A solid smackdown for climate change alarmists

I was glad to read an editorial in the Independent, a British newspaper, commenting on a presentation last month to Britain’s House of Commons by Prof. Richard Lindzen. He’s the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at MIT, and one of the world’s foremost authorities on climate and the factors affecting it. Here’s an excerpt from the editorial.

Is catastrophic global warming, like the Millennium Bug, a mistake?

At a public meeting in the Commons, the climate scientist Professor Richard Lindzen of MIT made a number of declarations that unsettle the claim that global warming is backed by “settled science”.

. . .

Lindzen says: “Claims that the earth has been warming, that there is a Greenhouse Effect, and that man’s activity have contributed to warming are trivially true but essentially meaningless.”

He said our natural body temperature varies by eight tenths of a degree.

. . .

When you double CO2 there’s a two per cent change in the “radiation budget”. Yet two billion years ago, the sun was 20 to 30 per cent dimmer – and the planet’s temperature was about the same.

The Al Gore graph showing CO2 and temperature rising and falling in tandem showed that the release of CO2 from the oceans was prompted by warming, not vice versa.

He gave us a slide with a series of familiar alarms – melting ice caps, disappearing icebergs, receding glaciers, rising sea levels. It was published by the US Weather Bureau in 1922.

. . .

How to explain the procession of eminent opinion leaders – some even in our own Royal Society – who advance the tenets of catastrophic global warming? “It is science in the service of politics,” he said.

If Lindzen is right, we will never be able to calculate the trillions that have been spent on the advice of “scientists in the service of politics”.

There’s more at the link.

I was intrigued to see such a scientific debunking of the ‘pseudoscience‘ behind so many assertions by climate change alarmists. I wanted to learn more, so I did a search, and found a complete copy of Prof. Lindzen’s presentation on YouTube, in two parts. It’s about an hour long, but if you’re interested in the field, it’s indispensable.

The slides used by Prof. Lindzen during his presentation have been made available in Adobe Acrobat (.PDF) format by the Telegraph newspaper in London. You can access them here. I recommend doing so while you watch/listen to the two-part talk above, so that you can refer to them as he mentions them.

This is perhaps the best debunking I’ve yet encountered of the nonsense spouted by so many alarmists about human-caused climate change. Last month’s ‘Fakegatescandal is merely the latest disgrace in a long history of their perversion of science and truth in the interests of a politicized (and political) agenda. (That last link, to an article by Warren Meyer in Forbes, is well worth following for a shorter, simplified explanation of the state of the climate change debate.) The problem is, the advocates of anthropocentric climate change keep altering the terms of the debate, to avoid confronting the facts that must inevitably destroy the foundations of their position. The science is indeed ‘settled’, as they claim – it’s just not in their favor. As Warren Meyer concludes in his article:

So let’s come back to our original question — what is it exactly that skeptics “deny.” As we have seen, most don’t deny the greenhouse gas theory, or that the Earth has warmed some amount over the last several year. They don’t even deny that some of that warming has likely been via man-made CO2. What they deny is the catastrophe — they argue that the theory of strong climate positive feedback is flawed, and is greatly exaggerating the amount of warming we will see from man-made CO2. And, they are simultaneously denying that most or all of past warming is man-made, and arguing instead that the amount that is natural and cyclic is being under-estimated.

So how about the “97% of scientists” who purportedly support global warming? What proposition do they support? Let’s forget for a minute a variety of concerns about cherry-picking respondents in studies like this (I am always reminded by such studies of the quote attributed, perhaps apocryphally, to Pauline Kael that she couldn’t understand how Nixon had won because no one she knew voted for him). Let’s look at the actual propositions the 97% agreed to in one such study conducted at the University of Illinois. Here they are:

  1. When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?
  2. Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?

The 97% answered “risen” and “yes” to these two questions. But depending on how one defines “significant” (is 20% a significant factor?) I could get 97% of a group of science-based skeptics to agree to the same answers.

So this is the real problem at the heart of the climate debate — the two sides are debating different propositions! In our chart, proponents of global warming action are vigorously defending the propositions on the left side, propositions with which serious skeptics generally already agree. When skeptics raise issues about climate models, natural sources of warming, and climate feedbacks, advocates of global warming action run back to the left side of the chart and respond that the world is warming and greenhouse gas theory is correct. At best, this is a function of the laziness and scientific illiteracy of the media that allows folks to talk past one another; at worst, it is a purposeful bait-and-switch to avoid debate on the tough issues.

Do I expect Prof. Lindzen’s exposition to change the debate, and put an end to all the propaganda spewed forth by climate change alarmists? Hardly! Some of the latter are already trying to explain ‘Fakegate’ as justified, in the light of skeptics’ resistance to what they consider to be the truth. Why their efforts to defend the indefensible? Follow the money, my friend. Look at how much is expended on the climate change alarmists’ side of the fence by the US government alone, compared to the Heartland Institute. Attacking anthropocentric climate change means that the income of its proponents is threatened. They’ve built a vast eminence on foundations of sand, and the truth is a flood washing that sand away and threatening to undermine and destroy their entire construction (which is no more than it deserves, of course). Look at how much Al Gore, the ‘prophet of global warming’, has made out of his climate evangelism. Don’t try to tell me he’s motivated purely by selfless concern for the environment. Follow the money!

Eventually authorities like Prof. Lindzen will be proved correct. The climate change alarmism edifice will come tumbling down as it becomes clear that the whole thing’s been a hoax, a monstrous lie, and a colossal waste of time and money. However, by then, literally trillions of dollars will have been wasted on it. Not a bad return for a few decades’ fakery.



  1. This just adds to my disgust about the carbon tax being introduced here in Australia. One that I doubt will go away with a change of government, seeing governments have yet to meet a tax they don't like.

  2. In my opinion, 'Climate Change' left the realm of science years ago, and entered the realm of religious doctrine. It's 'Believers' demand faith without proof, and berate as heretics anyone who questions their priests proclamations.

    Like many religions, it's not so much about right or wrong… but about control through fear and restriction of knowledge.

  3. Anyone who does looong-term climate research (paleoclimatology) has a best serious doubts about CAGW. For example, in North America at the end of the last Ice Age (12,000 years ago or so), evidence suggests that northern Minnesota shifted from steppe or tundra to grassland to forest in about a century. But thus far no evidence for internal combustion engines or pre-1980 A/C coolant has been found in sediments from that time. Of course, it could have been caused by mammoths and mastodons releasing methane . . . 😉


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