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Anti Fracking “Expert” Accused Of Lying And Pseudo Science

August 2, 2014

By Paul Homewood 




In a story also covered by the Telegraph, Times and Breitbart, amongst others, the Mail report how self proclaimed expert on fracking, David Smythe, has been accused of lying and pseudo science.

Smythe has been active recently in several campaigns against fracking, including giving evidence last week to help persuade West Sussex County Council to reject an application to search for shale gas.

The Mail report:


Retired scientist David Smythe, pictured, has been accused of being less than totally honest about his credentials as a shale gas expert

Retired scientist David Smythe, pictured, has been accused of being less than totally honest about his credentials as a shale gas expert



Anti-fracking campaigners describe him as ‘a world-class star of geological research’, but David Smythe was accused today of being less than totally honest about his credentials as a shale gas expert.

The retired geologist and former punk rock guitarist has been prominent in highlighting the dangers of fracking and last week helped to persuade a county council to reject an application to drill an exploratory shale well.

But a professor at his old university now accuses him of ‘pseudo-scientific scaremongering’.

The Geological Society has also written to Mr Smythe – who has the title ‘Emeritus Professor of Geophysics, University of Glasgow’ – demanding that he stops claiming to be a chartered geologist.

Glasgow University, where he last worked in 1998, has told him he must not suggest that its academics share his views.

And Prof Paul Younger, Glasgow’s professor of energy engineering, said Mr Smythe – who played bass guitar in the 70s punk band The Rezillos – was unqualified to give expert evidence on fracking, having retired 16 years ago.

’He has published nothing on (shale gas) in any proper scientific forum – no doubt because he knows he would never get past peer review with his pseudo-scientific scaremongering.’

But Mr Smythe, 67, who now lives in the South of France, hit back saying he could find no publications on fracking by Professor Younger, adding: ‘So you could say he is no more an expert than me.’

In recent months Mr Smythe – who was head of Geophysics at Glasgow from 1988 until the department was closed in 1998 – has warned of the potentially serious environmental damage that fracking poses, including a huge risk of water contamination.

Last week he helped to persuade West Sussex County Council to reject an application by Celtique Energie to explore for shale oil, describing its application as ‘incomplete, incompetent and disingenuous.

He has also given evidence on behalf of campaigners against a subterranean methane project involving drilling 22 bore holes 800 metres deep into the Falkirk countryside.

Mr Smythe suggested the process of removing the gas could result in earthquakes becoming more likely in the area and potential contamination of streams and rivers, posing a threat to human health.

In a recent newspaper interview Professor Younger said: ’He falsely claims to be a chartered geologist. That’s fraudulent. It’s wilful untruth.

‘I am concerned about the damage to the reputation of the university by someone who never fails to use his university affiliation.’

Professor David Manning, president of the Geological Society, wrote last month to Mr Smythe telling him not to use the title ‘chartered geologist.’

The governing body of Glasgow University also wrote to him saying : ‘Notwithstanding our support for freedom of expression, we respectfully request that you make it clear in all of your future publications and broadcast media appearances that the views which you hold and express are your own and are not necessarily representative of the views held by the university’s researchers.’



Read the rest here.


According to his Bio, Smythe has not published any papers at all since 2003. None of the papers he has published have any relevance to shale gas or fracking either.

  1. Keitho permalink
    August 2, 2014 5:15 pm

    Wherever you look this is happening. AGW, GMO, World fisheries, Statins. There is something horribly wrong with this planet now.

  2. Paul2 permalink
    August 2, 2014 6:05 pm

    Not quite sure why everyone is so surprised. Virtually 100% of the climate change cheer leaders are unqualified to speak on the subject. Most have arts degrees, degrees in zoology, the arts or somehow ended up as environmental reporters. Monbiot being a prime example of this trend. Nicky Gavron spearheading the climate fight in London – an arts history degree. David Attenborough – lots of pointless and extremely expensive animal films for the BBC with a lecture about GW at the end of each programme.
    Al Gore, dropped out from some environmental subject or another. Caroline Lucas – qualified in being a royal pain in the @ss.
    And so it goes on and on.
    Had to laugh when Jon Snow was broadcasting live around the time of the winter floods and kept asking each of his guests if this was the result of climate change. He even asked, wait for it, magic man Paul Daniels who as good as said that it was all rubbish.
    Plonkers Rodney, all plonkers.

  3. Herve D permalink
    August 2, 2014 7:57 pm

    Disgusting, this guy should be blamed for having garbled the honesty that Science needs.
    Better if he commits suicide now.
    After well know geological Eras with complicated names, the next one, initiated 20 years ago, is “Lie and Medi-azoïc Era” ….

    • Herve D permalink
      August 2, 2014 7:58 pm

      Sorry: “Media-zoïc Era”.

  4. August 3, 2014 6:17 am

    As a fraudster, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Smythe is a consultant to RenewableUK.

  5. Bloke down the pub permalink
    August 3, 2014 6:26 pm

    Some of the Daily Mail’s biggest heroes were punk rockers, if photo shop is to be believed.

  6. cornwallwindwatch permalink
    August 3, 2014 6:52 pm

    Reblogged this on Cornwall Wind Watch and commented:
    never! pseudo science is all they have, plus funding of big wind et al


  1. Anti Fracking “Expert” Accused Of Lying And Pseudo Science | Gaia Gazette

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