Internal Disagreement at APS

On Thursday, I told you about the American Physical Society’s new-found recognition that there is a “considerable presence” of skepticism within the scientific community of anthropogenic global warming. (A day earlier than most other political blogs noticed, I might add; AOSHQ: where you either get the news first or months late!) APS is now presenting articles in its magazine and on its website which debate the question. But it turns out that APS is not quite ready to admit that the global warming consensus is crumbling.

In just two days this thing has turned into an embarrassment for just about everyone. APS has “reaffirmed” its position on anthropogenic global warming; it turns out that the Physics and Society magazine and online forum is the only component that wants to have this debate. APS’s controlling body is taking action to straighten things out. As a result, I’d say the organization as a whole is about to lose some credibility:

Christopher Monckton, Viscount of Brenchley wrote a paper which suggests that the impact of CO2 on global warming is overstated by the IPCC and that government efforts to regulate emissions may be counterproductive. His paper is here at the APS site. But notice a curious editorial addition in red at the top of the page:

The following article has not undergone any scientific peer review. Its conclusions are in disagreement with the overwhelming opinion of the world scientific community. The Council of the American Physical Society disagrees with this article’s conclusions.

The preceding article, which lays out a defense of the IPCC does not contain any warning at all and makes no mention of peer review. It sounds to me like someone at APS isn’t as ready to acknowledge the “considerable presence” of AGW skepticism as editor Jeffrey Marque of Physics and Society. Viscount Monckton is not amused:

This seems discourteous. I had been invited to submit the paper; I had submitted it; an eminent Professor of Physics had then scientifically reviewed it in meticulous detail; I had revised it at all points requested, and in the manner requested; the editors had accepted and published the reviewed and revised draft (some 3000 words longer than the original) and I had expended considerable labor, without having been offered or having requested any honorarium.

Click over to NRO’s the Corner to read the rest of his very, very aristo-British letter which asks that the red letter warning be removed or that he be given an explanation. One thing is certain, APS just made global warming skeptics less likely to participate in any of its future “debates.”

Hey, I wonder if that was point…


~ by Gabriel Malor on July 19, 2008.

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