emails from Hal Lewis and Cherry Murray not included
On Oct 12, 2010, at 9:51 AM, Jim Felten wrote:
To Jackie from Jimmy. No, Jackie, MY OWN TWO MESSAGES are not confidential, and Yes, you may send them to ... or anybody. However, he and you should be aware that I'm not an expert on this (just a rank-and-file physicist), and that my message is only one out of over 200 that the officers and councilors of APS received about this matter.
Also, BE WARNED that there are copyright issues with the message from Cherry Murray (then-president of APS), which I ATTACHED to my second message. I felt free to send that copy to YOU, because, as a member of the APS, you were presumably on the original distribution list for it, about a year ago. If you send my 2nd message to APS nonmembers, I urge you to delete the attached message from Cherry Murray.
Presumably you took no notice of this at the time. But in fact this message from Cherry Murray is the most annoying thing in this whole episode. She proposes to "investigate" Hal Lewis and the other dissenters. Although she sent this out to 30 or 40 thousand members, she might take the position that she retains copyright, and that it shouldn't be sent to nonmembers. You could deal with this by just paraphrasing what she says, or quoting briefly some annoying things that she says. You could also ask her for permission to send her message to nonmembers and see what she says.....
I'm not well acquainted with more recent developments on this. I believe Council reaffirmed their 2007 resolution (which I do find objectionable). If they made any changes in the wording, I don't know of them.
On Oct 9, 2010, at 4:04 PM, Jim Felten wrote:
Jackie, since you seem interested in the resignation of Hal Lewis from the APS, I thought I should remind you that I did speak up about this. I'm sending you a copy of this e-mail and one other e-mail. I believe I already sent you these at the time. This one has Hal Lewis' original message attached at the bottom.
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: APS Council resolution on global warming
Date: Mon, 2 Nov 2009 15:37:58 -0600
From: Felten, James E. (GSFC-665.0)[UNIV MARYLAND COLLEGE PARK]. To: [Address list deleted by Jimmy]
To President, President-elect, and Councillors of the American
Physical Society from Jim Felten; cc Hal Lewis. The message below is my
own opinion and does not purport to represent the position of NASA.
I'm not a global-warming denier, although a few of my friends are.
But I'm not comfortable with the text of Council's 2007 resolution
(below). The word "disruptions" is a problem. Will there be "disruptions
in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems"? What would that mean?
"Changes" would be more accurate. Will they be major changes? If the
Northwest Passage becomes ice-free, arguably that's a major physical
change, but certainly not a "disruption". In ecology, the changes may
not even be major on an objective scale-- for example, nothing like the
event that wiped out the dinosaurs. Polar bears may become extinct, but
Alaskan brown bears may thrive. The inaccurate propaganda word
"disruptions" has been slipped into the text to get attention. Will
there be "disruptions [of] social systems, security and human health"?
That's much harder to argue pro or con, and physicists have no special
expertise in this. Some areas, e.g., Alaska, Canada, Siberia and
Patagonia, may benefit from global warming.
If "We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now", who
is "We"? Council should make it clear that unilateral actions are
useless. CO2 knows no boundaries. International negotiation is needed.
Some of the steps the USA is taking already will harm the USA
economically (e.g., by exporting jobs) and will not stop global warming.
Politicians are right in opposing some of these measures. The USA was
right not to sign the Kyoto Protocols. China and India were exempted
from the Kyoto strictures, and of the nations that did sign, not a
single one met its assigned target.
A friend of mine, Jim Baker, was head of NOAA in the Clinton
administration and now works on global warming for the Bill Clinton
Foundation. He told me that even if all the measures being proposed now
are adopted, it will not be enough to cancel out the additional CO2 from
the ongoing industrialization of China and India. He says we are headed
for a world of 1000 ppm of CO2, and we should spend more time planning
The latter part of Council's 2007 resolution is more careful and is
not objectionable. In fact, as I read it, it does give at least a nod
("complexity of the climate") toward the position of your critics, who
sometimes seem to contend that anthropogenic CO2 is NOT contributing to
global warming. It might be good for Council to add something explicit
about this, mentioning that other (non-anthropogenic) effects might also
be operating on decade time scales. But I think it wouldn't be
appropriate for Council to be completely agnostic about the role of
On Oct 9, 2010, at 4:14 PM, Jim Felten wrote:
Jackie: At the bottom is the very annoying message from the APS president proposing to "investigate" these global-warming skeptics.
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Dr. Murray: Caution re "unsolicited e-mail"
Date: Thu, 10 Dec 2009 16:37:47 -0600
From: Felten, James E. (GSFC-665.0)[UNIV MARYLAND COLLEGE PARK]. To: [Addresses deleted by Jimmy.]
To Dr. Cherry Murray from Jim Felten. I urge caution regarding "investigations" of "unsolicited e-mail". A member of the news media might report your message today as an attempt at censorship or even punishment of people who aren't toeing the party line. After all, your message today is also unsolicited, as is mine. These messages from Hal Lewis et al. are reputable physicists writing to other physicists about a very serious matter. And it was perfectly clear that they were not writing an "official APS message" with "APS knowledge or approval". I give them credit for their time and trouble. They didn't write spam messages. And their first message had some effect. It was wise of you to ask for a report from POPA.
When I want to write to another physicist, I may look him up in the Directory. That's one of its main uses! Maybe these "guidelines" need some study. Do we "investigate" ALL physicists who use the Directory to send e-mail to many addressees? By the way, I too have been curious about the nature of Hal Lewis et al's mailing list. They used the phrases "sample" and "random fraction". I'm trying to check whether all Fellows received their two messages.
I'm not a global-warming denier, but I'm not happy with the way this is going. For those of us old enough to remember, something similar happened in the Shockley era. 100 or so colleagues of Shockley who signed a petition defending Shockley's right to speak found that, as a result, they too began to be attacked.
I sent you and Council an e-mail earlier saying that the 2007 resolution definitely needs some improvement. Councilor Chuck Dermer told me that Council received about 200 e-mails on the subject. Best wishes, Jim Felten.