Royal Society to review climate message

Environmental advocacy

As we know, the Royal Society has become a credibility-free zone with regard to climate change, pushing hysterical environmental advocacy above the impartiality of science. Now the Society has been forced to reconsider its message after 43 fellows complained it oversimplified the issues.

They said the communications did not properly distinguish between what was widely agreed on climate science and what is not fully understood.

The society’s ruling council has responded by setting up a panel to produce a consensus document.

The panel should report in July and the report is to be published in September.

It is chaired by physicist John Pethica, vice-president of the Royal Society.

Its deliberations are reviewed by two critical sub-groups, each believed to comprise seven members.

Each of these groups contains a number of society Fellows who are doubtful in some way about the received view of the risks of rising CO2 levels.

A Royal Society pamphlet Climate Change Controversies is the main focus of the criticism [link here, although it will probably be posted down the memory hole pretty soon, so you can download the document from ACM here: Royal Society Climate Change Controversies]. A version of it is on the organisation’s website. It was written in response to attacks on mainstream science which the Royal Society considered scurrilous.

It reads: “This is not intended to provide exhaustive answers to every contentious argument that has been put forward by those who seek to distort and undermine the science of climate change…”

One Fellow who said he was not absolutely convinced of the dangers of CO2 told me: “This appears to suggest that anyone who questions climate science is malicious. But in science everything is there to be questioned – that should be the very essence of the Royal Society. Some of us were very upset about that.

Yes, there are some things we are all agreed on, like the fact that CO2 is a greenhouse gas and will cause some degree of warming when its concentration is increased. However, the scale of that warming we are not agreed on. The IPCC has wrongly concluded that the climate is very sensitive, and positive feedbacks will act to amplify that warming. Climate realists (and real world observations) show negative feedbacks, acting to reduce the warming from CO2.

As one commenter on Watts Up With That states:

In other words, they admit that they were lying all along and have been caught with their knickers down.

Read it here.

(h/t WUWT)


  1. simon,

    but dosn’t most ofl the evidence points to the contrary – ie that the climate is sensitive and that large feedbacks are likely?

    i get the fact that the models are hopelessly inadequate, but look at what’s happening in the artic with less than 1 degree of warming already. doesn’t that worry you? shouldn’t we be decarbonising as quickly as possible as an insurance policy?

    my own worry is that by *not* acting fast enough, the govt *will* start to impose draconian laws. now that scares me.

  2. Unfortunately, you are wrong.

    Your position of certainty regarding the authority of the Royal Society betrays the scientific method you appear to support.

    The reason for the hysteria surrounding climate science is its implications for humanity. Unlike the mating habits of invertebrates, climatology is relevant to the every day existence of many people, and the future prosperity of other countries, including Australia.

    I agree with a lot of what you are saying, but you dismiss the fact that most climate scientists (i.e. not other scientists with little knowledge in the field in the RS or anywhere else) independently conclude that the runaway greenhouse is likely to have a serious impact on the earth. The projections will always vary, but you seem to dispute more than just details here.

    Your conspiracy theory is simply untenable against the theories of science.

    • @Lachlan: Sorry, but I disagree. You clearly believe that all the science of climate change is settled. It isn’t. We all know CO2 causes warming, but no-one, not even the warmists, know with certainty what the climate sensitivity is. And as for the risk to “every day existence of many people” as you put it, the precautionary principle which you advocate will cause far more poverty and suffering due to a lack of cheap energy than the “climate crisis”. P.S. there is no such thing as “runaway greenhouse” – the planet has been in existence for 4.5 billion years. Get a sense of perspective.

  3. John Carter says:

    Could Steve O’Connor please point to evidence suggesting high climate sensitivity.
    All the research I have seen suggests that the climate is not highly sensitive and that rather than positive feedback, negative feedback is more probable.
    The truth often hurts.


  1. […] change mast, abandoning objective scientific enquiry in favour of environmental advocacy. As the Royal Society has discovered, it only works for so long, before credibility starts to disappear. As he […]

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