Sunday, December 6, 2009

Climate "science"

This was sent to me by a member of the APS:

Dear fellow member of the American Physical Society:

This is a matter of great importance to the integrity of the Society. It is being sent
to a random fraction of the membership, so we hope you will pass it on.

By now everyone has heard of what has come to be known as ClimateGate,
which was and is an international scientific fraud, the worst any of us have seen
in our cumulative 223 years of APS membership. For those who have missed
the news we recommend the excellent summary article by Richard Lindzen in
the November 30 edition of the Wall Street journal, entitled "The Climate Science
isn't Settled," for a balanced account of the situation. It was written by a scientist
of unquestioned authority and integrity. A copy can be found among the items at, and a visit to can fill in
the details of the scandal, while adding spice.

What has this to do with APS? In 2007 the APS Council adopted a Statement on
global warming (also reproduced at the tinyurl site mentioned above) that was
based largely on the scientific work that is now revealed to have been corrupted.
(The principals in this escapade have not denied what they did, but have sought
to dismiss it by saying that it is normal practice among scientists. You know and we
know that that is simply untrue. Physicists are not expected to cheat.)

We have asked the APS management to put the 2007 Statement on ice until the
extent to which it is tainted can be determined, but that has not been done. We
have also asked that the membership be consulted on this point, but that too has
not been done.

None of us would use corrupted science in our own work, nor would we sign off
on a thesis by a student who did so. This is not only a matter of science, it is a matter
of integrity, and the integrity of the APS is now at stake. That is why we are taking
the unusual step of communicating directly with at least a fraction of the membership.

If you believe that the APS should withdraw a Policy Statement that is based on
admittedly corrupted science, and should then undertake to clarify the real state of
the art in the best tradition of a learned society, please send a note to the incoming
President of the APS, with the single word YES in the subject
line. That will make it easier for him to count.

Bob Austin, Professor of Physics, Princeton
Hal Lewis, emeritus Professor of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara
Will Happer, Professor of Physics, Princeton
Larry Gould, Professor of Physics, Hartford
Roger Cohen, former Manager, Strategic Planning, ExxonMobil