IPCC reviewer resigns from AGU saying: I will not renew my AGU membership

Martin Hovland writes in with this statement. It seems that AGU Position Statement keeps costing them members.

He writes:

Although I have been a long-time member of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), I hereby refuse to pay my membership fees. The main problem is the organization’s Position Statement on the purported “Human impacts on Climate” This statement includes the following statements: “During recent millennia of relatively stable climate, civilization became established and populations have grown rapidly. In the next 50 years, even the lower limit of impending climate change—an additional global mean warming of 1°C above the last decade—is far beyond the range of climate variability experienced during the past thousand years and poses global problems in planning for and adapting to it.

Warming greater than 2°C above 19th century levels is projected to be disruptive, reducing global agricultural productivity, causing widespread loss of biodiversity, and—if sustained over centuries—melting much of the Greenland ice sheet with ensuing rise in sea level of several meters. If this 2°C warming is to be avoided, then our net annual emissions of CO2 must be reduced by more than 50 percent within this century. With such projections, there are many sources of scientific uncertainty, but none are known that could make the impact of climate change inconsequential. Given the uncertainty in climate projections, there can be surprises that may cause more dramatic disruptions than anticipated from the most probable model projections.”

As an active communicator in geophysics, spanning subjects ranging from marine geology to climate science, and an expert reviewer for the IPCC Working Group 1 on the up-coming Assessment Report 5 (my comments have just been submitted to the organization), I can no longer bear to support the AGU.

Martin Hovland

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Kurt in Switzerland

Brave man.
Is he close to retirement?
Kurt in Swtzerland

I cannot bare illiteracy…..
REPLY: Neither can I, fixed – A

MangoChutney

The Berlin wall came down brick by brick until the foundations collapsed and the east came in from the cold

jubal harshaw

> Is he close to retirement?
Seems he’s working for Statoil. Maybe he’s safe.

ob

the reason is the statement? which part of it?
Hovland’s working for Statoil, isn’t he? Just for my clarification.

Garrett

It would be nice if he could be more precise as to why he can no longer bear to support the AGU. Is it the conservative 2 degrees celsius? Is it the 50% reduction in CO2 emissions? Is it the word “disruptive”?
Or is it because he works for the oil industry? http://www.martinhovland.com/
REPLY: Or maybe it’s people like you, trying to find an evil motive in anyone who thinks differently?

Alan the Brit

Do we know just how many have resigned & under what circumstances? Do the AGU actually care anymore, or will they still not do so until membership numbers go critical? He is though, as already said, a brave man indeed.

crosspatch

Warming greater than 2°C above 19th century levels is projected to be disruptive, reducing global agricultural productivity, causing widespread loss of biodiversity, and—if sustained over centuries—melting much of the Greenland ice sheet with ensuing rise in sea level of several meters.

That is such utter and provably false bull. Global temperatures were 2C higher than now for thousands of years earlier in the Holocene. We did not experience a loss of agricultural productivity, on the contrary, that is when agriculture was invented. We did not see a melting of the Greenland ice sheet and it DID continue for centuries. Tens of centuries. We also didn’t see any widespread loss of biodiversity, either.
The problem with this sort of hype is that it is so provably wrong. We know it is wrong with 100% certainty.

morgo

this will put the cat in the pigeon nest

Spam

You know… its not actually that hard to debunk this standard ‘oil industry shill’ talking point.
Fact: There is insufficient infrastructure for ‘renewables’ yet.
Opinion: “Cleaner” fossil fuels should be what rational eco-minded people push for, for now.
Fact: Oil is cleaner than coal.
Fact: Gas is cleaner than oil.
Fact: Oil companies are fast becoming gas companies.
Fact: Energy companies stand to make billions from climate change abatement (they just pass on costs to consumers, and are the people best placed for geosequestration).
Fact: Energy companies are publicly supportive of measures to combat climate change (see the points above for economic reasons).

David, UK

Garrett says:
February 9, 2012 at 1:02 am
Or is it because he works for the oil industry?

Yes, Garrett. Big Oil, as opposed to Big Government which of course only has our best interests at heart.
/sarc

Funny how Statoil were the good guys until they became the bad guys…IOW if anybod had issues with an AGU member’s links with the oil industry why would those issues only surface now?

Streetcred

Garrett says:
February 9, 2012 at 1:02 am
Or is it because he works for the oil industry?
=====================
David, UK says:
February 9, 2012 at 1:28 am
Yes, Garrett. Big Oil, as opposed to Big Government which of course only has our best interests at heart. /sarc
====================
or BIG GREEN which seems to be pulling many levers on behalf of its rabid socialist masters.

max

Seems he’s working for Statoil. Maybe he’s safe.
Probably not all that safe, unless Statoil is abandoning its carbon sequestration program, the bio-fuels deal with Brazil, its wind turbine program, the Hydrogen fuel division and so on. I ask David, UK which is Statoil considered, Big Oil or Big Government since it is effectively a branch of the Norwegian government (over 2/3rds owner)?

Garrett

“REPLY: Or maybe it’s people like you, trying to find an evil motive in anyone who thinks differently?”
I am presuming the above reply is from Mr. Watts.
I realize my question was an ad hominem attack, but without specifying a specific reason for leaving the AGU, he has left himself open to such accusations. We all have our biases, and Dr. Hovland will not be an exception. The question then is how much his oil industry bias has influenced his decision, or can he prove his decision to be purely based on science? If he can write up a personal critique of the AGU Position Statement, then we will all have a better understanding of his stance.
Kind regards.

KNR

I love the idea that you can automatically ignore what people say if they have oil industry links, given that both St Gore and the head of the IPCC both have oil industry links this means we can automatically ignore them . Although to be fair that is already the case for AGW skeptics, however for AGW proponents this seems to be different which is odd given the ones making the claim in thr first place. But then so is their ability to ignore oil industry funding to the IPCC and CRU , the type of funding which is always consider ‘evil’ if none AGW people get it, strange how that works .

Mariwarcwm

A brave and intelligent man – thank heavens that there are such people otherwise we would all be lost, and at the mercy for the rest of human history of the likes of Al Gore.

John Marshall

The statement by the AGU shows a complete ignorance of recent past climates which, true to form, have not been at all stable.
For a scientific organization to be politically correct is complete lunacy.

Roger Carr

Garrett: Or is it because he works for the oil industry?
REPLY: Or maybe it’s people like you, trying to find an evil motive in anyone who thinks differently?
Well said, Anthony — and more kindly than I would have rejoined.

Mat

because he works for the oil industry?
Given the huge amounts of cash the oil industry shoves at heaters that’s a bit weak !.

Here’s are my reasons:
– In 2003 I discovered that the scientific literature became biased (leading journals surch as ‘Nature’ and ‘New Scientist’) started targeting us, who doubted some of the science behind climate change and IPCC. I stopped taking some of the climate-related articles and comments in these journals seriously.
– I was, however, happy to continue with the American journals, ‘EOS’ and ‘Science’. However, after AGU came with its stance (policy declaration), in 2006, I became dubious, and have been more and more dissapointed with their uncritical “Global Warming” issues.
– When it came to ‘Science’, I was disgraced to see the article by Mann et al., nov. 2009 on the Medieval Climate Anomaly (previously called the Medieval Warm Period). A comment sent to the Editor of ‘Science’ was disgarded. I was asking Mann et al., to tell the readers more about how the “Pseudo proxies” are made, and especially their other derivatives mentioned in the article.
My retirement from the AGU is an official demonstration against scientific organizations that do not treat natural science as an open entity any more. I fear that this can seiously compromise Western Scientific work for decades to come. (Thus, it has nothing to do with my work in the oil industry, which I am acutally being pensioned from in June…).

Pete H

Garrett says:
February 9, 2012 at 1:02 am
“Or is it because he works for the oil industry? http://www.martinhovland.com/
People like you really make me laugh! Same old “Oil Shrill” garbage! No matter that you are typing on a computer that used oil somewhere in its manufacture, No matter that how it is powered, What transport do you use? The list is endless.
We know there are people working in the climate field that try to be honest and many are supported with funds from oil companies. Try working in the oilfield, on a platform or barge etc and you will meet some of the most concerned people out there when it comes to protecting ecology but do not let that stand in the way of your religion!
The way you people think you are the only ones fit to be guardians of the planet makes me want to puke! Every sceptic I know wants a cleaner world for themselves and their children but not under the “Water Melon” system you lot propose with its bent “Science”!.
Rant ends!

I wonder who make more money out of the use of fossil fuels. – Is it, say the “Oil Companies” who, or which, supply – and pay for all the necessary equipment, manpower and research right from the first survey and geological dynamiting to find the oil, – or could it be the various governments around the world who only supply a few “Taxation experts” to demand and collect taxes from, not just the “Oil Companies” but also from all the people and industries connected?
Even companies making bicycles, shoes and beer-bottles cannot exist today if it was not for the burning of fossil fuels. So, come on you AGW fanatics —. Get real – why do you think it is possible for you to send your comments to WUWT if it was not for “Oil Companies” and other fossil fuel companies making it possible to generate enough electricity for all of us.

Espen

crosspatch says:
February 9, 2012 at 1:05 am

The problem with this sort of hype is that it is so provably wrong. We know it is wrong with 100% certainty.

Sadly, most pro-CAGWers still don’t want to admit that the hockey sticks are all broken. They usually point at e.g. Gavin Schmidt’s “Hey ya (mal)” post on Real Climate, where he tries to pull one hockey stick out of his hat after the other. The problem with this and other attempts at showing a “multitude of hockey sticks” is that the sticks are all either based on the same wrong data and methods (e.g. upside down Tiljander) or they start in the middle of the little ice age.

Paul Coppin

Since its becoming so hard to figure out who’s sleeping with who, I’d like to propose a new bit of jargon, please. Since the Garretts and the Obs like Big Oil (and I’m sure the “military-industrial complex”) and us deniers (/sarc) like Big Green, etc., and since we know they’re all inter-related anyway, I propose the following: Green-Industrial-Military-Energy Complex, or GIME, for short. GIME, it should be self-evident, is pronounced “gimmee”, which, for the ESLs is colloquial English for “give-me”…

onlyme

I fail to understand the knee-jerk reaction to those who work in industry when it comes to issues like this.
It is my understanding that those individuals’ work is subject to the hardest test to pass, it works in real life, and failure can result in lawsuits, fines, jail time etc. Those who work in industry are paid to produce results which are testable, verifiable, which bring profit (that evil word) to the corporation for whom they work.
Those working in academia are largely insulated from this, thus have much less need for rigor in their analyses and face no penalty other than the criticism of others who may disagree with them with no fear of further penalty. Their need for rigor, for sound basis in fact, for verifiability of their results or even for proposing theories which are falsifiable is, for the most part, nonexistent.
Personally, in most cases, i would take the word of a practicing engineer over that of a pure academic any day.

Pete in Cumbria UK

Could it just maybe, even remotely be, that his mind is working clearly? That his thought process(es) are not befuddled and he doesn’t exist in a near permanent personal state of stress, irritability, complete with feelings of guilt and low level depression. That he see through the torrent of crap and then speak out against many of his long-time peers reads volumes- he’s. got. self. confidence; he can call “BS” and has the mental where-with-all and intellect to defend that position.
So- what widely available ‘substance’ that a person/group/population or even entire civilisation have access to brings any or all of those traits I’ve just described?
What would happen if the vast majority of any given population were affected? Would a succession of ill thought out opinions within the populations, resultant ‘bad decisions’ by their elected leaders and consequent ‘not good actions’ have any significant effect on the long term viability and survival of that population?
(Ignore me, I’m just thinking out loud really)

Frank K.

The AGU sez (paraphased): The climate IS warming and YOU’RE TO BLAME! So you MUST give up all fossil fuels, stop eating, stop polluting, just STOP, STOP, STOP! (errr…but before you do all that stuff, please send in your annual dues – thank$).

brc

Garrett says:
February 9, 2012 at 1:02 am
It would be nice if he could be more precise as to why he can no longer bear to support the AGU. Is it the conservative 2 degrees celsius? Is it the 50% reduction in CO2 emissions? Is it the word “disruptive”?
Or is it because he works for the oil industry? http://www.martinhovland.com/
Oh come on, Garrett. You can do better than question a man’s employment, surely? Where else is someone in the Geophysical union going to be working? In a department store? On a fishing boat? Of course he works in an extractive industry. geophysical – stuff to do with the earth.
Of course, by your same reasoning, anyone who works in (a) government (b) anything even remotely to do with renewables (c) anything remotely to do with green activism is similarly tainted with bias and to be ignored, right? I mean, we can only listen to people who have absolutely no skin in the game, right?

Michael D Smith

Kaboom says:
February 8, 2012 at 11:42 pm
I cannot bare illiteracy…..

Surely you mean you cannot bear illiteracy?
Funny. Very.

JPY

Just so we can calibrate the level of sacrifice being made here, annual membership at AGU is $20, and you get Eos and Physics Today all year.

Garrett says:
February 9, 2012 at 1:02 am
….
At least he posted an interesting link. Better than the other anonymous cowards. Ok, Jubal Harshaw is a fictional non-coward. How about anonymous coward (though O.B. is a trademark) and cowardly identity thief?

Garrett

reply to brc’s comment:
“Of course, by your same reasoning, anyone who works in (a) government (b) anything even remotely to do with renewables (c) anything remotely to do with green activism is similarly tainted with bias and to be ignored, right? I mean, we can only listen to people who have absolutely no skin in the game, right?”

You mean to tell me that if somebody from Greenpeace or WWF left a similar society that you wouldn’t think it was a bigger deal? Of course it’s important who they work for, though I do realize that ad hominem arguments are inherently weak. If a green activist resigned from an oil industry board most people would shrug their shoulders and say “so what, where’s the surprise”. Similarly, if a geologist whose career is focused on aiding an oil company leaves an organisation that openly criticizes fossil fuel burning, I’m not too surprised. He may have scientific and ethical reasons for doing so, and I for one would love to see them. I prefer debating science.
“Where else is someone in the Geophysical union going to be working?”
Well, flicking through some of the most recent articles on one of the AGU’s journals, Geophysical Research Letters, most of the authors are university researchers from every corner of the planet. Most universities (internationally at least) are not-for-profit organisations and researchers are often akin to civil servants with very secure jobs. Sure, their research may sometimes get funded by private companies and organizations, but not their salaries.

ShrNfr

I beat him to it by a number of years. My statement is simple: I think it is the purpose of the AGU, AMS, and any number of other societies to further science and not to make policy statements. I do not care what the statement is. It is not in keeping with the concept of a free and open discussion of science. A policy statement of “AGW is not supported by the facts.” would be just as bad.

Frank K.

JPY says:
February 9, 2012 at 5:10 am
“Just so we can calibrate the level of sacrifice being made here, annual membership at AGU is $20, and you get Eos and Physics Today all year.”
Actually, that IS a bargain. Most engineering societies are well over $100 / year.

Grant

JPY 5:10am
Thank you for that insight JPY- you must be exhausted.

Bill Wood

Energy companies are so titled because they provide energy. They are less concerned about the form of that energy then the profitability of providing it. If we go to all wind energy by government fiat, Exxon will probably become the largest wind energy company.
If you demonize all providers of energy, try living north of 40 degrees north latitude in the U.S. without someone providing your heating energy.
I have yet to hear of anyone directly proposing abandoning our northern cities although this would substantially reduce our carbon footprint.
Did Al Gore know something when he bought his palace in southern Cal?

Louis Hooffstetter

Garrett says…. “Or is it because he works for the oil industry?”
From http://www.ieses.fsu.edu/Symposia/Symposium-on-Offshore-Energy-Part-I-Oil-and-Gas/Biography-Martin-Hovland-Ph.D:
“Dr. Martin Hovland is an Adjunct Professor for the Centre of Geobiology at the University of Bergen as well as a marine geological specialist and project manager for StatoilHydro. He is a lecturer at the University of Tromsø, teaching geohazards. Dr. Hovland served in the Norwegian Air Force as a meteorologist and taught mathematics and geography in Zambia, Africa. He was an Invited Scientist on Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Leg 46, a member of ODP Pollution Prevention and Safety Panel, is currently a member of the Environmental Protection and Safety Panel for Texas A&M University, and is a Fellow of the Geological Society of London.
Since 1980, Dr. Hovland has published over one hundred peer reviewed articles and four books. His research includes deep-water coral reefs, drilling of marine gas hydrates, the effect of gas through the seafloor and mapping shallow gas through the seafloor.”
My guess is that Dr. Hovland’s opinion is much more influenced by his strong science background, his geology training, and a stiff spine. Bravo Dr. Hovland!

Dr. Hovland:
Thank you very much for taking the time to come by and respond.

mark wagner

I find it puzzling (ironic? hypocritical?) that people think that oil money corrupts but that government money does not.

paddylol

Hydrocarbon energy companies are the demons responsible for AGW according to climate change alarmists and the dubious science they propagate. Their minions are evil.
I see a different set of demons. Like the chicken or the egg, I’m not sure who came first, the Green radicals or governments that fund scientists who promote global warmism with false research. The question is who corrupted whom first?
I am confident that my demons are worse those of the climate alarmists. In fact, this is incontrovertible.

DirkH

max says:
February 9, 2012 at 2:00 am
“I ask David, UK which is Statoil considered, Big Oil or Big Government since it is effectively a branch of the Norwegian government (over 2/3rds owner)?”
Why, Big Oil government of course. But as that government also promotes electric cars, carbon sequestration and ridiculously expensive and inefficient osmosis power plants, make that a Big Green Oil Government.

He works for Statoil? Pity, the real money in Global Warming comes from State governments.

GeologyJim

You’d think that geologists would be the first to appreciate that “natural variation” covers far more hot/cold, wet/dry extremes than anything we’ve experienced in the last 100/500/1000 years. These are mere blinks of the eye.
Yet, the Geological Society of America adopted an inane IPCC-compliant position statement on “climate change” in 2006. My efforts to reinforce the distinct perspective of geologic time were ignored, so I resigned the society after 25+ years membership.
GSA revised the statement in 2010, when ample evidence was available that much of the IPCC analysis was crap – – and it only got more strident. The Greens had infiltrated and taken over.
Buh-bye

Garrett says:
“It would be nice if he could be more precise as to why he can no longer bear to support the AGU. Is it the conservative 2 degrees celsius? Is it the 50% reduction in CO2 emissions? Is it the word “disruptive”?”
Precise?? The reason is obvious: none of the AGU’s statements are factual. They are deliberate misrepresentations of what geologists know. The planet has been much warmer in the geologic past, with no “climate disruption”. And if the U.S. reduced CO2 emissions by 50%, you can be certain that China, India, Russia, and a hundred smaller countries would more than make up the difference. Explain why hobbling our economy for no benefit whatever makes any sense.
The AGU, like the APS and most other professional organizations, have given up being honest professionals, and have become nothing but CAGW propagandists, disseminating lies written by a small clique who have insinuated themselves into official positions. The membership, as we can see, knows what is going on but has zero say in it. The only thing they can do is resign in disgust.
The AGU could send out a simple membership questionnaire asking: should the AGU issue such policy positions? But they will never do that, because the few controlling the message want to continue spreading their lies. They have an agenda, and the truth isn’t part of their false narrative.

Lance

Michael D Smith says:
February 9, 2012 at 5:09 am
Kaboom says:
February 8, 2012 at 11:42 pm
I cannot bare illiteracy…..
Surely you mean you cannot bear illiteracy?
Funny. Very.

Indeed.
Kaboom just went Kaboom!

Kev-in-Uk

mark wagner says:
February 9, 2012 at 7:12 am
I find it puzzling (ironic? hypocritical?) that people think that oil money corrupts but that government money does not.
Quite ! – but of course government money is public money, and the elected government is doing the bidding of the people, as are it’s agents – so that’s all right then, yes? /sarc…..
(But of course, there’s always the senior civil servants that actually hold/pull the strings – the beauracrates, anal retentives, the lot of them, promoting and placing their ‘ilk’ into every available high office (or rather orifice?) to ensure control!)

Owen in GA

Let’s see, the people in the best position to look at the geological record to look at past climates would be the geologists. There really are only two main places for a geologist to gain employment: Academia, and the resource exploration and extraction industries (Oil, Gas, Metals, Coal, etc.). There are only just so many academic positions, so the majority of geologists will be found in the other pursuits. The exploration geologist probably gets 10 times the field data collection and analysis time over the academic. I would tend to trust the one getting his hands dirty to the one in the office in the ivory tower. Just my two cents on this whole “but he works for big energy” canard.

t stone

It’s funny, lots of back and forth here and it seems just one other commenter noticed or at least mentioned Dr. Hovland’s response. I too thank Dr. Hovland for taking time to comment here, well done.

Eric

Garrett says:
February 9, 2012 at 5:56 am
“Where else is someone in the Geophysical union going to be working?”
Well, flicking through some of the most recent articles on one of the AGU’s journals, Geophysical Research Letters, most of the authors are university researchers from every corner of the planet. Most universities (internationally at least) are not-for-profit organisations and researchers are often akin to civil servants with very secure jobs. Sure, their research may sometimes get funded by private companies and organizations, but not their salaries.
———————————————————————————————————
Not sure where you’re from Garret but in my neck of the woods if you are employed at a University as research faculty your position is pretty much only as secure as the amount of grant funding you can obtain each year. Yes, the University technically pays your salary but your grants are what pay for your lab and staff…without that money your are not doing any research…
As we have seen over and over in the “climate change” arena, if you are not towing the party line you are not getting the grants, from the government or the organizations. Therefore, you are not going to be employed for very long….