Friday, December 04, 2009

Dear fellow member of the American Physical Society:

Well, Eli is a member, tho he don't want to be a fellow to any of the undersigned. However, as tragedy repeats itself as farce, the good worthies Austin, Lewis, Happer, Gould and Cohen are trolling the following

This is a matter of great importance to the integrity of the Society. It is being sent to a random fraction of the membership, so we hope you will pass it on.

By now everyone has heard of what has come to be known as ClimateGate, which was and is an international scientific fraud, the worst any of us have seen in our cumulative 223 years of APS membership. For those who have missed the news we recommend the excellent summary article by Richard Lindzen in the November 30 edition of the Wall Street journal, entitled "The Climate Science isn't Settled," for a balanced account of the situation. It was written by a scientist of unquestioned authority and integrity. A copy can be found among the items at, and a visit to can fill in the details of the scandal, while adding spice.

What has this to do with APS? In 2007 the APS Council adopted a Statement on global warming (also reproduced at the tinyurl site mentioned above) that was based largely on the scientific work that is now revealed to have been corrupted. (The principals in this escapade have not denied what they did, but have sought to dismiss it by saying that it is normal practice among scientists. You know and we know that that is simply untrue. Physicists are not expected to cheat.)

We have asked the APS management to put the 2007 Statement on ice until the extent to which it is tainted can be determined, but that has not been done. We have also asked that the membership be consulted on this point, but that too has not been done.

None of us would use corrupted science in our own work, nor would we sign off on a thesis by a student who did so. This is not only a matter of science, it is a matter of integrity, and the integrity of the APS is now at stake. That is why we are taking the unusual step of communicating directly with at least a fraction of the membership.

If you believe that the APS should withdraw a Policy Statement that is based on admittedly corrupted science, and should then undertake to clarify the real state of the art in the best tradition of a learned society, please send a note to the incoming President of the APS, with the single word YES in the subject line. That will make it easier for him to count.

Bob Austin, Professor of Physics, Princeton
Hal Lewis, emeritus Professor of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara
Will Happer, Professor of Physics, Princeton
Larry Gould, Professor of Physics, Hartford
Roger Cohen, former Manager, Strategic Planning, ExxonMobil
Eli suggests fellow members might send the following, or something like it
I unequivocally support the 2007 APS Statement on Climate Change. In fact, in view of scientific evidence published in the two years since the statement was released, I believe that the statement should be strengthened.

We understand that a some members of the Society, lead by Prof. Robert Austin are again trying to impose their mistaken views about climate change on the Society. We note that they are circularizing members asking for support.

Many statements in the letter from Prof. Austin and his colleagues are misleading, argumentative and simply wrong. The STOLEN correspondence that they point to does not contain evidence of fraud. Their statements verge on libel. There are intemperate and sarcastic passages, but who among us has not written such. The letter sentby Prof. Austin and colleagues is as intemperate as any that he rails against.

The scientific work of the CRU and their colleagues has NOT been corrupted, but much of the scientific work on which Prof. Austin and colleagues rely, including that of Prof. Lindzen has been proven wrong (see the chimeral iris effect, or comments on a recent paper by Lindzen and Choi for example). Prof. Lindzen is a well known and long time partisan against taking action on climate change who has frequently published opinion articles, including others in the Wall Street Journal. Climate Depot is a site set up by Marc Morano, a former employee of Sen. Inhofe, for the sole purpose of opposing action on climate change and vilifying scientists whose work demonstrates the dangers of climate change.

While we do not know everything about climate, we do know more than enough to realize that significant action must be taken now. We agree with the APS Policy Statement on Climate Change and support policies and actions that will reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.
You can, of course, add, or subtract, or even oppose Eli's suggestion. If you support the APS Policy Statement on Climate Change, Eli suggests you use the Subject Line: Support APS Climate Change Statement in your letter to the incoming President of the APS ccallan with the additional princeton edu (there are harvesters hereabouts as was pointed out). It might help if those attacked by Mssrs. Austin, Happer, Lewis, Gould and Cohen write under separate cover in more detail. It would, perhaps, not be wise to ask Prof. Callan to look at the information at on the CRU matter.



Marco said...

You could add a rude remark about Harold Lewis having thrown away most of his stuff...which apparently is something else to get all upset about.
"There are lots of things, but they're scattered in a complicated way. Generally speaking, I throw things away after a few years, so the only things I have are the things that have accumulated over the last few years and are relevant to the things I'm actually doing these days."

Anonymous said...

I love the signature:

"Roger Cohen, former Manager, Strategic Planning, ExxonMobil"

Ed Darrell said...

What does "climategate" tell us? It tells us that those who deny global warming are crooks. It tells us that warming denialists will do anything, even violate laws, in order to slander scientists, and to call attention away from their sloth in producing any research that would suggest warming has not occurred and will not continue, nor any research to suggest a better solution that limiting greenhouse gas emissions, especially CO2 emissions.

In the terms of the old joke about Churchill and a female critic of his at dinner, we know what the denialists are. Rather than negotiate prices, however, we're just taking photos for the trial to come.

Mark said...

Thanks for the suggested email to the APS president! I recently received the denialist email. It was from a "hal linden". I wrote a reply to tell them where to stick it, but it came back as undeliverable. It said it couldn't find that user on the domain. Does that mean they are spamming and running?

EliRabett said...

Perhaps this fellow

Henry R. Linden
Professor, Illinois Institute of Technology

Science Advisor, SEPP

Drop him a note.

CapitalClimate said...

"international scientific fraud"
"scientific work that is now revealed to have been corrupted"
"corrupted science"
"admittedly corrupted science"

So they're now adding libel to their larceny?

G-Man said...

Anyone who refers to "ClimateDepot" with a straight face is utterly *in*credible.

Morano and his ilk are the lowest of the bottom feeders - he exists solely to distort, smear, and slur. IMNSHO, he's scum.

TCO said...


What's your take on Zorita's recc to keep Jones and Mann out of reviewing? Don't think you can dismiss EZ as a denialist, as poorly published. He's even a respectable physical scientist (see his Ph.D.).
(click on top link)

Anonymous said...

To Mark regarding the bounced email:

He's using a trick to prevent you from replying. The "reply-to" field has the email address wrong, the ".nett" on the end should have only one t, as in ".net"

Jonathan said...

Curious. I don't recall anyone proposing that the APS shut down the Division of Condensed Matter Physics in the wake of the Jan-Hendrik Schoen scandal.

Mark said...

Thanks, Anonymous, I hadn't checked that. Unfortunately, I don't think that was the trick he used. According to MS Outlook, the email address of "hal lewis" (my mistake for saying "linden" in the first post): hal lewis []

Maybe they set up that username, sent the emails, and closed that account?

EliRabett said...

Ah Lewis

Try this one hlewis at physics ucsb edu Put in the right symbols



Anonymous said...

Mark said:

Maybe they set up that username, sent the emails, and closed that account?

Have a look at the message source. It should look like:

Keyword1: keyword data
Keyword2: keyword data
Keywordm: keyword data
<blank line>
message text line 1
message text line 2
message text line n

There should be a series of lines with keyword 'received:'. These lines are automatically inserted by each mail server the email passes through on route from sender to recipient. They are in reverse order, i.e. the first one is inserted by the last mail server in the chain.

The 'received' keyword data takes the form 'from mailserver by mailserver ... for address'

The mailserver may be shown as an IP address, a resolved name corresponding to that IP or a made-up entry if spam. The 'for' address is the real target address. Note that email is delivered according to an 'envelope' address used in the SMTP protocol which may or may not match the email address in the 'To:' field of the email.

It is possible to trace the route of the mail by following these lines. There should be a consistent sequence of these as mail is passed from one to the next. The last one is (or should be) the sender's mailserver.

Jimmy said...

"We have asked the APS management to put the 2007 Statement on ice until the extent to which it is tainted can be determined, but that has not been done."

It would have been much funnier to have replied: "We did but then it melted."