The American Physical Society Stays Real
We are coming to the end of an era. Starting in the 1990s, Fred Singer and friends, with the backing of the tobacco industry, developed stealth petitions as a weapon of denial, first for the tobacco and chemical industries, but rapidly as a weapon to delay action on climate change. Eli refers to such beauties as the Heidelberg Appeal, and the Leipzig Declaration, grandparents to the baby Hughie of the business, the OISM Petition with various lists of nieces and nephews.
UPDATE: John Mashey has analyzed this latest list and provides the driving reason for it. The next time your neighbor talks about all the physicists who oppose the IPCC, shove John's
paper (found at the link) into his mailbox
This might seem a grassroots groundswell of informed expert argument with the existing position, but it is not. Rather, it seems to have originated within a small network of people, not field experts, but with a long history of manufacturing such things, plausibly at the Heartland Institute‘s NYC climate conference March 8-10, 2009. APS physicists can, do, and will contribute strongly to solving the 21st century‟s conjoined climate+energy problem, but this petition was a silly distraction, and rightly rejected. However, its existence was widely touted to the public."Well, if it worked once, confused everyone twice, why not go back to the well, and the answer is people learn to lift the rock to see what is underneath. Folk have also learned to listen for the rustling of petition pushers and push back.
Just newly, a list of various characters petitioned the American Physical Society to alter its policy statement on climate change. The result is an amazing reaffirmation and a kick in the teeth to the petitioners, including Robert Austin, who is a member of the APS council
The Council of the American Physical Society has overwhelmingly rejected a proposal to replace the Society’s 2007 Statement on Climate Change with a version that raised doubts about global warming. The Council’s vote came after it received a report from a committee of eminent scientists who reviewed the existing statement in response to a petition submitted by a group of APS members.Overwhelmingly rejected is strong language as these things go, but more significantly
The committee also recommended that the current APS statement be allowed to stand, but it requested that the Society’s Panel on Public Affairs (POPA) examine the statement for possible improvements in clarity and tone.A stronger, more direct statement is clearly needed as the evidence for climate change is even stronger today then it was two years ago
UPDATE: Image from Life by John, Mad Slav from Reference Frame. Comments?
Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth's climate. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide as well as methane, nitrous oxide and other gases. They are emitted from fossil fuel combustion and a range of industrial and agricultural processes.
The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.
Because the complexity of the climate makes accurate prediction difficult, the APS urges an enhanced effort to understand the effects of human activity on the Earth’s climate, and to provide the technological options for meeting the climate challenge in the near and longer terms. The APS also urges governments, universities, national laboratories and its membership to support policies and actions that will reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.