I posted on Monday the very words written by Richard S. Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with which he titled his WSJ article. The reaction to my post by the true believers of global warming, a contradiction in terms, was, as expected, rude, and the emailers’ argument was focused on my intellectual attributes, specifically, speculation on what kind of moron I am, not on anything Richard Lindzen wrote.
I’d say that if I’m a moron, I’m an opinionated moron. At least I’m in good company. But I digress.
While my post was on how faulty science can be used as a political issue and lead to disastrous public policy, Dr. Lindzen specifically addressed in his article the issue of rising temperatures, a pillar of the alarmists’ creed:
A learer claim as to what debate has ended is provided by environmental journalist George Easterbrook. He concludes that the scientific community now agrees that significant warming is occurring, and that there is clear evidence of human influences on the climate system. This is still a most peculiar claim. At some level, it has never been widely contested. Most of the climate community has agreed since 1988 that global mean temperatures have increased on the order of one degree Farenheit over the past century, having risen significantly from about 1919 to 1940, decreased between 1940 and the early ’70s, and remaining essentially flat since 1998.
As you can clearly read from his own words, Dr. Lindzen contradicts Wikipedia‘s assertion that “There are no longer any such scientists who contend that the Earth is not warming”; Wikipedia even lists Dr. Lindzen among the scientists supporting the Wikipedia assertion, when he clearly doesn’t. What Lindzen is saying is that (pay attention now, because I’m going to repeat it)
global mean temperatures have increased on the order of one degree Farenheit over the past century
and they have decreased or remained flat over the last 60 years.
A commenter at Babalu read the Lindzen article and still insists that there is a consensus on warming, but not on the causes. As a true believer, his faith is strong, yet his reading skills are weak.
(If instead you are not a true believer but are going to base your opinion on Wikipedia, you should read their section on the Maunder minimum; as a commenter in Kobayashi Maru‘s blog pointed out, there is adequate evidence that the earth IS approaching another Ice Age.)
But Dr. Lindzen is not alone: Scientists respond to Gore’s warnings of climate catastrophe
Concerning Gore’s beliefs about worldwide warming, Morgan [Dr. Dick Morgan, former advisor to the World Meteorological Organization and climatology researcher at University of Exeter, U.K.] points out that, in addition to the cooling in the NW Atlantic, massive areas of cooling are found in the North and South Pacific Ocean; the whole of the Amazon Valley; the north coast of South America and the Caribbean; the eastern Mediterranean, Black Sea, Caucasus and Red Sea; New Zealand and even the Ganges Valley in India. Morgan explains, “Had the IPCC used the standard parameter for climate change (the 30 year average) and used an equal area projection, instead of the Mercator (which doubled the area of warming in Alaska, Siberia and the Antarctic Ocean) warming and cooling would have been almost in balance.”
So really, as the very title of Dr. Lindzen’s article tells you, there is no “consensus” on global warming.
What there is, instead, is the theology of global warming, as Kobayashi has discussed
the instantiation of environmentalism (and global warming specifically) as a kind of secular religion against which no fact-based heresy will be tolerated lest it erode the blind, unreasoning faith of true believers. Simply calling it a religion begins to explain much about how the ‘debate’ is conducted and how the word “science” is at risk of becoming merely a sound that people make with their mouths – signifying nothing.
The Anchoress knows that Yes, Global Warming is Hoo-Hah. She points out that the true believers in global warming
have way too much invested in other narratives
Flopping Aces has a movie you should watch, by Friends of Science. It’s 1/2 hr and has no fake scientists. Now that we are in hurracaine season, keep in mind that there are more cyclones when there are cooler temperatures.
As for An Inconvenient Truth, which was playing downtown for the past 3-4 weeks, it’s been replaced by Pirates of the Caribbean. Next thing you know, there’ll be a consensus on the existence of ghosts.
Update Big Lizards checks out one survey, and finds that 81% of climatologists surveyed didn’t see the movie or read the book. I think the Pirates will do better.
Update 2 Sigmund, Carl and Alfred are hitting hard today: ‘Can We Verify That Falling Sky’ And What Does A Past President Of The NAS Know, Anyway?. SC&A link to The Economist’s 2001 article The truth about the environment.
Ignorance matters only when it leads to faulty judgments.
Here’s a lecture from Dr Art Robinson of the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine
A review of the research literature concerning the environmental consequences of increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide leads to the conclusion that increases during the 20th Century have produced no deleterious effects upon global weather, climate, or temperature. Increased carbon dioxide has, however, markedly increased plant growth rates. Predictions of harmful climatic effects due to future increases in minor greenhouse gases like CO2 are in error and do not conform to current experimental knowledge.
How’s that for consensus?
Update 3 Shrikwrapped explores Recourse to authority.
Talk about Inconvenient.
(technorati tags Al Gore, Global Warming, Science, Richard S. Lindzen)