And it got this headline from the "Political Grapevine" at Fox News: "Scientific Consensus About Global Warming Takes Another Big Hit"
"An organization representing nearly 50,000 physicists has reversed its stance on climate change," it reports. "The American Physical Society now says that many of its members no longer believe global warming is caused by humans.
Sounds like quite a story--except that the APS insists it's not true.
"APS Position Remains Unchanged," says a message on its home page.
"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 This newsletter is not a journal of the APS and it is not peer reviewed."
The original APS statement from 2007 is HERE. It says, in part, "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.
At the Forum on Physics & Society, on the other hand, one finds this introductory comment from one of the editors, Jeffrey Marque:
"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," he writes.
I e-mailed editor Marque, and he replied that he could not comment. "I am indeed aware of the 'hubbub' created by the July 2008 issue of our newsletter. I am now in the process, along with my colleagues with the American Physical Society, of trying to transform the 'hubbub' into a calmer conversation."