Richard S. Lindzen & Global Warming Skeptics Provide Alternative Solutions

Our last post on global warming, where we referenced a Wall Street Journal article by MIT Professor of Meteorology, Richard S. Lindzen, received more than a few comments.

There is an excellent resource online that identifies many of the high-profile individuals around the world who are on record as challenging global warming theories – it’s called SourceWatch and their list can be found on their Climate Change Controversy page.

We dug into Professor Lindzen’s background a little more, we even left a message on his voicemail to which, for the record, he will hopefully respond. In addition to his Wall Street Journal opinion piece entitled “Climate of Fear,” he has authored for the Cato Institute an essay entitled “Global Warming: The Origin and Nature of the Alleged Scientific Consensus.” They are worth reading.

Unlike many global warming skeptics, Dr. Lindzen is acknowledged even by his critics as being an outstanding atmospheric scientist. Even those who accept global warming theories usually agree there is a range of predicted global warming outcomes – between 3 and 15 degrees centigrade. This is the difference between a manageable change and a catastrophe. Which is it?

While Al Gore, for whom I have huge respect, stumps the globe with newfound and natural passion, preaching the need for urgent action, I wonder how many people have really thought about what, in practice, it would mean to regulate carbon emissions. It would mean this: The biggest power grab by big business and government – operating in tandem – in the history of the world.

Meanwhile, at least to this non-scientist, there are many unanswered questions. Here’s one: If anthropogenic CO2 is only responsible for 3-5% of CO2 emissions, why not simply reforest the planet to absorb more CO2? We’ve lost over 60% of the original forest canopy on earth. Why not just put some of it back?

Here’s another: While we’re spending precious energy trying to redefine CO2 as a pollutant, has anyone noticed we’re not tackling the remaining major air polluting industries, and getting the gross polluting cars off the road? We love photovoltaics and battery powered cars – we love them and fight for them because they don’t pollute and they will provide energy independence. They are urgently needed for these reasons alone.

Skepticism with integrity is not a crime for which any environmentalist should be excommunicated. And for every global warming skeptic with a hidden agenda, there are global warming alarmists with equally compelling hidden agendas of their own.

6 Responses to “Richard S. Lindzen & Global Warming Skeptics Provide Alternative Solutions”
  1. Roy Tindle says:

    Scepticism revisited.

    There are climate change sceptics who believe, in all honesty, that if there is any change then it does not result from human activity. Whilst some within this group are scientists they are usually from disciplines other than climatology or oceanography. Do you go to a doctor of climatology when you are ill? The scientific discipline is all important; many of the most vocal climate change deniers loudly proclaim that they are Doctors but fail to mention that their doctorate is in economics.

    Then there are the other denial people who, in one way or another, derive income from the oil or coal industries. The Cato Institute, for whom Professor Lindzen writes, was founded in 1977 by Edward Crane and Charles Koch, the billionaire co-owner of Koch Industries, the largest privately held oil company in the U.S. Sometimes you have to trace back a little; primary funding comes from an organisation that is itself funded by oil or coal. These links do not prove inaccuracy but they do suggest that those views should be regarded with extreme caution. For the latest science, one of the best websites is that of Real Climate, written by a number of climatologists from around the world, at This represents the arguments fairly clearly.

    The problem with sequestration of carbon dioxide through tree planting is that trees don’t live for ever and land available for planting is limited by our need to grow food. In any case, the anthropomorphic addition of carbon dioxide arises from the release of carbon that was sequestered millions of years ago. Much of this was sequestered when the Earth’s climate was a great deal warmer that today, when sea levels were very much higher and long before human beings appeared. These are not conditions that we should reproduce.

    However, the real issue is that energy use growth is outstripping production. Many argue that renewable energy cannot satisfy demand: it’s a strange and illogical argument for what do we do when they are all that we have left? Recently a Chinese state energy organisation stated that they needed renewables because there was not sufficient oil, gas and coal to satisfy demand. Surely we have to cut demand. We live on a planet with finite resources: that is the bottom line.

  2. I teach logic. Argumentum ad hominem circumstantial remains a fallacy in prevailing textbooks.

    Rather than following the money (which is both easy and logically useless), try refuting the arguments (which is both difficult and logically useful).

  3. Lindzen just confirmed to me: he was paid $100 for one article in 1991. A little fact checking might have cooled Tindle’s ardor for the bought-and-paid-for-by-big-oil fallacy. But then, some folks aren’t too interested in truth. Winning is enough.

  4. Robert Henry says:

    It would be helpful if the proponents of anthropogenic global warming provide solid information on how much cabon dioxide man has contributed to the atmosphere.Also useful:Why is adjustment not a good policy to whatever warming thre might be?

  5. Larry Bast says:

    Truth has nothing to fear from a skeptic. Truth will welcome questions. When common sciencetific procedures are abandoned I get suspious. Yes CO2 levels & temperature tend to go up and down together. However this is only a corrolation and not a “cause & effect”. It’s a “what comes first-the chicken or the egg” situation. Does CO2 cause temps to change or does temperature cause CO2 levels to change? A really sharp sciencetist would also realize that a 3rd factor could be causing both to change. (Like the sun) Let’s be real scientists and focus on the truth.

  6. Dan Pangburn says:

    Lindzen’s latest paper explains why all of the global average temperatures for the entire 20th century and on into the 21st century are accurately calculated with no consideration whatsoever needed of changes to the level of atmospheric carbon dioxide or any other greenhouse gas. See how in a new paper at . There is no Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) (and therefore no human caused climate change) from added atmospheric carbon dioxide.


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