Professor Richard Lindzen’s Congressional Testimony

Dr. Richard Lindzen gives testimony before the House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment on November 17th, 2010

The House Testimony on global warming yesterday had a number of excellent presentations, and you can watch the entire video here.

I’ve have professor Richard Lindzen’s presentation saved here in PDF form, and some key excerpts below. Part of his presentation looks like WUWT Sea Ice news. It is well worth the read.

Excerpts:

The evidence is that the increase in CO2 will lead to very little warming, and that the connection of this minimal warming (or even significant warming) to the purported catastrophes is also minimal. The arguments on which the catastrophic claims are made are extremely weak –and commonly acknowledged as such.

Given that this has become a quasi-religious issue, it is hard to tell. However, my personal hope is that we will return to normative science, and try to understand how the climate actually behaves. Our present approach of dealing with climate as completely specified by a single number, globally averaged surface temperature anomaly, that is forced by another single number, atmospheric CO2levels, for example, clearly limits real understanding; so does the replacement of theory by model simulation. In point of fact, there has been progress along these lines and none of it demonstrates a prominent role for CO2. It has been possible to account for the cycle of ice ages simply with orbital variations (as was thought to be the case before global warming mania); tests of sensitivity independent of the assumption that warming is due to CO2(a circular assumption) show sensitivities lower than models show; the resolution of the early faint sun paradox which could not be resolved by greenhouse gases, is readily resolved by clouds acting as negative feedbacks.

We see that all the models are characterized by positive feedback factors (associated with amplifying the effect of changes in CO2), while the satellite data implies that the feedback should be negative. Similar results are being obtained by Roy Spencer.
This is not simply a technical matter. Without positive feedbacks, doubling CO2only produces 1C warming. Only with positive feedbacks from water vapor and clouds does one get the large warmings that are associated with alarm. What the satellite data seems to show is that these positive feedbacks are model artifacts.
This becomes clearer when we relate feedbacks to climate sensitivity (ie the warming associated with a doubling of CO2).

Discussion of other progress in science can also be discussed if there is any interest. Our recent work on the early faint sun may prove particularly important. 2.5 billion years ago, when the sun was 20% less bright (compared to the 2% change in the radiative budget associated with doubling CO2), evidence suggests that the oceans were unfrozen and the temperature was not very different from today’s. No greenhouse gas solution has worked, but a negative cloud feedback does.

You now have some idea of why I think that there won’t be much warming due to CO2, and without significant global warming, it is impossible to tie catastrophes to such warming. Even with significant warming it would have been extremely difficult to make this connection.

Perhaps we should stop accepting the term, ‘skeptic.’ Skepticism implies doubts about a plausible proposition. Current global warming alarm hardly represents a plausible proposition. Twenty years of repetition and escalation of claims does not make it more plausible. Quite the contrary, the failure to improve the case over 20 years makes the case even less plausible as does the evidence from climategate and other instances of overt cheating.

In the meantime, while I avoid making forecasts for tenths of a degree change in globally averaged temperature anomaly, I am quite willing to state that unprecedented climate catastrophes are not on the horizon though in several thousand years we may return to an ice age.

===============================================

Entire presentation is available here: Lindzen_Testimony_11-17-2010 (PDF 1.4 MB)

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92 thoughts on “Professor Richard Lindzen’s Congressional Testimony

  1. “Our recent work on the early faint sun may prove particularly important. 2.5 billion years ago, when the sun was 20% less bright (compared to the 2% change in the radiative budget associated with doubling CO2), evidence suggests that the oceans were unfrozen and the temperature was not very different from today’s. No greenhouse gas solution has worked, but a negative cloud feedback does.”

    As I said elswhere:

    Despite a substantial increase in the power of the sun over billions of years the
    temperature of the Earth has remained remarkably stable. My proposition is that
    the reason for that is the existence of water in liquid form in the oceans combined
    with a relatively stable total atmospheric density. If the power input from the sun
    changes then the effect is simply to speed up or slow down the hydrological cycle.
    An appropriate analogy is a pan of boiling water. However much the power input
    increases the boiling point remains at 100C. The speed of boiling however does
    change in response to the level of power input. The boiling point only changes if
    the density of the air above and thus the pressure on the water surface changes. In
    the case of the Earth’s atmosphere a change in solar input is met with a change in
    evaporation rates and thus the speed of the whole hydrological cycle keeping the
    overall temperature stable despite a change in solar power input.

    from here:

    http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=5497

  2. Very well said, but will any descision maker, or anyone from the MSM report it!!!
    Owen

  3. Very well said, but will any descision maker listen, or anyone from the MSM report it!!!
    Owen

  4. Sounds a very sensible and level headed approach, so he will probably get called all sorts of names and threatened in many ways.
    Particularly liked this statement,
    Perhaps we should stop accepting the term, ‘skeptic.’ Skepticism implies doubts about a plausible proposition. Current global warming alarm hardly represents a plausible proposition. Twenty years of repetition and escalation of claims does not make it more plausible. Quite the contrary, the failure to improve the case over 20 years makes the case even less plausible as does the evidence from climategate and other instances of overt cheating.
    Especially the last bit.
    James

  5. And Susan Hockfield (MIT President) is on record for crying climate catastrophe wolf – along with her friend Jeffrey Immelt at GE.

    Both no doubt stand to gain enormously from research funding and green energy related subsidies.

    MIT was honored by a US Presidential visit in October 2009 – no doubt they got some thanks for their good work promoting the CAGW cause.

    So transparently corrupt and so utterly disgusting.

  6. Lindzen speaks the truth. The deniers IMO are the warmists who must deny a compelling list of contrary observations in order to have faith in the “model” predictions.

  7. I thought Professor Lindzen’s summary of the issues at dispute was excellent, but he missed some points he could have made in responses. For instance much was made of the fact that there are currently about twice as many record highs as record lows. While attempts are made to adjust global average temperature anomaly for the urban heat island effect, these records are not so adjusted and might well be significantly explained by the UHI. Another point I wish Lindzen had made in response to the positive feedback from water vapor, was that the increases in precipitation are a negative feedback that is under represented in the models by a factor of two or three (per Wentz) and of course the increases in water vapor probably also impact cloud cover and type. So despite the positive feedback from water vapor, NET feedback may be negative, and Lindzen mentioned data that indicated the net feedback might be negative.

  8. “Given that this has become a quasi-religious issue, it is hard to tell. However, my personal hope is that we will return to normative science, and try to understand how the climate actually behaves.” And as a tax payer/consumer, I’m willing pay for honest research.

    “I am quite willing to state that unprecedented climate catastrophes are not on the horizon though in several thousand years we may return to an ice age.” I hope it’s that far out in human years.

  9. My favorite quote from Lindzen’s presentation-

    “Given the above, the notion that alarming warming is ‘settled science’ should be offensive to any sentient individual…”

    Definition of sentient- –adjective
    1. having the power of perception by the senses; conscious.
    2. characterized by sensation and consciousness.

    Antonyms- ignorant, unaware, unfamiliar, uninformed, unknowledgeable, unwitting, impassive, indifferent, senseless, unconscious, unmindful, unresponsive

    Used in a sentence-
    Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Alarmists (CACA’s) are not sentient individuals.

  10. An excellent post!

    What permission needs to be obtained to send a copy to the UK government, who are intent on spending £18 billion p.a. of money borrowed by UK taxpayers in order to combat non-existent AGW?

    If Prof Lindzen would do this himself it would carry much more weight.

    REPLY:
    His testimony is a matter of public record, thus public domain. Send it to anyone, anywhere. – Anthony

  11. Greed feedbacks Greed, Global warmers feedback Global warmers, Craziness feedbacks Craziness , thus nuts begin to reproduce exponentially, unless sanity stops it. Common hard working people must restore common sense and sanity, characteristics which are not usually found among not working people or, more precisely, among the sons and daughters of “Mommy and Daddy” , the so called “pseudo-intelligentsia” and politicians by inheritance.
    However, what remains unexplainable and deserves research is the most weird behavior of those who fund these craziness, people who after achieving several or hundreds of billions, obtained by them or by their parents or grandparents, try to get much more billions and trillions, though this will not give them a more happy life and turn them into immortal beings, and what is worst, it is really impossible to understand why, at a certain point in their peculiar and leisure existence,they develop the urgent need to “change the world” according to their nanny fantasies and, in order to achieve this goal, make use (thanks to their inexhaustible wallets) of known national and international institutions, NGO’s funded also by them or their employees, and pretend, in an incredible madness, to govern upon the whole world.
    This is what is behind this mind alteration and it should be stopped.

  12. Does anyone have a link to his written testimony? Or is that the pdf?

    Troels

    REPLY: Yes, that’s the PDF I supplied. – Anthony

  13. I wish to thank the House Committee on Science and Technology for the opportunity to present my views on the issue of climate change –or as it was once referred to: global warming. The written testimony is, of course, far more detailed than my oral summary will be. In the summary, I will simply try to clarify what the debate over climate change is really about. It most certainly is not about whether climate is changing: it always is. It is not about whether CO2 is increasing: it clearly is. It is not about whether the increase in CO2, by itself, will lead to some warming: it should. The debate is simply over the matter of how much warming the increase in CO2 can lead to, and the connection of such warming to the innumerable claimed catastrophes. The evidence is that the increase in CO2 will lead to very little warming, and that the connection of this minimal warming (or even significant warming) to the purported catastrophes is also minimal. The arguments on which the catastrophic claims are made are extremely weak –and commonly acknowledged as such.

    Excellent summary.

  14. As the incoming energy increases so does the energy loss. The balance is maintained.
    Historically climates have been warmer and colder and solar radiance has been fairly constant. Other cycles control climate not some trace gas.

  15. Dr. Lindzen once again properly articulates the issue. He always does such a great job. I’m not too overly optimistic about this setting, though. I seriously doubt many he was speaking to have the ability to digest and comprehend the meaning of his words, and those few that do, are more concerned about whether they look good for the cameras and getting re-elected than actually doing something positive for this nation. I wish I were wrong, but time and again we see that congress usually misses the mark. I am, however, optimistic about the overall direction of the debate. But, to get a message through to this group of people, their constituency is voice that has the best chance of getting heard.

  16. Well said Dr Lindzen.

    From this layman’s perspective, the planet Earth seems to have a dynamically stable climate despite 4 billion plus years of untold disruptions. That implies a negative feedback somewhere and the likely suspect is H2O.

  17. What’s not to love about this man.
    I consider his a true HERO of our insane, post-normal times.

    More power to your elbow Richard!

  18. Extend unto them, a reasoned and rational scientific synopsis and in so doing, drive the alarmists out the ‘temple’, Dr. Lindzen!

    Logic?…..science?…….rationale?

    They wont know what is hitting ‘em.

  19. about time I hope al gore reads this and every body that believes in global warming but i think thay will not take any notice, thay have there heads in the sand

  20. An order of magnitude better than Judith’s. Judith always starts from the premise that CO² produces significant global warming and works forward from that and while I praise her ‘adapt and enjoy’ attitude her testimony was full of socio-jargon designed to baffle the more intellectually challenged members of congress.

    Dr L is clear, concise, precise and provably correct. However, the make up of the witness list implies an attempt to bias the issue toward the alarmlists. I don’t hold out much hope of any Damascas moments among your congressmen/women.
    This is not the moment for holdings one’s breath except in a suicidal attempt.

  21. I like this statement, “In fact, the arctic is notoriously variable; similar statements are available for 1957, and the Skate surfaced at the N. Pole in 1959. So much for ‘unprecedented.”

    Do the alarmists ever respond to Lindzen?

  22. stu says:
    November 18, 2010 at 7:44 am

    “What’s not to love about this man.
    I consider his a true HERO of our insane, post-normal times.”

    Hear, Hear !!!!

  23. This guy is good. And presents a well thought out, cogent and scientifically defensible counter to the alarmists arguments. No wonder the mainstream media and the warmists dislike him.

  24. “… tests of sensitivity independent of the assumption that warming is due to CO2(a circular assumption) show sensitivities lower than models show; the resolution of the early faint sun paradox which could not be resolved by greenhouse gases, is readily resolved by clouds acting as negative feedbacks….”

    “Note that much of the ‘error’ in the regressions arises because radiatively important factors like clouds and aerosols vary due to many factors apart from SST. For observations there is also instrumental error, though relative errors over short time scales are likely to small.”

    I’m not certain that the polysyllabic phraseology and scientific jargon will penetrate Congressional crania. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know…Pelosis.

  25. His point in earlier presentations is that it’s all about phase space. If the feedbacks are positive we have an unstable system, with the attending catastrophes and tipping points for any proposed warming from CO2 doubling. With positive feedback — we are *already* diverging. In short, it’s already too late, we’re up a creek — period.

    If, however, you have *negative* feedbacks — the impact of CO2 doubling in minimized and mitigated.

    So let’s “play scientist” eh? What does the paleo record show? Does the the Earth system show strong run-away warming events? Is there evidences of accelerated warming in the presence increasing CO2 levels? Have we in fact diverged and become either Venus or Mars at any time in our history?

    Bonus points if you know what side of phase space we’re in. Thank you Mr. LaPlace.

  26. John Marshall says:
    November 18, 2010 at 7:15 am
    As the incoming energy increases so does the energy loss. The balance is maintained.


    Yes, but the equilibrium shifts. The temperature (at sea level atmospheric pressure) will rise if the CO2 has any net effect. How much is the question, and what effect would that have on all terran life forms SHOULD be the question.

  27. Steven Mosher says:
    November 18, 2010 at 9:07 am

    How many here will sign up to Lindzen’s summary?

    that’s a good poll question.
    ========================================================

    As in being in general agreement?

  28. Well…I sent Richard Lindzen’s testimony to the UK Conservative Party Chairman’s office – this was the reply (in quick time, I have to say):

    “Dear Mr. Taylor,

    I am writing on behalf of Baroness Warsi to thank you for your recent email.

    The new administration will be united behind three key principles: freedom, fairness and responsibility; and united behind one key purpose – to give our country the strong, stable and determined leadership that we need for the long term.

    We have now published a document setting out the coalition’s programme for government. It explains the approach we will take in a series of important areas. You can read about our plans in more detail from the following link:

    http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/media/409088/pfg_coalition.pdf

    I would also like to highlight the latest news and announcements from the Department for Energy and Climate Change too. These details are on their website:

    http://www.decc.gov.uk/

    Thank you, once again, for taking the time to write.

    Yours sincerely,

    David Beal

    Correspondence Unit

    Conservative Campaign Headquarters ”

    Section 10 in the first link is just laughable, isn’t it? They just don’t get it.

    Thanks for all of the good stuff that I read here – I used to say that, in my sixties, I would be happy to learn at least two new things every day – I’m easily topping that on WUWT.

    Michael

  29. James Sexton says:
    November 18, 2010 at 8:36 am

    Do the alarmists ever respond to Lindzen? “”

    That is a leading question if ever I heard one.

    “He is in the thrall of oil companies, out of his depth, out of his field, out of his mind, out of order, out of touch and an out and out cad and bounder”

    The fact that he is right is not sufficient for any other responses – viz the swift answer to Michael T from HM gov above.

  30. Stephen Wilde says:
    November 18, 2010 at 6:24 am

    Very interesting. Water evaporation is endothermic. The faster you evaporate water the faster and lower the temperature drops. So an increase in solar energy will make the oceans evaporate faster but at the same time it will cool them down faster and to lower temperatures.

  31. Perhaps we should stop accepting the term, ‘skeptic.’ Skepticism implies doubts about a plausible proposition.

    I respectfully disagree. Skepticism is the honorable scientific position. Its opposite is gullibility, naivete, or unwariness. A readiness to believe the sky is falling even when it’s not.

  32. Try this for the slide presentation:

    Lindzen, Ph.D., Richard S. “Testimony Of Richard Lindzen To The Subcommittee On Energy And Environment, Committee On Science And Technology, U.S House Of Representatives, November 17, 2010.” Text. Committee on Science and Technology, U.S. House of Representatives, November 17, 2010. http://democrats.science.house.gov/Media/file/Commdocs/hearings/2010/Energy/17nov/Lindzen_Testimony.pdf

    REPLY: which is the same one I have linked in the story. – Anthony

  33. Lindzen was exceptional because not only does he understand the true science, but he can also discern the true issues. No other panel participant was his peer in that aspect. GK

  34. Lindzen is one heck of a cool chap – and deserves an awful lot of respect and credit for the way he conducts himself AND his presentations of the science

  35. “It has been possible to account for the cycle of ice ages simply with orbital variations”

    If “simply” is taken to imply without feedbacks then I would be delighted to read a reference supporting this.

  36. If the models were truly physical there is no need to assume a positive or negative feed back. The true feedback sign should be an output of the model ,not an input.

  37. Henry Galt says:
    November 18, 2010 at 10:08 am

    James Sexton says:
    November 18, 2010 at 8:36 am

    Do the alarmists ever respond to Lindzen? “”

    That is a leading question if ever I heard one.
    ======================================================

    Heh, guilty. But also, an observation. I recall many rigorous detailed attacks on several skeptics. But I don’t recall any substantive attacks on Dr. Lindzen’s assertions. And here, in congressional testimony, he’s mocking the alarmists! Daring just one to directly challenge him. And then Heidi Cullen testifies……… Man, that is just beautiful!

  38. A great response from a great man. One day they will toss out that old statue of Lincoln and replace it with a statue of Lindzen.

  39. owen from cornwall ontario says:
    November 18, 2010 at 6:31 am

    Very well said, but will any descision maker, or anyone from the MSM report it!!!
    Owen

    ————-

    owen from cornwall ontario,

    I understand where you are coming from.

    HOWEVER, please consider that Anthony IS the new MSM. Does anyone doubt all the key players in the future of climate science monitor this place on a regular basis?

    Congratulations Anthony and team.

    John

  40. Brilliant testimony which will surely sway any “sentient” individual in Congress and the White House. Too bad they’re still in the minority.

  41. Steven Mosher says:
    November 18, 2010 at 9:07 am

    How many here will sign up to Lindzen’s summary?

    that’s a good poll question.

    —————

    Steven Mosher,

    As a ~5 min verbal testimony summary, Dr Lindzen’s is the best i’ve seen. But, he couldn’t do the subject even close to adequate justice within that timeframe. And also consider his audience for his verbal testimony. He scaled it to his audience, which means it couldn’t be as detailed as with a more scientific focused group. His written testimony was somewhat more detailed, but even so it did not appear to me to be a full exposition of Lindzen.

    That said . . . . . I will sign up to the idea of him giving the best climate science summary (of a 5 min nature) that I have ever seen. : )

    John

  42. Michael T says:

    Michael, you beat me to it! I have been writing to HMG for years – well before climategate – trying to draw attention to the madness of CAGW.

    How can we organise a movement, here in the UK, to unseat the lunatics who have taken over the asylum? If people really knew what taxes were being raised, and wasted in the name of AGW, we could put a final nail in the coffin – if another feezing winter does not do this for us!

  43. EthicallyCivil says:
    November 18, 2010 at 9:10 am
    >>His point in earlier presentations is that it’s all about phase space. If the feedbacks are positive we have an unstable system, with the attending catastrophes and tipping points for any proposed warming from CO2 doubling. With positive feedback — we are *already* diverging. In short, it’s already too late, we’re up a creek — period.

    If, however, you have *negative* feedbacks — the impact of CO2 doubling in minimized and mitigated.

    So let’s “play scientist” eh? What does the paleo record show? Does the the Earth system show strong run-away warming events? Is there evidences of accelerated warming in the presence increasing CO2 levels? Have we in fact diverged and become either Venus or Mars at any time in our history?<<

    Exactly right. I learned about positive and negative feedback systems in first year engineering. Since CO2 levels have been much higher in the past and yet our climate has been relatively stable the positive feedbacks required by the IPCC models are obviously wrong. How can this be so hard to comprehend? Any engineer that believes in catastrophic global warming due to CO2 increases should have his/her designation revoked.

  44. I have transcribed, so far, the very first part of Dr. Lindzen’s Nov 17 2010 US committee verbal testimony as follows:

    Lindzen said:

    “Thank you Mr. Baird. Thank you committee for the opportunity to speak here.

    As a student, ah, I was told something that was rather important that the primary thing is solving a problem is to have the right question. And here I am a little bit concerned about the guidelines for this meeting. I think if we are to properly consider our concern over greenhouse gases, we must separate the basic science, upon which there is great agreement, from the specific bases for our concern.

    For instance, there is a general agreement that climate is always changing.

    Ah, there is agreement that over the last two centuries there has been on the order of ¾ degree C increase in something called globally averaged temperature anomaly. There is no such thing as average temperature for the earth.

    There is a greenhouse effect. Nobody is arguing that.

    That CO2 is a greenhouse gas is not argued by anyone I know.

    And that CO2 is increasing due to man’s activities is also widely accepted.

    To be sure, general agreement hardly guarantees truth but I am not questioning it at this stage. But what is commonly forgotten, and this is crucial to this hearing, is that these facts do not lead to a major climate concern per se. . . . [edit] . . . “

    Enjoy. I will try to transcribe more as I can.

    John

  45. The response was clearly too technical. The congressional makeup does not preclude itself to deep thought, specifically concerning mathematical or chemical equations. They are overwhelmingly lawyers. We just aren’t getting the message across. Sound familiar.

  46. “Perhaps we should stop accepting the term, ‘skeptic.’ Skepticism implies doubts about a plausible proposition.”

    Hu McCulloch says: November 18, 2010 at 10:31 am
    I respectfully disagree. Skepticism is the honorable scientific position. Its opposite is gullibility, naivete, or unwariness. A readiness to believe the sky is falling even when it’s not.

    Read it in context. His point was the hypothesis was not plausible enough to be considered. It should be discarded, not treated with skecticism.

    Steven Mosher says:November 18, 2010 at 9:07 am
    How many here will sign up to Lindzen’s summary?
    that’s a good poll question.

    And like most poll questions, poorly worded.
    I consider the points he made regarding the science issues he discussed to be scientifically valid.

  47. At the end of the day, who knows whether or not there’s anything in CAGW. However, I do know an honest man when I see one, and Lindzen is beyond reproach. He’s quite the most impressive of all the climate scientists.

    I don’t believe even the most bigoted person can fail to be impressed by him. Precise, measured, totally unflappable, resistent to any kind of intimidation. I think this will have impinged on the awareness of even the most cloth-eared and blinkered at the hearings. Hopefully he will get more of a say in the future and at some stage get through to the general public.

  48. Michael Larkin says:
    November 18, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    At the end of the day, who knows whether or not there’s anything in CAGW. However, I do know an honest man when I see one, and Lindzen is beyond reproach. He’s quite the most impressive of all the climate scientists.

    I don’t believe even the most bigoted person can fail to be impressed by him. Precise, measured, totally unflappable, resistent to any kind of intimidation. I think this will have impinged on the awareness of even the most cloth-eared and blinkered at the hearings. Hopefully he will get more of a say in the future and at some stage get through to the general public.

    —————-

    Michael Larkin,

    Well said . . . well said indeed.

    John

  49. Richard Telford

    I think Lindzen is saying glacial cycles can be explained without recourse to CO2 as a greenhouse gas. There are other quite acceptable feedbacks including but not limited to icesheet albedo, changes in land and ocean area, changes in vegetative cover, atmospheric dust, and atmospheric humidity and changes in oceanic circulation. These are sufficient to do the job.

  50. Here is the deal.

    if more people would take lindzen’s position ( C02 warms, we just dont know how much)
    instead of Rorbachers retarded “co2 is a only trace gas” position, if people did that, if that was the unifying position of opposition, then maybe Lindzen could get people to do the experiments he wants to see with GCMs. But that’s not the case. The case is that Lindzen gets lumped in with utter nutjobs and the strongest form of skepticism is sidelined.

  51. Steven Mosher says:
    November 18, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    I’m willing to bet Lindzen doesn’t see models as ‘experiments’. I don’t think he’s a Playstation sort of scientist.

  52. Because of the terminology (negative feedback, radiation measured by satellite above the eaths atmosphere, surface radiation, etc.) I think his explanation about negative feedback went right over their heads.

    If he had spoke as too a 5th grade level I am pretty certain he would have gotten more attention.

    For example: if he had said, “According to global warming theory there should be less heat leaving the earth because it is being block by the layer of manmade co2. But, instead, satellite measurements are showing us there is more heat leaving the earth. Heat is not being trapped, as we have been told it is….. Clouds have a cooling effect. When heat is sent back to the earth because of the greenhouse effect it makes more water evaporate. That evaporation makes more clouds. And since clouds have a cooling effect the earth ends up being cooled. It’s a natural mechanism. So there is nothing to worry about.”

    Instead of saying ‘radiation’ it is easier for people to understand the word ‘heat’. Instead of ‘negative feedback’ it’s easier for people to understand ‘a cooling effect’. These may technically be the wrong words. But in effect that is what is meant. When talking to a general audience things must be kept to a 5th grade (or lower) level.

  53. The thing I came away from when seeing how Richard Lindzen was treated was they really don’t want to know the science. The want scientists around them who will say what they want to hear.

  54. One of the politicians said, in so many words, we’re using more fossil fuels than anyone else in the world and for that reason we have to cut back . So that means we will use something else. But he fails to understand that we will then start using that alternative more than anyone else in the world. Would he then say we are using more of that alternative than anyone else in the world and we have to cut back on it and use yet another alternative?

    Maybe he will. After all, everything else in global warming makes about that much sense.

    But I suppose part of what he meant was we are importing too much. But let’s take a for instance: what if they decide we have to go solar. That will require an immense amount of solar panels. Will all those solar panels be built in America? It is highly unlikely. It is likely that a country that can build them cheaper than America can will be building most of them. And opps, back into the problem of importing too much.

    The biggest problem with the importing-too-much issue is that we have plenty of oil in Alaska and plenty of coal in the Ohio to West Virginia area. There’s no need to have an importing energy problem. That problem has been a creation of American politicians. No there is a manmade problem that truly needs to be addressed!

  55. I hope it’s not similar to Galileo preaching to the pope and cardinals, before being consigned to the dungeons. I just hope the modern cardinals, hearing this scientifically erudite speech would open their eyes and abandon their hubristic denialism of scientific climate studies.

  56. Professor Lindzen is, as many others have noted, one of the sane voices in the current hysteria.
    In particular I like his matter-of-fact acknowledgment that, because of its complexity, climate science is primitive at this stage.
    The ‘high priests’, who usually have a background in computer modeling, would have the general public believe that it is a highly developed science and that any objections to their pronouncements are “anti-science”.

  57. Steven Mosher says:
    November 18, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    Here is the deal.

    if more people would take lindzen’s position ( C02 warms, we just dont know how much)
    instead of Rorbachers retarded “co2 is a only trace gas” position, if people did that, if that was the unifying position of opposition, then maybe Lindzen could get people to do the experiments he wants to see with GCMs. But that’s not the case. The case is that Lindzen gets lumped in with utter nutjobs and the strongest form of skepticism is sidelined.

    “”

    If I was in his position I would feel forced to take the anti-“utter nutjobs” position because of all the “clever” people who have fallen for… well, anything other than the “trace gas” position and I would not want to appear to be, or be lumped in as, an “utter nutjob”.

    CO2, being currently a trace gas, will (as it currently does) have so small an effect upon the “greenhouse” that it can, and should, be utterly ignored and disregarded – at the very least until it becomes other than a trace – about .1% would do it for me. I would expect to see a measurable effect around about then. A very, very, very small, yet measurable, effect.

    Measurable mostly as a result of 22nd Century technological breakthroughs.
    Possibly made by “utter nutjobs”.

  58. As to how the real nutjobs treat one of the world’s most accomplished atmospheric physicists:

    http://dieoff.org/page82.htm

    “…Lindzen, for his part, charges oil and coal interests $2,500 a day for his consulting services”.

    Has been quoted ad nauseam.

    I have read a few more. Smears. Anything rather than refutation or debate.

  59. Complex lifeforms have existed on earth for at least the last 600million years. There was an extinction about 250million years that was probably caused by volcanic activity in turn causing climate change, and another one 80million years ago probably caused by climate change relating to an asteroid impact. In both cases the climate never changed sufficiently to wipe out all life, and recovered to its equilibrium reasonably quickly. From this we can conclude:-

    1] The climate is remarkably resilient to dramatic external changes

    2] The climate has strong negative feedbacks that rapidly force it back to its current equilibrium

    It is clear that nothing humanity has done is anything like on the scale of these past events and the clikate can readily cope with the changes being introduced.

  60. Here is the deal.

    if more people would take lindzen’s position ( C02 warms, we just dont know how much)
    instead of Rorbachers retarded “co2 is a only trace gas” position, if people did that, if that was the unifying position of opposition, then maybe Lindzen could get people to do the experiments he wants to see with GCMs. But that’s not the case. The case is that Lindzen gets lumped in with utter nutjobs and the strongest form of skepticism is sidelined.

    By Steven Mosher on November 18, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    ——

    Steven Mosher,

    Interpolation between the lines of Lindzen’s recent testimony should perhaps be done with due respect to a wider background that includes him and his wider body of work.

    Regarding agreement: I think agreement between people is at best of secondary importance. It is of primary importance to protect peoples rights to disagree in any argument; that is fundamentally what I learned from the problematic ‘consensus/ accepted’ climate science spectacle that has played out in the past several years. The argumentative process must run its full cycle(s) to establish a minimum threshold level of fairness/balance in any conclusions.

    Argue on!

    John

  61. “Perhaps we should stop accepting the term, ‘skeptic’. Skepticism implies doubts about a plausible proposition. Current global warming alarm hardly represents a plausible proposition. Twenty years of repetition and escalation of claims does not make it more plausible. Quite the contrary, the failure to improve the case over 20 years makes the case even less plausible as does the evidence from climategate and other instances of overt cheating.” – Dr. Richard Lindzen from testimony before the House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment on November 17th, 2010.

    Instant Classic. Concise and crystal clear. So simple, even a caveman (or politician) can understand it.

    I hope to see this paragraph quoted over and over again in every forum and blog. How amazing this is! Considering where we were exactly one year ago, when such heresy on Capitol Hill could never be imagined. Thank you to Professor Lindzen, and a real big THANK YOU to the Climategate whistleblower!

  62. It is a shame that a top scientist like Prof Lindzen should find it necessary to tell Rep Bartlett about being “Profoundly dishonest”. Still, he did it well, as usual. (About 1 hr 04).

    Not long before, Rep Roscoe had said “We don’t now agree on facts”. So much for settled science.

    Oh dear, this whole episode again exposed the weakness of climate science, as a budding science. The frequet use of “may” (when”might” is correct English), the caveats, the weasel words – there are simply too many. These people have long interludes in which they do not speak or think like scientists. I guess it’s too late for reform School.

  63. Slide on page 19 is excellent!
    It shows how stupid Hanssen is.
    His “homogenized” surface data even contradict the moist adiabate!

  64. POST POST-NORMAL SCIENCE?
    a.n.ditchfield
    ______________________________________________________________________________
    Post-normal Science is claimed to be the key to understanding complexity in nature and is invoked to promote a new world order with sustainable progress on a limited planet.
    What is progress? To many it is some-thing that comes from increasingly efficient use of energy and materials, capital and labour, that translates into lower costs, better income for all, freedom from want and ultimately to more means to care for the environment.
    Not all agree. The bitterness of Green extremists that swept with gale strength at the Copenhagen 2009 conference on climate pointed to the opposite direction: to limiting world economic activity and even casting away the fruits of two centuries of the Industrial Revolution that they blame for a global warm-ing bound to render the planet uninhabitable. This is a controversial meaning of progress.
    Green scare mongering is too puny to be compared to the 20th century ideologies of Fascism and Communism. Although Green activists are prone to alarmism, the harm they cause is still small when compared to the havoc brought about by two world wars and the waste of a long cold war.
    Totalitarians had weapons for their mischief whereas Green extremists can only brandish words that suggest they would have already capsized the planet, were it not for the ballast of common sense possessed by ordi-nary folk. They promote public policies too reactionary to be tolerated if implemented. The political reality is that the West resists being rolled back to an idealised Green rural past. Forget China and India.
    Again, the world is divided into two camps. One side of the climate issue is epito-mised by MIT climate scientist Richard Lindzen, who sees global warming as a politi-cal and journalistic phenomenon, not a physi-cal one. He expects future generations to look back in wonder at the turn of the century hys-teria about climate. On the other side stands Jerome Ravetz, theorist of a fashionable Post-normal Science, who contributed to the uncriti-cal acceptance of anthropogenic global warm-ing as settled science. It is not.
    Ravetz is no common-or-garden Leftist; he holds a Cambridge PhD degree in mathe-matics. Steeped in Marxism at the Philadelphia home of his Russian/Jewish parents, his US passport was withdrawn during the McCarthy era, although later restored. He then adopted UK citizenship. A disgruntled Ravetz is the kind of articulate intellectual that Oxford likes to keep for a while to enliven debate, and cer-tainly fits the role with his Post-normal Sci-ence. He admits that the scientific method cannot be surpassed in its realm of simple phenomena; he argues that there is another realm, of complex matters such as climate, in which the stakes are high and scientific cer-tainties low, requiring a new approach. Enter the Precautionary Principle: if the cause is just and the science unsettled, uncertainties should not stand in the way of acts of government promoted by official propaganda. Enter the Ministry of Truth…
    The truth is that we don’t know – and may never know – how much of global climate change comes by hand of man or by hand of nature, to what degree and when. We do know that hiding uncertainties essential to risk as-sessment is fraud. It is the sin of omission of UN IPPC Summaries for Policy Makers.
    The uncertainties of complexity are not new; they been around since the time of the philosophers of Ancient Greece. After them, Hegel and Marx believed they had the instru-ments to navigate on uncharted and turbulent waters of history, politics and economics. Oth-ers argue that questions concerning human nature will always remain in the domain of the intuition of statesmen, of the religious, of the mystics, poets and artists who have the feel, not the thought, to discern in matters beyond the reach of reason – and therefore of science. Their intuition cannot be generalised into a soulless ideological system.
    With Post-normal Science, Marxists try to bring back, as serious, their Alice in Wonderland thought. Their tactics have changed. They now follow the book of Antonio Gramsci, founder of the Italian Communist Party in the 1920s. As an exile in Moscow, Gramsci saw the brutal realities of Stalin’s regime and realised the futility of seizing power with revolution and holding onto power with armed force. It led to oppression, not liberty. Christianity is the strongest foe of Marxism; a revolutionary assault on Christian societies entrenched behind a rampart of values held for two thousand years is doomed to failure. Gramsci proposed an alternative approach: evolution, not revolution, is the way to the ideal classless society, in a long but sure process. Marxism should spread in concentric circles until it grows into a consensus. First win over the opinion formers; then the university profes-sors, the intellectuals they educate, the jour-nalists, teachers, leaders of civic and religious organisations, political parties. Finally, with the leadership in the fold, the masses would fol-low. Marxism would rule with no compulsion, in place of societies based on religious values.
    After Communist regimes collapsed into universal discredit Gramsci’s suave ap-proach gained favour, and in now under way. This was perceived by Alan Sokal, a professor of physics at New York University, who col-lected clippings of amusing things written by post-modernists (mainly Marxists) about hard science, especially those who use abstruse mathematical terms to make their text incom-prehensible, so as to pass as profound. He grew weary of nonsense written about physics, held by social “scientists” to be white, male and euro-centric. He came to the conclusion that there is no such thing called a social sci-ence, because anything goes. He submitted his opinion to experimental proof.
    PROPOSITION
    That a prestigious sociology journal would publish an essay full of absurd state-ments, provided it was:
    · Well written, of scholarly appearance;
    · Cloaked as incomprehensible physics;
    · Attuned with prejudices of the editor.
    Sokal’s essay announced his discovery of Quantum Gravity, the synthesis of relativity theory and quantum mechanics, on a superior plane that supersedes both. He suggests he had done it with the methods of social sci-ences, in a feat that did away with the outworn formal logic and systematic experiment, still in use and unduly so. The implications were so revolutionary that the essay had been rejected for publication in peer-reviewed journals of physics, and this was the reason to seek its publication in Social Text, known for a mind open to innovation.
    The essay contains nonsense galore immediately perceptible as a hoax by an engi-neering student. The essay favoured mathematics freed from the shackles of the rules of arithmetic and stood against the teaching of the outworn geometry of Euclid, a tool for oppression of the working class. There was anti-feminist prejudice in fluid mechanics. Truth is relative. Constants such as the speed of light, (299 792 km/s), universal gravitational constant G (6.67438×10-11N(m/kg)2), and the number pi (3.1416) have values set by the cur-rent social context but such values may change in a different future social context.
    No absurdity was contrived by Sokal; all were extracted from what was stated by post-modern thinkers about hard science and he supports it with more than one hundred references to published articles.
    PROOF
    Sokal’s essay, Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Her-meneutics of Quantum Gravity was indeed published as submitted, with no comment, al-though Sokal repeatedly asked whether there were any questions to be clarified.
    “Social Text” #46/47, pp. 217-252 (1996).
    QUOD ERAT DEMONSTRANDUM
    In another journal, at the time of publi-cation, Sokal explained what he had done at Social Text and regretted that a silent tide of irrationality threatened institutions of higher learning to dictate, from a blind and intolerant pulpit, what is right to do, say and think.
    An inquiring mind shuns Gospel according to St. Marx. Reviewers at Social Text could have asked: if a future society de-crees that pi = 4 will circles be squares and heavenly bodies cubes? None asked.
    With its pretence of a short cut to deal with complexity, Post-normal Science amounts to sophistry of the kind ridiculed by Sokal. Its previous failure was in economics and the new one in climate. It is a grab for power to ration use of energy worldwide and thus control the lives of every human being. Its followers are not above deceit to exploit emotions of a guilt-ridden West.
    A confident West had worked wonders. French contributions to mathematics are found in the work of Descartes, Pascal, Fermat, D’Alembert, Delambre, Fourier, Lagrange, Monge, Poisson, Laplace, Cauchy, Galois, Poincaré, Benoit Mandelbrot. Then came Post-normal Science with Humpty Dumpty scruple: “When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less”. It is Mock Science with Mock Turtle arithmetic of: Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, Derision.
    No Post Post-normal Science is needed to dialectically supplant Post-normal Science; a return to Science would do.
    Sokal’s essay is available on Internet at: http://www.sablesys.com/sokal.html. See:

    http://buythetruth.wordpress.com/2009/10/31/climate-change-and-the-death-of-science/

  65. Steven Mosher-“if more people would take lindzen’s position ( C02 warms, we just dont know how much)”

    I don’t think Lindzen could be construed as saying “we don’t know how much”-as in, no idea whatsoever-when he calculates highly constrained figures for what he thinks are realistic estimates.

    “instead of Rorbachers retarded “co2 is a only trace gas” position”

    I don’t think the “tracers” are correct either, but abusive, and downright offensive language will never win such folks over. Indeed, your attacking them so harshly must only further convince them that you are wrong and they are right-after all, your a “big meany” ;) Try using less abusive language, maybe?

    “The case is that Lindzen gets lumped in with utter nutjobs and the strongest form of skepticism is sidelined.” Again, abusive language only further emboldens the forces of well meaning incorrectness.

    Regarding Lindzen’s presentation, I thought the weakest part was claiming that the surface data are wrong because the temperature changes in the tropical atmosphere don’t follow the moist adiabat predicted for the surface change. Well, two problems with this: One might just as easily say that the atmospheric data are incorrect (although I don’t think so) in this respect, for one, and the second problem is that no one has, to my knowledge, demonstrated that temperature changes in the tropics always have to follow the moist adiabat. Sure, this happens in models, but this doesn’t mean that it must happen in the real world! Hasn’t Lindzen himself criticized this reasoning, that a property shared by models must be “robust” and therefore also present in the real world?

  66. Andrew says:
    November 19, 2010 at 6:49 am

    I don’t think Lindzen could be construed as saying “we don’t know how much”-as in, no idea whatsoever-when he calculates highly constrained figures for what he thinks are realistic estimates.

    He said the current figures are not with enough negative feedback from clouds figured in.

    He also said there is more radiation leaving the earth than was hypothesized by the computer models. In other words, the hypothesis is proven wrong by the data.

    He does not agree that co2 will cause warming. He is speaking in terms of what the computer models show when he talks about the doubling of co2, not what the real world is showing.

    The man sitting to his left that said data is confirming computer models was wrong. Data is only showing computer models are wrong. I can supply links, after work tonight, to 3 works that shows they are wrong if you’d like.

  67. @ Richard Telford

    Also have a look at: Roe, G. (2006), In defense of Milankovitch,
    Geophys. Res. Lett., 33, L24703, doi:10.1029/2006GL027817

    @ Steven Mosher

    STRONGLY agree

  68. Amino Acids in Meteorites-“He said the current figures are not with enough negative feedback from clouds figured in.”

    How is this a contradiction with my statement that he is not saying “we don’t know”? He is saying he pretty much knowns the models are vastly wrong. And for the reason you just stated.

    “He does not agree that co2 will cause warming.”

    Um: “is. It is not about whether the increase in CO2, by itself, will lead to some warming: it should.” From the PDF of his testimony…

    The question is indeed, as Lindzen tried to communicate, how much. It will be some amount. Lindzen actually tries the calculate the real world amount, and doesn’t say “we don’t know”-he says, we can get a pretty good idea of the amount-which is more like “we do know” than “we don’t”

    “He also said there is more radiation leaving the earth than was hypothesized by the computer models. In other words, the hypothesis is proven wrong by the data.”

    This statement is a vast oversimplification of the statements he made which does really relate to what the was saying at all. It is not that the absolute amount of radiation currently being emitted is different from model predictions-that may or may not be the case, it is not really relevant to the sensitivity question. What Lindzen is actually saying is that, when the Earth’s temperature increases, the compensating loss of radiation to space is increased more than models predict. The sensitivity is DELTA FLUX per DELTA TEMP not just the flux by itself…But yes the models are contradicted by the data, in Lindzen’s analysis.

    “The man sitting to his left that said data is confirming computer models was wrong. Data is only showing computer models are wrong. I can supply links, after work tonight, to 3 works that shows they are wrong if you’d like.”

    I am not needing to be told that the models are wrong, I’ve probably already read the works in question. I happen to agree that the models are wrong. A little respect and credit to me, please, not constantly assuming what my opinion is on the basis of…wait, what the heck made you think I was saying that the models aren’t wrong anyway??

  69. Is the ratio of record highs to record lows stistically the same in urban and rural areas? If not then Dr Meehl must have explaining to do.

  70. Well I’m glad I read this here, because it wasn’t reported at all in the UK media.

    Can you get your mate Delingpole to write a blog on it for the DT??

  71. “”””” Discussion of other progress in science can also be discussed if there is any interest. Our recent work on the early faint sun may prove particularly important. 2.5 billion years ago, when the sun was 20% less bright (compared to the 2% change in the radiative budget associated with doubling CO2), evidence suggests that the oceans were unfrozen and the temperature was not very different from today’s. No greenhouse gas solution has worked, but a negative cloud feedback does. “””””

    This paragraph ought to be engraved into the surface of the desk of every member of the Congress. And maybe on the famous Oval Office desk too.

    How about that sorry first sentence:- “”””” Discussion of other progress in science can also be discussed if there is any interest. “”””” …………….. if there is any interest. !!!!

    So what the hell was the purpose of this meeting ? Clearly Professor Lindzen realized; that this committee had no interest whatsoever in learning anything about the real science behind climate. Good show Dr Lindzen for letting them know you were on to them. Remember that RINO dummy who said remember that all of this will be on the record.

    Am I to understand that both Chairperson Baird, and his RINO bosom pal; were both TEA partied out into the cold; and this was simply their swan song.

    But how about this from the MIT brainiac.

    “”””” Our recent work on the early faint sun may prove particularly important. 2.5 billion years ago, when the sun was 20% less bright (compared to the 2% change in the radiative budget associated with doubling CO2), evidence suggests that the oceans were unfrozen and the temperature was not very different from today’s. No greenhouse gas solution has worked, but a negative cloud feedback does. “””””

    Now I don’t have the good Professor’s data base nor research tools (or grants) but I get the same results scratching with my stick on the beach sands; IT’S THE WATER !!

    Ages ago, Leif Svalgaard pointed out that though one could calculate a 70 millidegree C shift in equilibrium Black Body Temperature at earth’s orbit; due to the observed 0.1% cyclic peak to peak change in TSI over an eleven year sunspot cycle; observations of the global Temperature anomaly over many decades, show no evidence of any such shift.

    That’s Viking speak for; “there’s a feedback mechanism that wipes that out.”

    Then we have Frank Wentz (RSS, Santa Rosa CA.) et al “How Much more rain will Global Warming Bring ?” SCIENCE july-7 2007.

    They OBSERVED that a one deg C rise in mean global surface Temperature caused a 7% increase in Total Global evaporation; total atmospheric water content, and Total global precipitation; that’s 7% for EACH of those.
    To which I conjectured that the 7% evap increase suggested a similar 7% increase in precipitable cloud cover: (combined area, optical density, and persistence time).

    Now I don’t know about y’alls; but to me that 7% change for a one degree rise is an astronomically huge negative feedback.

    No they did NOT observe a full deg C Temp rise during their Satellite observations; those are rates of rise; somehow 1/2 deg C seems to stick in my head . Read the paper for the details.

    And remember that ANY water, either VAPOR, LIQUID, or SOLID , the latter two in the form of CLOUDS; anywhere in the atmosphere, anywhere on earth ALWAYS REDUCES the ground level sunlight; “no matter what” as Dr William Schockley would say. (If you never heard a lecture from him; or Dr Linus Pauling; then your education can hardly be considered complete.).

    Well as I contemplated the extent of the cloud feed back effect; it occurred to me; that the same feedback could wipe out entirely, large changes in the TSI, so that the earth Temperature is regulated, even in the face of changes in solar output. (EM radiation).

    If I understand the significance of what Lindzen just told these Congressional buffoons. His team now has credible scientific evidence that in fact that has happened. Now it evidently happened long before the ice ages came along.

    I don’t have any idea how ice ages happen; particularly the current period of ice ages; that come and go with interglacial warm periods; so I just stand with my hands in my pockets looking in from the outside with curiosity. Now I get the Orbital shifts bit in principle; but not quantitatively; so as I say, I’m a curious bystander looking through the knot hole in the fence.

    But I am even more convinced now in light of Lindzen’s testimony, that CO2 doesn’t stand a chance agaisnt the feedback due to water.

    Remember it is CHANGES in atmospheric water that persist for times of climate relevence; not last night’s weather, that lead to the reduction in ground level sunlight (energy input); AND a net loss of solar energy to the entire planet; and regardless of what other mechanisms are in play (sans additional energy inputs). And a net loss of energy input cannot result in a rise in Temperature; no matter how much LWIR exit may be held up by GHGs (including H2O) via the “greenhouse effect” it eventually does escape, and the planet has no alternative but to get colder.

    And as for that National Academy of Sciences Chap; I don’t care how big and fancy your computer is; or that you can use it to design nuclear bombs (so what); it’s your stupid program that is gumming up the works. Your fancy computer is delivering nonsense at unprecedented speed; but you can put lipstick on it; and it is still nonsense.

    The committee should have listened to Lindzen and tossed the rest of them out (the science panel). I didn’t listen to the rest of them; if you can’t get the sicence correct; who cares what your mitigation planning might be.

  72. “”””” PROOF
    Sokal’s essay, Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Her-meneutics of Quantum Gravity was indeed published as submitted, with no comment, al-though Sokal repeatedly asked whether there were any questions to be clarified.
    “Social Text” #46/47, pp. 217-252 (1996).
    QUOD ERAT DEMONSTRANDUM “””””

    The hell you say ! All these years I thought it stood for: QUITE EASILY DONE !

    Learn something new every day at WUWT.

  73. “bullshit (yes, that’s the right word, sorry if I offended your delicate senses)”

    Har har har. Former USMC sergeant here. You’d need professional guidance to curse well enough to offend me. I’m offended more by lack of cursing or amateurish attempts at cursing. IMO in informal settings you should just write like you talk otherwise it robs your persona and cheats the reader. The only reason I don’t cuss more here is because it is not my forum and the rules seem to discourage the habit – one must follow the rules in someone’s elses domain lest one find oneself banished from said domain. So cuss all you want Anthony. The only thing I would ask is that there be no double standards. I find double standards to be inf*ckingtolerable and outf*ckingrageous, if you know what I mean. :=)

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