Editor's Comments

Our editorial comments in the July 2008 issue include the following statement: “There is a considerable presence within the scientific community of people who do not agree with the IPCC conclusion that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are very probably likely to be primarily responsible for the global warming that has occurred since the Industrial Revolution.” In fact, we have not polled any scientific community (e.g., the climate research community, the physics community, or the general science community) as to the extent of its consensus regarding human-activity-caused global warming, and we apologize for making such a remark for which we do not have supporting data. We now do know that, in addition to the American Physical Society, the following scientific organizations have issued statements and/or reports in support of the IPCC’s main conclusion concerning the role of anthropogenic CO2 emissions in global warming: The National Academy of Sciences, the American Meteorological Society, the American Geophysical Union, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.


The July issue brought forth a storm of email responses to the Editors and to officials at APS. The emails, from members and non-members of FPS, were primarily concerned with the article by Christopher Monckton, either lauding or condemning our decision to publish it. They ranged from polite rational discussions to very vituperative comments. We have chosen to publish just two of the calmer letters, one critical of, one supporting, the publishing decisions we made for the July issue. We also publish a very useful summary of the climate “debate” by an eminent historian of physics, Spencer R. Weart.

Also in this issue, in addition to the usual book reviews, we have a response letter from our Book Editor, two articles about people of great historical interest to physicists, and materials on the up-coming elections for officers of our Forum. We also strongly urge our readers to look at the recent APS energy study which is available on the Web at: http://www.aps.org/energyefficiencyreport.


This contribution has not been peer refereed. It represents solely the view(s) of the author(s) and not necessarily the views of APS.