While everyone was no doubt glued to their TV for the last 24 hours watching Al Gore’s “24 Hours of Reality” telethon–wait, you mean you weren’t?–there was another breaking story that has not got the attention it deserves. Nobel Prize-winning scientist Ivar Giaever resigned as a Fellow from the American Physical Society two days ago in protest of the APS’s climate change position. This is notable in part because Giaever was among 70 Nobel laureates who endorsed Obama for president in 2008, so he’s no member of the vast right-wing conspiracy. Here’s the complete text of his letter of resignation:
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:
Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth’s climate. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide as well as methane, nitrous oxide and other gases. They are emitted from fossil fuel combustion and a range of industrial and agricultural processes. The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.
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? The claim (how can you measure the average temperature of the whole earth for a whole year?) 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.
Nobel Laureate 1973
Wonder how the New York Times or other major media will cover this.
By the way, if you’re curious about what you missed on Gore’s telethon, Anthony Watt’s fabulous website WattsUpWithThat will have a summary and critique, and has been live-blogging this thoroughly dead affair.