A Critique of Geological Society of London Scientific Statement

Opinion Contributed by Roger Higgs © 2021

These are the opinions of the contributor.

On Dec. 28, 2020, the Journal of the Geological Society published “Geological Society of London Scientific Statement: what the geological record tells us about our present and future climate” by Lear et al., (2020). The following is a critique of that work contributed by Roger Higgs.

Five points that most readers of the article lack the background to detect, and that the MSM will certainly not publicize, are its bias, disingenuity, dishonesty (in one instance), selectivity, and alarmism.

1) Bias and self-interest
The sixteen co-authors are, without exception, academics. Most of these people, unconsciously or not, are biased by strong vested interests (career, salary, research grants, credibility, publication history) in perpetuating the supposition that Anthropogenic (Man-Made) Global Warming (AGW) by industrial CO2 emissions is correct . They are all aboard the United Nations-funded AGW gravy train.

Moreover, despite the crucial importance of the AGW debate (or lack of) to human society, the journal appointed just two reviewers to assess this article. Both reviewers are likewise academics; both have published their belief that CO2 controls climate; and one of them is at the same university, in the same department, as the article’s lead author (who, incidentally, has three of her own papers cited in the article). Most irregularly, the review process was completed extremely quickly: the manuscript was rushed through from receipt to acceptance in just 10 days (7th-17th December).

2 ) Disingenuity
Already, in the second sentence, disingenuity is evident …
Observations from the geological record show that atmospheric CO2 concentrations are now at their highest levels in at least the past 3 million years.”
Yes, but Earth is 1,500 (sic) times older than this (4.5 billion years), as any geologist knows; and CO2 in the past has been more than 10 times higher (> 4, 000ppm) than today’s c.400ppm, again as any geologist knows.

A second example …
climate models are based on fundamental physical principles’
This lends unwarranted credibility to computer models, failing to mention the multiple (stacked) assumptions that go into them, and the extreme uncertainty about feedbacks, eg the net effect, positive or negative, of cloud feedbacks is essentially guesswork. The saying ‘garbage in, garbage out’ was never truer than when applied to climate models.

3) Dishonesty
In the third sentence …
Furthermore, the current speed of human-induced CO2 change and warming …’
No informed person disputes the first part: since the c.1850 start of the Industrial Revolution, humans have been causing atmospheric CO2 to increase, and rapidly, by geological standards. But hundreds of scientists publically ‘deny’ the second part, that CO2 causes problematic warming, if any warming at all …
… and probably tens of thousands or more deny it privately. The ‘deniers’ include a Geological Society ‘breakaway’ group of dozens of CO2 defenders, upset at the Society Executive’s roughshod anti-CO2 declarations on behalf of the Society’s 12,000 members, without troubling to ask their opinion …

4) Selectivity and omissions
The article selectively cites only publications supporting AGW. Among other glaring omissions is Svensmark’s well known and breathtakingly elegant theory linking climate to cloudiness governed by cosmic-ray variations controlled by the Sun’s varying magnetic output (which more than doubled in the 20th Century, peaking in 1991, reaching its strongest ‘Grand Maximum’ in more than 10,000 years [not mentioned], as opposed to Total Solar Irradiance (mentioned), which varies in step with magnetic flux, but whose variations are tiny).

Also completely ignored is ocean thermal inertia, sometimes called ‘ocean memory’. The IPCC is well aware that “The ocean’s huge heat capacity and slow circulation lend it significant thermal inertia” , causing a lag of many decades between changes in any ‘forcing’ agent (eg solar-magnetic flux, above) and the resulting change in ocean temperature (hence global air temp.). Thanks to ocean lag, modern warming (since 1910) will continue for several more decades beyond the 1991 solar-magnetic peak. Global cooling will then begin, driven by the Sun’s continuing decline since 1991 .

Likewise, there’s no mention of the famous Fairbridge (1961) sea-level curve, with its global compilation of geological evidence , of the last 10,000 years, for Sun-driven meter-scale oscillations of sea level, involving several rises (and falls) of 1-3 meters, each of them in <200 years, ie peak rate of > 2cm / yr, far exceeding today’s trivial 3mm / yr, and long before man’s industrial CO2 emissions began. Fairbridge’s work is supported by copious geological and archaeological evidence from around the world, published by dozens of later authors (my manuscript in preparation).

Another omission is that, while misleading the public (and other scientists, and their own students) by portraying the deeply flawed AGW hypothesis as proven, these 16 academics fail to mention the enormously beneficial effect of the man-made rapid rise in CO2, ie Earth is greening before our very eyes (obvious on satellite images, and to any gardener), thanks to plant-fertilization by CO2 (enhanced photosynthesis), raising hopes of feeding all 8 billion of us.

5) Alarmist / emotive language
Unscientifically, the Geological Society article frequently resorts to alarmist and emotive language. For example, “our planet” appears three times; “tipping point” seven; ocean “acidification” (in truth a very slight pH decrease toward neutral 7, ie still basic, not acid at all) five; and “climate emergency” three. Attenborough and Greta would approve.

The alarmism continues to the very last sentence …
Geoscientists will play an increasingly important role in the transition to a low carbon, green economy which is necessary to prevent a worsening of the climate emergency ” (my emphasis).
What “climate emergency”? What “worsening”?

In stark contrast to the Geological Society article, here’s a recent (Dec 2020) one-page, three-minute, honest summary of CO2 science, by an impartial geologist (me – Roger Higgs) …
(PDF) CO2 climate innocence in 500 words: paleoclimatological-astrophysical literature synthesis by an impartial geologist
PDF | Has the IPCC made the most expensive ($$ trillions) scientific blunder of all time by portraying life-giving CO2 as a ‘pollutant’? Yes.

Now you know that there is no need to “mitigate” (used twice) CO2 emissions or warming (even if the latter were possible). Governments are squandering trillions of taxpayer dollars for nothing. Warming should be celebrated while it lasts; the coming cold is the killer.

True, the current rate of CO2 increase is probably unprecedented. But there is no evidence that this will be problematic. When man finally replaces fossil fuels (hopefully soon, to eliminate real pollution of city air by vehicle emissions) with the only viable alternative, nuclear (hopefully fusion soon), atmospheric CO2 will inevitably stabilize (stop increasing), moreover at a level nearer the well-known optimum for plants of c.1,000ppm (not mentioned in the Geological Society article).

Lastly, I note that the article mentions the IPCC (approvingly) six times in the text (and fig. 2); and includes three IPCC publications in the reference list. The United Nations (UN) is mentioned twice. Both the IPCC and the now notorious World Health Organization are agencies of the UN, whose aim of global governance (control) has lately become even more obvious. With supreme irony, the IPCC shuns, of all people, geologists …

(PDF) IPCC next climate assessment report (AR6, due 2022) – 784 authors but again no geologists – ResearchGate
GEOCLASTICA LTD TECHNICAL NOTE 2019-10. One single slide, a 5-minute read. One arguable exception to my claim of no geologists in IPCC’s writing team for its upcoming report is a widely respected …

It’s sad and shocking but hardly surprising that ‘science’ and its reputation among the public have sunk so low.

Roger Higgs
7th January 2021


  1. Chris Schoneveld

    Very succict and so true. One comment. Using time gauge measurements along coastlines of tectoncally stable regions all over the world I came up with an 1.85 mm/year rise in sea level as the average for the last 100 years and no sign of acceleration during the last decades. The 3 mm/yr you mentioned is an artifact of the satellite measurements conducted since 1993.

  2. Chris Schoneveld

    My auto correction changed “tide gauge” into “time gauge”.

  3. Chris Schoneveld

    “Time gauge” should be “tide gauge” (auto correction error)

  4. Dr Francis Manns

    For perspective, the final Pleistocene sea level rise of 120 m took, say. 12,000 years and simple division yields 10 mm per year, albeit, crudely. It may surprise most geologists to realise Deltas around the world grew out to sea by 120 km during that episode; Bangladesh and Mississippi deltas are quite obvious on google earth. When sea level rises, river base level rises and streams lose their power to carry sediment and dump their load. New York City will not be flooded, it will get larger. Does the Geological Society of London cite Hollywood or scientific sources?


    To my knowledge neither Arrhenius nor NASA have been able to tease out the relative effects of CO2 and H2O (three phases) on atmospheric behaviour.

  5. Philip Mulholland

    Of the sixteen listed authors for this paper, I find it curious that not one is a present member of the British Geological Survey.

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