Tuesday, October 12, 2010
PROFESSOR LEWIS' LETTER, HOW GOVERNMENT CORRUPTS SCIENCE & THE X-PRIZE ENVIRONMENTAL CONGRESSCRITTERS LIKE
Hal Lewis, Emeritus professor of Physics at UCLA has resigned from the American Physical Society & his blistering letter cites the organisation having been corrupted by government money into supporting the global warming fraud. Watts Up With That says any blog interested in science should report his letter & compares it with Luther's nailing up of his 95 theses on the Cathedral door. I think the comparison not really valid because the theses proving catastrophic warming to be false have been in circulation for a long time. Also while a physics professor at UCLA is a reasonable analogue to being a Cardinal in the Vatican there is no great shortage of eminent emeritus (retired) professors to have denounced the scam. That only the retired speak out proves statistically, to anybody open to proof, that it is government control of funding & careers alone that keeps the scam going. We even have eminent scientists saying, on retiral, that they are only free to speak once they retire.
Still Lewis' attack is blistering & I assume unanswerable but I will be interested to see if any scientist, including the leaders of the APS, make a serious attempt to answer it. Here it is
When I first joined the American Physical Society sixty-seven years ago it was much smaller, much gentler, and as yet uncorrupted by the money flood (a threat against which Dwight Eisenhower warned a half-century ago).
Indeed, the choice of physics as a profession was then a guarantor of a life of poverty and abstinence—it was World War II that changed all that. The prospect of worldly gain drove few physicists. As recently as thirty-five years ago, when I chaired the first APS study of a contentious social/scientific issue, The Reactor Safety Study, though there were zealots aplenty on the outside there was no hint of inordinate pressure on us as physicists. We were therefore able to produce what I believe was and is an honest appraisal of the situation at that time. We were further enabled by the presence of an oversight committee consisting of Pief Panofsky, Vicki Weisskopf, and Hans Bethe, all towering physicists beyond reproach. I was proud of what we did in a charged atmosphere. In the end the oversight committee, in its report to the APS President, noted the complete independence in which we did the job, and predicted that the report would be attacked from both sides. What greater tribute could there be?
How different it is now. The giants no longer walk the earth, and the money flood has become the raison d’être of much physics research, the vital sustenance of much more, and it provides the support for untold numbers of professional jobs. For reasons that will soon become clear my former pride at being an APS Fellow all these years has been turned into shame, and I am forced, with no pleasure at all, to offer you my resignation from the Society.
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. For example:
1. About a year ago a few of us sent an e-mail on the subject to a fraction of the membership. APS ignored the issues, but the then President immediately launched a hostile investigation of where we got the e-mail addresses. In its better days, APS used to encourage discussion of important issues, and indeed the Constitution cites that as its principal purpose. No more. Everything that has been done in the last year has been designed to silence debate
2. The appallingly tendentious APS statement on Climate Change was apparently written in a hurry by a few people over lunch, and is certainly not representative of the talents of APS members as I have long known them. So a few of us petitioned the Council to reconsider it. One of the outstanding marks of (in)distinction in the Statement was the poison word incontrovertible, which describes few items in physics, certainly not this one. In response APS appointed a secret committee that never met, never troubled to speak to any skeptics, yet endorsed the Statement in its entirety. (They did admit that the tone was a bit strong, but amazingly kept the poison word incontrovertible to describe the evidence, a position supported by no one.) In the end, the Council kept the original statement, word for word, but approved a far longer “explanatory” screed, admitting that there were uncertainties, but brushing them aside to give blanket approval to the original. The original Statement, which still stands as the APS position, also contains what I consider pompous and asinine advice to all world governments, as if the APS were master of the universe. It is not, and I am embarrassed that our leaders seem to think it is. This is not fun and games, these are serious matters involving vast fractions of our national substance, and the reputation of the Society as a scientific society is at stake.
3. In the interim the ClimateGate scandal broke into the news, and the machinations of the principal alarmists were revealed to the world. It was a fraud on a scale I have never seen, and I lack the words to describe its enormity. Effect on the APS position: none. None at all. This is not science; other forces are at work.
4. So a few of us tried to bring science into the act (that is, after all, the alleged and historic purpose of APS), and collected the necessary 200+ signatures to bring to the Council a proposal for a Topical Group on Climate Science, thinking that open discussion of the scientific issues, in the best tradition of physics, would be beneficial to all, and also a contribution to the nation. I might note that it was not easy to collect the signatures, since you denied us the use of the APS membership list. We conformed in every way with the requirements of the APS Constitution, and described in great detail what we had in mind—simply to bring the subject into the open.
5. To our amazement, Constitution be damned, you declined to accept our petition, but instead used your own control of the mailing list to run a poll on the members’ interest in a TG on Climate and the Environment. You did ask the members if they would sign a petition to form a TG on your yet-to-be-defined subject, but provided no petition, and got lots of affirmative responses. (If you had asked about sex you would have gotten more expressions of interest.) There was of course no such petition or proposal, and you have now dropped the Environment part, so the whole matter is moot. (Any lawyer will tell you that you cannot collect signatures on a vague petition, and then fill in whatever you like.) The entire purpose of this exercise was to avoid your constitutional responsibility to take our petition to the Council.
6. As of now you have formed still another secret and stacked committee to organize your own TG, simply ignoring our lawful petition.
APS management has gamed the problem from the beginning, to suppress serious conversation about the merits of the climate change claims. Do you wonder that I have lost confidence in the organization?
I do feel the need to add one note, and this is conjecture, since it is always risky to discuss other people’s motives. This scheming at APS HQ is so bizarre that there cannot be a simple explanation for it. Some have held that the physicists of today are not as smart as they used to be, but I don’t think that is an issue. I think it is the money, exactly what Eisenhower warned about a half-century ago. There are indeed trillions of dollars involved, to say nothing of the fame and glory (and frequent trips to exotic islands) that go with being a member of the club. Your own Physics Department (of which you are chairman) would lose millions a year if the global warming bubble burst. When Penn State absolved Mike Mann of wrongdoing, and the University of East Anglia did the same for Phil Jones, they cannot have been unaware of the financial penalty for doing otherwise. As the old saying goes, you don’t have to be a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing. Since I am no philosopher, I’m not going to explore at just which point enlightened self-interest crosses the line into corruption, but a careful reading of the ClimateGate releases makes it clear that this is not an academic question.
I want no part of it, so please accept my resignation. APS no longer represents me, but I hope we are still friends.
I have highlighted what I think the most important parts. These show not only that catastrophic warming is a fraud but that it is a fraud created & promoted by government spending.
He regards the driving force in this corruption of science as being government funding of science & "scientific" institutions (the Royal Society for example gets £45 million annually). I think he is right & that this is proven by the fact that while there is an overwhelming consensus among the minority of government paid scientists nobody, worldwide, has been able to name 2 independent scientists who support the scam. Such a coincidence is obviously statistically impossible.
This strikes me as an extreme proof of the findings of an OECD report "The Sources of Economic Growth in OECD Countries," that the only useful R&D came from private sources and that public R&D funding tended to have negative consequences. "regressions including separate variables for business-performed R&D and that performed by other institutions (mainly public research institutes) suggest
that it is the former that drives the positive association between total R&D
intensity and output growth" p84 which is a, perhaps deliberately, abstruse way of saying it.
I think science, being vital to progress, must be promoted by any remotely progressive society. However what seems to be happening is another example of Pournelle's dictum that the prime purpose of any government programme is to pay government workers & their friends & in this case also to promote whatever story government would, today, like to be covered with a sheen of being "the science". The answer should be that government spending on science should be entirely hands off - a mixture of automatic tax deductions for R&D, without political favouritism & X-Prizes, offered from a fund run by independent technologically informed people, for actual achievements.
An interesting example of how politicians support science funding according to their political prejudices is this remark from Congressman Edward Markey, chairman of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming on the recent prize awarded by the X-Prize Foundation for a car achieving more than 100mpg.
"That's why this contest, this X Prize, is the most important thing that is happening in our country and in the world."
If such importance of the this prize is accepted, to cut oil use, the magnitudes greater importance of space development prizes seems beyond argument. However to many politicos spending money to cut oil use, or perhaps just to give the appearance of wanting to cut oil use is green & nice & approved of while the future of the human race is nasty & technological & black magic.
If you aren't familiar with the 10:10 dust up, see the videos below.
While watching the first one, ask yourself if it's sincere or if 10:10 is being pranked on by skeptics.
Keep watching until you're sure, and then watch more.
Note: the resignations of Chris Landsea and Roger A Pielke SR. both hint at conspiracy.
Landsea resigned because of an unethical press conference that was likely used by Al Gore as a green light to build his movie around Hurricane Katrina.
Pielke resigned because while lead author for a major climate report, scientists worked behind his back to undermine him. These incidents are well known and not hard to research.
Even if you are familiar with the 10:10 thing, there's a variety of over the top eco stuff in the playlist.
It turns out I am wrong. The film was made by greens who actually thought it would help their cause. See View. I have a PhD in Psychology and I was not able to imagine a group delusion of that magnitude. One or two people, perhaps, but an organization with no one able to see the folly of this?"
There are many out there who think that the rituals of academia, publish or perish, peer review etc, are cast iron laws of science, and are completely unaware of how comparatively recent is the academic demeaning and cheapening of science.
I absolutely loved Jerry's quote you repeat above when I read it, says it all.
Good point about the publish or perish response. It is the inevitable result of funding by a box ticking bureaucracy measuring activity rather than results. Newton spent years refusing publish anything because he was in a snit with Leibnitz or Hooke though I wouldn't hold that up as ideal either.