When we started our careers, it was considered an honor to be a member of professional societies that helped practitioners keep up with the latest developments in their fields through relevant meetings and publications. Senior author Dr. Jay Lehr had the privilege of leading one of these societies long ago.
But things are different now. Whether it be chemistry, physics, geology or engineering, many of the world’s primary professional societies have changed from being paragons of technical virtue to opportunistic groups focused on maximizing their members’ financial gains in support of the climate scare, the world’s greatest science fraud. In particular, they continue to promote the groundless hypothesis that carbon dioxide emitted as a result of mankind’s use of fossil fuels is leading to environmental catastrophe. You have been hearing about it for the past decade and more, with 21 candidates for the Democratic nomination for the presidency in the next election promoting some form of a Green New Deal—a plan to eliminate the use of fossil fuels and replace them with wind and solar power thereby returning society to the lifestyle of the 1880s.
Dr. Patrick Moore, a co-founder of Greenpeace, wrote in 1994 that radical greens had taken over the organization after the fall of the Berlin Wall, leaving him no choice but to resign. The takeover of environmental institutions by extremists is now almost complete, the most important of which may be the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). President Donald Trump is aggressively trying to win back the EPA in the best interests of the nation, but it is an uphill battle as the climate cult has also taken control of academia, political parties, and governments themselves.
An example of how professional societies have apparently been hijacked by extremists concerns the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta, Canada (APEGA). Allan MacRae, a prominent long-time member of APEGA, was named to receive its most distinguished lifetime achievement award in 2019. Then APEGA staff learned that MacRae had written publicly about the damage done to humanity and the environment by radical greens. APEGA leadership strongly condemned his comments and his award was withdrawn. It led MacRae to write “Hypothesis: Radical Greens are the Great Killers of Our Age,” which explains the APEGA award withdrawal and to support his contention that radical greens have done enormous harm to humanity and the environment with their destructive, misguided policies. MacRae writes, “APEGA refused to discuss the evidence, and baselessly claimed the moral high ground.”
One commenter responding to MacRae’s essay posed a question, the answer to which tells an important story: “How did the Greens get control of APEGA?” Another commenter answered:
The same way they have taken over every other professional organization. The actual members are too busy building their careers and actually working in the field to spend much time worrying about the day to day operation of the organization. As a result, they are taken over by lawyers and activists whose interest is in pushing their own agenda, not advancing science for humanity.
Another reader commented:
“The long march through the Institutions” as proposed by the Frankfurt school back in the 1930s was launched knowing it would be a generations long policy. Here we are three generations on and they have now taken control of all the western institutions as planned. The socialists do not stop just because their prime construct, the USSR failed in 1990. They regard that failure as simply work in progress. The climate as a tool which can never be tamed, was a genuine piece of strategic genius by the COGS (constantly offended green socialists). They will not stop. The destruction of humanity is too big a prize, they view this activity as pressing the Earth’s reset button.
The same thing is happening in the United States, where feathers were really ruffled at the American Physical Society (APS) when Dr. Hal Lewis, emeritus professor of Physics at the University of California, sent his resignation letter to the Society after being a member for 67 years. In his letter, he described the joy of working with brilliant physicists for decades, when no one expected to get rich in this field. Lewis explained how studies done within the society had effective oversight that enabled members to stake their reputations on the work of the organization. He said that has all now changed. Open dialogue has disappeared and all organization policies follow the new politics of the organization leadership rather than the membership. It is apparently focused on the money that accrues to the organization and its members by going along with popular concerns.
Lewis’ letter can be found here. A telling quote from that letter follows:
It is of course, the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist. Anyone that has the faintest doubt that this is so should force himself to read the ClimateGate documents which lay it bare.
Lewis went on to state that he recruited over 200 members of APS to oppose the new APS policy that fully supports the global warming fraud. Their request for a hearing on the issue was completely ignored.
On March 31, 2019, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) issued a press release announcing the launch of The Climate Solutions Community, a broad committee to identify viable solutions to mitigate, adapt, and become resilient to the effects of climate change. They totally buy into the dangerous man-made climate change hypothesis with no consideration of alternative points of view. AIChE’s description of their efforts highlight the fact that employment can be gained for their members as a result of the climate scare.
The Geological Society of America (GSA) has fallen into the same trap. In April 2015, GSA issued a Position Statement asserting that:
Human activities (mainly greenhouse-gas emissions) are the dominant cause of the rapid warming since the middle 1900s (IPCC, 2013). If the upward trend in greenhouse-gas concentrations continues, the projected global climate change by the end of the twenty first century will result in significant impacts on humans and other species.
The GSA backs up the statement with vague evidence from paleoclimates and offers their full support for the reports of the widely discredited United Nations International Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC).s
As is evident from the process described on the GSA Position Statement FAQs web page, the full membership of GSA is not polled after the development of Position Statements. Consequently, it is unknown what fraction of the membership actually support the final statement. However, clearly, GSA leadership recognize that such a position offers employment to many of their members trained in geology.
The lockstep march of professional societies in support of climate alarmism has been going on for years. For example, fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) and a leading Canadian energy expert, the late “Archie” Robertson of Deep River, Ontario, explained in the April 28, 2006, edition of the National Post what happened in Canada:
To claim that the IPCC-2001 assessment was “supported by the Royal Society of Canada” is stretching the truth. Prior to last year’s Montreal conference, the president of the Royal Society of London, whose manner of promoting Kyoto has been criticized, drafted a resolution in favour and circulated it to other academies of science inviting co-signing. The Canadian Academy of Science is one of three academies within the Royal Society of Canada (the other are from the humanities). The president of the RSC, not a member of the Academy of Science, received the invitation. He considered it consistent with the position of the great majority of scientists, as repeatedly but erroneously claimed by Kyoto proponents, and so signed it. The resolution was not referred to the Academy of Science for comment, not even to its council or president (I learned this when, as a member of the Academy of Science, I inquired into the basis for the RSC supporting the resolution).
A similar episode happened in the United States and Russia concerning The Royal Society initiative. Pronouncements from other science bodies are often just the opinions of the groups’ executives or committees specifically appointed by the executive. The rank and file scientist members are rarely consulted at all.
Past IPCC lead author Dr. Richard Lindzen, professor emeritus of the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, explained the problems with a previous National Academy of Sciences report here and concluded: “there is no consensus, unanimous or otherwise, about long-term climate trends and what causes them.”
All of this seriously damages the image of these once-respected professional societies in the eyes of both the public and the membership.
The climate cult that has taken over the environmental movement has never been about the environment. It has always been a mechanism to advance socialism, grow government, reduce individual rights, reduce human population, and ignore the human suffering and environmental damage their policies cause. Activists promoting this anti-human, anti-environment agenda appear to suffer emotional and psychological problems which they seem to deal with by attempting to make others miserable.
On April 27, 1961, at a speech in New York City, President John F. Kennedy said:
We are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence – on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations.
Those words describe socialism, a system sold as Utopia. It appears that a yearning for Utopia never dies, because it springs from innate spiritual qualities of humanity. But as we have seen in every instance of national-scale socialist “Utopias” such as Cuba, China, Russia, and Venezuela, the result is inevitably suffering, scarcity, environmental degradation, oppression, and death. Truth, reason, and logic are the first values sacrificed along the way. Professional Societies must stop supporting it.
Dr. Jay Lehr is Senior Policy Analyst with of the Ottawa, Canada-based International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC). Tom Harris is Executive Director of ICSC.