Cranks lose court case against NZ temperature record, NIWA awarded costs

The attempt by NZ’s merry little band of climate cranks to have the NZ temperature record declared invalid has ended in ignominious defeat. In his ruling [PDF], handed down today, Justice Venning finds:

The plaintiff does not succeed on any of its challenges to the three decisions of NIWA in issue. The application for judicial review is dismissed and judgment entered for the defendant. [and] The defendant is entitled to costs.

It will be interesting to see whether the NZ Climate Science Education Trust, which was established purely to bring this action, is able to stump up to cover NIWA’s costs. If it doesn’t, the NZ taxpayer will be left to pick up the bill for this absurd bit of political grandstanding by the Climate “Science” Coalition.

In his decision, Justive Venning makes a number of interesting points, noting in paragraph 48:

This Court should not seek to determine or resolve scientific questions demanding the evaluation of contentious expert opinion.

Embarrassingly for the CSET, the judge also finds that two of its “experts” were nothing of the sort, declaring large chunks of their “evidence” inadmissible. Here’s the judge on former journalist Terry Dunleavy [par 51]

Section 25 could only apply if Mr Dunleavy was an expert in the particular area of the science of meteorology and/or climate. He is not. He has no applicable qualifications. His interest in the area does not sufficiently qualify him as an expert. I also accept Mr Smith’s further point that Mr Dunleavy’s views are not capable of offering substantial help to this Court on the issue that it has to determine. To that extent I agree that substantial passages of Mr Dunleavy’s evidence are inadmissible.

And in par 53, referring to the CSET’s stats man:

Similar issues (as to the limited nature of his expertise), apply to the evidence of Mr Dedekind.

[54]… Mr Dedekind’s general expertise in basic statistical techniques does not extend to any particular specialised experience or qualifications in the specific field of applying statistical techniques in the field of climate science. To that extent, where Mr Dedekind purports to comment or give opinions as to NIWA’s application of statistical techniques in those fields, his evidence is of little assistance to the Court.

The judge also noted that the other expert witness relied on by the NZ CSET, Bob Carter, also made a number of mistakes in his evidence. Not a good look…

I did have to laugh out loud at one point (not something that often happens when reading a judgement), when reading the judge’s comments on the original NZ CSET submissions:

Both the original statement of claim and the first amended statement of claim were prolix.

One wonders who brought a shine to those words…

No doubt the crank spin machine will be hard at work to try to salvage something from this train wreck, but it’s hard to see how. Common sense has prevailed. Warming remains unequivocal, and can’t be ruled inadmissible — unlike the Coalition’s precious “experts”.

[Update: Leading Climate Scientists Welcome Judge’s Decision on Temperatures

Associate Professor James Renwick of Victoria University said he was pleased that the court had respected and reaffirmed the credibility of the scientific process. It was a strong message to those wanting to challenge widely-agreed scientific findings to do so honestly and openly in scientific forums.


… the case represents a massive waste of New Zealand tax payer’s funds. In defending the claim, NIWA has spent a huge amount (estimated at well over $100,000) and has diverted a number of its scientists away from their research. The country can ill afford to waste such an amount. “This misguided action of a small group adds confusion to a simple issue – the world is warming and future generations of New Zealanders will have to deal with the consequences” Dr Renwick said.

The press release was prepared and endorsed by:

Associate Professor James Renwick, School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington
Professor Jim Salinger, currently visiting Stanford University
Professor Martin Manning, Climate Change Research Institute, Victoria University of Wellington
Professor Peter Barrett, Antarctic Research Centre, Victoria University of Wellington
Professor (Emeritus) Blair Fitzharris, University of Otago
Professor Keith Hunter, Pro-Vice Chancellor Science, University of Otago ]

84 thoughts on “Cranks lose court case against NZ temperature record, NIWA awarded costs”

  1. Complete and total vindication for NIWA. Hooray. Now for the small matter of costs. I hope NIWA and the NZ taxpayer extract every cent they can back from the prolix buffoons.

  2. Seems to Eli that the NIWA should go after the houses, hearths and cars of those who ran that little crankshaft. They should also grab any money that went to CSETs lawyers.

    1. Up here in the Northern Hemisphere, that would be “trailers, kitchen appliances on the front porch, and vehicles up on cinder blocks (along with the cinder blocks)”.

      IOW, “Grab them by the ankles and shake the pennies loose”.

  3. Speaking of the shining of words and general prolixity, could one perhaps perceive the hand of a certain esteemed Lord, whose return to grace the sun-blasted shores of the Antipodes in March is so eagerly anticipated in some circles? (And perhaps this aristocratic progress will serve as a sorely-needed balm of consolation?! 😉 )

  4. Just as it should be. It’s not a surprise, but it’s good to have a clear, unequivocal response to that mish-mash of pseudoscience presented in Court. Schadenfreude is pleasant sometimes, and the contortions to come will be quite a lot of fun!

  5. The costs award of “category 2 time band C” means the plaintiffs are being stung for higher than normal costs. Time band C is explained here:

    As the Court points out time and again, it has no role in deciding scientific disputes where there is plenty of rational science to back the NIWA approach. As an aside, it notes that the plaintiffs seem to be factually wrong in many of their assertions anyway.

    What is interesting to me is several points in the case where NIWA discusses in its internal documents extra steps and measurements it is taking to ensure its record is scientifically robust. This is in response to public challenges from the plaintiffs.

    The plaintiffs then turn up in the High Court and argue that the very existence of these internal documents suggests there are problems with NIWAs approach. The High Court naturally sees the circularity and cynicism in that logic and rejects it.

    It is good to see the Court taking time to carefully dismantle the arguments of the plaintiffs. The decision could have been a lot shorter once it was obvious that Mr Dunleavy and Mr Dedekind lacked appropriate professional qualifications and Mr Dunleavy was clearly providing partial evidence, despite his undertaking to the Court that he was providing his evidence impartially.

  6. This is a major victory – fabulous news!

    Sentiment appreciated but I find it rather irksome to regard the court case annihilation of a bunch of kooks and clowns as a major victory.

    Those w*nkers really ought to to be derided for the complete tossers they are.

        1. True, but that’s just part of the Epistemic Closure process. The closing part. They can now live in their irrelevant fantasy bubble for the rest of their sad little lives; can you imagine the alternative of having to really face what they’ve done?

          The point is that in the real world these guys just keep getting their arses handed to them; unfortunately also loudly and clearly by the planet itself, which means that not only have these clowns backed the wrong horse (against any rational interpretation of form) for decades – belligerently ridiculing everyone else at the track in the process – we now all have to cover their stupid bet.

          In that sense this really is a victory, but we’ll have to work hard to ensure it isn’t pyrrhic…

    1. Actually, sufficiently-foolish lawsuits can sometimes be *very* useful.
      See Kitzmuller vs Dover, which basically put Intelligent Design on trial, supported by an even more inept group. A conservative judge did a fine job in slaughtering it, with similarly pithy words.

      Courts like precedents. It is delightful to get test cases ruled with unambiguous judgments like this. I think the real question is whether or not anyone gets a penny back from the NZCSET, since it seems to have been set up explicitly to avoid any penalty.

  7. The sad thing in all this, is the amount of effort this idiotic court case has cost; the diversion away from real science, and the syphonning off of funds that could otherwise be employed to further our understanding of the climate. Stupid, stupid people – empty vessels making a lot of meaningless noise.

  8. The court case was a total waste of time and it will be interesting so see where the costs lie. I thought that it was a shame though that NIWA didn’t demonstrate how they derived their climate record. The fact that they didn’t does make me wonder if they lost some data or documentation at some stage. Not that it matters much, no policy has ever been made based on weather station data.
    The BEST study, which weighted data based on anomalies, showed a similar trend for NZ using the unadjusted data and no prior knowledge of siting.

    1. What NIWA demonstrated was much more powerful than a slavish recalculation: they used the best available current techniques to reconstruct a homogenised series that ended up being pretty much the same as the original. The judge then found that the NZ CSET’s claimed reconstruction was in error. The CSET’s only option now is what it should have been in the first place: construct their own series and get it past peer-review in a credible journal (not Energy & Environment!). If they can do that, and it differs in material respects from NIWA’s series, then there may something more to discuss. In the meantime, the only interesting question is how they intend to fund the costs that have been awarded against them. If they fail to pay up, they will be shown to have abused the system and abused the NZ taxpayers.

  9. Well, Treadgold’s Climate Conversation Groupies are trying to spin this as a victory, e.g.

    “The NZCSET 7SS now has equal standing with NIWA’s 7SS …
    The linear trend of the NZ 7SS is therefore 0.34 C/century or 0.91 C/century – the public has the option as to which to adopt.”

    Great, let’s put it to the vote; and while we’re about it, lets set that bloody Pi thingy to exactly 3, so I can help the kids with their homework without looking like a doofus!

  10. Ha ha! What a hoot.

    I hope that the trustees of the possibly fraudulent CSET will be deemed personally liable for the waste of funds their folly caused. I believe this might well be the outcome. I know a thing or two about the law pertaining to charitable trusts and would think that the law is rather unkind to fraudsters abusing the reliance on trust and responsibility carried by the charitable trust status. After this it would be prudent for members of the public to press charges against the directors of the CEST personally for the abuse of charitable status claimed by them for their wicket quest.

    A) Any member of the public can demand access to the office of any charitable trust to inspect the books, which must be granted within reasonable time!
    B) Any member of the public can put forward a letter to the Charities commission demanding an investigation in the business of a trust where evidence of abuse of the charitable status can be suggested.
    C) Trustees of charitable trusts are automatically personally liable (no protection as in limited liability companies!!!) for any business that is not within accepted well defined constraints of the rules applicable to charitable trusts.

    I believe that all signatories on the trust deed of the CEST are at the moment in rather deep water with no paddle and no lifeboat and with their personal savings firmly tagged to the damages they caused.

    They might have to rely on AndyS to bail them out…..

    1. That is a good one.

      I sense a great many people are becoming totally sick of persistent shrill, uninformed nongs who have had their arses handed to them by everything from the courts, to all the world’s academies of science, to the north-polar ice-cap!

      And yet apparently some still won’t go away, Thomas reports below.

      We are to believe, apparently, that a scientific debate can be litigated; it seems now the courts have allowed a properly-constituted scientific organization to determine what science is (funnily enough); but, we must understand, this is scandalous! scandalous! Oh, the Humanity!

      Yet, is it not clear that we have all the constituted and legally recognised expertise?

      So I’m beginning to waver on a previous position, and to think a little counter-prosecution may, indeed, be the answer. I’m sure I’m not alone. It’s inevitable, anyway; Deniers are going to be a bigger target than Tobacco (some of them are Tobacco!)

      It’s galling: as yet they simply don’t have to face up to their responsibilities regarding the consequences of their actions. I hardly think it could be held to be unjust for the mantle of ‘The Defendent’ to settle upon many of them – like a yoke of the conscience they lack – for the remainder of their lives, and for their dreary little astroturf front organizations to be stripped of their fig-leaves – and assets – right back to the main trunk.

      IANAL, but I’d happily chip in a few bucks to fund some… 😉

  11. My reading of it is that both sides thought that a court, or at least this one, was not the right place to decide the science.
    Putting that aside, as NIWA won then that leaves us with the official govt agency advising the NZ govt that NZ has warmed twice as fast as the rest of the planet despite the fact that it is a reasonably small country in the middle of the biggest ocean of the world when that ocean has had no signiificant warming and the monitoring stations used were, mostly if not all, situated close to the coast..
    So how does that happen?
    Perahps NIWA needs a whole lot more govt funding to determine that.

    1. Rab

      I don’t generally get involved in blog discussions, because of lack of time. However in this case I do want to provide a factual response.

      NIWA has not advised anyone that NZ is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet.

      IPCC Fourth Assessment: Global 100-year trend in surface temperature 1906-2005. 0.74°C ± 0.18°C (90% confidence interval).

      NIWA 7SST Report: Linear trend from New Zealand 7SST 1909 – 2009: 0.91°C ± 0.29°C (95% confidence interval)

      The difference is certainly not a factor of 2. Also regarding your claim that the ocean has not warmed: if you look at Figure TS.6 in the IPCC Fourth Assessment WG1 Technical Summary, you will see that the ocean surface at our latitudes has warmed.

      Regarding reasons for any differences between NZ and global temperature trends: Natural multi-decadal variability has also affected regional temperature changes over the past century and may have masked expected regional variations from the global rate of anthropogenically-caused warming. In addition, the concentration of anthropogenic sulphate aerosols from fossil fuel burning has been much lower over New Zealand during the past century than for many northern hemisphere locations. Such aerosols scatter energy from the sun back into space, offsetting some of the warming effect of greenhouse gases, and would slow past warming rates over parts of the northern hemisphere compared to those expected from global models.

    2. Rab – fact-checking time.

      1. The climate science contrarians clearly thought the courts would aid and abet them in denying reality – they were the ones who initiated this court case.

      2. Although there was a brief hiatus in warming between 2003-2008, the oceans continue to accumulate energy at a rate equivalent to 3 hiroshima bombs per second. See Von Schuckmann & Le Traon (2011) & Levitus (2012)

      3. Why is it that New Zealand’s glaciers are melting away? Warming perhaps???

    3. ‘[B]oth sides thought that a court, or at least this one, was not the right place to decide the science’: how can that possibly follow ‘My reading of it is that…’ ?

      I’m constantly fascinated by the phenomenon of people who clearly haven’t bothered to learn the most basic features of an issue nevertheless confidently wading in and tossing around assertions and accusations. It certainly helps explain the other nonsensical claims in this short post!

  12. Rab, leaving aside the fact that the two figures are indistinguishable (within the margin of error), the IPCC figure is a GLOBAL average, which we would expect small regions to deviate from, just as your age and income are probably not the same as the average age and income for your country.

    This case has put the basic innumeracy of the AGW deniers on full public display; truly, their ignorance is matched only by their arrogance!

    1. Rob, the idiot followers are not much deterred. I posted a note and a link to this item on several forums. The responses were much as I expected – mainly nonsense. On the home front, I see Farrar’s blog has 89 responses to his own brief comment. I haven’t read them, but would expect 90% of them to be the rabid droolings characteristic of most of his posters.

  13. Likewise, RW, Treadgold’s online asylum contains comments calling for Judge Venning’s dismissal for bias and corruption, given that he, apparently, has shares in some forestry project somewhere…

  14. Further to Rob; our old friend DixieToo’s (aka ‘C [NZ]’) performance over there is really quite extraordinary. If the judge ever reads that blog… well, what can I say?

    They’re actively squabbling, too, as a result. Methinks the cognitive dissonance is becoming unbearable…

  15. Speaking of the entertaining: for those following the Lewandowsky saga – you know, where his research linking Climate ‘Skepticism’ to Conspiracy Theorising was held to itself be a conspiracy by the folks who don’t do irony –

    Blogger’s Hall of Amnesia

    As well as McIntyre – the man who chucked around allegations first and then got round to checking his Inbox – it’s:

    Dr Roger Pielke Jr (he replied to the initial contact)
    Mr Marc Morano (of Climatedepot; he replied to the initial contact)
    Dr Roy Spencer (no reply)
    Mr Robert Ferguson (of the Science and Public Policy Institute, no reply)

    It will be noted that all 4 have publically stated during the last few days/weeks that they were not contacted.

  16. The Spin Doctors….

    In the NZ Herald we can read today a great example of spin doctoring by the denier camp. They called upon their old fried Chris De Freitas:

    Under a harmless sounding headline “Global warming: Court no substitute for science” De Freitas then proceeds to sneak in his usual complete denial of even the fact that any statistically significant global warming has occurred:

    Temperature trends detected are small, usually just a few tenths of one degree Celsius over 100 years, a rate that is exceeded by the data’s standard error. Statistically this means the trend is indistinguishable from zero.

    Tell this to the North Pole, the glaciers of the world, the farmers of the world and those who will be left hungry due to the crop failures in our warming world.
    And he still pontificates about the dead horse of the urban heat island effect:

    There is a proven close correlation of city population size with urban heating influence on air temperature, which can account for an urban area being as much as 12C warmer than its rural surroundings.

    DeFreitas is beyond his prime, so much was certain a long while ago. He seems to have missed the age of satellite temperature measurements and also seems to have slept entirely through the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature saga and its confirmation of the global warming trend.

    Chris de Freitas is still an associate professor in the School of Environment at the University of Auckland. How long can AUT tolerate to be embarrassed by one of their professors in such a significant manner???

    1. If you haven’t seen it before, this may tickle you: Skeptics Prefer Pal Review Over Peer Review: Chris de Freitas, Pat Michaels And Their Pals, 1997-2003 or later additions by dana1981 at SkS in Pal Review – the True Story and the Fairy Tale..

      It is very hard to get rid of professors, which on the whole is probably more good than bad, despite individual cases. But people might send this along to relevant folks. Right now, it sure seems judges do better.

    2. Thomas, as John stated is is difficult to get rid of tenured professors. However, I don’t understand why so many faculty sit on their hands when one of their own brings their institution into disrespect.

      The faculty in the Department of Biological Sciences at Lehigh University wrote a letter distancing themselves from Dr. Michael Behe was is a proponent of the non-scientific Intelligent Design.

      More faculty at Universities where AGW deniers have faculty positions should follow their example. Joint letters to the Press or in Op-eds carry much more weight than a sole signatory.

      1. Ian Forrester, if you want a template of how to get Chris de Freitas sacked [libellous allegation snipped. GR]

        Presumably you find this kind of behaviour acceptable

            1. The link was to a summary of a certain NZ scientist’s emails that were released in the second batch of the climategate saga.

              I am not really sure that this is libelous unless you can show that the article misrepresented the emails or that the person didn’t write the emails.

              Nevertheless, I will desist from the line as it is clearly getting me nowhere

            2. It’s not my business to “show” anything with respect to the allegations made in that article, though for the record I consider them misleading, covering as they do only one aspect of the Climate Research scandal in which De Freitas coordinated “pal review” for his sceptic mates. For chapter and verse, see John Mashey’s detailed analysis, covered at HT here.

              Hot Topic does not exist to provide a platform for the sort of propagandising in evidence at the link you provided. See comment policy.

        1. Do you find it acceptable to harrass scientists who speak the truth?

          I quote:

          “Andy says:
          September 8, 2012 at 10:46 am

          One way to make them accountable is for us to write to the scientists who signed the following Press Release and ask them to justify NIWAs methodology.

          The names listed on the press release are:

          Associate Professor James Renwick, School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington
          Professor Jim Salinger, currently visiting Stanford University
          Professor Martin Manning, Climate Change Research Institute, Victoria University of Wellington
          Professor Peter Barrett, Antarctic Research Centre, Victoria University of Wellington
          Professor (Emeritus) Blair Fitzharris, University of Otago
          Professor Keith Hunter, Pro-Vice Chancellor Science, University of Otago

          1. Do you consider asking for accountability from people paid out of public funds harassment?

            These people put their names on a public document. They should expect to be able to defend their statement in public

            1. Do you think that scientists should be accountable to denialists who have had the issue explained to them over and over for years:


              How does one go about being accountable to people who close their eyes and block their ears every time it is explained to them? Explaining Shakespeare to Swine would likely yield a better chance of success.

              There is no secret to how the analysis was done, people genuinely willing to learn can read about it, without having to harangue anyone.

            2. “Do you think that scientists should be accountable to denialists”

              I was thinking more along the lines of the general public, rather than the subset of people who deny that the climate exists

            3. Do you think that scientists should be accountable to denialists who have had the issue explained to them over and over for years:

              At some point, one is entitled to lose patience with those who simply will not understand, and leave them behind to wallow in their own mire. We reached that point some years ago.

              One is not endlessly resposible for the imbecilities of others, particularly extremely small but very noisy subsets (with very heavyweight friends.)

            4. At some point, one is entitled to lose patience with those who simply will not understand, and leave them behind to wallow in their own mire. We reached that point some years ago.

              So you can explain why NIWA’s adjustments are correct and the “Cranks” are wrong? or perhaps if the court case was about process rather than science, you can explain why the process was right,

              Thanks, I’ll look forward to hearing about this

            5. Andy on accountability:

              I was thinking more along the lines of the general public…..

              So Andy, can you tell us then at which juncture NIWA failed to publish and explain and reference and explain again to the public and then explain to the courts also (which may I remind you is a great public forum with evidence accessible to the public) the matter of reconstructing a temperature record from observations made at different places and with different instruments?
              Where in this process of explaining, documenting and publishing for public access did you fall asleep when NIWA accounted for you especially to read and learn about their data and their methodology?
              NIWA’s process has been – thanks to your denier circus – though an extreme course of scrutiny for what is really in the time and age of the Higgs Boson a rather simple exercise in atmospheric physics accessible to high school students.
              Has it ever occurred to you perhaps that NIWA is simply right in their methodology and that the outcome of their measurements and calculations are as best as can be under the circumstances?
              As your friend De Freitas worded his headline in the Herald the other day: Courts are not the place for dispute on matters of science. The forum of scientific debate in the journals is a public one. The CSET and De Freitas could simply put their critique up for publishing in a reputable paper. If they have a good case, lets hear the experts debate their evidence where it belongs, in the halls of science. But be prepared to be rejected and accept it if your stuff is not sticking up as credible. Simple as that.

              Now take your circus of circular lies and silly stupid allegations elsewhere. We will wait for the CSET / De Freitas paper then. Wake me up when its published…

            6. andy, get a grip! You just lost this one in the bloody courts! And you’re the gooses that took it there!

              NIWA are the experts, 2/3rds of your ‘experts’ didn’t make the cut according to the judge, and he clearly wasn’t exactly overwhelmed by the remaining one. The function of the courts is to determine where the credible expertise lies, not adjudicate the science, hence the cross-pacific Muppets losing the recent EPA case too. But you just refuse to get it, which is consistent with everything else in your lives.

              I do not have to explain a bloody thing to you. You’re the one who’s making the extraordinary claim here – that those who know what they’re talking about aren’t actually the experts – you are! Prove it in the bloody peer-reviewed journals or just sod off altogether!

              I know that sad little mutual-reinforcement NZ Confirmation Bias Society forum you hang out at means you guys constantly talk yourselves into believing you’re actually the people with the smarts, but you quite patently are not. If I’m wrong, take it to the journals, which would at least spare us your trolling for a while…

            7. The CSC work was audited by three professional statisticians. The NIWA work was supposedly audited by the BoM but we don’t have any details of that

            8. I expect they used a spellchecker too, but until it’s been submitted to peer review (and that doesn’t mean Monckton giving it the once over), then it don’t amount to a hill of beans.

            9. Did or did not the judgement make clear that an ‘expertise’ in some aspect of statistics does not an expert in climatic statistics make?

              You haven’t had much luck with one set of 3 ‘experts’ already, have you? 😉

              If it’s so dazzling publish the bloody thing! Outside of E&E, if you can manage it. Bet you can’t.

              The reality that deep-down you’re only too-aware of is that outside your little den of self-congratulation few of the actually qualified – or, as the court has proved, the actually dispassionate – are ever likely to be impressed by your arguments. But, go ahead; prove me wrong!

            10. Andy, NIWA would have had their latest 7SS published in a journal by now, if the CSET hadn’t forced them to divert resources to the court case. It was a waste of valuable time and effort, and I hope the CSET are forthcoming with the costs when they are presented with the bill.

            1. Andy, you need to get out of Treadgold’s little epistemic bubble and smell the air in the real world. NIWA’s completely revised and updated 7SS is available with full explanations of every adjustment made. It’s more or less identical to the original 7SS. If the CSET want their version to be taken seriously, they should submit it to peer review and get it published. Then there might be something to discuss. Until they do that, they have nothing except their inexpert witnesses and a great deal of very hot air.

            2. Andy:

              Thomas, sorry if I fell asleep.

              ….must be tiring riding a donkey and poking holes in the air around the windmills around the globe with a long stick all day….

      2. You are right Ian, a public letter of distancing themselves from De Freitas would do well to mend some of the damage he causes to the academic repute of his institution.

        1. See School of Science search for Environment or see below.
          “Dates given are those of taking up employment.”
          (That might be shortly post-PhD, or later, if someone joined after having other positions.)

          For those familiar with academe, its usual ranks and progressions, the following might be instructive:
          2004 Gary Brierley, MSc PhD S.Fraser
          1993 Michael N. Clout, BSc Edin., PhD, FRSNZ (jointly with School of Biological Sciences)
          1995 Philip C. Forer, MA Oxf., PhD Brist.
          1989 Robin A. Kearns, PhD McM., MA
          1994 Richard B. Le Heron, MA Massey, PhD Wash., FRSNZ
          2008 Glenn McGregor, PhD Cant. MSc
          1972 Paul W. Williams, BA Durh., MA Dublin, PhD ScD Camb.

          Emeritus Professors
          Philippa M. Black, BSc MA NZ, MSc PhD, FMSAm FRSNZ
          Warren Moran, MA NZ, PhD, FRSNZ

          Associate Professors
          1995 Paul Augustinus, BSc Melb., Tas., DPhil Waik.
          1997 Kathleen A. Campbell, BSc Calif., MSc Wash., PhD S.Calif.
          1977 Christopher R. de Freitas, MA Tor., PhD Qld.
          2009 Paul Hoskin, PhD ANU, DHabil Freiburg, BSc(Hons)
          2002 Paul Kench, MA PhD NSW
          1993 Jeffrey L. Mauk, BSc N.Carolina, MSc Montana, PhD Mich., SEG, AUSIMM
          2004 David O’Sullivan, BA Camb., MSc Glas., PhD Univ. Coll., London
          1979 Ian E. M. Smith, BSc(Hons) Well., PhD ANU, FGSAust.
          1993 William Smith, MA Aberd., MSc PhD McG.
          2000 Phil Shane, MSc PhD Well.
          1976 Hong-Key Yoon, BA Seoul, MS Brigham Young, PhD UC Berk.”

          1. Sadly, unquotable prviate opinions are unquotable.
            (I have a great many pieces of unquotable opinions and data, all carefully kept in separate brain compartments.)

            But, the data above shows a clear public fact, from which one can infer opinions.

            CdF seems to have been at the University for 35 years, and is an Associate Professor.
            Perhaps that is a hint of the views of senior faculty and administration.

        1. Freedom of speech is certainly the highest good we need to keep defending as a right. But that does not imply that people can expect to say whatever they want AND maintain a high professional standard. Making careless or deliberate use of the freedom to say whatever they want people are able to cause damage – carelessly or deliberately – to others or the institutions they belong to. And in the climate of deliberate obfuscation by the core denier camp combined with a press digging for controversy to sell,…. indeed the combination is dreadful.

  17. “Freedom of speech is certainly the highest good we need to keep defending as a right.”

    Yes but at what stage in human evolution did people decide that freedom of speech means freedom to lie, freedom to become completely disassociated with reality. Why can we not just have a new rule, you are allowed to say whatever you like as long as it is the truth. Would it really be so bad?

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