Thursday, August 10, 2006

Dick Lindzen is a smart smart man

I was poking around the internet looking for fodder for my anti-global warming machine when a ran across and article of sheer brilliance by Richard Lindzen, the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at that little ol' school in Cambridge, a noted global warming dissenter.

He elocutes such gems as these:

"One might think that such growing skepticism would have some influence on public debate, but the insistence on 'scientific unanimity'' continues unabated. At times, that insistence takes some very strange forms"
"Why, one might wonder, is there such insistence on scientific unanimity on the warming issue? After all, unanimity in science is virtually nonexistent on far less complex matters. Unanimity on an issue as uncertain as 'global warming' would be surprising and suspicious. Moreover, why are the opinions of scientists sought regardless of their field of expertise? Biologists and physicians are rarely asked to endorse some theory in high energy physics. Apparently, when one comes to 'global warming,' any scientist's agreement will do."

Its like music to my ears.

In climate research and modeling, we should recognize that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.

Straight from the horse's mouth.


Matt said...

I have a feeling you and me will be engaged in this debate for a looonnnng time.

From my "To All the Non-Believers" post:

It is simply egotism on the part of human beings to assume that our puny emissions have any effect at all.

At first, this sounds persuasive. Aren't we tiny? Isn't the world huge?

Geoff Jenkins, Britain's leading climatologist: "Of course it is true that many factors affect the climate, from changes in the sun to volcanoes. But levels of carbon are a key factor as well."

Everyone agrees there is a natural greenhouse effect, he explains. It's simple: Carbon and water vapor in the atmosphere trap heat and they keep us warmer. This is basic science. All climatologists are saying is that if you increase one of those properties -- carbon -- then more heat will be trapped and the temperature will rise further. "Nobody denies the natural greenhouse effect and nobody denies that humans have massively increased carbon emissions since the Industrial Revolution," says Jenkins, "so why does anybody dispute this unnatural greenhouse effect, especially with all the evidence of its effects?"

CO2 also increases the level of acidity of the ocean as well, as you know. The concensus in the scientific community isn't on ALL of the claims that some scientists make about global warming. Namely, the "doomsday deep-end". But they do all agree that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, that it contributes to global warming, that human's have increased the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere.

Richard Lindzen whines on what he calls "the iron triangle of climate scientists, advocates and policymakers" who are addressing global warming, Lindzen moans and groans about how hard it is for shills like him to find funding these days. Now that even President Bush has accepted that global warming is real (although doing nothing about it), Lindzen whines that those of his ilk "have seen their grant funds disappear, their work derided, and themselves libeled as industry stooges, scientific hacks or worse."

Lindzen's clunky "I am not a shill!" defense quickly evaporates upon closer look. According to Ross Gelbspan's Boiling Point book, Lindzen received $2,500 a day to consult with coal and oil interests here and abroad in the 1990s, a fact Lindzen does not refute.

It's a sure sign of progress when skeptics like Lindzen publicly admit that their funding is drying up. The debate is warming is real and humans are causing it. By the sound of Lindzen's whining, the polluters seem to have caught on that their efforts at clouding the facts have failed, miserably. The American public is smarter than they thought.

You should be smarter than to listen to an oil/coal industry consultant on a subject that threatens the profits of both industries.

k2aggie07 said...

Having been in an academic environment, and having seen the way funding comes in, I'll say this: You'd be very surprised, I think, if all professors at schools disclosed who was paying them to do what. Being a university professor can be a pretty lucrative business.

I think that the board of trustees at MIT are intelligent enough to manage their faculty. If Lindzen was really nothing more than an empty suit, he wouldn't be the leading climatologist at the school.

Don't believe everything you read.

Matt said...

That's it? Some indescrepancy in gore's description of what happened on the apollo flight that took the "earth rise" picture? That's why I shouldn't believe him... okay. Once again, very weird logic. Find me an article that completely debunks one thing gore says in his book or movie that actually has something to do with global warming.