Click images for more details



Recent comments
Recent posts
Currently discussing

A few sites I've stumbled across recently....

Powered by Squarespace
« Another SciTech hearing | Main | Climate of fear »

Climate of smear - Josh 229

Story on BH here, at WUWT here, with a response from the University here. Jo Nova has similar posts here and here too. 

Cartoons by Josh

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

Reader Comments (63)

This is a bit premature, IMHO.

Jul 10, 2013 at 10:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterTurning Tide

This is a wonderful cartoon. Actually, I should think this would fit quite a few universities, given the political mindset of most if not all of them nowadays. One of your best, Josh! :)

Jul 10, 2013 at 10:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterA.D. Everard

I'll stick my neck out for Salby. He knows what he's talking about.

The University's response contains no information.

Jul 10, 2013 at 10:35 PM | Registered Commentershub

I am a bit torn. I see ammo for the 'other side' here. A few weeks ago, all academics stank, and any academic who had strong feelings on CAGW had a rail, barrell of tar and a sack of feathers lined up.

They should all be sacked. Now we have an angel who should be unsacked

Jul 10, 2013 at 10:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterEternalOptimist

Surely there must have been Visa entry implications that only a verified contract of employment could have resulted in a positive for an entry Visa? That being the case then there seems to be an array of routes, through the university's own procedures, to question any non-conformity of their claim to dismiss.

Without the full facts on this matter it's tough to call, but, the fact that Salby has sent his email to some of the main 'skeptical of CAGW' sites is indeed of interest, (is there record of it going to a non-skeptical site?)

Best advice for this guy is to get legal-advice as to how to use the already established rules of his (ex)uni' to question their decision rather than jumping into a Court of Law.

Tread carefully, not all that looks-like-gold is in fact gold!

Jul 11, 2013 at 1:23 AM | Unregistered Commenterunknownknowns

We've heard one side of an employment dispute. Unless you have some inside insight, there is absolutely no reason to suppose that his assertions give a complete view of the matter and there are entirely insufficient grounds for condemning the Uni.

Unless you're just doing propaganda. In that case, I guess you can just rush to whatever judgements give you warm fuzzies.

Jul 11, 2013 at 3:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterSzilard

Assuming the story is factual in whole or even part, perhaps a global policy of hiring grads should include the school that educated them. Who would want employees that have been taught such shabby behavior as seen at MU is acceptable? Why would families send their young adults off to university to be exposed to this thinking? There are all manor of repercussion for this kind of behavior. Grant money invested so administrators can behave like tyrants? I think not. Where is the outrage of the alumni? What an embarrassment this could be.

Jul 11, 2013 at 4:49 AM | Unregistered Commenterdp

What we have is a clear situation where an employer/employee relationship has gone badly sour with the added ingredient of climate wars intrigue.

I think what we could really do with is a third party assessment of the story by someone untrammelled by any climate baggage to run through the misunderstandings and faults that almost certainly on both sides that led up to this situation. Though I think the paradox is that if climate intrigue isn't added and spun into the narrative then no one would be motivated to do this assessment.

Jul 11, 2013 at 6:06 AM | Registered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

As someone who has worked closely with HR (Human Resource) teams, experience tells me to not get involved or pass judgement.

And from the moment this became public, I very much doubt the Uni's HR team has much experience with a public sharing of knowledge in this way and the exposure that brings.

So criticising their reply I think is a little unfair. They are also constrained by employment laws in how they handle this.

I personally would not give food to Lewandowsky conspiracy petri dish...

Jul 11, 2013 at 6:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterJiminy Cricket

Premature, and stupidly tribal. Just because he seems to be against "them" doesn't make him one of "us"

Jul 11, 2013 at 8:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

I meant to add, great cartoon. The style, typefaces and colours are dead right.

Jul 11, 2013 at 8:49 AM | Registered Commenterjamesp

I'm with BigYin.

And not funny, either. [snip DNFTT]

Jul 11, 2013 at 8:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterMartin A

“…“one in two chance that by 2100 there’ll be no human beings left on this planet’…”

Alarmist PR linked to MU
From Jo Nova's comments section. LMFAO

Jul 11, 2013 at 8:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterFarleyR

FarleyR, oh so even the hair shirt greenies are changing their prophecies, it used to be by 50:50 by 2050.

Maybe they have fed BH's recent sensitivity research into their General "we are all doomed" Model and revised their date? See? Science in action...

Jul 11, 2013 at 9:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterJiminy Cricket

One of the WUWT comments (to the University response, such as it is) seems apposite:

"It seems like a pretty thin case for dismissal at all let alone in such a harsh fashion. Normally there would be a paper trail of warnings and hearings leading to final dismissal and Prof. Salby has made no mention of this. Also natural justice would demand that he be allowed to be present with representation when the disciplinary committee met and he was not there."

It's even worse than that if he was physically prevented from being present at that hearing!

Jul 11, 2013 at 9:14 AM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Salby's theory matches observations and cagw theory does not. If the uni does not want the potential kudos of that then they probably don't want to say why. A knife in the back would save their embarrasment.

That could, however, be catastrophic.

Jul 11, 2013 at 9:15 AM | Unregistered Commenterssat

I think we need to separate (for now) the direction of Salby's research with his dismissal. I know we are predisposed to believe in such things, but there are other reasons for people being dismissed, academics lose their positions all the time for all manner of reasons. Salby himself blames his idealogical stance, but that may just be convenient for him to garner support from an eager mob.

People have cited the university's scant reply as proof they are being sneaky, but remember they cannot actually publicly divulge very much of what is an internal private disciplinary found - this is private information is is protected under data protection laws. They can only state in general terms what was found. Only a court can ask them to be more specific.

I'm just saying be careful that we don't embrace someone using our willingness to believe in the evil AGWer network as a cover for a possible ordinary employment squabble.

Jul 11, 2013 at 9:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

I doubt anything Macquarie University try will work in the long term.

Dr. Salby produces this work -
- that effectively challenges the very foundation of the global warming hoax.

The university that employs Tim Flannery, head of the climate commission, then sacks Dr. Salby.

It just looks bad now. However the hoax is collapsing rapidly. How is this sorry episode going to be viewed by the cheated taxpayers in the future? “Bad” won't be the half of it.

Good luck with the “nothing to do with his views on climate change” line Macquarie ;)

Jul 11, 2013 at 10:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterKonrad

"As far as I can tell, the only basis for your premise is a pathological need to think ill of climate science and well of all those who seem to oppose it."

Some might suggest after years of observation of the discipline that this approach is understandable.

Having said this if Prof Salby has an issue he should take it to a tribunal - lets see what its judgment is. Until then all this discussion is just arm waving.

Jul 11, 2013 at 10:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterRB

How many universities make public statements about professors sacked because they failed to take a class? I'm just surprised that anyone thinks that there is a shred of truth that it:

"...had nothing to do with his views on climate change nor any other views."

But that actually, an experienced professor was dismissed because he:
"...failed to arrive at a class he had been scheduled to take."
Just the one? After 5 years? Not the one where they cancelled his return flight, having conveniently allowed him the outbound? He's been shafted. They discovered early they didn't like his research direction, and it's taken a five year campaign of sly, snide, contract manipulating skull-duggery to nail something that will legally enable them to sack him.

To me, his association with Macquarrie is threatening future funding for their portfolio of CO2_alarm_related products. No CO2-market-stimulating alarm then mucho pecuniam retracto :~
Did the Macquarie academatchiks (Flannery) feel that Salby disguised his sceptical disposition, because it was only as time went on they became aware that he was not at the coal face of sustainable development, working in support of a radical decarbonisation as they had planned, but beneath it, pick-axing his way through soft, crumbling, post-normal strata and finding a rich vein of liberating scientific gemstones? Yes, methinks.

Jul 11, 2013 at 10:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterJustin Ert

@Justin Ert "How many universities make public statements about professors sacked because they failed to take a class?"

Hardly any, but then again, how many professorial sackings are (a) in a contentious field with great public interest and (b) being discussed all over the partisan websites and blogs?

And to be fair to MU, their statement does say:

Macquarie University does not normally comment on the circumstances under which employees leave the University. However, we feel in this instance it is necessary to do so in order to correct misinformation.

If it turns out in the end that Prof. Salby's dismissal was to do with matters entirely unrelated to his views on AGW, there are a lot of people around here and elsewhere who are going to look no better than the the typical alarmist caricature of a sceptic, seeing conspiracies everywhere and frothing at the mouth.

Jul 11, 2013 at 11:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterTurning Tide

I haven't seen a awful lot of mouth frothing here or on the other thread, quite the reverse.

With regard to the cartoon, whether or not it's funny the whole raison d'etre for cartoonists is to make fun of, satirise and otherwise discomfort those you disagree with, this cartoon meets that objective I think. Political cartoonists shouldn't necessarily be constrained by rules those viewing the cartoon put on the item itself. There have been.there are many political cartoonists who are a lot less restrained in what they produce than this one.

Jul 11, 2013 at 11:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

"However, we feel in this instance it is necessary to do so in order to correct misinformation."

But exactly where did Macquarie University 'correct misinformation' - they didn't !!!

Which seems to point towards the probability that there was no 'misinformation' to correct.

This simply stinks and the more publicity it gets the better so those advocating a wait and see approach are simply advocating a policy which will delight the Warmists as the 'Climate Change' legislation marches relentlessly onwards.

And what sort of message does this give to any other scientists who would like to come forward with similar stories?

Jul 11, 2013 at 11:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterMarion


This simply stinks and the more publicity it gets the better so those advocating a wait and see approach are simply advocating a policy which will delight the Warmists as the 'Climate Change' legislation marches relentlessly onwards.

I'll tell you what will delight the warmists. The sceptic community foolishly embracing a story which later turns out to be false.

Again, disappointed and horrified with the tribalism of both sides.

Jul 11, 2013 at 11:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

Re: Jul 11, 2013 at 11:25 AM | TheBigYinJames

I call it as I see it BYJ and by the way whatever did happen with the Wegman case.

Were those 'plagiarism' charges ever resolved by the George Mason University.

Or do the Warmists still go round citing Wegman as a plagiarist?.....

Too often excellent reputations get trashed and the debate moves before the truth comes out .... we should be encouraging the sunlight of publicity to get to the truth.

Jul 11, 2013 at 12:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterMarion

we should be encouraging the sunlight of publicity to get to the truth.

Absolutely. Not acting as if we already know it.

Jul 11, 2013 at 12:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

"I'll tell you what will delight the warmists. The sceptic community foolishly embracing a story which later turns out to be false."

So where's your evidence that any of Murry Salby's statements are false?

Meanwhile the debate moves on......

and oh yes, you didn't answer my question about the Wegman case....

Jul 11, 2013 at 12:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterMarion

It is possible that Macquarie University had good reasons for dismissing Professor Salby but, as others have pointed out, they made no attempt to correct the "misinformation" in their statement, nor did they reply to any of Salby's accusations.

Why on earth would the university have cancelled a non-refundable ticket? There are only two possible explanations; either the university administration acted out of pure malice, or the person who decided to cancel the ticket did not realise that it was non-refundable.

Even if the second explanation (that the administration was incompetent) is the true one, cancelling a ticket for an itinerary that had already been approved when you no that the person is abroad is rather strange behaviour for an employer. Macquarie University has a lot of explanation to do. The longer this whole business goes on the more damaging it is to the university's reputation. If they did have perfectly good reasons for getting rid of Professor Salby they should present their side of the argument in more detail, just as Professor Salby has done.

Jul 11, 2013 at 12:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

Marion, I don't have to answer your questions about the Wegman case, because it's got nothing to do with Salby, which this thread is about. Also, I don't need to provide evidence that his statements are false, since I'm not saying they are false. He's the one making claims, it's up to him to make me believe them, not up to me to rebut them.

I'm not saying they are false, I'm saying they may turn out to be false. And until we're sure (or surer), we look like a bunch of mouth-foamers.

We have far too much of this "true until you prove otherwise" fallacious logic within climate science itself as it is without us doing it too. Nullius in verba, and that applies to likeable rebellious climate scientists who appear to be on the side of the good guys, not just those we dislike.

Jul 11, 2013 at 12:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

BigYin, Marion

"False" is a big word, but there is certainly something worrying about part of Salby's presentation. The impressive take home message that the CO2 / temperature fit is perfect in the (average of) models yet awful in the real world is really achieved by an old presentational sleight of hand - one that students are always getting told off about. The scale of CO2 in the first graph ranges over 600 units whereas it is only 50 in the second graph. And the temperature scale has not been changed in proportion. If you plot it out on common scales the story looks a lot less obvious. Some critics have pointed this out (although, oddly, it's not in the Prentice rebuttal) but there doesn't seem to have been a reply.

I think extreme caution is necessary before second guessing on due process in cases like this. It's always more complicated than you think.

Jul 11, 2013 at 12:54 PM | Unregistered Commenteralan kennedy

Re: Jul 11, 2013 at 12:33 PM | TheBigYinJames

Murry Salby has gone into a great amount of detail in his statements. If any of these were untrue it would have been easy for Macquarie University to show it - they didn't!

And odd that one who professes himself a sceptic should use such emotive language as "a bunch of mouth-foamers".

I have very little time for those who try and close a debate by bringing up the spectre of 'conspiracy theorists' .

Not that long ago since those who warned about the true intent of the European Project were described as 'nutters' and the like (we were told we were simply entering into a Trading Agreement!!!) but look where we are now.............

Jul 11, 2013 at 12:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterMarion

Sorry Marion, you bring in too many tangential and unrelated arguments for me, which I'm going to ignore, since it doesn't matter how many other conspiracy theories turned out to be true in your opinion, it doesn't have any effect on this one. Just because they covered up Watergate doesn't mean they covered up a Moon Landings hoax.

My use of "mouth-foamers" was not my emotive language, it will be how we are viewed by the other side if we jump like Pavlovian dogs every time someone says "bad men".

The amount of detail in Salby's statement is not in itself proof of anything, and in fact leaves more questions than it answers, and I hope he now has time to elaborate on what he says, for example the form and content of his original contract, the methods that he was obstructed from doing his research, etc, why he agreed to the changed terms of employment, why he didn't pursue the university for their mistake (courts are notoriously good at favouring the little man when large institutions foul up)

The university cannot do a point-by-point public rebuttal because they are constrained by data protection laws. If Salby want to reveal details about his length of contract, working conditions, travel arrangements and colleagues, that's up to him. Institutions cannot by law, so you can't take the lack of detail in a public press release as proof of anything either.

That's the point, we have one person's story and a lacklustre info-free corporate denial. Neitehr of which is enough to make a judgement either way. I'm more interested in why people (like you) think they can somehow divine the truth from this ragbag of rumour and tale, enough to become overtly hostile to those who don't feel they have enough information to make a decision (me). You're angry with me because I don't see the "truth".

The proof of the pudding will be : if he has a case, he'll win it in court and the truth will be out then. Good luck to him, it would be great to give them a bloody nose. But I'm not going to get agitated about the likelihood of this happening until I've seen more than one person's account. Especially when that person feels aggrieved and is presenting his story in the best possible light.

I'm not going over and over this with you, you feel you have enough evidence to go with, good for you. But don't get angry with me because I don't.

Jul 11, 2013 at 1:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

Shame on you BYJ when you can describe the clear statements put forward by Murry Salby as a "ragbag of rumour and tale"

and what evidence do you have that "courts are notoriously good at favouring the little man when large institutions foul up" - I doubt that Edward Snowden would agree with you.

Jul 11, 2013 at 1:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterMarion

There is an update with her comments on Jo Nova's Blogg

Jul 11, 2013 at 1:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoss Lea


"why he didn't pursue the university for their mistake"

Because he wanted to hold on to his job..?

Jul 11, 2013 at 2:46 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp


yes, but according to his statement, he had been promised the contract would be regulated by a government body, and since the University allegedly failed to register it in this way, that "meant" that the terms of the contract became unenforceable, i.e. they could get out of those promises.

This is the most problematic part for me. A contract is a contract, no matter who says they are going to oversee or regulate it, if he has a signed bit of paper in his hand promising these things that never appeared, that makes them breaches of contract, and legally enforceable with or without regulatory oversight. Unless the contract specifically says that it's not binding unless such oversight has been applied for and obtained.

This is the point at which he should have consulted a contracts lawyer. As soon as he found out that he was on shaky ground contractually. But, by his own statement, he accepted changed terms instead. And then breached those terms.

If he made that choice because he was afraid of losing his job, then that is a decision he may regret.

Jul 11, 2013 at 3:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

BTW, I'm not unsympathetic with Prof Salby. He seems a decent sort, and I haven't had time to go over his work yet, so can't comment on that side of it. But the world of contracts and etc is pretty ruthless, especially in the hands of well-paid institutional lawyers.

To operate in that world you have to become pretty ruthless yourself, and do not skimp on the legal advice. I've come a cropper a few times myself when my little company had simply not been paid for some piece of work on a contractual technicality or horseplay by someone in the contractual chain.

By the same token, I'm not excusing any bad things that may have been done to him by the institution. Bureaucracy is sometimes used as a blunt weapon to achieve the aims of people. This is why people need to be careful.

Jul 11, 2013 at 3:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

@all those who say the MU statement didn't "correct misinformation"

Actually, it does. It says:

The decision to terminate Professor Murry Salby’s employment with Macquarie University had nothing to do with his views on climate change nor any other views.

So all we have is Prof. Salby saying one thing and the university saying another, and no way of knowing which (if any) is correct: neither side has actually produced any evidence. So this thread (and the other one), and all the other discussions on other blogs, are nothing but speculation based upon individual poster's assumptions and prejudices.

Jul 11, 2013 at 3:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterTurning Tide


Unless the contract specifically says that it's not binding unless such oversight has been applied for and obtained.

It's unlikely such a provision would be enforceable.

You and I could agree a contract whereby I will supply you with guns and you will pay me in drugs. It would be unenforceable because the activities are illegal.

A contract whereby you give up your rights under contract law would be the same. You can get someone to sign it but no court will enforce it.

There is very little Macquarie can say out loud about this IMO.

Jul 11, 2013 at 3:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterJustice4Rinka

So where do you want the drugs dropped off?

Jul 11, 2013 at 4:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

'Debate' pre-supposes two sides with differing views on a subject about which they at least purport to have some knowledge.
There is no true debate here. Salby has provided the blogosphere with a detailed account of his treatment at the hands of Macquarie as he understands it. Macquarie has, as at this moment, not produced any similarly detailed account of this treatment as they understand it.
We have no objective knowledge of the true events. We are in danger of taking sides in a dispute without being in possession of all the relevant data. Since we want Salby to be the good guy we are rowing in behind him but for all we know he may be a fantasist, he may be a liar with an agenda of his own, he may have misunderstood Macquarie's position, On the other hand he may be right in every respect.
So his statements, no matter how "clear" they may be could still turn out to be "a ragbag of rumour and tale".
In which case those who have leapt to identify him as the next candidate for canonisation are going to look extremely silly and will have done the sceptics' standpoint no favours at all.

Jul 11, 2013 at 4:05 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

" I doubt that Edward Snowden would agree with you."

To compare Murry Salby with Edward Snowden is just plain stupid.

Jul 11, 2013 at 5:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Longstaff

Re: Jul 11, 2013 at 5:39 PM | Roger Longstaff

Oh, Roger, and precisely where did I "compare Murry Salby with Edward Snowden" ?

Jul 11, 2013 at 7:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterMarion

Re: Jul 11, 2013 at 4:05 PM | Mike Jackson

So, Mike, we aren't allowed to have a debate unless we have "an objective knowledge of true events". But isn't this blog based on debate, how could it exist without it.

And where exactly is the "objective knowledge of true events" in much of Climate 'Science'. It seems to me to be very much based on interpretations of assumptions! But according to you unless we have "an objective knowledge of true events" then we aren't allowed to debate it.

So you are willing to apply the word "rumour" (definition 'gossip' or 'hearsay' ) to the statement of the main witness. Well my knowledge of the English language seems to be somewhat different to yours. It would seem that much of what is presented in court would be by that defnition 'gossip' or 'hearsay'. I think not!

And can you please identify exactly who "have leapt to identify him as the next candidate for canonisation " by referencing those comments else you may look rather silly yourself!

Jul 11, 2013 at 7:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterMarion

Marion and Missy share a lot of commonality in terms of technique. Just sayin.

Jul 11, 2013 at 8:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

Having seen the behind-the-scenes shenanigans with the Soon and Baliunas affair, I would not be surprised at anything. Having lived in academia for years, I would not be surprised at anything.

Jul 11, 2013 at 8:27 PM | Registered Commentershub


"There is very little Macquarie can say out loud about this IMO"

They could surely confirm or deny that they cancelled Salby's return ticket? It must be a matter of record and would certainly tell us which way to jump. They seem a bit reticent to me.

Jul 11, 2013 at 9:29 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Re: Jul 11, 2013 at 8:21 PM | TheBigYinJames

So BYJ who is 'Missy' - perhaps you would care to link to those comments that "share a lot of commonality in terms of technique" - I would like to see that!!

Somehow I doubt you will do so....

Jul 11, 2013 at 9:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterMarion

..... No, we'll simply get the inference with no particular proof.

'Climate of smear' indeed!! A tactic so favoured by the warmists.

Jul 11, 2013 at 9:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterMarion

And by the way, Josh, excellent cartoon.

So very appropriate....Looking forward to your next Calendar.

(This year's is on my wall providing some much needed humour!! and of course reminders of what low levels these warmists stoop to!!!)

Jul 11, 2013 at 10:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterMarion

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>