By E. Calvin Beisner, Ph.D.
An Open Letter on Climate Change to the People, their Local Representatives, the State Legislatures and Governors, the Congress, and the President of the United States of America
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Human-induced climate change, also known as anthropogenic global warming (AGW), is real. Crucial questions facing the public and policymakers are its magnitude, its benefits and harms relative to the benefits and harms of the activities that drive it, and the benefits and harms of proposed responses to it.
As the American people and their political representatives formulate policy regarding AGW, they should consider the following:
Human Exceptionalism and Humanity’s Role in the Earth
Severe poverty, widespread hunger, rampant disease, and short life spans were the ordinary condition of humankind until the last two-and-a-half centuries. These tragedies are normal when human beings act and are treated as if they were mere animals, which need to submit to nature. The Judeo-Christian heritage (Genesis 1:28; 2:15), in agreement with common sense, teaches instead that human beings are exceptional, able to rule over nature, freeing ourselves from poverty and hunger to live long and healthy lives. Our rule over nature should express not the abusive rule of a tyrant but the loving and generous rule of God the Creator (Genesis 2:15). It should thus express itself by enhancing the fruitfulness, beauty, and safety of the earth (Genesis 1:1-31; 2:4-14), to the glory of God and the benefit of our neighbors (Matthew 22:36-38).
How Societies Overcome Poverty
Our Judeo-Christian moral tradition puts a high priority on protecting and helping the poor (Psalm 41:1; Galatians 2:10). It also teaches, along with economic history, that what delivers people from absolute material poverty is a combination of moral, social, political, scientific, and technological institutions. These include science and technology grounded on a view of the physical world as an ordered cosmos that rational creatures can understand and harness for human betterment; private property rights, entrepreneurship, and widespread trade, protected by the rule of law enforced by limited and responsive governments; and abundant, affordable, reliable energy generated from high-density, portable, constantly accessible sources. By replacing animal and human muscle and low-density energy sources like wood, dung, and other biofuels, and low-density, intermittent wind and solar, fossil and nuclear fuels have freed people from the basic tasks of survival to devote time and bodily energy to other occupations.
Empirical Evidence Suggests that Fossil Fuel Use Will Not Cause Catastrophic Warming
Many fear that carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel use endanger humanity and the environment because they lead to historically unprecedented, dangerous global warming. This has led many well-meaning people to call for reduced carbon dioxide emissions and hence reduced use of fossil fuels.
Computer climate models of the warming effect of enhanced atmospheric carbon dioxide are the basis for that fear. However, to validly inform policymaking, computer climate models must be validated by real-world observation, and they have not been. Over time, observed global average temperature (GAT) diverges increasingly from modeled GAT.
On average, models simulate more than twice the warming observed over the period during which anthropogenic warming is supposed to have been the greatest (about the last 35 years). None simulate the complete absence of observed warming over approximately the last 20 years at Earth’s surface and 17 to 27 years in the lower troposphere (where we live). Over 95 percent simulate more warming than observed. These data confirm the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) observation that we are currently experiencing an absence of global warming long enough to be nearly impossible to reconcile with the models.
All of this makes it increasingly clear that the models greatly exaggerate the warming effect of carbon dioxide. The models’ errors are not random - as often above as below observed temperatures, and by similar magnitudes - but consistently above observed temperatures, making it apparent that the models are biased. The large and growing divergence between model simulations and observed GAT severely reduces the models’ credibility both for predicting future GAT and for informing policy.
The Judeo-Christian worldview provided the basis for scientific method by teaching that a rational God designed an ordered universe to be understood and controlled by rational persons made in His image (Genesis 1:26), which is why science as a systematic activity arose in medieval Europe. One of Christ’s apostles, Paul, even asserted the essence of science when he wrote, “Test all things, hold fast what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). In that spirit, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman explained “the key to science” this way:
In general we look for a new law by the following process. First we guess it. Then we compute the consequences of the guess to see what would be implied if this law that we guessed is right. Then we compare the result of the computation to nature, with experiment or experience, compare it directly with observation, to see if it works. If it disagrees with experiment it is wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It does not make any difference how beautiful your guess is. It does not make any difference how smart you are, who made the guess, or what his name is - if it disagrees with experiment it is wrong. That is all there is to it. [ii]
We would add to Feynman’s statement that it also makes no difference how many people agree with your guess. The scientific method never appeals to consensus. It demands that theories be tested by empirical observation. By that test, the models are wrong. They therefore provide no rational basis to forecast dangerous human-induced global warming and no rational basis for efforts to reduce warming, whether by restricting the use of fossil fuels or by any other means.
For the Foreseeable Future, Wind and Solar Energy Cannot Effectively Replace Fossil Fuel and Nuclear Energy
Fossil fuels, because of their lower costs and higher efficiency, account for over 85 percent of total global energy use, and nuclear energy for about 6 percent. Wind and solar energy, because of their higher costs and lower efficiency, account for only a few percent. Mandated substitution of low-density, intermittent energy sources like wind and solar for high-density, constant sources like fossil fuels, before the former technologies become economically competitive, would be catastrophic to the world’s poor. It would simultaneously raise the cost and reduce the reliability and availability of energy, especially electricity. This, in turn, would raise the cost of all other goods and services - especially food - since all require energy to produce and transport. It would destroy scores to hundreds of thousands of jobs in America and, by slowing economic growth, prevent the creation of millions more here and abroad, especially in the developing world. It would slow the rise of the poor out of poverty and threaten to return millions to it. And it would make electricity grids unstable, leading to more frequent and widespread, costly and often fatal, brownouts and blackouts -events mercifully rare in wealthy countries but all too familiar to billions of people living in countries without comprehensive, stable electric grids supplied by stable fossil or nuclear fuels.
The Poor Would Suffer Most from Attempts to Restrict Affordable Energy Use
The poor, whether in America or elsewhere, will suffer most from such policies. The world’s poorest - the 1.3 billion in developing countries who depend on wood and dried dung as primary cooking and heating fuels, smoke from which kills 4 million and temporarily debilitates hundreds of millions every year -will be condemned to more generations of poverty and its deadly consequences. Instead, they desperately need to replace such primitive and dirty fuels with electricity, the most affordable sources of which are fossil fuels.
The poor in the developed world, too, need more, and cheaper, electricity and other energy from fossil fuels. On average, they spend two or more times as much of their incomes on energy as the middle class. When governments mandate substitution of wind and solar for fossil fuels, the affected poor lose access to decent food, housing, education, health care, and more as their energy costs rise. Some freeze to death, as tens of thousands did in the United Kingdom in several recent winters due to that nation’s rush to substitute wind and solar for coal to generate electricity, because they are unable to pay their electricity bills and still buy enough food.
Affordable Energy Can Help Millions of the World’s Poor Emerge from Poverty
The same computer climate models that exaggerate the warming effect of atmospheric carbon dioxide nonetheless rightly simulate that greater economic development driven by growing use of fossil fuels will add more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Consequently, the IPCC finds that the warmest scenarios for the future are also the richest, especially for those societies that are now the poorest.
The risks of poverty and misguided energy policies that would prolong it far outweigh the risks of climate change. Adequate wealth enables people to thrive in a wide array of climates, hot or cold, wet or dry. Poverty undermines human health and life even in the best of climates. It follows that because reducing fossil fuel use means reducing economic development, it also means condemning poor societies to remain poor, and requiring poor people of today to sacrifice for richer people of the future - a clear injustice.
Rising Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Enhances Plant Growth
While adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere causes far less warming than previously feared, it has a positive effect on plant life. Scientifically understood, carbon dioxide is not a pollutant but a gas harmless at twenty times its current atmospheric concentration and vital to all life on the earth.
With more carbon dioxide in the air, plants grow better in warmer and cooler temperatures and wetter and drier soils, make better use of soil nutrients, and resist diseases and pests better, increasing their fruit production, expanding their range, and greening the earth. This makes more food available to all other creatures, especially - as agricultural yields rise, making food more affordable - the world’s poor. Substituting wind, solar, and other low-density energy sources for coal, oil, and natural gas therefore hurts the poor not only by raising energy (and all other) prices but also by reducing food production. It also hurts the rest of life on earth by depriving it of the fertilizing effect of heightened carbon dioxide.
By using fossil fuels to generate energy to lift billions of God’s precious children out of poverty, we liberate from the tomb of the earth the carbon dioxide on which plants and therefore all the rest of life depend. This beautifully reveals the Creator’s wisdom and care for all of His creation - people, animals, plants, and the earth itself.
Summary and Call to Action
Climate change is overwhelmingly natural and cyclical; human contribution to it is slight and not dangerous; attempts to reduce human contribution by reducing CO2 emissions would cause more harm than good; and expanded use of fossil fuels is necessary to provide the abundant, affordable, reliable energy indispensable to lifting and keeping societies out of poverty. Although CO2 emissions warm the earth slightly, they do not warm it dangerously, and the benefits of fossil fuel use, especially in enabling whole societies to rise, and remain, out of poverty, far outweigh whatever risks might accompany their small contribution to global warming.
In light of these considerations,
We call on the American people to speak out against policies aimed at curbing global warming and make their views known to opinion leaders at local, state, and national levels.
We call on local, state, and federal policymakers to speak out against and refuse to endorse any global agreements that require such policies.
We call on the news media both to resist demands by climate alarmists to conform their coverage of climate science and policy to any consensus that human activity is causing dangerous climate change and to refuse to characterize those who challenge any such consensus on scientific grounds as “deniers,” a pejorative term incompatible with rational, open, respectful discussion of scientific issues.
It is both unwise and unjust to adopt policies, whether at local, state, or federal levels, let alone a global agreement, requiring reduced use of fossil fuels for energy. Such policies would condemn hundreds of millions of our fellow human beings to ongoing poverty, and put hundreds of millions more at risk of returning to the poverty from which they rose, while achieving no significant climate benefit. We respectfully appeal to you to reject them.
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By now, many Americans are familiar with the Obama Environmental Protection Agency’s penchant for imposing hugely expensive, job-killing regulations on vast segments of the US economy - and justifying them by claiming major health or climate protection benefits. We are also increasingly aware of the agency’s reliance on highly questionable research, often conducted by teams that are selected and funded by EPA ... and then promoted by activist groups and agency advisory committees that are also selected and funded by the agency.
In this informative and thought-provoking article, Dr. Charles Battig, MD examines these EPA practices in detail. His analysis makes it abundantly clear that EPA has become a rogue, secretive, unaccountable agency that clearly must be returned to at least some measure of congressional oversight, control and accountability, at the very least under the Secret Science Reform Act.
Thank you for posting Dr. Battig’s article, quoting from it, and forwarding it to your friends and colleagues.
Driving policies through fraud and fear-mongering
A physician offers sanity-based perspectives on EPA’s “Data Derangement Syndrome”
By Charles G. Battig, MD
Propaganda tactics employed by the Environmental Protection and its activist allies increasingly employ emotion as a primary media tool. Mothers and children pose on the US Capitol steps, waving signs that claim they are fighting for clean air and their children’s health. Images of these “lovable lobbyists” for EPA’s Clean Power Plan and other rules are intentionally heart-tugging.
It is maternal instinct versus scientific facts; emotions versus informed debate. If EPA issues dire warnings, that is all these moms need to hear. Indeed, it is hard to overcome such pleadings with cold facts alone.
The well-orchestrated “do something” demonstrations enable politicians and agencies to devise and implement new legislation and regulations. It is much like physicians who succumb to patients’ “do something” demands by prescribing antibiotics for common colds. It is a useless, if not dangerous practice.
The public’s general fear of anything labeled a chemical, or requiring some comfort with numbers, is a powerful psychological tool for alarmists. In-the-street TV interviews showing fearful reactions to di-hydrogen monoxide represent but one example. The scary-sounding chemical, of course, is H2O: ordinary water.
If the air is hazy, even from natural sources like pine trees, many people automatically assume it is injurious to their health, even if the “pollution” levels are perfectly safe. The dose makes the poison. It’s even worse for invisible toxins. The linear no-threshold mindset now governs virtually all government toxicology programs.
The attitude assumes there is no safe limit. Any and all substances in any amount may be injurious to health, until proven otherwise. Forgone possible health or economic benefits from the demonized substances are not considered. Economist Julian Simon coined the term “false bad news” to describe how activists, regulators and the media make innocuous substances sound harmful, when they target something and set-out to ban it.
These crusaders ignore impartial and even convincing scientific rebuttals, since they specialize in publicizing bad news and perpetuating their own prejudiced agendas. Hollywood celebrities and politicians have become pseudo-authoritative fonts of pseudo-scientific knowledge for the media-obsessed public. Actors should be the least believable, as they make a career by pretending to be what they are not and regurgitating words written for them by others. But somehow they become star experts. Many career politicians are little better.
EPA reports that the six major Clean Air Act pollutants have declined some 62% on average. Meanwhile, reported asthma incidence has risen from 8.9% in 2005 to 9.4% in 2010. How can that be? EPA blames air pollution. But more likely factors include increased public awareness and reporting; expanding the agency’s asthma definition to include all reactive airway diseases; and blunted development of natural immunity, as children exercise less and play less outdoors, in environments that may now be too clean to challenge and bolster developing immune systems.
EPA’s guiding principles seem to be “never let a hypothetical disease go to waste” and “look for data that prove the assumption” (but ignore all unsupportive data). A favorite new bogeyman is what EPA calls PM2.5 (particulate matter or soot 2.5 microns or smaller in diameter). Pollutants like this are appropriately categorized under the rubric of DDS: “Designer Disease Syndrome” or “Data Derangement Syndrome.”
PM2.5 is a most peculiar disease-causing agent, compared to traditional agents. Its pathophysiologic mechanism is undefined, even by EPA. It includes multiple substances whose only common characteristic is that they are really tiny: human hair is 16 to 48 times wider than 2.5 microns. However, they must pose a substantial health threat because EPA says they do - even though the particles have no unique chemical composition, arise from both natural and manmade activities, and vary in composition from one geographic location to another and over different periods of time.
EPA claims inhaling PM2.5 can cause death, including sudden death and long-term death (which the agency calls “premature deaths"). But what level is healthy or safe, and by whose and what criteria? Former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson must have known, since she told Congress in 2011: “If we could reduce particulate matter to healthy levels, it would have the same impact as finding a cure for cancer in our country.”
Her claim has no scientific basis, and underscores EPA’s growing credibility problem. The agency claims PM2.5 particles cause death. However, epidemiological studies provide no direct evidence of definitive causation, or even validated explanations for the biological mechanisms allegedly causing death.
EPA claims “epidemiological studies ... have found consistent, precise positive associations between short-term exposure to PM2.5 and cardiovascular mortality… at short lags (0-1 days).” Do we really face a zero to one-day timeframe? Is EPA predicting near-instant deaths? Even if so called precise positive associations exist - and EPA has not shown that they actually do - how does this demonstrate cause-and-effect relationships?
Even EPA’s epidemiological tests on human subjects do not show such relationships. Volunteers were told PM2.5 is associated with health risks and death. However, EPA had conducted “297 controlled human exposures” to PM2.5, while encountering only “one clinically significant event” - and even that study participant experienced “no harm or injury.” Some tests even involved pollution levels close to what a person might encounter in “a typical urban center in America on a smoggy day,” also with no problems.
Valid, useful experimental designs must define what animal species, human test subjects and dose sizes are involved. Were all possible confounding factors identified and accounted for? Were these valid, random population samples or biased selections? Were the computers programmed to find the sought-for correlations? We do not know. But we do know that weak statistical correlations are being presented as proof of cause-and-effect. We do know that EPA is a master at trolling data banks to find needle-in-the-haystack clinical correlations that can be used to predict “dire risks” and project “deep concerns” to mothers.
EPA has conducted controlled human exposure studies to air pollutants for more than thirty years, at the University of North Carolina. During that time, more than six-thousand volunteers were studied, without a single serious adverse event.
The Harvard Six Cities Study (Laden et al 2006) provides a key scientific basis for EPA claims regarding supposed PM toxicology. Yet examination of the data shows that the statistical “relative risk” (RR) for total mortality claims ranges from below one to barely above one and a fraction. That does not meet the minimum legal standard of a RR of at least 2 to identify a significant population risk.
Even worse, the Harvard study teams have walled-off their raw clinical data from independent investigators, by claiming patient confidentiality, thereby preventing verification of results by other experts. Independent reproducibility and verification of test results are the traditional (and essential) hallmarks of scientific research. Invoking patient confidentiality to block access to raw data casts doubt on the entire process, especially since providing adequate patient confidentiality is rather easy to do.
So is there a health problem to investigate, or not? How much more testing do we need to demonstrate an actual problem? It looks more like a disease concept in search of a susceptible victim.
Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) has led the congressional effort to make governmental agencies provide open disclosure of data and analyses used to formulate policy. The Secret Science Reform Act of 2015 (H.R. 1030) is designed to ensure such ethical behavior. Public funds support most such research, which is used to justify costly rules. We have a right to expect that our funds are used in an open and ethical manner.
EPA claims PM2.5 mortality begins at just 35µg/m3. Then why are airport smokers and the Shanghai population not dropping dead on the spot? Airport smoker lounges have ambient levels of 600 to 10,000micrograms of PM2.5 per cubic meter. A single draw on a cigarette floods a smoker’s lungs with 10,000µg to 40,000micrograms. The Shanghai press reports PM outdoor levels of 600micrograms/m3 - and says average life expectancy there is 82.5 years - greater than in any major US city. Where are our overflowing emergency rooms and mortuaries?
EPA’s chosen path has been to fabricate a PM2.5 disease entity, endow it with a unique pathological profile, fund scientific reviewers who support its claims, and present as proof of serious health impacts the favorable published reviews it paid for - while ignoring contrary findings by other scientists. Post-modern medicine has fused with post-modern pseudo-science. This perverse combination does not justify expensive regulations that kill jobs and impair people’s health and welfare.
Charles G. Battig, MD is a physician in Charlottesville, VA: www.Climateis.com. This article is based on his presentation at the Heartland Institute’s 2015 International Conference on Climate Change.
Dr. Ivar Giaever, a Nobel Prize-Winner for physics in 1973, declared his dissent on man-made global warming claims at a Nobel forum on July 1, 2015.
“I would say that basically global warming is a non-problem,” Dr. Giaever announced during his speech titled “Global Warming Revisited.”
Giaever, a former professor at the School of Engineering and School of Science Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, received the 1973 physics Nobel for his work on quantum tunneling. Giaever delivered his remarks at the 65th Nobel Laureate Conference in Lindau, Germany, which drew 65 recipients of the prize. Giaever is also featured in the new documentary “Climate Hustle”, set for release in Fall 2015.
Giaever was one of President Obama’s key scientific supporters in 2008 when he joined over 70 Nobel Science Laureates in endorsing Obama in an October 29, 2008 open letter. Giaever signed his name to the letter which read in part: “The country urgently needs a visionary leader...We are convinced that Senator Barack Obama is such a leader, and we urge you to join us in supporting him.”
But seven years after signing the letter, Giaever now mocks President Obama for warning that :no challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change”. Giaever called it a “ridiculous statement.” “That is what he said. That is a ridiculous statement,” Giaever explained.
“I say this to Obama: Excuse me, Mr. President, but you’re wrong. Dead wrong,” Giaever said. (Watch Giaever’s full 30-minute July 1 speech here.)
“How can he say that? I think Obama is a clever person, but he gets bad advice. Global warming is all wet,” he added.
“Obama said last year that 2014 is hottest year ever. But it’s not true. It’s not the hottest,” Giaever noted. [Note: Other scientists have reversed themselves on climate change. See: Politically Left Scientist Dissents - Calls President Obama ‘delusional’ on global warming]
The Nobel physicist questioned the basis for rising carbon dioxide fears.
“When you have a theory and the theory does not agree with the experiment then you have to cut out the theory. You were wrong with the theory,” Giaever explained.
Global Warming ‘a new religion’
Giaever said his climate research was eye opening. “I was horrified by what I found” after researching the issue in 2012, he noted.
“Global warming really has become a new religion. Because you cannot discuss it. It’s not proper. It is like the Catholic Church.”
Concern Over ‘Successful’ UN Climate Treaty
“I am worried very much about the [UN] conference in Paris in November. I really worry about that. Because the [2009 UN] conference was in Copenhagen and that almost became a disaster but nothing got decided. But now I think that the people who are alarmist are in a very strong position,” Giaever said.
“The facts are that in the last 100 years we have measured the temperatures it has gone up 0.8 degrees and everything in the world has gotten better. So how can they say it’s going to get worse when we have the evidence? We live longer, better health, and better everything. But if it goes up another 0.8 degrees we are going to die I guess,” he noted.
“I would say that the global warming is basically a non-problem. Just leave it alone and it will take care of itself. It is almost very hard for me to understand why almost every government in Europe - except for Polish government - is worried about global warming. It must be politics.”
“So far we have left the world in better shape than when we arrived, and this will continue with one exception - we have to stop wasting huge, I mean huge amounts of money on global warming. We have to do that or that may take us backwards. People think that is sustainable but it is not sustainable.”
On Global Temperatures & CO2
Giaever noted that global temperatures have halted for the past 18 plus years. [Editor’s Note: Climate Depot is honored that Giaever used an exclusive Climate Depot graph showing the RSS satellite data of an 18 year plus standstill in temperatures at 8:48 min. into video.]
The Great Pause lengthens again: Global temperature update: The Pause is now 18 years 3 months (219 months)
Giaever accused NASA and federal scientists of “fiddling” with temperatures.
“They can fiddle with the data. That is what NASA does.”
“You cannot believe the people - the alarmists - who say CO2 is a terrible thing. Its not true, its absolutely not true,” Giaever continued while showing a slide asking: ‘Do you believe CO2 is a major climate gas?’
“I think the temperature has been amazingly stable. What is the optimum temperature of the earth? Is that the temperature we have right now? That would be a miracle. No one has told me what the optimal temperature of the earth should be,” he said.
“How can you possibly measure the average temperature for the whole earth and come up with a fraction of a degree. I think the average temperature of earth is equal to the emperor’s new clothes. How can you think it can measure this to a fraction of a degree? It’s ridiculous,” he added.
Giaever accused Nature Magazine of “wanting to cash in on the [climate] fad.” “My friends said I should not make fun of Nature because then they won’t publish my papers,” he explained.
“No one mentions how important CO2 is for plant growth. It’s a wonderful thing. Plants are really starving. They don’t talk about how good it is for agriculture that CO2 is increasing,” he added.
Extreme Weather claims
“The other thing that amazes me is that when you talk about climate change it is always going to be the worst. It’s got to be better someplace for heaven’s sake. It can’t always be to the worse,” he said.
“Then comes the clincher. If climate change does not scare people we can scare people talking about the extreme weather,” Giaever said. “For the last hundred years, the ocean has risen 20 cm - but for the previous hundred years the ocean also has risen 20 cm and for the last 300 years, the ocean has also risen 20 cm per 100 years. So there is no unusual rise in sea level. And to be sure you understand that I will repeat it. There is no unusual rise in sea level,” Giaever said. “If anything we have entered period of low hurricanes. These are the facts,” he continued.
“You don’t have to even be a scientist to look at these figures and you understand what it says,” he added.
“Same thing is for tornadoes. We are in a low period on in U.S.” (See: Extreme weather failing to follow ‘global warming’ predictions: Hurricanes, Tornadoes, Droughts, Floods, Wildfires, all see no trend or declining trends)
“What people say is not true. I spoke to a journalist with [German newspaper Die Welt yesterday...and I asked how many articles he published that says global warming is a good thing. He said I probably don’t publish them at all. Its always a negative. Always,” Giever said.
“They say refugees are trying to cross the Mediterranean. These people are not fleeing global warming, they are fleeing poverty,” he noted. “If you want to help Africa, help them out of poverty, do not try to build solar cells and windmills,” he added. “Are you wasting money on solar cells and windmills rather than helping people? These people have been misled. It costs money in the end to that. Windmills cost money.” Cheap energy is what made us so rich and now suddenly people don’t want it anymore.”
“People say oil companies are the big bad people. I don’t understand why they are worse than the windmill companies. General Electric makes windmills. They don’t tell you that they are not economical because they make money on it. But nobody protests GE, but they protest Exxon who makes oil,” he noted.
Dr. Ivar Giaever resigned as a Fellow from the American Physical Society (APS) on September 13, 2011 in disgust over the group’s promotion of man-made global warming fears. In addition to Giaever, other prominent scientists have resigned from APS over its stance on man-made global warming.