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Now at Reason.tv: MIT's Richard Lindzen on Global Warming Alarmists and the Politicization of Science

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MIT's Richard Lindzen, one of the most-respected climatologists on the planet, speaks to the second annual International Conference on Climate Change in New York. Lindzen warns that scientists who embrace global warming alarmism are not necessarily good researchers. And that skeptics of global warming are not necessarily good researchers either.

The point, he argues, is to stay focused on the facts as they can be determined and to follow the science, not the political debate.

For more on Lindzen's talk and the conference, read Reason science correspondent Ronald Bailey's dispatches here.

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  1. This guy is now my favorite scientist. Since the only other scientist I am aware of is Bailey, and he’s kind of a douche, maybe that’s not saying much. But, I like “A and B may both suck” as a general argument.

  2. It is Climate Change, not that other term the deniers keep using.

  3. “. Lindzen warns that scientists who embrace global warming alarmism are not necessarily good researchers. And that skeptics of global warming are not necessarily good researchers either.”

    But remember that the burden of proof is on those who demand we spent vast sums of money and cede lots more power and control to government to “fix” global warmning that there are, in fact, quatifiable benefits to doing so that exceed the costs of it.

  4. MIT’s Richard Lindzen, one of the most-respected climatologists on the planet

    I wonder if Lindzen’s climate change skepticism has changed his “respect” within the environmental community. I would believe he is not widely respected, within his peers, for such heresy.

  5. But remember that the burden of proof is on those who demand we spent vast sums of money and cede lots more power and control to government to “fix” global warmning that there are, in fact, quatifiable benefits to doing so that exceed the costs of it.

    Why not ask those people why we should not use the information in the TTAPS study (one of the most important, groundbreaking scientific papers in the history of the world) to combat global warming?

  6. Any Canadians in the house? How was your winter? Did it suck? Why do most of you live as close as you can to your southern border? And don’t say it’s because you love Americans.

  7. His point about getting scientists to publicly resign from professional associations that endorse global warming was excellent, and I wish him luck on the fool’s mission that it is.

    Too much money is at stake, regrettably, for this type of movement to take hold. Petitions are less effective, but they are safe, and like “feel-good” legislation, it looks like You Are Doing Something without having to actually, you know, do something.

    The public fears science because they don’t know what it is or how its done, yet they will quickly jump to “scientific facts” to bolster any argument at hand. This is an interesting paradox. My particular POV sees the shoddy state of science education as a large culprit in this debacle.

  8. “Too much money is at stake, regrettably, for this type of movement to take hold.”

    People whine about Exxon Mobil et al. contributing to skeptics. How does this money compare to what government are offering? What do you have to believe to get the government grants?

  9. Living at the northern end of the North American Great Plains this winter has been particularly brutal with the longest -25C stretch since records have been kept. My understanding is from global warmists caused by … global warming? I will say though, I’m still rooting for global warming I’m just not seein it

  10. “global warming? I will say though, I’m still rooting for global warming I’m just not seein it”

    It called climate change = heads I win, tails you loose.

  11. I don’t understand what’s libertarian about denying science. You guys aren’t doing yourself any favors in the credibility department.

  12. Tony, you can write “The science is settled” 5,000 times on the nearest blackboard but it still won’t make it so.

  13. Tony,

    Lindzen’s point is that much of “climate science” is not, in fact, science. It’s politicized hype overseen by committees of bureaucrats.

    This aspect of the debate is not denying science, it’s an insistence on good science.

  14. Dear TofuSushi;

    If you are worried about climate change, then your side has apparently surrendered on the whole ‘carbon footprint’ issue.

    Since CO2 emmisions are supposedly going to cause a climate change such that new deserts will form in formerly ariable regions, and ice shelf melt is going to raise sea levels, any other climat change besides warming is in fact defeat for your side.

    Now, climate change is normal to the earht, occasionally very rapid sans anthropogenic effects, and has produced some spectacular warming events at the end of several ice ages.

    Further; the earth isn’t warming, and is in fact cooling. Due (as nearly as the real scientists can tell) almost entirely to variance in solar radiation. In fact, Mars and Jupiter have been warming, in the absence of the effects of mankind. Now they seem to be following suit into a period of cooling.

    Could this be a coincidence, or nearly irrefutable proof that the sun goeverns our climate much more authoritativly than anything we (humans, not Marcians or Jupiterites) can do?

    Remember; history is watching. Algore & Co. will be recorded as the chicken little’s that they are. Will you be among their number?

    All for now,

    Bob Kutz
    Osky, IA

  15. I don’t understand what’s libertarian about denying science.

    What denial of science?

    No one is denying the TTAPS study, which implies a method of dealing with global warming should it be as disastrous as the Greeniacs say it is.

  16. Heh. I like the part when he admits global warming predictions are basically guesses.

    You get the sense this is a man who is just beginning to notice his work has been hijacked by a bunch of political ideologues who scream “science!” with all the intellectual rigor of an Aztec tearing out the heart of a human sacrficie.

  17. YOUR OFFERINGS OF CARBON CREDITS AND RESEARCH GRANTS PLEASE ME, MORTALS. PERHAPS I WILL SPARE YOUR ICECAPS IF YOU ALSO PLEDGE TO ME 2% OF GDP FOR THE REST OF ETERNITY.

  18. Gaia, are you related to Uncle Sam?

    I sense a family resemblence.

  19. The questions are scientific, but the UN answers are political. The global warming debate is hardly about science. It has become a cause c?l?bre, championed by activists, politicians and celebrities. To deny their belief that humans are the cause of global warming, is to invoke their wrath. Science is not consensus; Science is theory, observation and measurement. Science is not, “let’s all take a vote on the speed of light and see what number we get.” Science is dictated by nature’s rules.

    Don J. Easterbrook, Ph.D., emeritus professor of geology at Western Washington University, asked, “What does it take to ignore 10 years of global cooling, sharply declining temperatures the last couple of years, record setting lack of sun spots . . . failure of computer models to predict real climate, predictable warming and cooling climates for the past 500 years. The answer is really quite simple – just follow the money!”

  20. IMPETUOUS GILBERT, YOU WILL WORSHIP THE GOVERNMENT WHO COLLECTS MY DUE EVEN AS YOU WORSHIP ME, OR I WILL SMITE YOU WITH HIGHER SEA LEVELS, INCREASED HURRICANES, AND EARTHQUAKES!

  21. And, no doubt, even more “progressive” taxation!

  22. Could the original, unedited video be posted that includes his comparison evidence? This video cuts him off in mid point several times such that I am left hanging wondering where he was going to go, and no evidence is presented at all.

  23. “Why not ask those people why we should not use the information in the TTAPS study (one of the most important, groundbreaking scientific papers in the history of the world) to combat global warming?”

    beacuse despite Alan Robck’s best efforts to recussitate it , the TTAPS model ‘baseline’ cooling of over 5,000 degree days has flatlined to a few hundred.

    It is however cautionary that John Holdren , wose help with the effort Carl Sagan acknowledged, now awaits confirmation as well, SAPOTUS

  24. micro2000,

    The phrase ‘climate change skepticism’ is inaccurate.

    Lindzen and others are not skeptical that the climate changes (that’s obvious). They are skeptical that: 1. How much of that climate change is caused by man, 2. How accurate many of the claims and models are, 3. How negative any actual impact will be.

    A better phrase to use would be ‘anthropogenic climate change skepticism’ or ‘skepticism about climate change policy’.

  25. Bob Kutz,

    You have misspellings in paragraphs two and three, perhaps more, but I stopped counting at that point.

    If you expect people to take you seriously, please improve your writing skills.

  26. TofuSushi-
    The warmenists use “Climate Change” as bait and switch. The anti-AGW people do not deny climate changes over time. In 1066 AD the world was warmer by at least 2 deg. C (The English could grow wine grapes near York), and in the 1670s it was about 2 deg. C colder (Charles II went ice skating on the Thames.) We are still coming out of the Little Ice Age. The Vostok Ice cores show that CO2 goes up about 800 years after a warming, and 800 yars ago it was the tail end of the Medieval Warm Period.

    Of course, I live in Massachusetts, so I support Global Warming.

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