Better late than never

Fox News broke the story of Ivar Giaever’s resignation from the American Physical Society 12 days ago. Fairfax only find out about it today. Is it selective hearing? Maybe, but credit to them for reporting on it. To be fair however, I haven’t seen the issue reported on by news limited, although I probably haven’t been looking hard enough.

NEW YORK: A Nobel laureate has resigned from one of the world’s leading organisations for scientists in protest at its assertions that the evidence of damaging global warming is ”incontrovertible”.

In a new challenge to claims of a scientific ”consensus” on climate change, Professor Ivar Giaever resigned from the 48,000-strong American Physical Society, where his peers had elected him a fellow to honour his work.

The society’s policy statement says: ”The evidence is incontrovertible: global warming is occurring.” But Professor Giaever, 82, who shared the 1973 Nobel physics prize, said: ”Incontrovertible is not a scientific word. Nothing is incontrovertible in science.”

”Global warming has become the new religion,” the US-based Norwegian physicist said.

Reading on, I was shocked to learn of the reaction from the ASP.

In its policy statement, the society says: ”Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth’s climate … The evidence is incontrovertible: global warming is occurring.”

A society spokesman said the society was ”disappointed” by Professor Giaever’s decision and his criticisms were based on ”misunderstandings”.

First of all, there’s the obvious question; what fantastic, incontrovertible evidence are they withholding from the rest of us? Secondly, why do they treat a Nobel laureate as though he is an imbecile? His objections are based on “misunderstandings”? That is an extraordinarily condescending remark to make of a scientist of Giaever’s calibre.

The problem is actually rather straightforward. They think the evidence is incontrovertible, while Giaever thinks this is a naive position, that is contrary to scientific curiosity.

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?

If Einstein’s relativity can be questioned when faced with contrary evidence, why can’t global warming?


About Climate Nonconformist

Hi, I'm the climatenonconformist (not my real name), and I am a global warming skeptic, among the few in generation Y. With Australia facing the prospect of a carbon tax, we need to be asking the simple question; where is the evidence that our emissions are causing any dangerous warming?
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16 Responses to Better late than never

  1. Michael Johnson says:

    You trust Spencer? I don’t.

    But I do trust the team that was funded by the Koch brothers:

    • Climate Nonconformist says:

      Berkeley data confirms what skeptics have been saying all along and verify the UAH graph; while the 20th century has warmed, this seems to have halted in the past 10-15 years.

      Perhaps I should have clarified the time frame in which I maintain that global warming is not occurring.

      • Michael Johnson says:

        AGW is just one factor that affects surface temperatures. The other main ones are solar activity, ocean currents and atmospheric aerosols. During the last decade these other factors have all worked to keep global temperatures fairly flat. When you adjust for these factors, the human effect can still be seen.

      • Climate Nonconformist says:

        So you concede that the earth has not warmed for the last decade?

      • Michael Johnson says:

        I agree that surface temperatures have been flat for 10 years. However, it seems that the heat content of the oceans is continuing to rise. Because of recent currents much of that heat appears to be at lower depths right now.

      • Climate Nonconformist says:

        Yet the ARGO bouys show no rise in ocean heat content since they were first used.

      • Michael Johnson says:

        The original Argo dataset had problems. See page 16 here:

        The bigger picture that I see it this. Every major scientific and governmental organization in the world agrees that human activity is causing the earth to warm. A handful of skeptics are latching on to any inconsistency or error in the models and using that as proof that there isn’t a problem.

        My opinion is that while we don’t know enough to go into panic mode yet, we have enough evidence to be concerned.

      • Climate Nonconformist says:

        So we’re back to where we started, the appeal to authority.

        Most skeptics would also acknowledge that humans are contributing to some warming, we just disagree on the magnitude. I would suggest that warmists use the models as the sole basis for their theory.

      • Michael Johnson says:

        So we are actually in agreement? My comment on Feb 25 at 6:03 says “AGW is just one factor”. We also agree it’s premature to take drastic action. But I think it makes sense to take some steps now – like increasing automobile fuel efficiency and building more nuclear reactors (esp. Thorium based). Not just because of AGW, but also because of increasing demand from China and India.

        P.S. Appealing to authority isn’t a fallacy when the authority is an expert on the issue at hand. If 98% of doctors agree that smoking causes cancer, it probably means that smoking causes cancer.

      • Climate Nonconformist says:

        Absolutely we should be increasing fuel efficiency and looking towards nuclear power. I would just rather a free market approach to the issue.

        Well it would be a pretty pathetic appeal to authority if the authority wasn’t an expert. I still maintain that on it’s own it is a fallacy, however it si still important to remember that it’s the evidence that counts.

      • Michael Johnson says:

        I don’t think the free market can solve environmental problems – there are no good ways to factor environmental costs into the cost of energy. Even if there were, the free market would never implement them – only governments can do this through regulations and taxes. The aim of all for-profit companies is to maximize profits. Maybe the public would someday be concerned enough to act. But as long as fossil fuels remain the cheapest form of energy they will be used, regardless of the amount of environmental damage their use causes.

      • Climate Nonconformist says:

        The free market solves environmental problems all the time. There is a huge demand for more fuel efficient vehicles. This providess incentives for these for companies to invest in improving fuel effciency. This is the case with alternative forms of energy, so long as the government doesn’t pick winners and losers.

        You talk about taxes and regulation, but there is a third way to protect the environment; property rights. If you pollute on someone elses property, then you have to compensate them. However, I will concede that this is insufficient for dealing with carbon dioxide emissions.

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