Thursday, 15 September 2011

Physicist Resigns in Opposition to Claims of Manmade Climate Change

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On September 13, physicist Dr. Ivar Giaever, a former professor with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the 1973 winner of the Nobel Prize in physics, announced his resignation from the American Physical Society, disgusted by the company’s officially stated policy that “global warming is occurring.” The American Physical Society officially supports the theory that man’s actions have led to global warming through increased emissions of carbon dioxide, an assertion with which Dr. Giaever wholly disagrees.

Giaever made his views very clear in his resignation e-mail, which was reprinted at Climate Depot, a website that has been committed to debunking the theory of manmade climate change.

“I resign from APS,” he wrote. Responding to APS’s declaration that the evidence of manmade global warming is “incontrovertible,” Giaever opined, “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 went on, “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 that the temperature has been amazingly stable, and both human health and happiness have definitely improved in this ‘warming’ period.”

The APS has confirmed that Giaever has both declined to pay his annual dues and has resigned. Still, however, it refuses to revise its statement that the evidence supporting manmade climate change is incontrovertible, even though the word "incontrovertible" has provoked a great deal of debate within the organization. The controversy was enough to necessitate an addendum to the statement in April 2010, which read, “The word ‘incontrovertible’ … is rarely used in science because by its very nature, science questions prevailing ideas. The observational data indicate a global surface warming of 0.74 degrees C (+/- 0.18 degrees C) since the late 19th century.”

Giaever has been an outspoken critic of the notion of manmade climate change. He was one of more than 100 co-signers of a 2009 letter to President Obama, which read:

We, the undersigned scientists, maintain that the case for alarm regarding climate change is grossly overstated. Surface temperature changes over the past century have been episodic and modest and there has been no net global warming for over a decade now. After controlling for population growth and property values, there has been no increase in damages from severe weather-related events. The computer models forecasting rapid temperature change abjectly fail to explain recent climate behavior. Mr. President, your characterization of the scientific facts regarding climate change and the degree of certainty informing the scientific debate is simply incorrect.

Many analysts claim that the push by government to convince American citizens that manmade climate change is in fact a real phenomenon has been done with the intent to acquire greater government control over citizens, and may potentially lead to “global governance.” After all, former Vice President Al Gore, a leading spokesman of the climate-change movement, declared that one way to combat climate change is “through global governance and global agreements.”

In December 2007, the United Nations climate conference in Bali urged the adoption of a global carbon tax that would represent “a global burden sharing system, fair, with solidarity, and legally binding to all nations.” The proposal prompted one of the advocates, Othmar Schwank, to say, “Finally someone will pay for these [climate related] costs.”

Conservative pundit Glenn Beck asserts that the push for climate change regulation is not simply to create a global government, but to ultimately destroy powerful industrialized nations like the United States. Beck points to a statement made by Maurice Strong, head of the United Nations Environmental Program, in 1990. He said:

What if a small group of these world leaders were to conclude that the principle risk to the earth comes from the actions of the rich countries? In order to save the planet, the group decides: Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring this about?”

Strong later attempted to explain his statement by asserting it was a speculative plot for a novel that he was considering writing, but the fact that Strong never penned a novel before or after he made the statement seems to refute that notion.

A new Rasmussen Report poll, from August, shows that the majority of the American public does not subscribe to the theory of manmade climate change. According to the poll, 69 percent of Americans say that it is at least somewhat possible that some climate scientists have falsified research data to support their own theories and beliefs. Of that figure, 40 percent say it is “very likely.” The poll reveals that a mere 22 percent of respondents believe it is unlikely that scientists falsified the data, and 10 percent remain undecided.

Perhaps it is these figures that inspired Al Gore to kick off a new project designed to “increase awareness around the issue of climate change”: a 24-hour live online event called 24 Hours of Reality.

Whether such propaganda will alter Americans’ views on manmade climate change remains to be seen, but so long as reputable scientists like Dr. Giaever contest the notion of manmade climate change, the issue is sure to remain controversial.

Photo of Dr. Ivar Giaever: AP Images

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