Richard Lindzen, a former meteorologist at MIT, in his first presentation as the newest distinguished fellow at the libertarian think tank Cato Institute, tore into global warming alarmists.
Scientists, instead of adhering to the old model of science and objectivity, were “eager participants” in the global warming hoopla. This is “an infiltration that gets too little attention” in today’s society. For example, before global warming exploded onto the scene, Lindzen said, “no one at MIT called themselves climate scientists.” They were oceanographers and meteorologists by trade, but “only when funding came did we become climate scientists.”
He mentioned several names of climate change experts, who have ulterior motives because of their work in environmentalist advocacy groups such as Greenpeace or the World Wildlife Fund. One of his administrators at Princeton, John Theurer, specialized in solar observation and the like. But, when Theurer passed away several years ago, Lindzen was shocked to find out that Theurer was called a climate change expert. Lindzen said these environmental advocates are “posing” as experts to get more federal funding. This entire process reveals “a highly-concentrated effort to take over a field” in science. And, adding insult to injury, many of the academics and experts are now “gatekeepers” of climate change and push aside any anti-global warming studies.
Regarding federal funding, Lindzen pointed out “the growth of administration in research centers has led to an immense emphasis for grants.” This is because grants are “the salary of the administration” and “the administration has grown as a very important constituent of the university.” Instead of water cooler talk about theory, “today you talk about grants, what funds are available” for your projects. Theory has been de-emphasized because theory requires little federal funding, while computers and models require significant funding and overhead. During his academic years, Lindzen’s program officers were facilitators of research and grants while today, these program officers “call the shots.”
It also did not help that the Environmental Protection Agency has an “incestuous relationship” with environmental advocates and groups that sue the government agency. Some of the notorious offenders are Michael Oppenheimer and his friend Jim Hansen, the latter Lindzen called the “prominent drug dealer for the global warming hysteria.” The EPA contributed to the “global warming hysteria” when, in the 1970s, they bailed out a New York-based NASA subsidiary, GISS, “as long as they would do climate research and not space science.”
Lindzen pulled no punches and blasted global warming scientists’ fixed models, where they purposefully adjusted their models to fit their political views because their models are “failing.” One such model showed that solar output was 20-30% less today than in past years, which meant that eventually the earth’s oceans would freeze. That has not happened because “temperatures were pretty much what they are today.” All of these adjusted models conform to the politics of the issue. In his own words, Lindzen said, “when you know there is a need for a political answer…people will try to meet that need.”
Finally, Lindzen argued that the favorite source of global warming alarmists, the United Nation’s IPCC climate change report, which introduced “catastrophism” as the term for man-induced natural catastrophes, “is simply saying that very small warming is due to Man, it is consistent and not a very large problem.”
Spencer Irvine is a staff writer at Accuracy in Academia.
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