Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at thinking, intelligent individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

01 February 2010

Petition to Change the American Physical Society Position on Climate Change

On 30 January 2010, I became the 250th member or former member of the American Physical Society (APS) to sign the following petition:

Regarding the National Policy Statement on Climate Change of the APS Council:
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.

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