The Board of the American Geophysical Union is cowardly and despicable

I’m a member of the American Geophysical Union (AGU). I joined because I find some of their research interesting. Can I do without them? You bet I can, and will.

The AGU is a nonprofit organization founded in 1919. It has roughly 62,000 members from 144 countries. Their main publication, called, “Eos,” centers around atmospheric, oceanic, solid Earth, space, and hydrologic sciences. I’ve referred to some of their work in the past, such as this post about “What global warming means to me,” in which I link to an AGU article about something disgustingly called, “sea tomatoes,” which are caused by a heating up of the Arctic. Eww.


Anyway, this past February, I got a dodgy email from the President of the American Geophysical Union, Margaret Leinen. I could tell it was, “dodgy” because it was crystal clear that she and the AGU Board were looking for some way to justify the money they get from ExxonMobil, even though their own bylaws explicitly disallow such relationships.

I’ve put my marked up copy of the email in the iFrame below. If it’s too small to read, click on the bottom right symbol in the iFrame to enlarge:

Inside Climate News, the LA Times, and Columbia School of Journalism had (by the time of the February email) PROVEN, beyond a doubt, that ExxonMobil a) had been lying for decades about what they knew and when they knew it regarding the existence and dangers of climate change caused by the burning of fossil fuels, b) had been paying lots of other people and organizations to also lie and deceive the general public about climate change, and c) had utter disregard for anything other than their (ExxonMobil’s) bottom line. I personally spent weeks analyzing the scientific papers published by ExxonMobil’s head scientist, Haroon Khesghi, and I saw, with my own eyes, a truly diabolical body of work which undermined not only climate science, in general, but also the very foundation of the scientific framework that the UN’s IPCC was built upon.

The fact that the American Geophysical Union could even pretend that there might be a loophole anywhere in virtually anything that ExxonMobil has done, is doing, or will do suggests one of two things:

1) The AGU Board is so incredibly stupid that they must have to get the picture menu at fast food drive-thru windows because that’s just how stupid they are;


That whole concept, by the way, makes no sense to me. If the person driving the car can’t read, well, that’s extremely unsafe and how did they pass the driver’s test? And if their passenger can’t read, why can’t the driver just explain what’s on the menu to them? Back to the AGU.

So, the AGU Board is either stunningly stupid, OR

2) The AGU Board is bought and paid for by the fossil fuel industry.

There is nothing “in between,” because that’s how clear cut the evidence is of ExxonMobil’s underhandedness over the past 30 years. Moreover, the explicitly stated intent of the AGU President in that February email was that it’s more important to “include” ExxonMobil in some supposed “community,” which is not only non-sensical, but also insulting. It’s not like they’re an unruly child, or someone who is “innocent until proven guilty,” or North Korea, which might try to nuke its neighbor. We’re talking about a corporation – one of the biggest and wealthiest on Earth. We’re not going to hurt “its feelings.” And as I type these words, ExxonMobil’s attorneys are probably on a golf course, laughing their well-paid asses off at the scientific community…who they have tried (and succeeded at) gutting and flaying since the 1980’s. To imply that we need to “play nice” with ExxonMobil is to belittle everything real scientists have been doing since time immemorial.

Much like a rusty freight train, I could hear this one coming down the tracks back in February.  One of my daughters was nearby when I read that February email, and I involuntarily said, “uh oh,” which she immediately understood to mean some kind of bad news for the planet, having seen such a response from me several times before. So it wasn’t a surprise when the “verdict” of this AGU mock trial came in:

On the same day that the AGU decided to keep on providing cover  being ExxonMobil’s bitch accepting money and continue its “relationship” with ExxonMobil, there was also alarming news about just how dangerously hot 2016 has been because of climate change, which was being reported by genuinely concerned scientists, like Robert Scribbler, and on Scientific American’s website, which ran two front page stories on April 14th about what kind of epically dangerous situation we’re in, with one of the stories focusing on how the East coast of the United States is sinking while sea levels in that same area are rising at accelerated rates, and another article about how El Nino and climate change have now made carbon dioxide levels under 400 ppm something that humans will likely never experience again, which should be terrifying, even to non-scientists.

Meanwhile, while even the average schmuck is getting downright panicked about the possibility of human extinction, it’s not only business as usual over at the American Geophysical Union, but they’re frantically tying themselves into intellectual knots trying to satisfy a ravenous, insatiable master who would, truth be told, prefer to just snuff them out like the weaklings they really are.

edumund burke