perhaps the biggest critique delivered against the current state of
global warming research "consensus", since "climategate"
at the University of East Anglia, a renowned physics professor
has written a lengthy letter resigning from the American
Physical Society and condemning the state
of warming research.The letter was penned by Harold
Lewis, an Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of
California, Santa Barbara, and is addressed to Curtis G. Callan Jr,
Princeton University, President of the American Physical
Society. Professor Lewis enjoyed a decorated
career. A World War II veteran, entering the world of academia
upon his return home, Professor Lewis wrote multiple books and made
valuable contributions to the fields of missile defense and nuclear
power. Recently, Professor Lewis took an interest to the topic
of global warming research, as many of his physicist colleagues were
becoming actively engaged in it.What he found was alarming to
him and in his resignation letter, he voices outrage and what he
feels is a financially-motivated fraud that is corrupting his fellow
scientists. His following resignation letter was published,
in its entirety, by the Academic Advisory Council of the Global
Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), which he became a member
of late this year. The GWPF is a UK think tank that takes a
critical stance on proposed global warming legislation.Professor
Curt:When I first joined the American Physical Society
sixty-seven years ago it was much smaller, much gentler, and as yet
uncorrupted by the money flood (a threat against which Dwight
Eisenhower warned a half-century ago). Indeed, the choice of physics
as a profession was then a guarantor of a life of poverty and
abstinence—it was World War II that changed all that. The prospect
of worldly gain drove few physicists. As recently as thirty-five
years ago, when I chaired the first APS study of a contentious
social/scientific issue, The Reactor Safety Study, though there were
zealots aplenty on the outside there was no hint of inordinate
pressure on us as physicists. We were therefore able to produce what
I believe was and is an honest appraisal of the situation at that
time. We were further enabled by the presence of an oversight
committee consisting of Pief Panofsky, Vicki Weisskopf, and Hans
Bethe, all towering physicists beyond reproach. I was proud of what
we did in a charged atmosphere. In the end the oversight committee,
in its report to the APS President, noted the complete independence
in which we did the job, and predicted that the report would be
attacked from both sides. What greater tribute could there be?
different it is now. The giants no longer walk the earth, and the
money flood has become the raison d’être of much physics research,
the vital sustenance of much more, and it provides the support for
untold numbers of professional jobs. For reasons that will soon
become clear my former pride at being an APS Fellow all these years
has been turned into shame, and I am forced, with no pleasure at all,
to offer you my resignation from the Society.
is of course, the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions
of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has
carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most
successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a
physicist. Anyone who has the faintest doubt that this is so should
force himself to read the ClimateGate documents, which lay it bare.
(Montford’s book organizes the facts very well.) I don’t believe
that any real physicist, nay scientist, can read that stuff without
revulsion. I would almost make that revulsion a definition of the
what has the APS, as an organization, done in the face of this
challenge? It has accepted the corruption as the norm, and gone along
with it. For example:
About a year ago a few of us sent an e-mail on the subject to a
fraction of the membership. APS ignored the issues, but the then
President immediately launched a hostile investigation of where we
got the e-mail addresses. In its better days, APS used to encourage
discussion of important issues, and indeed the Constitution cites
that as its principal purpose. No more. Everything that has been done
in the last year has been designed to silence debate
The appallingly tendentious APS statement on Climate Change was
apparently written in a hurry by a few people over lunch, and is
certainly not representative of the talents of APS members as I have
long known them. So a few of us petitioned the Council to reconsider
it. One of the outstanding marks of (in)distinction in the Statement
was the poison word incontrovertible, which describes few items in
physics, certainly not this one. In response APS appointed a secret
committee that never met, never troubled to speak to any skeptics,
yet endorsed the Statement in its entirety. (They did admit that the
tone was a bit strong, but amazingly kept the poison word
incontrovertible to describe the evidence, a position supported by no
one.) In the end, the Council kept the original statement, word for
word, but approved a far longer “explanatory” screed, admitting
that there were uncertainties, but brushing them aside to give
blanket approval to the original. The original Statement, which still
stands as the APS position, also contains what I consider pompous and
asinine advice to all world governments, as if the APS were master of
the universe. It is not, and I am embarrassed that our leaders seem
to think it is. This is not fun and games, these are serious matters
involving vast fractions of our national substance, and the
reputation of the Society as a scientific society is at stake.
In the interim the ClimateGate scandal broke into the news, and the
machinations of the principal alarmists were revealed to the world.
It was a fraud on a scale I have never seen, and I lack the words to
describe its enormity. Effect on the APS position: none. None at all.
This is not science; other forces are at work.
So a few of us tried to bring science into the act (that is, after
all, the alleged and historic purpose of APS), and collected the
necessary 200+ signatures to bring to the Council a proposal for a
Topical Group on Climate Science, thinking that open discussion of
the scientific issues, in the best tradition of physics, would be
beneficial to all, and also a contribution to the nation. I might
note that it was not easy to collect the signatures, since you denied
us the use of the APS membership list. We conformed in every way with
the requirements of the APS Constitution, and described in great
detail what we had in mind—simply to bring the subject into the
To our amazement, Constitution be damned, you declined to accept our
petition, but instead used your own control of the mailing list to
run a poll on the members’ interest in a TG on Climate and the
Environment. You did ask the members if they would sign a petition to
form a TG on your yet-to-be-defined subject, but provided no
petition, and got lots of affirmative responses. (If you had asked
about sex you would have gotten more expressions of interest.) There
was of course no such petition or proposal, and you have now dropped
the Environment part, so the whole matter is moot. (Any lawyer will
tell you that you cannot collect signatures on a vague petition, and
then fill in whatever you like.) The entire purpose of this exercise
was to avoid your constitutional responsibility to take our petition
to the Council.
As of now you have formed still another secret and stacked committee
to organize your own TG, simply ignoring our lawful petition.
management has gamed the problem from the beginning, to suppress
serious conversation about the merits of the climate change claims.
Do you wonder that I have lost confidence in the organization?
do feel the need to add one note, and this is conjecture, since it is
always risky to discuss other people’s motives. This scheming at
APS HQ is so bizarre that there cannot be a simple explanation for
it. Some have held that the physicists of today are not as smart as
they used to be, but I don’t think that is an issue. I think it is
the money, exactly what Eisenhower warned about a half-century ago.
There are indeed trillions of dollars involved, to say nothing of the
fame and glory (and frequent trips to exotic islands) that go with
being a member of the club. Your own Physics Department (of which you
are chairman) would lose millions a year if the global warming bubble
burst. When Penn State absolved Mike Mann of wrongdoing, and the
University of East Anglia did the same for Phil Jones, they cannot
have been unaware of the financial penalty for doing otherwise. As
the old saying goes, you don’t have to be a weatherman to know
which way the wind is blowing. Since I am no philosopher, I’m not
going to explore at just which point enlightened self-interest
crosses the line into corruption, but a careful reading of the
ClimateGate releases makes it clear that this is not an academic
want no part of it, so please accept my resignation. APS no longer
represents me, but I hope we are still friends.
meteorologist turned blogger Anthony Watts describes it
as "a letter on the scale of Martin Luther, nailing his 95
theses to the Wittenburg church door". Whether you agree
or disagree with the current state of global warming research, it's
hard to argue with that assertion. Here we have a
prominent researcher in one of the primary fields of global warming
research -- physics -- putting his reputation on the line to
challenge what he feels is clear and present wrongdoing. Even
if you believe that mankind is causing warming, the fact that vast
sums of money are being poured into research to prove and examine
mankind's supposed contribution to warming is certainly troublesome.
After, all, as seen with politics and religion, the dollar is the
almighty corrupter. While many researchers that would be loathe
to publish biased materials and potentially fraudulent materials for
a grant, there's likely many that wouldn't be.The APS is the
world's second largest organization of physicists, behind the
Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft.
quote: Yeah, The Greatest Generation just can't stop being great. God help us when they're all gone, and we're left looking to ex-hippie Baby Boomers for "wisdom".
quote: Why do we need to write when we can just type or text in incoherent quasi-English gibberish?
quote: Perhaps the youth of today is lazier, but that doesn't make them less smart or innovative because they won't accept mediocrity like our parents did.
quote: Your generation doesn't seem to understand that neither money nor the ability to just have a job are strong motivators for Generation Y. We seek fulfillment in our careers.
quote: The smarter our children become and they are becoming more intelligent, the less physical negative reinforcement is needed.
quote: The slower children will require a physical negative reinforcement to cement the idea that touching the stove is wrong, amongst other things. Meanwhile the more intelligent child will place their hand near it feel the heat and as it gets uncomfortable they won't touch it.
quote: The real truth is that every generation gets better. Every last one has been better than the one before. Human history is the story of progress.
quote: but does not say that climate change is or isn't happening.
quote: spending money that save's us money in the long run, and that we save the environment as a bonus is nice to, is it not?
quote: yet ignores the even larger sums coming from the fossil fuel corporations?
quote: there is no "climategate".
quote: There was no bad science.
quote: There was no coverup.
quote: There were people talking in private emails about how best to present thing.
quote: If you say climate change is touted by those with monetary interests I could just say the same for outer-space.
quote: Dr. Lewis is saying that "the vast majority of the climatologist community" would like to discuss this in a wider context, w/o fear of retribution or recrimination (as has already taken place by Phil Jones).
quote: Another typically one-sided view
quote: Don't paint it as such.
quote: but we know with 100% certainty that climate change caused a lot of polar bears to die.
quote: Well, it may or may not have caused THAT polar bear to drown, but we know with 100% certainty that climate change caused a lot of polar bears to die.
quote: Whether you agree or disagree with the current state of global warming research, it's hard to argue with that assertion.
quote: Sigh...where is Ted Stevens when you need him?
quote: The scientific evidence and scientific consensus is overwhelming: global warming is real, undeniabe, and man- made. Grow up people.
quote: In its better days, APS used to encourage discussion of important issues, and indeed the Constitution cites that as its principal purpose. No more. Everything that has been done in the last year has been designed to silence debate
quote: Yes is was unusually warm during medieval times but since this is a global issue other parts of the planet were unusually cooler at the same time so they cancel each other out.
quote: Amazing the things you can find when your willing to look for them.
quote: replacing some tree ring data from some small group of trees in asia they know is wrong with real thermoter data.....the horror.
quote: I think that link of yours is wrong.
quote: the majority of posters on DT appear to think there is either some grand conspiracy to keep global warming alive
quote: Wow, all the carefully laid plans of liberal politicians laid bare by your stupefying powers of deduction
quote: A pants-off, anything goes, try-anything and let the system decide system? That's insanely liberal.
quote: Harold Lewis's letter contains no specific reasons why he thinks climate change is a scam. It is a fact-less assertion on his part.
quote: House of Commons Science and Technology CommitteeThe Science and Technology Select Committee inquiry reported on 31 March 2010 that it had found that "the scientific reputation of Professor Jones and CRU remains intact". The emails and claims raised in the controversy did not challenge the scientific consensus that "global warming is happening and that it is induced by human activity". The MPs had seen no evidence to support claims that Jones had tampered with data or interfered with the peer-review process.Science Assessment PanelThe report of the independent Science Assessment Panel was published on 14 April 2010 and concluded that the panel had seen "no evidence of any deliberate scientific malpractice in any of the work of the Climatic Research Unit." It found that the CRU's work had been "carried out with integrity" and had used "fair and satisfactory" methods. The CRU was found to be "objective and dispassionate in their view of the data and their results, and there was no hint of tailoring results to a particular agenda." Instead, "their sole aim was to establish as robust a record of temperatures in recent centuries as possible."Independent Climate Change Email ReviewIn July 2010, the British investigation comissioned by the UEA, chaired by Sir Muir Russell, and announced in December 2009, published its final report saying it had exonerated the scientists of manipulating their research to support preconceived ideas about global warming. The "rigour and honesty" of the scientists at the Climatic Research Unit were found not to be in doubt. The panel found that they did not subvert the peer review process to censor criticism as alleged, and that the key data needed to reproduce their findings was freely available to any "competent" researcher.
quote: climatology and physics still don't really pay all that well given the amount of schooling involved.
quote: No one in the science field calls it "global warming" anymore.
quote: This statement may seem detached in a sense that it is not countering any present arguments.
quote: Will the inability for our society to easily find and use energy not lead to a degradation of quality of life equal to that of a catastrophic climactic event?
quote: Not really trying to save the planet as much as to save money, but since in this case both go hand in hand, why not.