Quote of the Day: 'Gergis has lost all critical distance from her research'

I like to think that ACM played a small part in this story, as commentators are beginning to look closely at Joelle Gergis’ climate activism and how it invariably taints her research.

Commenter Baldrick first located Gergis’ blog here, which revealed her past climate activism, and we preserved it here and here on Webcitation so that if it ever got posted down the memory hole, it would still be available.

Guess what? That’s exactly what happened, and Gergis’ blog was “disappeared“…

Recall that Gergis, on her blog, wrote:

As a climate scientist, I am hopeful that we will finally see real action on climate change. According to COSMOS, [former Australian PM Kevin] Rudd is expected to receive a “rock star’s welcome” to the world stage at crucial U.N. climate change talks in Bali next month. He will be hailed for agreeing to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, the international agreement aimed at curbing global greenhouse gas emissions.

Up to 140 world environment ministers will attend the conference. It is hoped the meeting will bring vital breakthroughs in the effort to achieve a new climate agreement. It is expected to deliver a road map to show how to keep the planet’s temperature from rising more than two degrees

And now, Fritz Varenholt, author of The Cold Sun spells out the obvious conflict:

By mixing activism and science, Joelle Gergis has apparently lost all critical distance [from her] research results, which invariably leads to such errors. A science open to results is impossible with that attitude. This is not only true for Gergis. Inconvenient results are suppressed, interpretations constantly distorted in one direction, and alternatives are ignored or swept aside. Gergis’s refusal to admit to errors and to have a fruitful dialogue with opposing views can only be explained by her ideological fixation(source)

Well said indeed. Read my post Are climate scientists a self-selecting set of climate activists? here.


  1. Baldrick says:

    I’ve nominated Doctor Joelle Gergis for the 2012 Bent Spoon Award which is presented annually to an Australian perpetrator for the ‘most preposterous piece of paranormal or pseudo-scientific piffle’, by the Australian Skeptics group. Hope she’s a winner!

  2. Luke Warmer says:

    Hey Joelle, HAVE A NICE DAY, BUDDY

  3. Jimmy Haigh says:

    I liked this little snippet from her blog: “She is an avid world traveller has who has visited 24 countries.”

    You can’t do that without burning up a lot of carbon. I wonder how she feels about that?

  4. Can we ask her to repay the $300,000 of taxpayers’ money she was granted for this study?
    Surely deliberate falsification of a study should also be open to prosecution?

    Climate scientists…..another one bites the dust..!

  5. The Gergis hockey stick graph was always going to be viewed with suspicion. The problem with Gergis is her perceived activism. It implies a tendency to be anything but objective. It probably explains why such people might not be able to undertake research in an objective manner. We’ve seen that with Dr James Hansen and Dr Michael Mann.

  6. Tony Thomas says:

    These Anz tree ring studies have popped up before ,in the academy of science’s August 2010 primer on climate change. 3 of the 4 citations below helped prove (sarc) that the medieval warming was a localized n.hem. Event.
    36. Cook, E., Bird, T., Peterson, M., Barbetti, M., Buckley, B., Darrigo, R., Francey, R., and Tans, P. (1991) Climatic-change in Tasmania inferred from a 1089-year tree-ring chronology of Huon Pine, Science 253, 1266–1268.
    37. Cook, E. R., Palmer, J. G., and D’Arrigo, R. D. (2002) Evidence for a ‘Medieval Warm Period’ in a 1,100 year tree-ring reconstruction of past austral summer temperatures in New Zealand, Geophysical Research Letters 29, doi:10.1029/2001GL014580.
    38. Mann, M. E., Zhang, Z. H., Rutherford,
    S., Bradley, R. S., Hughes, M. K., Shindell, D., Ammann, C., Faluvegi, G., and Ni, F. B. (2009) Global Signatures and Dynamical Origins of the Little Ice Age and Medieval Climate Anomaly, Science 326, 1256–1260.
    39. Palmer, J. G., and Xiong, L. M. (2004) New Zealand climate over the last 500 years reconstructed from Libocedrus bidwillii Hook. f. tree-ring chronologies, Holocene 14, 282–289.

    I would like to see the methods used analyses .

  7. Here is another candidate for quote of the day from Gergis’s blog, which she took offline once the paper scandal broke.

    “The challenge is to help people visualise our future climate and, in turn, provoke a strong emotional response… But the question is, can we process the science fast enough for us to see it in our imaginations?”

    The paper will be back!

  8. Steve McIntyre has more on the Gergis “Screening Fallacy” at http://climateaudit.org/2012/06/10/more-on-screening-in-gergis-et-al-2012/.
    When science leads to activism great things can be accomplished but when activism leads to “selective science” ……

  9. Rick Bradford says:

    Activists are activists for a reason; they don’t like the world we live in and want to change it.

    So as to appear altruistic and moral, they always claim they are seeking this change on behalf of others (the downtrodden), although the unpalatable truth is that they are seeking the change to compensate for their own inadequacies (i.e. if you can’t join capitalism, beat it).

    This strong emotional need to feel important overrides such notions as integrity and fairness– the emotional need to ‘win’ trumps them all.

    It’s a need that can never be satisfied, since they are unable to discern that their problems are internal, not the external factors they keep attacking.

    I mean, did you ever see a happy activist?


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