Warmist Bob Ward argues that former IPCC lead author Richard Lindzen isn't qualified to talk about climate science

Bishop Hill reports:

…there was a debate at the Fisher House / Von Hugel Institute seminar “Global Warming & Equitable Development: the Ethical and Political Priorities”  last night, and MIT’s Dr. Richard Lindzen was invited.

Chaired by Rowan Williams, with a panel of: Lord Deben, Prof Sir Brian Hoskins, Prof Richard Lindzen, Prof Peter Wadhams (Prof Physics & Head of Polar Ocean Physics Group, Cambridge), Professor Sir Colin Humphrey (Cambridge), Prof John Loughlin Von Hugel Institute), Prof Chris Whitty (long job title – govt advisor) & Peter Lilley (late addition, not advertised), plus a paper by Prof Emeritus Tony Kelly (Cambridge) read by his son as he was unwell.

I’d expected this to be a bit of a greenfest with Lindzen as the token denier but it wasn’t at all. The panel was quite balanced in representation of “warmist” and “denier” viewpoint as was the audience, and it was quite a civilized affair.

That is, until Bob Ward got onto Twitter afterwards…..


Twitter / ret_ward: .@mehdirhasan But why have …

Bob Ward ‏@ret_ward .@mehdirhasan Yet another example of the media hosting a falsely balanced debate about climate science instead of covering the real issues.

Mehdi Hasan Mehdi Hasan ‏@mehdirhasan  @ret_ward 1) Not true at all. Its not a ‘balanced debate’. Its a fair but tough interrogation of his views. I’m not neutral on this.

Bob Ward Bob Ward ‏@ret_ward .@mehdirhasan But why have you made Lindzen the focus of the debate? He no longer contributes to the science and is irrelevant to policy.

Mehdi Hasan Mehdi Hasan ‏@mehdirhasan  @ret_ward But he’s not irrelevant to the world, is he? You (and me) not liking his views doesn’t make him disappear, does it? Or his claims?

Mehdi Hasan Mehdi Hasan ‏@mehdirhasan @ret_ward Which ‘sceptic’ would you like me to interview? He’s more credible than the rest. Or is your position, no intvs with them, ever?

Ben Pile Ben Pile ‏@clim8resistance Oh, look, Bob Ward @ret_ward trying to close down debate and discussion again. The self-appointed censor has no shame. @mehdirhasan

Richard Lindzen – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Richard Siegmund Lindzen (born February 8, 1940) is an American atmospheric physicist and Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Lindzen is known for his work in the dynamics of the middle atmosphere, atmospheric tides and ozone photochemistry. He has published more than 200 scientific papers and books.[1] He was a lead author of Chapter 7, ‘Physical Climate Processes and Feedbacks,’ of the IPCC Third Assessment Report on climate change.

Bob Ward – Grantham Research Institute on climate Chnage and the Environment


Bob joined the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) from Risk Management Solutions, where he was Director of Public Policy.

He also worked at the Royal Society, the UK national academy of science, for eight years, until October 2006. His responsibilities there included leading the media relations team.

He has also worked as a freelance science writer and journalist.

Bob has a first degree in geology and an unfinished PhD thesis on palaeopiezometry.

He is a Fellow of the Geological Society.

Thanks to Tom Nelson for spotting these.

UPDATE: Bishop Hill writes in with a clarification.

These are actually different debates. Bob Ward is trying to punish Mehdi Hasan and Al Jazeera for hosting Lindzen at the Oxford Union tomorrow. The Cambridge event was yesterday.


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Prof @Richardabetts (Met Office) said of Bob this month:
“Once again I seem to have attracted the disapproval of the climate thought police”
full story here
also Prof Richard Betts speaking of Bob Ward (see url above)
“It’s the 3rd time he’s tried to tell me what to say or not say. He didn’t respond to rational argument the 1st two times.”
Prof Richard Betts (Met Office, Head of Climate Impacts, IPCC Ar4 & Ar5 lead author) has previously also said to Bob Ward
“you seem to be trying to shut down legitimate scientific debate,which is unhealthy.”

Jimmy Haigh

Bob Ward. Legend.


Bob Ward states
“He (Richard Linzen) no longer contributes to the science and is irrelevant to policy.”
I could equally argue that Bob Ward has never contributed to science and only relevant to the politics where is lack of balance is well known!

D. Cohen

I love this — a classic case of projection. What Mr Ward’s unconscious mind knows all too well is that it’s not Lindzen who’s unqualified, but rather that — by his own standards — it is he himself (with his unfinished Ph.D.) who should bow out of the discussion.

Headline: “Non-Qualified Self Appointed Climate Scientist Tells Qualified Climate / Atmospheric Scientist He’s Not Qualified”.

Mike Bromley the Canucklehead in Cowburg

He’s like Pachauri. A non climate scientist (are there really any climate scientists?) proclaiming who is qualified to be one.

When do the Heresy Trials start with Algore as Chief Inquisitor?


palaeopiezometry.??????? huh
Does anyone know what that is?


Message to Bob Ward: Please read THIS and then shut your yap.


And I thought my scientific credentials were spotty. Bob makes me look like a scholar.


If professor Lindzen is not qualified to comment on matters of atmospheric science, i’d like to know who is.

Jeff Alberts

WTF is “palaeopiezometry”.
p.s. I don’t really want to know, so I didn’t look it up. It just sounds silly.


Bob Ward must have slept through most of his geology classes.

Chris B

Who’s Bob Ward?

Pathetic tweet. Pathetic censor.


Yikes, a media hound saying Lindzen isn’t a scientist?

Oh that is very interesting, a PolySci guy saying that an Atmospheric Physicist isn’t qualified to comment on climate! Course they say the same thing about engineers, geologists, geophysicists, physics and chemical PhD’s, forestry PhD’s, meteorologists and anyone else that doesn’t “follow the program. So if you don’t have an Arts or PolySci degree you don’t count. (No insult to any of my Artsy friends or any other Arts Student – the world needs you to offset the the technocrats like me 😉 )


Here is a fun Delingpole essay of “What on earth is Bob Ward”.
…and for a simple summary from Pielke Jr.:

I understand that people are busy. So I have offered up two weeks worth of dates for the Grantham folks to find a single faculty member to defend Ward’s frequent attacks on their behalf. Apparently they can not or will not put someone up. (And it does indeed have to be a faculty member. I have debated Mr. Ward before and, not surprisingly, he was unprepared to actually debate. So I won’t repeat that experience again.)

So, “He no longer contributes to the science and is irrelevant to policy.” would match only with Bob “Barking Mad” Ward.

Colin Porter

It seems that our venerated Royal Society, up holder of scientific excellence, the scientific method and scientific integrity needed a Department of Propaganda headed by a failed palaeopiezometrist.
Little wonder that it degenerated to it’s present position and there seems little chance of it being Nursed back to health with the present regime.


“He no longer contributes to the science and is irrelevant to policy.”
Translation: He no longer supports the collective.


But surely, given his background and scholastic achievements, Bob Ward is eminently more qualified than Professor Lindzen to comment on climate change.
(Do I really need to turn sarc off?)


Bob ‘fast fingers ‘ Ward profession is spinning for his pay master , in other words its his job to lie in support of those that pay him . Setting aside that in pratice his often not very good it , the reality is there are recently dead hamster that carry more authority to know who is and it’s in a position to provided valid evidenced on this subject, than Bob.


Love the comparison of CVs. What a larf.

Pieter F.

Why is it ‘”warmist” and “denier”,’ not “alarmist” and “skeptic”?



Hi Anthony
small correction?
the twitter discussion with Bob Ward, is about another debate that Richard Lindzen, Mark Lynas, Myles Allen, Medhi Hasan and David Rose are having this coming Friday night, at the Oxford Union.
Bob is complaining on twitter to Hasan (who is speaking against Lindzen!) that he should not have the debate!
Bob Ward ‏@ret_ward
.@mehdirhasan ‘Sceptics’ like Lindzen crave publicity from the media because they cannot get other scientists to take their views seriously.
Mehdi Hasan ‏@mehdirhasan
@ret_ward Yes but they do get the public to take them seriously. Which is why they should be held to account. Get out of your bubble!
Mehdi Hasan ‏@mehdirhasan
@ret_ward Ah, patronising me. Ok. Btw, you guys are doing a GREAT job with your current approach: http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/green-fatigue-sets-in-the-world-cools-on-global-warming-8513826.html … Well done (!)
Mehdi Hasan ‏@mehdirhasan
@ret_ward Which ‘sceptic’ would you like me to interview? He’s more credible than the rest. Or is your position, no intvs with them, ever?
Mehdi Hasan ‏@mehdirhasan
@ret_ward But he’s not irrelevant to the world, is he? You (and me) not liking his views doesn’t make him disappear, does it? Or his claims?
look like Bob Ward has just annoyed someone on his own side! again!

Hoi Polloi

OMG Look who’s talking…a freelance writer dissing a world reknown MIT professor… Wottahell does Ward think he is? He’s not even fit to tie Lindzen’s shoelaces.

These are actually different debates. Bob Ward is trying to punish Mehdi Hasan and Al Jazeera for hosting Lindzen at the Oxford Union tomorrow. The Cambridge event was yesterday.
REPLY: I’ve made an update to the head post. I’ve been invited to the Oxford Union as well, I wonder what Bob Ward will have to say about that? – Anthony


Very helpful to see the two thumbnail bio’s, thanks.

Chris D.

What’s intriguing are the tweets by Hasan and especially Pile. Kudos to them both.


Wow, a fellow geologist fallen to the dark side.
I can’t even find palaeopiezometry on the web, what the heck is palaeopiezometry?
REPLY: I found a single mention in this book, section 9.10 : Deformation Microstructures and Mechanisms in Minerals and Rocks
By Tom G. Blenkinsop
This comment on the Bishop Hill blog from “Mac” might be relevant:

Since palaeopiezometry doesn’t even merit a Wiki, could it be that Bob Ward is the only failed palaeopiezometrist in the world?

So, my choices of climate scientists expertise are between an MIT professor of atmospheric physics with a long track record of scientific academic publications – and a political science public relations writer.

DickF says:
March 7, 2013 at 7:46 am
If professor Lindzen is not qualified to comment on matters of atmospheric science, i’d like to know who is.

Why, Michael Mann, of course! 🙂


Here’s his LSE/GRI page which includes most of his published work from the past few years. He’s a busy bunny.
Lord, save us from the true believers.

Jimmy Haigh says:
March 7, 2013 at 7:32 am
Bob Ward. Legend.
…….In his own mind!
“Bob has a first degree in geology and an unfinished PhD thesis on palaeopiezometry.”
I am better academically qualified (an aeronautical engineer with an MSc in fluid mechanics) than this climate science “expert”, but would not dream of challenging the rights of the likes of Professor Lindzen to speak freely on a subject in which he is a leading world authority.


I should add that Ward’s page of published drivel should be compared to Lindzen’s page of published, peer-reviewed papers in atmospheric physics over nearly five decades to show just how absurd Ward’s comments are. I posted LIndzen’s page of publications above at 7:41.

Louis Hooffstetter

A piezometer is a shallow well used to measure the depth to the water table (depth to groundwater). Based on that, my guess is that palaeopiezometry is the study of ancient water tables and / or ancient aquifers.


I’m seeing that my link to Lindzen’s page of published work at 7:41 is not working. Let me try again:
Click here

Re “WTF is palaeopiezometr.”
Obviously measuring the amount of urine contained in the skeleton of AGW credibility …

Linden has a deliberate kind of quiet measured delivery that calms the discourse.
He and another skeptic can say the exact same words and it is most often Lindzen’s that I find more easy to follow.

Andy Wilkins

Why are the shouty and bossy people in the CAGW debate always on the alarmist side?
Such obnoxious behaviour from the likes of Bob W only helps to further convince me that the alarmists realise their hypothesis is a complete crock.

Sorry that I mispelled Lindzen’s name in the first paragraph of my comment => John John Whitman on March 7, 2013 at 9:24 am

Scott Flick

So now we know the truth. The whole debate is about politics and not about science and it is now admitted. Poly Sci/Public Policy guy = qualified and MIT professor, peer reviewed author and IPCC lead author = not qualifed.
The only thing that fits to me is its not a debate about science is all about politics follow the money.

Doug Danhoff

Now no one can say that the Observer is a relevant newspaper


Paleopiezometry: the study of primitive PR professionals under immense pressure


Possible definition: palaeopiezometry – measurements of microscopic movements in fossilized wood – or “trying to understand the inner workings of Bob Wards cranium”.


One amusing sociological finding is that job categories are disproportionately filled with persons having names relating to their field. (Perhaps this applies to hobbies as well.)
Anyway, with a name like Ward, he’s aptly doing what he can to ward off the threat. (Like the old Watch and Ward society in Boston, of “Banned in Boston” fame.)

C.M. Carmichael

I think there are a large number of credible scientists who study various aspects of climate, Lindzen for example, but I think ” Climate Scientists” are to “Scientists” the way Astrology is to Astronomy. Sort of like a wacky 3rd cousin, except better funded.

I have an unfinished trilogy of books. The first two pages are already written.
I also worked at the genetics lab of the Gulbenkian Institute of Science washing Petri dishes. Which is why I’m qualified to talk about epigenetics and stuff.
There are limits to the ridiculous. Hm aren’t there? Hey… people?


In a way Bob Ward is right–only his ilk are qualified to belong to CAGW, which really stands for the Catastrophic Anthropogenic Genocidal Warmistas–perpetrators of death on a global scale.
Professor Lindzen has been honored by being excluded from such rabble.
Thank you Bob Ward for making your position perfectly clear. And thank you, Professor Lindzen, for having the credentials and qualifications to expose their ignoble cult.