In “Outpouring of Scientists Rejecting Man-Made Climate Fears!” I discussed how the climate change Deniers spin the ignorance of a few cranks into fantasies of wide spread skepticism, censorship, and a demand for an institutional review. The “there’s a storm of protest, we need a review” tactic is naturally not limited to the American Chemical Society.
The fact that every National Academy of Sciences and important scientific institution and society on the planet naturally accepts and endorses the reality of the scientific facts is a sore point for the Deniers, so anything that can be done to undermine it is in their interest. As such creating the impression that there is a grassroots movement within these institutions and societies “demanding” a review is part of the strategy.
About a year ago there was the unfortunate incident where some blithering idiocy by the ‘Potty Peer”‘ got published in a regional newsletter of the American Physical Society (The Monckton’s Tale, a chronology and here for a debunking of the silliness). Not only was it blown out of proportion, the Denialosphere even went so far as to claim that the APS had actually reversed it’s stance on anthropogenic climate change. Needless to say the whole sorry mess was a major embarrassment for the poor APS (in general physicists are neither fools nor idiots either).
Well guess what is happening now?
“A group of 54 noted physicists, led by Princeton’s Will Happer, is demanding the American Physical Society revise its position that the science is settled.” The Climate Change Climate Change
The signatories are the usual suspects plus some fellow travelers. Both Nature and Science have refused to run the’ open letter (more people who are neither fools nor idiots).
The text of the letter may be found here WARNING: there is an embed interview with Happer that, if you are not fast with the mouse, you might actually hear some of … it’s pretty awful (note also that the site owner is a “birther” and a Monktonophiliac, which tells you pretty much all you need to know about this whole thing).
According to Motl’s Reference Frame, based on a letter which allegedly appeared in Nature, in which Fred Singer says (hearsay enough for you?)
“On 1 May 2009, the APS Council decided to review its current statement via a high-level subcommittee of respected senior scientists.”
And indeed it seems to be the case. According to Minutes of the Executive Committee Meeting of the APS Forum on the History of Physics, Sunday, May 3, 2009
“APS General Councilor Robert Austin presented a proposal, signed by 51 physicists, to make revisions in the already approved APS Statement on Climate Change, basically to adopt an agnostic stance on the scientific evidence for climate change. APS President Cherry Murray will appoint a high-level subcommittee to consider these proposed revisions to the APS Statement on Climate Change and to report to her any recommendations for changes in it, which for approval would follow normal channels”
Three’s a crowd
Now there is actually good reason for all of the academies and institutions to review their declarations on anthropogenic climate change. Many of them were made in 2007 or earlier, based on discussions in 2006, based on what is now quite dated science. We now know the situation to be much worse than was thought at the time. Stronger, more forceful declarations are both in order and would be useful.
If the APS is considering a review it probably should be more in response to the 2008 membership survey about, among other things, APS priorities. The need for more and stronger action on climate change is mentioned repeatedly in the comments (2008-Verbatim-Comments.pdf) with only one suggesting less (and that for reasons that have nothing to do with Denial).
Unfortunately, the mere act of beginning a review is politically charged as the Deniers will frame it as being based on doubt rather than certainty. Hopefully academies and societies will be politically astute enough to choose the wording of communications about their processes accordingly, although the Deniers will still spin it regardless.
Expect many more “revolts” and “outpourings of scientists” numbering well into the single digits, but hey … three’s a crowd, right?
In northern Canada, an area of about two million square miles contains rivers that collectively move about 276 cubic miles of fresh water into the ocean every year. … This means that years of both especially low and especially high streamflow (years of particularly low and particularly high rainfall) now happen more often than they did in the middle of the 20th century. Earth Gauge
We give our consent every moment that we do not resist.
Denier “Challenge” aka Deathwatch Update: Day 282 … still no evidence.
All images are from Global Warming Art
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