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« Consensus collapse | Main | Hitting back at scientivists »


An interesting headline in the Australian - paywalled, so I can't see the rest of the article:

AUSTRALIA’S peak body of earth scientists has declared itself unable to publish a position statement on climate change due to the deep divisions within its membership on the issue.

After more than five years of debate and two false starts, Geological Society of Australia president Laurie Hutton said a statement on climate change was too difficult to achieve.

This is very interesting, because it suggests that the society has actually asked its members what they think. What a refreshing contrast to the learned societies in the UK, whose politically inclined leaderships are happy to issue statements in the names of their members without batting an eyelid.

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Reader Comments (37)

The usual trick works to get round the paywall - google "Earth scientists split on climate change statement", then click the google link.

The journalist says
"It undermines the often cited stance that there is near unanimity among climate scientists on the issue."

Jo Nova has a post on this story.

Jun 4, 2014 at 9:07 AM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

And to think only 3% of the members can have such influence. Well done them!

Jun 4, 2014 at 9:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterFarleyR

I think Ross McKitrick has in the past commented on how the "learned" institiutions who openly support the settled science of CAGW, have never canvassed their members. How things would be different if members were actually asked and their opinion published, instead of a very few controlling zealots.

As usual in climate "science" keep things in the dark and say "It's worse than we thought".

Jun 4, 2014 at 9:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterCharmingQuark

Firstly, how could Laurie not be president coming to the exec carrying that surname.

Secondly, this is amazing. I am surprised I have not heard this story earlier.

It looks like they did publish a statement in the year of climategate without wide consultation:

A position statement published in 2009 said the society was concerned about the potentially harmful effects of carbon dioxide emissions and favoured “strong action to substantially reduce current levels’’.

Then there was backlash and a new statement:

Regardless of whether climate change is from natural or anthropogenic causes, or a combination of both, human societies would benefit from knowing what to expect in the future and to plan how best to respond. The GSA makes no predictions or public policy recommendations for action on climate beyond the generally agreed need for prudent preparations in response to potential hazards, including climate change.

And then a protest of 'too vague" and so now no statement at all with the excuse:

The executive committee has therefore concluded that a climate change position statement has the potential to be far too divisive and would not serve the best interests of the society as a whole

And doesn't this tell us just how far deep we are in this mess? Why do they have to make an excuse NOT to make a statement about 'strong action' etc. Like, do they make any other statements on policy, let alone a position on in a scientific controversy.

This makes it all the more pleasing to read David Henderson explaining that GWPF will never hold a position as a body.

Jun 4, 2014 at 9:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterBernieL

It seems no coincidence to me that the new Australian government is the most sceptical in the world. Perhaps the members now feel free to openly view their opinions in the knowledge that it will not affect their jobs and that any attempt at Climate McCartheism will be rigorously stamped out. Perhaps the society also recognises the new situation and that there is now no mileage in maintaining the consensus line, as it will not help and may even hinder future government funding.

Jun 4, 2014 at 9:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterColin Porter

"consensus of all the members": dear God, they don't even know what consensus means. Or are they being deliberately misleading?

Jun 4, 2014 at 9:43 AM | Unregistered Commenterdearieme

According to the report at Jo Nova's, it was a 6-member committee that issued the 2009 statement containing alarmist slop and prescriptions. A membership of some 4,000 apparently includes a lot of objectors to their society issuing such a statement in such a way. I wonder how many are on each side of this impasse? I guess it is not 6 vs 3994, but I would hope it is something not far from that.

Anyway, a promising development.

Jun 4, 2014 at 9:54 AM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

Peak Consensus

Jun 4, 2014 at 10:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterFrosty

Membership to a Learned Society is nowadays a label of warning for other people more than of pride for the member.

Jun 4, 2014 at 10:07 AM | Registered Commenteromnologos

Perhaps it's about time that the RS did canvass its members? It might get a bit of shock, though.


Jun 4, 2014 at 10:12 AM | Registered Commenterjamesp


"as it will not help and may even hinder future government funding"

It will be interesting to see if/how that affects their Universities.. :-)

Jun 4, 2014 at 10:15 AM | Registered Commenterjamesp

It passes my understanding why a society whose focus is on the distant past should feel obliged to enter into speculation about the future.

Jun 4, 2014 at 10:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterGordon Walker

Its would be usual , because not one society which has made supporting statments for 'the cause' has in the past actual asked its members what they think. So like the worthless 97% when you start to ask quesiton and look at the details the claims fall to bits . Or in other words normal pratice for climate 'sceince'

Jun 4, 2014 at 10:25 AM | Unregistered Commenterknr

The alarmist line will be that many of those geologists work for mining companies, which is probably true. That argument cannot be applied to the American Physical Society, which is reviewing its position and has had evidence from Judith Curry:

Jun 4, 2014 at 10:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterMikky

The alarmist line will be that many of those geologists work for mining companies, which is probably true.

A certain W. Connolley Esq. has popped up on Jo Nova already stating that 'most geologists are not climate scientists'.

Which is a similar statement to 'most people are not clerics'.

Sidestepping the argument of why most climate scientists adhere to the orthodoxy - employment requires it and recruitment is from a pool educated to believe it.

Jun 4, 2014 at 11:08 AM | Unregistered Commenterssat

Peak Consensus

Jun 4, 2014 at 10:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterFrosty

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH.......Genius mate..Genius.

Jun 4, 2014 at 11:11 AM | Unregistered Commenterjones

Well, doesn't it all go to show that you should never allow ordinary people to override their betters? The bureaucrats of the EU know that only too well.

Jun 4, 2014 at 11:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

Geologists and engineers are the professional groups best fitted to challenging the fake IPCC 'consensus': the former because they can prove there has never been the Venusian thermal runaway which high past CO2 concentrations must have caused if the IPCC were correct; the latter because they take one look at the heat generation and transfer claims and state immediately that they amount to a claim by dunderheads of a Perpetual motion Machine of the 2nd Kind!

Jun 4, 2014 at 11:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterSpartacusisfree


I think you will find that all people called W. Connolley are also not climate scientists.



Jun 4, 2014 at 12:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

'We know best, don't we, chaps..? No need to involve the - what are they called - ah, yes - Members...'

Jun 4, 2014 at 1:01 PM | Unregistered Commentersherlock1

ssat; A certain W. Connolley Esq. has popped up on Jo Nova already stating that 'most geologists are not climate scientists'.


I think we could be looking for a very long time before we found an example of an alarmist discounting an endorsement of CAGW because the endorser wasn't a climate "scientist".

Jun 4, 2014 at 1:08 PM | Unregistered Commenterartwest

'AUSTRALIA’S peak body of earth scientists has declared itself unable to publish a position statement on climate change due to the deep divisions within its membership on the issue.'

Or they are unable to publish a position statement because the members keep giving the wrong answers. Perhaps they should take some lessons from the EU on how to get the right response to a poll.

Jun 4, 2014 at 2:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterBloke down the pub

@artwest ... or one could wait rather a long time before an alarmist (scientist or not) criticises an alarmist article. Did any alarmists criticise Connolly's Wiki antics? Only case I can think of is when George Monbiot did for a while wind his neck in when Climategate broke but was soon back on the panic wagon and never looked back again.

Jun 4, 2014 at 2:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterFarleyR


Testable: you first?

Jun 4, 2014 at 2:22 PM | Unregistered Commenterssat

I hope this starts a trend for "learned societies' to stop having position statements at all! Surely such a statement is the antithesis of what such societies are (or should be) about - promoting questioning and research. As soon as you have a "position" on anything you start defending that position instead of testing it.

Why should any learned society have a position statement unless they are using this for activism? And as soon as they become activists with respect to a certain issue, they lose any scientific credibility they may have had on that issue.

Jun 4, 2014 at 3:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterRob

Rob, +1.

Jun 4, 2014 at 3:42 PM | Registered Commenterjohanna

It makes me wonder why any scientific society *needs* to make a statement on global warming/climate change/whatever? Perhaps the presidents need to puff up their egos.

Jun 4, 2014 at 7:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterIlma

What will happen when it is learned that there is no credible experiment that proves that the greenhouse gas effect exist?.
What will happen when it is learned that there are many experiments that prove that the greenhouse gas effect does not exist?
Here are a list of references that have been ignored because the Cult of AGW has claimed that they are unscientific, when they are the only scientists that are using science to prove that the greenhouse gas effect does not exist.
I should be more accurate in that this is only a small part of the scientific world that knows that the greenhouse gas effect is not a proof able hypotheses because it violates to many laws of physics and thermodynamics.
To the young people using this site , be sure that what you read is really scientific facts. As an environmental engineer for more than 47+ years I can assure you that there are people that will give you their opinions and claim that they are facts. Before you believe them check many different sources with different points of view.

One of the most troublesome problems for young people is to know that the "greenhouse gas effect does not exist". It has been proven by scientific experiments that the concept does not exist.
The problem for young people is that you do not have the education in science that is needed to understand the proof. The science that really deals with the Hypotheses of Greenhouse gas effect is physics- actually advanced physics is needed. Very few college graduates take advanced physics so it is easy to tell lies about this and most people can not understand that they are being lied to.
There are two other groups of scientists one called "climatologists" and the other called "Meteorologists" that deal with weather and "climate" There are many members of both groups that do not believe in man -made global warming. There are far more meteorologists that understand that Man made global warming is a Hoax( lie). There are lots of "climatologists" that understand that Man-made global warming does not exist. Every day the numbers of each that do not "believe" in Man-made global warming " is growing. The main reason for this is two fold. One is that the temperature data that was supposed to prove that man-made global warming existed is being proved to be falsified. A group of corrupted scientist "cooked the temperatures numbers" to make it look like the world average temperature is going up. It is not!!!! The second reason is that a very learned scientist in Mexico tested the work of a Professor Robert W. Wood from John Hopkins University ,who in 1909 did some experiments that proved that the "greenhouse gas effect" can not happen in the atmosphere. The work of this scientist is available from the following: Wood is correct: There is no Greenhouse Effect
Posted on July 19, 2011 by Dr. Ed
Repeatability of Professor Robert W. Wood’s 1909 experiment on the Theory of the Greenhouse (Summary by Ed Berry. Full report here or here. & PolyMontana.)
by Nasif S. Nahle, June 12, 2011
University Professor, Scientific Research Director at Biology Cabinet® San Nicolas de los Garza, N. L., Mexico.
If the links do not work try:
several other sources are available but many are meant for adults with some science education. One that was written several years ago by a 17 year old young lady scientist who studied the temperature data available from independent sources. Her conclusion was that “man-made global warming does not happen. The web-site has been updated but the original is readable by young people and understood.
The most important message I can give is “Be a skeptic,a real skeptic” about what you read on web-site that promote the Hoax of Man-made global warming-- get the facts. Those with some high school science can also go to This web-site has some interesting cartoons, political satire, and a lot of facts and links to other scientific based and political opinions.
I could go on for many more pages but it is time for young people to learn how to do their own research.
When major university physics departments are afraid to tell the truth that the "greenhouse gas effect" has never been proven with experimental data We are in trouble.
List of references:
The paper "Falsification of the Atmospheric CO2 greenhouse effect within the frame of physics" by Gerhard Gerlich and Ralf D. Tscheuschner is an in-depth examination of the subject. Version 4 2009
Electronic version of an article published as International Journal of Modern Physics
B, Vol. 23, No. 3 (2009) 275{364 , DOI No: 10.1142/S021797920904984X, c World
Scientific Publishing Company,
Report of Alan Carlin of US-EPA March, 2009 that shows that CO2 does not cause global warming.

Greenhouse Gas Hypothesis Violates Fundamentals of Physics” by Dipl-Ing Heinz Thieme .
from the London, Edinborough and Dublin Philosophical Magazine , 1909, vol 17, p319-320. Cambridge p340.1.c.95, i
The Hidden Flaw in Greenhouse Theory
By Alan Siddons
from: at March 01, 2010 - 09:10:34 AM CST

After 1909 when R.W.Wood proved that the understanding of the greenhouse effect was in error and the ghg effect does not exist. After Niels Bohr published his work and receive a Nobel Prize in Physics in 1922. The fantasy of the greenhouse gas effect should have died in 1909 and 1922. Since then it has been shown by several physicists that the concept is a Violation of the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

University of Pennsylvania Law School
A Joint Research Center of the Law School, the Wharton School,
and the Department of Economics in the School of Arts and Sciences
at the University of Pennsylvania
Global Warming Advocacy Science: a Cross Examination
Jason Scott Johnston
May 2010
This paper can be downloaded without charge from the
Social Science Research Network Electronic Paper Collection:
Israeli Astrophysicist Nir Shaviv: 'There is no direct evidence showing that CO2 caused 20th century warming, or as a matter of fact, any warming' link to this paper on climate depot.
Web- site references:
Slaying the Sky Dragon - Death of the Greenhouse Gas Theory [Kindle Edition]

Tim Ball (Author), Claes Johnson (Author), Martin Hertzberg (Author), Joseph A. Olson (Author), Alan Siddons (Author), Charles Anderson (Author), Hans Schreuder (Author), John O'Sullivan (Author)
Wood is correct: There is no Greenhouse Effect
Posted on July 19, 2011 by Dr. Ed
Repeatability of Professor Robert W. Wood’s 1909 experiment on the Theory of the Greenhouse (Summary by Ed Berry. Full report here or here. & PolyMontana.)
by Nasif S. Nahle, June 12, 2011
University Professor, Scientific Research Director at Biology Cabinet® San Nicolas de los Garza, N. L., Mexico. Ponder the Maunder

An additional treatise on the subject is available on, archives: December,2010 G3-The greenhouse gas effect does not exist. by Berthold Klein, The main section of interest is Section 10: The demonstration.
The only thing more dangerous than ignorance is arrogance."
—Albert Einstein

Jun 4, 2014 at 8:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterBerthold Klein

In other words, if we (executive committe) publish what WE want to say our members will revolt. But there is no way WE are going to publish something that the members want. So "we" have an impasse.


Jun 4, 2014 at 8:56 PM | Unregistered Commentersl149q

@ ssat Jun 4, 2014 at 11:08 AM

William M. Connolley is not a climate scientist either, but a political theorist. He is the guy editing all articles on climate change on Wikipedia to his own liking.


Jun 4, 2014 at 9:23 PM | Registered CommenterAlbert Stienstra

Australia just goes from strength to strength.

Jun 4, 2014 at 9:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Jones

This was a comment from Chris on the ABC site in June 2011 revealing the depth of feeling:

"The reason you cannot find the link on the Geological Society of Australia web site to their [2009] “policy statement” supporting AGW is that it was withdrawn about 12 months ago after a howling, screaming objection from the majority of GSA members who objected to a “policy statement” that we did not agree with being put forward by 6 members of the management committee (all, I am told, employed by government) without reference to, or approval from, the wider membership. The majority wider GSA membership (some 4,000 members) does not support AGW."

I wonder how many members of similar Societies have similar feelings?

Jun 4, 2014 at 10:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterM. Stevens.

The RS members should be polled independently
Without a scamster like Sir Nurse organizing one-checkbox ballotting

Jun 4, 2014 at 10:00 PM | Unregistered Commenterptw

Wow, great to see some serious pushback against activist take-overs of scientific societies!

The template for a relatively few activists taking over the leadership process in many scientific and international bodies was established right from the beginning. I've discussed the following on a discussion thread, and it might seem like very old news (1980s old) except that it is the open admission (boasting) of one of the most prominent scientifc activists, pushing through unwarranted group statements and plans ahead of genuine widespread scientific agreement. Activist cadres have pushed through their agendas in numerous organizations over the past 25+ years.

This is how it has been done, over and over again. The template was imposed from the start, not of respect for the views of all members of scientific fields, but activists pushing through their agendas.... often with most relevant scientists having little or no knowledge of what was being done behind the scenes:

How the IPCC Got Started


"To address this question, the UN's Environment Program (UNEP), the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), and the International Committee of Scientific Unions created an international scientific panel called the Advisory Group on Greenhouse Gases (AGGG). Perhaps AGGG's main accomplishment was to provide official auspices for a more activist group of experts...."

Jun 4, 2014 at 10:02 PM | Registered CommenterSkiphil

Quite a hopeful development. More interesting will be the APU revision result in the US. A draft is due soon.
One senses a turning of the tide, if not yet in academia then at least in some 'academic/professional' organizations.
Not yet the US AGU, which has just got caught out twice over at Dr. Curry's Climate Etc.

Jun 4, 2014 at 10:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterRud Istvan

re my post at Jun 4, 2014 at 9:23 PM :

apologies for the wrong link and info I provided. William M Connolley is not a political theorist, but he calls himself a software engineer. He is not a climate scientist, even though he did some modelling work for the British Antarctic Survey. He does edit all climate change articles on Wikipedia to his alarmist liking.

Jun 4, 2014 at 10:43 PM | Registered CommenterAlbert Stienstra

I have posted the backstory here previously although I suspect most readers discounted it or it simply did not register

I had been a member of the GSA for about 30 continuous years, until 2009

The then GSA "Executive" (6 people of academic persuasion) suddenly decreed publicly that the GSA regarded CAGW as demonstrated, implying that the GSA membership as a whole supported this position. The Executive had NOT polled the membership or forewarned said membership

When such a poll was quite vigorously requested, the Executive replied that it was within its' jurisdictional competence to issue binding statements without such a poll. This caused quite a commotion, but the Executive stuck to its position. It all turned quite nasty, Letters to the Editor of the monthly magazine (TAG) went unpublished but a continuous, supercilious editorial comment line was published. Letters sent to popular newspapers were re-published in TAG as supportive "evidence" but unpublished letters to the TAG magazine from members were derided as "pathos". It all became very, very nasty

I quit the GSA at that point (after 30 years) on the basis that if the "Executive" was able to pronounce binding statements without polling its membership, it could so without my annual fees as well

That the wheel seems to have turned at this stage is a good thing, but I do not trust the CAGW activists within the GSA not to have another go. Although their bully-boy tactics created the mess, they still believe this works ... well, it did for over 5 years

Jun 5, 2014 at 12:38 AM | Unregistered Commenterianl8888

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