Climate Chairman Left High And Dry By University
THE chair of Macquarie University’s Climate Department was left stranded at Paris airport while on a European lecture tour presenting research that questioned the orthodox climate science view of global warming, and then sacked.
In an email to friends obtained by The Australian, Murray Salby has outlined a five-year struggle with the university, which he said had denied him agreed computer resources to complete his controversial research.
Professor Salby has written highly critical reviews of the work of the Climate Commission, most recently rejecting the much publicised “angry summer” report in an article in The Australian.
Supporters of Professor Salby said the affair raised questions about the culture of climate science and the difficulty many had accepting alternative views.
Macquarie — which also has Climate Commission chief commissioner Tim Flannery in its climate department — said Professor Salby was not sacked because of his views, but because he refused to teach students.
“The decision to terminate Professor Murray Salby’s employment with Macquarie University had nothing to do with his views on climate change nor any other views,” a Macquarie statement said. “The university supports academic freedom of speech and freedom to pursue research interests.
“The second reason for his termination involved breaches of university policies in relation to travel and use of university resources.”
Professor Salby declined to comment on his termination. But in an email to supporters he has given a history of his relationship with the university since his recruitment from the US in 2008.
“After five years of cat-and-mouse Macquarie has continued to withhold the resources that it had committed,” he says. “During the protracted delay of resources, I eventually undertook the production of a new book.
“The endeavour compelled me to gain a better understanding of greenhouse gases and how they evolve. Insight from this research contradicts many of the reckless claims surrounding greenhouse gases. More than a few originate from staff at Macquarie, which benefits from such claims. The preliminary findings seeded a comprehensive study of greenhouse gases.
“Despite adverse circumstances, the wider study was recently completed. It indicates:
(i) Modern changes of atmospheric CO2 and methane are (contrary to popular belief) not unprecedented.
(ii) The same physical law that governs ancient changes of atmospheric CO2 and methane also governs modern changes.”
Professor Salby said the new findings were entirely consistent with preliminary findings, which evaluated the increase of 20th-century CO2 from changes in native emission. “Under the resources Macquarie had agreed to provide, arrangements were made to present this new research at a scientific conference and in a lecture series at research centres in Europe,” Professor Salby says.
However, he says presentation of the research was blocked by Macquarie, effectively silencing the release of the research.
He says the university then modified his professional duties.
“My role was reduced to that of a student teaching assistant: Marking student papers for other staff — junior staff,” he writes.