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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 Eris23007 on 9/15/2011 7:40:21 PM , Rating: 5
A few key comments:

1) The climate has been continually changing since long before humans were around. The major question is whether we can really do anything to affect the climate's changes (positive or negative). Proponents of (your words) "protecting our planet & its environment" who advocate for reductions in carbon emissions are taking the following three positions simultaneously (and simple logic dictates that if even one of them is incorrect, the purpose of reducing carbon emissions is negated):

A) the climate's changes are negative (i.e. a "bad" thing)
B) the changes are caused by humanity through emissions of CO2, and
C) by drastically reducing the amount of CO2 emitted, we can reduce or reverse these changes (which, if (A) is true, must be a "good" thing)

There are many, many ways that each of these three necessary assertions could be invalidated. Most of the arguments over the climate change issue revolve around one of these three items.

For the purposes of this comment, the issue is really item (C) - calling a program to drastically reduce CO2 emissions an "insurance policy."

There is just one problem with this so-called "insurance policy:" it is enormously, mind-bogglingly expensive. If one believes assertions (A) and (B), virtually no CO2 emissions are acceptable, because the CO2 we've already emitted combined with the simple act of breathing (7 billion humans constantly taking in oxygen and emitting CO2 create a very large amount) make virtually any form of artificial CO2 emissions verboten.

So, that means not only coming up with a way to have completely carbon-free cars and electricity generation (extremely difficult and expensive if even possible with current technology), but also many other impacts. For just one example, we would not be permitted to make concrete anymore - the manufacturing process is extremely expensive.

Most knowledgable economists of have run the numbers have concluded that the only way to realistically achieve such drastic carbon emission reductions in the foreseeable future with current technology is to return to a roughly stone-age standard of living.

Would you pay $2,000,000 per month for an insurance policy on a $200,000 house? That's the kind of "insurance" you're advocating.

P.S. Invalidating someone's opinion because of their field of study is remarkably short-sighted. The fundamentals of the AGW position are built upon extremely complex computer simulations based upon certain climate-related assumptions. Therefore, people with the following skills / knowledge can reasonably be assumed to participate in building them:
- Certainly Climate Science types who help define the base assumptions
- Unquestionably mathematicians, statisticians, simulation experts - without the underlying mathematical models, the simulations won't run
- Computer scientists who actually implement these models into working code that spits out a result - and then have to test the code to prove that the results are actually valid

Quantum Physics relies on surprisingly similar models & simulations to predict the behavior of atomic and sub-atomic particles. As well there is evidence of a non-trivial component of quantum physical effects causing climate phenomena (cf: recent experiments at CERN of how cosmic rays impact cloud formation).

I, for one, consider physicists' opinions to be quite relevant to this debate - and that's what it is, since the AGW theorists have yet to prove a single hypothesis. Science isn't about consensus, and it isn't about opinion. It's about cold hard fact: form a hypothesis AND THEN PROVE IT.

RE: are insurance policies bad?
By rikulus on 9/16/11, Rating: -1
RE: are insurance policies bad?
By The Raven on 9/16/2011 12:31:22 PM , Rating: 3
I can't help but think: how does the cost of a tomahawk missile compare to a large windmill? I'd rather we'd spent the last 10 years building windmills rather than blowing things up.

Ok you are obviously trying to start a partisan debate. Don't believe everything the democratic party says. They are just as stupid as the republicans on a great many things IMHO.

It seems to me that for everything the reps get right that the dems get wrong, the opposite is true for other issues.

How about save the air and end the wars? Vote libertarian! (or cross the aisle to help get Ron Paul nominated during the rep primary ;-)

RE: are insurance policies bad?
By rikulus on 9/16/2011 2:45:32 PM , Rating: 2
Is "save the air" actually part of the Libertarian platform?

I heard Ron Paul talking about the environment on NPR a couple weeks ago. His idea that stricter personal property laws would solve those issues without the Government needing to get involved. But he did say that since water and air pollution travel from one property to another, that there would need to be government regulation of that... even though he had just finished saying he was going to get rid of government regulation. Aren't air and water the only things that really get regulated now anyways?

And stricter personal property laws to control pollution just sounds like more lawsuits and money for lawyers to me. And don't worry, I'm not naive enough to believe something a politician says. All I can do is know what I know, learn what I can, and watch out for guys that are saying the opposite.

RE: are insurance policies bad?
By The Raven on 9/26/2011 10:53:31 AM , Rating: 2
Do you have a link to that interview? They post them all but I don't know which one you are referring to.

Regardless of what he said I would just take it as meaning *at least* less federal regulation. (That is the one sure thing I would assume of his opinion. Then he would (want to) leave it to the States, the community, etc.)

So if you are for less federal gov't intervention then you should vote for Ron Paul. That is the one thing I can say for sure without listening to that interview.

Also he is the only non-interventionalist within the 2 parties who will work hard to bring our troops home and keep them there. IMO It will be nice to have a president that WE would have to talk into a war, instead of THEM trying to convince us (e.g. Bush, Obama, etc.)

RE: are insurance policies bad?
By 0ldman on 9/16/2011 3:06:35 PM , Rating: 3
Scientists haven't "proven" a hypothesis? Scientists haven't "proven" how gravity works, does that mean we can't predict how fast things will fall when we drop them?

They haven't figured out the process of how/why gravity works, however, it is a measurable force. It is consistent, proven. Man made global warming is a bunch of arrogant, money grubbing jacks looking for suckers.

I think they found them.

Even reproducing the climate in a computer model is so complex that there is no way they've gotten it right. They can't predict weather, hurricanes, etc, with a single simulation. They run dozens, if not more, and come up with an average. Those still have a huge margin for error.

"The Space Elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing" -- Sir Arthur C. Clarke

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