The story in the SMH.
The Federal Circuit Court has awarded Peter Ridd $1.2 million in damages and penalties after earlier finding James Cook University (JCU) acted unlawfully in sacking the physics professor.
Dr Ridd was sacked last year after he repeatedly questioned colleagues’ research on the impact of global warming on the Great Barrier Reef, criticising it as untrustworthy and “misleading”.
The court, which in April found his dismissal was unlawful, on Friday said Dr Ridd would now be seen as “damaged goods” and the university had “poisoned the well”.
Outlining his final declarations and penalties, Judge Salvatore Vasta also suggested the university’s conduct bordered on “paranoia and hysteria fuelled by systemic vindictiveness” and Dr Ridd must have felt he was being persecuted. He found Dr Ridd’s intellectual freedom had been undermined by the “myopic and unjustified actions of his lifelong employer”.
Actually it is only a symbolic victory for science but it is good to get any kind of win in this contest and it is a fitting reward for a man who was prepared to take a stand on principle. And thanks to his wife who backed him all the way.
From the ABC in April.
Professor Hoegh-Guldberg is very concerned that climate sceptics have seized on the courts’ decision in this fashion.
“Climate change is a major threat to places like the Great Barrier Reef and Australia in general,” he said.
Dr Brodie is not surprised that Dr Ridd’s supporters are using his case as evidence climate change is not a serious threat, but thinks most people — but particularly young people — now understand that isn’t true.
“They see it happening around them right now, it’s so obvious,” Dr Brodie said.
“The changes we’re seeing on the reef have happened much quicker than we predicted 15 years ago,” he said.
Dr Brodie says if anything, the predictions made by reef scientists underestimated how fast the reef would feel the brunt of climate change.
The word from Desmog, one of the lavishly funded “attack” blogs of alarmism.