Canadian Geologists Embarrass Themselves on Climate

Wed, 2011-06-22 17:48Richard Littlemore
Richard Littlemore's picture

Canadian Geologists Embarrass Themselves on Climate

The joint conference of the Geological Association of Canada (GAC) and the Mineralogical Association of Canada (MAC) included a DenierFest sideshow worthy of the Heartland Institute, with guest speakers flown in from as far away as Australia and Europe in an effort to address one organizer’s concern about an “unbalanced debate.”

Notwithstanding the manipulations of the deluded University of Toronto geologist Dr. Andrew Miall, the conference featured a full helping of honest-to-goodness science. There were occasions galore during which knowledgeable people spoke about matters with which they have legitimate expertise.

Then there were the sessions that featured the likes of Australians Bob Carter and Ian Plimer, people who do no actual work in climate science but who are only too delighted to tell you that everything we understand about human influence on global warming is a carefully constructed fiction. Organizers even brought in the Danish astrophysicist Henrik Svensmark - a man who will clutch his chest and fall to the ground rather than offer a straight answer as to why he insists the sun is causing climate change when the sun has been in a long weak cycle even as the earth continues to overheat. (The “heart attack,” reported above, was later confirmed to be a stress reaction.)This - all extremely well covered recently by the good folks at Friends of Gin and Tonic - is an embarrassment to the Canadian geological community. While the American Geophysical Union (AGU) has taken the trouble to actually check the science and come to an official position on climate change, the backwoods Canadian geologists are still prepared to entertain compromised confusers such as the oil patch geophysicist and Friends of Science director Norm Kalmanovitch.

The conference also featured the past president of the Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists, A. Neil Hutton, whose abstract suggests that because CO2 was much more plentiful in the atmospher during the Cambrian period than it is today, we have nothing to worry about the current carbon spike that is occurring as a result of the burning of, well, petroleum. (Can’t someone please tell Dr. Hutton that the Cambrian period was 500 million years ago - a time when the sun was markedly cooler, and when the earth was still going to evolve for, uh, 500 million years before it would be habitable for humans?)

If you needed any further evidence to suggest that this whole exercise was either an oily put-up job or a mindless ideological intervention, undermining the reputation (and ambient IQ level) of the collected geologists, look no further than the National Post, the Canadian handbook for denier narratives. Its coverage of the conference came courtesy of Tom Harris, with no mention that Harris is an oily public relations guy who helped launch the Friends of Science, who created the energy industry front, the Natural Resources Stewardship Project, and who now fronts for something called the International Climate Science Coalition.


Previous Comments


“Generally “leading” people in their fields are not retired; implying that a retired is a leading authority still active in the field is a common denialist trick.”

Generally …. Leading people do retire and are then free to speak honestly with no fear of loosing their jobs for bucking the political agenda…

And everyone knows that full well.

Nice try though…

You must be the individual who doesn’t understand the concept of an “average” and who has no clue as to how global-average temperature anomalies are computed, even though I served you all the information you could possibly need on a silver platter.

Your tinfoil-hat rantings aside, “retired meteorologists” are not qualified to critique papers like this one, especially if they have not read the paper in question first.

And of course, there’s the matter of Jens Schroter, who actually agrees with the conclusions of the paper in question, but was dishonestly quoted out of context to give readers the impression that he doesn’t.


I would guess that your little calculator does indeed generate an average of the numbers you poke into it.

But as usual you miss the point entirely.

The numbers your are feeding in are garbage.

Garbage in Garbage out.

And frankly, I just dont care what a blogger on a propaganda site provides.
I do not trust any of you to be honest about any part of this subject.
Nothing personal…. Just practical.

Anon “And frankly, I just dont care what a blogger on a propaganda site provides.”

And yet you uncritically, unskeptically, faithfully believe what you are told at WUWT. Thanks for showing the inanity of your logic. Now I am the one laughing out loud.

“I do not trust any of you to be honest about any part of this subject.”
Paranoid much?

Not paranoid…. Just not stupid enough to buy the cult dogma.

I believe in science… not religion

Let’s see if you can do it, “anonymous”:

1) Download the code from the link I provided above

2) Unpack the zip file containing the code.

3)Compile it (instructions are in the .hpp file)

4) Download and unpack the GHCN v2 data and metadata
(Google for the links)

5) Run the program with GHCN v2 raw data/metadata and generate a .csv
file. (A full instruction dump on how to run the program can be
obtained by running it with no command-line arguments).

6) Copy/paste your program execution command line (with the command-
line arguments you selected), along with the first
10 lines or so of the .csv output file generated by the program
to a message in this thread.

Someone who is remotely qualified to critique the climate-science community should be able to do this in 10-15 minutes, unless he/she
needs to install Cygwin first. Then it will take a bit longer.

You obviously have plenty of spare time to tackle this little project, “anonymous” – let’s see if you have the brain-cells
to go with all that spare time.

let’s see if you have the brain-cells to go with all that spare time.

At this point, it is pretty clear that the answer is “no”.

Anon “I believe in science… not religion”

Me too :) And still I and pretty much every scientific society and academy understand that the theory of AGW is real. And please do not spout another conspiracy argument. Sorry, but you *are* paranoid and anti-science.

I love the irony of you claiming to believe in the science when you have not cite done paper (to my knowledge) and when you insist on using very scientific terms like “cult dogma” ;) Ooh.

And you need to move on troll and find someone else to feed you.

The statement

” While the American Geophysical Union (AGU) has taken the trouble to actually check the science and come to an official position on climate change, the backwoods Canadian geologists are still prepared to entertain compromised confusers ”

implies that the GAC has never made an official statement regarding climate change. We have. In 2008 the GAC contributed to a statement by the Canadian Federation of Earth Sciences, of which we are a member organization. Given that the jointly drafted CFES statement was drafted in 2007 and published in 2008, it was actually fairly forward looking. It reads, in part, as follows:

Canada’s Earth scientists also recognize that humans are adding greenhouse gases (GHGs) to our atmosphere at an ever increasing rate. The level of CO2 in our atmosphere is now greater than at any time in the past 500,000 years; there will be consequences for our global climate and natural systems as a result.

Yes - a stronger statement is now needed. None the less, it is false and misleading to suggest that the GAC has never taken an official position regarding climate change, or that we as a group are “prepared to entertain compromised confusers”.

Misrepresenting the GAC is not a productive tactic for addressing the need for action to address anthropogenically induced climate change.

Stephen T. Johnston
Past President, GAC
Director, School of Earth & Ocean Sciences
University of Victoria


This statement is absolutely typical of most similar political propaganda statements made by organisations all over.

It says exactly nothing. But sort of sounds politically correct enough to keep the funding gravytrain in place.

What a farce.

It’s funny watching “anonymous” repeatedly slide away from the arguments he doesn’t want to face. Reminds me of the Five Rules of Dodgeball - “dodge, dip, dive, duck, and dodge”

LoL Ben…

I have “played” with this little cult long enough to know that no matter what I link you guys will simple claim it has been debunked and pat each other on the back as though it was fact.

it is amusing to watch.
Anyone with a brain can see through the propaganda easily enough however.

So the only sensable thing to do is keep pointing out how sily and dishonest the CAGW scam is and suggest that people go research it for themselves and ignore the nonsense in this little Reality denier pit.

Remember that it has been definitively established that the more you know about age the less you will worry about it.

That fact is indisputable.

Shorter “anonymous” - I r smrt! All scientist r rong! I win game!

Shorter everyone else - We’ve wasted brain cells reading that twit’s crap.

Anonymous here is an obvious, crude, lazy and uninteresting troll; surely it’s past time for a moderator to step in and end this waste of time?

I truly love it when the alarmists can’t find error in the denialists argument so they resort to questioning someone credentials. Saying things like Anthony Watts is a drop out or doesn’t have this or that degree. Who cares? It’s not relevant. Those in the church of climatology claim that only climatologists can understand the science. That is a myth. I’ve been in science for a lot of years and you don’t need a degree in geology to understand it, you don’t need a degree in chemistry to understand it, you don’t need a degree in biology to understand it. So what if Watts does not have the credentials? If climatology were good science, everyone would understand it.

Refer to arguments of and responses to “anonymous” above to save time and brain power.

Churches, myths, no education needed, obliviousness to factual rebuttal, etc, etc. Just eye-rolling denialist posturing, especially for someone who has “been in science for a lot of years”.

You are right : the best proof of the competence of Mr Watts is the fact that he published an article about His results about temperature mean long term trend are quite interesting, don’t you think so ?

And you are also right about the last point you raised : for example, if quantum field theory were good science, everyone would understand it.

just a curious point I became aware of : why every climate “skeptic” in this thread talks about Anthony Watts ? Do they come straight from WUTW, or is Mr Watts the ultimate reference in climate den…”skepticism” ?



This is a guest post by David Suzuki.

Brothers Charles and David Koch run Koch Industries, the second-largest privately owned company in the U.S., behind Cargill. They’ve given close to US$70 million to climate change denial front groups, some of which they helped start, including Americans for Prosperity, founded by David Koch and a major force behind the Tea Party movement.

Through their companies, the Kochs are the...

read more