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Re: [Phys-l] Prof. Hal Lewis resigns from APS

As scientists, we must insist that the climate scientists are doing good
science and that their interpretations are consistent with results that
can be obtained from the best available data. We have an obligation
to closely examine methods and data to ensure that it is correct.

"We" don't have that level of obligation; the climate research community does, both in evaluating research proposals for funding and peer reviewing manuscripts submitted for publication. This is the way science works and it works very well. I don't see any good reason to believe that it should be any less effective in this area.

This has largely not been the case to date, with few exceptions.

What's the evidence for this assertion?

It takes a lot of time and effort to do a serious examination of the
peer-reviewed literature, so this cannot be done by anyone simply taking
a cursory look at a few graphs and making a determination from them.

Precisely. It has to be done by experts as always and even the experts rarely come to a consensus. Nevertheless, science generally moves *toward* consensus, driven by accumulating data, precisely as has been the case in the climate change community.

There has been much political rhetoric on both sides of this issue, but
the scientists that have petitioned the APS are asking for a truly scientific
discussion of the methods and data to make a proper assessment that
the community of physicists can be sure is not politically biased, but
rather based on well established scientific methods.

As if those on the other side of the debate aren't asking for a "truly scientific discussion ..."? Of course, we want to make sure that the results are not politically biased, but don't forget that that's a two-edged sword and no amount of openness and disclosure and transparency will prevent those with powerful political (and even more powerful economic) agendas from saying that it isn't enough.

You want transparency? How about this: Would it be too much to ask those petitioning the APS to stop refusing to identify *their* funding sources?

John Mallinckrodt
Cal Poly Pomona