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Climate of Fear Global-warming alarmists intimidate dissenting scientists into silenc

Climate of Fear Global-warming alarmists intimidate dissenting scientists into silenc

Old Feb 6th 2007, 8:14 pm
  #1  
Earl Evleth
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Default Climate of Fear Global-warming alarmists intimidate dissenting scientists into silenc

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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.





To understand the misconceptions perpetuated about climate science and
the climate of intimidation, one needs to grasp some of the complex
underlying scientific issues. First, let's start where there is
agreement. The public, press and policy makers have been repeatedly
told that three claims have widespread scientific support: Global
temperature has risen about a degree since the late 19th century;
levels of CO2 in the atmosphere have increased by about 30% over the
same period; and CO2 should contribute to future warming. These claims
are true. However, what the public fails to grasp is that the claims
neither constitute support for alarm nor establish man's
responsibility for the small amount of warming that has occurred. In
fact, those who make the most outlandish claims of alarm are actually
demonstrating skepticism of the very science they say supports them.
It isn't just that the alarmists are trumpeting model results that we
know must be wrong. It is that they are trumpeting catastrophes that
couldn't happen even if the models were right as justifying costly
policies to try to prevent global warming.
If the models are correct, global warming reduces the temperature
differences between the poles and the equator. When you have less
difference in temperature, you have less excitation of extratropical
storms, not more. And, in fact, model runs support this conclusion.
Alarmists have drawn some support for increased claims of tropical
storminess from a casual claim by Sir John Houghton of the U.N.'s
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that a warmer world
would have more evaporation, with latent heat providing more energy
for disturbances. The problem with this is that the ability of
evaporation to drive tropical storms relies not only on temperature
but humidity as well, and calls for drier, less humid air. Claims for
starkly higher temperatures are based upon there being more humidity,
not less--hardly a case for more storminess with global warming.

So how is it that we don't have more scientists speaking up about this
junk science? It's my belief that many scientists have been cowed not
merely by money but by fear. An example: Earlier this year, Texas Rep.
Joe Barton issued letters to paleoclimatologist Michael Mann and some
of his co-authors seeking the details behind a taxpayer-funded
analysis that claimed the 1990s were likely the warmest decade and
1998 the warmest year in the last millennium. Mr. Barton's concern was
based on the fact that the IPCC had singled out Mr. Mann's work as a
means to encourage policy makers to take action. And they did so
before his work could be replicated and tested--a task made difficult
because Mr. Mann, a key IPCC author, had refused to release the
details for analysis. The scientific community's defense of Mr. Mann
was, nonetheless, immediate and harsh. The president of the National
Academy of Sciences--as well as the American Meteorological Society
and the American Geophysical Union--formally protested, saying that
Rep. Barton's singling out of a scientist's work smacked of
intimidation.

All of which starkly contrasts to the silence of the scientific
community when anti-alarmists were in the crosshairs of then-Sen. Al
Gore. In 1992, he ran two congressional hearings during which he tried
to bully dissenting scientists, including myself, into changing our
views and supporting his climate alarmism. Nor did the scientific
community complain when Mr. Gore, as vice president, tried to enlist
Ted Koppel in a witch hunt to discredit anti-alarmist scientists--a
request that Mr. Koppel deemed publicly inappropriate. And they were
mum when subsequent articles and books by Ross Gelbspan libelously
labeled scientists who differed with Mr. Gore as stooges of the fossil-
fuel industry.

Sadly, this is only the tip of a non-melting iceberg. In Europe, Henk
Tennekes was dismissed as research director of the Royal Dutch
Meteorological Society after questioning the scientific underpinnings
of global warming. Aksel Winn-Nielsen, former director of the U.N.'s
World Meteorological Organization, was tarred by Bert Bolin, first
head of the IPCC, as a tool of the coal industry for questioning
climate alarmism. Respected Italian professors Alfonso Sutera and
Antonio Speranza disappeared from the debate in 1991, apparently
losing climate-research funding for raising questions.

And then there are the peculiar standards in place in scientific
journals for articles submitted by those who raise questions about
accepted climate wisdom. At Science and Nature, such papers are
commonly refused without review as being without interest. However,
even when such papers are published, standards shift. When I, with
some colleagues at NASA, attempted to determine how clouds behave
under varying temperatures, we discovered what we called an "Iris
Effect," wherein upper-level cirrus clouds contracted with increased
temperature, providing a very strong negative climate feedback
sufficient to greatly reduce the response to increasing CO2. Normally,
criticism of papers appears in the form of letters to the journal to
which the original authors can respond immediately. However, in this
case (and others) a flurry of hastily prepared papers appeared,
claiming errors in our study, with our responses delayed months and
longer. The delay permitted our paper to be commonly referred to as
"discredited." Indeed, there is a strange reluctance to actually find
out how climate really behaves. In 2003, when the draft of the U.S.
National Climate Plan urged a high priority for improving our
knowledge of climate sensitivity, the National Research Council
instead urged support to look at the impacts of the warming--not
whether it would actually happen.





Alarm rather than genuine scientific curiosity, it appears, is
essential to maintaining funding. And only the most senior scientists
today can stand up against this alarmist gale, and defy the iron
triangle of climate scientists, advocates and policymakers.
Mr. Lindzen is Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT.
 
Old Feb 6th 2007, 9:48 pm
  #2  
Fred Bloggs
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Default Re: Climate of Fear: Stephen Bach Wets His Pants (again)

In article <[email protected] .com>,
[email protected] says...
>
> .
It's getting closer, Stephen. Do be sure to change those undies, won't
you?
>
>
 

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