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Dr. Ivar Giaever  (Source:
Dr. Ivar Giaever announced his resignation Tuesday, September 13

A well-known physicist has resigned from his position with the American Physical Society (APS) due to its recent policy stating that global warming is real.

Dr. Ivar Giaever, a 1973 Nobel Prize winner in physics and former professor with the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, announced his resignation from the APS on Tuesday, September 13, 2011.

The APS' official policy supports the theory that human actions have inexorably caused the warming of the Earth through heightened carbon dioxide emissions.

Giaever responded by refusing to pay his annual dues, and writing an email to Kate Kirby, executive officer of the physics society, saying that he disagreed with this policy.

The following is the email sent from Giaever to Kirby on September 13:

From: Ivar Giaever []

Sent: Tuesday, September 13, 2011 3:42 PM
Cc: Robert H. Austin; 'William Happer'; 'Larry Gould'; 'S. Fred Singer'; Roger Cohen
Subject: I resign from APS

Dear Ms. Kirby

Thank you for your letter inquiring about my membership. I did not renew it because I can not live with the statement below:


Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth's climate. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide as well as methane, nitrous oxide and other gases. They are emitted from fossil fuel combustion and a range of industrial and agricultural processes.

The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring.
If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth's physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.

In the APS it is ok to discuss whether the mass of the proton changes over time and how a multi-universe behaves, but the evidence of global warming is incontrovertible? The claim (how can you measure the average temperature of the whole earth for a whole year?) is that the temperature has changed from ~288.0 to ~288.8 degree Kelvin in about 150 years, which (if true) means to me is that the temperature has been amazingly stable, and both human health and happiness have definitely improved in this 'warming' period.


Best regards,


Ivar Giaever


Nobel Laureate 1973


PS. I included a copy to a few people in case they feel like using the information.

Ivar Giaever

According to the Wall Street Journal, Giaever announced he was an avid global warming skeptic in 2008, saying that global warming was "becoming a religion."

"I am Norwegian, should I really worry about a little bit of warming?," said Giaever in 2008. "I am unfortunately becoming an old man. We have heard many similar warnings about the acid rain 30 years ago and the ozone hole 10 years ago or deforestation but the humanity is still around. The ozone hole width has peaked in 1993. Moreover, global warming has become a new religion. We frequently hear about the number of scientists who support it. But the number is not important: only whether they are correct is important. We don't really know what the actual effect on the global temperature is. There are better ways to spend the money."

Giaever, who earned his Nobel Prize for his experimental discoveries with tunneling phenomena in superconductors, joined more than 100 signers of a letter to U.S. President Barack Obama criticizing his position on climate change in 2009.

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RE: are insurance policies bad?
By someguy123 on 9/15/2011 6:48:16 PM , Rating: 3
Because this "insurance" is based on assumptions that are not proven. Containing human CO2 levels may not actually help prevent climate issues if humans are not the cause.

It would be like seeing a house on fire and immediately blaming the homeowners for playing with matches. What if there's a gas leak? It would never be fixed and there would likely be another fire in the future. There needs to be more money put into research, not more money being poured into CO2 credits and CO2 reduction, unless we prove that that is in fact the cause.

RE: are insurance policies bad?
By Jeffk464 on 9/16/2011 9:50:44 AM , Rating: 2
There has been plenty of scientific studies that overwhelming lead to this conclusion. A lot of people say the same thing about evolution. Really what these people should say is they don't really accept science. More likely they are invested in their beliefs and don't want any contrary information to get in the way.

RE: are insurance policies bad?
By Arsynic on 9/16/2011 10:39:49 AM , Rating: 2
Garbage in and garbage out. When the studies are based on the same flawed and manipulated data, of course they'll all be in agreement.

RE: are insurance policies bad?
By FITCamaro on 9/16/2011 10:47:46 AM , Rating: 2
So your argument, in regards to this article, is that a winner of a Nobel Prize for Physics rejects science.....

Good luck with that one.

RE: are insurance policies bad?
By rikulus on 9/16/11, Rating: 0
RE: are insurance policies bad?
By The Raven on 9/16/2011 12:14:18 PM , Rating: 4
And your argument is what? If 98 scientists say one thing, and 2 say the other, I'll stick with the 2?

No, he is saying that he doesn't necessarily agree with the 98.

Some time ago scientists apparently believed that smoking was good for you. Well, all the ones who saw the light of day to speak about it. How many people do you see claiming that human driven climate change is bunk? 0. And that is the way the elites in NY would have it. If this guy is a whack job, we should put him on a pedestal and disprove his theories. Science should be transparent.

The same goes for the lipid hypothesis. I don't know all the details, but the only people I have seen effectively lose weight and get healthy, cut carbs, not fat. Anecdotal as that may be, there are scientists past and present who have railed against gov't policy to mandate a moratorium on fat and cholesterol while leaving carb intake unfettered. I know the data may be pushed by the dairy farmers or beef/pork lobbies, but I think the corn/pharmaceutical lobbies would the stronger ones in that fight. (Plus it seems that there is more of a focus on weight than the overall health that results from such a diet.)

If there is incontrovertible evidence then why haven't I seen it? I am relatively open to many new ideas and follow science news, but I am unswayed by Al Gore or anyone else to this point. If the evidence is so solid then I will take action of my own free will. I do see evidence of crappy air quality in urban areas and so I try my best to keep my personal pollution to a minimum and encourage others to do so (not to mention it is usually a cost savings measure). But I don't see incontrovertible evidence that we are heating up the world.

I have every reason to want to believe that we should do something about this alleged issue: I am a clean air proponent guy who has no problem with the cost of goods increasing. But I have yet to see it and I am sick as I gather this guy is also, of people ramming this THEORY down my throat.

RE: are insurance policies bad?
By rikulus on 9/16/2011 2:28:24 PM , Rating: 2
I think FitCamaro would go a little further than say he "doesn't necessarily agree" with the 98, but I don't want to put words in his mouth.

I'm just trying to figure out what you are saying in the second paragraph, because I can totally understand and agree with much of your last three.

I would disagree that there was a time when as many scientists believed smoking was good for you as there are now scientists who agree with the consensus on global warming. There was certainly a campaign after the surgeon general released his statements on smoking being deadly where scientists and actors posing as scientists and doctors tried to convince the public that smoking was healthy. I think it's easy to see parallels between the "scientists" who claimed smoking was healthy after the surgeon general warning, and the "scientists" casting doubt on climate change. Some of the very same public relations firms actually organized and made/make money on both.

"How many people do you see claiming that human driven climate change is bunk? 0. And that is the way the elites in NY would have it." Are you actually saying nobody is calling climate change bunk, or being sarcastic, or what? I think there are several commenters on this website who are calling human driven climate change bunk. Who are the elites in NY?

As far as putting this guy on a pedestal and disproving his theories, he would have to put forth a theory about the topic before anyone could disprove it. There are plenty of people putting forth transparent research on climate change (as much as some people try to find red herring examples where the research wasn't transparent.)

I'm not sure what piece of evidence would be considered "incontrovertible" by someone determined not to believe that mankind can have a major effect on the earth's environment or climate. Especially when some of those people fall back to saying God wouldn't create an Earth that is fragile. (I'm not accusing you of this at all, you seem very reasonable and concerned about the environment... so I'll ask: what would incontrovertible evidence of human caused climate change look like to you?)

RE: are insurance policies bad?
By The Raven on 9/18/2011 6:00:35 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure what piece of evidence would be considered "incontrovertible" by someone determined not to believe that mankind can have a major effect on the earth's environment or climate.

I and many who don't believe are agnostic on the issue. We have not seen proof one way or the other. So I wouldn't say that I don't believe that mankind cannot affect the climate either. As a matter of fact I actually lean toward the contrary quite a bit.
Especially when some of those people fall back to saying God wouldn't create an Earth that is fragile. (I'm not accusing you of this at all, you seem very reasonable and concerned about the environment...
lol I'd never heard that one before.
so I'll ask: what would incontrovertible evidence of human caused climate change look like to you?)

I don't know... since I haven't seen it ;-)

But seriously it is like asking me to prove my belief in a God to you. You will either see/experience it or you won't. I may be able to tell you things to sway you but I shouldn't be mandating that you believe it.

For me personally, most any measure I would take to curb global warming... no I mean STOP global warming (because there would be no point in curbing it), has already pretty much been taken, in order to save money/air/water/etc.

So there isn't really any reason for me to research climate change in detail unless I am open to taking people's freedom from them. Hell if I thought the earth would be uninhabitable due to climate change, I would commit mass murder in order to save the children/future. (Talk about cutting emissions) And you and I certainly don't want that to happen lol. I'd go all Jonathan Swift, but it would be the other way around where we feast on the adults instead of the infants :-O~~~

I do see evidence of crappy air quality in urban areas

e.g.:That is incontrovertible to me I guess.

If the fact that bad air comes from cars, etc. is not incontrovertible to you than feel free to pollute the air should you feel like it, until I can convince you otherwise. I don't want to pass a law to make you do something that you don't even believe in. It is this top down crap that gets my goat. From the elites like your Presidents Obama and your Brians Williams. Yeah they all have plenty of $$$ to spend on expensive new cars, lights, carbon credits, etc. Why they want to mandate that non-believers such as myself also participate I don't understand. They want me to pay my share of the costs to curb this theoretical risk. And they do so while they live essentially the same life they always have. They can't just buy some new light bulbs and... crisis averted. If they really believed this crap, then they would make real sacrifices. I mean ask Al Gore who apparently believes this stuff if he has sacrificed? Last I heard he has a few huge mansions, flying all over the place, etc. and that is not part of an energy efficient lifestyle. If Gore and everyone else who believed in this was living like Ed Beagley Jr. then I might actually be inclined to believe them and look further in to it. But they don't. They just demand that the unbelievers subsidize protection from their nightmare.

Sorry I'm rambling a bit, but I just wanted to try to quickly address you question, which I hope I was able to do lol.

RE: are insurance policies bad?
By FITCamaro on 9/16/2011 11:39:31 PM , Rating: 1
His post said that people who disregard claims that humans are responsible for the warming our planet is supposedly undergoing disregard science. The man is an award winning scientist. Clearly this is not the case.

And yes, award winning physicists are smart. Certainly smarter than you. Otherwise you'd be winning awards.

And all the "evidence" that we are responsible for warming is based on flawed models, outright falsified and/or biased data, and inconsequential data sets (~100 years or even less). That is how I see it.

RE: are insurance policies bad?
By Voldenuit on 9/17/2011 1:02:12 AM , Rating: 2
A quick application of Pascal's suffices to point us in the right direction.

If AGW proponents are correct and we do nothing, then the Earth (or humanity) is doomed.

If AGW proponents are wrong and we do nothing, then no harm is done.

If AGW proponents are correct and we do something (reducing CO2, investing in renewable and non-polluting energy), then we are saved (assuming our measures are enough).

If AGW proponents are wrong and we still reduce CO2, then no harm is done*.

* Yes, there is an economic cost to reducing CO2 and investing in "green" energy, but these costs are a drop in the bucket compared to real world financial crises like the sub-prime mortgage crisis or global financial crisis. And investing in clean and efficient energy also has the benefit of creating jobs, money, and reducing developed nations' dependence on fossil fuels and the existing oil cartels (none of which are particularly pleasant people).

In the absence of definitive proof, the only sensible action we can take is to assume the worst and do our best to mitigate the potential issue. If we wait 100 years to see if the environment suffers a catastrophe, it'll be too late to fix matters by the time it happens. In the mean time, there is a preponderence of evidence that climate change is happening (low arctic ice levels, global and regional temperature maps, satellite data) in addition to several scientific models and hypotheses of catastrophic failure (ocean acidity and the crustacean food chain, etc). No one has yet provided any plausible model where voluntary reduction of anthropogenic CO2 will do any harm to the environment. Even though there are other factors affecting global temperatures (such as solar cycles), human CO2 production is the only variable we can directly affect, so it's the best option we have to combat climate change, whether significant or not. In the mean time, I'm happy to reap the very real benefits of technological advances in efficiency (better gas mileage on cars, renewable energy providers giving competition to big iron electric companies, etc).

RE: are insurance policies bad?
By KPOM1 on 9/17/2011 8:30:04 PM , Rating: 2
I disagree. The economic costs of reducing carbon are significant if it turns out that the AGW adherents are incorrect. The EU went to great lengths to reduce carbon output after its member nations signed the Kyoto Treaty, and what happened by and large is that they accomplished their goal (reducing carbon output by 40%) by outsourcing manufacturing to China. On the whole, they just shifted carbon production, rather than reduce it, and strengthened China's economic hand even more.

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