Looking for Balance
Committee to Study Climate ‘Fact Sheet’
We’ve received questions from several of you about the proposed Global Climate Change Card.
To answer that, I’d like to first give some background: Three AAPG members on the Public Outreach Committee (Bill Pollard, Ray Thomasson and Lee Gerhard) prepared material for a Global Climate Change card. Their intent was to distribute the card to all AAPG members.
They first submitted draft material for the card at the AAPG Annual Convention in Calgary in June 2005. As committees and members reviewed the card, wide differences in opinion on the card’s content emerged.
Last year’s AAPG Executive Committee decided to display the card on AAPG’s Web site and invite member comment. That period ended Oct. 1, but it provided an active forum on global climate change in general and the card in particular.
Based on member comments, AAPG will probably not reach a consensus on recommended policy options to reduce global climate change. However, we probably could reach a consensus on pertinent facts on the subject.
As this year’s Executive Committee deliberated over the card’s fate, we realized that it essentially represented AAPG’s position on global climate change. Furthermore, not all position papers should contain directives on government or public policy. Some topics would be best written in the form of “Fact Sheets.” Individual members could use Fact Sheets to enlighten fellow citizens, speak in public or convey information to government officials.
As individuals, members may choose to recommend policies to public officials.
Obviously, the topic of global climate change would be best as a Fact Sheet.
The EC decided to appoint a balanced committee to write AAPG’s Fact Sheet on global climate change. Committee members will represent diverse views on the topic. A small, pocket-size card would provide a good medium for members to distribute.
Ultimately, the EC must approve of the Fact Sheet and card’s contents, but this topic deserves another round of public comment by members on the Web site.
Our goal is to prepare a revised card for distribution before the end of the fiscal year.
I think the topic of global climate change is important to members, because we realize the need for scientific facts within public policy debate -- and especially on this topic. AAPG can and should facilitate the distribution of those facts. It will be up to individual members to utilize the facts to shape public policy.