Ian Plimer On His Friend And Fellow Geologist Bob Carter (1941 – 2016)

  • Date: 20/01/16
  • Professor Ian Plimer

It is with great sadness that I report the passing of Professor Bob Carter on 18th January 2016, aged 74 years. He never recovered from a massive heart attack at his home in Townsville (Australia).

I first met Bob as the newly appointed Professor and Head of Earth Sciences at James Cook University of North Queensland (JCU). He was appointed from the University of Otago (NZ) as an international expert in sedimentology, marine geology and palaeontology. His academic career started as an assistant lecturer at Otago after his Cambridge PhD.

Climate: The Counter Consensus (2010) and Taxing air: Facts and Fallacies about Climate Change (2013) and co-author of the three-volume Climate Change Reconsidered produced by the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change and co-authored Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming (2015).

He will appear in CFACT’s film Climate Hustle. Bob was active in the Global Warming Policy Foundation and the Heartland Institute, both of which provided platforms for his promotion of science. He received no funding from special interest organisations such as energy companies, environmental organisations or government departments. This is no surprise because Bob was a fly in the ointment for funding groups who supported bespoke politically-correct science. Contrary to his opponents, he could not be bought and was fearless in showing that AGW was a false and dishonest philosophy.

All Bob wanted in climate debates was common sense, repeatable validated evidence and scientific reasoning. He was not prepared to accept a popular concept, poor reasoning or concocted statistics and valued validated evidence over models. He was fearless and suffered because of it. He dared to use scientific training to analyse and criticise claims made by taxpayer-funded global warmists. In response to numerous crank calls, political pressure and complaints from those with vested interests, JCU withdrew his office facilities, unpaid adjunct professorship, his email address and library access.

The bureaucratic and academic pygmies were tired of having to answer questions from the public and disposed of the person who gave them great public profile. They were tired of orchestrated complaints about Bob’s writings and lectures on climate change and could not handle the person who showed that polite argument against poor science and reasoning can defeat politicised science. JCU found it easier to blackball the person who had built up the discipline of earth sciences. It was not that Bob had his facts wrong but he was politically incorrect and his “views on climate change did not fit well within the School’s own teaching and research activities”. JCU clearly supported proscribed bespoke grant-attracting science and was uncomfortable with vibrant debate, scientific truth, academic freedom and great thinkers. They dismissed the person who put them on the map, Bob took this in good humour and would not be drawn into the petty quagmire of climate vulgarity.

Bob was a gentleman of passion, a fighter and died with his boots on. We all owe him a great debt of gratitude and it was a privilege to know such a great man. We will miss him terribly. His wife Anne was always at his side and supporting him and our condolences to Anne and their family.

Emeritus Professor Ian Plimer

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