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

Here's a link to a recent article on the U.S. climate research budget:

Our spending on climate research was reduced significantly during the Bush Administration. The new expenditures restore some of that funding, but they still are very long way from a "trillion" dollars. More like a few billion over the next five years, and a lot of that is for hardware to measure climate variables.

Mark Shapiro
From: [] On Behalf Of John Clement []
Sent: Monday, October 18, 2010 3:55 PM
To: 'Forum for Physics Educators'
Subject: Re: [Phys-l] Prof. Hal Lewis resigns from APS

Ok, how about some facts:

1. Who knows enough about the APS workings to actually comment on whether
they violated their own rules?

2. Since Lewis mentioned the "trillions" of dollars going into climate
research, how many climate scientists are involved in research and how much
are their budgets. Are they in the millions? A trillion is way off any
reasonable mark. Perhaps the total figure is a billion, but I doubt even

3. How much has the climate research budget increased since the early
predictions of human induced global warming? And how does that compare with
other increases in research spending?

4. How many APS members are actually involved in climate research and how
many are in the inner circle? We only know of 1 so far.

5. Where are most of the climate papers published, and what fraction appear
in APS journals?

6. How many universities are engaged in climate research and what fraction
of their budgets comes from that research?

If as I suspect, the amount of money is not out of line with other research
budgets, and that most climate papers are published by other journals, then
the charges of APS profiteering are slanderous. If most climate scientists
belong to other organizations then this would also absolve the APS of
financial involvement. But I do not know these answers, and Lewis probably
does not either, judging from his wild assertions. Lewis brings up the
issue of department budgets. But the department does not get the whole
amount of money paid for research. They only get a fraction of it. Only
the research associates are paid 100% out of research money, and from what I
can see departments consider them to be easy come, easy go. Research
contracts are being lost all the time.

If the APS ignored their own procedures, is this a common occurrence, or
would it be just an oversight? But we have not established that they did
ignore their procedures. So who has knowledge of the inner workings of the
APS, or at least is willing to research this issue?

I think from the wild way he made the accusations, that he is probably off
base with most of them, but that has yet to be established. Certainly he
slipped a decimal point with trillions of dollars. According to the
Wikipedia the entire NSF budget for 2010 is 6.87 billion $. The climatology
would come under geosciences which is only 1 of 7 general research
directorage categories. So at most climatology could amount to a billion.
But a lot of research that goes into climatology is funded for other
reasons. But there are other research offices, so by the time you cut it
apart the most that would go directly to climatology might be a few hundred
million, which is less than the price of all the new houses in the small
community of Bellaire, TX that I reside in. And let us not forget that the
Gross National Income of the US is around 15 trillion. Could climate
research really consume over 8% of the US GNI? Lewis was not thinking
clearly when he made his accusations. Scientists should not make that sort
of mistake! He even said "(literally) trillions" to make it clear they were
not metaphoric. He then goes on to say that anyone who is not revolted by
"ClimateGate" should not be called a scientist. Not only has he shown a
lack of regard for accuracy, but a complete lack of respect for his fellow
scientists. I think his letter provided more than enough grounds to make
one think he is way off base, and showed a lack of professionalism in this

John M. Clement
Houston, TX

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