Clear and concise words on the AGW controversy

MIT professor of meteorology Richard Lindzen has a few well-chosen words on global warming. The article should be read in its entirety. WSJ:

Claims that climate change is accelerating are bizarre. There is general support for the assertion that GATA has increased about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit since the middle of the 19th century. The quality of the data is poor, though, and because the changes are small, it is easy to nudge such data a few tenths of a degree in any direction. Several of the emails from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (CRU) that have caused such a public ruckus dealt with how to do this so as to maximize apparent changes.

The general support for warming is based not so much on the quality of the data, but rather on the fact that there was a little ice age from about the 15th to the 19th century. Thus it is not surprising that temperatures should increase as we emerged from this episode. At the same time that we were emerging from the little ice age, the industrial era began, and this was accompanied by increasing emissions of greenhouse gases such as CO2, methane and nitrous oxide. CO2 is the most prominent of these, and it is again generally accepted that it has increased by about 30%…Even a doubling of CO2 would only upset the original balance between incoming and outgoing radiation by about 2%. This is essentially what is called “climate forcing.” There is general agreement on the above findings…

The main statement publicized after the last IPCC Scientific Assessment two years ago was that it was likely that most of the warming since 1957 (a point of anomalous cold) was due to man. This claim was based on the weak argument that the current models used by the IPCC couldn’t reproduce the warming from about 1978 to 1998 without some forcing, and that the only forcing that they could think of was man. Even this argument assumes that these models adequately deal with natural internal variability—that is, such naturally occurring cycles as El Nino, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, etc.

Yet articles from major modeling centers acknowledged that the failure of these models to anticipate the absence of warming for the past dozen years was due to the failure of these models to account for this natural internal variability. Thus even the basis for the weak IPCC argument for anthropogenic climate change was shown to be false. Of course, none of the articles stressed this…

even if the IPCC’s iconic statement were correct, it still would not be cause for alarm. After all we are still talking about tenths of a degree for over 75% of the climate forcing associated with a doubling of CO2. The potential (and only the potential) for alarm enters with the issue of climate sensitivity—which refers to the change that a doubling of CO2 will produce in GATA. It is generally accepted that a doubling of CO2 will only produce a change of about two degrees Fahrenheit if all else is held constant. This is unlikely to be much to worry about. Yet current climate models predict much higher sensitivities. They do so because in these models, the main greenhouse substances (water vapor and clouds) act to amplify anything that CO2 does. This is referred to as positive feedback…

The notion that the earth’s climate is dominated by positive feedbacks is intuitively implausible, and the history of the earth’s climate offers some guidance on this matter. About 2.5 billion years ago, the sun was 20%-30% less bright than now (compare this with the 2% perturbation that a doubling of CO2 would produce), and yet the evidence is that the oceans were unfrozen at the time, and that temperatures might not have been very different from today’s. Carl Sagan in the 1970s referred to this as the “Early Faint Sun Paradox.”

For more than 30 years there have been attempts to resolve the paradox with greenhouse gases. Some have suggested CO2—but the amount needed was thousands of times greater than present levels and incompatible with geological evidence. Methane also proved unlikely. It turns out that increased thin cirrus cloud coverage in the tropics readily resolves the paradox—but only if the clouds constitute a negative feedback. In present terms this means that they would diminish rather than enhance the impact of CO2.

It is interesting to remember that science has always had witch doctors, political hacks, and outright frauds. Clarice Feldman has a piece on the left-wing harmonic convergence in the fraud that is anthropogenic global warming. (The firm Fenton Communications, which we’ve noted in passing previously, is part of the nexus.) Bruce Walker discusses the egregious Trofim Lysenko. The main difference between the fraudsters of yesterday and those of today would seem to be that the paychecks now are much larger, and the intended power-grab more dangerous than in ages past.

8 Responses to “Clear and concise words on the AGW controversy”

  1. Steve Says:

    Since Little Green Footballs is listed on your Morning Coffee as a recommended website, you should know that Charles Johnson, the founder of that conservative group blog and co-founder of Pajama Medias, has formally broken with the conservative movement with a post at Little Green Footballs titled Why I Parted Ways With The Right. The post is a rather thorough list of the top 10 reasons he can no longer align himself with this group, and item 4 is relevant to your current and sadly purely partisan posting:

    1.Support for fascists, both in America and Europe
    2.Support for bigotry, hatred, and white supremacism
    3.Support for throwing women back into the Dark Ages, and general religious fanaticism
    4.Support for anti-science bad craziness (see: creationism, climate change denialism, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, James Inhofe, etc.)
    5.Support for homophobic bigotry
    6.Support for anti-government lunacy
    7.Support for conspiracy theories and hate speech
    8.A right-wing blogosphere that is almost universally dominated by raging hate speech
    9.Anti-Islamic bigotry that goes far beyond simply criticizing radical Islam, into support for fascism, violence, and genocide
    10.Hatred for President Obama that goes far beyond simply criticizing his policies, into racism, hate speech, and bizarre conspiracy theories
    Johnson provides examples of each reason enumerated. For instance, examples of those spreading conspiracy theories, Johnson lists Alex Jones, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Birthers, creationists, climate deniers, etc.

    Johnson concludes his post:
    And much, much more. The American right wing has gone off the rails, into the bushes, and off the cliff. I won’t be going over the cliff with them.

    You have to give Johnson credit for having escaped the Wingnut compound. I wonder if he had to undergo cult deprogramming.

  2. David/California Says:

    Sorry, Steve, but Charles Johnson, like Andrew Sullivan, is well known as a delusional paranoid. Everyone reading the fact-free and utterly baseless slanders of his deranged manifesto, including myself, has concluded he has descended even further into a Sullivan-like madness without Sullivan’s excuse of having abused steroids and narcotics. He’s gone over a cliff alright – it just wasn’t a conservative one. I don’t know of anyone giving Johnson “credit” for anything, and I think his membership in the Cult of Warmism is ample evidence of his ongoing need for “deprogramming”.

    Peddle his blather somewhere else.

  3. bagoh2o Says:


    It would be hard to more eloquently represent the lack of reasoning and fanaticism of the left and the AGW opportunist than by posting Charles Johnson’s list of paranoia. Well done to both you and Mr. Johnson.

  4. David/California Says:

    And if you believe in Global Warming I have a Piltdown Man I want to show you…

  5. Maggie's Farm Says:

    Weds. morning links…

    Reason: The Scientific Tragedy of Climategate -Can climate change science recover from the damage done by leaked emails?
    Watts: Climategate: hide the decline – codified
    Pajamas: The Fraud Is Everywhere: SUNY Albany and Queens University Bel…

  6. bill Says:

    Charles Johnson has apparently joined the cult of the left … denouncing AGW “deniers” is one of the clearest indicators of that.

    He was maybe not getting enough praise from the left, so being a “convert” to the religion of the left, he gets a little more of the attention he must crave.

  7. bill Says:

    good grief … I meant “not getting enough praise from the RIGHT”

    (all this up is down and war is peace stuff is infecting my brain LOL)

  8. Steve Says:

    I guess you fine gentlemen have no interest in admitting that LGF has been a recommended weblink on this site. That’s all I was getting at, but woe to the apostates in your own circle.

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