Hal Lewis resigns from the APS in protest

scientist on the rack

Anthony Watts announces what he calls “an important moment in science history.” Professor Harold Lewis reluctantly discards his 67-year membership of the American Physical Society in protest at the global-warming-driven corruption of science (h/t val majkus).

It’s worth reflecting on the significance of this prominent resignation and the reasons he cites for offering it. Here is a sample from his letter:

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.

I predict this will prompt deeper public introspection into global warming and public policy responses to it than have hitherto been possible.

Dr Lewis specifies wrong-doing at the APS, including a secret committee that never met and the brazen ignoring of a lawful petition from the members — driven, he says, by the “trillions of dollars” made available when you believe in man-made global warming, not to mention “frequent trips to exotic islands” so long as you join the global warming club.

20 Thoughts on “Hal Lewis resigns from the APS in protest

  1. val majkus on October 9, 2010 at 4:10 pm said:

    Thank you for publicising this Richard; it’s a magnificent letter written by a brave man; I’ve circulated it in Australia amongst my acquaintances and sent an e mail to Quadrant Online which published Barry Brill last year; I intend sending it to a few politicians as well
    My favourite quote from his letter is …
    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.

  2. Richard C on October 9, 2010 at 4:33 pm said:

    O/T Lobbed the following bomb into this discussion and got the response below it from Dr Judith Curry (have also had some discussion with Dr David Wratt at NIWA in the same vein) :

    What can we learn from climate models?
    http://judithcurry.com/2010/10/03/what-can-we-learn-from-climate-models/

    Richard C (NZ) | October 8, 2010 at 10:14 pm | Reply

    May I extend and put into words, a notion that Dr Roy Clark has previously alluded to but has not since been entertained in model uncertainty discussion.

    That is:

    WE HAVE NOT TO DATE BEEN PRESENTED WITH ACTUAL SIMULATION COMPARISONS BETWEEN COMPETING CLIMATE DRIVER HYPOTHESES AND COMBINATIONS OF SUCH.

    Where are the ensembles that are pitted against AGW-centric simulations?

    The PCMDI project that supposedly makes model inter-comparisons is a massive group-think exercise and somewhat incestuous.

    The IPCC’s assertion that: well, we took out CO2 forcing and ran 15 simulations on 5 different models using natural forcing only (Lean solar) with OUR RF methodology and the simulations failed to mimic 90’s warming, JUST DOES NOT STAND UP TO SCRUTINY.

    Both the IPCC’s ACO2 forced AND the naturally forced simulations, failed to mimic the 1930’s warming AND the ACO2 forced simulations are now diverging from the observed condition (points of inflexion across several metrics in the mid 2000’s).

    Where are the models that mimic observable natural phenomena?

    e.g.

    CO2 fails to account for the 1930′s warming but sunspot cycle length correlates with temperature over the entire warming period:

    http://www.appinsys.com/GlobalWarming/GW_Part6_SolarEvidence_files/image013.jpg

    CO2 fails to correlate with Arctic-wide Surface Air Temperature anomalies:

    http://www.appinsys.com/GlobalWarming/GW_Part6_SolarEvidence_files/image024.gif

    But solar irradiance does:

    http://www.appinsys.com/GlobalWarming/GW_Part6_SolarEvidence_files/image023.gif

    And then there’s the reduction in early 90′s planet albedo.

    It is specious to be addressing model uncertainty, when the rest of the competition has not been evaluated, and does it even exist?

    What is the state-of-play in natural forcings modeling work?

    Is there an umbrella group like WCRP, SPARC, PCMDI or CMIP5? Any direction or link in this regard would help me considerably. Where do I look for extensive analysis (to the same degree as AGW-centric) of natural forcings simulations that do actually attempt to mimic the above examples?

    *
    curryja | October 8, 2010 at 10:31 pm | Reply

    Richard, the issue of model forcings and the 20th century attribution by climate models will be addressed in a future post (two weeks)

  3. Richard C on October 10, 2010 at 11:06 am said:

    Have had some very reasonable discussion with Dr David Wratt re Climate Models and natural forcing in particular. This was the latest exchange:

    Dear Richard

    I see from your second email message that since originally contacting me you have become aware of some of the material in the IPCC Fourth Assessment (AR4) assessing climate simulations driven by natural forcings. Some of the matters you refer to in your 29 September email are discussed in Chapter 9 (Section 9.4.1.2) of the AR4 Working Group 1 report and illustrated in figure 9.5 of that chapter.

    I assume that when you discuss “the 1930s spike in temperatures” you are referring to the global temperature anomaly through roughly the period of the Second World War seen in the heavy black line of IPCC WG1 Figure 9.5. You may be aware that after the AR4 was completed Thompson and colleagues published a paper suggesting that the shape of the temperature anomaly graph through this period was influenced by changes in the dominant methods used for measuring temperatures from ships (Thompson D.W.J. et al, Nature 453, pp 646-649, 2008). In particular, for part of the war most of the marine observations were from US ships relying primarily on engine intake water temperature measurements, while between late 1945 and 1949 about 50% were from ships of UK origin which primarily used uninsulated bucket measurements. Engine room intake measurements are generally biased warm relative to uninsulated bucket measurements. Thus I would caution you from reading too much into the apparent “spike”.

    The reason advanced for the discrepancy between the observed global temperature anomalies in the latter part of the 20th Century and global temperatures obtained from models using only natural forcing, is that much of the warming through this period is driven by anthropogenic forcings. IPCC WG1 Figure 9.5a shows that when models are driven by these anthropogenic forcings in addition to the natural forcings they do a good job of reproducing the observed global temperature anomalies in the latter part of the 20th Century.

    I now return to the suggestion in your first email message that NIWA should carry out global simulations using natural forcings only. As discussed above several modeling groups from around the world with much greater staff resources than we have at NIWA have already put substantial effort into examining results from models driven only by natural forcings – this forms an important part of “detection and attribution” research. At NIWA we have to make choices about where to put our effort, and are focusing mainly on regional modeling and analysis for New Zealand and its surroundings. However this does include work on examining the relative influences of natural and anthropogenic forcings on temperature changes in our part of the world, in which we are collaborating with a scientist from the UK Hadley Centre.

    Regards – David Wratt

    Dr Wratt,

    Thank you very much for your thoughts. I realise that fielding
    questions from the general public probably goes beyond the duty of
    your office so your time and effort is much appreciated.

    I had read (and promptly forgotten) the issues re 1930’s temperature
    so your refreshment of my memory gives me something to chew on.

    I note that:

    1. There is much debate about the reason for the 90’s warming and
    another possibility advanced is a reduction in planet albedo in the
    early 90’s (simplistically, more TSI in – oceans warmed – atmosphere
    warmed late 90’s) that was not mimiced by the natural forcings
    simulations via feedback mechanism or other means.

    2. Debate has now moved past the turn of the century with the release
    of a number of recent papers e.g. Christy 2010, Spencer-Braswell 2010,
    Knox-Douglass 2010 and that we have observed points of inflexion
    across several metrics in the mid 2000’s and the new trends have
    continued unabated. i.e. The models of last generation (AR4) are being
    called to account by the current situation.

    Rest assured that I will not be haggling with you on these 2 issues in
    a 1:1 debate on this forum.

    My intention since discovering the AR4 natural forcings only
    submissions is to determine the state-of play in natural forcings
    modeling work but am a little daunted as to where to start. Is there
    an umbrella group like WCRP, SPARC, PCMDI or CMIP5? Any direction or
    link in this regard would help me on my way (out of your Inbox) but
    your pointer to “detection and attribution” research helps.

    I have discovered that a relevant international forum has been opened
    up by Dr Judith Curry at her Blog post “What can we learn from climate
    models?'” http://judithcurry.com/2010/10/03/what-can-we-learn-from-climate-models/
    This is the first of what will be an on-going series, focussing on
    model uncertainty . My view (of extremely limited credence) is that:
    we have not to date been presented with actual simulation comparisons
    between competing climate driver hypotheses and combinations of such.
    I am sure that participating in that rarefied atmosphere of debate
    will rapidly acquaint me with some realities.

    I will also be pushing this barrow:

    CO2 fails to account for the 1930′s warming but sunspot cycle length
    correlates with temperature over the entire warming period:

    http://www.appinsys.com/GlobalWarming/GW_Part6_SolarEvidence_files/image013.jpg

    CO2 fails to correlate with Arctic-wide Surface Air Temperature anomalies:

    http://www.appinsys.com/GlobalWarming/GW_Part6_SolarEvidence_files/image024.gif

    But solar irradiance does:

    http://www.appinsys.com/GlobalWarming/GW_Part6_SolarEvidence_files/image023.gif

    Where are the models that mimic these natural phenomena?

    I realise the constraints NIWA has at this stage in regard to
    tinkering with an off-the-shelf model to investigate different
    scenarios but this:

    “However this does include work on examining the relative influences
    of natural and anthropogenic forcings on temperature changes in our
    part of the world, in which we are collaborating with a scientist from
    the UK Hadley Centre.”

    is encouraging.

    I look forward to the results of this work sometime in the future (1,2,3 years?)

    Regards and thanks,

    Richard Cumming

  4. Mr. Xyz on October 10, 2010 at 12:07 pm said:

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

    If you aren’t familliar with the 10:10 dust up, see these videos.

    While watching the first one, ask yourself if it’s sincere or if it’s a spoof.

    Keep watching until you’re sure, and then watch more.
    http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=7C79DEF1EE25E880

  5. Richard C on October 10, 2010 at 12:37 pm said:

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

    Although Delingpole’s got a big headline.

    US physics professor: ‘Global warming is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life’

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100058265/us-physics-professor-global-warming-is-the-greatest-and-most-successful-pseudoscientific-fraud-i-have-seen-in-my-long-life/

    I ran it through BackType – 48,239 Twitter impressions

    http://www.backtype.com/page/blogs.telegraph.co.uk%2Fnews%2Fjamesdelingpole%2F100058265%2Fus-physics-professor-global-warming-is-the-greatest-and-most-successful-pseudoscientific-fraud-i-have-seen-in-my-long-life%2F

  6. Richard C on October 10, 2010 at 12:42 pm said:

    Reqd. Reading IMHO

    “Climate science blinded by the Sun”

    Robert Matthews Last Updated: Oct 10, 2010

    Excerpts

    “But for climate change sceptics, the real significance of the findings lies in the warning shot fired across the bows of those who believe the science of climate change is settled. If we don’t even understand the source of the world’s warmth, they argue, how can we presume to predict the future temperature of our planet? Furthermore, does it make sense to take immediate action to combat global warming, when it will take at least several solar cycles – several decades, in other words – to confirm or refute these latest findings?”

    “Climate scientists may thus be about to learn what physicists have long recognised: that sometimes the more you find out, the less you know.”

    http://www.thenational.ae/featured-content/channel-page/news/worldwide/middle-conversation-columnist-opinion/climate-science-blinded-by-the-sun?pageCount=2

  7. Richard C on October 11, 2010 at 4:29 pm said:

    I crack myself up!

    At JoNova “The scientific world is fracturing”

    http://joannenova.com.au/2010/10/the-scientific-world-is-fracturing/

    Rejoinder to a passing troll (oh dear)

    Recent Comments

    * oh dear: Someone who is not a climate scientist r…
    * oh dear: Another thing – has anyone here actually…
    * Ron Kilmartin: Dear Oh Dear! “…an independent commis…
    * oh dear: Hi Ron #28 You say You…
    * Richard C (NZ): @ 27 Dare doubt dumb danger dear….

  8. Mark S. on October 12, 2010 at 4:29 am said:

    Will someone please explain why this past year was the hottest on record, and why Los Angeles experienced its hottest day on record last month. No global warming?

  9. Richard C on October 13, 2010 at 11:52 am said:

    Classic comment from the equivalent post at JoNova.

    Author: Gator
    Comment:
    Hey Geo! So very well said. My background is mostly in Geology and that is why I was a skeptic the first time I heard the words “global” and “warming” put together (my exact remark rhymes with fullfit). I knew long before 1988 that we are in what is known in geology circles as an “interglacial” and that it is supposed to be getting warmer. Apparently science died shortly after I graduated.

  10. Richard C on October 13, 2010 at 11:58 am said:

    Time has moved on since that pronouncement Mark.

    Since then the global metrics have experienced a pronounced turnaround (It happens every year) so there’s still time for the average to be dragged down by a cold NH winter (like last year).

    BTW, hows the LA weather?

  11. val majkus on October 14, 2010 at 10:40 am said:

    Australian MSM today reporting on Professor Lewis Physicist mocks climate ‘scam’ http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/physicist-mocks-climate-scam/story-fn59niix-1225938436693
    with of course a swipe from ANU climate scientist Will Steffen, who sits on the federal government’s climate change committee who said Professor Lewis had not published in the climate science or earth sciences literature. He said three investigations into the so-called climate-gate scandal had exonerated those involved and found there had been no perversion of the peer review system.

  12. Richard C on October 14, 2010 at 10:58 am said:

    “who said Professor Lewis had not published in the climate science or earth sciences literature”

    So what!

    I placed a comment at JD’s Blog that addresses this;

    Richard Cumming says:
    October 13, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    Yes Manuel, our common sense is being insulted.

    You say:

    “I find it interesting, this notion that those of us who aren’t scientists should trust those who are. Well, up to a point.”

    And I say:

    “It is not compulsory to be a climate scientist in order to check the weather or the climate.”

    The AGW faction of climate science seems to think that their particular branch of science is completely unintelligible to any other field of science, engineering, medicine, law, architecture etc and the trades: electricians, builders, nurses, HVAC technicians and farmers out in the weather/climate all year round and mums taking their kids to school and that the very special nature of AGW climate science must be interpreted to us in Janet and John “trust us” fashion.

    But the simple fact is: that climate science is not unintelligible to every-one but them; Stephen Wilde (a Solicitor) has figured it out, and anyone with a rudimentary education can do the same, and even that’s not strictly necessary when simple observation will suffice.

    Also, since when does the IPCC have a monopoly on knowledge of the future?

    I suggest that there are people who regularly work with heat or sea level or atmosphere such as boiler operators or port operators or airline pilots for example, that are in the same or even better position than “climate change communicators” and climate scientists to assess the merits or otherwise of the CAGW case.

    And Climate Action splatter videos do not assist the process of understanding except to provide insight into the barrenness of argument.

    http://jamesdelingpole.com/blog/1010-who-are-you-going-to-kill-to-help-save-the-planet-1143/comment-page-1/#comment-5742

  13. Richard C on October 14, 2010 at 2:58 pm said:

    The folks at Jo Nova a dealing with a troll infestation at the equivalent post there.

    http://joannenova.com.au/2010/10/the-scientific-world-is-fracturing/

  14. Richard C (NZ) on October 17, 2010 at 12:33 pm said:

    Global warming fraud: the tide begins to turn

    Funny business, blogging. Sometimes, you put up a post you personally think is genius and no one gives a damn. Other times, you put up a post you imagine is fairly routine – and suddenly the internet goes mental.

    US physics professor: “Global warming is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life” definitely belonged in the latter category.

    I claim no credit for it. All I did was print, verbatim, a resignation letter written by a distinguished US physics professor Hal Lewis to the American Physical Society. Possibly I helped give it legs by singling out the juiciest quote in the letter and putting it in the headline. That’s all. The true hero of the hour is Professor Lewis for having the courage to stick out his neck and say what so many thousands of other scientists around the world would dearly love to say too: that the global warming industry is a scam and sham.

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100058598/global-warming-fraud-the-tide-begins-to-turn/

  15. val majkus on October 17, 2010 at 12:48 pm said:

    Yes Richard I read that earlier today and loved the comment by Scotchman ‘No surprise here. Don’t know if any of you are scientists but climate change is a bit of a standing joke in the science community. Want funding for a study of, say, UK swan populations? Sorry old boy, no money. Well, in that case I would like to conduct a study into the effect of climate change on UK swan populations. Certainly, how much would you like? Trouble is it distorts the research. The scientist’s objective is to stay in a job, publish papers and run a research team. Process takes precedent over results, a bit like modern policing and medicine really.’

    Sad really ‘it distorts the research’; I suppose you could get a grant and then come out with a conclusion ‘no effect on UK swan populations because no warming at the moment’ or something similar but how many more grants would you then be likely to get with that conclusion if you were that scientist

  16. Richard C (NZ) on October 17, 2010 at 1:24 pm said:

    Want funding for a study of, say, UK swan populations? Sorry old boy, no money.

    Well, in that case I would like to conduct a study into the effect of climate change on UK swan populations. Certainly, how much would you like?

    Deserves to be highlighted.

    I remember reading that first time around but lost the link. Good that JD could dredge it up.

  17. Richard C (NZ) on October 17, 2010 at 1:35 pm said:

    Global warming fraud: the tide begins to turn

    Ranks alongside

    Climategate: the final nail in the coffin of ‘Anthropogenic Global Warming’?

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100017393/climategate-the-final-nail-in-the-coffin-of-anthropogenic-global-warming/

  18. Richard C (NZ) on October 17, 2010 at 1:38 pm said:

    And

    US physics professor: ‘Global warming is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life’

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100058265/us-physics-professor-global-warming-is-the-greatest-and-most-successful-pseudoscientific-fraud-i-have-seen-in-my-long-life/

  19. G.S. Williams on January 4, 2011 at 11:06 am said:

    to MarkS:

    CORRECTION

    Jim Hansen is wrong stating that 2010 was the hottest, it’s actually 1934.

  20. val majkus on January 4, 2011 at 11:17 am said:

    the funniest post I’ve read about the warmest year is Do We Care if 2010 is the Warmist Year in History? Posted on December 25, 2010 by Ira Glickstein, PhD
    The race at that time was between 1998 and 1934.
    (quoting) According to the latest from NASA GISS (Goddard Institute for Space Studies), 2010 is shaping up to be “the warmest of 131 years”, based on global data from January through November. They compare it to 2005 “2nd warmest of 131 years” and 1998 “5th warmest of 131 years”.

    We won’t know until the December data is in. Even then, given the level of noise in the base data and the wiggle room in the analysis, each of which is about the same magnitude as the Global Warming they are trying to quantify, we may not know for several years. If ever. GISS seems to analyze the data for decades, if necessary, to get the right answer.

    A case in point is the still ongoing race between 1934 and 1998 to be the hottest for US annual mean temperature…”

    Dr Glickstein then went through the adjustments to 1934/1998 and has a delightful graph showing 1998 on a ski lift and 1934 on a downhill run’

    (and after all that exercise by 1934 and 1998 her conclusion)
    OOPS, the hot race continued after the FOIA email! I checked the tabular data at GISS Contiguous 48 U.S. Surface Air Temperature Anomaly (C) today and, guess what? Since the Sato FOIA email discussed above, GISS has continued their taxpayer-funded work on both 1998 and 1934. The Annual Mean for 1998 has increased to 1.32ºC, a gain of a bit over an 11th of a degree (+0.094ºC), while poor old 1934 has been beaten down to 1.2ºC., a loss of about a 20th of a degree (-0.049ºC). So, sad to say, 1934 has lost the hot race by about an eighth of a degree (0.12ºC). Tough loss for the old-timer.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/12/25/do-we-care-if-2010-is-the-warmist-year-in-history/

    The other interesting post I’ve read is
    2010 – where does it fit in the warmest year list?
    Posted on December 28, 2010 by Don J. Easterbrook
    (selectively quoting)
    Regardless of which year wins the temperature adjustment battle, how significant will that be? To answer that question, we need to look at a much longer time frame‒centuries and millennia….
    So where do the 1934/1998/2010 warm years rank in the long-term list of warm years? Of the past 10,500 years, 9,100 were warmer than 1934/1998/2010. Thus, regardless of which year ( 1934, 1998, or 2010) turns out to be the warmest of the past century, that year will rank number 9,099 in the long-term list.

    The climate has been warming slowly since the Little Ice Age (Fig. 5), but it has quite a ways to go yet before reaching the temperature levels that persisted for nearly all of the past 10,500 years.

    It’s really much to do about nothing.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/12/28/2010%e2%80%94where-does-it-fit-in-the-warmest-year-list/#more-30425

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