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On the Corruption of Science

On the Corruption of Science

Courtesy of Casey Research 

Once again Anthony Watts, the namesake and force behind WattsUpWithThat.com has come through with an excellent posting on the topic of manmade global warming, this time citing the letter of resignation written by Harold Lewis, Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, to the head of the American Physical Society over that organization’s unscientific approach to the issue of manmade global warming.

You can, and should, read the entire text of Prof. Lewis’s letter by following the link here.

However, for the time-pressed among you, I will share just a couple of excerpts.

    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.

And…

    I do feel the need to add one note, and this is conjecture, since it is always risky to discuss other people’s motives. This scheming at APS HQ is so bizarre that there cannot be a simple explanation for it. Some have held that the physicists of today are not as smart as they used to be, but I don’t think that is an issue. I think it is the money, exactly what Eisenhower warned about a half-century ago. There are indeed trillions of dollars involved, to say nothing of the fame and glory (and frequent trips to exotic islands) that go with being a member of the club. Your own Physics Department (of which you are chairman) would lose millions a year if the global warming bubble burst. When Penn State absolved Mike Mann of wrongdoing, and the University of East Anglia did the same for Phil Jones, they cannot have been unaware of the financial penalty for doing otherwise. As the old saying goes, you don’t have to be a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing. Since I am no philosopher, I’m not going to explore at just which point enlightened self-interest crosses the line into corruption, but a careful reading of the ClimateGate releases makes it clear that this is not an academic question.

    I want no part of it, so please accept my resignation. APS no longer represents me, but I hope we are still friends.

Those of you still clinging to your fears that humanity’s days are numbered, soon to be snuffed out by drought, pestilence, rising waters, and whatever, will reflexively dismiss Professor Lewis as some nobody, but as his bio makes clear, that would be a mistake. Here are just some of his scientific credentials and contributions…

    Harold Lewis is Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, former Chairman; Former member Defense Science Board, chairman of Technology panel; Chairman DSB study on Nuclear Winter; Former member Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards; Former member, President’s Nuclear Safety Oversight Committee; Chairman APS study on Nuclear Reactor Safety Chairman Risk Assessment Review Group; Co-founder and former Chairman of JASON; Former member USAF Scientific Advisory Board; Served in US Navy in WW II; books: Technological Risk (about, surprise, technological risk) and Why Flip a Coin (about decision making)

Now, some of you may wonder why I bother periodically weighing in on this topic. That I do so is in no small part related to my desire to help stomp out the environmental death cult before its greatest ambitions can be fulfilled. 

Environmentalism is the new religion, but taught in every school not as the ecclesiastical belief it is but rather as a scientific truth. The consequences of these fictions being translated into policy will be to self-inflict on the Western economies a hard blow that all but assures the U.S. and Europe fall desperately behind the global competition.

Almost as bad, as the economic folly of burdening all efficient forms of energy with nonsensical regulations and taxations becomes obvious, the Western governments won’t reverse the “green” legislation but rather make things even worse by applying punitive tariffs on all imported goods based on a bureaucratic assessment of the carbon footprint required to produce those goods.

At which point, global trade will freeze up and the Luddites will get as close as they ever will to living in an energy-reduced world… but only because people won’t be able to afford to turn on the lights or to drive to what few jobs remain.

And for what? A scientifically unsound and already debunked hypothesis that is just as wrong-headed as were the dire warnings over global cooling in the 1970s, or Paul Ehrlich’s 1968 “Population Bomb” that predicted global starvation in the 1980s.

Stop the madness.

*******

The Casey Report focuses on big-picture investing – analyzing emerging mega-trends and their effects on the economy and markets… and recommending the best ways to profit from those trends, whether they’re positive or negative. To learn more about the editors’ favorite investment of 2010, click here.


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