Last year, AAPG past president Ray Thomasson brought a card of “A Geological View of Climate Change and Global Warming” to the Public Outreach Committee with the idea for AAPG to publish it in large quantities and make it available to members to give to the public as an explanation in layman’s terms explaining AAPG’s climate change policy.
The card was conceived by Thomasson and Bill D. Pollard, of Fort Worth. Additional edits were made by Lee Gerhard, past president of the AAPG Division of Environmental Geosciences and editor of AAPG Studies #47 Geological Perspectives of Global Climate Change. The audience for the card was expected to be geologists who would use it to talk with the non-scientific public about global climate change, Thomasson said.
Due to the scientific nature of the card, the Public Outreach Committee referred the card to the AAPG Editor Ernie Mancini for technical review. He asked the Publications Committee to assist with this review.
The reviewers made several recommendations to improve the cards. The authors revised the cards and resubmitted them for publication, and the cards were again sent out for peer review. The reviews on the revised cards are mixed.
At a May meeting, the Executive Committee, chaired by then-president Peter R. Rose, voted in agreement with a proposal by the Publications Committee and Mancini to involve the full membership in the review process for this card, to get members’ input on the card’s content before it is put before the public, and to ensure that the card’s content and concept is supported by the AAPG membership.
AAPG presently has a Position Statement on Climate Change Policy, adopted in 1999 during Thomasson’s AAPG presidency, that states: “Geologists who study past climate variations understand that current climate warming projections fall well within documented natural variations in past climate. Therefore, for scientific reasons, the American Association of Petroleum Geologists does not support placing a carbon tax upon fossil energy sources as a tool to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, nor do we support any implementation of the Kyoto Protocol prior to Senate ratification.”
The card concludes with the statement, “All of the principal causes of climate change are beyond the control of human beings.”