Nobel Prize-Winning Physicist Resigns Over Global Warming
Ivar Giaever, the 1973 winner of the Nobel Prize in physics, has resigned from the American Physical Society over its declaration that "global warming is occurring" and that "the evidence is incontrovertible."
Ivar Giaever, the 1973 winner of the Nobel Prize in physics, has resigned from the American Physical Society over its declaration that “global warming is occurring” and that “the evidence is incontrovertible.”
Fox News (“Nobel Prize-Winning Physicist Resigns Over Global Warming“):
Dr. Ivar Giaever, a former professor with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the 1973 winner of the Nobel Prize in physics, abruptly announced his resignation Tuesday, Sept. 13, from the premier physics society in disgust over its officially stated policy that “global warming is occurring.” The official position of the American Physical Society (APS) supports the theory that man’s actions have inexorably led to the warming of the planet, through increased emissions of carbon dioxide.
Giaever does not agree — and put it bluntly and succinctly in the subject line of his email, reprinted at Climate Depot, a website devoted to debunking the theory of man-made climate change. ”I resign from APS,” Giaever wrote.
Giaever was cooled to the statement on warming theory by a line claiming that “the evidence 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.
This story is, not surprisingly, being widely touted as evidence in the conservative blogosphere that there is room for debate on the issue of global warming. After all, Giaever has a Nobel Prize! In physics! But he’s not a climate scientist:
Giaever earned his Nobel for his experimental discoveries regarding tunneling phenomena in superconductors. He has since become a vocal dissenter from the alleged “consensus” regarding man-made climate fears, Climate Depot reported, noting that he was one of more than 100 co-signers of a 2009 letter to President Obama critical of his position on climate change.
That 100 scientists could be found to sign a public letter is interesting. But the red flag should be that a major scientific society was willing to put out such a definitive statement on such a controversial issue, not that there are a handful of dissenters. This isn’t a 50-50 issue; it’s a 95-5 issue. Nonetheless, the campaign is working:
Public perception of climate change has steadily fallen since late 2009. A Rasmussen Reports public opinion poll from August noted that 57 percent of adults believe there is significant disagreement within the scientific community on global warming, up five points from late 2009. The same study showed that 69 percent of those polled believe it’s at least somewhat likely that some scientists have falsified research data in order to support their own theories and beliefs. Just 6 percent felt confident enough to report that such falsification was “not at all likely.”
But this is really not an issue where public opinion is relevant. Lay people–myself included–simply don’t have the scientific knowledge to evaluate the evidence; they’re simply repeating what they’ve heard. Alas, public opinion does matter as regards to public policy making.