From Watts Up With That?
In a recent article titled “The astonishingly woke Australian Academy of Science” published in the Spectator, Peter Ridd sheds light on the current state of the Australian Academy of Science (AAS). The article raises concerns about the AAS’s approach to scientific research, particularly in relation to the Great Barrier Reef.
“The Australian Academy of Science (AAS) recently released a report Reef Futures Roundtable, which is ostensibly about the doomed Great Barrier Reef. However, the report only demonstrates that the AAS, Australia’s peak science body, has become not just unscientific, but anti-scientific. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it has also become astonishingly Woke.”
This statement sets the tone for the entire article, suggesting that the AAS has shifted its focus from genuine scientific research to a more politically-driven agenda.
The Great Barrier Reef: A Case in Point
Ridd points out that the AAS report concluded that the Great Barrier Reef could already be ‘irreversibly’ damaged. However, he highlights some glaring omissions:
“The fact that UNESCO has just declared it not endangered did not rate a mention, and neither did the latest two years of statistics showing the reef is at record high coral levels. Remarkably, the report does not contain a single fact or figure to support any of its claims about the reef – except the area of the reef is 340,000 square kilometres.”
Such omissions raise questions about the credibility of the report and the motivations behind its conclusions.
Ridd goes on to critique the ‘interventions’ recommended by the AAS to address the perceived issues with the reef. He finds them to be not just impractical but bordering on the absurd:
“For example, it suggests ‘solar radiation management’ – shading the reef from the sun with man-made fog and clouds to prevent the water heating up and causing coral bleaching… How are you going to make a cloud as big as Germany and keep it anchored over the reef for the whole summer over the next few hundred years?”
Such suggestions, Ridd argues, demonstrate a lack of quantitative analysis and a departure from genuine scientific inquiry.
Wokeness Over Science
One of the most striking critiques Ridd offers is the apparent shift in the AAS’s priorities. He suggests that the AAS places more importance on issues of gender and race than on genuine scientific facts:
“The AAS ascribes such importance to facts and figures on gender and race, but not to scientific facts. This demonstrates it is anti-science. Science is about evidence and logic. It does not matter whether one is male or female or whatever else, it is still impossible to make clouds as big as Germany for the next hundred years.”
Conclusion: A Once-Esteemed Organisation’s Fall from Grace
Ridd concludes his article with a somber reflection on the state of the AAS:
“I have been saying for some time that many of our science institutions have become totally untrustworthy. By its wilful abandonment of quantitative analysis, the AAS has destroyed its reputation as a source of useful scientific advice… The Australian Academy of Science is now a joke.”
This article serves as a stark reminder of the importance of maintaining the integrity of scientific institutions and how far they’ve fallen. When political agendas overshadow genuine scientific inquiry, it not only undermines the credibility of the institution but also has broader implications for public trust in science.
In an era where trust in institutions is already waning, it’s crucial for scientific bodies like the AAS to return to upholding the principles of genuine scientific research. The Great Barrier Reef, one of the world’s most treasured natural wonders, deserves nothing less.