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[Phys-l] Phys-l madness

On 11 Oct 2010, at 08:46, Rick Strickert wrote:

Harold Lewis, Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, and co-founder and former Chairman of JASON, submitted his letter of resignation to Curtis G. Callan, Jr., President of the American Physical Society (posted at

His reason? Excerpted 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.

"So what has the APS, as an organization, done in the face of this challenge? It has accepted the corruption as the norm, and gone along with it.

"....I want no part of it, so please accept my resignation."

In addition to the bull-in-the-china-shop issue of GW/CC, physics educators may be asked by their students the question of how a scientist deals publicly with a scientific position he holds when he knows it will receive strong (political) opposition.

As I recall, Galileo Galilei did have a problem with the authorities when he adamantly took a scientific stand. Of course, Nicolas Copernicus was on his deathbed when he finally had his heliocentric theory published. And Ole Roemer's claim of the finite speed of light was never widely accepted until well after his death.

Rick Strickert
Austin, TX

A firestorm of religious fervor then erupted on phys-l - most of which I have not and will not read. Intelligent, otherwise reasonable people feel obligated to make intemperate statements regarding topics on which they feel deep moral commitment can inform natural law.

Can't you guys separate physics from superstition? Please acknowledge that political philosophy has nothing to contribute to scientific knowledge, and that the magnitude of the scope of our ignorance is, perhaps, greater than we would like to believe it is - especially in the area of climate science.

For myself, I am glad that Hal Lewis nailed these 95 theses to the wall. Global warming alarmism seems to have run its course, and perhaps we will be treated to another age of enlightenment in my lifetime.

Leigh (near the end of a holiday in Italy and Cambridge)