Yesterday, news went out in the deniosphere: The American Physical Society was questioning the AGW consensus! All because one of their editors, Jeffrey Marque, made the following post to an AP forum:
With this issue of Physics & Society, we kick off a debate concerning one of the main conclusions of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UN body which, together with Al Gore, recently won the Nobel Prize for its work concerning climate change research. 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. Since the correctness or fallacy of that conclusion has immense implications for public policy and for the future of the biosphere, we thought it appropriate to present a debate within the pages of P&S concerning that conclusion. This editor (JJM) invited several people to contribute articles that were either pro or con. Christopher Monckton responded with this issue's article that argues against the correctness of the IPCC conclusion...
Well, obviously Mr. Marque triggered a crapstorm in the blogosphere, because this morning the APS felt it necessary to issue a clarification:
The American Physical Society reaffirms the following position on climate change, adopted by its governing body, the APS Council, on November 18, 2007:
"Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth's climate."
An article at odds with this statement recently appeared in an online newsletter of the APS Forum on Physics and Society, one of 39 units of APS. The header of this newsletter carries the statement that "Opinions expressed are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the APS or of the Forum." This newsletter is not a journal of the APS and it is not peer reviewed.
Now, a couple of things. As noted, the original text was a post to a forum, hardly an official declaration by the APC. Secondly, the statement itself is so heavily qualified (very probably likely to be primarily responsible) as to be harmless, if perhaps also meaningless. So what I think got Mr. Marquette into trouble was his reference to Christopher Monckton as being a member of the scientific community who disagrees with the AGW consensus. Well, Lord Monckton is definitely not a scientist. He's a one time advisor to Margaret Thatcher, a well known low-caliber denialist (meaning he's particularly hard to take seriously), and an all-purpose wing-nut (Google "Monckton & AIDS", or read through last link). Furthermore, he looks like this.
Mr. Marquette seems to have got rooked by a nutter, in other words.
Here's Monckton's paper, by the way. The correct term for something like this is "baffling them with bullshit".