Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The American Physical Society Calls Tony Watts a Clown

Anthony Watts got his Hal Lewis is Martin Luther Appeal into the Christian Science Monitor. Some of the bunnies joined the fun in the comments (caerbannog, greenfyre, Eli, Mike Roddy, Scott Mandia), but the major explosion was a post from the press secretary of the American Physical Society, Tawanda Johnson

Mr. Watts,

The American Physical Society (APS), a leading organization of physicists, takes great umbrage to your analogy likening Dr. Harold Lewis’ resignation from APS to that of the plight of Christian theologian Martin Luther. Global climate change concerns science, not religion, and Dr. Lewis’ resignation bears no likeness to the Great Reformation. Furthermore, on the matter of global climate change, APS notes that virtually all reputable scientists agree with the following observations:

• Carbon dioxide is increasing in the atmosphere due to human activity;
• Carbon dioxide is an excellent infrared absorber, and therefore, its increasing presence in the atmosphere contributes to global warming; and
• The dwell time of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is hundreds of years.

APS continues to recognize that climate models are far from adequate, and the extent of global warming and climatic disruptions produced by sustained increases in atmospheric carbon loading remain uncertain. In light of the significant settled aspects of the science, APS totally rejects Dr. Lewis’ claim that global warming is a “scam” and a “pseudoscientific fraud.”

Read the official APS response to Dr. Harold Lewis’ resignation:
they ain't gonna take this nonsense anymore. Tony and Hal did the denial crowd a great service by stirring up the APS.


David B. Benson said...

I doubt it. The ignoranti will just scream about martyrs.

Anonymous said...

Sweet! :)

Tony just poked a hornets' nest and the hornets are (understandably) pissed. Run Tony, run!


Adam said...

Watts has played the fool, but that is what he does for a living. To be upbraided by APS is for him a victory; it is validation; he is a "real player".

EliRabett said...

Ray P is having trouble posting? Anyone else???

Anyhoo, this in from Chicago:

Good as the APS rejoinder is, stating the dwell time as just "hundreds of years" seriously understates the length of time over which anthropogenic CO2 will disrupt the climate. Ten thousand years would be a more reasonable number to keep in mind. Ten thousand years is a a hundred centuries, so I guess that counts as "hundreds of years," but I'm not sure that's the impression people would get from the APS statement. The APS spokesperson would do well to read Dave Archer's journal articles on this subject, then the more accessible book "The Long Thaw," followed by Susan Solomon's PNAS review on "irreversible" climate change. Or, dip into the section on the Anthropocene in our NRC carbon stabilization targets report.


Anonymous said...

Cy Five inks (in the IR of course)...

Cy thinks you have made a good point here in showing that Mr. Watts, even for those of us who question uncertainties, presents a forum for batshit crazies, as well as intelligent observers. Hence the rsponse from the APS mixed with the usual folks, some of whom Cy agrees with! But Cy wants to point out that the comments from the APS actually confirm what the lukewarm\skeptic fluorophores of the world state...

"(APS continues to recognize)...that climate models are far from adequate, and the extent of global warming and climatic disruptions produced by sustained increases in atmospheric carbon loading remain uncertain."

Cy thinks the more understanding dyes believe that terms like "scam" and "fraud" are silly. "Conspiracy" too. But he also thinks that hyperbole is the enemy of the "green" message.

Cy is a frustrated dye.

David B. Benson said...

Title of this post is a insult to the fine and time-honored profession of clownery.