UCSB emeritus professor of physics Harold Lewis resigned from the American Physical Society last week after 67 years of membership, alleging that the association has been purposely distributing false information about global warming.

In his letter of resignation, Lewis attributed the organization’s “financial motives” to its lack of discussion of alternatives to the theory of global warming. He also claimed that the reputable organization delivered uncorroborated, one-sided advice regarding climate change to various governments.

According to Lewis, scientists have failed to address the fallacies of global warming because many are motivated by greed.

“It is of course, 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,” Lewis said in a letter. “It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist.”

In a statement released following Lewis’ resignation, the APS refuted Lewis’ assertion that global warming lacks substantial scientific evidence.

“In light of the significant settled aspects of the science, APS totally rejects Dr. Lewis’ claim that global warming is a ‘scam’ and a ‘pseudoscientific fraud.’”

Lewis also cited a series of e-mails exchanged between climate scientists at East Anglia University in the United Kingdom in 1999 as evidence that fraudulent science has created futile alarm about global warming. Additionally, he said the APS has turned a blind eye to concerns about the validity of global warming.

“What has the APS, as an organization, done in the face of this challenge?” he asked. “It has accepted the corruption as the norm, and gone along with it. Your own physics department (of which you are chairman) would lose millions a year if the global warming bubble burst,” Lewis said in his letter to the APS chairman.

However, the APS firmly denied his accusations that the association failed to investigate disputed evidence for global warming.

“There is no truth to Dr. Lewis’ assertion that APS policy statements are driven by financial gain,” the APS said in a statement. “Dr. Lewis’ specific charge that APS as an organization is benefitting financially from climate change funding is equally false. Neither the operating officers nor the elected leaders of the Society have a monetary stake in such funding.”

Furthermore, Lewis said the APS repeatedly denied his attempts to research the controversy.

“A few of us tried to bring science into the act (that is, after all, the alleged and historic purpose of APS), and collected the necessary 200+ signatures to bring to the Council a proposal for a Topical Group on Climate Science, thinking that open discussion of the scientific issues … would be beneficial to all, and also a contribution to the nation,” Lewis said in the letter. “…To our amazement, Constitution be damned, you declined to accept our petition.”

While the size and diversity of the APS provides a range of scientific perspective, dean of mathematical, life and physical sciences Pierre Wiltzius, a fellow of the APS, said the large variety can also breed disagreements within the organization.

The full text of the letter is available here.