti-intellectual & emotive, ideology propagated through myth and narrative. We really are descending back into the dark ages!

    • pmprociv says:

      And one also has to ask: just how many of these “heroes” actually walk the walk, rather than just preach gloom’n’doom all the time? For just one example, do they refrain from flying to numerous international meetings and conferences (often in business class)? Or is such restraint meant for their future but unappreciative beneficiaries, the ignorant plebeians? (OK, Greta T actually sailed in a yacht to New York, but I suspect she then flew home.)

  • Alice Thermopolis says:

    Thank you, TT. Another fine post.
    Perhaps the authors should have read Aristotle’s Poetics more closely before using a term from Ancient Greek drama to describe their CC despair. Had they done so, they would have discovered that the tragic hero [climate scientist in this case] invariably wakes up and sees the flaw (speculation, pseudoscience) that causes his downfall at the very moment of a reversal of fortune (peripeteia). His flaw:generally hubris, “excessive pride and disrespect for the natural order of things.”
    Everything in the universe, of course, is in a state of change, including the climate. Even climate activists were once mischievous little boys and girls. Hence we should award no prizes, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, to folk for expressing shock and horror about it, even on Planet Hyperbole. Yet, strange to tell, the very first sentence in the “Tragedy of CC Science” paper does precisely that:
    “Science has demonstrated the climate is changing, governments agree that the science is settled, yet concerted action to mitigate and adapt to climate change is lacking. As a result, adverse global climate changes increase each year in the form of floods, heatwaves and sea-level rise. This study brought a spotlight to this conundrum, arguing for a change in scientific practice that might lead to concerted climate action.”
    As for the second sentence – “governments agree that the science is settled” – for me it is yet another tiresome argument ad populum. Aristotle surely would have relegated it to comedy where “the ridiculous consists of some form of error or ugliness”.
    Incidentally, there is no such thing as a “global climate”, as one reader has pointed out here many times.
    And so on and so forth.

  • Blair says:

    “Climate change science is settled to the point of global consensus.”
    “Vestiges of inevitable scientific uncertainty are being exploited by ‘merchants of doubt’
    So it’s not settled?

  • Lawrie Ayres says:

    It is time to stop arguing with cretins and just point and laugh at them instead. I am in Muswellbrook surrounded by mines and we’ll paid miners. They pray for the day that Erarring Power Station shuts and the blackouts begin. They hope the Teal electorates are the first to go..

  • Stephen says:

    What fantastic news! I’m all in favor of them going on strike. Preferably permanently. They should consider taking up new, more generally useful, occupations such as basket weaving or chicken sexing. Certainly any “Scientist” who isn’t concerned and curious about the possibility that they might be wrong is no Scientist at all. If they really aren’t troubled about the truth of what they say perhaps used car or real estate sales is a better use for their “talents”.

  • Peter Marriott says:

    Thanks Tony for another very good exposè, and also some very good comments.

  • Stephen Ireland says:

    It’s hard not to conclude that PhDs being awarded in Climate Science and related ‘disciplines’ are contributing to human ignorance.

    I recently found this gem in a paper describing a new catastrophe being predicted in a paper co-authored by the Scientia Professor of Climate Change Research at UNSW and several others of the battalion of academic researchers in that eminent taxpayer funded entity. The inconsistency is breathtaking.

    ‘Climate records reaching back 120,000 years reveal the Atlantic overturning circulation has switched off, or dramatically slowed, during ice ages. It switches on and placates European climate during so-called “interglacial periods”, when the Earth’s climate is warmer.’

    Maybe good news for the wool industry.

    The authors’ self-review for the benefit of the MSM is worth a glance if for nothing else the ease in which each new version of catastrophism lags just behind a natural disaster.

  • Tony Tea says:

    Dark Emu Exposed recently wrote about the distinction between the lies and bullshit spouted by fauboriginals. Climate science should be assessed the same way.

  • Tony Tea says:

    Lawrie, only the other day I asked Allegra Spender on twitter what would happen to the well-paid workers in the coal-fired power industry? One of her followers replied that they would just get jobs in the renewable power industry. I’m reluctant to get into Twitter wars, so I resisted the temptation to point out that he was talking utter rubbish, but I suppose I should have.

  • aussilk says:

    I too am a climate realist rather than a denier or alarmist. I need to understand the science – its strength and weaknesses – in how the climate works, both historically and into the future. I am particularly concerned at the brainwashing of our children and young people with the catastrophic claims of the alarmists and media from the UN down. Bringing kids to tears over climate claims is a form of child abuse.! They do not have the capacity to comprehend such complex topics and should be left alone. Many claims in the media are not even supported by the IPCC. However, any criticism is shouted down and effectively denied or a very authoritarian manner.
    I have read many books and articles on the subject, including Steven Koonin’s “Unsettled? What Climate Science Tells us, What It Doesn’t and Why It Matters”. It is a complex issue that many people have difficulty understanding and simply throw their hands up in the air and end up relying on the (supposed) maturity, wisdom and trusted honesty of others to tell them what to think.
    One of the areas of concern for me is the distinction between natural climate variability and human caused changes. The IPCC says the former is negligible, yet as I understand its modelling cannot duplicate the past climate changes, which must then cast some dispersion on the accuracy of its future modeling.
    Also I feel that the media’s claim that renewables is the cheapest form of electricity generation is somewhat disingenuous. It is the cheapest at its source but it is not the ultimate cost of delivering it to the consumers’ premises on a 24/7 basis. Storage is a big component. And if Australia will not consider fossil fuels or nuclear as a storage source then we are basically left with batteries. Then it begs the question just how big a battery will we need to ensure electricity 24/7. Based on the principle of the lowest common denominator, we will need a battery of sufficient capacity to cover the times when renewables are at their lowest output. Thus in times of heavy cloud cover (winter) and wind droughts, batteries must be able to make up the shortfall. That means that they must have a large excess capacity to cover these types of times/events. Otherwise, blackouts will occur. So that is a cost that must be taken into account in charging consumers in addition to the poles and wires infrastructure costs. I would like to see some costings on that basis by the Government to prove or disprove my comment!

  • jackgym says:

    This Northern Hemisphere winter is going to be a cold one, not just because of the temperature but because of the lack of gas and electricity to heat their homes. The Greens and climate alarmists may put up with shivering for a while in the name of saving the planet, but frostbite will eventually wake them up to reality.

  • Elizabeth Beare says:

    Tony, I was interested to read, in The Australian Weekend Section of Sept 24-25 called ‘The Nation’, a somewhat buried report headlined ‘Climate models ‘a global bank risk’. I think it is worth quoting here to show that some of the most prominent climate scientists in Australia (not rabid followers such as at SCU) seem to be having a fairly interesting rethink, methinks perhaps because their models, if followed as ‘science’, might lead them personally into some very expensive and troubling legal water if said waters gang abit choppy:The article in The Oz starts:
    “Bank regulators could cause “major systemic risk to the global financial system” if they continue to use climate models with little understanding of the uncertainty inherent in model projections, some of Australia’s most senior climate scientists have said.
    The warning, published in the August issue of the journal Environmental Research, comes as efforts to assess risks to the financial system associated with climate change are growing.
    Lead author Andy Pitman, director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science, told The Weekend Australian: “Climate models are very valuable tools for many applications but they are not something I want used to decide investment strategies for my superannuation”.
    The central issue is the difference between weather and climate and the inability of models to predict weather events at city scale.
    Professor Pitman said attempts to use dynamical downscaling to get far higher resolution data was “excellent science but not science designed for the financial sector”.’ (end of extract from the Oz).
    I’d say that personally I think models overall are not ‘science’ as we know it, and that Professor Pitman would be wise to have other concerns as to how and where his models are being applied to directly affect economic matters and government policy. For when people find out they have been dudded they are inclined to get very antsy, and some of them will sue. Clearly Professor Pitman does not want to be personally in the firing line for any repercussions from his modelling. Professor Pitman, just like you I don’t like my superannuation to be invested in green boondoggles influenced by your work either nor to have a thousand small green cuts made to my way of life influenced by your models either..

  • Elizabeth Beare says:

    We mght note that Anthony Pittman is at least a serious academic highly involved in theories of climatic change and associated atmospheric issues. He is on record as declaring the Australia’s last drought was not in fact a climate change drought, just a normal cyclical drought. This brought about serious conniptions from the ABC and others, so that he was encouraged to walk that statement back a little. Which he did.
    I would like to think we are now on the cusp of some climate realism within the higher eschelons of academe with some recognition that models are just models and depend on how good the theorising is in constructing and inputting them. We’ve seen how that worked out for some of the Covid epidemiological models. Governments should consider how much more fluid and multiplex are the variables that constitute a climatic system before accepting models, or the Good Lord help us, some ‘statistical’ aggregate of models, as gospel.

  • Peter Bannister says:

    I think these three professors have now subconsciously started to doubt themselves and are actually losing confidence in their own ability. Hence they think it might be wise to hold their tongues.

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