Wednesday, January 20, 2016

On the sad passing of Bob Carter, a great scientist and friend


From Joe Bast
Friends,
It is with deep regret that I report the passing of a friend, colleague, and great scholar, Dr. Robert M. Carter. Bob died peacefully in a hospital surrounded by family and friends following a heart attack a few days ago. He was 74 years old.
Funeral arrangements are being made and it will most likely take place on Monday next week in Townsville, Australia.
This is almost unspeakably sad. Bob was the very embodiment of the “happy warrior” in the global warming debate. He was a scholar’s scholar, with impeccable credentials (including a Ph.D. from Cambridge), careful attention to detail, and a deep understanding of and commitment to the scientific method. He endured the slings and arrows of the anti-science Left with seeming ease and good humor and often warned against resorting to similar tactics to answer them.
Bob never failed to answer the call to defend climate science, getting on planes to make the long flight from Australia to the U.S., to Paris, and to other lands without complaints or excuses. He was a wonderful public speaker and a charming traveling mate. He was not an easy man to edit, though – he kept wanting to put unnecessary commas, “that’s,” and boldfacing back into his manuscripts — but the great ones never are.
Bob helped immeasurably with three volumes in the Climate Change Reconsidered series, a series of hefty compilations of scientific research he coauthored and coedited with Craig D. Idso and S. Fred Singer. Just a few weeks ago, he flew to Paris to speak at Heartland’s “Day of Examining the Data” and contributed to the completion and review of another book, Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming: The NIPCC report on scientific consensus.
We honored Bob with a “Lifetime Achievement Award” at the 10th International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC-10) in Washington DC last June. I regret that I missed that event due to the sudden onset of shingles, and so missed the opportunity to see my friend as well as publicly recognize his great achievements in science.
We’ve updated Bob’s online bio, it is copied and pasted below. A “guestbook” is being created at Heartland’s blog, Somewhat Reasonable. If you have a comment or memory you’d like to share, please send it to Jim Lakely at jlakely@heartland.org
Please remember Bob and his wonderful wife, Anne, in your thoughts and prayers.
Joe
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Robert M. Carter, Ph.D., a long-time policy advisor to The Heartland Institute and a world renowned authority on climate change, passed away on January 19, 2016. He was 74.
Dr. Carter was a palaeontologist, stratigrapher, marine geologist and environmental scientist with more than 30 years professional experience. He earned degrees from the University of Otago (New Zealand) and the University of Cambridge (England). He held tenured academic staff positions at the University of Otago (Dunedin) and James Cook University (Townsville), where he was Professor and Head of School of Earth Sciences between 1981 and 1999.
Dr. Carter served as Chair of the Earth Sciences Discipline Panel of the Australian Research Council, Chair of the national Marine Science and Technologies Committee, Director of the Australian Office of the Ocean Drilling Program, and Co-Chief Scientist on ODP Leg 181(Southwest Pacific Gateways).
Dr. Carter was one of the world’s leading authorities on the science of climate change. He was the author of two books on the subject, Climate: The Counter Consensus (2010) and Taxing Air: Facts and Fallacies about Climate Change (2013) and coauthor of several more, including three volumes in the Climate Change Reconsideredseries produced by the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) and published by The Heartland Institute. Shortly before his death he coauthored Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming (2015).
Dr. Carter’s public commentaries drew on his knowledge of the scientific literature and a personal publication list of more than 100 papers in international science journals. His research on climate change, sea-level change and stratigraphy was based on field studies of Cenozoic sediments (last 65 million years) from the Southwest Pacific region, especially the Great Barrier Reef and New Zealand.
Dr. Carter has acted as an expert witness on climate change before the U.S. Senate Committee of Environment & Public Works, the Australian and N.Z. parliamentary Select Committees into emissions trading and in a meeting in parliament house, Stockholm. He was also a primary science witness in the Hayes Windfarm Environment Court case in New Zealand, and in the U.K. High Court case of Dimmock v. H.M.’s Secretary of State for Education, the 2007 judgment which identified nine major scientific errors in Mr. Al Gore’s film “An Inconvenient Truth.”
Dr. Carter’s research was supported by grants from competitive public research agencies, especially the Australian Research Council (ARC). He received no research funding from special interest organizations such as environmental groups, energy companies or government departments.
On March 3, 2015, Dr. Carter authored a lengthy correction of the scurrilous attacks by the environmental left against his friend and honorable colleague Dr. Willie Soon. Read it here.
In December 2015, Dr. Carter joined Heartland’s contingent to Paris for COP-21 and presented at the “Day of Examining the Data.” Watch his presentation, and comments about an anti-CO2 demonstration below.
Joseph Bast
President
The Heartland Institute

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