Friday, March 28, 2014

Science strikes back at Global Warming nuttery

And by "Science" I mean "the Scientific Establishment" - at least the American Physical Society.  The APS is the professional society for Physicists, and was last seen here in Hal Lewis' spectacular resignation letter to the President of the APS:
Hal Lewis is one of the Senior Statesmen of American Physics.  He's been a member of the American Physical Society for 67 years (!).  His bio lays out his bona fides:


Hal Lewis thinks that Global Warming is an anti-scientific, money-grabbing scam by scientists, and says so in a brutal resignation letter sent to the president of the APS:

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.
It is long, and detailed, and the most damning indictment of the scientific community that I've ever seen.  Coming from someone of his stature, it takes on the weight of Zola's J'accuse.  If the Academy is not entirely corrupt (a big "if", to be sure), this will be taught in History of Science classes twenty years from now, as Richard Feynman's O-Ring experiment in the Challenger Disaster investigation is.
Well, it seems that the APS is not entirely corrupt:
The self-correcting tendencies of real science appear to be emerging.  Thanks to a link from Sense of Events, I found this article from an Australian journal called Quadrant: Finally, Some Real Climate Science.  It opens by saying the APS rules require them to recheck these sorts of support every five years, to make sure they're keeping up with science.  In a bold and completely honest move, they staffed the committee doing the review with three very well regarded "climate skeptics", Richard Lindzen of MIT, Judith Curry of Georgia Tech and John Christy of UAH (Alabama Huntsville).  The other three are prominent members of the IPCC establishment: IPCC lead author and modeler William Collins, atmospheric physicist Isaac Held, and Ben Santer.  The Quadrant article lists some of the questions that they are asking.  This is a real breath of fresh air; real science is trying to emerge here.
These are big guns: Lindzen spent years sending weather balloons into the stratosphere looking for the predicted "hot spot" that CO2 theory requires to warm the lower atmosphere.  He couldn't find it.  Christy runs the UAH satellite temperature data set, the first truly global climate data set.  Curry (seen here before) heads Georgia Tech's school of Earth and Atmospheric science and has published repeatedly on the uncertainties in climate modeling.  If I were to pick three skeptics of stature, these are precisely the ones I'd choose.

Well done, APS.


UK Houston said...

Here's a corrected link to the Hal Lewis resignation letter ...

Dave H said...

It's a pity some changes in science take place over almost geologic time scales, but like a friend of mine at Ohio State reminded me, "shift happens."