Monday, July 21, 2008

How The APS Was Infiltrated By Deniers!

John Mashey is so good on AGW issues that I don't know why he doesn't have a blog of his own. In any case, his hypothesis re how known nutjob Lord Monckton managed to embarrass the American Physical Society is worth giving a higher profile. I've taken material from my own comments section, and copped stuff from Deltoid, and added a few clarifying bits of my own:

In 2004, University of Hartford (UHA) (CT) Physics Professor Larry Gould likely heard talks that included Cristy & Lindzen, and became convinced that AGW was a hoax, etc. in 2004, he was the Chair of the APS' New England Section (NES).

Here is Larry Gould's website.

Lately, he's been co-editor of the APS-NES newsletter, and has been writing very strong anti-AGW editorial material, promoting Monckton, "Great Global Warming Swindle", Steve Milloy, etc.

[He] has been studying climate science for about 4 years, although as far as I can tell, has never published any such research in peer-reviewed journals. It looks like that interest dates from a APS-NES meeting in 2004 with Christy, Lindzen, Rock, and Weart.

[He] wrote an editorial in Fall APS-NES Newsletter, which could serve as a useful catalog of denialist writings, although references to peer-reviewed material are ... scarce...

About that same time, [he] appears to have signed on for the OISM Petition Project. At least, "Laurence Gould PhD" appears in the Connecticut list.

Then, this article pops up in APS' FPS, with Monckton claiming it was requested. One wonders who got the FPS to request it, since FPS is normally commentary written by physicists for the FPS membership. [I'd wondered from the beginning why on Earth they would seek Monckton to write an article. Right now, I doubt that they did: I'd speculate that Gould proposed it to them. Then, SPPI's Robert Ferguson was poised to blast it to the Web, including a logn quote from Gould.]

The SPPI is The Science and Public Policy Institute, a well-known and venerable Denialist website. Robert Ferguson is its director. On July 15th--the day after Monckton's paper appears on the APS site*--the following appears on the SPPI site:

'Larry Gould, Professor of Physics at the University of Hartford and Chair (2004) of the New England Section of the American Physical Society (APS), has been studying climate-change science for four years. He said:

"I was impressed by an hour-long academic lecture which criticized claims about 'global warming' and explained the implications of the physics of radiative transfer for climate change. I was pleased that the audience responded to the informative presentation with a prolonged, standing ovation. That is what happened when, at the invitation of the President of our University, Christopher Monckton lectured here in Hartford this spring. I am delighted that Physics and Society, an APS journal, has published his detailed paper refining and reporting his important and revealing results.'

John writes:

From past watchings of SPPI, Ferguson tends to be "ready-to-go", so one would expect that Gould had seen this material before...

Finally, the Executive Committee of the APS Forum on Physics and Society appears to have issued a further statement repudiating the judgement of Jeffrey Marque, the editor who approved Monckton's paper:

'The executive committee of the Forum on Physics and Society, however, believes that the statement in the July 2008 edition of our newsletter, Physics and Society, that "There is 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," exaggerates the number of scientists who disagree with the IPCC conclusion on anthropogenic CO2 and global warming. That statement does not represent the views of APS or the Executive Committee of the Forum on Physics and Society. The FPS Executive Committee strongly endorses the position of the APS Council that "Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth's climate.'

...although the link back to the APS page where this quote originated doesn't work.

A neat piece of trickery, all told, which spawned a zillion stories about America's physicists changing their mind on Global Warming.

* A link to this paper was provided on the morning of July 14th on the Climatesceptics mailing list by Alister McFarquhar.


Johnathon said...

Nice post gearbox.

Kevin said...

A different oppinion can be found here. If you are interested in the truth you should read both sides and then decide.

Frank said...

I knew you boys would be soiling your shorts. The IPCC is a house of cards.

Auntie Liberal said...

Isn't AGW one of those "sciency things", which is so beyond your comprehension? Man, if you can't even read the IPCC reports themselves or their critiques, what the hell use are your opinions on the subject?

John Mashey said...

Note, after checking out the next post here on Gerard Marsh, he appears to have even closer connections with APS's FPS than Larry Gould.