Professor Hal Lewis Is Not An Irrelevant, Senile, Old Fool

Posted on Mon 10/18/2010 by


By James Delingpole

When Professor Hal Lewis wrote his now-famous letter of resignation to the American Physical Society earlier this week, climate change alarmists were quick to respond with their usual wit, aplomb and generosity. Here were some of the excuses they offered as to why this terrible man must at all costs not be taken seriously.

1.    Professor Hal Lewis is a physicist not a climate scientist and therefore unqualified to comment on climate science.

2.    He’s old. Old people are, like, really senile.

3.    We haven’t heard of him before. How can what he say matters if we haven’t heard of him before?

4.    He’s probably just some shill for Big Oil, like all the other deniers.

5.    He hasn’t published enough papers, so he’s hardly a real scientist.

6.    OK, so maybe there’s a possibility he’s not senile, but he’s definitely too old to have stayed in touch with all the zippy modern climate stuff that the experts at places like RealClimate know about.

Some of these views you’ll see expressed by the host of trolls who flocked to my popular blog on the subject. Others, you’ll find expressed by bloggers like this character here (sample quote: “Who is Hal Lewis? I’ve been studying physics for 30 years, and I’ve never heard of him.”) and this blogger here who calls himself the Stoat but whose real name is William Connolley.

Here is Connolley (pictured) in action on his blog, scrabbling for dirt:

So, where are the papers? You can’t have a scientific career without papers. There are some early ones – The Multiple Production of Mesons from 1948 with Oppenheimer, no less. Or Multiple Scattering in an Infinite Medium, 1950 – worthy maths-ish thing, I’d guess. But past the late-50’s early 60’s it suddenly gets very thin indeed. I’d guess, without knowing more, that he gave up science and moved into admin.

And here he is, in his role as a Wikipedia editor caught by Watts Up With That doctoring Professor Lewis’s Wikipedia entry so as to edit out that all-important resignation letter.

William Connolley – a green party activist – has form in this regard. Lots of form – as I first reported here last year – drawing on Lawrence Solomon’s definitive National Post expose “How Wikipedia’s green doctor rewrote 5,428 climate articles”.

Connolley took control of all things climate in the most used information source the world has ever known – Wikipedia. Starting in February 2003, just when opposition to the claims of the band members were beginning to gel, Connolley set to work on the Wikipedia site. He rewrote Wikipedia’s articles on global warming, on the greenhouse effect, on the instrumental temperature record, on the urban heat island, on climate models, on global cooling. On Feb. 14, he began to erase the Little Ice Age; on Aug.11, the Medieval Warm Period. In October, he turned his attention to the hockey stick graph. He rewrote articles on the politics of global warming and on the scientists who were skeptical of the band. Richard Lindzen and Fred Singer, two of the world’s most distinguished climate scientists, were among his early targets, followed by others that the band especially hated, such as Willie Soon and Sallie Baliunas of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, authorities on the Medieval Warm Period.

All told, Connolley created or rewrote 5,428 unique Wikipedia articles. His control over Wikipedia was greater still, however, through the role he obtained at Wikipedia as a website administrator, which allowed him to act with virtual impunity. When Connolley didn’t like the subject of a certain article, he removed it — more than 500 articles of various descriptions disappeared at his hand. When he disapproved of the arguments that others were making, he often had them barred — over 2,000 Wikipedia contributors who ran afoul of him found themselves blocked from making further contributions. Acolytes whose writing conformed to Connolley’s global warming views, in contrast, were rewarded with Wikipedia’s blessings. In these ways, Connolley turned Wikipedia into the missionary wing of the global warming movement.

Anyway, Connolley’s latest escapade has proved to be the straw that broke the camel’s back for the Wiki administrators. He has now been banned from writing on “Climate Change” for Wikipedia. (H/T Bishop Hill). As too has the similarly fanatical Kim Dabelstein Petersen.

This is glorious news for those of us on the side of truth and reality. According to Solomon “he is arguably the world’s most influential global warming advocate after Al Gore”, which sounds like overstatement until you remember that Wikipedia is “the most popular reference source on the planet” and that Connolley managed to skew almost every one of its entries on Climate Change to his fervently warmist perspective. The Climategate scientists tried and failed to disinvent the Medieval Warm Period. But on Wikipedia, Connolley very nearly succeeded by pouring cold water on its significance and by trying to rename it the Medieval Climate Anomaly.

Remember too that it was Connolley who helped up the Warmist propaganda site RealClimate which – despite its reassuring-sounding name – is essentially the black ops wing of Michael Mann’s Hockey Team. So his scalp – (bushy, with comedy bear attachment, see sexy photograph above) – represents a considerable coup for the cause of climate realism.
In fact, this has been a good news week generally for us goodies in the great climate wars.

Best of all, of course, are the glorious tidings that cricketlovingjetsettingbeardgrowingrailwayengineeringsoftpornwritingtrollimpersonating Dr Rajendra Pachauri is to stay on as chairman of the IPCC.

Dr Benny Peiser thinks this will be bad news for the IPCC’s forthcoming Fifth Assessment Report:

“As long as he stays the IPCC will not restore credibility,” he said. “ Everybody knows that so there is a risk that the next report will not be taken that seriously.”

Exactly, Benny. Why else do you think we’re all jumping for joy?

James Delingpole is a British writer, journalist and broadcaster who is (he says) right about everything. He is the author of numerous fantastically entertaining books including Welcome to Obamaland: I’ve Seen Your Future and it Doesn’t Work. His website is and he also has a blog at the Daily Telegraph.

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