Obituary Notice: John Lawrence Daly, 1943--2004
John Daly was born in Bournemouth,
UK, on 31 March 1943. His father was subsequently killed when
his merchant vessel, Lancastrian Prince, was sunk by German
U boats off Newfoundland with the loss of all who were on board.
John never saw his father.
After the war, John's mother,
Mary Daly, was faced with the financial difficulties of raising
both John and his sister Nicky in post-war Britain. Consequently,
John was sent to live with his uncle in Cobh, Southern Ireland,
and grew up surrounded by his cousins. Later on he was able to
return to England to live with his mother and to study to become
a ship's radio officer.
He went to sea at the age
of 17 for the Blue Funnel Line, where he travelled the world's
oceans, with extensive shore visits to many countries. At sea
he became an autodidact, teaching himself through omnivorous
reading, and developing his powers of analysis. A merchant seaman
is always concerned about the weather, and a radio operator is
always receiving weather reports. Thus John was able to study
weather, climate and astronomy while actively observing them.
Thus began his lifelong interest in climatology.
After three years at sea,
John was successful in securing a position as a civilian radio
officer for GCHQ, Cheltenham, (the successor to the famous Bletchley
Park intelligence organisation). In this job, however, he found
himself 'bored out of his mind' and resigned after only 2 years.
After a further 2 years in the merchant navy with Bibby Line,
he met Amy Taylor, (his best-friend's wife's sister) and after
a two-week courtship they were married in 1969 at a registry
office in Manchester. This was the beginning of a strong and
devoted partnership, which lasted until his death.
John and Amy then settled
at Milford Haven, Wales, where John worked as a radar service
engineer for Decca. During this period in Wales, two daughters,
Emma and Rachel were born. Intellectual restlessness, however,
took him to the university at Aberystwyth where he took out an
honours degree in economics. He also had an active role in University
politics, holding elective positions in the Student's Guild during
each of the three years he was there.
In 1980, the Daly family
emigrated to Launceston, Tasmania, where John established a company
manufacturing the two marine electronic devices he had invented
(Daly Bilgeguard and Daly WatchGuard). Although this was commercially
successful, by 1992, he found it intellectually insufficiently
challenging. So the business was sold and John, having already
moved into teaching electronics and economics, became a full-time
senior-secondary college teacher.
It was at this time he became
particularly interested in the global warming issue. His first
public foray into this issue was a 1989 monograph The Greenhouse
Trap published by Bantam Books, which is still relevant to
In 1995, he established
his Website 'Still Waiting For Greenhouse' (www.john-daly.com).
He was one of the earliest pioneers in the use of the Internet
to disseminate information and arguments concerning one of the
most extraordinary episodes in the history of Western Civilisation,
that is, the attempt to de-carbonise the world economy
on the grounds that increasing concentrations of atmospheric
carbon dioxide will result in climatic catastrophe.
John was concerned that
the legitimacy of these de-carbonisation campaigns was based
solely on scientific theories that were both highly questionable
and unsupported by empirical evidence. Although self-taught,
John was a gifted scientist. He was particularly talented at
presenting complex scientific climate data in a format that was
easily read and understood by the layperson. As a result, his
Website appealed to those who wanted to gain understanding of
the various scientific arguments pertaining to the greenhouse
effect in order to be able to contribute to the political issues
surrounding the global warming debate.
The Website acquired a huge
readership from all over the world; a readership which included
many well-qualified academics and scientists of repute, who have
publicly recognised his scholarship and his scientific acumen.
The non-scientists also appreciated John's Website both for its
content, and because it represented the voice of an independent
and gifted scholar who saw something seriously wrong with establishment
climatology, and took it upon himself to demonstrate why it was
Since the birth of the Website,
more than two million hits have been registered. Although his
talents and achievements were recognised abroad, particularly
in the US, his antagonists in university and government science
circles within Australia rarely lost an opportunity to refer
to him as a 'school teacher'; they often addressed him, with
mock deference, as Dr Daly; and in their submissions, usually
referred to the unanimity of 'elite scientific opinion' concerning
their predictions of global warming and its anthropogenic causes.
The achievement in which
he took greatest pride was his work on the survey benchmark chiselled
into a cliff face at the Isle of the Dead, a small two-acre island
inside Port Arthur that was used as a cemetery by the prison
authorities a century and a half ago. The eminent Antarctic explorer,
Sir James Clark Ross, had this survey mark inscribed in 1841
to indicate zero point, or the mean level of the sea (MSL). The
survey mark was re-measured in 1888, subsequent to severe earth
tremors, and found to be 34cm above MSL This mark is still clearly
visible, but its position is now just over 12 inches (31.5 cm)
above today's MSL, suggesting a rise of less than 3cm over an
entire century. The IPCC, however, claims that, during the 20th
century, sea levels have risen between 10 and 20 cm globally,
a claim not supported by actual tidal data from the National
Tidal Facility (NTF) in Adelaide, which indicate a maximum rise
of only +0.3 mm/yr (equivalent to a rise over a century of just
John Daly studied both the
science and the history of the Ross benchmark and came to the
conclusion that there has been very little rise in sea level
at the Isle of the Dead. This was a serious problem to his antagonists
at the CSIRO (the government science agency), who published a
paper in Geophysical Research Letters (GRL) which
argued that the benchmark demonstrated that sea levels had risen
at the Isle of the Dead by 13cm, a result which was in accordance
with the IPCC estimates of 10-20 cm sea level rise during the
John's rebuttal of their
arguments was refused publication in the 'peer-reviewed' GRL,
and the documentation justifying this refusal demonstrates, with
considerable force, that the term 'peer review' now means 'mate's
review', and that peer review has become an instrument of filtering
out critical arguments which would damage the global warming
The history of science is
replete with examples of the abuse of power by those whose authority
and prestige in the scientific world were threatened by critics
from outside. Today the situation is more critical than in the
past because those in power usually control massive research
budgets funded by the taxpayer and, more importantly, control
the information flow to political leaders who have no time to
master other sources of information in order to be able to contest
the issue with their official advisers.
The global warming debate
is as much a religious as it is a scientific issue, which is
why it is conducted with such passionate intensity. John Daly
always conducted himself with good humour and courteous civility.
The Internet has very recently provided the means whereby those
outside the corridors of power can speak truth to each other,
wherever they might live around the world and because, in the
end, the corridors of power cannot be sealed off from the rest
of the world, the truth will permeate into those corridors.
Just as the invention of
the printing press destroyed the capacity of the ecclesiastical
and political authorities of the 16th century to control what
was written and spoken, the Internet has made possible open,
independent, uncensored forums to be established, and for unfettered
debate to occur outside official circles. One of John's great
legacies is the use of the Internet to publish scientific articles
that had been rejected through the 'peer-review' control system.
Because of the Internet,
the spectre of public nakedness now haunts the global warming
establishment. This is due in no small part to the long hours
which John Daly spent in his tiny study in Tasmania, corresponding
around the world with admirers, interlocutors, and detractors,
and preparing the next material to be loaded onto 'Still Waiting
About midday on Thursday
January 29, 2004, after being interviewed for English TV, John
Daly was suddenly struck down by a heart attack. As news of his
death was sent around the world, condolences to his family and
tributes to his massive contribution poured in. His life is testimony
to the fact that one person, if armed with intelligence, energy,
perseverance and a commitment to the truth, can change events.
John Daly was above all valiant for truth and his memory
will long endure.
& Rachel Daly
|Lavoisier the Man|
Bio and Image
|Click above for latest SOHO sunspot images.|
Click here for David Archibald on solar cycles.
|Where is that pesky greenhouse signature?|
Click here for David Evans's article.