Scientists’ association calls for apology from David Murray over climate slur

David Murray
David Murray on ABC Lateline

A LEADING association for climate scientists has called on one of Australia’s highest profile business leaders to apologise for accusing their profession of lacking integrity.

David Murray, former head of the Commonwealth Bank and Australia’s Future Fund, told the ABC Lateline television news programme earlier this week that “there’s been a breakdown in integrity” in the science of climate change.

The Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society has issued a statement saying it was “disturbed” by the remarks of Murray, who was in charge of $75 billion of government assets during the final year of his six years as the chairman of the Future Fund.

Mr Murray said he believed “the climate problem is severely overstated” which led interviewer Emma Alberici to point out the strong findings of the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

In an open letter, AMOS president Blair Trewin writes:

The Society regards the remarks of Mr. Murray as being a serious slur on the integrity of the many Australian and international authors of the IPCC report, and views them as highly offensive to those authors and to the profession at large. The Society calls upon Mr. Murray to withdraw the remarks.

During the segment, Mr Murray was asked what it would take to “convince him” over the science of climate change. Murray responded:

When I see some evidence of integrity amongst the scientists themselves. I often look at systems and behaviours as a way of judging something, and in this case, to watch the accusations that fly between these people suggests there’s been a breakdown in integrity in the science.

The letter from AMOS added:

The IPCC reports are an outstanding example of international science co-operation, rigour and transparency. They are subjected to multiple levels of review by experts both inside and outside the climate community, with all review comments and the authors’ responses to them being made publicly available.

In 2011, Murray was reported to have said that there was “no correlation” between carbon dioxide and global warming and that the world’s glaciers were not melting. The latest IPCC report found that between 1993 and 2009 about 275 billion tonnes of ice were melting from the world’s glaciers every year.

Murray is being touted as playing a lead role in a Federal government inquiry into Australia’s $5 trillion finance industry.

To read the full transcript of the interview, visit ABC Lateline.  No doubt there’ll be more to come on this story.



Author: Graham

Graham Readfearn is a Brisbane-based journalist. Go to the About page in the top navigation for more information.

8 thoughts on “Scientists’ association calls for apology from David Murray over climate slur”

  1. You know there is only so much time in a day. I would guess at Mr Murray’s age there seems far less time and far too much more knowledge to cram. I presume he does not keep up with science publications.

    Murray is quoted: “..accusations that fly between these people suggests there’s been a breakdown in integrity in the science.” He should in fact note most scientists agree on the climate situation. The integrity breakdown is in the media which serves this to him.

    The impression of breakdown in integrity is deliberately generated by those who do not like the facts of the climate situation.

  2. What a joke, a banker critiquing science for a lack of integrity. What integrity does economics have? It did nothing to prevent the GFC and is only good after an event. The term “Financial Engineering” is a slight on engineers, it is a polite way of legitimising fraud.

    Murray is the one that lacks integrity, making statements in the media on a subject he has no qualification in.

    What would he care aboutglobal warming, he’ll be dead in a few years, it’s not his problem just as long as he does not have to pay for it.

  3. David Murray represents a certain type of corporate ostrich. I’ve met them before. They are not bad at what they do business-wise, but are no different to ordinary pleb science deniers when it comes to ideology and current affairs outside their tiny world. And their world is very tiny – clubs, board rooms mixing with men who comb their hair and wear a suit and tie just like David’s (maybe even from the same tailor).

    Thing is, because of their position, when they make crass statements in their own environments, no-one stands up to them. People like David Murray are surrounded by lackeys and corporate climbers who think it’s better to keep quiet and stay on their ‘right side’.

    Most people who hear the David Murray’s of the world make pronouncements like that will privately think they are jerks for saying it, but won’t challenge them. Thus the David Murray’s continue to believe that everyone agrees with them.

    They’ve created their own little bubble through their rise in the business world.

    I’ve seen this in action in boardrooms. I’ve seen a room full of people who accept science either ignore the ignorant statements and, in some cases of toadyism even defend the view – when I know for a fact they disagree with it.

    I’ll bet after that interview David Murray pigeon-holed Emma Alberici and probably the entire ABC staff and maybe even the journalist profession as a hole as greenie, leftist, marxist, warm and fuzzy eco-nuts 🙂 He might have even made that sort of comment to someone in his circle who would have solemnly nodded in pretend agreement while stifling a groan.

  4. Where did hole come from? Bad spelink! Typo – hole should be whole of course!

    Maybe “hole” is where he’d like them all to disappear?

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