« Novelist Cormac McCarthy's Ex-Wife Pulls Gun From Her Veeje During Argument With Current Boyfriend About Space Aliens | Main | Glenn Beck: "Let's not become what we despise" »
January 08, 2014

Global Chillin': Meet the MIT Climate Scientist Who Accepts the Earth Has Warmed But Doubts the Alarmist Line

Via @rdbrewer4 in the sidebar, you've actually met this guy before-- Richard Lindzen, who a sharp skeptic of Global Warming Hysteria and is inconveniently a Credentials-Carrying Climate Scientist. The Weekly Standard's Ethan Epstain talks with him.

Lindzen doesn’t deny that the climate has changed or that the planet has warmed. “We all agree that temperature has increased since 1800,” he tells me. There’s a caveat, though: It’s increased by “a very small amount. We’re talking about tenths of a degree [Celsius]. We all agree that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. All other things kept equal, [there has been] some warming. As a result, there’s hardly anyone serious who says that man has no role. And in many ways, those have never been the questions. The questions have always been, as they ought to be in science, how much?”

...

[L]indzen rejects the dire projections. For one thing, he says that the Summary for Policymakers is an inherently problematic document. The IPCC report itself, weighing in at thousands of pages, is “not terrible. It’s not unbiased, but the bias [is] more or less to limit your criticism of models,” he says. The Summary for Policymakers, on the other hand—the only part of the report that the media and the politicians pay any attention to—“rips out doubts to a large extent. .  .  . [Furthermore], government representatives have the final say on the summary.” Thus, while the full IPPC report demonstrates a significant amount of doubt among scientists, the essentially political Summary for Policymakers filters it out.

...

If Lindzen is right about this and global warming is nothing to worry about, why do so many climate scientists, many with résumés just as impressive as his, preach imminent doom? He says it mostly comes down to the money—to the incentive structure of academic research funded by government grants. Almost all funding for climate research comes from the government, which, he says, makes scientists essentially vassals of the state. And generating fear, Lindzen contends, is now the best way to ensure that policymakers keep the spigot open.

Science was flush with government money after the success of the Manhattan Project, but science budgets have been cut now for decades. And that's the real Global Warming Crisis.

“It was recognized that gratitude [for the bomb that ended the War with Japan] only went so far,” Lindzen says, “and fear was going to be a much greater motivator. And so that’s when people began thinking about .  .  . how to perpetuate fear that would motivate the support of science.”

A need to generate fear, in Lindzen’s telling, is what’s driving the apocalyptic rhetoric heard from many climate scientists and their media allies. “The idea was, to engage the public you needed an event .  .  . not just a Sputnik—a drought, a storm, a sand demon. You know, something you could latch onto. [Climate scientists] carefully arranged a congressional hearing. And they arranged for [James] Hansen [author of Storms of My Grandchildren, and one of the leading global warming “alarmists”] to come and say something vague that would somehow relate a heat wave or a drought to global warming.”

...

In a 2012 public letter, Lindzen noted, “Critics accuse me of doing a disservice to the scientific method. I would suggest that in questioning the views of the critics and subjecting them to specific tests, I am holding to the scientific method.” Whoever is right about computer models, climate sensitivity, aerosols, and water vapor, Lindzen is certainly right about that. Skepticism is essential to science.

Skepticism is essential to science -- but poison to a political cause. And thus Lindzen is despised by the Left and the politicized "scientists" of the United Apocalyptic Church of Global Warming Somethinging.

Meanwhile, also thanks to @rdbrewer4 in the sidebar, Everything Old Is New Again.

The polar vortex is a permanent polar cyclone of low-pressure cold air. When it moves south from the North Pole (or, I guess, north from the South Pole), it plunges habitable areas into miserable cold.

And it's always been doing that, obviously. Every winter that I can remember featured cold air blowing down from the Pole.

Time magazine now claims that the shifting of the polar vortex is due to Global Warming.

But in 1974, Time made an equally dire claim: that the shifting of the polar vortex was due to, yes, Global Cooling.

Some scientists are disputing this lunacy -- see, for example, Princeton Physicist Dr. Will Harper notes that polar vortices have been around "forever" and have nothing at all to do with carbon dioxide. They're caused by simple fluid dynamics -- the earth's rotation, the fact that the polar latitudes get almost no sunlight.

If I understand this right, the polar vortex forms a mostly-permanent front, the cold air abutting on the warmer air of the temperate zone. Any front is "unstable" in the sense that it's going to move, as warm air pushes into the cold area, and cold air into the warm area.

What does this have to do with carbon dioxide?

And, by the way, a polar vortex Saved America.

Like any fluid system at “high Reynolds number,” the jet stream is highly unstable, and from time to time it develops meanders to low latitudes, like the one we have had the past few days. About this time of year in 1777, just before the Battle of Princeton, there was a similar sequence. On January 2, Cornwallis’s men marched south from New York City through cold rain and muddy roads to try to trap George Washington and his little Continental Army in Trenton . On the night of January 2-3, a polar vortex swept across New Jersey, with snow and a very hard freeze. Aided by the extremely cold weather, Washington was able to evacuate his troops and artillery over newly frozen roads and to avoid Cornwallis’s encirclement. Reaching Princeton on the viciously cold morning of January 3, Washington won another battle against the British and escaped to winter quarters in Morristown. Thank you polar vortex!

And thank you, Global Somethinging.

Podcast: The Weekly Standard has a podcast in which Michael Graham talks with Ethan Epstain about his article.


digg this
posted by Ace at 02:34 PM

| Access Comments




Recent Comments
Andrew Branca: "Q: What happens if my flight is diverted to a host ..."

8x56 Mannlicher-Schonauer: " the COAT (Cartridge Of All-Time), the .41 Ma ..."

Weasel: " Weasel - Thanks, again! Posted by: stonecutter ..."

rhomboid: ""The greatest shooting range fun and mirth-making ..."

Rick9911: "Flying with firearms in checked luggage is surpris ..."

stonecutter: "Weasel - Thanks, again! ..."

rhomboid: "And a last-minute add, once again I found the M1 t ..."

Weasel: "Posted by: rhomboid at August 18, 2019 09:53 PM (Q ..."

Emmie: "[i]do not shoot something you would not eat. Post ..."

Weasel: "Thank you as well, Weasel! 98% of what I know ..."

Weasel: " As always, thanks to Weasel for the thread and to ..."

rhomboid: "Haven't read the comments [yet].First, gracias Wea ..."

Recent Entries
Search


Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64