A Petition to the Council of the American Physical Society
As current and past members of the American Physical Society, we the undersigned petition the
APS Council to commission an independent, objective study and assessment of the science relating to the
question of anthropogenic global warming. The assessment should consider findings representing the full
scope of available scientific sources. The assessment is to be used as a basis for a new Statement on
Climate Change that reflects the current state of scientific knowledge and its uncertainties. This Petition is
to be provided to the membership for comment prior to action by the Council.
If you are a present or former member of the APS, please contact Roger Cohen to sign this petition. The APS, like many other scientific professional societies, made a statement supporting the theory of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming on 18 November 2007. This statement was not approved by the members of APS and was only approved by the APS Council members of that time. The membership of these societies are rarely consulted. There has been a similar revolt of members of the American Chemical Society for instance for this reason. Such statements implicitly imply that scientific truth is determined by those society members who aspire to hold offices in the society. This is not the case. It is also not the case that scientific truth is determined even by a vote of the society membership.
More recently, a number of professional scientific societies joined together to send another message backing the idea of man-made global warming to Congress. The APS did not join them in this statement. The American Physical Society should issue a statement after performing the requested review, in my opinion, that the case for catastrophic man-made global warming has not been made successfully. While I think that hypothesis is actually wrong, I believe it is enough and appropriate that the APS issue a statement simply saying that global warming due to man's emissions of CO2 is an unproven hypothesis.