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Closing out dissent August 14, 2010

Posted by honestclimate in Discussions.
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Closing out dissent

by Professor Bob Carter
Quadrant Online, August 1, 2010

The phenomena of disinvitation and the brotherhood of silence

Scientists who venture to make independent statements in public about environmental myths soon come to learn about two post-modern-science tactics used to suppress their views – namely, disinvitation and the application of a brotherhood of silence. How these tactics work is explained in this article.

The modus operandi

A member of the organising committee for one or another conference comes to one of my talks, or chances to meet a friend who has attended. Enthusiasm thereby arises for me to speak at the conference that is being planned. Prompted by the member, the conference committee approves an invitation, which I accept. Later, the Council or governing body of the society in question gets to “rubber stamp” the conference program and someone says: “Bob Carter as a plenary speaker! You must be joking”. The disinvitation follows, sometimes well after the talk has been written and travel booked.

In a variation on this, earlier this year I was invited by our ABC to contribute an opinion piece about climate change to their online blog site, The Drum. The piece was duly written and tendered, only to be declined.

Similarly, strong control has long been exercised by public broadcasters ABC and SBS against the appearance of independent scientists on their TV and radio news and current affairs programs. I first encountered this in 2007, when I participated in a broadcast discussion about Martin Durkin’s epoch-making documentary film, The Great Global Warming Swindle. Before the broadcast I had the astonishing experience of being successively invited, disinvited, prevaricated with and then finally invited to participate again, as competing interests inside the ABC battled, as they obviously saw it, to control the outcome of the panel discussion.

I have generally viewed these and similar experiences over the years as amusing irritations that go with the territory of scientific independence. But the matter starts to become offensive, and indeed sinister, when it transpires that scientists from CSIRO, and other IPCC-linked research groups in Australia, have been behind particular disinvitations; or, even more commonly, have refused to participate in public debate on climate change.

The same self-appointed guardians of the sanctity of IPCC climate propaganda also strive ceaselessly to prevent invitations from being issued in the first place. For example, when it was suggested to a Sydney metropolitan university that I might give a talk on the campus, their Distinguished (sic) Professor of Sustainability responded that:

he would not be interested in allowing anyone to present a point of view which did not support the fact that human-generated carbon dioxide has caused global warming.

Que?

Engineers Australia (Sydney)

On July 8th this year, at the invitation of the Chairman of the Electrical & ITE Branch, Engineers Australia Sydney, I delivered a lecture on climate change in Chatswood to an attentive audience of about 55 practicing engineers, retired engineers and engineering students.

EA (Sydney) run a series of about 22 such lectures every year for the continuing professional development of their members. The intent is to impart knowledge to the engineering fraternity on current subjects of interest, and lecturers are generally recognized as leaders in the field of the subject that they present.

When controversial topics are involved, the institute attempts to attract speakers who will illustrate different aspects of the debate, as indeed they did on this occasion. For the lecture that I delivered was intended to be one of a pair, in which the other speaker would explain the reasons behind the federal government’s preference for using United Nations (IPCC) advice as the basis for Australian climate policy.

Significantly, CSIRO were asked, and declined, to provide such a speaker, thereby exemplifying the brotherhood of silence, i.e. the long-held ban that all IPCC-linked research groups strive to inflict upon independent scientists by refusing to debate with them as equals on a public platform. Earlier this year, CSIRO chairperson Megan Clarke boasted that her organisation had 40 persons involved in advising the IPCC, yet not one of them was available to talk to Australia’s major engineering professional institute? Pull the other one, Megan.

Well, if CSIRO is not prepared to explain the basis for government’s science policy then there’s always the universities, so a Director of the Climate Change Research Centre at another Sydney metropolitan university was approached to participate as the second speaker. He too declined on the grounds that the envisaged two-lecture format was “flawed”, adding:

You would not have an “anti-gravity” person debate gravity and since there honestly is no debate in this space in SCIENCE the offer I made a little while ago of offering a full day to detail the science to your members stand(s).

Your society risks falling into the trap of the media in believing there is debate and that is sad, misleading and unfortunate.

This stance was supported by an experienced NSW power engineer who wrote to EA at about the same time to malign my professional standing, and who included, for good measure, a gratuitous remark about the well-regarded London publisher of my recent book on climate change, viz.:

It appears that Bob Carter is representative of the group of the relatively little-published 2% group of scientists who generally are not mainly working in real climate science (Bob Carter is a geologist not a climate scientist, and is published in You-tube and popular magazines, not peer-reviewed journals), who oppose the real climate science consensus. This appears to be correct based on your notice of the meeting and his website. In this case he does not deserve equal time to the 98% of scientists regularly published on climate change in peer-reviewed journals. There is no counter consensus! I question the wisdom of giving this man the Engineers Australia podium.

Furthermore, Stacey International is a publisher of popular works and has no specific scientific credibility.

Read the rest here

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Comments»

1. omanuel - August 14, 2010

You are exactly right, Professor Carter.

Even our most prestigious science journals are now participants.

I recently reminded the Editor of Nature, Dr. Philip Campbell, of the differences between his policies and the 1869 Mission Statement of Nature (published in each weekly issue):

” . . . to place before the general public the grand results of scientific work and scientific discovery; . . . to aid scientific men . . . by giving early information of all advances made in any branch of natural knowledge throughout the world, and by affording them an opportunity of discussing the various scientific questions which arise from time to time.”

Ms. Diane Kempinski, Dr. Campbell’s PA, responded by saying that Dr. Campbell was travelling, unable to respond now, but would do so on his return.

Meanwhile blanket bans against comments by some subscribers continues:

“You are currently not allowed to comment owing to misuse”

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
Former NASA Principal
Investigator for Apollo


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