Lindzen Keeps It Complicated -- And The Wall Street Journal Laps It Up!

Mon, 2006-07-03 06:50Ross Gelbspan
Ross Gelbspan's picture

Lindzen Keeps It Complicated -- And The Wall Street Journal Laps It Up!

Dr. Richard LindzenThe editorial page editors of the Wall Street Journal have a love affair with longtime skeptic Richard Lindzen. It's easy to see why.  Wind him up and he says the same thing – only with more obscurity and complexity than the previous time around.  If you're up to it, read Lindzen's latest in the WSJ.   Then consider just one inconvenient example from his writing.

Lindzen writes in a most misleading way about the connections between global warming and hurricane intensity:

“Even among those arguing, there is general agreement that we can't attribute any particular hurricane to global warming. To be sure, there is one exception, Greg Holland of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, who argues that it must be global warming because he can't think of anything else. While arguments like these, based on lassitude, are becoming rather common in climate assessments, such claims, given the primitive state of weather and climate science, are hardly compelling.”

In fact, it's not only Holland who can't think of any other possible reason for the marked increase in hurricane intensity.

Hurricanes take their strength from the temperature of surface waters – the hotter the water, the stronger the hurricane.  Given the intensity of Katrina, Rita, Wilma and the other severe hurricanes we witnessed last summer, the reasons are spelled out in a series of scientific findings:

* Dr. Tim Barnett of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (and his fellow researchers) found last spring that 84 percent of the excess heat from atmospheric warming is absorbed by the oceans.

* Shortly before Katrina hit, Kerry Emmanuel, a colleague of Lindzen's at MIT, published a report indicating that tropical storms all over the world have become 50 percent more intense since the mid-1970s – because of warming surface waters.

* Weeks after Katrina made landfall, another team of researchers, led by Dr. Peter Webster at the Georgia Institute of Technology found that, while the number of Atlantic hurricanes had remained relatively constant since the mid-1970s, the proportion that had attained category 4 and 5 status (the strongest ratings) had nearly doubled.

Similarly, while Lindzen dismisses Gore's connection between warming and the spread of infectious disease, he ignores the evidence from, among other sources, the World Health Organization and Harvard Medical School. 

Those are peer-reviewed, well-documented findings Lindzen chooses to ignore.  But, then, that's probably why the Journal's Editorial Page Editors love him so much!

Previous Comments

The following was sent in response to “Scientists OK Gore’s movie for accuracy-SETH BORENSTEIN
Mr. Borenstein,
As a science writer it is your duty to inform yourself of all aspects of the science topic you are discussing so that your readers are also well informed. Unfortunately this article is totally one sided and by no means conveys the truth about the Al Gore’s book, film or the science of the myth of human induced global warming.
I am providing information on climate scientists who do not agree with the psuedo-science propaganda offered by Mr. Gore as “an inconvenient Truth”
Before you invite Al Gore for an interview or as a pontificator of dubious , questionable so-called science or any of the scientists supporting it educate your interviewer with facts, factual information and real data, 25 items of which can be found at:
“Gorey Truths: 25 Inconvenient Truths for Al Gore  Iain Murray  June 22, 2006”,05394.cfm.
Watch Al and scientists fumble and stumble as they are asked to support and defend his propaganda piece by a well informed interviewer instead of sycophants.

Perhaps the following review of Mr; Gore’s propaganda film by a noted professor and expert on climate
is one reason that any thinking person would have serious doubts about the science behind the film and book. If that is not sufficient to cause doubt there are a number of references below that refute many if not all of the Mr.Gore’s doom and gloom worst case scenarios or you could review an analysis at
If the least amount of research into the real facts of global climatology had been presented instead of allowing Mr. Gore free rein to champion his “junk science’  the American public would have been truly informed not propagandized, in particular with his false claim that there is a consensus of all scientists.

“Inconvenient Truths Indeed
By  Robert C. Balling Jr.     24 May 2006
“Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” opens around the country this week. In
the film Gore pulls together evidence from every corner of the globe to
convince us that climate change is happening fast, we are to blame, and if
we don’t act immediately, our Earth will be all but ruined. However, as you
sit through the film, consider the following inconvenient truths:

(1) Near the beginning of the film, Gore pays respects to his Harvard
mentor and inspiration, Dr. Roger Revelle. Gore praises Revelle for his
discovery that atmospheric CO2 levels were rising and could potentially
contribute to higher temperatures at a global scale. There is no mention of
Revelle’s article published in the early 1990s concluding that the science
is “too uncertain to justify drastic action.” (S.F. Singer, C. Starr, and
R. Revelle, “What to do about Greenhouse Warming: Look Before You Leap.
Cosmos 1 (1993) 28-33.)

(2) Gore discusses glacial and snowpack retreats atop Kenya’s Mt.
Kilimanjaro, implying that human induced global warming is to blame. But
Gore fails to mention that the snows of Kilimanjaro have been retreating
for more than 100 years, largely due to declining atmospheric moisture, not
global warming. Gore does not acknowledge the two major articles on the
subject published in 2004 in the International Journal of Climatology and
the Journal of Geophysical Research showing that modern glacier retreat on
Kilimanjaro was initiated by a reduction in precipitation at the end of the
nineteenth century and not by local or global warming.

(3) Many of Gore’s conclusions are based on the “Hockey Stick” that shows
near constant global temperatures for 1,000 years with a sharp increase in
temperature from 1900 onward. The record Gore chooses in the film
completely wipes out the Medieval Warm Period of 1,000 years ago and Little
Ice Age that started 500 years ago and ended just over 100 years ago. There
is evidence from throughout the world that these climate episodes existed,
but on Gore’s Hockey Stick, they become nothing more than insignificant
fluctuations (Gore even jokes at one point about the Medieval Warm period).

(4) You will certainly not be surprised to see Katrina, other hurricanes,
tornadoes, flash floods, and many types of severe weather events linked by
Gore to global warming. However, if one took the time to read the
downloadable ” Summary for Policymakers ” in the latest report from the
United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), one would
learn that “No systematic changes in the frequency of tornadoes, thunder
days, or hail events are evident in the limited areas analysed” and that
“Changes globally in tropical and extra-tropical storm intensity and
frequency are dominated by inter-decadal and multi-decadal variations, with
no significant trends evident over the 20th century.”

(5) Gore claims that sea level rise could drown the Pacific islands,
Florida, major cities the world over, and the 9/11 Memorial in New York
City. No mention is made of the fact that sea level has been rising at a
rate of 1.8 mm per year for the past 8,000 years; the IPCC notes that “No
significant acceleration in the rate of sea level rise during the 20 th
century has been detected.”

(6) Near the end of the film, we learn of ways the United States could
reduce emissions of greenhouse gases back to the levels of 1970. OK. Assume
the United States accomplishes this lofty goal, would we see any impact on
climate? The well-known answer is no. China, India and many other countries
are significantly increasing their emission levels, and global
concentrations of CO2 may double this century no matter what we decide to
do in the United States. Even if the Kyoto Protocol could be fully
implemented to honor the opening of this movie, the globe would be spared
no more than a few hundredths of a degree of warming.

Throughout the film Gore displays his passion for the global warming issue,
and it is obvious that he has dedicated a substantial amount of time to
learning about climate change and the greenhouse effect. This leads to an
obvious question. The Kyoto Protocol was negotiated in December of 1997
giving the Clinton-Gore administration more than three years to present the
Protocol to the United States Senate for ratification. Given Gore’s
position in the senate and his knowledge and passion for global warming,
one must wonder why then Vice President Gore did not seize on what appears
to have been an opportunity of a lifetime?

“An Inconvenient Truth” is billed as the scariest movie you’ll ever see. It
may well be, but that’s in part because it is not the most accurate
depiction of the state of global warming science. The enormous
uncertainties surrounding the global warming issue are conveniently missing
in “An Inconvenient Truth.”

Dr. Robert C. Balling Jr. is a professor in the climatology program at
Arizona State University, specializing in climate change and the greenhouse
To MSNBC,NBC, various papers and pundits,
The following letter is sent for your information. Even an iota of research
into the ‘global warming’ myth would reveal the propaganda nature of Mr.
Gore’s previous book, his current book and movie “An Incovenient Truth” and
the absolute erroneous claims Mr. Gore makes in personal interviews.
Instead of accepting Mr. Gore at face value and regurgitating his
propaganda spend a few minutes with real scientists, any of those
mentioned, and start reporting the truth.

Subj: Al Gore runs a great race when he isn’t running By Howard Fineman
Date: 5/24/2006 8:12:36 AM Eastern Daylight Time

To:, [email protected]
To the editor/producer,
It is strange that the National Geographic and the MSM would promote a
propaganda film featuring  the worst case disaster scenarios based on
projections and predictions generated by computer simulations full of
assumptions and treat it as science. The following letter should require
rethinking of Mr. Gore’s veracity.
The following Mr. Gore quote ” The entire global scientific community has a consensus on the question that human beings are responsible for global
warming…. “    is completely and totally false just as is the alleged
scientific findings for his movie. The following letter shows the falsity
of Mr.Gore’s claim of “consensus of the entire global scientific
Subj: The Propaganda Film of Al Gore “An Inconvenient Truth”
Date: 5/22/2006 7:35:17 PM Eastern Daylight Time
To: various publications

To the producer,
Al Gore’s ‘global warming’ movie can best be summed up by the following.
Sir Walter Scott wrote
“Oh what a tangled web we weave,
When first we practice to deceive”.
Mr. Gore was interviewed on your program tonight and also recently by a
California paper. Perhaps your viewers/readers should be informed of the
following regarding Kyoto and the myth of global warming which was was sent
to Mr. Gore’s interviewer:
“”The following exchange is very revealing as it is true but not for the
reasoning in Mr. Gore’s reply.
Q “In the film, you contrast the global warming stories written by
peer-reviewed scientists and the national news media …”

A: “Yes, 923 scientific peer-reviewed articles, zero disagreement with the
consensus. And then 53 percent of the newspaper articles, which say, “Well,
global warming may not be real.” ”

Before taking Mr. Gore’s answer as factual you should have reviewed any
number of peer reviewed science papers that challenge and reject the
computer generated disaster scenarios that are used by Mr. Gore as the
basis for his propaganda film. This may be difficult as Professor Lindzen
points out in the article noted below how difficult it is to have such
papers appear in many scientific publications which editorially support the
global warming agenda. It is science censorship and explains why Mr. Gore
can claim that there is no disagreement with the consensus. Professor
Lindzen posited in a previous paper that consensus in science is akin to
holding a religious belief that brooks no dissent from its tenets.
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
Proving Science Bias

Not As Bad As We Thought!
A new organization that is challenging the alleged consensus.

The following are selected quotes from letters I have sent to politicians,
pundits, technical publications and newspapers over the last several years.

“The IPCC report which is the basis for the limits set forth in the Kyoto
Accord is politically motivated, not science motivated. The IPCC
ignored the devasting criticism of the its own report by Frederick Seitz,
President Emeritus of Rockefeller University and past President of
theNational Academy of Sciences (NAS). Mr Seitz described the IPCC report
as “I have never witnessed a more disturbing corruption of the peer-review
process than the events that led to this IPCC report”…”If the IPCC is
incapable of following its most basic procedures, it would be best to
abandon the entire IPCC process, or at least that part that is concerned
with the scientific evidence on climate change, and look for more reliable
sources of advice to governments on this important question.” (
A Major Deception on Global Warming
by Frederick Seitz Wall Street Journal , June 12, 1996” ”

“Mr Seitz also cited NAS’ own study which states, inter alia, the earth
has been subjected to impressive and abrupt swings in climate during recent
periods covering thousands of years and that mankind’s role cannot be
assessed without adequate …. baseline documentation of natural climate
In addition to ignoring Mr. Seitz’, there are a number of recent studies
that disprove the computer simulations which are the basis for the Kyoto
Accord and these studies obviously have not been given any attention by the
science challenged environmentalists.”

“The first is “Restructuring Climatic and Environmental Changes of the
Past 1000 Years: A Reappraisal” by climate scientists at Harvard, the
University of Delaware and elsewhere. The study concludes, much to the
surprise of those propagandized to believe in global warming by Kyoto
advocates, that the “warming of the 20th Century across the world seems
neither unusual nor unprecedented within the more extended view of the last
1000 years. Overall, the 20th Century does not contain the warmest or most
extreme anomaly of the past millennium in most of the proxy records.”

“Another publication which is selectively ignored is Bjorn Lomborg’s “the
skeptical environmentalist” which also refutes many of the erroneous
positions championed by global warming enthusiasts through critical
analysis of available global warming studies.” NB(1) see below

“The third is “The Real Environmental Crisis” by Jack Hollander, an
emeritus professor of energy and resources at the University of
California-Berkeley. Dr. Hollander has studied energy and environmental
science for half a century. One of Dr. Hollander’s conclusion is “The
climate-change issue has become so highly politicized that its
scientific and political aspects are now almost indistinguishable. The
United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) upon which
governments everywhere have depended for the best scientific information,
has been transformed froma bona fide effort in international scientific
cooperation into what one of its leading participants terms ‘a hybrid
scientific/political organization.’”

“A fourth report finds conclusively that carbon dioxide from industrial
activity will have much less effect on global climate than some people
think. “It might have hardly any effect at all, according to Dr Paal
Brekke from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (Soho).
The results of his research at Soho, a project of international
co-operation between the European Space Agency (ESA) and the US National
Aeronautical and Space Administration (Nasa), suggest that energy
emitted from the sun drives the climate system, and natural changes in
its behaviour can have a far greater effect than human behaviour.
Earlier this year another study reported an even more startling find:
that the amount of energy the sun produces has been increasing in
amounts sufficient to account for a significant amount of the global
warming that has become so important to both climatologists and

“The fifth is a study by Dr. Robert Balling who is director of the office
of climatology, Arizona State University. Dr Balling concluded his recent
study on the beneficial effects of elevated CO2 levels as follows:
“We are bombarded with a message that CO2 is somehow a pollutant that
will degrade the global biosphere as concentrations continue to
increase. In fact, experiments the world-over show just the opposite. As
we’ve seen in these latest five articles in major peer-reviewed
scientific journals, trees benefit enormously from elevated CO2. We see
the forest and we see the trees, and they both thank us for the CO2
we’re adding to the atmosphere.”

“A report by a group of Japanese and French scientists
reported (in the journal Nature, April 3, 2003) on their successful
drilling of a 2500 meter-long ice core from an inland location in East
Antarctica, Dome Fuji. This study offers several conclusions:
1)The air’s carbon dioxide content is not the main driver of temperature
2) Local (Antarctic) surface temperature is not as sensitive to the
air’s carbon dioxide changes as today’s climate simulations suggest. In
that regard, most instrumental thermometer records in Antarctica show
cooling trends for the past 30 to 50 years – while the air’s global
carbon dioxide content rose sharply.
3)The latest geological ice-core records suggest that large climatic
swings in Antarctica are natural phenomena, and that atmospheric carbon
dioxide concentration is not the strongest factor in those dramatic
temperature changes.”
President Bush and the EPA are not being driven by the ‘Junk Science’
presented in the IPCC report and the Kyoto Accord but are being guided
by scientists presenting factual studies and are disregarding the doom and
gloom purveyors of global warming.
It is time that real scientific studies which challenge and refute the
‘global warming’ theorists are presented to the public.”

Perhaps, once you and your staff have absorbed the works of these and other
scientists who dissent from Mr.Gore’s doom’s day scenario, you could
question Mr. Gore again on the truthfullness and accuracy of his core
belief in the myth of global warming from a more knowledable position. In
fact perhaps another review is in order of “An Inconvenient Truth”
comparing it to the children’s story of the sky is falling featuring Al
Gore as Chicken Little with a cast of many Henny Pennys, Turkey Lurkeys et

NB(1) Mr Lomborg’s work was trashed by Scientific American who refused to
publish his letter defending himself and his work in the magazine and
threatened to sue him if he put their attack on his website along side his
reply. This certainly bears out Professor Lindzen’s charge of scientific censorship.


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