Open Letter #3 from APS President, Wall Street Journal
[This letter also responds to Open Letter #1]
The Jan. 27 op-ed “No Need to Panic About Global Warming” is inaccurate in its characterization of the Climate Change Statement of the American Physical Society (APS), the nation’s leading organization of physicists with more than 50,000 members.
The APS statement is unequivocal. It notes that “global warming is occurring.” And the commentary states that “while there are factors driving the natural variability of climate (e.g., volcanoes, solar variability, oceanic oscillations), no known natural mechanisms have been proposed that explain all of the observed warming in the past century.” The statement does not declare, as the authors of the op-ed suggest, that the human contribution to climate change is incontrovertible.
The APS has dealt with the climate-change issue openly and democratically, and it has given every APS member the opportunity to inform the process. In addition, an independent, unbiased panel examined the statement and consulted with leading climate experts as well as skeptics. Finally, the Council of the APS, comprised of the elected representatives of the society, overwhelmingly approved the statement and accompanying commentary. As it has for 112 years, the APS continues to stand for the utmost integrity in promoting and disseminating scientific research.
Robert L. Byer, Ph.D.
American Physical Society