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Lavoisier Group

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Learn more from the Center for Media and Democracy's research on climate change.

This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's spotlight on front groups and corporate spin.

This article is part of the Coal Issues portal on SourceWatch, a project of CoalSwarm and the Center for Media and Democracy. See here for help on adding material to CoalSwarm.

The Lavoisier Group is a global warming skeptic organisation, based in Australia. It argues that the evidence for global warming is based on inexact science and that any policy responses, such as signing the Kyoto Protocol, would be too expensive for Australia's industry.

The group is closely associated with the Australian mining industry, and was founded in 2000 by Ray Evans, then an executive at Western Mining Corporation (WMC), who was also involved in founding the HR Nicholls Society and the Bennelong Society. Hugh Morgan, former WMC boss and head of the Business Council of Australia until 2005, delivered the group's inaugural speech.



Lavoisier is a fairly small operation, with under 100 members and an annual budget of around $10,000.[1] Most of the members are over 60 years old. Secretary Ray Evans describes the 90-odd Lavoisier members as a "dad's army" of mostly retired engineers and scientists from the mining, manufacturing and construction industries,[2] such as Garth Paltridge and Ian Plimer.


In 2001 Australian economist John Quiggin wrote that the Lavoisier Group is "devoted to the proposition that basic principles of physics...cease to apply when they come into conflict with the interests of the Australian coal industry." [1]

Author Clive Hamilton, is his book Scorcher, says that one can find the following arguments in the various papers promoted by the Lavoisier Group:[3]

  • There is no evidence of global warming.
  • If there is evidence of global warming, then it is not due to human activity.
  • If global warming is occurring and it is due to human activity, then it is not going to be damaging.
  • If global warming is occurring and it is due to human activity, and it is going to be damaging, then the costs of avoiding it are too high, so we should do nothing.

Links to Other Groups

The Lavoisier Group's website is designed by Chris Ulyatt, Editorial Director at the Institute of Public Affairs from 1991-1998. [2]



Other Sourcewatch resources

Contact Information

e-mail: contact AT
Phone: + 61 3 9391 0862
(This phone number is shared by the Bennelong Society[5])
Fax: + 61 3 9391 7390
PO Box 424 Collins Street
West Melbourne VIC 8007 [6] (This post office box is shared by the HR Nicholls Society [7] and the Bennelong Society [8])


  1. The global warming sceptics - Science - Retrieved on 2009-12-13.
  2. The global warming sceptics - Science - Retrieved on 2009-11-02.
  3. Clive Hamilton (2007). Scorcher: The Dirty Politics of Climate Change. Black Inc., p. 142. ISBN 0977594904. 

External links

  • Bob Foster, "Climate Change Made Easy: It's the Sun", June 2003
  • Harold Clough's letter to John Howard, August 7, 2001. Accessed November 26, 2005
  • John Quiggin, "Wishful thinking of Walsh's true believers", Australian Financial Review, April 11, 2001
  • John Zillman's speech at the Lavoisier Group launch of Climate Change: A Natural Hazard by William Kininmonth
  • Melissa Fyfe The global warming sceptics, The Age, November 27 2004
  • Tim Flannery, "Civilisation's Darkest Hour", Sydney Morning Herald, September 24, 2005
  • Ian Enting "How climate science deniers spread doubt for political ends" Climate Progress Jul 4, 2011
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