AGU has no plans to attack climate skeptics, contrary to reports

8 November 2010

American Geophysical Union's relaunch of 2009 Climate Q&A Service mischaracterized in media reports; society has no plans to campaign against climate skeptics and conservative lawmakers. staff

Contrary to widespread media reports Monday, one of the nation's foremost association of scientists said it is not on a pro-science hunt for politicians skeptical of global warming.

Responding to articles first published in the Los Angeles Times and picked up by media outlets worldwide, the American Geophysical Union said there is "no campaign" against climate skeptics or conservative lawmakers.

What got mischaracterized, said AGU executive director Christine McEntree, is a climate science program the society is about to relaunch. Called "Climate Q&A Service," the program, according to the society, aims to provide accurate answers to questions about climate science from journalists.

"AGU is a scientific society, not an advocacy organization," AGU president Michael J. McPhaden said in a statement. "The organization is committed to promoting scientific discovery and to disseminating ... peer-reviewed scientific findings across a broad range of Earth and space sciences."

The non-profit AGU is the world's largest professional society of Earth and space scientists, with more than 58,000 members in more than 135 countries.

The AGU first launched its climate question-and-answer service in 2009 for journalists covering the United Nations climate talks in Copenhagen. The society said it has been working the past year on improving the service for the upcoming UN talks in Cancun, Mexico, which start Nov. 29.

According to AGU, the Climate Q&A Service addresses scientific questions only. It does not offer commentary on policy. Journalists submit questions via e-mail and volunteers with doctoral degrees in climate-related fields respond with answers.

A launch date for the service has not been announced.

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