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Open Thread on Lindzen Op-Ed in WSJ

Filed under: — group @ 12 April 2006

We’ve received a large number of requests to respond to this piece by MIT’s Richard Lindzen that appeared as an op-ed in today’s Wall Street Journal. We’ve had lots to say before about the Wall Street Journal (e.g. here and here), and we’ve had plenty to say about Lindzen as well. Specifically, we have previously pointed out that there is no evidence whatsoever that ‘alarmism’ improves anyone’s chances of getting funded – if anything it is continued uncertainty that propels funding decisions, and secondly, the idea that there is a conspiracy against contrarian scientists is laughable. There is indeed a conspiracy against poor science, but there is no need to apologise for that! But rather than repeat ourselves once again, we thought we’d just sit back this time and allow our readers to comment…


105 Responses to “Open Thread on Lindzen Op-Ed in WSJ”

  1. 1
    Tim Jones says:

    Well, for those who didn’t see the article, here it is.

    Climate of Fear
    http://tinyurl.com/gapct
    By RICHARD LINDZEN
    April 12, 2006; Page A14

    There have been repeated claims that this past year’s hurricane
    activity was another sign of human-induced climate change. Everything
    from the heat wave in Paris to heavy snows in Buffalo has been blamed
    on people burning gasoline to fuel their cars, and coal and natural
    gas to heat, cool and electrify their homes. Yet how can a barely
    discernible, one-degree increase in the recorded global mean
    temperature since the late 19th century possibly gain public
    acceptance as the source of recent weather catastrophes? And how can
    it translate into unlikely claims about future catastrophes?

    The answer has much to do with misunderstanding the science of
    climate, plus a willingness to debase climate science into a triangle
    of alarmism. Ambiguous scientific statements about climate are hyped
    by those with a vested interest in alarm, thus raising the political
    stakes for policy makers who provide funds for more science research
    to feed more alarm to increase the political stakes. After all, who
    puts money into science — whether for AIDS, or space, or climate —
    where there is nothing really alarming? Indeed, the success of
    climate alarmism can be counted in the increased federal spending on
    climate research from a few hundred million dollars pre-1990 to $1.7
    billion today. It can also be seen in heightened spending on solar,
    wind, hydrogen, ethanol and clean coal technologies, as well as on
    other energy-investment decisions.

    But there is a more sinister side to this feeding frenzy. Scientists
    who dissent from the alarmism have seen their grant funds disappear,
    their work derided, and themselves libeled as industry stooges,
    scientific hacks or worse. Consequently, lies about climate change
    gain credence even when they fly in the face of the science that
    supposedly is their basis.

    To understand the misconceptions perpetuated about climate science
    and the climate of intimidation, one needs to grasp some of the
    complex underlying scientific issues. First, let’s start where there
    is agreement. The public, press and policy makers have been
    repeatedly told that three claims have widespread scientific support:
    Global temperature has risen about a degree since the late 19th
    century; levels of CO2 in the atmosphere have increased by about 30%
    over the same period; and CO2 should contribute to future warming.
    These claims are true. However, what the public fails to grasp is
    that the claims neither constitute support for alarm nor establish
    man’s responsibility for the small amount of warming that has
    occurred. In fact, those who make the most outlandish claims of alarm
    are actually demonstrating skepticism of the very science they say
    supports them. It isn’t just that the alarmists are trumpeting model
    results that we know must be wrong. It is that they are trumpeting
    catastrophes that couldn’t happen even if the models were right as
    justifying costly policies to try to prevent global warming.

    If the models are correct, global warming reduces the temperature
    differences between the poles and the equator. When you have less
    difference in temperature, you have less excitation of extratropical
    storms, not more. And, in fact, model runs support this conclusion.
    Alarmists have drawn some support for increased claims of tropical
    storminess from a casual claim by Sir John Houghton of the U.N.’s
    Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that a warmer world
    would have more evaporation, with latent heat providing more energy
    for disturbances. The problem with this is that the ability of
    evaporation to drive tropical storms relies not only on temperature
    but humidity as well, and calls for drier, less humid air. Claims for
    starkly higher temperatures are based upon there being more humidity,
    not less — hardly a case for more storminess with global warming.

    So how is it that we don’t have more scientists speaking up about
    this junk science? It’s my belief that many scientists have been
    cowed not merely by money but by fear. An example: Earlier this year,
    Texas Rep. Joe Barton issued letters to paleoclimatologist Michael
    Mann and some of his co-authors seeking the details behind a taxpayer-
    funded analysis that claimed the 1990s were likely the warmest decade
    and 1998 the warmest year in the last millennium. Mr. Barton’s
    concern was based on the fact that the IPCC had singled out Mr.
    Mann’s work as a means to encourage policy makers to take action. And
    they did so before his work could be replicated and tested — a task
    made difficult because Mr. Mann, a key IPCC author, had refused to
    release the details for analysis. The scientific community’s defense
    of Mr. Mann was, nonetheless, immediate and harsh. The president of
    the National Academy of Sciences — as well as the American
    Meteorological Society and the American Geophysical Union — formally
    protested, saying that Rep. Barton’s singling out of a scientist’s
    work smacked of intimidation.

    All of which starkly contrasts to the silence of the scientific
    community when anti-alarmists were in the crosshairs of then-Sen. Al
    Gore. In 1992, he ran two congressional hearings during which he
    tried to bully dissenting scientists, including myself, into changing
    our views and supporting his climate alarmism. Nor did the scientific
    community complain when Mr. Gore, as vice president, tried to enlist
    Ted Koppel in a witch hunt to discredit anti-alarmist scientists — a
    request that Mr. Koppel deemed publicly inappropriate. And they were
    mum when subsequent articles and books by Ross Gelbspan libelously
    labeled scientists who differed with Mr. Gore as stooges of the
    fossil-fuel industry.

    Sadly, this is only the tip of a non-melting iceberg. In Europe, Henk
    Tennekes was dismissed as research director of the Royal Dutch
    Meteorological Society after questioning the scientific underpinnings
    of global warming. Aksel Winn-Nielsen, former director of the U.N.’s
    World Meteorological Organization, was tarred by Bert Bolin, first
    head of the IPCC, as a tool of the coal industry for questioning
    climate alarmism. Respected Italian professors Alfonso Sutera and
    Antonio Speranza disappeared from the debate in 1991, apparently
    losing climate-research funding for raising questions.

    And then there are the peculiar standards in place in scientific
    journals for articles submitted by those who raise questions about
    accepted climate wisdom. At Science and Nature, such papers are
    commonly refused without review as being without interest. However,
    even when such papers are published, standards shift. When I, with
    some colleagues at NASA, attempted to determine how clouds behave
    under varying temperatures, we discovered what we called an “Iris
    Effect,” wherein upper-level cirrus clouds contracted with increased
    temperature, providing a very strong negative climate feedback
    sufficient to greatly reduce the response to increasing CO2.
    Normally, criticism of papers appears in the form of letters to the
    journal to which the original authors can respond immediately.
    However, in this case (and others) a flurry of hastily prepared
    papers appeared, claiming errors in our study, with our responses
    delayed months and longer. The delay permitted our paper to be
    commonly referred to as “discredited.” Indeed, there is a strange
    reluctance to actually find out how climate really behaves. In 2003,
    when the draft of the U.S. National Climate Plan urged a high
    priority for improving our knowledge of climate sensitivity, the
    National Research Council instead urged support to look at the
    impacts of the warming — not whether it would actually happen.

    Alarm rather than genuine scientific curiosity, it appears, is
    essential to maintaining funding. And only the most senior scientists
    today can stand up against this alarmist gale, and defy the iron
    triangle of climate scientists, advocates and policymakers.

    Mr. Lindzen is Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science at
    MIT.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB114480355145823597-search.html?
    KEYWORDS=climate+change&COLLECTION=wsjie/6month

    [Response: For an excellent summary response to the points Lindzen raises, I recommend readers take a look at Daniel Kirk-Davidoff’s comment #77 first, before plowing through the rest of these comments. –raypierre]

  2. 2
    Mark A. York says:

    Yes you have but unless this is spelled out in a printed op-ed it will fall under the rails of the lying machine. My comment wasn’t published because editor James Taranto would toss aside any refutation that had any semblence of good sense. Especially on science which he knows nothing about. He doesn’t even have a journalism degree. A quick glance at the comments section will give anyone an idea of the clientele who reads these pieces. Unfortunately the comment wasn’t pinged back to me even though I requested it. So I don’t have it. I suppose that’s just a coincidence. It had links to here and Hansen.

  3. 3
    Hank Roberts says:

    On the ‘Iris’ — has there been any new data from Aqua and other satellites? The discussion online (saying the next round of satellite data should inform the theorists on this issue) is still dated as of 2002, before Aqua went up. I hope to see it updated:
    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Study/Iris/iris3.html

  4. 4
    Andrew Dessler says:

    OK, I’ll go first. Let’s consider the statement:

    The problem with this is that the ability of evaporation to drive tropical storms relies not only on temperature but humidity as well, and calls for drier, less humid air. Claims for starkly higher temperatures are based upon there being more humidity, not less–hardly a case for more storminess with global warming.

    This clearly confuses relative humidity in the boundary layer (which determines evaporation) and specific humidity throughout the troposphere (which determines the strength of the water vapor feedback). With editorials like this, Lindzen has completely lost interest in maintaining even a shred of scientific credibility.

    I also think a few other things are interesting. First, this follows closely on the heels of the Will and Novak opeds. While you cannot rule out coincidence, I think it’s getting harder to beieve that there’s not some orchestration here.

    Finally, I’ve noticed that those opposed to mitigation are now using the term “alarmist” as a rhetorical device to paint opponents as extremists. I wonder if pollsters like Frank Luntz have learned in focus groups that this is an effective term. Hmmm.

  5. 5
    PHEaston says:

    You seem to infer that the article by the well-respected Lindzen is less trustworthy because it is in the WSJ which you believe has a distorted or dishonest view of climate change. This to me is ‘ad hom’. Further, your claimed openess to legitimate skepticism contradicts your approach under “Getting the balance right..” in which you seem to believe that journalists – who are not scientists – are only right if they take your side and not another. Given that you (as a team) have established this site to put YOUR case demonstrates to me that you accept there is a debate to be argued. Debate is good for science, provided it is genuninely open. Lindzen’s article is a good part of the debate.

  6. 6
    Kenneth Blumenfeld says:

    Following the funding >> climate-alarmism logic, then Lindzen must be an alarmist, for I believe he receives federal funding for his research.

    I think it is disingenuous for anyone to claim that a reduction in the annual hemispheric temperature range is tied importantly to the short-term baroclinity (note, I prefer Dr. Charles Doswell’s pruning of “baroclinicity”) that drives extratropical cyclones. For example, the NH is coming out of a very warm winter. Presumably, the seasonal pole-equator temperature range has been muted (anomalously small). Why then the persistent, anomalously strong lee-side extratropical cyclone pattern in which North America, particualrly the US, finds itself? Could it be that extratropical cyclones are not driven by “annual” conditions? Thus, it appears that Lindzen is relying on a temporal version of the ecological fallacy to advance his argument.

  7. 7
    Doug Percival says:

    Given that Lindzen is quite clearly accusing the climate science community of deliberately and dishonestly fomenting “alarmism” in order to secure funding, it seems fair to ask who is funding Lindzen, and whether he is deliberately and dishonestly adopting a position of climate change denial and publishing op-eds in the WSJ in order to secure funding from those who have a financial interest in discouraging public measures to deal with climate change, such as reductions in fossil fuel use.

  8. 8
    ocean says:

    So I guess Lindzen believes that AIDS is equally unimportant as global warming and people who are trying to find cures for it are alarmists.

    His sentence “In 2003, when the draft of the U.S. National Climate Plan urged a high priority for improving our knowledge of climate sensitivity, the National Research Council instead urged support to look at the impacts of the warming–not whether it would actually happen” is alarming to me because there is so much sound scientific evidence out there that the warming is actually happening, not would happen.

    Also, I think the increase in atmospheric CO2 since the industrial revolution is closer to 100%, not 30% as he states. Am I wrong about this? Also, an increase of this magnitude has no natural analog in the last 400,000 years of Earth’s histroy, at least.

    [Response: No, the increase is (375-280)/280 = 34% . Add in the effect of methane and other anthropogenic GHG’s and you can get the number up some. It still brings us to GHG forcing unprecendented over the past 400Kyr at least, and projected to get much higher within the next century–raypierre]

    Once again, I think it is important to point out that any concensus reached by scientists is mostly based on measurable and repeatable observations and not popular opinion.

  9. 9
    Brian Jackson says:

    How valid is his argument for weaker extratropical storms due to decreased temperature differences between the poles and equator?

    [Response:There is a physical basis in terms of the so-called ‘baroclinicity’, i.e. conditions for instability where disturbances can grow rapidly. But, I believe that the case about mid-latitude storms is more complex, and it’s too simple to just look at how the temperature change poleward. A change in evaporation and atmospheric moisture and the vertical temperature profiles may also play a role… Nevertheless, modelling studies (based on regional climate models) so far do not to my knowledge give any clear indication on whether the mid-latitude storm activity will increase (that is, for the Northeastern part of the Atlantic). It is also important to keep in mind the difference between tropical cyclones (most active in late summer) and extra-tropical cyclones (usually most intense during winter), which may be subject to different instability mechanisms. -rasmus]

    [Response: In idealized simulations (cf. the paper by Caballero and Langen in GRL last year) it does appear that storms get weaker in terms of winds when you reduce the temperature gradient — even if you increase the water vapor content by increasing the overall temperature. The storms can nonetheless become more consequential, since they carry more water. This is an evolving subject, and IPCC never said otherwise. As Rasmus notes, what happens to midlatitude baroclinic storms is a completely separate issue from what happens to tropical storms, which live on latent heat and not horizontal temperature gradients. –raypierre]

    [Response: Surely Lindzen knows that the dynamics involved are considerably more complicated than is suggested by the simplistic argument he puts forth. If it is true, as some studies suggest for example, that El Nino events become more frequent and greater in magnitude due to anthropogenic forcing (this is not yet a settled issue), then, given the established relationship between the El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the extratropical Pacific/North American atmospheric circulation, we might expect increased baroclinicity and greater storminess over a substantial region of the mid-latitude North Pacific ocean and neighboring western U.S. . Similarly, if as a number of recent studies suggest, anthropogenic climate forcing leads to a greater tendency for the positive phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) [or related "Arctic Oscillation" (AO)] pattern, we would expect increased baroclinicity and storminess over a substantial region of the mid-latitude North Atlantic ocean and neighboring western Europe.. In both cases, what would be predicted is precisely the opposite of what Lindzen’s argument would imply. –mike]

  10. 10
    Coby says:

    Now John Stossel has thrown his mighty reputation into the fray:
    http://www.townhall.com/opinion/columns/JohnStossel/2006/04/12/193443.html

    This is definately a coordinated campaign.

    [Response: It’s ironic that the backers of an administration that has made its living terrifying people into giving up civil liberties and spending gazillions to line the pockets of “homeland security” and military contractors can’t find anything better to do than accuse scientists < /i> of trying to get rich by scaring people. If I were trying to get fear-based grants, I’d go into homeland security, where the really big dollars are –raypierre]

  11. 11
    pat neuman says:

    Instead of reading Richard Lindzen’s Climate of Fear, I say better to read Fiona Harvey’s Climate of Fear (book review of THE WEATHER MAKERS: The History and Future Impact of Climate Change by Tim Flannery, March 11, 2006)

    Excerpt:

    Flannery explains why scientists think we are on the brink of destroying what has made the earth habitable, and makes clear the limits to our opportunity for preventing it: “When thinking about these potential catastrophes, it’s important to realise that, as when firing a gun, the possibility of human control is only there at the very beginning of the process – before we trip the trigger.” …

    http://news.ft.com/home/uk

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ClimateArchive/message/2961

  12. 12
    raypierre says:

    I counted some form of the word “alarm” appearing 16 times in this 1260 word article, always used in association with scientists who think global warming is a serious problem. This seems to be the word of choice in many of the recent skeptics’ screeds that have appeared. It’s clearly an attempt to distract attention from the serious scientific issues by causing people think of wild-eyed fanatics whenever they hear a climate scientist speak of global warming. Very devious, and very insidious. Expect to hear more about “alarm” and “alarmism” from the skeptics’ corner in the coming weeks.

  13. 13
    Ben Coombes says:

    Re #5,
    “Debate is good for science, provided it is genuninely open. Lindzen’s article is a good part of the debate.”
    The problem is that newspapers, as they stand, are not in any way geared towards a forum of open debate. Perhaps if the very next day, the Wall St Journal allowed a climate scientist from the other side of the debate to have the same coverage in the form of a reply (hell, why not go a whole week back and forth between the two views?) you could call it a debate. What’s more, such a lengthened exchange may even allow Joe Public to make his own mind up – no pressure.
    It does seem there’s a tidal wave of this kind of journalism at the moment – over here in the U.K we just had the Telegraph’s chipping in with “There IS a problem with global warming… it stopped in 1998″:
    It includes a lot of trashy accusations against climate science, such as
    # “the biggest part of the problem is neither environmental nor scientific, but a self-created political fiasco”.
    # “The problem here is not that of climate change per se, but rather that of the sophisticated scientific brainwashing that has been inflicted on the public, bureaucrats and politicians alike. Governments generally choose not to receive policy advice on climate from independent scientists”.

    I could go on but it’s here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2006/04/09/do0907.xml

    Do you think they’ll print anything which disagrees with this sentiment this week, for that honest, open debate that was mentioned? I’m not holding my breath…

    [Response: And the screed linked above managed to use the word “alarm” only 5 times. Yes, it does seem to be the word of the week here, doesn’t it. Bob Carter’s ludicrous claim that global warming “stopped” in 1998, and that this has any relevance to the mechanisms of global warming, has been amply discussed elsewhere. Why, Carter’s column is so bad it makes Lindzen’s seem almost like science. And yes, the debate is going on very vigorously in the peer reviewed scientific literature. It’s not a debate about confidence in the greenhouse effect or whether the Earth will warm as a result. It’s a debate about the nature, timing and severity of the problem. Take a look at the literature on glacier dynamics. People are arguing all the time about the relative importance of various arcane aspects of ice flow, and how they affect the response of glaciers to warming. No shortage of debate there. Anybody with a scientifically defensible argument to ante up can play. –raypierre]

  14. 14
    Walter Pearce says:

    Who has more financial incentive for their point of view — the scientists who receive a few paltry research dollars, or petroleum companies, with literally trillions in future revenues on the line?

    I publish, among other things, financial publications and my instincts tell me that yes, orchestration is taking place.

  15. 15
    Richard Ordway says:

    Lindzen was allowed to print his “Iris Theory” (stating that global warming might end because of a natural increase in cooling-type clouds and less water vapor-a heat-trapping greenhouse gas)in Geophysical Research Letters (Jun. 26, 2001-a legitimate peer-reviewed journal).

    His evidence, however, simply did not stand up when examined and tested for a year at least in part by NASA -as well as other “scientists” who have a stake in proving him right (funded by fossil fuel companies as evidenced by on-the-record Congressional cross-examination). Read about it in the hard-documented book “The Heat is On” by Pulitzer-prize winning Ross Gelbspan.

    If Lindzen had had legitimate proof and evidence, other scientists (from around the world including oil-producing Saudi-Arabia et al.) would have been able to prove his findings true and print the results in evidence-based journals (ie. not printed by fossil fuel companies or other big-buisness entities).

    Remember, some of the first real evidence/math relating to heat trapping greenhouse gases (by French scientist Joseph Fourier in 1827, (now part of the “Fourier series”) was initially rejected by a national peer-review society (Académie des Sciences)in the 1820s.

    He had to gather more proof until finally he had enough to prove his points. It works both ways…but eventually the truth comes out…and the results are printed if it can be proved.

    After a few years so much evidence builds up that it inevitably gets printed…it can’t be ignored anymore or the publication loses legitimacy…this is what happened to global warming over the years…there was too much evidence to ignore…and leading to eventually, today, no provable evidence it WASN’T occurring.

    Global warming had to be proved against the original belief that it could not happen. At first, with limited science tools, scientists believed that humans could not possibly cause the Earth to warm up.

    It has taken almost 100 years for global warming to be slowly proved, step, by step, in peer-reviewed journals (as techniques improved) to get to the level that it is now considered a scientifically PROVABLE concensus.

    However, a recent “Time” magazine survey (April 3, 06) shockingly states that almost two-thirds of all Americans think that scientists still dispute global warming as a fact…even though nothing corroborating this has been printed in scientific journals for at least four years now…

    No thanks to the big oil, big coal, big gas, big transportation funded non-evidenced-based disinformation campaign that the media ate up and presented as equal weight to real evidence(The Media’s code of ethics dictates that they must present both sides of every story equally even if it is not true and let the readers decide for themselves).

    Look in the Congressional record at Richard Lindzen’s funding sources…which he tried to hide even under oath (this is extremely unethical for a scientist)…one of his funding sources is a FOREIGN fossil fuels organization -OPEC(-Harpers Magazine- DEC. 1995.) In other words, Lindzen is unethical in the scientific community.

    In terms of his long-standing theories that the science community needs to drum up money by scaring people with the doom of global warming…

    Ask any publishing scientist what they think about this… I personally know scientists who willingly interrupt their careers, lose prominence, and lose grants (money) by agreeing to work on global warming (GW).

    They take three or more of their years to devote away from their area of expertise to work on the Intergovermental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the world’s findings on GW that issues a comprehensive report every five or so years. Why? They care. They care about you personally and they care about the World- no matter where the evidence might lead them.

  16. 16
    Dano says:

    One can look back in the past (well, I can’t today but someone can) and find similar coordinated campaigns. This one just happens to use ‘alarmist’, the last one ‘chicken littles’ (or was it the campaign before that…they all run together after a time), the next time it will be a similar marginalization term. At least they are consistent.

    And the same authors (read: usual suspects) of the same op-eds in the same places (Telegraph, Toronto G&M, WSJ, WashTimes, etc.) can, coincidentally, be found here.

    Lether, rinse, repeat.

    Best,

    D

  17. 17
    David B. Benson says:

    There appears to be an organization called climatecrisis.net, which even has a scientific advisory board. This organization has produced a movie trailer which I have read about but have not viewed. I suggest that op-eds in the usual suspects are in reaction to climatecrisis.net.

  18. 18
    Paul G. says:

    ====Post #14====

    Who has more financial incentive for their point of view — the scientists who receive a few paltry research dollars, or petroleum companies, with literally trillions in future revenues on the line?

    I publish, among other things, financial publications and my instincts tell me that yes, orchestration is taking place.
    ========================================================
    Blaming Big Oil must get tiring, no? It is the public which is holding back the implementation of serious measures against GW, not oil companies. And it is the public which is still not ready at this point, for reasons that may or may not be valid, to make the sacrifices that would have to be made.

    Foolish claims of “orchestration” aside, a better avenue to explore is why the general public is not yet firmly onside for large scales measures to combat GW.

  19. 19
    Doug Percival says:

    Paul G in comment #18: Blaming Big Oil must get tiring, no? It is the public which is holding back the implementation of serious measures against GW, not oil companies. And it is the public which is still not ready at this point, for reasons that may or may not be valid, to make the sacrifices that would have to be made. Foolish claims of “orchestration” aside, a better avenue to explore is why the general public is not yet firmly onside for large scales measures to combat GW.

    The general public is not yet “firmly onside” in large part because they have been deliberately and systematically deceived about the reality and severity of the problem by an orchestrated campaign of disinformation funded by Big Oil. That there has been and continues to be such a campaign is beyond question. Good grief, the White House employs former oil industry lobbyists to edit out references to global warming from US government publications! Get real.

  20. 20
    ocean says:

    Yes, the public is not ready because, unfortunately, the large majority of the general public is not educated enough to adequately understand the issues involved in the consequences of GW. My students tell me that I show graphs and Time magazine shows graphs, how can they know which is accurate or believable. They don’t have enough background. My job, as is true for many educators, is to make them competent and critical thinkers. But the majority lacks an even basic education in the sciences to understand the difference between observation-based real science and pseudo-science.

    Along those lines…Obesity has been shown very definitively to cause a whole suite of serious health problems. Yet the majority of the public eat junk foods and don’t exercise. Just because they don’t believe health professionals enough to change their lifestyles, doesn’t make obesity “healthy”.

  21. 21
    Stephen Berg says:

    Re: #19,

    Amen!

  22. 22
    ocean says:

    Raypierre, thanks for your response to #8. Because the percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere about doubled since the industrial revolution, I thought of that as a 100% increase. Real bad math on my part. Thanks for correcting it.

  23. 23
    Ian Forrester says:

    Lindzen and his ilk are just

    [ad hom deleted. -moderator]

    , selling themselves to the highest bidder. Didn’t he sign off on an IPCC document which agreed with AGW then turn round and tear it to pieces in the lay press?

    Disgusting.

    These people are as bad as the people who shout “FIRE” in a crowded theatre. Too bad there are no laws against it.

    Ian Forrester

  24. 24
    J.P. says:

    The general public is not “firmly onside” because “It’s a debate about the nature, timing and severity of the problem.” Clearly global warming is occurring. But certainly global warming happened after every ice age so the questions, which are still being debated by scientist, is the main reason why the general public is sitting and waiting. It is naive and disingenuous to continuously blame oil, government, and con-environmentalist when clearly answers to the most important questions are still in the air

  25. 25
    Tom Fiddaman says:

    Interesting piece. I keep hoping for more substance from Lindzen, but this ain’t it. He’s been saying that climate science is alarm-driven for years, but this opinion presents weak evidence of that, and even weaker for a conspiracy to suppress dissent. For example, he claims that Alfonso Sutera and Antonio Speranza “disappeared from the debate in 1991, apparently
    losing climate-research funding for raising questions”, but google indicates that they are still active in climate science, publishing in prestigious journals, and serving on the ICCL.

    Lindzen’s contention that alarmism has resulted in dramatically increased funding for climate science doesn’t really hold up either. The GAO reports that climate science funding increased only 9% in real terms from ’93 to ’04 – slower than GDP. As I understand it, some of the big increases have been in satellites and infrastructure, where the $ presumably benefit relatively few mainstream scientists. Similarly, there have been big jumps in climate technology (e.g. carbon sequestration) but those are basically energy technologies and don’t enrich climate scientists. Perhaps he’s looking at different data, or there really was a huge jump from pre’90 to ’93, but climate science doesn’t look like a juggernaut to me. Climate science and technology is small potatoes when you compare even the broadest budget definition (~$5Bn) to total US R&D (almost $300Bn) or the energy sector (about $700Bn expenditures in the US).

    Lindzen mentions Henk Tennekes who has a recent opinion here.

    [Response: The piece by Tennekes only shows that he is confused about the difference between predicting the future course of a chaotic system subject to constant forcing, and predicting the response to a substantial change in the forcing. He relies on vague suppositions hanging over from his experience with turbulence theory. If this is the substance of his criticism of IPCC, then it’s entirely reasonable that he lost his funding. I wouldn’t jump to the conclusion that this is the reason for his lack of grants and relative inactivity, though. Gee, the guy is retired, and most folks like to do other things than write grant proposals in their golden years. –raypierre]

  26. 26
    Paul G. says:

    ======================================================
    Post #19
    The general public is not yet “firmly onside” in large part because they have been deliberately and systematically deceived about the reality and severity of the problem by an orchestrated campaign of disinformation funded by Big Oil. That there has been and continues to be such a campaign is beyond question. Good grief, the White House employs former oil industry lobbyists to edit out references to global warming from US government publications! Get real.

    Comment by Doug Percival – 12 Apr 2006 @ 7:26 pm
    ========================================================

    Sorry Doug, I’m not buying it. They myth about some big campaign orchestrated by Big Oil is just that…. a myth.

    I live in Canada and Big Oil hasn’t orchestrated anything here. In fact we legally ratified Kyoto several years ago. The end result? Our C02 emissions are increasing at twice the rate that they are in the US.

    Polls consistently show Canadians to be overwhelmingly in support of Kyoto, but the paradigm is that this support is widespread but very shallow at the same time.
    Public support is high until higher home heating costs or higher gas taxes are considered…then support largely evaporates.

    It is the inertia of the public, for reasons valid or not, that is preventing meaningful measures to address GW. Big Oil plays a minor role at most in this debate.

  27. 27
    Hank Roberts says:

    Paul G. — That big campaign included the effort to convince you that it wasn’t happening, and stories about it were myths and it’s all a matter of individual personal choice. Many of the same people and PR firms followed the same program for the tobacco companies, and you can look them up now.
    Try http://www.google.com/search?q=glantz+tobacco+deceit&start=0

    Some of the results have footnotes and references; some have a great deal of vituperation. Compare the sources.

  28. 28
    Walter Pearce says:

    RE: #18
    No, I never get tired of pointing out the connections among big money interests, their propaganda, and public opinion. A good starting point for you in this specific case would be http://www.motherjones.com/news/feature/2005/05/some_like_it_hot.html and it’s related link, http://www.motherjones.com/news/featurex/2005/05/exxon_chart.html. Feel free to debunk this nice piece of real journalism, if you can. Afterwards, we can discuss why Exxon spent these millions of dollars, if not to paralyze public thinking on the issue.

  29. 29
    Ian Forrester says:

    Re: #23

    I think this this one of the reasons people like Lindzen get away with what the say. We scientists pussyfoot around and are afraid to call a spade a spade.

    The word which was deleted has the following as one of its meanings (according to the OED): “to surrender or put to an unworthy or infamous use; to sell for base gain or hire”. This is exactly what these people are doing. We must be more forceful in our denunciation of their misinterpretations, misrepresentations and cherry picking of data.

    Ian Forrester

  30. 30
    pat neuman says:

    re 26. It is the inertia of the public, …

    People go to war based on what they’re told by their government leaders. Are government leaders (politicians and agency heads) telling people they must cut back drastically on CO2 emissions? No. Why not?

  31. 31
    Thomas Gatliff says:

    I am not scientist, and I cannot say anything about the scientific side of whether climate change is occuring or not. From a US political standpoint, though, I find it troubling that for the US to “do” something about global warming, such as joining the Kyoto Protocol, would require potentially serious negative economic impacts on the US economy. Unfortunately, as long as this remains the case, no “proven science” or concentrated media coverage will ever result in any change occuring. This is not my opinion, but rather just an obvious fact that I think needs to be noted.

    [Response: This is (a) a question of weighing up highly likely negative consequences for the US economy from global warming damages, against your “serious negative economic impacts” of improving energy efficiency, reducing waste and developing renewable energy – the supposed negative consequences of which are not supported by evidence. It also is (b) a question of ethics. The US is the largest emitter of greenhouse gases, per capita and in absolute terms, while much of the current damages from climate change occur in poor countries (e.g., the annual 150,000 death from global warming estimated by the World Health Organisation). You feel good about that? -stefan]

  32. 32
    Ike Solem says:

    I only have time to address one Professor Richard Lindzen’s absurdities, so let’s consider this statement:

    “If the models are correct, global warming reduces the temperature differences between the poles and the equator. When you have less difference in temperature, you have less excitation of extratropical storms, not more. And, in fact, model runs support this conclusion. ”

    Hey Richard – do you think that tropical hurricanes are driven by the pole-to-equator temperature gradient? Really? Well, in reality they are driven by the surface-to-tropopause temperature gradient. If we think of hurricanes as Stirling heat engines, then we realize that the two reservoirs are the mixed layer of the surface ocean (1) and the upper atmosphere (2); note that there is a general trend of stratospheric cooling as well. Hmmm.. what do you think this means? I don’t think that global warming models (which all of a sudden you seem so fond of) predict stratospheric warming, do they?

    Please excuse my sarcasm; my BS meter just blew a fuse.

    Oh – wait, I’m wrong, I just noticed you said ‘extratropical storms’. I guess that you are assuming that the axial tilt of the Earth’s rotation is inconsequential; the fact that the poles are tilted away from the sun for half the year obviously has nothing to do with the issue of mid-latitude storms…

  33. 33
    Jeffrey Davis says:

    Since there are probably terrible consequences to prolonging this notion the AGW is not true, I think the skeptical scientists must be challenged to come up with criteria that if shown to be so, they’ll desist in their rhetorical barrages. Why do you doubt? What, if proved to be so, would erase your doubts.

    In honor of the season, Thomas, which wounds do you need to inspect?

  34. 34
    Grant says:

    I’m puzzled by Lindzen’s criticism of Michael Mann. It’s especially curious that he states “… Mann, a key IPCC author, had refused to release the details for analysis.” I had no trouble getting all the details from the web.

    Anyone know the details of this?

  35. 35

    Sorry guys, but the part that interests me is the charge of a “sinister side” where dissenters (including Tennekes) have been systematically intimidated. True or false?

    [Response: False. Lindzen says you have to be very senior and prominent to be able to weather being a dissenter, but it’s just not true that Lindzen is the only one who’s that senior and that prominent. If that were the only thing holding back the dissenters, there ought to be a whole flood of them There are a hundred or so members of the National Academy in the US alone, tenured professors or the equivalent all, who do climate related things. Any of these would have a position secure enough to dissent without fear of retribution. Heck, Paul Crutzen has a Nobel Prize — there’s nobody who would stop him from dissenting if he wanted to. People who do bad science tend not to get funding, so I don’t see why Lindzen has any cause to whine about that. –raypierre]

  36. 36
    Paul G. says:

    ======================================================
    Post #27
    Paul G. — That big campaign included the effort to convince you that it wasn’t happening, and stories about it were myths and it’s all a matter of individual personal choice. Many of the same people and PR firms followed the same program for the tobacco companies, and you can look them up now.
    Try http://www.google.com/search?q=glantz+tobacco+deceit&start=0

    Some of the results have footnotes and references; some have a great deal of vituperation. Compare the sources.

    Comment by Hank Roberts – 12 Apr 2006 @ 8:49 pm
    ========================================================

    Again, as with the previous poster, I don’t agree Hank.
    You too appear to believe in this mythical power of PR to dupe the masses. Frankly, I don’t. A few million dollars from Exxon or some other evil multinational isn’t enough to sway this debate in spite of the paranoid musings of some posters.

    The true resistance against combatting GW comes from the general public themselves, because the general public knows that going beyond the first Kyoto agreement will requires a huge sacrifice. At present, the public is not willing to make that sacrifice, for reasons that may or may not be valid. Truly bringing the public onside is the challenge faced by those advocating Kyoto and its successors.

  37. 37
    Joel Shore says:

    Lindzen’s argument doesn’t even seem to really be internally consistent. On the one hand, he is claiming that climate scientists are being alarmist to gain funding. On the other hand, at the end he says: “Indeed, there is a strange reluctance to actually find out how climate really behaves. In 2003, when the draft of the U.S. National Climate Plan urged a high priority for improving our knowledge of climate sensitivity, the National Research Council instead urged support to look at the impacts of the warming–not whether it would actually happen.”

    Now, if by impacts, he means the impacts to ecosystems, etc., it seems unlikely that climate scientists jockeying for funding would be trying to change the topic of interest from climate science to these other fields (which I guess gets back to your point that funding self-interest would dictate continuing to emphasize uncertainty). On the other hand, if by impacts, he means the impacts on the climate itself, then I don’t really see how that would be separated from looking into issues of climate sensitivity and the like. Sure, there might be a few papers that take climate sensitivity as a given and somehow try to draw conclusions about the impact on the climate from that…But, I hardly think that these are swamping the number of papers trying to determine what the climate sensitivity is, studying if the water vapor feedback is working as expected, etc., etc.

  38. 38
    ocean says:

    Re:#36: So basically you are saying it is the climate scientists’ job to convince the public-at-large to make huge sacrifices in order to bring the public “onside?” Am I right? If so, I disagree. Scientists’ job is to provide sound, credible science to the general community and to educate people who are willing to be educated in how to understand that science. Scientists cannot be expected to be journalists, politicians, PR personnel for their cause. Because global warming and its consequences aren’t a cause or a belief system. It is a scientific fact. Plus, it is also the public’s responsibility to make informed choices and sacrifices where necessary. One may insist on smoking, but it’s still going to cause lung cancer and it isn’t the scientists’ fault that this person insisted on ignoring the blatantly obvious risk to his health. I think this is analogous to “ignorance of the law is no excuse.” So those journalists and politicians who are abusing scientific findings with pseudo-scientific twists to their public disseminations are truly disgusting. Just like tobacco companies who insisted that nicotine is not addictive. We will run out of oil. It is finite. Do we have to irreversibly damage the planet [like for the next 500,000 years or so] while we try to consume every last drop?

    You say some posters are paranoid about the power of PR. PR affects under-educated people the most. And most of the population is under-educated in science. So I don’t think they’re being paranoid.

    [Response: It’s not “the public” but Ford and General Motors who have consistently lobbied against improved mileage standards. In fact, a large part of the automotive industry is actively trying to suppress the will of “the public,” expressed in California, for state-level controls on automotive greenhouse gas emissions. It’s not “the public” but the coal industry that lobbied against including CO2 as a power plant pollutant to be regulated by the EPA. To be sure “the public” is being asked to do something difficult and a little scary, which will no doubt take some adjustments. It doesn’t help when large segments of the affected industries lobby against effective legislation. Facing a national (indeed global) crisis requires leadership from the people in government. We’re certainly not getting that. –raypierre]

  39. 39
    Roscoe Shaw says:

    Both sides play the spin game. Let’s not kid ourselves. Both sides are vulnerable to financial motives. However, I feel that virtually all scientists from Jim Hansen to Pat Michaels are acting out of their genuine beliefs. Unfortunately, in this polarizing debate climate, people begin to choose sides and totally cut off any information that doesn’t fit into their way of thinking.

    There has been talk above about an orchestrated set of “talking points” from the GW skeptics. Perhaps that’s true. However, consider for a moment the “talking points” of the “climate alarmist crowd. They seem to all be on the same page, too.

    (1) “The science is settled”… I’ve heard this a million times lately.
    Lindzen, fortunately addresses this. The earth is warming and man is probably to blame…that is mostly settled… but the CONSEQUENCES of that is hardly settled. Huge and legitimate debate is raging over that and most climate scientists are not truely qualified to accurately forecast the consequences.

    (2) “If Greenland melts, sea level will rise 20 feet”… While this is true, I hate to break it to you…it ain’t gonna happen. Sadly, the scientists interviewed who say this know that Greenland isn’t going to melt. It’s cold up there. In fact, there is conflicting evidence as to whether Greenland is net melting at all.

    (3) “Polar bears are cute and they are becoming extinct.”… If a degree or two of temperature change is going to do in the bears, then they are headed for the evolutionary scrap heap anyway. Besides, they aren’t going extinct…that’s just wild speculation based on very limited data.

    (4) “We are reaching a tipping point”…. Whatever. Sounds scary but I read a lot about this and I still don’t know what it means.

    (5) “Bigger and stronger storms, flood, droughts, and hurricanes”… This has been repeated so often that it is now considered fact by many people. However, I’ve yet to see any reliable consensus evidence that it is true. Fortunately, Lindzen addressed this in his article. Although he kept the description basic considering the audience, the “reduction of baroclinicity” argument makes a lot more sense to me than some abstract and unsupported notion that bigger stronger storms will sweep the planet. As for hurricanes, any possible GW-induced strengthing would pale in comparison to the normal hurricane cycles and the threat posed by GW would pale in comparison to the threat posed by ever-increasing coastal populations and wealth concentration.

    Oh, BTW, I’m not funded by big oil or research grants and I don’t support George Bush or Kyoto. But I do have an advanced degree in climate related science and I’m highly skeptical of the climate alarmist scenarios I’m bombarded with daily. I happen to think that the planet and the humans are a lot more robust than what the alarmists want us to think. Mostly, however, I don’t think we have a clue what’s going to happen. The earth and it’s climate system are hopelessly complex.

    [Response: Gosh, if you really think the climate system is so hopelessly complex it defies understanding, you ought to be terrified at the thought of doubling CO2. After all, the 10,000 year relatively steady climate of the Holocene has been rather good for civilization, but we have no good analogues for what the system is going to do when hit it with a shock of the sort we are about to give it. What makes you so confident that you’re going to like the result? Do you feel confident making this decision for the next 100 generations of humanity that will have to live with the consequences? Economics is a pretty complex system, too. Why do you believe the “chicken-little” economics that claims that carbon abatement will ruin the world economy? I myself have a lot more faith in human ingenuity than that. –raypierre]

  40. 40
    Corinna says:

    Speaking of responses, do you have or know where I could find a response to this piece:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2006/04/09/do0907.xml&sSheet=/news/2006/04/09/ixworld.html

    It is confusing one of my friends and I’m not sure what to say in response to it.
    It’s called “There IS a problem with global warming… it stopped in 1998″ by Bob Carter

    [Response: There’s so much wrong with this screed that it’s hard to know where to start. As noted by others, the theory does not predict an uninterrupted monotonic increase in temperature. Over short time periods, a single anomalously hot year can mean you have to wait a few years extra before the next really hot year comes along. (see also Coby’s discussion at http://illconsidered.blogspot.com/2006/04/warming-stopped-in-1998.html ) Carter writes as if the only reason for suspecting that temperature is linked to CO2 is that temperature has been going up and CO2 has been going up. In fact, there is basic physics behind this expectation, and when the physics is embodied in a model, and all climate forcings (including solar and volcanoes) are taken into account, you find that there is no consistent explanation of the post-1970 warming without invoking a substantial CO2 effect. He writes about the mid-century interruption in warming as if no climate scientists had ever thought about it, whereas the role of aerosols in this feature was the main breakthrough of the IPCC Second Assessment Report. He describes the “bladder trembling” Mann hockey-stick curve as a “statistical construct,” whereas the basic conclusions have been borne out by many independent studies (amply discussed on RealClimate). And so forth. The whole column is, as Carter himself would put it, “Tosh.” –raypierre]

    [Response: Addendum: See also Joel Shore’s comment #25 in the Venus article –raypierre]

  41. 41
    Roscoe Shaw says:

    “Ocean” …said…

    “Because global warming and its consequences aren’t a cause or a belief system. It is a scientific fact.”

    Wrong. The earth is warming. That is a fact. The consequences are unknown. The speculation on what a couple of degrees will do to the ecosystem and humans is mainly just that…speculation. I refuse to let it be pawned off as “settled” or “fact”.

    [Response: Deleted gratuitous insults]

    Ok…so that’s a bit over the top…but it’s mostly the case…LOL

    [Response: Indeed it was over the top. No more of that, please –raypierre]

  42. 42
    Hank Roberts says:

    Corinna, type “Bob Carter” (with the quote marks) into a Google search and read the first ten hits — I’ll guarantee you’ll find at least one competent rebuttal.

  43. 43
    Roscoe Shaw says:

    #

    Speaking of responses, do you have or know where I could find a response to this piece:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2006/04/09/do0907.xml&sSheet=/news/2006/04/09/ixworld.html

    It is confusing one of my friends and I’m not sure what to say in response to it.
    It’s called “There IS a problem with global warming… it stopped in 1998″ by Bob Carter

    Comment by Corinna – 12 Apr 2006 @ 11:08 pm

    ————————————-

    I haven’t read the article or the response, but the meteorologists have a big thread going on this. See link below.

    I didn’t bother to read the article because it’s title (or claim) is very lame. Yes, the earth has “cooled” since 1998 but not if you do any kind of legitimate statistical smoothing of the data.

    http://www.easternuswx.com/bb/index.php?showtopic=91690&hl=1998

    Keep in mind, some of the people on that board are very sharp but a lot of them are just 16 year old snow geeks.

  44. 44
    ocean says:

    I agree that the consequences of GW aren’t quite settled yet but there is enormous evidence from Earth’s paleo record on how the planet responds to sudden warming, like the aftermath of the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum. So I don’t think the consequences are mere idle speculation as Roscoe Shaw suggests.

    For me a belief is something that is not founded on observation but simply faith; because if it were based on scientific evidence, then it would be theory or knowledge, not belief. Thus I am not convinced that GW is a belief system. There is simply too much evidence out there.

  45. 45
    joel Hammer says:

    The science is settled? What science? Nobody can ever demonstrate that CO2 is or can cause global warming. Climatology is an observational science, not an experimental one.
    Here are some things that were settled science until they actually ran some experiments:

    1. Margarine good, butter bad.
    2. Gastric ulcers caused by stress.
    3. Testosterone bad for heart, estrogen good.
    4. Herpes infection caused cancer of the cervix.
    5. Polio virus has no bacteremic phase, therefore, a vaccine will not work if it only caused blood antibody levels to rise.

    This list could be lengthened. What caused these errors was primitive thinking, that is, an uncontrolled observation was made, and then causality or truth was inferred.

    In the cause of margarine, because it was from plants, it was assumed to be good, although trans fats were totally artificial.
    In the case of estrogen and the heart, the primitives thought that since women had lower heart disease rates, it had, therefore, to be due to estrogen.
    In the case of gastric ulcers, it was gospel that the stomach was sterile, and much evidence linking ulcers to infection was simply ignored.
    In the case of the spleen, since the function was unknown, and it got in the way of treating gastric ulcers by gastrectomy, it was declared unnecessary. The assumption was if it were important we would know its function.
    In the case of herpes, it simply was a fellow passenger with HPV, the other virus of the cervix.
    In the case of the polio vaccine, the bacteremic phase was short because of the strong immunogenicity of the polio virus, and since it preceded paralysis, nobody got cultured before the bacteremic phase was over. And, the then current animal model for polio had no bacteremic phase!

    SO PLEEZ. The world is far more complicated than your simple ideas. It really is. YOU DO NOT KNOW IT ALL, or even enough, actually. How many of you are getting rich predicting the weather and making a killing on the Chicago futures market? What, you can’t predict rainfall this coming summer in the Midwest? Then, you are no better that the oracle of Delphi or a preacher who claims to know the will of God.

    What is the experimental proof, therefore, that rising CO2 is causing global warming? Please don’t mention computer models. You may recall recently an animal rights activist suggested we use computer models instead of experimental animals to test new drugs. The absurdity of the suggestion was apparent to all but maybe he was inspired by modern climatology.

    [Response: Tosh. Global warming is an experimental science. All the basic physics upon which the CO2-climate conection rests is subject to laboratory experiment. Detailed predictions about individual effects in the energy budget can be tested against field observations. And so forth. I guess you’d say that since astrophysics is not an experimental science, we can never prove that stars make their energy by fusion. Can you make a star in the laboratory? –raypierre]

  46. 46
    Mark A. York says:

    I think Roscoe tips his hat with that last one. It’s complex alright but that doesn’t mean we buy into a denier thesis or just sit in a circle holding hands and singing Kumbaya. We follow the data.

  47. 47
    joel Hammer says:

    What intimidation?

    From what I have seen:

    Everybody who dissents from the global warming-CO2 connection is called a knave or a fool.

    Scientists who find data which doesn’t support global warming and publish this data, are quick to say that in NO WAY does this data imply that global warming is not happening.

    Now, that’s intimidation.

    [Response:I suppose even legitimate resistance to new ideas may by some be felt as intimidation. That’s a natural course of scientific discourse, and is part of the success of science. I have myself been accused several times (in Norway) for intimidating older and more established professors from other fields when I try to set the record right and point out blundering faults in their arguments. The important point is that if you can back your arguements with solid evidence and logic, then over time you will convince the scientific community that you are right (for instance by making forecasts for the future). As far as I see, Lindzen does not offer any solid evidence for why an enhanced greenhouse effect should not lead to higher surface temperatures – just hand-waving arguments. I hope that the skeptics can bring on the facts and empirical data, and try to demonstrate that increased CO2 concentrations do not result in global warming, rather than trying to smear the whole community or single scientists. -rasmus]

  48. 48

    Underneath it all, Mr. Lindzen appears to be saying that his theories of climate are more valid than are given credit, and that he is being unfairly dealt with, and in a way that may hurt his future funding. He also runs a second, simultaneous argument using three false assertions: that the vast bulk of the scientists are alarmists, that this alarmism is unfounded, and that it is dangerous because mitigation must lead to certain economic damage. (Here again, in yet another article: although it is a bottom pivot, we are never given proof of this economic assertion.) Mr. Lindzen demonstrates his arguments by implication, indeed by allusive suggestion, using parallel anecdotes. We the readers are left to combine the two arguments and conclude that Mr. Lindzen, and the public interest, are being hurt by a bums’ rush to avoid a trumped-up phony catastrophe.

    I must report that his arguments have completely convinced me, and I am now inclined to agree, indeed I am persuaded to believe — and there can be no doubt of it! — that the rest of the climate scientists are a bunch of fetid little egomaniacs with evil dreams of destroying the U.S. economy while they hypocritically keep phoning-in their big gas-guzzling car payments, out to clobber anybody who gets in their fiendish way with highfalutin’ talk of baroclines and thermohalines, not to mention continuously deflecting any realization by the unsuspecting public of the obvious truth that Al Gore is in fact the Devil incarnate, and all the while exhibiting “a strange reluctance to actually find out how climate really behaves.” Fie upon it! I must report that I have finally seen the Light; I shall be misled nary more! There can be no doubt that Science should be conducted according to the principles of argumentation in the op-ed pages of that august rag-pulp, The Wall Street Journal!

  49. 49

    The present climate trends don’t need an MIT professor for comment, it is warmer, all over the world warmer. The debate should be at the technical aspects of this warming, in particular, what is the rate of this warming???

    However professor Lindzen clearly enjoys the contrarian spotlight, with a particular vicious bent on demeaning most of his multi-Univerity peers as mere pan-handlers..

    As far as I can read, his science offers no clear vision of the future, proposing indirectly that the future is too chaotic, impossible to forecast. It is by this stance which he fails miserably. He essentially has thrown away the forecasting towel in the climate debate ring. Gave up on the main reason of his job, in favor of a spotlight showing his play acting.

    Mr Lindzen’s New England has had significant climate changes within the last few years, let alone the last few days. I remember once long ago, watching a grand meteorologist elderly professor giving daily briefings, revealing every minute details
    over North American weather maps, dwelling and exposing its complexities with most fascinating features. A day by day extensive prognosis was essential for a better understanding. In this WSJ article, Lindzen completely fails to mention anything about current weather, perhaps a preclusion of choice, for if he chose the ways of proper meteorology, he would be describing a changing ever so warming world wide climate trend.

  50. 50
    Roscoe Shaw says:

    Response: Indeed it was over the top. No more of that, please –raypierre]

    I was just responding to the previous discussing of “belief system”.
    Must have hit too close to home, raypierre, so you deleted it. Afterall, you’re the one who supports using government force to dictate what kind of cars Ford and GM can sell. [ad hom deleted - moderator]


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