Reviewing APS Climate Change Statement

President Cherry A. Murray, November 2009

Dear APS Member:

As you may have already heard, the Council of the American Physical Society, at its meeting on November 8, overwhelmingly rejected a proposal to replace the Society's 2007 statement on Climate Change with a version that raised doubts about global warming. The original motion, made by councilor Robert Austin at the May 1 Council meeting, had been tabled to allow time for further consideration.

Subsequently, in my role as APS president, I appointed an ad hoc committee chaired by MIT physicist and APS Fellow Daniel Kleppner to review the 2007 climate statement and the proposed wording in the Austin petition and to advise the presidential line on what actions to take. A more complete history of the petition and subsequent actions were detailed in a front page article in the October 2009 APS News, sent to all APS members.
Gray arrow  Climate Statement Gets Renewed Scrutiny

In that APS News article, members who wished to express their input on the matter were encouraged to contact their councilor before the November Council meeting. I thank the over 200 APS members who personally sent me their thoughtful input. A number of councilors received hundreds of emails as well.

The Kleppner committee recommended to me that the current APS statement be allowed to stand, but advised that it be referred to the Society's Panel on Public Affairs (POPA) for possible improvements in clarity and tone. The Council voted to follow this recommendation, and POPA has been tasked with this request. After POPA has done its review, the statement and any clarifications will be posted for member comment and input in advance of the report back from POPA to Council at the April, 2010 Council meeting.
Gray arrow  Kleppner Report (APS Members Only)

Note:  You must be an APS member with a current web account to read the report.  If you do not have an APS web username and password, you can create an account.
Gray arrow  Create an APS Web Account

Cherry A. Murray
President, APS