AGU Throws Science, Climate Under The Bus

The American Geophysical Union just lost whatever remaining credibility it had as a scientific society earlier today when it announced no change in policy regarding taking money from ExxonMobil.

We talked about this before, here.

Margaret Leinen, the AGU president, issued a communication today that says this:

Last week the AGU Board of Directors discussed the organization’s April decision to continue engagement with ExxonMobil after receiving additional information from several sources. The Board maintained its original decision after another careful and systematic review of hundreds of pages of both newly provided and previous documentation and a thoughtful and comprehensive discussion. We thank all those who made their voices heard.

AGU has always valued open dialogue and exchange of ideas, and we believe this decision best reflects AGU’s unique value to the scientific community: our ability to convene scientists of diverse views and from different backgrounds, disciplines, and industries. With membership spanning all Earth and space sciences, AGU has an increasingly important role to play – building on our recognized convening power – in providing a space for active, vibrant dialogue that advances collective scientific understanding of the world and our place within it. This is an important function and strategic goal of our organization as scientific issues continue to be top-of-mind for the public and legislators alike and as places for thoughtful discussion of diverging viewpoints become increasingly rare. We remain, as always, committed to cultivating a space that is inclusive to scientists working across all sectors of society in service of exceptional scientific research and discovery.

We welcome your questions and comments via comments on this blog post or by direct email to

See the key part? This: " ability to convene scientists of diverse views and from different backgrounds, disciplines, and industries. With membership spanning all Earth and space sciences, AGU has an increasingly important role to play – building on our recognized convening power..."

The AGU is pretending that the range of normal activities among its lovely power giving constituency includes nefarious acts, paying for anti-science activities, and so on. They are not arguing that ExxonMobil is in the clear. They are arguing that it doesn't matter.

The word "power" here is a clear -- well, ok, veiled -- dog whistle. Someone in the organization wanted us to see that word in this context. The real power in power companies is not the gas or electricity.

So, that's it for the AGU. What's next?

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"Money talks, bullshit wa"fts from the mouths of those who only care about collecting the money.

Money = Power. Power = Money.

Those who only care about the power / only care about the money will discount, excuse, ignore, absolve, white-wash, and make like it doesn't matter any malfeasance, corruption, lack of ethics, inconsistency, hypocrisy, contradiction, self-destructive position or behavior from anyone -- provided it comes wrapped in enough MONEY.

Exxon-Bile knows this, the AGU stooges practice this principle. Disappointing for sure.

What's that term for people who put themselves up for sale or rent???

By Brainstorms (not verified) on 23 Sep 2016 #permalink

This year was my 25th as an AGU member.

Tomorrow I will send an email to the president that my continuing membership hinges on the AGU reversing its stand on this issue.

To hell with waiting. I already sent it.

Among other things mentioned, I noted the fact that a full page black and white ad in the Wall Street Journal costs nine times more than Exxon's sponsorship of the student breakfast.

Can Exxon buy the acquiescence of the world's largest geoscience organization so cheaply? And do so after many years of funding third-party attacks on the work, competence, and personal character of many AGU members?

Such actions should have consequences.