Guest “not as bad as I thought it would be” by David Middleton
Over the past couple of years, the Executive Committee of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) has been working on a new position statement on climate change. The new statement was unveiled in the latest issue of the AAPG Explorer…
Announcing the AAPG Climate Statement
In July 2019, when the current AAPG Executive Committee took office, they inherited one piece of outstanding business: review the AAPG Climate Statement that had been approved by the previous EC, but also tabled for approval by the incoming EC.
Over the last seven months, and long before the two black swan events that are wreaking havoc on our industry and our Association, the EC engaged many of the Association’s stakeholders, including the divisions, the Advisory Council, the Corporate Advisory Board and, by way of a survey, our members.
An AAPG log in is required to read the actual statement. It basically says the world needs oil & gas and says almost nothing about climate change. Based on the comments, it p!$$ed off both sides (It’s shocking that the other side has infiltrated AAPG!). Since it’s still behind the membership wall, I won’t quote the entire article and statement. Here are a few highlights:
With their feedback and comments the EC decided that:
1. AAPG should have a statement on climate change.
2. That statement needs to reflect the Association’s mission and the values of our members – a considerable challenge given the highly political nature of the climate change debate.AAPG Explorer
It’s all politics.
AAPG continues to promote and encourage its members to employ their surface and subsurface geologic skills and knowledge to exploring for, finding and producing these materials in an efficient, economic and environmentally sustainable manner while minimizing their impact on the world’s climate.AAPG Explorer
If we weren’t already employing our “surface and subsurface geologic skills and knowledge to exploring for, finding and producing these materials in an efficient, economic and environmentally sustainable manner while minimizing their impact on the world’s climate,” we’d be drilling a lot more dry holes and every successful well would look like Macondo (Deepwater Horizon).
As earth scientists our members have a unique perspective and understanding of climate change throughout the geologic history of Earth and how climate has varied through time. The current world population of 7.8 billion people puts an enormous strain on the Earth’s resources that requires, in addition to hydrocarbon resources, the economic development of alternative and renewable energy sources. The AAPG encourages its members, through their own research, to continue to develop their own understanding of climate science and policies that are outside the core competencies of the organization and to work on improving the human condition while reducing energy’s environmental impacts.AAPG Explorer
I like to think of my participation with WUWT as continuing to develop my own understanding of climate science and policies through my own research. However, I disagree that this is outside of most geoscientists’ “core competencies.” Based on the reckless disregard for signal processing principles and the effects of resolution differences, the “Hockey Team” pretty clearly demonstrates that climate science is outside of their core competencies.
The full statement can be read here.
On the whole, it’s not awful. The AAPG gave up its clearly skeptical position statement due to threats by academics, students and European members that they would quit if AAPG didn’t take up a more “reasonable” position. AAPG’s 2006 decision to honor Michael Crichton with a journalism award for Jurassic Park and State of Fear was the the equivalent of President Trump firing former FBI Director James Comey. It was the right thing to do; but the backlash effectively disengaged AAPG from the climate debate and led to the revision of their hard-line position statement. The statement that was in effect from 2008-2019 (see below), was kind of clumsily worded, but more or less on target.
The new statement says almost nothing about climate change… And this might be a good thing, since climate change is totally irrelevant to the global demand for affordable and reliable energy. I was very concerned that the new statement would effectively mimic AGU and other academic/government run societies and relieved to see that it did not. Had AAPG adopted an AGU-like position, I would have terminated my membership… Probably half the membership would have quit.
While I personally wish AAPG would return to its combative position, it would be an impediment to working with academia to educate future petroleum geologists and would also cause a lot of members to quit.
AAPG’s 2008-2019 Position Statement
In the last century, growth in human population has increased energy use. This has contributed additional carbon dioxide (CO2) and other gases to the atmosphere. Although the AAPG membership is divided on the degree of influence that anthropogenic CO2 has on recent and potential global temperature increases, AAPG believes that expansion of scientific climate research into the basic controls on climate is important.
Geologists study the history of the earth and realize climate has changed often in the past due to natural causes. The earth’s climate naturally varies continually, in both directions, at varying rates, and on many scales. In recent decades global temperatures have risen. However, our planet has been far warmer and cooler today than many times in the geologic past, even within the past 10,000 years.
- AAPG supports expanding scientific climate research into the basic controls on climate specifically including the geological, solar, and astronomic aspects of climate change. Research should include understanding causes of past climate change and the potential effects of both increasing and decreasing temperatures in the future. This research should be undertaken by appropriate agencies involved in climate research and their associated grant and contract programs.
- Certain climate simulation models predict that the warming trend will continue, as reported through National Academy of Sciences, American Geophysical Union, American Academy for the Advancement of Science, and American Meteorological Society. AAPG respects these scientific opinions but wants to add that the current climate warming projections could fall within well-documented natural variations in past climate and observed temperature data. These data do not necessarily support the maximum-case scenarios forecast in some models.
- AAPG supports research to narrow probability ranges on the effect of anthropogenic CO2 on global climate.
- AAPG supports reducing emissions from fossil fuel use as a worthy goal. (However, emission reduction has an economic cost, which must be compared to the potential environmental gain.)
- AAPG supports the premise that economies must retain their vitality if they are to be able to invest in alternative energy sources as fossil fuels become more expensive.
- AAPG supports the pursuit of economically viable technology to sequester carbon dioxide emissions and emissions of other gases in a continuing effort to improve our environment and enhance energy recovery.
- AAPG supports measures to conserve energy.
Read AAPG’s publication that further discusses worldwide climate. The first chapter of Geological Perspectives of Global Climate Change is provided here as a PDF. You may order this book, ST47 – Geological Perspectives of Global Climate Change, SB edited by Lee Gerhard, William Harrison, and Bernold Hanson through the AAPG Store.
The link no longer leads to the 2008-2019 statement; but it should lead to the new one when the office of Energy Policy posts it.
I highly recommend Geological Perspectives of Global Climate Change. In the nearly 20 years since its publication, climate “science” hasn’t improved.
Regarding “the black swans”…
In other oil patch news… What a difference a month can make!
The COVID-19 lockdown and Russia-Saudi oil price war did this to crude oil prices as the May futures contract approached expiry…
Well, the June contract will soon expire, and look what’s happening…
Oil prices jump more than 8% ahead of WTI June contract expiry
PUBLISHED SUN, MAY 17 2020
Oil prices climbed by more than $1 a barrel on Monday to their highest in more than a month, supported by ongoing output cuts and signs of gradual recovery in fuel demand as more countries ease curbs imposed to stop the coronavirus pandemic spreading.
Brent crude was up $2.00, or 6.2%, at $34.50 per barrel, after touching a high since April 13. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was up $2.57, or 8.7%, at $32.01 a barrel, after rising to its highest since March 16.
“Oil prices may show further upside momentum as the easing in mobility restrictions grows,” said Stephen Innes, chief global market strategist at AxiCorp in a note, referring to curbs that were designed to counter the coronavirus.
The June WTI contract expires on Tuesday, but there was little sign of WTI repeating the historic plunge below zero seen last month on the eve of the May contract’s expiry amid signs that demand for crude and derived fuels is recovering from its nadir.
Still a long way to go to get back to $50/bbl… But not a bad start.
In fake news…
Texas reported its highest single-day increase in new COVID-19 cases as restaurants, salons, and cinemas open to the public
Connor Perrett 21 hours ago
The Texas Department of Health on Saturday announced 1,801 new people had been diagnosed with COVID-19 within the past 24 hours. The Houston Chronicle reported Saturday that the spike is due in part to a new outbreak in the Texas panhandle with more than 700 cases reported in the city of Amarillo — attributed to meat-packing facilities in the region.
According to The Houston Chronicle, the number of new infections in Texas had typically fallen around 1,227 new cases per day over the past week, and until Saturday, the state had not seen a single-day increase in cases larger than 1,500.
The spike was entirely due to “results from targeted testing at meatpacking plants.” Lying in the headline and then telling only part of the truth in the article is the antithesis of responsible journalism, but all too common these days. The State of Texas should sue Business Insider and any other media outlets that published similar fraudulent headlines. The spike had nothing to do with “restaurants, salons, and cinemas [opening] to the public.”
- 1,801 – 700 = 1,101
- 1,101 < 1,227 < 1,500
Meat packing plants are considered “critical infrastructure,” and have largely remained open throughout the COVID-19 lockdown. Had farmers, ranchers, meat packing workers, grocery store workers, truck drivers and the people who keep fuel flowing, kept the lights on and other critical infrastructure employees not gone to work over the past two months, a helluva lot more than 90,000 Americans would have died.