To APS Open Letter Signatories,
This message outlines the key problems we see with the APS process to date and lays out the next stage of this initiative. It also provides opportunities for you to re emphasize your position to the APS.
As laid out at the APS website aps.org
and in president Cherry Murray’s note to members (attached), two key claims are made with respect to the APS process that considered the proposal contained in our Open Letter.
1. The APS claims that the “[Kleppner Ad Hoc] committee reached its conclusion based upon a serious review of existing compilations of scientific research.”
2. The APS claims that “APS members were also given an opportunity to advise the Council on the matter.”
The first claim is misleading, and its consequence is extremely important. It seeks to create the impression that the APS conducted an original and independent investigation of the science, taking into account inputs from all sides of the issue. In fact, the APS undertook no independent critical investigation of its own. As can be gleaned from a reading of the Ad Hoc Committee report (attached), the committee merely consulted existing material contained in IPCC reports (and an accomodating NRC report) and accepted those claims as authoritative. The IPCC claims were in fact the ones countered by the claims in the Open Letter. It makes no mention of consulting the substantial published literature standing in opposition to IPCC positions.
Therefore the APS merely parroted the IPCC.
The second claim is also misleading. It implies that the APS actively solicited inputs or comments on the Open Letter. This is not the case. In fact, even the names of the internally-appointed committee members were held confidential during its deliberations and until after its report to the Council.
Furthermore, members were given no opportunity to comment on the report before its adoption by the Council. Rather it was the petitioners themselves who directly contacted more than 10,000 members, and hundreds of them commented to the APS Council before the meeting, with more than 1/3 supporting our Open Letter or a substantial moderation or withdrawal of the existing statement. This process also produced an additional 50 signatories. The Ad Hoc Committee members never saw these hundreds of comments. We have asked that this part of the aps.org release be corrected.
There are other problems with the aps.org release and with president Murray’s letter, including (1) the statement that the alternative statement “raised doubts about global warming,” which is false; and (2) the underplaying of the problems associated with the 2007 Statement, which are cloaked by the persistent use of the phrase “clarity and tone.”
Click PDF file to read Cherry A. Murray (President APS) letter, letter to Members