Volunteers: Good For AAPG ClimateAs you can tell, this is a special EXPLORER, because it is focused on our Annual Convention and Exhibition in Long Beach, Calif., which will be held April 1-4.
Last year my wife, Joanne, and I had a chance to tour the Long Beach hotels, convention facilities, area restaurants and attractions, and we are very excited to return for the convention. AAPG has a dedicated group of Pacific Coast Section members that have put together a fantastic meeting for us in one of the most beautiful natural settings.
Of course, it is especially beautiful because Long Beach is such an oil town. It sits on top of the Wilmington Field, which has produced 3.5 billion BO, and 1,400 wells still produce about 40,000 BOPD.
During our visit I noticed some unusual islands in the harbor that looked man-made, yet attractive. I finally noticed a workover rig between the palm trees and realized that the islands contain some of the field wells.
So set out your sunglasses and sunscreen and start getting “pumped up” to join us in Long Beach. You just may run into the “Governator.”
During my tenure as president I have received correspondence from members on various topics -- but the two largest volume topics have been the proposed “graduated dues” structure and AAPG’s current position on global climate change.
Members have threatened to not renew their memberships if the graduated dues system is passed, or if AAPG does not alter its position on global climate change (although not the same members). And I have been told of members who already have resigned in previous years because of our current global climate change position.
My response is: You have a much better chance of changing AAPG from within than from without. It sounds like the old saying, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.”
Concerning the proposed graduated dues structure, I firmly believe it is an improvement for AAPG. What if the House of Delegates does not pass it by the required two-thirds majority? I certainly will not resign my membership. Instead, I will support other ideas to make AAPG membership more affordable to low-income geologists -- or support graduated dues in future years.
It’s OK to throw out the dirty bath water, but be careful with the baby!
This year’s Executive Committee has listened to members’ views on global climate change, and we have appointed an “all-star,” balanced committee to recommend a set of facts on global climate change (see box above).
As stated in my January President’s Column, this committee’s work should result in a set of facts on climate change that will replace the current position paper and that can be distributed at member’s request in the form of a pocket-sized card. This change is occurring because we are listening to AAPG members, not because we are listening to members of other organizations.
Appointing the ad hoc global climate change committee was one of my most important tasks this year as president. I relied upon the wisdom of the Executive Committee, but also DEG President Jane McColloch and DPA President Rich Green. Every member I asked to serve on the committee agreed because it is such an important issue to him or her, and they want AAPG to “get it right.”
Why is AAPG’s position on climate change so important?
- Members need facts to communicate with their own communities, newspapers and government officials as debate on climate change policies intensify both in the United States and globally. Global policy makers need our geologic input to make scientifically sound decisions.
- The current policy statement is not supported by a significant number of our members and prospective members.
AAPG is indebted to this dedicated committee, and we are anxious to see their recommendations.
Being president of AAPG is challenging and consuming, but the attitude and help from volunteer members make it all worthwhile.
See you in Long Beach,