Tuesday, October 12, 2010

'Global warming is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life'

I am a bit late to this—which I saw at Delingpole's place a few days ago—but I simply could not let Hal Lewis's fantastic resignation letter to the American Physical Association pass without comment.

Almost as a monument, I reproduce it in full below. [Emphasis mine.]
From: Hal Lewis, University of California, Santa Barbara

To: Curtis G. Callan, Jr., Princeton University, President of the American Physical Society

6 October 2010

Dear 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?

How 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.

It 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 word scientist.

So 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:
  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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 open.

  5. 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.

  6. As of now you have formed still another secret and stacked committee to organize your own TG, simply ignoring our lawful petition.

APS 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?

I 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 question.

I want no part of it, so please accept my resignation. APS no longer represents me, but I hope we are still friends.


Harold Lewis is Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, former Chairman; Former member Defense Science Board, chmn of Technology panel; Chairman DSB study on Nuclear Winter; Former member Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards; Former member, President's Nuclear Safety Oversight Committee; Chairman APS study on Nuclear Reactor Safety Chairman Risk Assessment Review Group; Co-founder and former Chairman of JASON; Former member USAF Scientific Advisory Board; Served in US Navy in WW II; books: Technological Risk (about, surprise, technological risk) and Why Flip a Coin (about decision making)

Hal Lewis believes that the vast amounts of cash poured into the climate change scam has corrupted scientists, and James Delingpole helpfully tries to summarise some of the numbers for us, with one of his commenters quoting The Missing Signatures [PDF]—a fairly comprehensive pamphlet, by Dr David Evans, which concludes that CO2 cannot be the primary or even secondary driver of the observed warming. [Emphasis mine.]
In time-honored journalistic fashion, follow the money:
  • The amount of money spent on anti-AGW activity by organizations is around US$2 million per year, primarily from Heartland.

  • The amount of money spent by pro-AGW organisations on research is about US$3 billion per year, about 1,000 times larger. It mainly comes from big government spending on pro-AGW climate research and on promoting the AGW message, and from the Greens.

  • Emissions trading by the finance industry was US$120 billion in 2008. This will grow to over US$1 trillion by 2012, and carbon emission permit trading will be the largest ―commodity market in the world—larger than oil, steel, rice, wheat etc. Typically the finance industry might pocket 1%–5% of the turnover, so even now their financial interest matches the spending on pro-AGW activities and soon it will vastly exceed it.

Presumably therefore it is the finance industry that is driving the carbon emission permits agenda. Notice that a carbon tax, which would be simpler and fairer, would not benefit the traders and is not being put forward by governments. It is not that the science is settled‖ (a fine piece of anti-science propaganda!), but that the science is simply irrelevant now because big money interests are in control.

Who benefits? Emission permits are created by government fiat, out of thin air, yet have value. Trading favors the well-informed and those who can move the market, so big financial firms will routinely plunder the pockets of smaller market participants. The rest of us, one way or another, will pay for both the government-issued emission permits and the trading profits of the finance industry.

Many of us have been banging on about all of these things for some time now: your humble Devil has tried to concentrate on the uncertainties in the science (and why we should continue to question those) but has also reported on the vast financial concerns involved—not least those of multi-millionaire businessman and head of the IPCC, Dr Rajendra Pachauri.

Like James, I believe that the catastrophic anthropogenic climate change believers are on the run—their scientific credibility is destroyed and there is more than serious doubt about their findings amongst the general population.

And the population of Britain, at least, are likely to become even more sceptical if the predications about the upcoming winter conditions are correct.
Positive Weather Solutions, which correctly predicted last summer's washout and the previous Big Freeze, has forecast a bleak coupld of months with temperatures near last year's low of -22.3C in Altnaharra, Scotland.

According to forecasts, December will see unsettled weather, chiefly affecting the higher ground across the eastern and north-eastern side of the country, and it could well herald a White Christmas.

Meanwhile January will deliver a cold and bright start with some sharp frosts at night.

Sleet and snow showers are predicted to become increasingly widespread, with the potential to cause disruption - particularly in eastern and upland regions.

The wintry weather is set to continue into February which is forecast to be a bitterly cold month.

Forecasters expect the beginning of 2011 to be besieged by disruptive snowfalls across the country, echoing the sub-zero temperatures which saw parts of Britain struggling under up to 12 inches of snow earlier this year.

Unfortunately, it is going to take more than a few bloggers and one or two brave scientists to convince the politicians and the financiers that making money from thin air is simply not sustainable...


Smoking Hot said...

Truth can be so powerful but even more so when combined with honesty and integrity.

Mr. Xyz said...

MSM will try to keep this quiet just like last week's global warming scandal.

If you aren't familiar with the 10:10 dust up, see the videos below.

While watching the first one, ask yourself if it's sincere or if 10:10 is being pranked on by skeptics.

Keep watching until you're sure, and then watch more.

Note: the resignations of Chris Landsea and Roger A Pielke SR. both hint at conspiracy.

Landsea resigned because of an unethical press conference that was likely used by Al Gore as a green light to build his movie around Hurricane Katrina.

Pielke resigned because while lead author for a major climate report, scientists worked behind his back to undermine him. These incidents are well known and not hard to research.
Even if you are familiar with the 10:10 thing, there's a variety of over the top eco stuff in the playlist.


What a surprise,snow in winter,a cold january and february,continuing "wintry weather"lasting until, what,spring?it is good to see that our scientific base is still functioning.But what of summer,is the forecast for gradually lenghtening day light hours,will the equinox still happen,or do the have a committee studying this as we speak?

chris edwards said...

It is alarming to see some of the ignorant comments on WUWT, Prof lewis, who has impeccable credentials is a giant among men (or mice in many cases) still for once in this world we know for sure who are liars and who we can actually trust (anyone that is supposed to be trusted by the public has no excuse for buying in to this scam, they are hopelessly corrupt or are suffering with dementia, either way they are unfit to serve and unless can prove dementia should be stripped of job, pension and qualifications, all of the greedy bastards.