Angry pro-green biologist suspected of fraud ejects TV producer from university interview to evade probing questions over hidden data.
Australian biologist, Roslyn Gleadow of Monash University, Melbourne raised eyebrows recently in her much trumpeted alarmist paper, ‘Growth and nutritive value of cassava are reduced when grown in elevated CO2‘. Now she deepens suspicions of wrongdoing by storming out of a media interview.
Science of Carbon Dioxide Effects on Plant Growth Re-written?
These new “findings” widely hyped on pro-green news outlets have come under closer scrutiny since discredited Climategate crank, Kevin Trenberth (see video here) rushed to the authors’ defense. Bizarrely the controversial study totally contradicts the findings of a large body of science that has told us for years that carbon dioxide (CO2) is an essential plant food and adding more of it increases organic growth.
Moreover, it is established practice in agriculture that enclosures using increased CO2 promote crop yields, is good for both agro-business and consumers in that it leads to increased cost efficiency and thus cheaper food prices.
But, as we shall see below, when the Aussie biologist was asked during an interview to explain why her conclusions contradicted the findings of such eminent scientists such as Katsu Imai (1984) and others, she dramatically ended proceedings.
Gleadow’s freakish behavior is set to fuel further speculation that she and the paper’s co-authors, John R. Evans, Stephanie McCaffery and Timothy R. Cavagnaro are complicit in another high-profile eco-fraud.
Angry Green Researcher Refuses to Explain Anomalies
Key to this issue is the very crop this latest study examined: cassava. It has long been held that the original 1984 peer-reviewed evidence proved conclusively that CO2 increases cassava root yields. However, this latest alarmist study somehow inexplicably points to a decrease in such yields.
But when Timothy Wells, a free-lance TV producer and interviewer sought to persuade Gleadow to answer detailed questions on this headline-grabbing story she turned nasty. Gleadow became edgy and evasive and just wouldn’t give a straight answer to explain her extraordinary conclusions; thus clearly failing to demonstrate the accepted standards of transparency and integrity expected in the wider scientific community.
From the moment it was published independent experts have questioned how this Aussie paper could so dramatically contradict Kimball (1983) and other earlier results.
Kimball had analyzed 430 prior observations on the effects of CO2 enrichment and have demonstrated a consistent average increase of yield to 33% from a doubling of CO2 – a startling contrast to the 80% DECREASE claimed by Gleadow et al.
Security Called to Eject Interviewer From University
Upon a wave of pro-green media interest and eager to further ramp up the hype on her study, Gleadow agreed to be interviewed by Wells. The interview took place on November 12, 2010 at Monash University, Melbourne. Upon their meeting Wells found Gleadow’s zealotry typifying all that the public has grown to expect from pro-green activists. She was soon into her stride emphasizing that "unless Co2 emissions are dramatically reduced…there could be severe food shortages.”
But when Gleadows realized Wells wasn’t one of the usual servile mainstream news media journalists that pander to such greenwash things then turned ugly. Wells reports, “When I mentioned ‘yield’ [she] promptly said that permission for the interview was now withdrawn and that I was to leave the office.”
Wells adds, “Many excuses were offered” which he wasn’t buying. Gleadows became irate and Wells recalls, “security was then called but I left before any problem arose.” The episode left a bitter taste in the mouth with Wells pondering the question: “What does this scientist have to hide?”
Well-funded Greenwash Conspiracy Uncovered?
Not to be outdone, Wells looked again at her paper that’s supposedly about plant growth and noted that the researchers mention the phrase ‘climate change‘ no less than 14 times. It was at this point he began to ponder whether there may be a deeper unseen motive and perhaps a criminal fraud.
Digging deeper, Wells then discovered that the source for the paper’s funding had been the Finkel Foundation. This organization is the brainchild of Dr. Alan Finkel who also finances a far left environmentalist magazine called “G.” Sat on the advisory board of "G" is Tim Flannery, Sir Richard Branson and several other staunch climate doomsaying activists with deep pockets.
But even more pointedly, Dr. Finkel was the Chancellor of Monash University at the time this “research” was done. We may not have a full-blown ‘Cassava-gate’ just yet but readers will no doubt draw their own conclusions; so expect to see more on this story as the plot thickens.
Gleadow, R., Evans J. R., McCaffery S., & Cavagnaro, T. R., ‘Growth and nutritive value of cassava (Manihot esculenta Cranz.) are reduced when grown in elevated CO2’, (June 22, 2009), German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.