Harold Warren Lewis, a respected physicist who had previously advised both the U.S. Government and the Pentagon on various matters including missile defence and nuclear winter, shocked his peers when he disseminated his letter of resignation from the American Physical Society.
Lewis accused the American Physical Society of supporting “the global warming scam, with the trillions of dollars driving it that has corrupted so many scientists.” The physicist’s letter contained a number of complaints, including the APS’ lack of a response to his endeavours to gather a committee to evaluate evidence for a human link to climate change. Lewis revealed that global warming was “the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud” he has even seen in his career.
The letter, sent via e-mail to Curtis G. Callan Jr, the then-President of the American Physical Society and dated October 8, 2010, was released to the public by Emeritus Professor of Physics Hal Lewis. The physicist made clear that when he first joined the APS over 65 years ago, it was “much smaller, much gentler, and as yet uncorrupted by the money flood.” Back then being a physicist meant being a “guarantor of a life of poverty and abstinence,” but everything changed after the World War II.
Lewis said that his former pride at being an APS Fellow turned into shame, which is why he decided to resign. According to him, the APS “has accepted the corruption as the norm, and gone along with it.” He revealed that about one year before sending his resignation letter, he joined forces with some of his colleagues and sent an e-mail with regard to this issue. Even though the organisation ignored these problems, the then-President launched a “hostile” investigation of where they got the e-mail addresses.
Another problem was the organisation’s “appallingly tendentious” statement on Climate Change, which is “certainly not representative of the talents of APS members” as he has long known them, the physicist claimed. Because of this, he joined forces again with some colleagues and petitioned the Council to reconsider it. APS appointed a secret committee that “never met, never troubled to speak to any sceptics, yet endorsed the Statement in its entirety.” The Council admitted the existence of some uncertainties, but they were brushed aside “to give blanket approval to the original.” The original statement was eventually kept.
When the ClimateGate scandal broke into the news, Lewis and along with some of his peers “collected the necessary 200+ signatures to bring to the Council a proposal for a Topical Group on Climate Science.” The group could not use the APS membership list and the petition was declined. Although the organisation asked its members if they would sign a petition to establish a Topical Group on their “yet-to-be-defined subject,” it offered no petition whatsoever. “The entire purpose of this exercise was to avoid your constitutional responsibility to take our petition to the Council,” Lewis said in the letter.
After the physicist publicly resigned from the APS over issues having to do with climate change, the organisation sent a statement in which it “totally” rejected Lewis’ claims that global warming is a “pseudoscientific fraud” and a “scam.”