The American Physical Society, an organization representing nearly 50,000 physicists, has reversed its stance on climate change and is now proclaiming that many of its members disbelieve in human-induced global warming. The APS is also sponsoring public debate on the validity of global warming science. The leadership of the society had previously called the evidence for global warming "incontrovertible."APS forum editor Jeffrey Marque explains:
With this issue of Physics & Society, we kick off a debate concerning one of the main conclusions of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UN body which, together with Al Gore, recently won the Nobel Prize for its work concerning climate change research. There is a considerable presence within the scientific community of people who do not agree with the IPCC conclusion that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are very probably likely to be primarily responsible for the global warming that has occurred since the Industrial Revolution. Since the correctness or fallacy of that conclusion has immense implications for public policy and for the future of the biosphere, we thought it appropriate to present a debate within the pages of P&S concerning that conclusion. . .Soon after, the APS Physics homepage said this:
We, the editors of P&S, invite reasoned rebuttals from the authors as well as further contributions from the physics community. Please contact me . . . if you wish to jump into this fray with comments or articles that are scientific in nature. However, we will not publish articles that are political or polemical in nature. Stick to the science!
The American Physical Society reaffirms the following position on climate change, adopted by its governing body, the APS Council, on November 18, 2007:So stop debating, damn it! No matter that warming's halted; never mind that the costs of carbon emission reduction greatly exceeds any benefits. As Tom Maguire observes:
"Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth's climate."
An article at odds with this statement recently appeared in an online newsletter of the APS Forum on Physics and Society, one of 39 units of APS. The header of this newsletter carries the statement that "Opinions expressed are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the APS or of the Forum." This newsletter is not a journal of the APS and it is not peer reviewed.
Well, fine, but are human activities "primarily responsible", as per the IPCC? If the sacrifices demanded by environmentalists will reduce global warming by 8% rather than 80% will people still support them? The APS position remains unchanged and uninformative.(via Instapundit)