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Wall Street Journal: Climate of Fear

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Climate of Fear
Global-warming alarmists intimidate dissenting scientists into silence.

BY RICHARD LINDZEN
Wednesday, April 12, 2006 12:01 a.m. EDT

There have been repeated claims that this past year’s hurricane activity was another sign of human-induced climate change. Everything from the heat wave in Paris to heavy snows in Buffalo has been blamed on people burning gasoline to fuel their cars, and coal and natural gas to heat, cool and electrify their homes. Yet how can a barely discernible, one-degree increase in the recorded global mean temperature since the late 19th century possibly gain public acceptance as the source of recent weather catastrophes? And how can it translate into unlikely claims about future catastrophes?

The answer has much to do with misunderstanding the science of climate, plus a willingness to debase climate science into a triangle of alarmism. Ambiguous scientific statements about climate are hyped by those with a vested interest in alarm, thus raising the political stakes for policy makers who provide funds for more science research to feed more alarm to increase the political stakes. After all, who puts money into science–whether for AIDS, or space, or climate–where there is nothing really alarming? Indeed, the success of climate alarmism can be counted in the increased federal spending on climate research from a few hundred million dollars pre-1990 to $1.7 billion today. It can also be seen in heightened spending on solar, wind, hydrogen, ethanol and clean coal technologies, as well as on other energy-investment decisions.

But there is a more sinister side to this feeding frenzy. 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. Consequently, lies about climate change gain credence even when they fly in the face of the science that supposedly is their basis.

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3 Replies to “Wall Street Journal: Climate of Fear

  1. 1
    DaveScot says:

    Dead silence from the usual suspects. Wow. This one must have really hit a nerve.

    What’s up with that? Can’t dig up any dirt to use to discredit Lindzen?

    Speak right up boys. I know all you defenders of the faith at ATBC are reading this. Cat got your tongues?

  2. 2
    dhogaza says:

    The post has nothing to do with Intelligent Design. If you want to read some serious discussion of Lindzen’s piece, visit Real Climate. The tongues are wagging in a more relevant venue, one hosted by working climate scientists.

    Also relevant to the level of interest triggered by the piece is that Lindzen’s been riding the same horse for a very long time. There’s nothing particularly new in his piece. He specializes in trying to debunk the consensus among climatologists regarding global warming by a fairly unsubtle series of ad hominem attacks. That gets old.

    He’s also a bit of a sore loser over the fact that some of his earlier work has not held up over time. As one climatologist puts it:

    ‘This [the IRIS paper he mentions in his WSJ editorial] is based on the idea that baroclinic neutralization maintains a particular critical temperature gradient, an idea that had a brief period of fashionability in 1978. In any case, there’s certainly been a lively debate about the paper, and if it’s widely viewed as “discredited”, then that’s the judgement of the climate dynamics community.’

    Speak of dirt, and dirt appears. Thanks. Now I need to go wash up. -ds

  3. 3

    […] In the 10 years to 2009 the US Federal Government allocated $25bn to research on climate change.  In 2013 the EU announced that at least 20% of its budget for 2014-20 would be spent on climate issues.  Climate science has become politicized which has had the unfortunate effect of shutting down debate on the issue.  Scientists who want research money and the respect of their peers must agree with global warming or loose their grant funding. […]

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