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back to article Hefty physicist: Global warming is 'pseudoscientific fraud'

A heavyweight American boffin has dubbed the global warming movement "the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist", and resigned in protest from the American Physical Society, saying that the society has deliberately stifled debate on the subject. The prof's resignation …

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Black Helicopters

No facts just politics

Has this guy got any info to share? Doesn't seem that way ...

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Anonymous Coward

The scientist dood

or the author?

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Suprise that

There is more at the telegraph, they are going crazy I think in the belief that at long last someone from the denier camp has something to say.

Of course they haven't read his letter - he doesn't have anything to say except he didn't like the tone of the extracts of certain climategate emails.

Oh, and he believes it's all a conspiracy and because he knows maths (not usual in a physicist) he must be right.

I'm not having a go at people who do physics - they just don't have the time.

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No facts just politics

Sounds like a summary of his argument.

How very nicely put!

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Exact.

"No facts just politics". That is exactly why he resigned, he did not resign because he disagreed with global warming, he resigned because the scientific establishment forbids debate. He resigned because the vast quantities of money involved in climate research has corrupted the scientists so much they can no longer be considered to be performing science.

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Facts

It's not made explicit, but it sounds as if he's commenting adversely on the scientific methods used in some global warming studies, rather than introducing new data. His opinion on this is as valid as that of any comparably-qualified scientist.

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read it again

He's not trying to push his own info. He's calling everyone else on the fact that their info has been proved to be made up.

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Black Helicopters

I think ...

... he shared more info than you give him credit for -- chiefly, openly stating the motives behind what should be an important field of science, but which in his eyes (and I find myself agreeing) is just one giant scam, which *we* get presented the bill for in taxes, restrictive rules, and impossible project with a *far* greater impact and cost than doing the research properly, not to mention the -damage- these ill-advised schemes may end up doing because they're based more on wishful thinking than fact.

Black Helicopter, surely the AGW Commandos will come to fetch me for the crime of skepticism this time ... ;-)

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Huh?

Did you not read his letter? The issue at hand is not about the details of catastrophic man-made global warming, or even whether it exists. It is about the suppression of open data, testing and debate, all of which are part of real science. Dr Lewis resigned because data were hidden, testing of methodology was impossible because methods were kept secret, and debate was quashed; all of which are antithetical to scientific inquiry

If you don't think that's possible, read the climategate emails for yourself.

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Sure he shared

Sure he has information to share... Did you read his open letter?

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move along

Really? that's your take? Emeritus Professor of Physics resigns from the APS and calls CAGW "...the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist." and it's "nothing to see here, move along"? Good luck with that!

Yet another plug for Montford's book in the resignation letter as well, looks like I'll have to drag myself away from Mills and Boon for a while and see what all the fuss is about.

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He does have info, yes

His info is that the scientific method has been discarded in favour of saying things that will get funding. As such, these things cannot be viewed as science.

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@Glenn 4

He has plenty to say. Your faith doesn't allow you to understand his message.

Fact is that the world has been both warmer and colder in historical times. Regardless of the ignorant hand wringing and political haymaking, in all reality humans do not fully understand the mechanism(s) involved. Claiming people are the root cause is hubris, at best.

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Flame

He has not. And he does not need to. The Russians do

The Russian analysis of the ClimateGate methods for data selection makes a very interesting reading. It is a pity that it was not translated into English from the very start.

As per standard rules of scientific debate this analysis needs a proper counter and refutal from the Climategate crowd with numbers, facts and full justification. They have failed to do that so far. There has been _NO_ proper argumentated refutal. No proper explanation with numbers in hand why the Russians are wrong and _NO_ explanation on why did they chose the particular datapoints they used for the Eastern hemisphere as well as why they did not even verify their datapoints with someone who had good knowledge of the russian met survey data.

All in all the guy does have a point and he does not really need to redo the analysis. It has already been done. That is one of the things about science - you do not redo something unless there is a _SCIENTIFIC_ reason to redo it. As long as there is no refutal of the problems noted with the climategate data there is no such reason. Handwaving and grand political posturing does not count and that is all we have seen so far.

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I think that's the point.

It's a political statement he's making due to the refusal of scientists to behave like scientists. The info is there in the "Climate Gate" documents and even articles here on El Reg which call into question anthropogenic climate change, at least by the standard "Carbon" model, and its supposed effects.

Real scientists would be battling to disprove the conjecture of anthropogenic climate change in the same way that people are looking for evidence to disprove the theory of evolution, for example, because it is only in constantly questioning and analysing that the facts become known.

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Anonymous Coward

I hate the term denier

It has conetations of Holocost denier etc. Which is probably why its used.

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Facts

Actually, the letter has plenty of facts supporting the main theme: the reasons he is leaving the APS. He describes plenty of things wrong with the Society. Lots of facts.

What he doesn't list are those facts he presumably would've mentioned at the Topical Group, had it been properly called.

In all, it's a very well written letter, with plenty of facts supporting the main proposition.

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Quite

>His opinion on this is as valid as that of any comparably-qualified scientist.

Quite - another denier who has collected no data of his own, done none of the legwork - but dismisses the opposition on the basis of some gossip.

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Inconveniently untrue

>If you don't think that's possible, read the climategate emails for yourself.

And then go to NOAA, where all this 'hidden' data are available, for free.

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Real science

>Real scientists would be battling to disprove the conjecture of anthropogenic climate change >in the same way that people are looking for evidence to disprove the theory of evolution, for >example, because it is only in constantly questioning and analysing that the facts become >known.

Indeed - by doing their own work, collecting their own data, performing their own analyses. But the deniers have done none of these.

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Flame

Apologies, what data did University of East Anglia collect?

If my memory serves me right - none.

First of all, they used data from the Met Office, NOAA, the Russian met survey as well as data from other EU countries where available. They collected _NO_ data of their own.

Once they got all that data they cherry-picked from the dataset in violation of all rules of statistics and they tried to hide the fact that the data set is "polished". They went as far as to break UK laws here. Any of us working in the corporate sector would have been fired for that one on the spot.

What else is there to talk about here?

By the way - I am neither in support nor against global warming. After reading the Russian analysis of what Climategate did to "their" data I simply want to see a proper explanation without handwaving and ad-hominem. I also want to see all those who committed cirminal offences under the data protection act being fired once and for all so there is no repeat of that. Law is a law. We may not like it, but we have to obey by it.

That has not been forthcoming.

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Target shift, eh?

The hidden data in question are (esp.) Mann's and Bifra's paleo-proxies, not NOAA's weather station data. You might want to turn a jaundiced eye in that direction, too. An ongoing survey of station siting issues shows very few that are sited properly according to NOAA's own specifications. (http://www.surfacestations.org/)

In the area of surface temps, read the CRU letters. There, so-called scientists discuss how to hide temperature records form all who are not a part of their own little circle jerk. These same people admit or claim to having lost he raw data and now have only their own versions that have been pasteurized, homogenized, bent, stapled, folded, and otherwise mutilated.

Don't take my word for it. Read the emails. It's all there. In their own words.

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@strum

NOAA's data has also been modified and corrupted.. have you even attempted to read the climate-gate emails? My best guess is that you haven't, or didn't understand what you read, or have already made up your mind that humans are causing this.. that the earth is actually heating up when the true readings show quite the opposite!

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Pirate

Quite Mr strum

Dear strum,

Any data he collected , however real , true and factual would not get published by an Scientific magazine,

It is a forbidden subject ,

You must believe what the "majority" say and not be a heretic .

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the main info here

Is that the APS has breached its own rules by ignoring a petition from sufficient APS members to start a group, and instead launching its own survey about interest in a different group.

I agree with him, that is problematic and grounds for walking.

However, his letter on things beyond the APS politics is quite weak. He approvingly cites convicted fraud Monckton's silly book and - surprising to see from a scientist - chose to read the selected email disclosed by hackers, and not the responses to the leaks from those whose email had been stolen.

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Denier

For ages when I saw that word I read it as den-ee-er. <sigh> I guess I've been over here in France for too long.

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When is it 'stifling' and when is it ignoring?

Any decent scientific group would ignore a scientist who claimed that Darwinian evolution was rubbish and wrong. That 'evolution sceptic' would feel stifled, silenced, excluded, and revolted by the continuing writing of and support for Darwinian evolution within scientific society.

As long as Prof. Lewis responds in emotional terms, he is himself not being scientific. What are the hard nuggets of logic and proof that he is right, or at least that the pro-Climate-Change group are wrong? If he is revolted by scientific inaccuracies, unsupportable extensions of statistical trends, etc. let him spell these out, in as much detail as he can muster.

I am neither a rapid 'climate change' fanatic nor a sceptic, I simply have to be guided by scientific consensus, based on such reading I am able to do as an educated non-scientist. It seems to me that climate change is probably happening (by this I mean 'deep time' climate change, not a blip on a chart) and I see no reason not to believe, on the evidence, that some part of it is due to human agency. I respect much of what James Lovelock has done, and I think his statements that humans are deeply implicated and that it is too late to reverse this are probably true. Until I can read something substantive (hello, Prof Lewis) to change my mind, I will assume that sceptics have as much political reason for being sceptical as they accuse 'believers' for believing.

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You don't get it

A- The burden of scientific proof is on the proposer of a theory, not those who doubt it. I have not proven that Venus is populated by intelligent lizards by saying you cannot prove it isn't.

B- The Professor is complaining that the establishment is stifling debate and skewing the scientific process. That is a complaint about how the "science" is being done, not about the merits of the case. The merits cannot be given true scientific examination under such conditions. Pseudoscience is the correct word for this.

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@Hollerith 1

I think you may be missing the point, as an example "Any decent scientific group would ignore a scientist who claimed that Darwinian evolution was rubbish and wrong. " -- any decent scientific group would want to see the evidence and would try to prove Darwinian evolution was wrong. In fact, in some senses that has happened -- the theory of evolution is a little different now to the way it was.

Any good theory will stand up to criticism and those who back it will welcome when others question their results. The "Carbon" brigade have the arrogance to call their theory "fact" when it has been shown that results have been falsified, people have downright lied, and evidence keeps popping up to say that they are incorrect in their assumptions.

Of course it is possible that humans may be altering the climate, and of course we should probably use less resources -- but that doesn't mean that governments should take billions from the population in the name of one element. It also doesn't mean that scientists should stop looking into climate change and refining their theories -- science shouldn't reach a consensus just because everyone panics.

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Big Brother

The prof

I think the good prof is complaining that the rigours of normal scientific debate are being ignored in favour of pushing a particular agenda which produces the best income for institutes.

You don't need to be a climate specialist to see that proper peer review is not taking place.

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Misplaced arrogance

>when it has been shown that results have been falsified, people have downright lied, and >evidence keeps popping up to say that they are incorrect in their assumptions.

OK. Let's have some evidence for these calumnies. What results have been falsified? Who has 'downright lied'? What sustantive evidence 'keeps popping up'?

(scrawls in denier blogs don't count).

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You really don't get it.

>The burden of scientific proof

The concept of proof has no place in science. Even our most solid scientific 'facts' are no more than the best available hypothesis - awaiting disproof.

You have just demonstrated that you really don't get it.

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WTF?

@strum

seriously... just read the climate-gate emails

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@ Hollerith 1

You don't quite understand how science works, do you? It should, in its pure form, carry the burden of proof. Yes, any scientist is perfectly free to claim that evolution is rubbish and wrong... provided they have the evidence to back up their assertion. To be disregarded is only stifling if you have the evidence and you then find yourself getting buried.

I think Prof. Lewis is completely correct to respond in emotional terms. He is a man that believes in the scientific method and it no doubt pains him to see this corrupted. Lest it be pointed out for the various commentards here that appear not to have actually bothered reading this letter, he is NOT taking an emotional stance on climate change, he is taking an emotional stance on how the very science is being performed. If you manipulate the data in order to appease somebody (be it a government, the accountants, or your boss) you are no longer a scientist, you're a charlatan... this is the point he is making. So much weight is being based upon such flimsy methods.

This is why we have the "believers" and the "deniers". The data, and the conclusions reached, are not able to speak for themselves.

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@strum

No you really have proven yourself that you do not understand science or Scientific Method!

For something to be proved in scientific terms it has to be capable of being duplicated and your method of proving your theory must also be fully documented and also be capable of being duplicated (anyone remember the cold fusion scientist who lied in his research???) This is why the Big Bang Theory is a theory and not a Law. We do not have the ability to duplicate what happened at this time (and probably never will)

What we are seeing being done here and now in the name of science is very similar to what we saw here in the US a few years ago with Intelligent Design. (Religion pretending to be science)

"Even our most solid scientific 'facts' are no more than the best available hypothesis - awaiting disproof." True - but they are also awaiting proof.. which does happen. often! (see above)

I just hope real scientist start to get involved and start educating and calling these pretend ones out in the press before we really start screwing the world up for real. I've even read that 1 group wants to start dumping iron filings into the oceans to create algae blooms so that more oxygen gets released. soooo dumping iron > creates algae bloom > release more oxygen > but as a side effect kills millions of fish... unbelievable!

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Boffin

Ad hominem

This seems like little more than an extended ad hominem... I kind of got bored reading through it all after a while. Is there any, you know, science buried in all that? May *not* contain content of a highly technical nature icon required...

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Jobs Halo

The Global Warming 'debate' is not science , its politics.

On the one hand you have the vast majority of scientists who make their judgement based on facts. On the other you have politicians, economists journalists and everyone else who doesn't like the cost implications. So its big news when someone educated apparently supports the Anti-GW science, however there is an apparent reason for his personal attack - he has a political conflict with the American Physical Society.

Not that that will be a problem with the AGW lobby, he can add up, so thats a major win for them.

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Science in a letter of resignation ?

I don't think that would be the right place to put it.

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Black Helicopters

About flipping time!

And a damn shame that the fella will inevitably be silenced, fired, have funding withdrawn or be professionally discredited shortly for not lapping up the "general consensus" opinion that it's all our fault as a species. Once we can predict with any accuracy a decent summer, or even manage to guarantee that I can hang my washing out next weekend beacuse it'll be a lovely day with a slight breeze, then maybe I'll believe the idiots that think they can predict the next decades temperature increases based on last weeks weather observations (and squish any anomalous data points that don't fit the model, whilst simultaneously discovering that the main offender is carbon released due to me being too lazy to wash dishes and using a dishwasher).

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Joke

it never rains but it pours

Ah this argument. You're in such good company...

http://www.answersingenesis.org/media/image/cartoons/after-eden/accurate-science

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He's already being discredited

By some of the commenters in this very thread.

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@G4

There's always someone who doesn't grasp the difference between climate and weather.

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Boffin

Hmm.

In which case, dear boy, you need to go and learn the difference between weather and climate.

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@Maksim Rukov

you're debating global warming with religion? Ok.. well you've already lost the scientific debate.. care to continue?

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althought

to his credit, Global warming has become more of a religion than a properly debated field of scientific enquiry, with people scared that if they question anything the prius brigade spouts they risk loosing their funding.

Take the replacement of incandescent lightbulbs with fluorescent ones that contain hideous amounts of toxic metals like mercury that are going to end up in land fills.

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Anti-Global warming religion

I would argue the opposite: The anti-GW crowd have a religious zeal and have yet to do the hard science. You know, the years of study in the field, the maths and research through to finally getting a paper published. Its easy to go round shouting "Its a conspiracy!", but to do science - real science - is *hard*. The anti-GW people should try it some time.

Fluorescent bulbs are already being replaced with LED bulbs. In any case, the extra energy required to power incandescent bulbs requires more fossil fuels to be burnt, the bi-products of which include... yup, you guessed it - mercury (and lots of other nasty chemicals). In fact, so much more energy is required to power the incandescent that if you take into account the emissions at the power station, the incandescent will produce *more* mercury - and directly into the atmosphere, not in a fairly tough glass and ceramic container that can be recycled if treated with reasonable care.

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@Ocular

It's not the Anti GW crowd that has to prove anything. Its the GW crowd who need to follow scientific method and then show the data how they came to their conclusions.

This is their theory and it is up to them to prove by releasing real data. So far they have not done so. They release numbers that have been modified, they lower temps from the past to make the present much warmer appearing than what is actually is (real world data - taken from the climate-gate scandal actually shows that global temperatures have in reality been falling for at least the past 15 years)

I am all in for finding cheap forms of renewable energy and finding ways to minimize our impact on the planet... But the damage you human caused global warming zealots can cause to the environment trying to head off something that we almost certainly have no control over is incredible!

Humans cause less than 3 percent of the greenhouse gases.. the rest is caused by natural processes that we humans did not influence.

Look at the trending graphs of solar spot activity.. then look at the average temps for the earth.. they pretty much go hand in hand. It's not greenhouse based its solar based. If you want to know why its warm out.. look up.. that big yellow thing in the sky... yeah.. that's the problem! maybe we should build a huge solar umbrella to block it out!

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IT'S ALL A CONSPIRACY!!!

Every single science academy in the world has said that global warming is happening and that it is caused by human activity: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change .

Over eight out of ten climate scientists believe that human activity contributes to global warming: http://stats.org/stories/2008/global_warming_survey_apr23_08.html .

The Pentagon (that bastion of commie socialist libtard propoganda) has examined the facts and believes global warming to be real, a threat to global stability and thereby the security of the United States: http://www.time.com/time/specials/2007/article/0,28804,1730759_1731383_1731632,00.html

The IPCC is not a committee. It is a panel of hundreds of qualified scientists who create a report based on the review of *thousands* of peer reviewed documents. Their conclusion is unequivocal.

But no. The REAL reason that all these people say that climate change is not occurring / natural caused by the sun / medieval warm period / cosmic rays is because IT IS A COMMUNIST CONSPIRACY LEAD BY AL GORE AND THE PINKO F***ING EURO SOCIALISTS WHO WANT TO TAX THE WORLD AND GIVE ALL THE MONEY TO THE OIL COMPANIES.

I don't know why the Register has such a one sided editorial policy on climate change (I mean seriously, WTF??) but it's a fail

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@AC

"The IPCC is not a committee. It is a panel of hundreds of qualified scientists" - Nonsense. It is chaired by a former railway engineer whose doctorate is in Industrial Engineering and Economics - i.e. he has no climatology qualifications whatsoever. Do some research next time.

"Their conclusion is unequivocal." - Err... yes, except for the fact that they have a tendency to screw up and have to change their minds (e.g. http://www.dailytech.com/Climategate+Redux+IPCC+Forced+to+Retract+Alarming+2007+Warming+Report/article17518.htm). If they're getting basic facts wrong in their reports, surely we need to at least ask some questions about their conclusions and not just accept the whole thing as fact?

I'm not saying it's a conspiracy, but your ridiculous and condescending assumption is that the only options are that either the IPCC is right about everything, or that there is some massive conspiracy. Most of us believe that the IPCC is right about *some* stuff, but that the IPCC also has a habit of inflating the perceived danger levels in order to increase it's own funding. You may wish to consider, for example, the inconvenient conflict of interest that the venerated leader of the IPCC managed to entaangle himself in (http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/05/11/ipcc%E2%80%99s-chairman-pachauri-conflicted/).

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