Lindzen: On the ‘Death of Skepticism’ Concerning Climate Hysteria

Guest essay by Richard S. Lindzen, Professor Emeritus of Atmospheric Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Bill Nye looks forward to the death of skeptics in this Huffington Post essay. There is a sound basis for his wish.

While the politicized climate issue dates back to the 60’s, things really took off after the Clinton-Gore administration assumed power and funding for climate increased by about a factor of 15. This was far more than a small backwater and very difficult field could absorb, and led to a vast increase in the number of scientists who claimed their work was related to climate in order to cash in on the windfall. Moreover, the institutional structure for support of alarm was already in place with the United Nations creation of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) and UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) – both exclusively concerned with only human impacts on climate. Added to this were the wild enthusiasm of the well-funded green advocacy movement, and the motherhood nature of environmentalism.

It is, therefore, informative to look at who the skeptics (not of climate change, but of climate catastrophism and the need for specific action) were when this explosion of support began. Here is a very brief set of examples (for those who have died, the year of death is listed):

  • William Nierenberg: Director of America’s foremost oceanographic research institute, Scripps Oceanographic Institute of the University of California, San Diego. The Institute is located at La Jolla. Nierenberg was also a member of the National Academy and he chaired the massive 1983 NRC (National Research Council of the National Academy) report on climate. He died in 2000.
  • Frederick Seitz: Often regarded as one of the fathers of condensed phase physics, he was a professor at the University of Illinois, President of the National Academy of Sciences, and President of Rockefeller University. He died in 2008.
  • Jerome Namias: Professor of Meteorology at Scripps and former head of NOAA’s long range forecasting. Namias was also a member of the National Academy. He died in 1997.
  • Robert Jastrow: First chairman of NASA’s Lunar Exploration Committee, Founding director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Upon retirement, the bulk of the institute was moved back to NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. However, a rump group headed by James Hansen successfully fought to remain in New York. Jastrow continued as Professor of Earth Sciences at Dartmouth College. Jastrow died in 2008.
  • Aksel Wiin-Nielsen: Senior Scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Professor of Meteorology at the University of Michigan. Director of the European Centre for Medium Range Weather-Forecasting (Europe’s preeminent atmospheric research center), Director General of the World Meteorological Organization, and Professor of Meteorology at the University of Copenhagen. He died in 2010.
  • Lennart Bengtsson: Head of Research at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts. Director of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts. Director of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg.
  • Henk Tennekes: Professor of Aeronautical Engineering at Pennsylvania State University, Director of research at the Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute. Member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. A leading expert on atmospheric turbulence and aviation.
  • Reid Bryson: Founder and first chairman of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Department of Meteorology and Center for Climatic Research. He was the first director of the Institute for Environmental Studies (now the Nelson Institute) at the University of Wisconsin. Global Laureate of the United Nations Global Environment Program. He died in 2008.
  • Joanne Simpson: President of the American Meteorological Society, Director of Project Stormfury while chief of the Experimental Meteorology Branch of the Environment Satellite Services Administration’s Institute for Atmospheric Sciences. NASA’s lead weather researcher. Member National Academy of Engineering. Interestingly, she kept her skepticism private until she retired from NASA. She died in 2010.
  • Robert White: Director of the United States Weather Bureau, administrator of the Environmental Science Services Administration, the first administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, president of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, and president of the National Academy of Engineering. He also was the first chairman of the World Climate Conference in 1978. He died in 2015.
  • Hubert Lamb: Pioneer in historical climatology, Founding Director of the Climatic Research Unit established in 1972 in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia. He died in 1997.
  • Paul Waggoner: Chief Scientist, Soils, Climatology, Ecology, Director, and Distinguished Scientist at The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station. Member National Academy.
  • S. Fred Singer: Professor of Physics and the University of Maryland, the University of Virginia and George Mason University. Founding Dean of of the University of Miami School of Environmental and Planetary Sciences. Established the National Weather Bureau’s Satellite Service Center. Deputy assistant administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency, and chief scientist for the Department of Transportation. He is credited by many for the first prediction of the Earth’s radiation belts.

These were hardly fringe scientists (as opposed to Nye who is no scientist at all). On the contrary, they were leading figures whose deep interest in climate long pre-dated the Global Warming Hysteria and the subsequent explosion of support for those endorsing alarm. So, Bill Nye is right. The newcomers are younger, and with death of many of the previous generation, they have come to dominate the field – to the great detriment of the science, itself. Those, among the older generation, who are still alive, are the subject of constant public abuse and libel, leading several of them like Bengtsson and Tennekes to withdraw from the field. Singer went so far as to sue for libel, winning his case and obtaining a public retraction from Justin Lancaster ( ).

In addition, there are many outstanding scientists who have bothered to actually examine this issue, and have come to the obvious conclusion that there is much less to the story of gloom and doom than is popularly asserted. Many started as supporters of alarm but came to change their minds. Here are a few of them:

  • Ivar Giaevar: Nobel Laureate in Physics, Member National Academy, Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, Professor Emeritus, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Professor at Large, University of Oslo.
  • Freeman Dyson: Distinguished theoretical physicist and mathematician who played a key role in the development of quantum electrodynamics and mathematical methods of quantum field theory. But he also maintained a strong interest in applied science and was one of the designers of the hugely successful TRIGA nuclear research reactor. Freeman spent most of his career at the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study. Member National Academy.
  • William Happer: An experimental physicist who spent most of his career at Princeton and Columbia Universities. He is the inventor of the sodium guide star that is used in most big modern telescopes to compensate for atmospheric turbulence with adaptive optics. He was a pioneer of medical magnetic resonance imaging with laser polarized noble gases. He served as the Director of Energy Research at the US Department of Energy from 1990 to 1993. Member National Academy.
  • James Lovelock: Fellow of the Royal Society, President of the Marine Biological Association, Honorary Visiting Fellow of Green Templeton College, Oxford, Commander of the Order of the British Empire. Lovelock actually endorsed alarmism, but eventually changed his view.
  • Daniel Kleitman: Professor of Applied Mathematics at MIT and former chair of the Department of Mathematics at MIT.
  • Edward Teller: He was a co-founder of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), and was both its director and associate director for many years. Known as father of the H-bomb. Member National Academy. He died in 2003.
  • Robert Adair: Former Chair Department of Physics and director of the Division of Physical Sciences, Yale University. Member National Academy.


When, today, one hears of overwhelming support for alarmism and for the control of Carbon Dioxide as the unique and precise solution to a largely unknown and uncertain set of phenomena, we should all realize the individuals promoting such narratives have not studied the underlying science, have decided to cash in on the windfall, are politically and economically motivated, fear expulsion from the ranks of the politically correct, and/or are intent on befuddling the public. In brief, we are in the midst of a very unhealthy situation for both this issue and science in general.


158 thoughts on “Lindzen: On the ‘Death of Skepticism’ Concerning Climate Hysteria

    • You and me both. What a huge crock of crap it is that’s being pushed and it’s incredible how may otherwise smart people spend so much effort to ignore it. Many (esp around Cambride, MA where I live) couldn’t speak openly about this w/o losing their peer group.

      • That problem and the Oreskes hire is why my three times alma mater will never see another nickel of contribution from me. Office of Major Gifts finally stoppd sendingbpeople to visit when I took the last one to lunch on the Intercoastal and explained she was wasting her time until Oreskes was gone.

      • The problem is that the new skeptics are kept out of the ‘mainstream’ climate science by the ensconced gatekeepers. They system is set up to promote cronyism and punish dissent. I mean seriously, who wants to kill the golden goose. (The goose of course being the massive funding that Dr. Lindzen mentions early on in his article.)

    • Except that he has difficulty in recognising that there is a world outside the USA.

      ” things really took off after the Clinton-Gore administration assumed power ”

      Things really took off after Thatcher peddled Global Warming to the UN.

      • I can thoroughly recommend “The Age of Global Warming: A History” by Rupert Darwell for a good .. uh … history

      • Gloateus said:

        ” If Trump cuts funding as Dr. Lindzen recommends, that could happen sooner rather than later.”

        Always remember that the President proposes, but Congress disposes. The current refusal to let go pork may well continue to support alarmism for many years. Look at the results of trying to cut NASA’s SLS pork fiasco, and you will see how hard they cling to it.

      • Tom,

        You could well be right, but Trump isn’t the only incipient CACA skeptic. Key figures in his administration are more ardent than he, as are important GOP members of Congress.

        But, as a committed pessimist, I’m inclined toward your view, while hoping for the best.

      • Prior to Richard Nixon’s downfall, the Congress proposed and the Administration was not obligated to spend. Following his resignation, Congress passed a law that all monies appropriated must be sent and Ford signed it. It’s been downhill ever since.

    • I have the highest regard for Dr. J. Feynman; on numerous occasions we corresponded by email for nearly 15 years, last time few months ago, mainly relating to solar activity and its effects.

  1. The climate alarm movement will die the same way previous alarm movements died – when their prescriptions for nirvana don’t work out, and when people get bored and move on to some new scary narrative.

    When being green is no longer a major vote winner.

    I give it another decade. In the meantime, hopefully we can minimise the damage.

    • Eric you may be correct with respect to climate alarm but there are a host of equally noxious initiatives from the United Nations and other movements, either poised or actually in the process, to take its place.

      To wit. UN Agenda 21 or 2030, ICLEI, the Rockefellers “resilience” campaign just to name a few.

      My blog at http;// outlines a number of these things in my blog.



      • Have you delved into the history and activities of UNEP-FI? Originated about the same time as the 1992 Rio Earth Summit.

      • flynn/Wharfplank

        You miss the essential nature of the alarmists.

        They would promote global cooling as evidence of their success.

        They would distort the truth that CO2 will still rise, whilst temperatures fall.

        As they have distorted the true nature of CO2 itself, as a life giving, trace gas.

        Their objective is not to win a science argument.

        Their objective is to win, irrespective of the cost, or the argument.

        And the cost is democracy, not science, or climate change.

        The objective is to impose socialist, autocratic domination of an entire planet to deliver a future that suits their ideal, not the ideal of the population.

        That is the stated intention, vocalised by a UN member, Christina Figueres.

        China and the former USSR are emerging from it, Europe is, once again, descending into it, and America is resisting it.

        Trump acknowledges China and Russia’s efforts, his hawks don’t.

        If the western world is not to descend to subservience, and the far east, and eastern bloc not become distorted capitalist global leaders, we can only hope that Trump succeeds in demonstrating that capitalism is the future of humanity.

        Not that China and Russia are the problem. They are young democracies, facing many of the problems of conversion the west did in building a democratic, capitalist environment.

        The west is the problem, if we continue the blind march to socialism.

        For the west will become, what the east was.

        And we all lose.

      • You would think so. But it’s literally cold at night (in early August!) in the Boston area and all you hear from major media outlets is about heat! It’s unreal. People love being lied to…so long as the lie fits w/o conflict to their world view, or some deeply held belief. Self-lobotomies are very much the fashion of our day.

      • You miss the essential nature of the alarmists.

        They would promote global cooling as evidence of their success.

        They would distort the truth that CO2 will still rise, whilst temperatures fall.

        But they won’t be able to get away with it, if the drop is substantial and prolonged. They’ll just twist in the wind. This was already starting to happen until the 2016 El Niño came along. The Pause and the Otto paper were having an effect. The El Niño has given the alarmists a second wind, but it may be only temporary. It may be a Last Hurrah.

      • Genuine climatology teaches that warming concentrates at higher latitudes, reducing the thermal contrast with the tropics, and hence reducing the extreme weather like the LIA produced. CC-alarmists predicting extreme storms are actually forecasting COOLING!

      • Hotscot: “The objective is to impose socialist, autocratic domination of an entire planet to deliver a future that suits their ideal, not the ideal of the population.”

        The remarkable thing is that their methods do not ‘suit their ideal.’ In other words, they cannot achieve what they say they desire by doing what they are doing! Socialism, in all it’s many forms, is founded on ideas that are not realistic. The concepts of socialism are contrary to human nature and even mother nature in the long run. The application of socialism will always lead to an overall reduction in the quality of life. If enough socialism is applied, it will lead to a complete economic collapse. The only reason why this economic collapse has not yet happened in the West is the amount of capitalism that is still happening; keeping things afloat for now.

      • HotScot

        Most of what you say is accurate except for promoting China and Russia as democracies.

        China Russia and Iran are allied to bring us a version of the world that would exist if Hitler and Stalin allied to conquer the world in WW2.

        These societies are authoritarian and borderline totalitarian. They pose a greater threat than the totalitarian Nazis and Communists because China has organized its economy using a centrally planned market oriented structure based upon the Japanese experience.

        In the best scenario, it will be the US, Europe, Japan, and India versus China, Russia, and Iran. If the Chinese economy is 4 times the size of the US economy by 2050, the game will be over for the most part.

    • What will kill the alarmist movement is the cost of the prescriptive medicine. People will go along and lend moral support to concepts and precepts they don’t understand. Ask them to spend $1500 a year from their own pocket on a prescriptive remedy, they’ll want more proof. So politicians brake those costs up in little pieces and hidden in bills that are already being paid. In Europe, those bills are beginning to inflict significant financial and economic pain. In the US, the pain is not yet felt because energy costs have declined but they will soon be felt in California. I suspect in a couple of years when gasoline prices are a dollar more per gallon than what people pay in neighboring states and many people in the inland valleys have trouble paying their electric bill in the summer, they will wonder why they’ve been chosen to storm the beach in the battle against climate change. They won’t be bored, they’ll be angry. Perhaps angry enough to start paying attention to what their elected officials are doing to them.

    • what you call the climate alarm movement is business as usual for the world’s large companies and nearly all world governments outside the US, Australia and N Korea.

      The physical evidence of a changing climate continues to come in and will increasingly make the trend obvious.

      (what will this year’s arctic sea ice extent low show? I don’t think it will be a recovery or an imminent ice age)

      Renewable energy is an immensely strong economic driving, being installed at an increasing pace.

      The world looks different outside the Us/Australia.

      • So no less than R. Feynman lists eminent scientists who say they are skeptical of (what Griff calls) business as usual for alarmists and the business/political leaders they have forced to bow before the CAGW idol. [aside-Griff, what is with “US, Australia and N. Korea”? this guilt by association attempt is a pretty wide miss, as Aus. shuts down coal plants to go renewable, and NK has no elec or ic engines to speak of]. So we should be persuaded by world’s large companies and governments, as against the body of work of Feynman et al.? Why are you an enemy of science? Yes, I bet the world does look different to you.

      • Brian Hall says, “Genuine climatology teaches that warming concentrates at higher latitudes, reducing the thermal contrast with the tropics…”

        Richard Lindzen addressed this subject in a lecture available on Youtube,

      • Paul, can you tell me what Fenman actually said about climate change and climate science? I have seen lots of people claiming he would support their position, but that is just hot air. What did he actually say about it?

      • So now you no longer believe that a new record summer low for Arctic sea ice is a “sure thing” this year, as you previously so confidently predicted?

        Since the governments of the two most populous nations on earth, China and India, are burning ever more coal, how exactly can you think that only the US, Australia and North Korea ignore the “climate alarm movement”?

      • Giff-san:

        The 2017 Arctic Ice Area Minimum will be about the 6th~ 7th lowest since satellite data went online in 1979.

        Polar Ice levels are sinusoidal and follow 30-yr PDO/AMO warm/cool cycles. since both the PDO & AMO will both be in their cool cycles from 2019, polar Ice will soon start showing recovery for the next 30 years.

        The coming Grand Solar Minimum will add to the cooling and expanding polar ice.

        Wind and solar are dead. without government subsidies, they’ll soon suffer an extinction event.

        LFTRs will eventually replace fossil fuels because they’re cheaper than gas/coal and there are 10’s of thousands of years of thorium available around the globe.

    • I certainly hope that you are right Mr. Worrall. As a father to a 4-year-old and with a wife who teach high school science courses I have paid close attention to what materials are being disseminated in our education system. From toddler books and TV shows all the way up to colleges, the narrative has invaded every aspect you can think of with regards to the next generation’s education. I have made several visits to the local national parks, zoos and other educational outings lately, having just moved to the Seattle area of Washington, and everywhere I turn the concept of climate change is mentioned.

      I can only speak for America since I have not visited other countries recently, though I suspect it is as bad or worse. Our next generation is being raised to take CAGW and several other leftist ideals as the mainstream. I work with my wife to offer alternative views to CAGW at every possible junction in her classroom, but I fear it has already been embedded in the minds of her students and the facts of the situation are ignored as inconvenient.

      My only hope is that as you and others have mentioned people who are critical thinkers eventually begin to see the tear in the fabric of the narrative and switch to the skeptical viewpoint. I certainly intend to help my son to see these flaws and to search for the truth hidden from view on this and several other topics popular in today’s media.

  2. It matters not which generation believes what.

    It only matters what the observations indicate.

    The fact that the warming in the first half of the 20th century is of the same rate as the warming in the second half of the 20th century… well that just debunks the “CO2 is dominant” hypothesis.

    In the end the politics will have to adapt to the reality. It always does.
    Even if that adaptation can be costly (like the failure of eugenics in 1940s Germany). It’s failure was still assured by the reality.

    • That this is Political Science rather than Climate Science should concern us all. What politics is doing to the truth in the 21st century is alarming and they have control of the future generations of malleable minds of mush through public school indoctrination and it will take a complete collapse of government to undo the mess the socialist left has made. Some of the most radical alarmists are the youth. The don’t question they just take up arms to defend with religious zealotry.

      • “Some of the most radical alarmists are the youth. The don’t question they just take up arms to defend with religious zealotry.”

        Therein lies our salvation.

        Indoctrinated children grow into sceptical adults.

        It may take a generation, but there will be an army of sceptical adults when the planet hasn’t changed one jot from what it was 40 years ago.

      • Don’t sell the yutes short. My nephew is 20, and mighty conservative; a skeptic about AGW, genderism and leftist twaddle in general, he attends “the reddest college in the bluest state of the Union.” Go Buccaneers!

  3. Just being the butt of every science joke wasn’t paying Bill Nye’s rent. So after having landed a couple of cameos on The Big Bang Theory, it was the perfect time for him to launch himself as yet another climate alarmist slut…

    • The Green Dragon needs to be slayed – it is already gobbling up too much of the world.Lindzen may be just the man to do it.

    • Actually, I think he cooked his gandered goose pretty well with the recent YouTube stunt, flitting through the woods on Beltane, wuzzit? ;-)

  4. I’d be tempted to put Michael Creighton’s eloquent voice on technology and science. His absence has kept State of Fear from the silver screen; and I’m sure he’d have had more to say.

  5. Dr. Lindzen is correct about the Clinton-Gore era.

    Check out the White House Archives for January & March 1997. Key words: Maurice Strong + White House Archives.

    Have already viewed these Archived webpages.

  6. These wise, elder scientists studied bicarbonate dissociation, Henry’s law, and knew of retrograde temp co2 solubility. Co2, of which 97% is produced by plant decomposition, animal exhalation, and occasional volcanic outgassing, has little if anything to do with determining atm. temperature. High school and college texts do not emphasize this important science, unfortunately.

  7. Bullseye!
    It should also be noted that many of the youngest “alarmist” were taught by those such as Professor Mann.
    They aren’t “evil”. They just haven’t yet thought beyond what they were taught.
    Many will just as many have.

    • Gunga Din

      Very true. Our indoctrinated children are the future sceptics. And there will be an army of them in the not too distant future.

      • If they are (eventually) as pissed off as I am about being lied to and having my good faith used, then I should think there could be a spike in productive science that finally washes this garbage down the drain.

      • McLovin’

        I think it will be simpler than that, they will vote with their feet for political parties that don’t toe the AGW line. I don’t believe science will ever be enough to change it’s direction. Despite there being not one credible, empirical study that proves CO2 causes atmospheric warming over the last 40 years, they are still steam-rolling through.

  8. Who better to praise the death of skepticism than Bill Nye, the narrator for a fraudulent science project intended for young people that was faked in post production video editing by Gore’s team. The only thing you can learn from that is serial bad behavior becomes predictable with lack of remorse or punishment. Now you can add Huffington Post as an accessory to science fraud.

  9. Skeptisism over at skeptical Science –
    SkS has a post from yesterday showing number of days various major cities will have with temps over 105f. The post specifically cited Dallas DFW. I pointed out that based on current warming trends that average summer temp will need to increase by 6degrees F between now and 2050. I also pointed out that that rate of warming is 3x the current rate.

    The “corrected” my back of the envelope computation by stating that the Experienced climate scientist obviously know more than I do.

    Is it science or is it a religion?

  10. as opposed to Nye who is no scientist at all

    Not that I set that much store by status – more on verifiable evidence me …. but Nye struts and scolds and presumes to authority in a way that is exceedingly tiresome as is his brazen revisionism – it would be of little importance ere it not for hs prominent position as a pop-sci “communicator” poisoning the well.

    The mendaciousness, conceit and plain nastiness of many “climate communicators” in the alarmist crew is the cherry on the putrid cake of ideologically driven evidence making that the eco movement has baked and is trying to force on everybody.

    • I would ignore Bill Nye except that he is played ad naseum in my daughter’s classroom at school. Government indoctrination is a powerful thing.

  11. I recall my supervisor cautioning his research group that he didn’t expect infusions of federal cash by the dumpster-load any time soon, and that we should behave accordingly.

    By contrast, that is exactly what seems to have happened to climate researchers. It must have quite unnerving initially, until they were calmed by the alpine mists and flower meadows of their first ‘working’ trip to the Bernese Oberland, which is a fantastic way to justify any expenditure.

  12. The present climate alarmism will not die for a long time, they have really sunk their teeth in to this, it is the MOTHER of all eviro-leftist issues and they will beat the horse long after its death.

      • “Next thing’s going to be “mass extinction,” possibly via asteroid.”

        Nah… you can’t blame humans for that. The new religion of Mother Earth Worship demands that humans are sinners. Asteroids are natural so won’t work for the religious crowd.

    • “I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives.”
      – Leo Tolstoi

    • Oh, so true, John; Griffie has hit upon the truth of it: The massive flows of monies in academia, government bureaucracies and crony capitalist industry will continue to corrupt the debate into the indeterminate future.

      Until the failure of IPCC climate models (upon which the whole CAGW edifice stands) is made manifest to a majority of decision makers, we will continue in the current pattern. Evidence the upcoming U.S. Assessment that is a rehash of the old “the second half of the 20th Century pattern proves a CO2-driven climate” will persist. Minor changes to climate parameters related to the beneficial warming from the Little Ice Age will continue to be exaggerated in official propaganda “projections.”

      I used to think that the next 3 to 5 years of actual weather patterns would settle the debate one way or the other. Now I think the estimate of 10-plus years of cooling or steady temperatures would be more likely required to slay the money machine. Hoping to live that long, I’ve upped my heavy aerobics to an hour a day, three times a week. Like always, however, the future is unknowable no matter how much time or money one throws at it.

  13. Richard,
    Skepticism will never die because the absurdly high sensitivity claimed by the IPCC conflicts with the requirements of first principles physics and the physics will always prevail. The unfortunate thing is that for all the many reasons you cite that sent climate science into the abyss, we will waste trillions of dollars mitigating a problem that can never occur.

    The next, inevitable, ice age will change minds, as a km thick glacier bearing down on the North-East US, Northern Europe and Russia will be a lot more inconvenient than a few cm of sea level rise or an insignificant increase in the global average temperature which by then will be all that will have been attributable to CO2 emissions. An event that will happen sooner than this will occur around 50-100 years after we eventually run out of fossil fuels and mankind’s biggest concern will be how to enhance atmospheric CO2 in order to prevent the crash of agriculture. If the alarmists have their way, this could be sooner than later.

    I don’t think it will even take that long as the high sensitivity claimed by the IPCC is readily falsified, the errors in their foundational science are readily identified and all that’s missing is a more definitively settled explanation for quantifying the sensitivity and this is where the incontrovertible and immutable laws of physics come in to play.

      • Terry,
        A high sensitivity is easily falsified. The sensitivity factor claimed by the IPCC is 0.8C +/- 0.4C per W/m^2 making the low end is 0.4C per W/m^2 and even this is falsifiable.

        A sensitivity of 0.4C per W/m^2 means that a 1 W/m^2 increase in post albedo solar energy will increase the average surface temperature from 288K to 288.4K. At 288K, the surface emits 390 W/m^2. while at 288.4K, the surface will emit 392.25 W/m^2, for a increase of 2.25 W/m^2. One W/m^2 of this is being replenished by the W/m^2 of forcing, while 1.25 W/m^2 of energy in excess of the forcing must still be supplied to the surface or else the increase emissions will cool it. The claim is that this comes from the ‘feedback’, except that any system whose positive feedback exceeds the forcing is unconditionally unstable. Even the low end of the IPCC sensitivity predicts an unconditionally unstable system that would be in a runaway condition. Even the low end of the IPCC sensitivity range is unambiguously falsified!!!

        Consider that each of the 240 W/m^2 of post albedo solar forcing that preceded the incremental 1 W/m^2 of forcing contributed 1.6 W/m^2 each to the surface. 1 W/m^2 from the forcing and 0.6 W/m^2 from the ‘feedback’. If the last W/m^2 of forcing only contributed 1.6 W/m^2 to the surface, how can the next one possibly contribute 2.25 W/m^2?

        Although as I have said many times, Bode’s concept of feedback was wildly misapplied to the climate by Hansen and Schlesinger who failed to honor any of Bode’s preconditions for applying his analysis.

      • co2
        Thank you for taking the time to respond. 0.8C is the change in the spatially and temporally averaged surface air temperature at equilibrium but this quantity is not observable. That it is not observable has the consequence that whatever proposition is stated in regard to this quantity is not falsifiable.

  14. And of course, the much more modest but hugely effective warriors for truth and integrity in science, education, politics and for freedom of expression, our own Anthony Watts who created the best science blog in the world for which he has received multiple top international awards in a ‘climate’ that largely favors his detractors and adversaries in high places. I hope this could still happen in the future.

  15. “the motherhood nature of environmentalism”

    Actually ‘the nannyhood nature of environmentalism’ imo.

    A mother genuinely wants her child to grow and prosper into a happy and fulfilled adult whereas the ‘enviro-mentalists’ want the child to remain a child for them to nanny forever ‘cos that’s their daily bread and they have no other purpose.

    • Actually, to me it appears to be a new religion.

      Mother Earth Worship.

      … tithing
      … sacrifice
      … repentance for sin
      … intolerance of dissent,

      • I feel in my bones that the scam is being driven by business interests. The Insurance providers will make a lot.
        Recently they have made offers to Insure a reef in Cancun, Mexico. I think they said they would insure it against sea level rise. The local business owners have taken the bait. The main profit will go to the Reinsurance Providers. Follow the money .. that is what politicians do! Find out who owns the Re Insurers .

      • The establishment of a new religion is announced in IPCC AR4, report of Working Group 1, when the doctrine is stated that falsifiability is outmoded and has been replaced by peer-review In this religion the priests are to be called “scientists.”

  16. I am far more swayed by the thousands of “engineers” at the pinnacle of their respective fields who all share the rare ability to understand “systems” who nearly all reject the CAGW premise.

  17. I would respectfully suggest adding Dr. Robert (Bob) Carter to the list of real scientists who have persuasively communicated the skeptical view.

    • Yes, Rick. Here’s one of the many articles/talks by Dr. Carter which proves you are right: . And here is an WUWT obituary article for him: .


      Also, the late Hal Lewis: .

      And also:

      — the late John Daly
      — Nicholas Drapela, Ph.D., Chemistry (fired for opposing AGWists at O.S.U.)
      — James E. Enstrom, Ph.D., Physics (Dismissed from the Univ. of California for blowing the whistle on junk science used by CARB)
      — Christopher Essex, Ph.D., Mathematics
      — Murry Salby, Ph.D., Environmental Dynamics (focused on upper atmospheric wave propagation)
      — Dr. Willie Soon, Ph.D., Aerospace Engineering (2014, awarded “Courage in Defense of Science award” from the George C. Marshall Institute)
      — the late Dr. William Gray was mentioned above

      And the list goes on and on — just mentioning a few more, briefly, who have been persecuted by the Cult of AGW:
      — Dr. Roy Spencer
      — Dr. John Christie
      — Professor Jim Steele
      — Dr. Susan Crockford
      — our own “MarkW” — fired from a major U.S. laboratory for his skeptical stance on AGW
      — Dr. Judith Curry

      And I’ll bet WUWT readers can add many more names.

      • There are thousands like me… working in the private sector outside the field of climate …but educated in atmospheric science. We have no publications and no “credentials” beyond our collegiate degrees. But almost all my college peers that are NOT working for universities of government just roll their eyes at climate hype.

      • Indeed, Ms. Brown. And I think it highly likely that these scientists would agree with you and your colleagues:

        And they would have stood firmly behind the following:

        When, today, one hears of overwhelming support for alarmism and for the control of Carbon Dioxide as the unique and precise solution to a largely unknown and uncertain set of phenomena, we should all realize the individuals promoting such narratives:

        — have not studied the underlying science;
        — have decided to cash in on the windfall;
        — are politically and economically motivated;
        — fear expulsion from the ranks of the politically correct; and/or
        — are intent on befuddling the public.

        In brief, we are in the midst of a very unhealthy situation for both this issue and science in general.

        As would Galileo and Brahe and Newton and …..

    • Great to have Lindzen’s list out here. Others have created longer lists, and still more figures slip through the net of memory. And yes, a generation is passing away. Some of the additions suggested above might not had made the cut only because Lindzen’s is a very short list of outstanding scientists. But the others should be remembered too. Among the Australians there are Brian Tucker, Bill Kininmonth and Garth Paltridge, all of whom held their tongue until retirement.

      The group we should especially celebrate are the brave scientists who spoke up during the push for the FCCC, 1989-90. Who remembers Reg Newell from MIT? Or Pierre Morel, who was part of the resistance at WCRP? Lindzen mentions Robert White, but his caution on the matter has been distorted in obituary. White’s successor as U.S. delegate to WMO, Richard Hallgren, cautioned specifically against establishing the IPCC (it will politicise the issue) even though he had to support it as US policy (under a reluctant Reagan and then an enthusiastic Bush). Many a career was damaged by speaking out. I know some who got burned in the early 1990s but for the sake of career, family, mortgage, etc, remaining quiet even to this day. All their efforts to prevent this corruption of science and politics are in danger of being airbrushed away in a victor’s view of history.


    “… mitigate a problem that can never occur…”
    +100 . I’ve put out an idea after consideration of the fixed notion of doom that has burdened humanity for perhaps millennia, but certainly since Malthus at the turn of the 19th Century, fears that never materialize.

    Considering also a) the magnitude of the earth, b) the age of the earth and the unbroken 2billion year chain of life, 3) the massive bolides that have smashed into the earth 4)temperatures that have swung only 10-15C (or so) over at least half the age of the earth, despite the worst that nature and the solar system have thrown at this modest, undeterred obiter of a modest star.

    My conclusion with all this evidence is an Axiom:

    Humankind is incapable of doing permanent or even lasting damage to the planet and its systems. His damage is always localized and temporary.

    Hiroshima was leveled by an atomic bomb, to be sure a terrible event for its citizens. However, before a year was out, radiation was back down to background levels and they rebuilt it and its a healthy pleasant city.

    Chernobyl was a local disaster despite fears of a multitudinal nation hell hole. Today it is Europe’s Serengeti game park and local old ladies have been gathering mushrooms there for a couple of decades (polluted metadata keep fake news alive on the internet).

    I’ve concluded that doomsters are suffering from an undiagnosed psychiatric disorder. Lewandowski, whose “recursive fury” blinded him from seeing what should be the golden age for psych research. He chose to analyse individuals on the side of sober reality rather than the phenomenon of the most remarkable pseudo scientific/politico/ cultic malfeasance ever perpetrated. It almost brought down civilization. Fortunately it has been curtailed and is in the aggressively athletic but terminal flipping and leaping chicken with head chopped off phase.

  19. The fly in the ointment is their prescriptions. Unfortunately I live in one of them in South Australia but there is some solace in watching them panic now with the results of their prescriptive medicine. That is their great unscientific undoing and they’ll never shake off the correlation in the long run.

    Running around like headless chooks installing diesel generators. What! Not more windmills and solar panels Premier? Look over there at our unicorn Tesla battery folks.

    • @ Observa August 7,2017
      Yes South Australia has become the poster child for F wits. Thomas Playford (ex Premier of S.A.) would be revolving in his grave. You may well Weep Sir Thomas.

      • Here’s their problem in a nutshell, bearing in mind my recent electricity bill has just copped the 20% rise to AUD 50c/kwhr peak retail and we haven’t paid a cent yet to level the despatchability playing field with their unreliables-
        The mind boggles at what sort of battery you’d need to even achieve wind’s average annual output around 30% of installed capacity, but with the levelling of thermal power stations and a 20% price hike it’s only just beginning to dawn on them. We live in interesting times.

      • Griff I’m on the tax clawback 54c/kwhr original FIT scheme whereby the Gummint gave me a $9500 subsidy at the time to earn a 10% tax free return on my $12000. Being a net export FIT scheme it now means I’m saving 50c for each kwhr consumed internally compared to 20c/kwhr when it was introduced. Who needs a Tesla powerwall? I’ll save it for a diesel genny if and when the rolling brownouts begin in earnest. After all I have my State Premier as the shining exemplar of that now.

  20. I suspect the end of alarmism will occur in the Arctic. If we see large gains of sea ice it will destroy their “canary in the coal mine”. This could occur when the AMO goes negative which is likely happen in the 2020s, the analog to the 1960s and 1970s cooling.

    Before then we could see the pause reestablished during the coming solar minimum if we get a strong La Nina. The key is keeping the UAH data set intact and showing the RSS 4.0 data to be questionable. Pruitt could help in this manner by calling for a review of the RSS changes by his red team.

  21. Thanks for the article and for your contributions to science, Dr. Lindzen

    I got my degree in what is now called “climate science” in the 1980s. At Penn State, the nation’s largest for atmospheric sciences, we only had ONE climatologist. He had essentially no funding. Now, seemingly half the university thrives off the climate money. The hype is out of control and if you want to thrive at the school, you don’t dare speak ill of the goose that has laid the golden egg.

    But many of my old professors are appalled at the climate hype. I wish more had spoken out after retirement like you have.

  22. A lot of skeptical scientist deaths in recent times. It would be interesting to do a study on alarmist and skeptical scientist deaths with relative ages to see if there’s a massive disparity. If there is foul play may be involved. (Physiological stress from going against the establishment wouldn’t account for it)

  23. Prof. Lindzen,
    Was Edward Lorenz a skeptic? Add Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greeanpeace, among the converts. If they were alive today, I bet John von Neumann and Richard Feynman would be skeptics. Other notable skeptics: Harrison Schmitt, the only scientist on the moon, and Burt Rutan, the brilliant aerospace engineer (sorry Elon you’ve been outclassed) I believe there are more closet skeptics in the academe afraid to come out because of constant harassment by the AGW activists.

    The All-Star Red Team:
    Richard Lindzen
    Judith Curry
    Roger Pielke Sr.
    John Christy
    Freeman Dyson


    • The two men responsible for AGW were actually skeptics. Arrhenius and Roger Revelle are the fathers of the greenhouse effect. Arrhenius invented the GHE theory in 1896 and the first to calculate climate sensitivity to CO2. Revelle was the professor and mentor of Al Gore. He taught him AGW but Gore was a poor student and just imagined catastrophes beyond science. Arrhenius said global warming is good. Revelle believed the science for greenhouse warming is too uncertain to justify drastic actions.

    • “The apparent upward trend of global-average temperature during the most recent century, and the unusually warm and dry weather that has invaded parts of the world during parts of the most recent decade, have led some of us to speculate that the greenhouse warming is already being felt. In this talk I wish to examine the basis for speculating that the greenhouse effect is not the main cause of what we have been experiencing and, particularly, that the suggested warming is due to processes purely internal to the atmosphere and its immediate surroundings.” (Lorenz, 1991)

      Yup. The great meteorologist and mathematician Edward Lorenz was also a skeptic. All the great scientists are on the Red Team. Who’s left on the Blue? Al Gore, Bill Nye and John Cook, a.k.a. The Three Stooges

    • Patrick Moore did not co found Greenpeace…

      when his nuclear testing protest group became one of many amalgamating to found Greenpeace, he promptly jumped ship

  24. I first heard of the whole issue as a graduate student in the 1980s. Frankly, acid rain was a much bigger issue at the time.

    In 1998, I started paying attention. Temps were soaring and Hansen’s 1988 forecasts were spot on. I was unaware of the el nino connection.

    Ironically, that is when I first heard “skeptic” opinions. But I mostly dismissed them. Nonetheless, I can’t say I was really worried. I just said I was. I always remember that because I often wonder if alarmists now are actually worried…or just say they are.

    Then when Al Gore hit it big… 2006ish… things got ridiculous. Since then, the ridiculousness has amplified.

    Slowly, as the temps flat-lined, I began to realized the whole thing was one part science, ten parts hype. In the last decade, this has been the perfect issue for leftists. Everything they have ever dreamed of fits neatly into the global warming narrative. Environmentalism. socialism, taxes, world government, etc.

    This has been hard on me because I’m a true liberal. But science is science and this is a crock. My lefty friends are shocked when I speak out. But I try hard to stick to the science and encourage them to move on. This will be a horrible loser and the butt of jokes in 2040. Or hopefully 2030.

    • Thank you for what you said. I don’t like framing this in political terms, even though there are undeniable political alignments. In my view, science is apolitical. It depends on what you can demonstrate. Mother Nature does not belong to any political parties.

      • Agreed. That’s why I stick to the science when I discuss it with people. As soon as politics are introduced, they immediately run to their side.

  25. What’s different and sinister about the climate change saga is the successful “capture” of the learned societies who ought to be defending scientific enquiry against censorship – but are doing the exact opposite. In the UK a “gang of 43” Fellows of the Royal Society protested to their President at the RS issuing their dumbed down propaganda leaflet on “climate change”; but the senior and distinguished scientists who did this were subject to campaigns of vituperative abuse, as I know personally from one of them. Even well-established FRS’s are now careful not to stick their necks out too far, though some admit in private, behind carefully closed doors, that the AGW saga is being challenged by “some very credible people” (Richard Lindzen presumably being one notable example). The Royal Society has now had a continuous run of three Presidents whose political activism on “climate change” has got in the way of their duty (they think it’s a path to a peerage, Lord May’s Presidency being the precedent).

    Richard Lindzen of course has charted a similar process within the NAS; back-door elections leading to appropriate “packing” of critical committees, a process politicians know all about, but which has nothing to do with objective enquiry (in anything, not just the natural sciences).

    So the risk of skeptics actually dying off is a point well made – any profession needs to look after the younger generation, but there isn’t one in climatology, where the younger generation have joined a political party, not a profession.

    This is a challenge to the whole scientific profession, in whatever field; in fact the more outsiders who ask obvious questions like: “what is the empirical evidence that anthropogenic CO2 is the leading causative mechanism for dangerous global warming”, the better. Wait for your reply (if you get one) and let us know the answers. Current strategy seems to be to ignore the question, but slowly people wake up to the fact that no answers are being given.

  26. Nobody above has mentioned Prof. David Bellamy as far as I can tell. He announced that he was sceptical about the influence of carbon dioxide on the world’s climate and, suddenly, that was the end of his career as a popular television broadcaster. Up till then he was as prominent as David Attenborough. David Bellamy maintained his honesty and integrity but has disappeared from public view. Is this an example of soft totalitarianism, I wonder.

    • If I were Nye, I’d be embarrassed to show my face in public after that schooling. Ouch! That’s gotta hurt.

      • Following Nye’s hilarious humiliation by Dr. Lindzen, it was agreed by Leftist MSM outlets that CAGW acolytes would NEVER conduct one-on-one TV debates with renowned scientists who are skeptical of CAGW.

        CAGW simply cannot survive honest debate because it’s already a disconfirmed hypothesis.

      • SAMURAI

        No. CAGW cannot be disconfirmed as it is not falsifiable. Falsifiability requires a model that makes predictions plus access by the scientific communit to the statistical population that underlies this model.but neither requirement is met.

  27. The Full Red Team

    Atmospheric Group:
    Richard Lindzen
    John Christy
    Sallie Baliunas

    Oceanographic Group:
    Judith Curry
    Roger Pielke Sr.
    Roy Spencer

    Ecological Group:
    Freeman Dyson
    William Happer
    Patrick Moore
    Craig Idso

    Economic Group:
    Ross McKitrick
    Bjorn Lomborg
    Roger Pielke Jr.

  28. They are teaching this speculative theory as fact to our children at school. When I do presentations on weather to science classes, jaws drop open when enlightening them about CO2 as a beneficial gas……..especially the teacher(s).

    They are taught that CO2=pollution. This is stored in their brains as knowledge and indoctrinates them into the global warming/climate change belief system/cult. This belief system causes them to interpret new information about CO2, global warming and climate change with the assumption that CO2=pollution for the rest of their lives.

    • How can “they” not see that what makes us stay alive is beneficial? If they preach that trash, soot, chemicals etc. are bad, I’m in.

      • Our children are being taught junk science(that actually aligns more with a political position rather than anything authentically scientific) when it comes to climate science/change……..assumed to be “human caused” climate change.

        Here’s an example of a “Climate Literacy Quiz” for grades 9-12:

        This comes from:

        “Climate Education Week 2017 Toolkit
        Easy-to-use climate science 101 for your K-12 students”

        How can this person call it “climate science” ? There is ZERO science. This is nothing more than an indoctrination into the political ideology.

      • We adults have the opportunity to use more critical thinking on this topic, especially those educated in the sciences that want to sincerely apply the scientific method.

        However, the real story of the last decade is the brainwashing of our children in schools. There is often little to no science being taught about authentic climate science/change. (synonymous with “human caused” climate change today)

        The science of CO2, unlike a generation ago, rarely discusses it’s key role in photosynthesis. It is now, only known for it’s contribution towards global warming and climate change. The greenhouse effect is real but the speculative theory represented by global climate model projections that have been too warm, is taught as if it were a proven law, similar to the force of gravity.

        Young minds are not being afforded the opportunity to learn the objective truths. They are being specifically targeted with political propaganda and ideological environmentalism, disguised as the ‘new” climate science of this generation.

        The authentic principles of climate science have not changed, only what is being taught, studied/researched and promoted about climate science.
        Young scientists schooled in the “new” climate science as children, are finding it extraordinarily difficult to apply the scientific method and apply principles of climate science that were absent in their education.

        Like with the Medieval Warm Period being wiped out with one manufactured hockey stick graph to make the Modern Warm Period look even warmer historically, you can teach objective climate science that comprehensively includes all legitimate factors………or, you can manufacture a “new age” version of climate science that selectively chooses what to put in and what to keep out.

  29. “The newcomers are younger, and with death of many of the previous generation, they have come to dominate the field – to the great detriment of the science, itself. ”

    Funny that – I thought that was what had happened forever. Old people, die and younger people take over, before getting old and dying in their turn. If old being replaced by young leads to detriment of science, how can you explain the progress science has made over the years?

    • The indoctrination of successive generations by the Ayers/Alinsky Academies for Useful Idiots since the ’60s has ensured a bumper crop of brain dead morons, awash in the lies of St. Algore the Large of the Church of Globull Warming.. As a result, the quantity of “next generation” skeptical scientists is likely a lower portion of the population than for earlier generations…

    • Because there are important instances of the younger generation getting it all wrong, only to be set right again by the following generation.

      Eugenics comes to mind, although regrettably it persisted for longer than a single generation. Darwin himself said that the strong had to help the weak, despite weakening our species, and hoped only that those less gifted would voluntarily marry at a lower rate. Those who came after him were ready not only not to help the weak, or those so perceived, but actively to exterminate them.

      Only after WWII did Darwin’s original philanthropic conception regain currency among men of “science”. To be fair there were also early 20th century eugenicists who opposed war on eugenic grounds, and never advocated sterilization, let alone extermination.

    • It seems to me that if you study the history of science, which is the history of scientists, science usually progresses when one scientist, or small group of scientists, has an insight into observable phenomena, develops a theory to describe the observations, proposes a testable hypothesis, and then conducts repeatable experiments that support the hypothesis and the theory. This is where the “consensus” climate scientists, as well as theoretical physicists, fail. There is no evidence (only unproven mathematics and models) to support their theories and hypotheses. In many ways and areas, science (i.e., scientists) has lost its way.

  30. What does it say about your “science” if you have to threaten to IMPRISON those who exercise the SKEPTICISM demanded by the scientific method?

    “Only a very weak idea demands that it must be protected from any criticism” The Globull Warming “idea is so weak it cannot be subjected to the normal vigorous debate of free society.” – Mark Steyn

  31. A useful list, Professor Lindzen. Recently I watched a debate from way back between you and Crichton and an opponent from Scripps (Somerville?), where you agreed with him that there never was much of a consensus on cooling. NTZ (and PopTech and “Steve Goddard”) has been busy collecting old papers pro and con on the cold scare, and I might note that of those you listed that I know about, Lamb and Bryson were coolers while Singer and Nierenberg were warmers–in the 70s. You could save me a lot of trouble by identifying others (not in the closet, of course) as erstwhile warmers or coolers. And I am also curious as to whether you would still agree with Somerville (?) that there never was a peer reviewed cold scare.

    And might we gather that the dividing line between coolers and warmers corresponded roughly to one between physicists and atmospheric scientists on the one hand and historical climatologists and glaciologists on the other? Any light you or others can shed on the question would be appreciated.

    Thanks, –AGF

  32. “18. Socci was on Gore’s senate staff. Frieman and Munk were scientists at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, whom Lancaster knew well; they were all politically active in the Gore campaign of 1992.” This came from the end of the link provided about Singer’s settled Lancaster lawsuit.

    Revelle was first an oceanographer, although back in those days they often intersected with meteorology, both fluids. For example, Revelle, R. 1934. Physico-chemical factors affecting the solubility of calcium carbonate in sea water. Journal of Sedimentary Petrology 4:103-110.

    I wonder what the politics is at Scripps is now. Marine laboratories (I worked in a few) have to varying degrees gotten into advocacy political positions, especially over the last few decades. There is more to clean up.

    • Scary stuff about Gore. Sadly, it has become the modus operandi of those associated with the Democratic Party, scientist or not. CAGW is political, not scientific.

  33. Bravo. After stating in several public forums that climate catastrophism was not based on credible science, I lost most of my friends and colleagues in the field, received several death threats and had my career threatened. I left water and climate research for a productive career in industry and have not looked back. I still hold a passion for earth science research and am starting to do work as an independent scientist. Scientists who have left the field should band together, find funding and continue their research without the barriers placed in front of them by the global warming conspirators who run the field.

    • Well said, David. It is probably worth a try.

      I keep my mouth shut in certain circles, but hold people’s feet to the fire on social media sometimes (but never with anyone I know!)

      I got into it around 2000, not too long after Mann’s Hockey Stick came out. I had no bone to pick, yea or nay, but having been an engineer for nearly 30 years at that time, 1/4 of which was in R&D, I thought I had some capacity to assess what was out there. I assumed that since they’d been at it since the 1980s, that someone had produced a “process of elimination” paper, one that specifically ruled out natural causes, natural variations, land use, etc. I was shocked and offended on the part of science that such a paper had not been done. IOW, they cheated. If there are multiple possibilities, it is HORRIBLE science to not have studiously researched in order to pin it on ONE of the possible culprits.

      It went downhill fast after that. No need to go into the rest – they’d never done the single fundamental study.

  34. In addition to the eminent names supplied by Professor Lindzen, here are the skeptical contributors to The Great Global Warming Swindle. (The time stamp records their first appearance in the video).
    00:14: Dr Tim Ball, Former Professor Department of Climatology, University of Winnipeg
    00:20: Professor Nir Shaviv, Racah Institute of Physics, University of Jerusalem
    01:36: Professor Ian Clark, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Ottawa
    01:41: Dr Piers Corbyn, Astrophysicist, Weather Action
    01:55: Professor John Christy, Director of the Earth System Science Center, University of Alabama in Huntsville
    02:30: Dr Philip Stott, Former Professor of Biogeography, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
    02:36: Professor Paul Reiter, Retired Scientist, Insects and Infectious Diseases, Pasteur Institute, Paris
    02:50: Professor Richard Lindzen, Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    03:56: Dr Roy Spencer, Former Weather Satellite Team Leader, NASA
    04:21: Professor Patrick Michaels, Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia
    12:15: Professor Syun-Ichi Akasofu, Founding Director International Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks
    15:33: Dr Frederick Singer, Former Director US National Weather Satellite Center.

  35. Another Lindzen masterpiece.

    I am embarrassed to say I was not familiar with the Revelle-Gore story. It is a fascinating and cautionary tale.

    I don’t put a lot of stock in Wikipedia in the base case and check them whenever I can, but their handling of this episode is shameful.


    Views on climate change distorted[edit]
    In 1991, Revelle’s name appeared as co-author on an article written by physicist S. Fred Singer and electrical engineer Chauncey Starr for the publication Cosmos: A Journal of Emerging Issues, titled “What to do about greenhouse warming: Look before you leap,” which was published in the summer of 1992. The Cosmos article included the statement that “Drastic, precipitous—and, especially, unilateral—steps to delay the putative greenhouse impacts can cost jobs and prosperity and increase the human costs of global poverty, without being effective. Stringent economic controls now would be economically devastating particularly for developing countries…”.[7][8] The article concluded: “The scientific base for a greenhouse warming is too uncertain to justify drastic action at this time. There is little risk in delaying policy responses.”[7]

    These particular statements and the bulk of the article, including the title, had been written and published a year earlier by S. Fred Singer, as sole author.[9] Singer’s article stated that “there is every expectation that scientific understanding will be substantially improved within the next decade,” and advocated against drastic and “hastily-conceived” action at the time without further scientific evidence. It does not, however, deny climate change or global warming.

    Justin Lancaster, Revelle’s graduate student and teaching assistant at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography from 1981 until Revelle’s death, says that Revelle was “hoodwinked” by Singer into adding his name to the article and that Revelle was “intensely embarrassed that his name was associated” with it.[10][11] In 1992, Lancaster charged that Singer’s actions were “unethical” and specifically designed to undercut then–Senator Al Gore’s global warming policy stance; however, to end a lawsuit brought by Singer against Lancaster with support of the Center for Public Interest in Washington, D.C., Lancaster gave Singer a statement of apology, but refused to admit that anything he said was false. In 2006, prompted by Robert Balling and others continuing to state that Revelle actually wrote the article, Lancaster formally withdrew his retraction and reiterated his charges.[10][12]

    When Gore was running for the vice-presidential nomination in 1992, The New Republic picked up on the contrast between the references to Revelle in Gore’s book, Earth in the Balance, and the views in the Cosmos article that could now be attributed to Revelle. This was followed up by Newsweek and elsewhere in the media. Patrick Michaels boasted that the Cosmos article had been read into the Congressional Record. The issue was even raised by Admiral James Stockdale in the televised vice-presidential debate. Gore’s response was to protest that Revelle’s views in the article had been taken out of context.

    Roger’s daughter, Carolyn Revelle, wrote:

    Contrary to George Will’s “Al Gore’s Green Guilt” Roger Revelle—our father and the “father” of the greenhouse effect—remained deeply concerned about global warming until his death in July 1991. That same year he wrote: “The scientific base for a greenhouse warming is too uncertain to justify drastic action at this time.” Will and other critics of Sen. Al Gore have seized these words to suggest that Revelle, who was also Gore’s professor and mentor, renounced his belief in global warming. Nothing could be further from the truth. When Revelle inveighed against “drastic” action, he was using that adjective in its literal sense—measures that would cost trillions of dollars. Up until his death, he thought that extreme measures were premature. But he continued to recommend immediate prudent steps to mitigate and delay climatic warming. Some of those steps go well beyond anything Gore or other national politicians have yet to advocate. […] Revelle proposed a range of approaches to address global warming. Inaction was not one of them. He agreed with the adage “look before you leap,” but he never said “sit on your hands.”[13]

  36. Hmmm… Richard Lindzen, I can see a distinct parallel between this warmist-skeptic dynamic and the one that existed in the 1800s between catastrophists and uniformitarians. The catastrophists died out by the early 20th century. Halfway through the period, the catastrophists were put in the position of being skeptics. Lyell bulldozed right through science by dint of his political infighting capacity and won the day for uniformitarianism. Meanwhile the catastrophists continued up to about WWI to skewer Lyellist ideas. I have a small collection of ebooks and books from those skeptics. Those skeptics never gave up. They just died out.

    I am pretty sure that was where the truism came from about paradigms shifting almost entirely because the advocates of one side die out.

    And the catastrop[hists continued to make GOOD arguments, actually, no matter what people today read. What is available today is written by the victors. They will and DO tell us that those catastrophists were all a bunch of Creationists who wanted to prove the literal truth of the Bible. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Not from what I am reading. Catastrophists were labeled as backward thinking religious people who couldn’t separate their religion from their science. Once the debate was presented as Science Triumphs Over Religion! none of the younger scientists wanted to be tarred with the Bible, and it was the YOUNG ones who carried the torch for uniformitarianism as all the old guard died out. With no young members, the catastrophists’ arguments died out by about 1915-1920.

    Now, that brings up two questions.
    1. The present: Are we climate skeptics doomed to give up the ghost and have the warmists OWN the discussion, perhaps 20 or 30 years from now?
    2. 100 years ago: Is it possible that the uniformitarians were actually wrong but because their young soldiers outlived the catastrophists, “they won”?

    That seems to be what Dr. Linzen is saying – that at some point there will not be anyone left to give the other side of the story. As long as the warmists keep on labeling skeptics as wackos, no young scientists will want to join up in our army. If so, this will doom us and our arguments as it did the catastrophists 100 years ago.

    My solace is my certainty that SOME DAY the real facts of all of this will be known. Whether it is in 100 years or 1,000 years or 10,000 years or 100,000 years, this sham science will be found to be utterly wrong.

    If there is one thing reading scientists from 200 to 100 years ago, in their own hand, has taught me is that SOME incorrect ideas are outed and cast into the dustbin of history. Almost 100% of those MISTAKES were ideas based on assumptions – assumptions that were later shown to be sheit. That is why I have confidence in the long haul – because we can laugh at the assumptions of the past, and if WE can, so can the people of 100 or 1,000 years from now.

    Though nobody realizes it, all of this is like preseason games in sports – everyone is trying to work things out, but the results don’t count.

    • Steve,
      I totally agree. The issue is always about the assumptions. If a scientist states the assumptions made and works within the logical framework of these assumptions, then they are acting with integrity, even though they may be wrong because the assumptions are wrong. However to make true advances in Science we need to challenge the boundary assumptions and explore the world outside our safe zone.

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