A TOP American professor has quit a prestigious academic body after claiming that global warming has become a “scam” driven by “trillions of dollars” which has “corrupted” scientists.
Professor Harold Lewis, 87, described his “revulsion” at last year’s leaked “Climategate” emails which appeared to show scientists at East Anglia’s world-leading Climate Research Unit rigging evidence in favour of man-made climate change.
He branded man-made climate change “the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud” he has ever seen.
The scientists involved have been cleared of wrongdoing by a series of investigations. But Prof Lewis, Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, has formally resigned from the American Physical Society after nearly 70 years as a member.
He claims that the APS, the society for America’s top physicists, has refused to engage in proper scientific debate about climate change and ignored climate sceptics.
Yesterday Benny Peiser, of the climate-sceptical Global Warming Policy Foundation, said Prof Lewis has agreed to join its advisory council.
Dr Peiser said: “In America they have failed to do what the Royal Society in Britain and the Academy of Sciences in France have done – which is to engage with sceptics and allow them to debate this issue. At least we are making progress here in trying to generate some semblance of scientific debate.”
Prof Lewis’s resignation comes as governments around the world press ahead with costly green policies despite growing controversy about whether climate change is man-made.
The Climategate scandal – which was leaked just before last December’s Copenhagen climate summit – boosted criticism by climate sceptics.
But yesterday, the head of the UN’s influential intergovernmental panel on climate change, Rajendra Pachauri, resisted intense pressure to stand down after a series of errors in its work.
Dr Pachauri vowed to stay on and lead “overdue” reforms despite admitting “shortfalls and mistakes” in the 2007 report on climate science, including unverified claims that Himalayan glaciers will have melted by 2035.
Prof Lewis used his resignation letter to attack an academic establishment which he described as having been swept along by global warming as if by a “rogue wave”.
He compared the APS now to the organisation he joined 67 years ago which he said was “much smaller, much gentler, and as yet uncorrupted by the money flood”.
He said: “How different it is now. The giants no longer walk the earth and the money flood has become the raison d’etre of much physics research.”
He continued: “It is, of course, the global warming scam, with the [literally] trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist.”
Met Office spokeswoman Vicky Pope dismissed talk of “pseudoscience” regarding climate change stressing that the scientists at the centre of Climategate had been cleared of any wrongdoing.
She said that the 10 warmest years in records going back 160 years have been since 1998 and that every decade over the past 50 years has been warmer than the one before.
The President of the APS, Professor Curt Callan, said: “The use of the word ‘scam’ is ridiculous. To dismiss the work of large numbers of honest, hard-working scientists as a scam is just silly.”