Pardon the pun, but the concept of global warming came under some more heat today from the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT, Richard S. Lindzen. Some of you might be familiar with the name Lindzen. He has been a strong antagonist to global warmingists – especially Al Gore – and wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal back in April wherein he not only contested media assertions that the Bush administration has been putting pressure on scientists to oppose climate change principles, but avowed that exactly the opposite is the case: “Scientists who dissent from the alarmism have seen their grant funds disappear, their work derided, and themselves libeled as industry stooges, scientific hacks or worse.”
Well, Lindzen wrote another WSJ op-ed published on Sunday entitled “Don't Believe the Hype,” with a subheading – “Al Gore is wrong. There's no ‘consensus’ on global warming.” This one further attacked the junk science involved in this theory, as well as the preposterous claim being made by Al Gore that there is actually a consensus in the scientific community about the issue:
“Mr. Gore assures us that ‘the debate in the scientific community is over.’
“That statement, which Mr. Gore made in an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC, ought to have been followed by an asterisk. What exactly is this debate that Mr. Gore is referring to? Is there really a scientific community that is debating all these issues and then somehow agreeing in unison? Far from such a thing being over, it has never been clear to me what this ‘debate’ actually is in the first place.”
Lindzen then went through a meticulous examination of just how little consensus actually exists, and that any suggestion to the contrary is just a gaseous emission:
“When Mr. Stephanopoulos confronted Mr. Gore with the fact that the best estimates of rising sea levels are far less dire than he suggests in his movie, Mr. Gore defended his claims by noting that scientists ‘don't have any models that give them a high level of confidence’ one way or the other and went on to claim--in his defense--that scientists ‘don't know. . . . They just don't know.’
“So, presumably, those scientists do not belong to the ‘consensus.’"
Lindzen offered several examples of how preposterous these assertions of a consensus are, including:
“More recently, a study in the journal Science by the social scientist Nancy Oreskes claimed that a search of the ISI Web of Knowledge Database for the years 1993 to 2003 under the key words ‘global climate change’ produced 928 articles, all of whose abstracts supported what she referred to as the consensus view. A British social scientist, Benny Peiser, checked her procedure and found that only 913 of the 928 articles had abstracts at all, and that only 13 of the remaining 913 explicitly endorsed the so-called consensus view. Several actually opposed it.”
Thus, it appears quite simple to identify a consensus with data about those whose views are falsely depicted as part of such consensus.
Lindzen marvelously concluded his piece (emphasis mine):
I guess it’s safe to say that Professor Lindzen is not part of the consensus that people like Al Gore, Bill Clinton, and the overwhelming majority of the drive-by media are continually telling the citizenry – despite all the evidence to the contrary – exists.
“So what, then, is one to make of this alleged debate? I would suggest at least three points.
“First, nonscientists generally do not want to bother with understanding the science. Claims of consensus relieve policy types, environmental advocates and politicians of any need to do so. Such claims also serve to intimidate the public and even scientists--especially those outside the area of climate dynamics. Secondly, given that the question of human attribution largely cannot be resolved, its use in promoting visions of disaster constitutes nothing so much as a bait-and-switch scam. That is an inauspicious beginning to what Mr. Gore claims is not a political issue but a ‘moral’ crusade.
“Lastly, there is a clear attempt to establish truth not by scientific methods but by perpetual repetition. An earlier attempt at this was accompanied by tragedy. Perhaps Marx was right. This time around we may have farce--if we're lucky.”