November 11, 2009 By Blake Harris
According to Elizabeth May, head of Canada's Green Party and former executive director of the Sierra Club of Canada, there now appears to be a concerted push in the U.S. to increase doubt among the general public concerning global warming and our role in causing this.
Speaking at Toronto's City Hall earlier this week, she said not only were the number of "denier" web sites increasing, but that there also seemed to be an online denier commenting campaign. As soon as a significant climate change article was posted online, frequently 60 or so comments would appear forwarding the denier message and pointing to the denier web sites. These commenters, it appeared, would then move on to a new target to sow the same kind of doubts elsewhere.
In light of this, it is interesting that the Council of the American Physical Society (APS) today announced that it had overwhelmingly rejected a proposal from some members to replace the Society's 2007 Statement on Climate Change with a version that raised doubts about global warming.
In their official statement, the APS said that the Council's vote came after a committee of leading scientists reviewed the existing statement. That committee, appointed by APS president Cherry Murray and chaired by MIT Physicist Daniel Kleppner, examined the APS' existing statement over the past four months and reached the conclusion that it should stand based on existing compilations of scientific research.
(Adopted by Council on November 18, 2007)
Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth's climate. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide as well as methane, nitrous oxide and other gases. They are emitted from fossil fuel combustion and a range of industrial and agricultural processes.
The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth's physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.
Because the complexity of the climate makes accurate prediction difficult, the APS urges an enhanced effort to understand the effects of human activity on the Earth's climate, and to provide the technological options for meeting the climate challenge in the near and longer terms. The APS also urges governments, universities, national laboratories and its membership to support policies and actions that will reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.
Photo by Dave Gilbert. CC Attribution-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic