Nobel Prize winning physicist quits premier physics society over “incontrovertible” claim for global warming

Ivar Giaever (I don’t know how that’s pronounced), winner of the 1973 Nobel Prize for Physics, has resigned from the American Physical Society over its official statement that evidence for manmade global warming is “incontrovertible.”

“In the APS it is ok to discuss whether the mass of the proton changes over time and how a multi-universe behaves, but the evidence of global warming is incontrovertible?” he wrote in an email to Kate Kirby, executive officer of the physics society.

“The claim … is that the temperature has changed from 288.0 to 288.8 degree Kelvin in about 150 years, which (if true) means to me is that the temperature has been amazingly stable, and both human health and happiness have definitely improved in this ‘warming’ period,” his email message said.

However, it’s not clear why Giaever waited until now to resign, since a debate within the society over the “incontrovertible” language has been going on since at least April 2010.

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Bill A. writes:

You note:

“However, it’s not clear why Giaever waited until now to resign, since a debate within the society over the “incontrovertible” language has been going on since at least April 2010.”

The reason is, I think, that Giaver did not resign; he apparently simply neglected to renew his membership when it came due, and his letter is his explanation of the reasons he did not renew, written to someone at the APS who must have written him to find out why:

“Dear Ms. Kirby, Thank you for your letter inquiring about my membership. I did not renew it because I can not live with the statement below…. “

The phrase “I resign from APS” doesn’t appear in the text of his letter, as reproduced by Steven Hayward at Powerline.

LA replies:

So he’s a real profile in courage, hmm.

Other scientists have been like this. They dissent from AGW, but quietly and belatedly.

Bill A. writes:

Thank you for noticing my comment.

I might add that Giaever does not in his letter object to the opinion of some physicists that AGW is real, he objects to the APS describing the evidence for AGW as incontrovertible. It is that statement of incontrovertibility that he finds reprehensible from a strictly scientific point of view.

LA replies:

I think that’s clear. The AGW ideology does not consist only in the assertion that AGW is true. Intrinsic to the AGW ideology is the assertion that AGW is the established and unquestionable truth, accepted by all scientists and all rational human beings.

Bill A. replies:

Quite right. And you will be burned at the stake, figuratively speaking, not only for denying AGW, but for denying the establishment of an accepted truth by those who are empowered to do so.

Bill A. also writes:

I wouldn’t disparage Giaever for lack of courage. In all likelihood, he has been a member of the APS for almost his entire adult life, certainly for all of his professional life. His earliest aspirations and dreams were no doubt tied up with it, and his heroes were all affiliated with it. To sever his ties with the organization that has represented his chosen profession -profession in the fullest, highest sense- must be extraordinarily distateful. It is not surprising that he would choose to allow his membership to fade away, rather than making an issue of it. But when pushed, he was quite forthright about his reasons.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at September 15, 2011 09:50 AM | Send

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