Guest post by Alec Rawls
Anthony posted the video earlier. Professor Lindzen as casually bemused dragon-slayer. Highly quotable, so I thought I’d create a transcript. Here is Lindzen’s damning conclusion (after demolishing any scientific basis for Australia’s new carbon tax):
If they can fool the people into thinking that they really want to pay taxes to save the earth, that’s a dream for politicians.
Andrew Bolt: Professor Lindzen, thanks for joining us from Paris. Now our government says we must have a carbon dioxide tax to help stop global warming, which it says is damaging Australia already. Can we start with some basics? First, how much is the planet actually warming?
Richard Lindzen: Well… over the century, or maybe 150 years, it may be somewhere between a half and three-quarters of a degree Centigrade. I don’t know what it is locally in Australia. Since ’95 , … 1995, there hasn’t been much warming, certainly not that can be distinguished from noise.
AB: Is that warming lower than what the climate alarmists have been telling us to expect?
RL: Oh yeah. You have a constant game going on. The IPCC once said that they thought it probable that man’s emissions had accounted for most of the warming over the last 50 years. A more correct statement might have been that according to current models man has accounted for between 2 and 5 times the warming we’ve seen in the last 50 years, and the models have cancelled the difference by arbitrary adjustments, and they call them aerosols, but they vary from model to model and they’re just fudge factors.
AB: Now if we see a rise in carbon dioxide emissions as we have, a very big rise, in this last decade or more, but no real warming, what does that say about global warming theory?
RL: What is says is that—and it doesn’t uniquely say anything—it says there are certainly other things going on that are just as big. These things like El Nino, Pacific Decadal Oscillation, are giving you as much variability as whatever man is doing, and because of that you can’t even tell if man is doing anything.
AB: Can I ask you? If we do get further warming caused by man, will that warming be good for us, or bad?
RL: That’s always hard to tell. It will be good for some people, a little worse for others. It will be completely within the range of what human beings have shown they are capable of adapting to and even prospering under.
AB: What effect would a carbon dioxide tax in Australia—the aim is to cut emissions by 5% by 2020—what effect would that have on the world’s temperature?
RL: I don’t think anyone could possibly detect it even with future technology. It would be nothing, for all practical purposes, and it would be nothing if the whole world did the same.
AB: So does it make any sense at all to adopt a tax, or to spend directly on programs to cut emissions?
RL: Depends on who you are. For governments, you know, they want taxes and they know people don’t like to pay them, and I think if they can possibly confuse people into thinking they’re doing it save the earth, they’ll do it more willingly.
AB: So you’d consider this more a sort of big government measure than anything that could really influence the world’s climate for the good.
RL: I think there’s no disagreement in the scientific community that this will have no impact on climate, so it’s purely a matter of government revenue. And, as I say, I mean if they can fool the people into thinking that they really want to pay taxes to save the earth, that’s a dream for politicians.
AB: Well, it’s a very depressing scenario you paint, but thank you very much Professor Lindzen for joining us from Paris. I appreciate it.
RL: Good luck. Good luck.