It was therefore with some glee that I saw that, on the same day that I initially published my own views here on the Climategate scandal, Richard Lindzen, the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at MIT (and a member of the National Academy of Sciences), published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on Climategate.
What makes me rather gleeful is that Professor Lindzen’s views so nicely confirm my own conclusions.
Lindzen’s key point is:
At this point, few scientists would argue that the science is settled. In particular, the question remains as to whether water vapor and clouds have positive or negative feedbacks.Exactly. As I have said again and again, it is true that CO2 produced by humans has made the globe at least slightly warmer than it otherwise would have been. But how much warmer? Will it be enough to be a real problem?
The only honest answer is that we do not know. Contrary to the lies in the mainstream media, the magnitude of global warming is not “settled science.”
Lindzen’s other key point is:
The answer brings us to a scandal that is, in my opinion, considerably greater than that implied in the hacked emails from the Climate Research Unit (though perhaps not as bad as their destruction of raw data): namely the suggestion that the very existence of warming or of the greenhouse effect is tantamount to catastrophe.Yes, if the CRU crew did intentionally destroy their raw data to keep it out of the hands of their scientific critics, that is serious scientific misconduct (and perhaps a crime). But, the real scandal in the field of global climate change is the repeated claims by some prominent climate scientists, repeated incessantly by scientific illiterates in the American news media, that it is “settled science” that “the greenhouse effect is tantamount to catastrophe.”
The CRU gang’s misconduct is comparatively minor. The real fraud is the claim of settled scientific results that do not in fact exist, and the attempt to use that fraudulent claim to impose controls on the global economy that may not be at all necessary.
Let me reiterate what I have said before. Yes, the CO2 we have dumped into the atmosphere will almost certainly make the world at least a bit warmer than it otherwise would have been. Yes, this might be a big problem.
But, it might not be a problem at all. It might even be beneficial if, perchance, we are entering a natural cooling period.
We just don’t know.
Lindzen also has a brilliant and fascinating, though much longer, paper, well worth reading, that discusses in more detail the science at issue here as well as the underlying sociological, political, and economic motives that have caused some climate scientists to engage in scientific fraud, aided and abetted by many politicians and by the mainstream news media. Again, I am in nearly complete agreement with Lindzen’s paper: to be specific, his points about how academic science can suffer severe dysfunctions as the result of government funding matches my own personal observations.
In particular, he makes a crucially important point about some scientists' discovering that dishonest fear-mongering was the way to gain funding and advance their careers:
It is my impression that by the end of the 60’s scientists, themselves, came to feel that the real basis for support was not gratitude (and the associated trust that support would bring further benefit) but fear: fear of the Soviet Union, fear of cancer, etc. Many will conclude that this was merely an awakening of a naive scientific community to reality, and they may well be right. However, between the perceptions of gratitude and fear as the basis for support lies a world of difference in incentive structure. If one thinks the basis is gratitude, then one obviously will respond by contributions that will elicit more gratitude. The perpetuation of fear, on the other hand, militates against solving problems.Yes. If your job depends on convincing people that global warming is a massive threat to civilization, then you certainly do not want to publicize the conclusion that it may not be that much of a problem after all, now do you?
Note that this paper is dated a year before the Climategate scandal broke; yet, the paper explains in detail the underlying problems that have led to Climategate.
Let me make clear that I reached my own conclusions on all this, before I had ever heard of Professor Lindzen, based on my own personal knowledge of math, physics, and computer modeling, and my own observations as to how academic scientists behave. (Indeed, I posted here back in September, a couple months before the current scandal broke, a warning about the scientific and media misconduct in the area of global warming.)
But, since both Professor’s Lindzen’s knowledge and his prestige in this area are so much greater than my own, I am very gratified to see his essays confirming my own conclusions.
Let me also make clear that, of course, I am not claiming that Professor Lindzen is right on every single detail concerning global climate change: he would not claim that himself. But, he is a credible guy who has disagreed for a long time with the now-discredited “consensus.” That alone should have been enough to keep people from saying that the old fake “consensus” view was “settled science.” If serious people with excellent credentials, such as Lindzen, had serious, detailed scientific objections to the fraudulent “consensus” then the science was not at all “settled.”
Furthermore, as a serious and active climate scientist himself, Professor Lindzen has had a ringside seat to the long chain of misconduct, abuse, and chicanery, which many of us strongly suspected and which has now been publicly revealed thanks to the CRU whistleblower.
From now on, when the issue of global warming comes up, I plan to start by saying that I agree with the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at MIT.
Try it with your friends – that is, if you actually know anyone who still believes in the lies about global-warming.
(For my earlier comments on Climategate, see here and here. Here are my comments a couple months before Climategate became public, in which I pointed out that those of us who are scientifically competent had known for some time that there was something seriously rotten within the media-governmental-scientific global-warming establishment.)