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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  1. Glenn 4
    Black Helicopters

    No facts just politics

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

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The scientist dood

      or the author?

    2. Cheapster
      Thumb Up

      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.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I hate the term denier

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

        1. heyrick Silver badge


          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.

    3. Boring Bob
      Thumb Up


      "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.

    4. Cynical Observer

      No facts just politics

      Sounds like a summary of his argument.

      How very nicely put!

    5. Kubla Cant


      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.

      1. strum


        >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.

        1. Anton Ivanov

          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.

        2. elderlybloke

          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 .

    6. Adam West

      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.

    7. Gary Turner


      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.

      1. strum

        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.

        1. Gary Turner

          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. (

          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.

        2. Zippy the Pinhead


          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!

    8. Jeroen Braamhaar
      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 ... ;-)

    9. Quiller

      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.

    10. Jowik

      Sure he shared

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

    11. Alfred

      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.

    12. jake Silver badge

      @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.

    13. Anton Ivanov

      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.

    14. Cameron Colley

      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.

      1. strum

        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.

    15. Ben M


      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.

    16. noodle heimer

      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.

  2. Hollerith 1

    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.

    1. Apocalypse Later

      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.

      1. strum

        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.

        1. Zippy the Pinhead


          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!

    2. Cameron Colley

      @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.

      1. strum

        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).

        1. Zippy the Pinhead


          seriously... just read the climate-gate emails

    3. 0laf
      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.

    4. heyrick Silver badge

      @ 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.

  3. Ocular Sinister

    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...

    1. peter wegrzyn
      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.

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Science in a letter of resignation ?

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

  4. G 4
    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).

    1. Maksim Rukov

      it never rains but it pours

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

      1. Zippy the Pinhead

        @Maksim Rukov

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

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      He's already being discredited

      By some of the commenters in this very thread.

    3. Handel was a crank


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

    4. Rich 11


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

  5. mafoo


    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.

    1. Ocular Sinister

      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.

      1. Zippy the Pinhead


        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!

  6. Anonymous Coward


    Every single science academy in the world has said that global warming is happening and that it is caused by human activity: .

    Over eight out of ten climate scientists believe that human activity contributes to global warming: .

    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:,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

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. whiteafrican


      "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. 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 (

    3. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

      Take some valium

      A conspiracy by communists? The ones that live under your bed? What do *you* know about communists?

      There are two types of communists -

      1) the ones that believe that the whole world should live in a kibbutz, money should be abolished, private property should be abolished, everyone must work as much as he can and in return get as much as he wants (which is impossible).

      This type consists of octagenarians with alzheimer's and the students of the University College of London. The former's ranks are constantly diminished by natural attrition, the latter's - by facing reality when they graduate.

      2) the ones that see the "working masses" as a ladder for their own political careers where they can promise the moneys someone else makes to those who don't want to work and so get their votes.

      These "communists" are not really communists but can be known as labourists, socialists, unionists and many other -ists, depending on what is the most convenient or available -ism of the day. Our previous Government was made up of such -ists for 100%, for example.

      There are also ones that are overly excited about any single cause which they see, through lack of experience/knowledge/mental capacity as the only source of all evil in the world. This type is not strictly limited to communism because equally the same type of individuals can be hang up about - jews, foreigners, abortions, feminism, the Bible, the Koran, Christ, Antichrist, Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, sex, evolution, global warming, global cooling, whatever.

      Now, which part of any of the above can conspire to say that there is no global warming?

      Clearly, the type 1 is incapable of any conspiracy a) because some of them are too old, b) the others are too idealistic to act on anything, c) none of them has any power to influence the society.

      Type 2 cannot conspire as such a conspiracy requires an agreement to act towards one goal regardless of short term gains or losses. As they type 2 are 100% pure egotists any conspiracy with their participation will be extremely short-lived and ineffectual.

      Type 3 don't have enough free will to conspire as they are the led masses, who will switch their alliance to anyone who frightens them the most at any particular day of the week.

      So, no conspiracy. However, as the type 2's were recently in power throughout the world, more or less, and this type strives on handing out other people's money to buy the votes of anyone who they think is currently for sale, it follows naturally that the governments were throwing cash at the fad of the day, which just happened to be the environment and carbon footprints.

      The only problem is - the money's run out and the child asked about the emperor's new clothes.

      The warming is probably happening and it's probably anthropomorphic but the Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth are as far away from being the remedies for that as shamanism is the remedy for appendicitis.

    4. Sir Runcible Spoon


      Do you have anything to say about the possibility of obscene amounts of funding being made available to scientists who are predisposed to sit on one particular side of this fence corrupting the scientific process at all?

      That couldn't possibly happen could, LET'S ALL GET SHOUTY and burn the fucking heretic already.

      You quote wikipedia in all seriousness, it's obvious to anyone that we *contribute* to climate change (how much is what the debate is about). Hundreds of scientists whose funding relies on them supporting the money wagon, and then you go and cite the Pentagon, who, as we all know, has everyone else's interests at heart really.

      You get the FAIL buddy, not because I think you are right or wrong, but because it's attitudes like yours that stifle the debate and have turned the whole bloody thing into a religion.

      1. strum

        Well, then

        >Do you have anything to say about the possibility of obscene amounts of funding being made >available to scientists who are predisposed to sit on one particular side of this fence >corrupting the scientific process at all?

        Do you have anything to say about the complete lack of denier science? There aren't hordes of anti-AGW candidates - proposing studies, suggesting data collecting methods, proposing new models - because there's no there, there.

        They haven't done the work, and they're not proposing the work. They're frauds.

    5. Matt Bryant Silver badge


      <Sigh> Whilst I respect your passion, maybe you should take a step back, take a deep breath, and then think before engaging your keyboard again?

      ".....Every single science academy in the world has said that global warming is happening...." Every single one? Have you personally checked them all, one by one? Or is that just what someone spoonfed you? Even if you could just trim that down to "every leading science academy" (and we could then argue over the defintion of a leading sceintific academy) then I could point out that every leading science academy at different points in time thought the World was flat, the Sun orbited the Earth, and that Darwin was a hoaxer. Science is not about accepting the majority opinion, it is about rational, non-emotive discussion leading to a theory supported by empirical facts. Harold Lewis is just one of many that have highlighted the fact that the Climategate emails cast serious doubt on the validity of many of the "facts" presented as truths by the global warming fraternity. His letter is about his unhappiness with the response of the general scientific community to such criticism, to whit it has largely responded in a manner similar to your frothing rant about conspiracies, and how unprofessional and unscientific that response is. In looking for a cause to explain such a response, Harold Lewis (along with many others) has suggested that the massives amounts of money being throw at climate research may be the cause. In your case it more likely just the quasi-religeous hatred of anyone slightly to the right of Ken Livingstone that denies you the ability to dispassionately examine the scientific evidence.

      "....The Pentagon...." An easy one to explain. The Pentagon is a massive drain on the US taxpayer. The Pentagon employs lots of people to present their case for more funds in as best (and by that I mean "voter-friendly") manner as possible, and they will use ANY current affairs type interest to assure more funds. For example, consider the following:

      PENTAGON GENERAL (speaking before committee on defence spending): "We would like to spend $30bn on frikkin' shark-mounted lasers as they could be more effective against enemy swimmers than submarines."

      COMMITTEE (having ship-building yards in their districts): "No, we prefer manned submarines."

      PENTAGON GENERAL: "Very well."

      The next day, the same General appears before a committee allocating climate-friendly development funds.

      PENTAGON GENERAL: "We would like to spend $30bn on frikkin' shark-mounted lasers as they could be much less polluting than submarines. Sharks are of course natural and therefore do not generate the same carbon footprint as submarines, saving the US $<first number he pulled out of his a$$>bn and ensuring our children can play in a cleaner World."

      COMMITTEE (worried about the Green vote): "Approved!"

      SCIENTISTS (predicting mucho-mucho employment developing shark-mounted lasers, and endless papers to prove they are carbon-friendly): "We approve too!"


      "....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....." And shown to be based on flawed evidence. And then shown to be amazingly resistant not only to discussion of those flaws but even to the extent of first denying there is a problem with the evidence, then desperately trying to muzzle anyone from their own ranks that tried to query their approach. That is not the action of a scientific communtiy, that is a committee trying to maintain its reputation and income by suppressing the very dissent that is vital to the development of science itself. Science without disagreement and discussion is just dogma.

      ".....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" I think that just highlights the problem with climate change supporters - you just don't want to debate the issues, you just want everyone to mindlessly accept your point of view. You are saying The Reg shouldn't have an article discussing the news simply because it upsets you? Tough!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Matt Bryant

        You're wrong;

        There's no evidence to suggest that anyone truly believed the world was flat. This concept was introduced midway through the 1800's.

        If I were a CC supporter I'd claim that it invalidates your entire argument!

        My theory is that climate change is the result of human actions - we are all eating far too many curries!

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

          RE: @Matt Bryant

          "You're wrong...." I know, the correct answer in entirety is that the World is flat, supported on the backs of four giant elephants, and that they in turn stand on the shell of an immense tortoise. Curries are not a factor, it must be that any climate change can be blamed on giant elephant and tortoise flatuence! One does shudder to think of the results if man was silly enough to feed the elephants curries though....

      2. strum

        Put up, or shut up.

        >I could point out that every leading science academy at different points in time thought the >World was flat, the Sun orbited the Earth, and that Darwin was a hoaxer.

        But, if you did, you'd be wrong. No science academy ever taught that the world was flat.

        If you wish to challenge the assertion that ".....Every single science academy in the world has said that global warming is happening...." it should be relatively easy for you to do so. Just name one that hasn't. Go on, then.....

        >You are saying The Reg shouldn't have an article discussing the news simply because it >upsets you?

        I think a lot of us are disappointed in the Reg's anti-science attitude (especially Orlowski - who usually hides behind no-comment shields). Has the Reg ever reported anything positive about the climate change consensus - no. But every time some angry old man spouts off on the denier side - it's straight on the Reg pages.

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

          RE: Put up, or shut up.

          ".....No science academy ever taught that the world was flat....." Oops, better not mention the Imperial Chinese Court, whose scientists did not abandon the flat Earth concept until the late 17th century, and who set the standard for what was taught in all China. Is what was, even then, the largest single nation on Earth being taught the World was flat a good enough example for you?

          ".....Just name one that hasn't....." How about CATO, which - whilst broadly in agreement that global warming is occurring but as a natural process - is dismissive of attempts to link it to man's activities, and also dismisses ideas that we can somehow reverse it by modifying human behaviour. And before you accuse CATO of "just being a tool of Republican-backing industries", you may want to consider that they described Bush's 2003 energy bill as "hundreds of pages of corporate welfare, symbolic gestures, empty promises, and pork-barrel projects". So not exactly the bunch of screaming capitalists you'd no doubt like to make them out as.

          ".....I think a lot of us are disappointed in the Reg's anti-science attitude...." Reading through the comments it should now be obvious to you that there are many readers that are quite happy with the Reg being at least objective, and many that are very happy for any articles exposing the sham science behind much of the CAGW claims. So sorry if you expected to sail through life without any doubts or discussions to confront, but maybe science just isn't for you?

    6. David Beck
      Thumb Down

      It's all about the money

      Every single science academy in the world has said that global warming is happening and that it is caused by human activity: .

      And the Sun is the cause.

      Over eight out of ten climate scientists believe that human activity contributes to global warming: .

      And their grants depend on it.

      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:,28804,1730759_1731383_1731632,00.html

      Without threats they don't a job, or funding.

      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.

      Who did the peer reviews of the retreating glaciers then.

      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 feel no guilt.

      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

      Huh?, the Register reports. The editorial policy is expressed by the readers.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You're reading this as black and white

      Yes, most scientists, both proponents and sceptics, agree that climate change is happening - given 4.5 billion years of climate change on this planet, they would be fools to deny that there is change.

      A vast proportion of them will also agree that man is making a difference.

      But here is where the arguments divide. Is man responsible for the majority of the change that is happening? How fast is it actually happening? Would it have happened anyway? Can anything we can do now change it? Should we even try!

      The problem is that too much research is being done to show that man is responsible, and virtually none to see whether it would have happened anyway. This skews the results, as even if only 10% of the research that is looking for man-made climate change finds some evidence, this will be more than 100% of the non-existent contra-evidence. So you get a self-confirming result, which may be wrong.

      Science can be influenced by short-term thinking, so long as people are able to do the research, eventually, whatever the truth is will become the accepted norm.

      Maybe we are there with the climate research, but there are sufficient numbers of people who believe that current biased nature of the research will not find the truth, which is getting increasingly worrying for the scientific establishment.

      I liken it to asking the banks whether they should pay big bonuses. Many people think that they should not, even some of those in the banking industry, but letting the people who would benefit decide makes the decision a certainty!

      I am AC'ing this, as although I don't think I've said too much, where I currently work cannot endorse anything other than what the IPCC recommendations.

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      +1 to that. I am also frankly appalled that so many opinion pieces on ACC don't have comments enabled, and that when they do, a man who sounds suspiciously like a well-known meerkat to me, wield a very heavy censor's pen.

      Comments like "citation needed" are deemed to transgress.

      Learn some fucking science Editards.

    9. Anonymous Coward
      Paris Hilton


      Not got the energy to argue with you in either direction, but can you not see the issue with this sentence?

      "Over eight out of ten climate scientists believe that......."

      I think the point the prof is making, is that they would say that. Why? Because they are terrified that the gravy train will end.

      Re the Pentagon and the IPCC: It's not like Government decisions have been influenced by political will contrary to scientific fact before is it? Oh wait, yes it is!

      My general feeling at the moment is that it is as stitch-up. But it's a gut feeling rather than an educated opinion, why? Because critics have been silenced. Which is exactly what the prof has written about.

      If you want to believe in Human Aggravated Climate Change, or even in sky fairies, that's fine. But I'd like to be allowed to read documents from both camps to form my own opinions, but historically that's not been allowed to happen. It's not like science should be transparent right???

      Oh and I assume you missed the story about the Sun being at least partially responsible?

      A/C cos I'm at work. Paris cos she gets me thorugh the day!

    10. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      "Their conclusion is unequivocal"

      Except when the IPCC includes data that has not yet been certified and bases some conclusions on that data, which then turns out to be flat-out wrong.

      Come on, if there is one thing that ClimateGate has taught us it is that big money is indeed involved and some unscrupulous scientists can fudge the numbers to fit the conclusion.

      The data is the data. If it does not fit the conclusion, then the conclusion is wrong. That is science. But of course, that supposes that the data is properly and rigorously evaluated in the first place, without bias or preconceptions of any kind.

      And as far as all this global warming hoopla is concerned, there is no such thing as absence of preconception anymore. Global warming is now indeed a religion, with deniers as the excommunicated. Each party hangs on desperately to its own side of the argument and refuses to listen to anything that might be a valid counter-argument.

      In this situation, it will be extremely difficult to continue to do proper science and actually answer the question of whether or not global warming is indeed happening and what we can do about it (never mind if it is our fault or not).

      And that's a shame because I am convinced that we do actually need an answer.

    11. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @IT's all a conspiracy

      Actually, I thought this was one of the less biased bits of Reg reporting on the subject.

      Maybe I'm being turned?

    12. Josh 15

      @ It's All A Conspiracy

      "...Over eight out of ten climate scientists believe that human activity contributes to global warming:"

      And since when did turkeys ever vote for Christmas? Pfft!

      As far as I'm aware the El Reg has a healthy, often ironic scepticism regarding AGW. I consider that a laudable journalistic trait, but I'm old-fashioned like that.

    13. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      The problem is that *both* sides are religious - sort of like Catholics (warmers) and Protestants (deniers).

      "We all agree so we must be right"


      "you're ganging up on us and stifling debate"

      So... let's burn each other at the stake

      The problem is, a *wrong* scientific consensus can impede real progress. A couple of centuries ago some bright spark postulated a particle "caloric" that mediated heat - if you put something with lots of caloric in contact with an object that had less, it would flow from one to the other to equalise things.

      That explained a lot... but unfortunately was quite wrong and the the scientists who pointed out the holes were sneered at, and being lone voices they weren't taken seriously.

      The theory crumbled when an engineer making cannon noticed they would get hot when the holes in the barrels were being turned... the caloric had to come from somewhere....

      My objection to the global warming hype is that there isn't yet a theory which ties together all of the observations - there are mathematical models with various knobs that can be tweaked to fit the observations, but that's not the same thing.

      It is something we should take seriously, investigate further, and attempt to mitigate the observed effects - but not "incontrovertible fact".

    14. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Tiem refund

      I wan't the time it took to read your post refunded with damages.

    15. TeeCee Gold badge


      "Over eight out of ten climate scientists believe that human activity contributes to global warming:"

      That, in itself, is proof that AGW is *not* a proven fact. That very statement indicates that over 10% of 'em with access to the same data come to a different conclusion.

      That's not a fact, that's a theory (albeit a well-recieved one). Proving a theory requires both experiment and debate. It is the Society's evangelical suppression of the latter, against it's core principles, that is the core theme of this letter.

      Incidently, now we know that learned societies are actively stifling dissent and debate from within, it makes: "Every single science academy in the world has said that....." not worth a tinker's damn.

      You don't have to go back more than a few hundred years to find a situation where every established scientific authority held that the world was flat and personally constructed by God. It didn't make it true. It's a good thing for science that there are people around who are prepared to think that just because something is accepted wisdom doesn't make it also a fact.

    16. Anonymous Coward
      Paris Hilton

      Then why....

      Do the Russians disagree? Or is their report an "inconvenient truth?"

      Paris's "hotness" (I can't believe I wrote that) is clearly the major cause of global warming...

  7. Ian Rogers

    In this case curse the sinners not the sin.

    Harold Lewis makes the careful and accurate distinction that it's the global warming movement that is corrupt (and therefore possibly mistaken), not the issues around global warming.

    The use of the word "incontrovertible" in an issue as complex as climate change is of course repulsive to any decent scientist.

    I think Prof Lewis would be quite happy if global warming is proved to be true - he's a scientist, he doesn't care either way - but he is obviously insensed by the way a single point of view is being steamrollered through a supposedly scientific organisation. He wants the debate to be open and treated the same way as any other in the APS.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Nigel Lawson

    Whose tenure at the Department of Energy presumably set the stage for the stupid "natural gas everywhere, yay!" endgame in the supposedly "vibrant" British energy market, where "vibrant" is slang for passing on all the costs to the consumer and not thinking any further ahead than "maybe we'll need to learn Russian one day".

    (And before people start whining their usual, tired "ad hominem" retorts, it's completely acceptable to criticise someone on what they have done, which is precisely what this is doing.)

  9. Gene

    No facts is the problem...

    Ignore him. He's a real scientist and those guys insist on real proof of things like human involvement in global warming, which is glaringly absent. Of course it's getting warmer - we're coming out of an ice age. It's going to keep getting warmer too. Live with it.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Follow the money

    Follow the money, and you will find the reason for anything, so the theory goes.

    So, academics are being paid lots of money to conduct research in to man-made climate change by people who are worried, nay, frightened that it is happening. They have a vested interest to keep those people frightened, thus to keep gaining money.

    On the other hand, there are academics being paid lots of money by fossil fuel manufacturers to prove it's not happening. They also have a vested interest. *

    So who's right? In this instance, it's hard to say. Both sides appear to have thrown out the scientific rule book. They appear to be starting with the answer: "man made climate change is (not) happening" and trying to prove that statement. I always thought science in general was about observing and making judgements based on those observations, not making judgements, then finding the observations which back that up.

    Really, it's the same problem as the "solve world hunger / aids / cancer" charities have. Obscurely, from a financial point of view, they have an interest in the problem being as wide-spread as possible. If AIDS stopped being a problem tomorrow, think of how many people would suddenly become unemployed. Same with world hunger, it is in their interest that people stay in poverty, it keeps them in a well funded job. The more poverty, the better funded their job.

    Of course, this line of argument assumes that all people involved are heartless bastards. I truly hope that is not the case.

    * By the way, I also accept that some academics DO have ethics, and perform their trials / experiments with complete integrity.

    They are probably also the ones who moan about being underpaid and under appreciated. Such is the modern world I'm afraid.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Paid a lot of money?

      Typically someone doing a PhD in a climate related subject will get about 12grand, tax free because they are a student. This is not a lot of money, it is certainly not a gravy train. Industry pays a lot more.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming

    Prof Lewis's scientific reason for resignation is in part based on reading "The Hockey Stick Illusion;Climategate and the Corruption of Science" book by Andrew Montford; which examines how some bad statistics and curious choices of methodology gave a 'misleading' hockey-stick graph in the IPCC 3rd report 2001- with unpublished proxy data and undefined confidence limits by the CAGW proponents. (book is seven quid on the usual outlets)

    CAGW is as scientific as John Selwyn Gummer 'feeding' a hamburger to his four-year-old daughter Cordelia at the height of the BSE panic in 1990


  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Nice to see the comments are open on this article

    wouldn't want to stifle any debate, now would we?

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Just my 2 pennies

    Feels the same even among the layman debates. I'm a sceptic but to even voice that view in public is to get yourself labeld a wackjob.

    Science should be about debate and collaboration. Great scientific theories get proven or dis-proven through this process. Seems to me he is resigning because this process is being stifled by the scientific community.

    I'll get my coat, because lets be fair, 99% of us are groping blindly in the dark and just accept what the big media headlines say anyway

  14. The Stainless Steel Cat

    I knew it!

    All those multi-trillion-dollar environmental corporations pouring their money into pro-GW PR, corrupting poor innocent scientists away from life-enhancing, energy-industry-funded research.

    Freeman Dyson OTOH, is only against GW because he wants us to build one of his spheres to grab *all* available heat and light...

  15. BoscoH

    What if he's right?

    Of course he's right. And he's right about the mechanism. I saw this two decades ago taking a class from Nobel laureates Cicerone and Rowland with their hockey stick CFC vs. ozone layer stuff. It was already too late to have done anything, and we lost Big Macs that stayed warm and air conditioning that was inexpensive. Yet the decades between have been a mixed, variable bag for the ozone layer. We found out that it fluctuates a lot anyway and that the dire predictions just didn't pan out. The funny thing was that they whipped the sorority girls into a frenzy with dire predictions about the terrible cancers their kids would get at the hands of a depleted ozone layer. No price could be too high to prevent that! And it's taken 20 years to get a reasonable perspective on that whole thing, while we repeat the same giant pseudoscientific clusterfrack with global warming.

    Penguin because I still have funny notes of the lecture when Cicerone put up pictures of cute penguins and said they were all going to die because of CFCs.

  16. maclovinz


    FAIL....Please have him back everything he says with incontrovertible facts and evidence. When he does such, then I will listen.

    Quite good timing of this, as midterm elections are coming up and most extreme right-wingers think global warming to be a myth.

    That is, in the U.S. anyway. But facts dont' matter to us Americans! (I am but one of so very few.)

    1. My Alter Ego

      Re: Interesting

      Reading the letter, it sounds like he's got a lot of correspondence to back this up. He's acting exactly as a scientist should, with disgust when it comes to stifling of debate. As somebody else mentioned, I wouldn't be surprised if he accepted AGW once incontrovertible* evidence is found. That however may take some time seeing as his confidence in some of the leading institutions appears to be fairly shaken.

      Even as a lay person I know that incontrovertible isn't a word one uses lightly in science. If I were to say that I have incontrovertible evidence that the force between two bodies can be calculated EXACTLY as F = G * m1 * m2 / d^2, I should rightly be asked to prove it. Just because it's accepted as being true at the moment, it doesn't mean that it will not be tweaked in the future to fit future measurements.

      Fermatt's last theorem has now been proved to be incontrovertible. It's pretty damn difficult to say the same of anything in natural science.

      Obligatory XKCD:

  17. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse

    Another AC fail...

    Over eight out of ten climate scientists believe that human activity contributes to global warming: .

    "Over eight out of ten" : so is that nine or ten? Why not just say "nine" or "ten" then? I guess it's because most of the stats are flawed and that you just don't know. Is it also because the headline doesn't generate enough "drama"? And it's "drama" that drives the bucks in isn't it?

    What a scared little person you are.

    I have some other headlines for you that I have at a cost of billions of dollars in research grants undertaken...

    1. Over 7 out of 10 Bishops believe in the existence of God.

    2. Over 9 out of 10 cats preferred eating fish over Aluminium.

    3. Less that 2 out of 10 sane people really believe the global warming hyperbole.

    4. Over 9 out of 10 people are wondering why new technology marketed to help save money by being energy efficient actually cost more to purchase that can ever realistically be saved by using them.

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      RE: Another AC fail...

      "....4. Over 9 out of 10 people are wondering why new technology marketed to help save money by being energy efficient actually cost more to purchase that can ever realistically be saved by using them."

      As a petrolhead, I would just like to say a big "thank you" to Al Gore and all the frothing CAGW lovers, as you have so depressed the secondhand car market that I was able to indulge myself in another classic English (and very un-Green) sportscar this year. Said piece of automotive art consumes the old junglejiuce at a prodigeous rate (even more so with my heavy right foot!), so much so that the price of these vehicles has dropped by almost 75% over the last three years. This means I can actually run the vehicle, pay insurance, servicing and the petrol costs for LESS than it would cost me to buy new and pay fuel bills alone for one of your beloved (and soullessly boring) hybrids (and that's considering the hybrid comes with free insurance and servicing for the first year!). I did think of you selfless martyrs with a big smug smile of gratitude every time I planted the throttle to the floor this summer.

      /Can we have a "ROFL@U" icon, please? Coat as today I'm on holiday, it's not raining, so the rag-top is down and I will be burning up plenty of distilled dino! :D

  18. Nigel 11
    Thumb Down

    Not much of a physicist

    The one thing about global warming that is established beyond reasonable doubt, and which can be confirmed using completely controlled laboratory physics experiments in quantitative detail, is the physics. Greenhouse gases (CO2, CH4, not to forget H2O) DO trap solar radiation within the Earth's atmosphere. Indeed, the Earth would be almost uninhabitable were it not for this effect - its black-body equilibrium temperature is only marginally above freezing, the greenhouse effect is the reason it is comfortable.

    What is happening or might happen to the Earth's climate as a result of the human race adding more CO2 and CH4 on top of the natural levels is still very open to debate, but it's also not physics.

    Given the lack of alternative Earths for us to live on should this global experiment go badly, I believe that it' s only sensible to err on the side of caution! Which sadly, we aren't.

    1. MeRp

      Or is it too much of a physicist?

      All science is physics; everything else is stamp collecting, after all.

  19. Robinson

    So many fallacies, so little time.

    "I don't know why the Register has such a one sided editorial policy on climate change"

    Because it has an enlightened editorship. None of your points are valid as they are all based on fallacies. The main fallacy you are promoting is that science is done by consensus, or that the gate-keeper of various wikipedia articles doesn't himself have an agenda.

    As this scientist points out, it's not possible to argue against the consensus; your attempts to do so will be thwarted by institutional financial self-interest. That is what this article is about. I'm sure you haven't actually read it.

    So, given that you cannot argue against the paradigm, just how do you think the consensus has been reached?

    1. Anthony 13
      Dead Vulture

      So much hypocrocy, so little time ...

      So this guy apparantly can't argue against climate change; yet an IT web site constantly bombarding us with anti-climate change articles should be considered enlightened? Interesting ...

  20. Gordon Pryra

    Is anyone actually bothered by the problem itself?

    If the climate sceptics are being "silenced" by the "its getting hotter!" camp, then why is no one doing anything about the actual issues?

    Having a group of sceptics who have financial interests in their NOT being any impact from human actions is about as useful to the nay-sayers as a bunch of evangelical idiots is to the "its getting hotter!" camp.

    It seems both sides just want their cash to buy their nice cars and pay the mortgage sod the actual problem.

    Anyway, there is no problem, China will get hotter and we will just buy our stuff from them and their brutalised workforce!!!

  21. Zippy the Pinhead
    Thumb Up

    does it matter?

    As if the Human Caused Global Warming freaks have any real untainted evidence.. but they have already corrupted data to the point it can't be used. Poor Poor global warming shills.. your scam has been figured out!

  22. Neil Paterson


    Are you aware that Orlowski's hijacked your username and password to post items under your name?

  23. Blake St. Claire

    Global Warming is spelled C l i m a t e C h a n g e

    I was under the impression that "global warming" as a euphemism had been pooh-poohed by the academic community in favor of Climate Change.

    Yet even this emeritus professor can't get it right. That makes him a tiny bit less credible in my book. No less, he's emeritus from one of the UC party schools, and not UC Berkeley, which would be the natural or usual presumption when you don't qualify University of California.

    I'm sure UC Santa Barbara's Physics department is quite good actually, but still---

  24. Deetal

    The best you can do?

    Just who is this guy anyway, and why is El Reg giving him a platform? What are the criteria for dubbing someone "hefty" and "heavyweight?"? All I can find on him apart from his academic position (which has nothing to do with climateology) is page after page of stuff about his letter of "resignation" - I can't even find what position he actually had, if any, in the society he resigned from. It doesn't sound to me like this bloke is more of an expert on climate change than anyone else. Merely being a "boffin" doesn't count for anything, and if you ask me calling him "A heavyweight American boffin" is a tad generous, if not outright disingenuous. Amittedly I chose not to waste more than 5 minutes searching, so if anyone else wants to dig deeper, I'm sure we'd all be interested.

    Ya know, If there were really a massive global academic conspiracy, I'd expect resignations of rather a higher calibre than some random dude quitting the APS.

  25. Rupert Stubbs

    It's incontrovertible...?

    It seems that many of the posters here haven't read his letter, either.

    I don't think it's reacting emotionally to protest about a scientific authority defining climate change as "incontrovertible". This is a word that scientists should avoid, as Prof Lewis points out. Thus anyone who even wants to debate the issue is labelled a "denier", with all the jolly associations that has.

    Science does have a major problem, in that the general public - and the dumbed down media in particular - regard the inevitable equivocation of scientific statements as admissions of weakness of argument. Tough - you can't have it both ways. Once scientists start corrupting their conclusions in order to make them media-friendly, then they lose their scientific authority.

  26. This post has been deleted by its author

  27. whiteafrican

    @Glenn 4

    Yeah, he does, it's just not covered very well in the story. Read the full letter here:

  28. Tom 35

    Science for sale

    Has always been a problem. Tobacco, oil, chemical and drug companies have had pet scientists for quite some time. In all those examples it's clear who is running the show, and why. Who is running the Global Warming fraud? The people hiding the UFOs in area 51? Elvis? Greenpeace?

    Sure your going to get a few people jumping into anything to try and make a buck, and a few crackpots (what ever happened to Kevin Warwick?) making things difficult for others, but if this is a fraud someone is pulling the strings. Who?

    Everyone but me and my friends is making up stuff!

    Much better odds that he is a pet scientist dishing out some FUD.

  29. Bill Neal
    Thumb Up

    Well done

    reminds me of how much Al Gore has invested in "green" technologies, and when he said "the debate is over". Years later we will all look back and see this farcical show for what it is: smoke & mirrors. Indeed "no facts just politics" is what its all about.

  30. Chad H.

    So it's a scam because people are funding the research?

    I guess this makes medical science a scam too?

  31. Joe User

    Deliberate censorship

    It's difficult to share your information when the so-called "professional" organizations block all attempts to do so....

  32. Anonymous Coward


    Since when have physicists become climate experts?

    Yawn, since I don't really care what a physicist thinks about the climate. Call us when you have something interesting to report in your field of expertise.

  33. Christoph

    Well, yes, it must be for the money

    After all there's so much money in research these days. And so pitifully little money available to the oil industry.

  34. John Savard

    The Most Greenbacks

    And here I would have thought that oil companies have so much more money at their disposal than environmentalists.

    Global warming isn't rocket science. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, and we should stop taking the risks involved in causing carbon dioxide levels that are unprecedented in recorded human history.

  35. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    But *where* does all this cash come from?

    Because if it's from a government then it's their *taxpayers* who have been stiffed for this bill.

  36. Schultz
    Thumb Down

    One respected scientist!

    So that leaves how many respected scientists on the other side? Sounds like someone didn't get his grants approved and needs someone to blame.

    Move on, nothing to see here ....

  37. Anonymous Coward

    Well add another one..

    that has simply figured out the obvious!

    Man-made climate change is a political movement not a scientific one!

    *\. Yeah! yeah! getting my coat! I know how people hate their "insert belief system here" challenged by logical debate.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      What will drive mankind in the furure

      It used to be religion, religion and war. Those were the tools used to drive mankind forwards by those in power.

      Both of those have fallen from favour with the masses. The ugly face of war and deceitful face of religion unveiled with the rise of the Age of Information.

      The masses need a common cause. A universal excuse to create taxes and to form the basis of government policy.

      Climate Change is "it".

      Expect no releif from its establishment.

  38. Dazed and Confused

    You mean other than...

    That the society broke their own rules by not allowing a debate despite there be sufficient members to call for one.

  39. JonHendry

    Trillions of dollars?

    This guy is just butt-hurt because he can't get any funding for whatever lame-ass outdated stuff he wants to work on.

    If there were trillions of dollars being spent on climate science, universities would be limited by manpower. They'd need to boost recruiting in order to have enough people to staff lots of labs so that they could get lots of grants funded. If it were trillions of dollars, you'd see universities throwing money at students to recruit climate science undergrads, grad students, and postdocs. There'd be postdocs driving Porsches they received as a hiring bonus.

    But from what I can see, that simply doesn't match the reality. Academic climate science research is not seen as a field to go into if you want the big bucks. I don't think it's considered even above-average for academic science fields. I think people would expect climate science postdocs to earn the same low wages as postdocs in other fields.

    This is just another case of 'bitter old-timer sees the world moving away from where he wants to be".

    I suppose there were physicists in the early 1900s who were upset that they couldn't get anyone to fund their "luminiferous aether" research, and ranted similarly, though without getting as much attention.

  40. Steve 13

    read the letter

    It appears obvious that the majority of posters haven't bothered to actually read (or maybe haven't understood) the letter written by the prof. Until you've read it you don't really have much ground to comment do you!

    As for demanding scientific proof of his comments, well that just makes it obvious that you've not read it as most of his comments regard the workings of the APS and how it continues to ignore it's own constitution and rules with regards to allowing the issue to be debated. What 'scientific' proof that the APS ignored a valid petition for debate would you accept?

  41. JohnG

    Science vs religion

    Climate change does seem to be more like religion than science. Given the number of variables and timescales involved, demonstarting climate change and man's involvement is not a black and white issue. It understandable that politicians and businessmen will follow one side or another to suit their own interests or agenda but it is a pity that scientists the world over are expected to choose sides.

  42. J 18

    Where is the real money?

    This bizarre notion that scientists and people like Al Gore support global warming for money's sake is almost entirely without basis. You could find a lot more money from private industry working on refuting global warming than the other way around, the Petroleum, Coal, and Agriculture lobby and just about anyone with a right-wing agenda will throw money at you. The scientists of the world aligning themselves with something that nearly every industry in the world is dead-set against does not seem like a very good commercial strategy for the scientists.

  43. ratfox
    Thumb Down

    Who is this guy?

    Not that I approve of Climate politics, but who is this guy and why is he worth an article?

    He is a retired professor in physics at UCSB, true. But unless his specialty was in climatology, it is likely he has as much to say on the subject as a computer scientist. From what I was able to find, his specialty was advising the government. He does mention in his resignation letter that he joined the APS sixty-seven years ago. So maybe he is some grand researcher in physics, still active in retirement? Does not look like it. His name does not really jump up on the Internet, apart from his resignation letter. No recent articles, no web page, no Wikipedia article.

    So this guy just got around to reading the Climategate e-mails, and he was disgusted by what he saw. Well yeah, it is fairly disgusting. But we do not need an old geezer who never researched the subject to tell us that. I understand his anger, I believe he over-estimates Climategate, I may understand that he resigns in protest from the APS.

    What I do not understand is why articles are written about him. His move is similar to somebody like Steve Wozniak protesting against the use of 3D in movies.

  44. Charles Calthrop

    re no facts

    Considering his position I would bet my mortgage he has got facts to back up his arguments whether they are correct or not is the trillion dollar question

  45. TimeMaster T


    A Phd in Physics commenting on Climate.


    Not saying his opinion is invalid, just questioning his qualifications to make such a sweeping statement.

    A Phd in climatology saying this would get more of my attention.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      He might not specialise in Climatology but all scientists work from the same system of ethics relating to proving a theory. It doesn't matter what his area of specialty is, science is a universal language. All scientists specialise in proving or dis-porving theory.

  46. Chigaimasmaro

    This again!?

    As much as we all enjoy hearing about how wrong each side of this debate is, when do we start just focusing on whats right? I understand there are a lot of geopolitical and financial things that are wrong with research these days, instead of pointing out whats already been said a bunch of times and causing more debate, why not just talk about new data instead?

  47. Ian McLaughlin
    IT Angle


    OK, toys out of pram. When's the book out? Max Clifford might need persuasion to help.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    More icons, please

    "... physicist, nay scientist..."

    Hard to trust people who use the word "nay".

    Where's the OverEducatedPompousAss icon?

  49. myhandle

    Re: No facts just politics

    In his defence, he's stating that the climate gate documents are full of information to share. I bet that's a lot of information, he's just asking others to take a look for themselves.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Selection bias

    The vast majority of scientific opinion and collected data states that global warming is a fact yet Lewis Page only ever writes about it when he finds someone on the dissenting side. I wonder why that is?

  51. This post has been deleted by its author

  52. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

    @Glen 4

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

    Um?? His resignation letter is full of facts - they are the reasons why he resigned. Of course, I suppose you think he was bribed to do this by Big Oil...

    A flame will do, but there really ought to be a 'scam' icon...

  53. copsewood

    simple and complicated

    How global warming is driven is very simple. Put a couple of clear glass demijohns, one with more C02 than the other into sunlight with thermometers in them. The one with more C02 gets hotter than the one with less C02. It's a simple experiment anyone skeptical about GW can do for themselves.

    How this heating effect works through the climate and weather systems is much more complicated because of the inherently chaotic nature of climate and weather and other cyclical variables e.g. solar activity. The difficult science isn't figuring out what drives GW, it's eliminating all the other variables to identify which changes come from GW and which don't. For example I saw what to me seemed an apparently a very well researched TV program that suggested without manmade dust and soot generation GW would have a much greater effect than it does.

    1. EvilGav 1

      What a great test . . .

      . . . utterly and totally invalid, but a lovely test, none-the-less.

      Before anyone decides that I don't know what i'm talking about, here are a few things to consider :

      the earths atmosphere is not in an enclosed glass container

      CO2 has different thermal properties at different altitudes, this test only supports a theory at around sea-level

      any increase in the CO2 level greater than a small fraction of 3% of the total renders the experiment invalid, as the total CO2 in the atmosphere is only 3% and to change it by any huge amount would require a catastrophic event in itself (think super volcano)

      there is no control, where is the jar with *less* CO2

      Given all these factors (and presuming they are all followed/excluded), the difference in temperature would have to be significant to make the test a valid proof - i.e. once all factors are taken into account, the differential increase would require to be 20+% more, otherwise it can be regarded as simply statistical anomaly.

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

        RE: What a great test . . .

        Shush! Don't try and introduce real scientific techniques like control instances and tests of rellevance, you'll only confuse the GW sheeple because they don't do science!

        No, don't waste your time trying to explain the reality to them, simply ignore their pseudoscience, nod, smile, and then steer the conversation round to something where you too can extract money from these suckers. As an example, similar sheeple from London also all seem to believe the projected (and equally alarmist) predictions that London will disappear into the sea by 2020. This is great if you want to scam them out of property in London and sell them some derelict ex-miner's home well above sealevel in Wales. The added bonus here being the Welsh will probably burn their new home down the minute an outsider moves into the village, so you can then make extra money renting the sheeple's old London home back to them! That way, even if by some bizarre fluke the sheeple are right, you'll have enough cash extra that you can buy oodles of carbon credits and leave them to do without central heating, a car, or clothes made from anything other than flax.

        1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

          Re: RE: What a great test . . .

          I'm letting this through so I don't have to deal with any whinings about rejection, but for fucksakes stop using the ridiculous non-word 'sheeple'. It gives me a twitch. You're articulate enough to be able to put your point without resorting to that. I think it might be the nadir of language at present - it makes the misuse of 'random' sound like poetry.

          Please stop, then. Thanks.

  54. albaleo


    What facts do we need when doubting things?

  55. Wilco 1

    He's just pissed off...

    ... about not getting any funding himself.

    Seriously Lewis, all this stuff about it being a conspiracy is beyond grasping straws, it's getting ridiculous. If you are really so desperate trying to convince us that it is all a fraud, why don't you come up with some hard evidence for a change?

  56. Pete Rowley

    Not sure what point is being attmepted

    er - what's the problem with carbon management?

    As already pointed out - opinions with no evidence. This isn't science - it's politics.

    There's no doubt that there is tendency for research bodies to assign funding to key areas such as global warming, and it's not ideal. Let's not blow this out of proportion quite as spectacularly as this article appears to be attmpting however.

    1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

      Re: not washing so much

      "er - what's the problem with carbon management?"

      It's the smell...

  57. Poor Coco


    While the AGW debate is questionable, it's hardly the worst or most serious pseudoscience out there: just examine the total quackery of the authorities regarding the three WTC collapses on 9/11. Now THAT is total rubbish.

  58. Yes Me Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    It's scary

    It's scary that an apparently reputable scientist fell for "Climategate", which was manifestly bogus. It's hard to understand the subconscious mechanisms here - is the fact that humans are buggering the climate by their own short-sighted selfishness something that causes so much subconscious conflict that it destroys logical scientific thinking?

    There are many, many uncertainties in the science and the models, not least the absence of a viable model for the effects of clouds and water vapour in general. But it doesn't actually matter - the data are already clear - we have about 100 years to go before the temperate regions of the world are the only reasonably habitable ones, as long as you're on high ground. You can deny it, of course, but your great-great-grandchildren will hate you for it.

  59. Andy 40

    How many others?

    I wonder how many other eminent scientists will speak out when it comes time for them to retire and they are no longer have to worry about getting funding? The problem with climate 'science' at the moment is that there is huge rewards for following the herd and huge financial penalties for daring to say you disagree. Want guaranteed funding for your next research project? Put the words 'To study the impact of Climate Change on X' in your proposal....

  60. handle

    How ironic

    And how many "trillions of dollars" (to use his meaningless phrase) do those who stand to lose from efforts to combat global warming pour into supporting *their* side of the argument?

  61. Lars Silver badge

    To hell with the professors

    To hell with the professors. the Baltic is heavily polluted, and that is a fact.

    So why do we think that we are not polluting the air as well, global warming or not, professors or not.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Cutting pollution is a good thing!

      Crippling our economy by classifying CO2 as a pollutant (to the detriment of cleanup of *real* pollutants) for what may be a gross overstatement... IMO... not so good unless the case for the GCMs and the estimates on the CO2->temperature sensitivity can be made more solid.

      Of course, by all means you are right to disagree. Think for yourself, form your own opinions... just stating my $0.02

  62. Anonymous Coward

    'Academia corrupted' by flow of green greenbacks

    Of course, those with most to gain by debunking climate change theories have never funded any research, despite the fact that in economic terms they practically rule the world ... yeah right.

  63. MMcA

    When one dissenting non-specialist is news...

    Next up: climatologist resigns in protest against string theory.

  64. jerry 4
    Thumb Down

    Over at FARK...

    This guy was dismissed quite soundly.

    One, he's old.

    Two, he signed a petition calling global warming a hoax a few years back

    Three, not many fark scientists had heard of him.

    Four, he's old.

  65. Dr_Jim

    Scientific warming

    With signs that we are heading into a Maunder temperature minimum (Mini Ice Age), the cries of denial and limitation of open discussion that we are seeing reflects the money goal over-riding scientific skepticism and the search for scientific truth. Professor Lewis is right. The scientific community has been suborned by mammon.

    I suspect certain individuals in leadership roles jumped on the bandwagon and found themselves trapped in their own creative web. With so much on the line financially, clearly the path of least pain was to promote "warming". All the characteristics of a trip to Abilene are present. The choice of the trend starting point, for example, makes a huge difference to the rate of warming (or cooling). The extended solar quiet phase we are in also has been ignored by many pundits. On top of all this, two of the data clearing houses faked their reporting enough to bias the analysis dramatically, and an unspeakably large number of scientists appear to have generated their theses and reports second or third hand from this data. That's not science at its best!

    It looks we aren't warming much; we may be cooling; and the cooling could be substantial; but - with all charity to the scientists, it could all be short-term statistical variation. Whatever it is, we are likely premature in starting a carbon futures market. What we do need to do is get real and prognosticate the price of oil over the next century as it gets scarce, and look at the impact of that on civilization.

  66. veti Silver badge

    Must try harder.

    "... the sceptics weren't even allowed to email other society members."

    I see two ways of reading that particular claim. One: that the APS has developed a new and cunning technology for intercepting emails carried by third-party service providers to its own members. Or two: that it declined to provide a complete list of email addresses of its members so that they could be spammed by some publicity-hungry member with a chip on his shoulder the size of Montreal.

    I know which one I consider more likely.

    I'm not saying he's wrong. Just that the tone of this article, frankly, doesn't stand comparison with the more professional pro-AGW propaganda. Very C-minus material.

  67. Ian Michael Gumby

    Lets get real...

    "Over eight out of ten climate scientists believe that human activity contributes to global warming: ."

    So does the human population contribute to global warming? Probably. Lots of people aka bio mass, lots of cars polluting the environment. Coal power plants...

    The point is that there is some truth to that statement.

    But what's not true is the portrayal that its the human element that is the cause for the global warming.

    The only positive thing from all of the bogus spew is that the "green" idjits who were anti-nuclear are now opening their eyes and are seeing the potential of nuclear power.

  68. Anonymous Coward

    He called their bluff, and they were cowards. So he publically disowned them.

    A general consensus is not science, opinions are not science, science has to be proven with the scientific method, the discipline which is designed to keep science honest, provided it is abided by; however this was discovered not to be happening, which is bound to annoy proper scientists, especially when full debate over this negligence (even fraud), was and continues to be suppressed.

    What makes this especially bad is seriously large amounts of money have been, continue to be, and are proposed to be, wasted on fundamental public policy, based only on disputed and premature hypotheses, which continue to be contradicted by quite frankly embarrassing new instances of natural evidence.

    What is not to be angry about, especially when the so-called scientist proponents of these ideas are being rewarded far more than such speculative research warrants?

    Any serious scientist should be quite embarrassed to see such flawed work, specifically the AGW hypothesis, publicised to this extent, let alone have a groupie-like following by many stupid members of the public!

  69. -tim
    Black Helicopters

    Carbon $tandard?

    I thought most of the money was pushing for a new currency standard based on carbon. At least they didn't decide to go with the leaf standard this time.

  70. Anonymous Coward

    Conspiracy maybe, compliance and corruption definitely!

    Large movements based on nonsense have occurred before, especially where money, power, and access to both, on condition of compliance, can corrupt humans; this looks to be just another case of this compliance and corruption. It should go without saying that authorities should not be trusted without proof, given they are run by fallible humans.

  71. Tony Paulazzo


    >Over eight out of ten climate scientists believe that human activity contributes to global warming<

    And five years ago that's how many cats preferred Whiskas, and 100 years ago those 8 scientists would have agreed the world was flat and WoMankind hadn't evolved from monkeys (actually a 'fact' still not proven), and 1000 years ago that Earth was the centre of the universe - and other scientists were killed or imprisoned for disagreeing with the 'facts'.

    If they were wrong then, couldn't they be wrong now?

    Disclaimer: I actually think global warming / cooling is a reality and whilst we helped... ooh, something shiny.

  72. 42


    Your problem is you are thinking of ElReg as a reputable source of information.

    In fact it is light entertainment mixed with a few highly biased facts.

    You an bet that any climate change article here will be written by Page or Orlowski, who make no attempt to hide their denialist bias, and publish any scurrillous staement that supports their point of view.

    If you want infromed reporting better go elswhere.

  73. veskebjorn

    Elderly right-wing boffin spews--Tea Baggers rejoice

    Mr. Allen was a founder (in 1960) and chairman of JASON, a group of scientists which offered advice to the U.S. military in return for access to policy makers and research subsidies. In this capacity, Mr. Allen helped devise a system of sensors in Vietnam, intended to interdict the transfer of people and materiel between the northern and southern parts of the country. Mr. Allen regards this system as a forerunner of the electronic "wall" between the U.S. and Mexico. He believes it was a technical success although, he says, it was not an operational success.

    Mr. Allen and JASON participated in a number of similar initiatives. All of these efforts were aimed at improving the ability of the U.S. military to weaken or destroy America's ideological adversaries. A number of JASON's original bull geeks left the organization in protest of its right-wing ideology.

    Mr. Allen's scientific career was not particularly distinguished. He was mostly interested in nuclear physics, although he did spend some time investigating an aspect of superconductivity at the Bell Labs. He has never had any published interest in climatology, and his bibliography seems to reflect the fact that his opinions in this area are not based on his personal research.

    JASON still exists. Those of you who are curious may want to visit, where you will find a selection of papers sponsored by the group. In an amusing irony, a few of these papers address climate change and regard the issue as a scientific fact.

    Mr. Allen is 87. He is a former, right-wing, cold warrior. He knows little about climate change. He was part of an unsuccessful political effort last year to attack climatology. No one, including the American Physical Society, is losing any sleep over his most recent outburst. In fact, I can't find any mention of his views on PhysOrg or Physicsworld or any other Web site devoted to science. The only mentions I can find (hundreds!) are on right-wing opinion sites.

    When it comes to environmental and ecological matters at The Register, one could reasonably wonder if the site is being edited by Tea Baggers.

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      RE: Elderly right-wing boffin spews--Tea Baggers rejoice

      So, what you're saying is that only scientists that agree with your leftist views should be allowed to comment when a scientific body, which the scientist is a member of, blatently represses debate in breach of its own rules? Or are you just saying that only leftist scientists should be allowed to work at all? I'm just trying to work out to what extent you use your own political bigotry to decide if a scientist is a "real" and worthy scientist.

      For example, if I remind you that Sir Isaac Newton was a gentleman and member of what would be termed the Establishment, and also believed in God (Newton also wrote works on Christianity and believed that Christ was crucified on 3rd April 3AD), would you describe him as a "religeous, right-winger" and then try and pretend gravity does not exist?

      1. Anonymous Coward

        RE: Elderly right-wing boffin spews--Tea Baggers rejoice

        "For example, if I remind you that Sir Isaac Newton was a gentleman and member of what would be termed the Establishment, and also believed in God (Newton also wrote works on Christianity and believed that Christ was crucified on 3rd April 3AD), would you describe him as a "religeous, right-winger" and then try and pretend gravity does not exist?"

        You've made the other guy's point here: someone can be highly competent in one field and completely inept or just not sufficiently qualified to offer a worthy opinion in another. In fact, one sees this all the time, particularly with people who are prominent figures. The sad thing is that the "famous, successful person turns his successful touch to a new area - watch out!" storyline always gets the public's attention and they buy it every time.

  74. This post has been deleted by its author

  75. Shannon Jacobs
    Paris Hilton

    So who funds this guy?

    Why didn't the Reg ask him about his own funding? If he's a completely impartial and honest scientist, then he should be delighted to open his own books.

    Anyway, I'm not worried about his future, such as it is. Exxon's always ready to hire any global warming skeptics. The actual problem is that the scientific credibility declines markedly in that group... I'm not sure how eminent this fellow was, but I can't remember ever hearing of him. What did he ever discover or invent? And when?

    The Paris Hilton angle? I bet her research is more up to date.

  76. Ian 12

    APS attack

    I think that some of the commentards above missed the point of his letter. He wasn't trying to provide great reasoned scientific arguments for or against climate change. He is a sceptic and wanted the APS to abide by its constitution and have a debate. He couldn't get that debate so has publicly resigned.

    I assume if had got that debate he may brought up some sciency type arguments.

  77. Stephen 10

    Can I have a job at the Reg?

    So I can push my own hobby horses/prejudices disguised as news?

    So when are you buying into the 'creationist debate'?

    That should be good for some advertising clicks...

  78. James Loughner

    Who is this guy.

    I was interested to see what work this guy has done but they must have already removed all trace from the web.

  79. Adrian Midgley 1
    Thumb Down

    Incandescent bulbs release more Mercury than fluorescent ones

    Mafoo: "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."

    Coal contains mercury, and when burnt to generate electricity it goes up the chimney.

    The reduced amount of electricity used by a fluorescent bulb over its lifetime reduces mercury emissions by more than the Hg content of the bulb.

    For worked examples try several of these

    LEDs are better in most ways.

  80. A B 3

    The fearmongering

    So what if temperatures do go up one or two of degrees over a hundred or more years. It is likely that absolutely nothing will happen. The seas won't boil, the plants won't all wilt and die, people won't start wars over the now sweltering temperature.

    All the crazies now get their viewpoint heard and wrapped up with global warming, really future global warming, because it isn't hotter yet. It is still going up and down with sun cycles, volcanic activity and La nina etc. Try and remember the seasonal weather when you were a kid.

    Lost is attention on real issues that man is damaging the planet with overfishing, overconsuming, laziness (like taking the obsession with the car) and finally overpopulating.

  81. MacroRodent

    money the other way too

    It's often claimed the climate change deniers get THEIR pieces of silver from oil and gas companies via associated "think tanks" and lobbyists. Who to believe?

  82. Geoffrey Swenson

    The nutty conspiracy yet again?

    I would think that there is more money in Global Warming debunking that there is in environmental research. It isn't exactly the kind of field where you get rich, especially if you don't work for a fossil-fuel company, so the rationale for the conspiracy is really hard to belief.

    But you CAN make good money writing books and hosting websites with all sorts of pseudo-scientific junk to create the FUD about global warming that delay efforts to wean ourselves from fossil fuels, all to the benefit of the companies eager to have a few more years making obscene profits with the technology and resources they already own.

  83. DanHarper

    Concpiracy uncovered by retired 87 years old physicist. Now what else is new?

    The man is 87 years old. He is not active in any related field or even does research at all right now. In fact, he has nothing to lose - he can't be "fired" as some comments here claim he would be.

    Like any other conspiracy theory lovers, the anti-global-warming crowd fails to apply the same critical and suspicious mindset to their own theories.

    Has Lewis actually presented any factual evidence for this mega conspiracy that thousands of people take part in? Has he presented any serious criticism of existing peer reviewed papers except for claiming that scientists benefit from being published?

    Replace 'Global Warming' with 'Evolution' and his claim will still have the same amount factual evidence to support it. Don't researchers benefit from publishing papers that don't go against evolution? Don't we have whole departments that will be closed if evolution will be found false?

    Is Evolution theory really a consensus among all researchers (even those in "christian universities" in the mid west)?

    1. Yamal Dodgy Data

      Proof the Reg is staked out by eco-trolls on the jungle telegraph

      A lot of regular readers of the Reg have probably noticed how rapidly hordes of trolls appear whenever an environment article is posted which doesn't agree with the "settled science".

      Especially if its by Andrew Orlowski (which also brings in the wikifiddlers en masse, but thats another story)

      The above post by DanHarper is the perfect example of one which follows the familiar formula.

      He starts off proclaiming an incorrect fact -

      (in truth, the professor is not retired and still on staff at UC-SB, google is your friend Dan)

      and then follows up with a series of the usual logical fallacies we've all come to expect.

      Logical Fallacy No.3 "Ad hominem" (i.e The man is an old senile fool )

      Logical Fallacy No.9 "False Dichotomy" (i.e If you don't believe in global warming you must be a religious whackjob preaching intelligent design)

      I would like to ask the trolls to please be original and use a variety of all 20 logical fallacies, otherwise your comments are very droll reading.

      Explosive icon: ... well "no pressure"

      1. DanHarper


        Being a 'Professor Emeritus' is not 'still being on staff', it is the exact opposite in fact. Please ask you friend Google for the latest paper the man published.

        Ad hominem' is only a fallacy if it is not relevant. The fact that the man was not an active researcher in *any* field during the time when consensus on global warming was reached is not irrelevant. Consequently, pointing this out is not Ad hominem.

        I never said anyone is a religious wackjob, I just demonstrated that your argument can be used to imply the Theory of Evolution is wrong. This is just Ad absurdum.

        Calling someone a troll actually *is* Ad hominem. Linking to a list of fallacies is just being a prick

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

          RE: reply

          Whilst Yamal probably doesn't need any help defending against an intellectual lightweight like yourself, I feel it's only fair that he shares in the fun of mocking you and your transparent attempts to smear Prof Lewis.

          ".....Being a 'Professor Emeritus' is not 'still being on staff', it is the exact opposite in fact. Please ask you friend Google for the latest paper the man published...." Your implication was that he was retired, "past it" and his views therefore not worth consideration. Your dancing around the point is just more smoke and mirrors and you are fooling no-one.

          ".....The fact that the man was not an active researcher in *any* field during the time when consensus on global warming was reached is not irrelevant. ...." Seeing as the Prof is questioning the independence and scientific methods of a body he was a member of, whether he is actively publishing papers is irrelleavnt and you know it, you are merely trying to reduce his standing rather than acknowedging that he has years of experience working in science. Now, why would it be so important to you to try and diss him rather than welcome any debate?

          "....I never said anyone is a religious wackjob...." True, it was one of your likeminded trolls that brought out the Teabagger connection. But then you trolls are such repetitive sheeple it sometimes is hard to remember which one of you bleated what, so it's hardly surprising that Yamal credited you with bleating the same garbage.

          "....Linking to a list of fallacies is just being a prick." And resorting to that level is a sign that you're losing the argument. Enjoy!

  84. John Diffenthal

    A conspiracy, surely not?

    The crux of this seems to be the way that the APS has failed to criticise Michael Mann. Mann used a variety of techniques including cherry picking his raw data and short centred Principal Components Analysis to create a hockey stick. The statistical errors were so gross that it was subsequently shown that his approach could produce hockey sticks from all kinds of other data. One of Mann's principal failures though was his stubborn refusal to tell people how he got his results and which data he had used. Many scientists other than Lewis think that this is delinquent behaviour.

    Mann's hockey stick has been widely used as a poster for Global Warming whenever there is a newspaper scare as well as in the IPCC's AR3 and AR4 reports. Actually the hockey stick is a bit of diversion from Global Warming (its sole contribution is to suppress the Medieval Warm Period so that Mann could make the case that current temperatures are unprecedented) but there is no getting away from the fact that there has been warming during the last 150 years or so. If you really want to read more then get hold of a copy of Andrew Montford's book (mentioned in Lewis's letter).

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: A conspiracy, surely not?

      Yeah but Collateral was really good.


    2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge


      I'll leave it up to you to goole why what you just wrote is wrong. It has been thoroughly debunked, but I'll encourage you to go and actually find the facts for yourself rather than repeating something that is spoonfed to you by another, again.

      1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge


        That was supposed to be a reply to Tigra07's post below. Methinks that there is a bug somewhere in the forum code here...

      2. MeRp


        You can "goole" to find out why Collateral wasn't really good? I'll have to figure this whole gooling thing; maybe I'll search for it on the internet!

  85. Francis Begbie


    When they start reporting any of the rather interesting research that actually supports or falsifies some of the many aspects of global warming, then Register contributors opinion pieces may have some relevance.

    Until then, it's just that - opinion. Doesn't matter if it's reporting someone else's opinion, or if they're a "heavyweight" (which is sliding towards belief in the Argument from Authority).

    Cold facts please, or it's not science.

  86. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    So there is hard scientific proof that there is no Global warming then? Now THAT would be an "inconvenient truth."

    Bush: WMD

    Gore: AIT

  87. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Full text of his reply to El Reg, please!

    > We've now heard back from Professor Lewis, who confirms that the letter is indeed his work and he stands by it.

    Boy, that reads like a selective edit. Come on, print his full letter, let's see *everything* he said to you.

  88. Albert

    I believe

    I believe climate change is happening and that the human race is accelerating it.

    We’re chopping down trees, polluting the oceans and generating green houses gases. All of which if unchecked will raise the Earths temperature and cause the weather systems to change. What I don’t know is what the long term affects will be. Is the earth capable of absorbing the change we are causing and still providing an environment that we can comfortably survive in?

    Planet Earth is not going to disappear, but the climate may mean that life for some animals (like us) could be harder. The human race because of its adaptability will survive, but at what cost to the rest of the plants and animals we share this planet with.

    Beer just because it's 5:00pm somewhere...

  89. Tigra 07

    a title is not required

    This has been a long time coming.

    There still isn't any evidence people cause global warming and yet we're paying green taxes?

    How about looking at all the evidence first since there's so much to show we don't cause it.

    (including the last ice age)

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      That's right, there's no evidence

      Except for all that pesky evidence, eh?


      Or did you mean, "There's no evidemce, because I've not seen any evidence because I haven't looked."

      1. Tigra 07

        re: loyal commenter

        No-one in the right mind will tell you there is evidence people cause global warming because they haven't been able to prove it.

        That is indesputable

        You don't know what you're talking about Loyal Commenter

        So what "pesky evidence" do you want to make up to support your point?

      2. Tigra 07

        re: loyal commenter

        What evidence would this be then?

        You might want to tell the climate change committee you have evidence people cause global warming because they're spending billions a year and still can't prove it

        Look at the facts before you comment loyal commenter because you don't know what you're talking about

  90. James Pickett


    It's not a conspiracy - it's just what academics do when faced with the choice of funding to carry on producing the required results, or no funding not to.

    Physicists like Lewis and Dyson (and Feynman, before them) are used to doing proper 'hard' science and are outraged by the behaviour of climatologists and their ilk who produce results to order, such as sugar producers funding 'research' into the harmlessness of their product.

    To quote Graham Stringer, of government committee fame, it's not science, it's literature.

  91. JayB

    Clearly not Prof Lewis Fan Club meeting

    This was the Professor's resignation letter ffs, not a thesis on the subject of Climate Change, hence the lack of science! Resignation letters tend to be emotional, because they're a statement by someone that says "I disagree so much with what's being said/done that I am willing to stand by my principles and sacrifice my job, rather than lend tacit approval to something I believe to be false".

    Frankly I admire the guy for sticking to his principle, for better or worse. How many of you can claim such solid beliefs in your knowledge/standpoint?

    Whilst I am neither a Denier nor a Believer, I remain unconvinced, but things like ClimateGate, things like this guy resigning with claims of "stifled debate", these are not the first time we've being given the opportunity to question. We've seen so many "Man bad, he change climate" groups back track on figures, seasonally "readjust" numbers and selectively pick the most advantageous figures for their agendas that it is no wonder there are cries of "conspiracy conspiracy".

    Oh, and for the inevitable "you're a denier & you'll burn" believers out there - as someone already said Climate Change has become a Religion with Cash as it's god, so like all other religions - sod off and get off my door step you self obsessed smug monkeys.

    Oh and as for Mr "their conclusion is unequivocal", please look the word up. Shoddy statistics and a significant percentage of people disagreeing does not make for and unequivocal argument. By your citation "8 of 10 Climate Scientists" are you hoisted - so 20% of Scientists making a living off the gravy train of Climate Change disagree that Man's responsible???

    <Rant mode off>

    <Coffee mode on>

  92. Owen Carter

    Nothing to say..

    Like Chapster above, I read the letter in full yesterday in the torygraph.

    He has absolutely nothing to say, unfortunately braincells start to die off as you get older and is very old. Confronted with evolving science he lacks the capacity to understand he latches onto the well funded denier camp. Then gets upset when those who have replaced him in his old physics club do not defer to his years, and instead have the temerity to tell him he is wrong.

  93. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It'th a conspiwathy

    They're all in it! All those "scientists"! All that funding! Who would have thought that all those people who got into position's where they controlled huge budget were sooooo stoooooopppid that the fell for that "global warming" line! And have you read the ClimateGate emails? I haven't! And now, finally, we have a champion! One media hungry man called Lewis, throwing his toys out of the pram. 1?

  94. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

    Am I too cynical

    for wondering when this guy has his book coming out?

  95. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Climatology is Physics - with no easy answers

    Some people here seem to be under the illusion that climatology is not Physics, but like many branches of science and engineering, it's applied Physics, albeit with a fair amount of Chemistry thrown in. Hal Lewis has a strong enough background that I'd expect him to be able to make useful comment that should be taken seriously by all sides, but doesn't mean that we can dismiss climate change in the way The Register would like.

    People working in diverse fields such as fluid dynamics, astrophysics etc., may have relevant things to say because they often have experience in the complexity of the same underlying physics in different circumstances, as well as unravelling competing physical effects and statistical biases. All of this requires a lot of hard-won understanding, which may be one of the reasons why climate physicists tend to be dismissive of the anti-crowd when the latter try to topple the whole edifice of anthropogenic climate change based on a relatively small number of errors.

    The scientific community were quite sceptical of the whole climate change argument in the beginning, but now most take the view that the balance of evidence is in its favour. Claims that they are driven by money are unfair; I suspect that most supporters could make more money by denying climate change or applying their skills elsewhere, like the city.

    Over the last 15 years or so the evidence has been reviewed by scientists beyond the core working directly in the field; much scepticism has been overcome and a fair assessment would be that there is little doubt about the existence of rapid climate change, and on balance the evidence indicates it's more likely than not that humans burning carbon are the dominant cause. That might sound mealy-mouthed but there are no clear and easy answers. Given the consequences, I'd rather err on the side of caution.

    Over the last thirty years I've paid tens of thousands of pounds in car and house insurance for very little return because the events insured are low-risk but with medium-to-high consequences. I'm not 100% certain about climate change, but it presents a risk of significant danger - albeit to our descendants - at higher probability than anything else we pay to insure.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Have they really bothered to ask the right questions?

      "on balance the evidence indicates it's more likely than not that humans burning carbon are the dominant cause"

      Might not the surface temperature record maybe... just maybe be influenced a teency weency bit by the oh I don't know, 66,000 square miles (roughly the state of Wisconsin in the US) of asphalt and concrete (primarily in the form of roads and parking lots) we've laid primarily 1950-on?

      just a little?

      At its core the attribution to CO2 is an "argumentum ad ignorantiam" - i.e. "[we can't think of anything else causing it so it *must* all (more or less) be GHG]". It's also why they have to rely on the GCMs to make their case - there is no simple equation to properly establish the mechanism.

      Now, that's not to say that it's wrong, and as I've said before many times the science does imply that increased GHG concentrations *should* - all things being equal - result in increased equilibrium temperature... but that's different than saying we know the sensitivity of equilibrium temps to GHG concentrations and X implies Y with any real certainty... and as a student of economics no I do not place any authoritative trust in what the GCM's have to say about it because I've worked with economic modeling before and there are more similarities between the two than anyone on the hand waving side will ever admit.

      Disagree if you want... I won't talk down to you for it. Beers all around, I see no reason for us (in general, all the commenters in this thread) to be so worked up about this. There are rational, intelligent, and well meaning people who both fully and much-less-fully believe in the consensus opinion... and yes, that includes people who think the actual anthropogenic GHG contribution to temperature just *might* be noise in the grand scheme of things.


      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Do the math

        "Might not the surface temperature record maybe... just maybe be influenced a teency weency bit by the oh I don't know, 66,000 square miles (roughly the state of Wisconsin in the US) of asphalt and concrete (primarily in the form of roads and parking lots) we've laid primarily 1950-on?"

        Of course it might, and I don't doubt that there may be local environmental effects. However, the global effect can be estimated by considering the energy delta due to the reduced albedo over that area. As an exercise for the student, consider the atmosphere and, say, ~0.1% of the ocean mass (i.e., only allowing the upper ~40 metres to buffer the extra energy, with a bit of what used to be O-level physics (probably A-level these days, together with trauma counselling). Even if you assume that all of the energy is held in the atmosphere and ocean surface (i.e., NONE radiated back into space over 50 years), you only have a temperature rise of the order of ~0.01 deg K. Even if ALL the extra solar energy absorbed by roads etc., over 50 years, is held in the biosphere, it can't account for the observed warming.

        Of course, this is gross oversimplification, almost entirely in the favour of climate change sceptics; apart from the assumptions mentioned, better absorbers are effectively better better black bodies and hence better radiators (but increased CO2 blankets some of this). In addition, we know that the overall albedo of the earth has changed very little and, if anything, there has been a cooling effect from this.

        You can also try fiddling with the effects of the reduction in aerosols that allow more energy to reach the ground, but it doesn't help the "anything but man-made CO2" argument, and these arguments have been largely done to death.

        As I said before, I'm not 100% certain that human-generated CO2 is causing global climate change; probably more like ~80%. However, the residual 20% comes from anticipation of unknown subtleties rather than any of the stuff that the deniers have come up with so far. It's a pity they aren't prepared to have the same degree of uncertainty in their much weaker position.

        Also, note that I don't work in this field and have no financial axe to grind; I spent nearly two decades in academic physics research and do more lucrative things these days.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Something we can agree on

        On this:

        "anthropogenic GHG contribution to temperature just *might* be noise in the grand scheme of things"

        I meant to add that, in the long term, yes, I agree. For the immediate future (at least the next few generations) I think that our GHG gases are a problem but for the long term, we know that other changes are likely the make the world more hostile; it has been in the past and will be in the future.

        Humans have only been around for a very short period and recorded history covers an even tinier period of climatic stability; however, that shouldn't allow us to be reckless in the very brief time that we, as individuals, have.

  96. brale

    Harold Lewis says: GET OFF MY LAWN!

    It is getting increasingly common with scientists who reach an old age to get suckered in things like denialism. He is so silly that he allows to be used by the deniers for their nefarious purposes.

  97. adrianww

    Good grief...

    ...the more I read the comments on these kind of articles on El Reg (and elsewhere), the more I hope that climate change takes a massive turn for the worse and wipes most of the human race off the face of the planet.

    Judging by the closed-minded, blinkered and downright unscientific attitudes often demonstrated by many of the commentards on both sides of this debate (and others) such a cataclysm is long overdue.

    The great scientists, engineers and mathematicians of the past are probably all hitting around 1,000 RPM in their assorted graves.

  98. Anonymous Coward

    @ J 18 and Quxy...

    @J 18:

    "You could find a lot more money from private industry working on refuting global warming than the other way around, the Petroleum, Coal, and Agriculture lobby and just about anyone with a right-wing agenda will throw money at you. "

    Not really - the interests that the lobbyists are working for will make huge amounts of cash either way, but i'd bet that Big Oil et al would make more funding the warmist lobby - it's not like it would cost them that much more to pump it out of the ground, but they would be able to justify huge markups on the price of oil while sitting back and blaming carbon taxes for the increase (smirk).

    Besides, if there really are industry lobbyists funding so-called "deniers" then they really aren't making much of an effort, are they? What with the warmists getting most of the attention from policy makers, and all.

    Oh, and then there's the small matter of this:


    "After all, scientific history is chock-full of eminent scientists with absolutely crackpot notions in fields outside of that in which they earned the respect of their peers. (I remember listening in admiration to one of William Shockley's lectures on semiconductor physics -- an admiration that was shortly tempered more than a bit when I learned of his advocacy of eugenics!)"

    Strange that you bring up eugenics in a climate change debate...

    Dr. Eric Pianka advocating the removal of 90% of human population via airborne ebola virus:

    10:10 video purportedly advocating the destruction of sceptics:

    Some quotes about population reduction, many from warmist advocacy groups:

    Seems that advocacy of eugenics and man-made climate change go hand-in-hand nowadays in some circles...

  99. James Pickett


    "most supporters could make more money by denying climate change"

    Really? Do tell...

    1. John Diffenthal
      Thumb Up

      Money for denial!

      I'm in denial ... honest. Where do I sign up?

  100. scatter

    "(literally) trillions" eh?

    What a scientific statement!

    Global GDP in 2008 was $60 trillion and it's going to be a very long time before a trillion is spent on climate action. Meanwhile, the world spends literally literally trillions (more than 2 of them) each year on oil.

    I'd love to know what (if any) of the literature this guy has actually bothered to read. Judging by the language he uses I'd say he's mostly informed by blogs.

  101. 2cent

    An answer to one's self

    It should be noted that the same money that is spoken about is the same money that allows the knowledge gained to make this letter possible.

    It's the science that's important.

    How much more we know about our world is a good thing.

    How we use it is always up to debate.

  102. 2cent

    An answer to one's self

    The same money that made this letter complains about is the same money that brought about the a the knowledge to make the complaint.

    It's the science that's important. The more we know about our world, the better.

    What we do with it is always up to debate.

  103. Anonymous Coward

    So many uninformed comments.

    It is plainly obvious that a lot of people on here are just jumping to the conclusion that Prof. Lewis must be a climate change denier.

    These people obviously haven't read the letter and have no idea what they are talking about.

    With such a propensity for uninformed, knee jerk dismissal of an eminent scientist and by consequence the scientific method it is no wonder that there is so much blind dogmatic acceptance of climate change.

  104. David Lucke

    Well, its a good thing science funding is being slashed, then

    No cloud without a silver lining: With the upcoming massive funding cuts in every area of science in the UK, we should soon be able to trust that when our boffins say something, it won't be so that they get funded, because they won't get funded anyway.

    That only applies to the ones who've had their funding taken away already, of course, the one or two who still have funding will be hanging onto it all the harder, and won't say a word that might jeapordise it...

  105. Tom 13

    Ah Lewis, I KNEW we could count on you to post about this.

    And turn on the comments so all the commetards could post.

  106. Peter 1

    The truth will out!

    Well far be it from me to argue with Prof whatisname, but quite frankly my dear I don't give a damn!

    Like all the Right whinge nutters he assumes that by some kind of magik "They" (you know the guys in the Black choppers) have corrupted the vast majority of the world's professional scientists. Now I'm not averse to the odd bit of conspiracy theorising (it really WAS the CIA who killed Che, it really WAS the CIA who got Allende killed), but some conspiracies are grounded in discernible facts, others are not.

    I don't know if the Hon Prof has ever met with, or spoken to any REAL scientists, but if he had he might have noticed that they're the most awkward, argumentative difficult bunch you'll ever encounter. Kudos in science comes from disproving, not agreeing with whatever the prevailing orthodoxy is. That goes back to Gallileo, and before.

    The idea that nearly every serious scientist in the world kowtows to some evil external agency that has managed to subvert the "establishment" (political and scientific) in nations as diverse as Sweden and China with every other one inbetween, is preposterous, and that's me avoiding the blasphemy filter and being generous with it..

    The vast bulk of the data used to support man-made climate change is out there. Prof whaitzname is free to get his little friends and re-do all the sums. What's that you say Skippy? The data's been faked? Oh what a convenient get-out for the Prof and friends.

    Anyway I'm not going to waste any more time on this nonsense. I'll be dead in 100 years time, and I won't see if any of the dire predictions come true. I hope they don't, but I don't think anyone in 100 years will say that today's scientsists faked the data......

  107. Robinson
    Thumb Down


    "Except for all that pesky evidence, eh?"

    There is evidence? That's news to me. There's a graph that shows temperature rising in the 20th century (not the 21st, so far) by a few tenths of a degree and indeed on a rising trend since the end of the little ice age. The only graph I know of showing an acceleration in the trend was the one produced by Prof. Michael Mann. The graph is so discredited as to be a laughing stock to anyone but the most zealous Green.

    Everything else is the product of "models". The catastrophic warming? Models. The collapse of the Arctic Ice Sheet? Models. Giant hurricanes? Models. Desertification? Models. Volcanic cones collapsing? Models. Models. Models. Not one of which predicted the recent slight decline in global temperature (since 1995, according to Phil Jones, there has been no statistically significant warming - enough to falsify the hypothesis given CO2 has continued to increase).

  108. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dishonesty or ignorance?

    "The graph is so discredited as to be a laughing stock to anyone but the most zealous Green."

    Except that it isn't.

  109. Robinson


    "Except that it isn't."

    Great argument.

    Try reading the critique of it either at Steve McIntyre's website ClimateAudit, or by buying the book The Hockey Stick Illusion, or by reading the Wegman Report, or even the testimony of the NAS, which supported Wegman's findings.

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