Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Global Warming and the Corruption of Science

A distinguished scientist fired off some stinging accusations about Global Warming, calling it "the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist." Harold Lewis (emeritus prof at the University of California and former chair of the American Physical Society (APS) believes that the scientific community has stifled debate about Global Warming. Why? Because of the corruption influence of money. In his resignation from the APS, Professor Lewis writes,
The giants no longer walk the earth, and the money flood has become the raison d'ĂȘtre of much physics research, the vital sustenance of much more, and it provides the support for untold numbers of professional jobs. For reasons that will soon become clear my former pride at being an APS Fellow all these years has been turned into shame, and I am forced, with no pleasure at all, to offer you my resignation from the Society.

It is of course, the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist. Anyone who has the faintest doubt that this is so should force himself to read the ClimateGate documents, which lay it bare. (Montford's book organizes the facts very well.) I don't believe that any real physicist, nay scientist, can read that stuff without revulsion. I would almost make that revulsion a definition of the word scientist.
But what about the investigations into the ClimateGate letters, the ones that exonerated the writers?
When Penn State absolved Mike Mann of wrongdoing, and the University of East Anglia did the same for Phil Jones, they cannot have been unaware of the financial penalty for doing otherwise. As the old saying goes, you don't have to be a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing. Since I am no philosopher, I'm not going to explore at just which point enlightened self-interest crosses the line into corruption, but a careful reading of the ClimateGate releases makes it clear that this is not an academic question.
What really set off Professor Lewis was the Society's censorship of any internal dissent about Global Warming. He collected 200 signatures in order to create a Topical Group within the Society. Rather than create the group as required by its constitution, the APS put out a vague survey.

Professor Lewis's point about money is important. When the theory of Global Warming was first advanced, some grants were handed out to evaluate it. The results were, "We're not sure. Give us more money to study it further." Now, more than 20 years later, entire institutions exist for the express purpose of studying and projecting Global Warming. Thousands of scientists and others depend on Global Warming for their livelihood. More recently, major corporations have gotten into the act in the form of Cap and Trade. This will decide winners and losers. The corporations are employing lobbyists to ensure that they are the winners. All of this will come crashing down if Global Warming turns out to be natural and harmless (or, God forbid, beneficial). So just how hard are any of these people going to go in questioning the base assumptions?

Remember this when you read about Global Warming being settled science.

No comments: