Hal Lewis

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Harold Lewis (b. 1923) is an Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara.[1] He is a former chairman of the JASON Committee which addressed the issues of excess atmospheric carbon dioxide as long ago as 1979. [2]

Although feted by climate skeptics the strange and sad case of Professor Harold Lewis exposes how much of climate denialism just does not add up and is instead dishonest. Professor Harold Lewis came to prominence when he severed his 67 years of membership to the American Physical Society. In his resignation letter he alleges “the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave.” and concludes “the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist.”[3]

However in the 1990s at a time when climate science was less certain than it is today Dr Lewis wrote a book called Technological Risk [4] in which he states an opinion in line with the mainstream scientific view that fossil fuels are contributing to climate change.[5][6] In 1992 Dr. Lewis wrote "All models agree that the net effect will be a general and global warming of the earth; they only disagree about how much. None suggest that it will be a minor effect, to be ignored while we go about our business." He writes further demonstrating considerable understanding of the topic "the bottom line is that the Earth will be substantially warmed by the accumulation of man-made gases mainly carbon dioxide... The only option in the long run is to decrease the amount of waste gases in the atmosphere." [7]

At what point Dr Lewis changed his view and why is unknown. But it begs the observation that if any of the allegations in Dr. Lewis's letter were true then some culpability would attach to himself as a government scientist in his earlier days. Moreover, as the author of Technological Risk why was Dr. Lewis writing as a convinced proponent of climate change in the 1990s instead of alerting the world to the "most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen" ?

The American Physical Society took the unusual step of responding to and rebutting Dr. Lewis's accusations. [8]

Within days of his APS resignation it was announced that Dr.Lewis had become a member of the Academic Advisory Council of the Global Warming Policy Foundation[9][10]

Related SourceWatch articles

JASON Committee


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  3. "[3]"
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  6. "Episode 13[6]"
  7. "[7]"
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  10. "[10]"

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