Australia to ban scientific debate on climate change – report

Australian Government to Ban Free Scientific Inquiry on the Internet

By John Sullivan

Australian government endorses Report banning publication of all but government approved science; proof if it were needed that Australian politics and post-normal science is in crisis.

In a shocking story If It Can Happen Down Under by Hal G.P.Colebatch (American Spectator, April 4, 2012) citizens are gearing up for a “head-on assault on Australia’s entire political culture of liberty and democracy.” In effect, the Australian Labor Party and extreme leftist Greens are preparing to make law the 470-page Finkelstein Report to ban from it’s borders those scientists and free-thinkers that are increasingly congregating to the maverick independent global science community, Principia Scientific International (PSI). PSI was founded precisely to fulfill a growing need because mainstream journals are increasingly shown to be refusing to publish any counter-establishment science.

One such victim of Australia’s attack on science is Professor Alberto Boretti, Assoc. Professor at the University of Ballarat, School of Science & Engineering. Dr. Boretti, a computational expert, has struggled for two years trying to get mainstream journals to publish his damning study proving government scientists have been falsifying sea level rises around the coasts of Australia. He found, “The measured rate of rise of sea levels is not increasing and climate models should be revised to match the experimental evidence.”

Dr. Boretti’s work was painstakingly reviewed by dozens of independent scientists connected with PSI but still the mainstream journals refused to touch it, he claims, for political reasons.

According to Professor Boretti and his PSI colleagues, the Report’s recommendations will make matters far worse. The recommendations are from retired Federal Court Judge Roy Finkelstein and are dubbed as the government’s vendetta against the Murdoch press in an attempt to make the media more “accountable.” Under the anti-Murdoch smokescreen the government is taking for itself the power to impose “professional standards.” Finkelstein wants a News Media Council (NMC) set up to license the press and to censor news reporting and political commentary (including websites).

Colebatch explains that in paragraph 4.10 of the Finkelstein report “it is stated that the council should control speech in Australia because the people are too stupid to be allowed free access to news.”

Worryingly, the NMC attack on free speech is not being faced down by the Australian Opposition so is more likely to become law. Liberal Party’s media spokesman, Malcolm Turnbull has been ambiguous and equivocal about the Report claiming “It has been said that the legal arrangements at present” (that is, ordinary freedom of speech) “do not adequately advance the public interest.”

Science Already Shackled by Corrupt Peer-review System

So how does this impact independent science think tanks and online publishers like Principia Scientific International?

First, the Report doesn’t define what “political commentary” includes and, being that most national governments are invested in science, any new science refuting or in any way critical of government science will be construed as “political commentary.” As Finklestein wants the Australian government to be the arbiter of what constitutes political commentary we can be sure that its Ministry of Truth thought police will likely ban whatever doesn’t conform to its views.

Second, the Report wants websites that get more than 15,000 hits a year (an average of 41 a day) to be subject to NMC’s government censorship putting all content at risk if anything on the website could be described as “news, information and opinion of current value.”

Clearly, science that is new may be considered “news” and the conclusions of scientists can be judged to be “opinion of current value.” As such there will be nowhere for independent scientists and intellectuals to share their ideas if this draconian mind control policy becomes law.

As most scientists who don’t work for government-backed institutions know all too well, it’s nigh on impossible to get any science paper published that promotes any ideas contrary to the orthodoxy. This is most apparent in the way mainstream science journals vet submissions behind closed doors in the post-normal fashion so tellingly exposed during the Climategate scandal. Thousands of leaked emails in November 2009 exposed how a clique of government scientists manipulated major science journals to act as gatekeepers against any science opposed to the government orthodoxy. It is because of the self-evident bias in the “peer-review process” of mainstream science publishing that Principia Scientific International (PSI) was formed and why so much cutting-edge science debate now takes place in the blogosphere.

RELATED STORY: Old Map Throws Doubt on Climate Change Sea Level Claims


  1. That’s what you get when you have Fabian Socialist Control freaks at the helm of power.

    It’s not about the ‘science’. Only about the ‘ideal’ passed off as ‘science’. In other words A policy Statement on AGW/CC mouthing UN agendas.

    It’s was bad enough in Australia the CSIRO were using Club of Rome Climate Models and claiming they were correct. Just repeated what the Club of Rome said. Didn’t do any ‘actual’ ‘science ‘ themselves. So again just ‘Policy’ and an “ideal’. Not real actual Science!

  2. Your headline and article are completely misrepresenting the situation. I don’t know whether you are doing it deliberately or because you are missinformed.

    The Finkelstein report does NOT recommend censoring information – it recommends that when publications be forced to print retractions when things are proven to be incorrect or and to give aggrieved parties a right of reply in their publication.

    That is NOT censorship! In fact it could be argued that it is exactly what freedom of speech is about – that both sides of the argument be allowed to be heard.

    The media now is the major power in society – it is not the voice of the people against the powerful – it is the voice of the powerful (such as Rupert Murdoch) which is often used against the people.
    Ensuring that these powerful people can’t trample all over the truth without giving the truth a right of reply is addressing the imbalance of power.
    This is especially important in a country like Australia where 90% of all newspapers and televisions are held by a handfull of companies. In many cities Rupert Murdoch owns the only newspaper.

    And absolutely nowhere did the report mention “Banning Free Scientific Inquiry” that is just a ridicullous!

    What’s the probability that even though you’re so anti-censorship and pro free speech, you’ll indulge in a bit of censorship yourself and won’t approve this comment.

    I’ve just written a couple of blog posts on the subject of the Finkelstein Media Report and the ensuing debater about censorship anmd free speech, which make some good, original arguments that I think you might find interesting and useful.

    The first one is titled “Freedom of the press argument is deceitful”
    and debunks the argument that says that the public is smart enough to identify biased and untruthful media for themselves and that therefore we don’t need any regulation.

    Here’s a summary of the second post titled “What’s better than freedom of the press?”

    Many of the opponents of media regulation will blindly hold aloft the sacred cow of the freedom of the press as if it’s an indisputable truth that can not be surpassed by anything else.

    Well I dispute its importance.

    Freedom of the press is not the essential ingredient that ensures a well functioning democracy – its truth in media that’s most important…

    Freedom of the press may or may not lead to a diversity of opinion, and a diversity of opinion may or may not lead to the truth being made public.

    What’s important for society and democracy is that the truth is made public; and if we could get to the truth via another path other than through freedom of media and diversity then we should be prepared to take that path, rather than to keep holding aloft the sacred cow of freedom of the press.

    Freedom of the press is a means of getting to the desired goal – it is not the desired goal – but some people have made it so.

    Truth is the goal.

    Sometimes freedom will lead to truth but sometimes it won’t… its not the freedom we seek … its the truth we seek!

    If we make this paradigm shift then the debate will become very different.

    I’ve written a couple of blog posts related to this subject on my blog and I’d appreciate hearing your opinion of the arguments I put forward there.



    This reminds me of Foundation and Empire:

    “Hardin remained silent for a short while. Then he said, “When did Lameth write his book?”
    “Oh–I should say about eight hundwed yeahs ago. Of cohse, he has based it lahgely on the pwevious wuhk of Gleen.”
    “Then why rely on him? Why not go to Arcturus and study the remains for yourself?”
    Lord Dorwin raised his eyebrows and took a pinch of snuff hurriedly. “Why, whatevah foah, my deah fellow?”
    “To get the information firsthand, of course.”
    “But wheah’s the necessity? It seems an uncommonly woundabout and hopelessly wigmawolish method of getting anywheahs. Look heah, now, I’ve got the wuhks of all the old mastahs–the gweat ahchaeologists of the past. I wigh them against each othah–balance the disagwee- ments–analyze the conflicting statements–decide which is pwobably cowwect–and come to a conclusion. That is the sciectific method. At least”–patronizingly–“as I see it. How insuffewably cwude it would be to go to Ahctuwus, oah to Sol, foah instance, and blundah about, when the old mastahs have covahed the gwound so much moah effec- tually than we could possible hope to do.”
    Hardin murmured politely, “I see.”

    Scientific method, hell! No wonder the galaxy was going to pot.

  4. Lau, The goal of science isn’t or shouldn’t be “truth,” it should be “fact” because science concerns itself with that which is empirically verifiable. In other words, only that which is capable of being verified or disproved by observation or experiment . To step into the realm of truth you need to be a metaphysician, philosopher or theologian.

  5. “Freedom of the press is not the essential ingredient that ensures a well functioning democracy – its truth in media that’s most important…”
    —– Bravo, Lau! You nailed it. But tell me please, WHO will determine what is truthful and what is not? Bingo – the Government wants to decide what is truthful and what is not… Welcome to the Soviet Union!

  6. We used to be warned about peer review at school….they called it peer pressure and blamed it for everything individuals did wrong as a group….
    It is not scientific to have to have opinion reviewed BEFORE publishing…..
    It is called Review not Pre View…

    It is ANTI SCIENCE to have Peer review as it operates today….
    I wrote on this years ago now.
    It is a fundamentally flawed process that a scientific mind should find to be self evident almost.

  7. Here in Texas back in the 1980s a popular ad was, “If you don’t have an oil well – get one!”

    So it is with newspapers. If you don’t like what Rupert Murdoch says, start your own damn newspaper and run him out of business – but complaining that Rupert is not being fair to you and claiming that it’s free speech when you get to speak freely in a newspaper he’s paying for – that’s bizarre.

    Rupert’s first newspaper out of Australia was in Texas, and he used to sit in the slot and put the damn thing out himself in the mid-70s. Do the same yourself and work for 40 years at getting huge – don’t demand that he hand his over because you disagree with him.

  8. Just visited Lau’s site to ask him who will be the one to decide what is and isn’t biased.
    Would he be happy if someone decided his site was biased and therefore needed censoring?

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