September 26, 2011
Nobel Prize Winner Leaves Group Over Global Warming
A Nobel Prize winning physicist has resigned from the American Physical Society (APS), protesting the organization's official stance on climate change, Philip Sherwell of the Telegraph reported on Sunday.
Ivar Giaever, an 82-year-old Norwegian who shared the 1973 Nobel Award for work related to quantum tunneling, left the 48,000 member organization earlier this month because of the APA's position arguing that there is a scientific consensus on the global warming issue.
The group's official statement, as reprinted by the International Business Times on September 15, is as follows: "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."
Giaever, however, challenges those claims. He told Sherwell, "Incontrovertible is not a scientific word. Nothing is incontrovertible in science." The Applied Biophysics Chief Technology Officer added that climate change/global warming had "become the new religion" in the scientific community, and told APS executive Kate Kirby that he "cannot live" with the organization's official stance on the issue.
"He questioned whether the average temperature of 'the whole earth for a whole year' can be accurately measured, but contended that even if the results are accurate, they indicate the climate has actually been 'amazingly stable' for 150 years," Sherwell added. "And he concluded that in any case, both 'human health and happiness have definitely improved' over the so-called 'warming period' of the last century and a half."
Climate Depot, a website skeptical of global warming, printed a copy of the letter sent from Giaever to Kirby. In it, the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute professor emeritus and University of Oslo professor-at-large wrote, "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?"
According to Sherwell, APS spokesperson Tawanda Johnson, told The Sunday Telegraph that the group was "disappointed" by Giaever's resignation, that they believed his criticisms were the result of "misunderstandings," and emphasized that they would not "engage in a back-and-forth" on the issue.
On the Net:
- American Physical Society (APS)
- Applied Biophysics
- Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
- University of Oslo