Shame on Richard Lindzen, MIT’s uber-hypocritical anti-scientific scientist

Posted on

"Shame on Richard Lindzen, MIT’s uber-hypocritical anti-scientific scientist"

As an alum, I was happily surprised when a few weeks ago a senior M.I.T. professor directed me to major study by a dozen leading experts associated with their Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Climate Change that made clear M.I.T. had joined the climate realists.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has just doubled its previous (2003) projection of global warming by 2100 to 5.1°C. Their median projection for the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide in 2095 is a jaw-dropping 866 ppm. Human civilization as we know it could not survive such warming, such concentrations (see likely impacts here).

But there is one MIT professor who has remained blind to the remarkable strengthening of our understanding of climate science in the past 2 years — Richard Lindzen. A general debunking of Lindzen’s popular disinformation tracts can be found on RealClimate here.

At the Heartland conference of climate-change deniers that began Sunday in New York, however, Lindzen went from denial to defamation as he smeared the reputation of one of the greatest living climate scientists, Wallace Broecker.

Before discussing that indefensible and hypocritical smear, it is worth noting that the Heartland conference is so extreme that even “moderate” deniers, like John Christy won’t go, as Andy Revkin reports:

John R. Christy … said he had skipped both Heartland conferences to avoid the potential for “guilt by association.”

Now when a guy who has been as wrong for as long as Christy has (see here) is afraid his reputation will be harmed by attending your conference, you are way, way out there!

And indeed, Lindzen chose to abandon what little is left of his professional reputation, as the astonishing report on the conference from Examiner.com makes clear:

The conference also featured Richard Lindzen, the Alfred P. Sloan professor of meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who said his colleagues endorse climate change to win acclaim.

“Most of the atmospheric scientists who I respect do endorse global warming,” Lindzen said. “The important point, however, is that the science that they do, that I respect, is not about global warming. Endorsing global warming just makes their lives easier.”

Yes, the atmospheric scientists Lindzen “respects” all lie to the public about what they believe just to make their lives easier. That doesn’t sound like a single scientist I have ever met in my life. I’d love to talk to some of those scientists and see if the single one of them respects Lindzen.

Lindzen called out colleagues such as Wallace Broecker, a geochemist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, whose work, Lindzen said, “clearly shows that sudden climate change occurs without anthropogenic influence, and is a property of cold rather than warm climates. However, he staunchly beats the drums for alarm and is richly rewarded for doing so.

And so Richard Lindzen — a man who would be unknown to the public, with no “acclaim” whatsoever, if not for his denial of our basic understanding of climate science — accuses one of the nation’s preeminent climate scientists of lying to the public for fame and money. I’d also note that back in 1995, journalist Ross Gelbspan explained in Harpers that it is Lindzen who is far more richly rewarded for spreading anti-science than Broecker ever has been before explaining science: “Lindzen, for his part, charges oil and coal interests $2,500 a day for his consulting services.”

Shame on you, Richard Lindzen.

It is worth noting that Broecker famously published in Nature (subs. reqd) in 1995, “The paleoclimate record shouts out to us that, far from being self-stabilizing, the Earth’s climate system is an ornery beast which overreacts even to small nudges.” The issue isn’t whether the climate has changed suddenly in the past without human influence, the issue is why the climate changes (answer — because it is pushed by external forcings, which clearly can include greenhouse gases), and whether the climate has ever been pushed into a much warmer state than it is today (answer –yes).

Broecker is traveling and could not be reached immediately for comment. Broecker is considered a pioneering scientist of climate change because in a 1957 article in Yale Scientific he pondered the effects of releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Last year, Broecker wrote a book, Fixing Climate: What Past Climate Changes Reveal About the Current Threat — and How to Counter It suggesting humans will be unable to change activities that contribute to climate change in time to forestall a climate catastrophe.

I don’t know “unable” is the right word, but so far it appears “unwilling” certainly is.

Earlier this year Lindzen’s colleagues at MIT revised prior estimations to conclude that human activity is on a path to instigate climate catastrophe within this century.

Precisely.

Related Posts:

Tags:

« »

66 Responses to Shame on Richard Lindzen, MIT’s uber-hypocritical anti-scientific scientist

  1. Paul says:

    Lindzen is just one in a long line of academics who make a name for themselves as contrarians. The current smart set includes John Christy, who is scared to attend the Heartland conference but provides right-wing talking points by rabbling on about satellite data, and Roger Pielke Jr., who proudly declares himself a believer in climate change but spends most of his waking hours ginning up right-wing talking points and phony stories from his blog.

    Obviously, this is the next generation.

  2. Will Greene says:

    Joe, I have a question. What do you say to people that say we are just coming out of the little ice age, that ended in 1800’s? Since we only started recording temperatures fairly recently, how do we know that the recent increase in temperature isn’t indeed temperatures recovering from that little ice age?

  3. lgcarey says:

    Will, you might have a look at http://scienceblogs.com/illconsidered/2006/01/one-hundred-years-is-not-enough.php if you haven’t already.

  4. David B. Benson says:

    Will Greene — Briefly, by looking a the paleorecord of CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere during the Holocene. BVefore the Little Ice Age (LIA), it was about 275–280 ppm. During LIA it went down to 260 ppm and then back up to 288 ppm by 1850 CE, usually taken as the end of LIA because the Swiss glaciers stopped growing. Since then CO2 concentrations have continued to climb.

    For more about the reasons and reassoning, read W.F. Ruddiman’s popular “Plows, Plagues and Petroleum” and also his easily accessible papers on his website.

  5. DavidONE says:

    Will Greene,

    Another angle for dismissing the LIA myth is:

    1. CO2 concentration has increased from ~280 to 388ppm in the past 150 years. In fact, CO2 is higher than at any time in the past 650,000 years (http://climate.jpl.nasa.gov/images/normPage-2.jpg)

    2. we know this is due to burning of fossil fuels and forest clearance due to the isotope signature of the atmospheric CO2 (http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=87)

    3. it’s basic, incontrovertible science that CO2 is a greenhouse gas (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_gas#Greenhouse_gases_in_Earth.27s_atmosphere + http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d5/The_green_house_effect.svg)

    QED – anthropogenic climate science is real and the LIA is just another of the lies spread by the Deniers to confuse the unwary and pollute the conversation.

  6. Mark says:

    Will, this explains it well:

    m

  7. Will Greene says:

    Thanks guys, I’ll give you the link to the video that caused me to ask the question about the little ice age in the first place. Fast forward to 6:46 in the video.
    http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=global+warming&www_google_domain=www.google.com&emb=0&aq=0&oq=global#

  8. David B. Benson says:

    Will Greene — Conclusively mostly due to CO2 concentration.

    Barton Paul Levenson:
    1. CO2 is a greenhouse gas (Tyndall 1859).
    2. CO2 is rising (Keeling et al. 1958).
    3. The new CO2 is mainly from burning fossil fuels (Suess 1955).
    4. Temperature is rising (NASA GISS, Hadley CRU, UAH, RSS, etc.).
    5. The increase in temperature correlates with the increase in CO2 (76% for temp. anomaly and ln CO2 for 1880-2007). See
    http://www.geocities.com/bpl1960/Correlation.html

  9. David B. Benson says:

    What I would say about Lindzen is not printable. :-(

    So I’ll self-censor it.

  10. Lindzen is just one in a long line of academics who make a name for themselves as contrarians.

    Oh bullshit. Richard Lindzen is paid by corporate interests to lie.

    Richard Lindzen is a paid corporate liar, just like Roger Pielke Jr. is a paid academic liar. He’s paid by his University sponsors, to lie.

    What I would say about Lindzen is not printable.

    I have no such reservations.

  11. ecostew says:

    In my opinion: There will not be US legislation to cap&trade and/or tax carbon in a progressive energy bill that mitigates AGW in the next year or two. In addition, there will not be an international agreement mitigating AGW ratified by the US Congress in the next few years. The Obama Administration must work with Congress to pass a progressive energy bill mitigating AGW. The Obama Administration must also embrace “cumulative AGW impacts” in its agency decision-making (funding, permitting, leasing, etc.) through NEPA by selecting actions to mitigate AGW and requiring mitigation of selected alternatives (if needed) to further mitigate AGW. Yes we can!

  12. Larry Coleman says:

    The idea that climate is rebounding from the LIA displays a fundamental lack of understanding of climate. Climate is not like a mass on a spring that tries to return to its equilibrium position if nudged off-center. There is no such “equilibrium state” for climate, there is no “center”…thus it makes no sense to imagine climate rebounding from anything. Climate responds to forcings, period, and forcings change. This “argument,” like many others, shows the depth of ignorance of the skeptics…but it plays well with the public because it seems so common sense.

  13. Will Greene says:

    I get that now, thank you Larry. I’ve learned a lot today, thank you everyone for the links and info. I can’t wait to take an upper division climate class so I don’t have to ask these questions, unfortunately I’m only a freshman trying to pass Calculus right now!

  14. Alex says:

    Lindzen’s stuff looks rather misleading when he suggests that rapid change is only a property of cold climates. Presumably he’s referring to glacial periods, or as they come to an end. But what about prehistoric warming driven by GHG accumulation rather than Milankovitch cycles? And of course, what constitutes “rapid” might be a bit different when you’re talking about glacial period changes vs. impacts on holocene ecology and billions of people.

    Will, the science doesn’t even appear to support the “little ice age” (or the “medieval warm period”) being a high-amplitude, globally synchronous event (example: http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/070.htm). And the LIA seemed to be associated with a period of unusually low solar activity. Solar today isn’t considered a significant climate forcing. Actually, solar indicators over the past couple decades have on average been mildly OPPOSITE the trend according to the research I’ve seen.

  15. You are kind by calling it “shame”

    Enabling, appeasing and tolerating greater CO2 concentrations works to doom our future. Asking us to ignore this danger is either idiocy or treacher.

    CO2 concentrations are directly boosted by industrial emissions.

    Economic ideologues and denialist allies think the political aspect of emissions must trump the rigid science of CO2 concentration.

    They are associated, but one is industrial politics while the other is climate science.

    Physical science cares little about about the politics and economics of emissions.

    And until political will learns the rules and tools of science, humans will have little impact.

    Beyond shame – it is a pity.

  16. Please add the y
    I meant treachery

  17. jorleh says:

    This Lidzen guy is one of the anti-science mob whose one sentence must be corrected with ten thousand words and the uneducated majority of people is able to read only one sentence and it´s interest is lost.

    Criminals are making our world to hell, but what to do?

  18. Maarten says:

    The only thing the ‘skeptics’ do not doubt is their ‘skepticism’. A denier will deny that he is denying (until he ends like Kleopatra, the Queen of Denial, or her son). Oh, but they succeed, it would be so much more fun to discuss SOLUTIONS.

  19. john says:

    For the past 8 years, it has definitely NOT made a scientist’s life easier by supporting climate change. You may remember, Lindzen, that Bush was anti-science, explicitly anti-global warming for most of his term. So in what possible world did it make it easier? Who’s advocating it?

    Lindzen is an idiot.

  20. jackinthegreen says:

    I believe Lindzen is wrong, and his motives suspect. But I believe this due to the weakness of his arguments and his apparent conflict of interest; not due to any assumptions about his character.

    My point here is: skip the food fight; rather, attack the man’s ideas and dismantle his arguments using the data and cool headed logic.

    Verbal and, sometimes, physical smack downs have largely replaced civil debate within our culture in both the political and academic realms. Unfortunately, this only serves to lessen the credibility of all participants, whether or not their position is well-founded and reasoned.

    “He started it” doesn’t cut it, neither on the playground nor in the grownup world.

    Let’s take the high road to a better future.

    Thanks

  21. Verbal and, sometimes, physical smack downs have largely replaced civil debate within our culture in both the political and academic realms.

    The time for civil debate in this country on well established paradigms such as global mass extinction, climate change and evolution has long since expired.

    Therefore, I disrespectfully decline your request. Clear enough?

  22. Russ says:

    I believe Lindzen is wrong, and his motives suspect. But I believe this due to the weakness of his arguments and his apparent conflict of interest; not due to any assumptions about his character.

    This contradicts itself. If someone has malevolent motives, and if a nominal scientist allows a conflict of interest to dictate his public position on scientific issues, this goes to the core of his complete lack of character.

  23. Lou Grinzo says:

    jackinthegreen: Well said.

    I think it’s this simple: The only thing that matters in this argument is winning. But in order to do that, “our side” can’t look like a bunch of crazed greenies IN THE EYES OF THE MAINSTREAMERS, since those are the only people who count.

    If our side gets personal or plays dirty or whatever one cares to call it, it will only make it that much easier for the deniers to make us look extreme and untrustworthy. It’s not a matter of facts winning or even might making right. It’s a matter of playing the PR game smarter than those with ideological and financial incentives to delay action on climate chaos.

    By all means, be passionate and compassionate, be diligent, and fight the good fight tirelessly and on as many fronts as possible. But we also have to fight that fight in the smartest way possible.

  24. I think it’s this simple: The only thing that matters in this argument is winning.

    Ok, say you win the argument. Then what?

    I’ve got better things to do than argue with idiots.

  25. Donald B says:

    This is off-subject, but did anyone watch “24” last night? Near the end of the program, after the President had been saved and at the end of the commercial break, the “President” came on to say something to the effect that “you have seen some terrible things tonight that are fictional, but there is a terrible thing that we face that is not fictional: GLOBAL WARMING.” She went on to talk about how the viewer could learn about how to act to combat it at Fox News (internet)! I guess the message about AGW has reached Fox News!

  26. Jason says:

    “Another angle for dismissing the LIA myth is:”

    This is anti-scientific nonsense.

    The proper counter is that warming measured in recent times is far greater than anything measured during the 19th century.

    Temperatures DID rise during the 19th century at a time when CO2 emissions from fossil fuels were negligible.

    Denying the science in an attempt to prevent others from denying the science is self defeating behavior.

  27. Jason says:

    “I believe Lindzen is wrong, and his motives suspect. But I believe this due to the weakness of his arguments and his apparent conflict of interest”

    What conflicts of interest does Lindzen have now?

    We should all be able to agree that Lindzen accepted large amounts of money from energy companies in the fairly distant past. Speaking his mind has also cost him enormous support amongst his colleagues, a fact that he is obviously conscious of. Now that the energy companies have determined that the proper PR move is to avoid anything even remotely connected with climate skeptics, what is Lindzen’s conflict?

    All available evidence suggests that Lindzen has always held the view that anthropogenic CO2 is unlikely to cause serious harm to our climate. What has changed is not his view, but its significance in a world where regulation of greenhouse gases is a real possibility.

    I am also an MIT alum. I think that Lindzen may be wrong. But I see absolutely nothing untoward about his conduct. What I find off-putting is the belief by many that he is somehow obliged to agree with them.

  28. Oliver says:

    My father worked with Richard Lindzen for many years and always viewed him as a scientist of the highest integrity. It’s sad to see the debate shaped as it is on this site.

    There needs to be some kind of an overhaul to the various scientific funding streams to help prevent the situation we are in today. Back in the early 90’s I know that it was definitely tough to get research $$$ if your work wasn’t in compliance with the emerging GW party line.

    It would be interesting to see a poll of retired scientists who specialized in climate research during their career, asking their opinion on the GW issue. Sort of like asking retired generals questions about how to improve the military – no axe to grind anymore!

  29. Oliver,

    I distinctly remember Lindzen parroting the “global warming stopped in 1998!” line when that was popular a few years ago. He is a physical scientist; he has to have taken at least one introductory data analysis course. He KNEW you can’t determine a trend by drawing a line between two points. He KNEW you’re supposed to use a regression against time, counting all the points and not just the ones that seem to justify your position. He KNEW 1998-2005 or so was not enough points to determine a climate trend since the usual period required is 30 years. He KNEW ALL of this and yet he used that wrong argument knowing it was wrong. That doesn’t make him “a scientist of the highest integrity.” It makes him at best irresponsible and at worst a shameless liar.

  30. Mike C. says:

    http://www.cap-e.com/mission/default.cfm

    All you do-gooders don’t think Joe Romm has a horse in this race? Can anyone spell hypocrite?

  31. jae says:

    Again, a lot of empty opinions and ad-homs. Where are the facts?

    “It suggesting humans will be unable to change activities that contribute to climate change in time to forestall a climate catastrophe.”

    And if this guy is right, who cares? Let’s party!

  32. Roger says:

    The facts are there, for anyone who knows how to point, click and read.

    If you’re really smart, got to http://www.climatescience.gov and wade through the results of some $20 billion in research. It’s all there for the reading.

    If you’re of average, or lower, intellligence (i.e., a climate change denier), then go to the U.S. EPA site. There’s a ‘kids’ link in the lower left corner.

    On offense, but with the planet at stake, please read before commenting.

  33. Neil Wyatt says:

    So, there are clearly two camps, those being Alarmists and Sceptics. There is really no need for damming one’s integrity for a belief based on either their own or another’s research.
    Why are there two conferences (New York and Copenhagen) on the issue of Global Warming, one for each camp all in agreement with each other, what a waste of time? Surely the debate is not over, science is never over.
    Let us have a proper debate on this issue without scaremongering antics and may the science win.

    Neil A C Wyatt.

    [JR: The two “camps” are science and anti-science. Anybody who isn’t alarmed right now doesn’t understand the science or is anti-science.]

  34. Neil says:

    When did the ‘Hockey Stick’ become scientific? I hold a Science degree and have been interested in Astronomy and Meteorology for the best part of forty years.
    Check out the founder of ‘The Weather Channel’ and his 30,000 scientist supporters. (John Coleman)
    This is the whole point of my argument; calling people a multitude of names does nothing to solve the scientific argument…Flat Earther, Zealot, Nazi, Denier and now Anti Science. Why is Mr Gore frightened to face the truth of debate?
    The only point I intended to make was to suggest there is a debate on the actual FACTS known and not some futurologists’ predictions and name calling antics.
    And no, of course we are not alarmed by the scare tactics in the slightest.
    Bring on the debate before we are committed to wasting billions on a red herring.
    Anti Science? This is nothing to so with science, it is about politics, world order and tax!

  35. This is nothing to so with science, it is about politics, world order and tax!

    I don’t have a degree in ‘science’, but I am a connoisseur of nuts.

    You are easily recognizable as a bad nut. You’re going to have to do a lot better than that to impress my taste for nuts of all idiotic persuasions.

  36. Neil says:

    Takes one to know one and you prove my point sir.
    Please don’t reply with this sort of comment, it plays no part in any sensible debate.

  37. Jim Bouldin says:

    “Bring on the debate before we are committed to wasting billions on a red herring.”

    They did. Starting 150 years ago. Especially over the last 30 years, and especially especially over the last 10.

    Start reading the science before we commit to wasting time replying to your ignorance.

    Your last sentence explains all anyone needs to know about your position, which is connected to scientific arguments like the proverbial Titanic’s deck chairs to its sinking.

  38. Neil says:

    I have not even set out my arguments on these pages regarding the science of AGW and they certainly have nothing to do with RMS Titanic.

    Emotional reactions to sceptics of AGW shows your faith in CO2 causing so called global warming without, so it would appear, the slightest concern that the propaganda you have absorbed might not stand the test.
    The time for debate is most certainly not over! Science is never over, except perhaps for the ignorant.

  39. Takes one to know one and you prove my point

    Indeed it does, and I have studied my craft carefully.

    You are a nut without a point.

  40. Girma says:

    In science, if a theory is invalid once, it is rejected.

    Since year 1900, 1000 gigaton of CO2 has been released into the atmosphere by humans. However, the mean temperature of the USA 100 years ago is identical to the temperature now! That is, no increase in temperature with increase in CO2.

    The evidence is at NASA’s site:
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/Fig.D.lrg.gif

    Is it not time to burry this theory, that human CO2 emission causes global warming, next to bloodletting for relieving headaches?

  41. Charlie says:

    No need for scare tactics and high tax on CO2. The answers are simple, plant more trees, grow more algae and encourage birth control to help keep the population down. (Earth’s biggest threat)
    One thing is for certain; calling people names because they don’t accept AGW aint going to solve a thing.

  42. David says:

    The hatred and anger towards anyone skeptical of Al Gore’s fantasy is remarkable. (“Dr.” Gore made tens of millions of dollars from his book and movie). M.I.T. Prof. Richard Lindzen works on the tough atmospheric science, and this physicist respects his work. – – Does any Gore believer recognize that Vikings (in tiny sailing ships) discovered and grew crops on the coast of Greenland during the Medieval Warm Period, about 1000 to 1300 A.D. Surely then the far smaller world population did not produce industrial CO2 gas, allegedly warming our Earth. We badly need new sources of energy, but the same Gore believers tend to oppose building new peaceful nuclear reactors that produce electricty but emit no CO2! Our real problem is Earth’s soaring human population, perhaps reaching nine billion people, well before 2100 A.D.

  43. Berylilium Markham says:

    Thanks David.

    I am interested in facts, not legal or political debates. Debates, from legal training, have no place in science. True exploration and discovery is what we need. I have been very disappointed with academics that are greedy and increasingly political. Stop the gutter language and focus on the issues for the next generations. Practice what you speak; decide to more with less.

    Berylilium

  44. Ray Christensen says:

    Oh and if the climate models are being used to promote policy change, then why is it that weather models (GFS, ECMWF, etc) can barely predict accurately beyond 5 days? It is called assumptions in the models which the errors grow with time to the point that model is just a guess. I would be willing to bet that the climate models are not much better. They also use many assumptions and we all know as good scientists that these assumptions mean more error with time. Now go verify the climate models with the actual real-time satellite and temperature data like us regualar meteorologists do and maybe you will discover something you did not know.

  45. deanbob says:

    Spot on David. I thought science was open to discussion and research, not about one group bashing and (seemingly) hating another for believing differently. When I was in grade school, we learned the smallest components of the atom were the electron, proton, and neutron. Well, science has expanded its knowledge. Science suffers when its scientists close their minds.

  46. Bob Wallace says:

    1. David – all the profit. Let me repeat, ALL the profit from all of Al Gore’s books, movies, speeches, etc. are donated to non-profit work towards fixing the climate problem.

    Not one penny of the profit goes into Al Gore’s pockets.

    2. All people adequately versed in climate history recognize that there was a temporary, and somewhat localized, warmer period that allowed humans to live and farm on Greenland for a few hundred years. (Notice the “localized” qualifier. The data seems to show that the Earth was not globally warmer.)

    3. We now have pretty good data to support the finding that humans began adding carbon to the atmosphere when they first began about 5,000 years ago. Not in amounts that caused significant climate change. That didn’t happen until we began extracting and burning huge amounts of sequestered carbon with the advent of the Industrial Age.

    4. As for opposing new nuclear plants. Some do out of hand. Others are better called “nuclear realists”. They look at the safety issues, lack of waste disposal solutions, cost per unit electricity produced, and time to bring new nuclear on line.

    Then they look at other sources which do not present safety or waste disposal problems, cost far less, and can be installed in a small fraction of the time of nuclear.

    Then ask “If the water is rising in your basement why buy a leaky bucket that costs a bunch of money and won’t be delivered for a few years when you can but a good quality bucket for a lot less money, have it right now, and start baling?

    Berylilium – science is all about debate. Debate based on evidence. Read some history of philosophy and learn how empiricism/science rose from the need to have debate based on data, not “strength of argument”.

    Ray – weather and climate are not the same thing. Please read up.

    deanbob – science is all about discussion and research.

    That does not mean that every single person who has the academic credentials to be called a scientist has their stuff together. Any of us who are scientists can tell you tales of outlier crackpots who hold forth some grand position based on faulty and/or incomplete data.

    Scientists, as a rule, do not have closed minds. Closed minds, you will find, generally belong to those who start with an assumption, a belief, and then search for things which will support that belief. They, unlike most scientists, tend to throw away “inconvenient truths”.

  47. mark marchionni says:

    I didn’t actually see a response to his science. Even the link was rather general and dismissive. The name calling was in full effect however. If this article and the bloggers are any indication, true science is dead. Politics rules all, and we are merely slaves wearing the shackles of our own ignorance.

    I hope the “predictions” for 2012 are correct. I think our species is to ignorant to continue. It’s time for evolution to start again.

  48. Chris M says:

    I think I’ll take Professor Lindzen’s words and works in the field as the planets most renowned metallurgist over the likes of you hacks any day!

  49. Lindzen is now a renowned metallurgist? He’s either really good, or you are remarkably ignorant.

    I imagine it is pointless to observe that a meteorologist is not someone who is (insofar) possessed of any of the necessary skills or knowledge to comment on climate science. But gosh, a metallurgist!! Well, now, clearly we all need to sit up and pay attention!

  50. Joanne says:

    By the way, denigrating Chris M’s opinion because he made a mistake doesn’t make him wrong. Just makes you small. My post also has a mistake. Drought in California is not a human activity. I guess the protection of the delta smelt over people is, however. And that is what I was referring to (just to get that in before you make small-minded remarks about my error).

  51. Fourier says:

    Yes yes yes….you mustn’t ever let real science get in the way of your primary agenda now should you.

    Fourier,
    Boston MA.

  52. Tom says:

    Ok here’s what i’ve found, and you can tell me if i’m wrong.
    1) CO2 makes up %0.0387 (387 ppm) of the earth’s total atmosphere
    2) CO2 emited from burning fossil fules is %14 of the total CO2 (54.18 ppm of total atmosphere)
    and that this mathematicly insignificant byproduct of human breathing, that provides plants with food who inturn provide us with oxygen is going to kill the whole planet in the near future?

    Shows you how much I know!

  53. The fact that you’ve provided <i?mathematically significant numbers demonstrates — quite conclusively, for anyone bothered by little things like facts and reason — that this is a demonstrable physical reality.

    And yes, you are altogether so sadly correct: This does show how much you know …

  54. “Debate like civilized gentlemen”: that would involve dealing honestly with the overwhelming facts of science rather than pretending that the paid professional lies fabricated by paid professional liars working for the fossil fuel industry and right-wing propaganda machine actually constituted cognitively legitimate objections to genuine evidence. The very pretense of a debatable controversy (in the broad strokes) is a lie manufactured by people who are perfectly content to defacate in their own pantries if they believe such scatalogical obfuscation will advance their minimally short-term and viciously dogmatic corporate profits for even an instant.

    Tom, neither you nor I qualify as climate scientists so we are obliged to deal clearly and honestly with the facts on the ground. Neither you nor I are qualified to “debate the issues;” however, it happens that I, at least, am qualified to speak to the more generic issue of what does or does not qualify as a genuine scientific controversy. That said, I consider it rather grotesque to cite materials I have written and posted elsewhere, so despite their obvious relevance to your questions, I beg your patience when I stoop so low as to do just that: http://www.scientificblogging.com/inquiry_inquiry/what_does_real_scientific_controversy_look

    There is nothing which could, by even the most reckless stretch of the imagination (a phrase which I fear I am beginning to abuse) could ever be mistaken for a genuine or legitimate controversy around the central theses of AGW. Certainly there are details that remain to things like clouds (a notable source of continuing inquiry). But that the world’s climatic temperature is rising, and that this rise is due to anthropogenic sources, is a matter that is no more open to real, scientifcally legitimate controversy, than the central position of the sun in the solar system.

    So what “gentlemanly” “debate” do you propose around a matter that no thinking person can seriously dispute? If all you propose to do is regurgitate propagandist drivel that has been roundly and repeatedly obliterated by the genuine, scientific literature and establishment, then what additional courtesy do you believe yourself to be owed?

    Discovering, reading, and even understanding the basics of the science is a matterr so straight forward that even I have successfully been able to do as much. Are you interested in citations, because more than a few such can be provided here, IF your concerns are of such a “gentlemanly” nature as to actually ask. Some of those citations are things that even I could provide.

    On the other hand, if all you intend to do is regurgitate repeatedly refuted drivel while wringing your hands over the “absence” of debate, then I repeat my previous question: what courtesy is owed to you any longer? Discovering the facts poses no substantive difficulty, if what one is interested in are the facts. On the other hand, repeating nonsense poses even less of a challenge. But why should anyone deal with such nonsense — given that it has already been thoroughly and multiply dealt with for the last 15 years and more — as anything other than nonsense?

  55. Tom says:

    I’m not advocating the destruction of of our planet, but based on the figures that I gathered, you could see why I am a bit skeptical of the climate change ‘crisis’. It seems to me that calling it a crisis opens the door to allow the few to profit at the expense of many.

  56. Greg says:

    Are all of you MIT scientists? Do all of you work for NASA? Our only source of knowledge is the “experts”. And if the experts disagree, than we have nothing to be certain of. I personally cannot take a side on this matter, for I am most definitely unqualified to do so. It takes years of engineering and science to confidently make claims about your work, and if the result is 2 experts that have contrasting conclusions on the global warming theory, then I have no reason to believe any point of view. We are all unqualified to make any statements on the affect of human activity on climate change, so why continue to do so? unless it is simply political propaganda…

    [JR: Uhhh, no. The “experts” don’t disagree. Try reading this blog and the summary reports of the literature.]

  57. R.CONROW says:

    I also am a sidelined observer. But I am distrustful of researchers who condemn and attempt to ostrisize those that have views, gathered from their own research, that conflict with their own. We are now learning that colusion on the part of global warming advocates is taking place in the supposedly most prestigeous institutions. These institutions need to adhere to scientific principles that require searching for facts that contridict a theory as well as support one. However, this is not beiong done with the global warming crowd. I am dismayed everytime I hear CONSENSOUS.

  58. chuckles says:

    Population seems to me to be a bigger probem than global warming. This is of course provided that there is no major deep water methane release and subsequent Permian-esque mass extinction. Our inability to adapt to change and our rigid physical and political structures are more of an issue than the actual impacts of global warming, which as far as I can tell, are here for the short term regardless.
    Regarding the above article I just want to point out that the following statement is inaccurate:
    “And so Richard Lindzen — a man who would be unknown to the public, with no “acclaim” whatsoever, if not for his denial of our basic understanding of climate science —”
    What makes known to the public isn’t that he denies the “basic understanding of climate science” but that he is a scientist with some stature (whether deserved or not) who denies GW.

  59. chuckles says:

    “I think it’s this simple: The only thing that matters in this argument is winning.”

    What matters from a scientists point of view is good science and rigorous adherence to the scientific method.

  60. Mike says:

    I agree with R.CONROW (@ 60 above). I cam across this article whilst trying to get info on climate change after hearing about the Copenhagen conference. To be honest, it has only persuaded me that the science is not yet settled as Al Gore and others have claimed. I don’t see why such personal attacks are needed on a tenured professor at a respected university just for expressing his views.

    Oh, and the ‘consensus’ thing that R.Conrow mentioned – that really bugs me too. It’s basically saying “you couldn’t possibly understand what we’re talking about so just take our word for it”. When I hear that, I wonder why they keep saying it.

  61. Leigh Harwood says:

    ‘Climate change’ or ‘global warming’ is purely a scientific issue and should be dealt with purely on a scientific basis. The fact that politics has reared its ugly head in the debate should speak volumes to anyone with their COMMONSENSE intact. I am nowhere near qualified to offer an opinion with respect to the issue of ‘climate change’, but it certainly does seem convenient that crisis after crisis after crisis after crisis after crisis – seems to befall our godforsaken race. I am a cynic of human nature and would sooner apply the phrase ‘where the money lies – the interest resides’ than ‘OH MY GOD! – THE WORLD’S COMING TO AN END AGAIN AND GUESS WHAT YET AGAIN – IT’S ALL OUR FAULT’. Come on people, wake up and smell the bull….! If there’s no money to be made, governments, scientisits and big-businesses alike have no incentive whatsoever to go out of their way to prove anything or even give a damn for that matter. As cynical as that sounds, put science and politics aside – LOOK TO HUMAN NATURE!!!

  62. JimS says:

    Tom, low concentration have impacts in all types of biological and physical systems. For example, the LD50 for sodium cyanide for a rat (and presumably close to that for a human) is around 6ppm. In semiconductors (the brains of your computer/cell phone/etc.) impurities in concentrations as low as 1 ppb can have a measurable effect. So it’s not surprising that something on the order of 100 ppm can impact the Earth’s energy balance.

  63. Judo Magyar says:

    When did the thermometer acquire political affiliation?