Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Claim of consensus is fake

Scientists' Open Letter to Senate: 'Claim of consensus is fake'

The following letter signed by five physicists was sent to all 100 U.S. Senator's on October 29, 2009. The letter is reproduced in full below:


You have recently received a letter from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), purporting to convey a "consensus" of the scientific community that immediate and drastic action is needed to avert a climatic catastrophe.

We do not seek to make the scientific arguments here (we did that in an earlier letter, sent a couple of months ago), but simply to note that the claim of consensus is fake, designed to stampede you into actions that will cripple our economy, and which you will regret for many years. There is no consensus, and even if there were, consensus is not the test of scientific validity. Theories that disagree with the facts are wrong, consensus or no.

We know of no evidence that any of the "leaders" of the scientific community who signed the letter to you ever asked their memberships for their opinions, before claiming to represent them on this important matter.

We also note that the American Physical Society (APS, and we are physicists) did not sign the letter, though the scientific issues at stake are fundamentally matters of applied physics. You can do physics without climatology, but you can't do climatology without physics.

The APS is at this moment reviewing its stance on so-called global warming, having received a petition from its membership to do so. That petition was signed by 160 distinguished members and fellows of the Society, including one Nobelist and 12 members of the National Academies. Indeed a score of the signers are Members and Fellows of the AAAS, none of whom were consulted before the AAAS letter to you.

Professor Hal Lewis, University of California, Santa Barbara

Professor Fred Singer, University of Virginia

Professor Will Happer, Princeton University

Professor Larry Gould, University of Hartford

Dr. Roger Cohen, retired Manager, Strategic Planning, ExxonMobil

List of 160 signers of the APS petition available at http://tinyurl.com/lg266u


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