Saturday, June 8, 2013

Lindzen, Deconstructs Global Warming Hysteria 1of3 - Anatomy of a Con Job

{edited June 10th AM - for typos } 
"Citizenschallenge, you are the one who chose to make personal attacks and dishonest ad hominems about James Taylor*, The Heartland Institute and the scientists in his article.  
You want videos from climate scientists? No problem,Richard S. Lindzen Ph.D. Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT 
How many more do you want? I know you have been brainwashed to not believe there are highly credentialed scientists who do not support your position on climate change but please don’t make it so obvious."

*He's referring to "James Taylor Caught Doctoring the '97-Percent Consensus' Claims"

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With that invitation I took up the video:

Richard Lindzen, Ph.D. Lecture Deconstructs Global Warming Hysteria

I've already listen to Lindzen's lectures and such a number times.  They tend to raise my blood pressure, but I've never done much about it.  This time I figured it was time to take notes and a closer look at Lindzen's brand of science.

Since my comments are only my own, I support them with many links to sources that have helped inform my thoughts.  I'll also be including some videos, including a few scientist's giving lectures.  This project has ballooned way beyond expectations so I'm going to be splitting this post into three parts.

Highlights from Lindzen's talk are in courier font - time signatures are ± .
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0:25  "It's an element of propaganda much of what you've heard is really misinformation, sophistry.It's the usual propaganda sticky issue of repetition, getting endorsements by a variety of means..."
0:45  "Widespread ignorance is not entirely what i'd like to focus on - it is the absence of any intellectual critical faculties to deal with logic statements were made which do not make sense, but they ride.
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I was promised a lecture about climate, but Lindzen starts off with an opinionated ideological rant.  Extreme and unsupported, but crowd pleasing for the uncritical audience that turns out to come from the heart of the Competitive Enterprise Institute.
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1:05  Now none of this would matter much - except that all sorts of proposals that are expensive and dangerous being promoted to deal with this alleged problem
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Framing the statement like that makes it sounds like Lindzen considers the economic engine more important than honestly learning about and appreciating what we are doing to our life sustaining climate.
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1:10 so it behooves us to analyze what's going on carefully and to learn a little bit about climate to see why some of these things don't fit 
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I will take this as Lindzen's advertised "mission statement" for this lecture;
To analyze what's going on carefully
to learn about climate, 
to demonstrate how things don't fit.

With my own presentation I will strive to allow the science itself to demonstrate how things DO fit together, please take advantage of the many educational links I share.

I hope to give a sense of our Global Heat Distribution Engine, aka Climate, as a real entity that scientists have gotten to understand within a coherent framework, which is a lot more than can be said about the contrarian's scatter shot arguments.
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1:40  I'll begin with the business of how the issue is manipulated...  already in the 1970s there was open to discussion of how climate change would be in excellent vehicle for a variety of agendas   
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Rather than approaching this from a climate science standpoint, Lindzen plays the Grand Conspiracy Card.  He does not mention the growing concern was a direct outgrowth of multiple lines of evidence - not to say that some folks haven't attached themselves to this issue for a variety of opportunistic reasons - but those are two independent issues.

And Lindzen clearly chooses to follow the politician's path rather than the Earth science educator's path.
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2:05 of the people espousing this was a man called Bert Bolin.  He was trained in meteorology, but he actually left meteorology per se in the fifties. He returned to Sweden from Princeton and he immediately got active in politics and was an advisor to the Swedish Prime Minister
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No evidence, just a story

It always amazes me how easy it is to slander a person, if that's one's goal.  In a way it's similar to "Science In A Vacuum".  The process begins by only presenting those slivers of information that fit into one's narrative.  Add cynical insinuations, and an ax to grind, present your finding to an uncritical ideology predispositioned crowd... and call it a home run, while deliberately ignoring all sorts of important evidence.

In short, Lindzen's words are calculated to besmirch Bolin's reputation, dishonor his integrity and downplay his scientific contributions - and they don't represent the actual story. 

Please notice that Lindzen chooses to leave out much important information: 
Bert Bolin (19252007)
A world leading scientist and science organizer

Bert Bolin was born in Nyköping, a town south of Stockholm, Sweden. He became interested in meteorology at an early age inspired by his parents, who were both school teachers. In his research career, Bert made fundamental contributions to both numerical weather forecasting and to the science of biogeochemical cycles. Bert began working on numerical weather prediction in 1950, when he spent a year at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey working with Jule Charney, John von Neumann and other leading scientists on the first computerized weather forecast using ENIAC, the first electronic computer.
Shortly after finishing his PhD in 1956, on the advice of his supervisor Carl-Gustaf Rossby, Bert began working on atmospheric chemistry and the cycling of pollutants in the atmosphere. Bert’s work in this area led to fundamental advances in our understanding of the carbon cycle – not only in the atmosphere, but also in the oceans and terrestrial biosphere. Bert was a key person in establishing the science of biogeochemistry. 

In addition to his considerable scientific contributions, Bert also played a leading role in establishing and running many of the international research organizations we now take for granted. As early as 1963, Bert became involved in organizing an international effort to use the new satellite tools that were becoming available to study the general circulation of the atmosphere and develop new methods for weather forecasting. This effort led to the formation of the ICSU Committee on Atmospheric Sciences (CAS) in 1964, and Bert became its first Chairman.

This led to the development of a number of international environmental research organizations in which Bert played a leading role. The CAS initiated the Global Atmospheric Research Programme (GARP) in 1967, again with Bert as the first Chairman. This effort brought together scientists from all over the world, a major feat in the days of the cold war. It also produced an early example of what could be done to combine large coordinated international field experiments with model testing and development. The success of this effort led to the transition of GARP into the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) in 1980.~~~
Also see: 
"Bolin was Professor of Meteorology at Stockholm University 1961-1990, and involved in international climate research cooperation from the 1960s. Bolin was involved in organizing use of the new satellite tools for climate research, which led to the formation of the ICSU Committee on Atmospheric Sciences (CAS) in 1964, with Bolin becoming its first Chairman. CAS started the Global Atmospheric Research Programme (GARP) in 1967, which Bolin also chaired; GARP became the World Climate Research Programme in 1980.
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Notice the undercurrent here, considering Bolin's actual accomplishments, Lindzen comes off sounding like he resents the development of weather satellites and developing cooperation between nations.  Why?

Lindzen doesn't even hint at the importance of studying our planet, he leaves the sick implication that developing these satellite and computer networks and the coordinated Earth observation skills needed to operate and process the data were nothing but a political game.

Oh and about Lindzen's claim re. Bolin's "non-existent" scientific work:

Published Articles and Books by Bert Bolin - Tellus B:

1960 - 2
1961 to 1965 - once a year
1966 - 2
1967 - 1
1968 - 3
1969 - 1
1970 - 5
1971 - 6
1972 - 2
1973 - 3
1974 - 5
1975 - 4
1976 - 2
1977 - 9
1978 - 1
1979 - 5
1980 - 2
1981 - 6
1982 - 4
1983 - 5
1984 - 2
1985 - 1
1986 - 8
1987 - 1
1988 - 1
1989 - 9
1990 - 4
1991 - 6
1992 - 5
1993 - 2
1994 - 3
1995 - 6
1996 - 9
1997 - 8
1998 - 11
1999 - 5
2000 to 2007 (when he died) - 15

Dr. Lindzen tells his audience: "... he actually left meteorology per se in the fifties."
However, from 1960 to 2007, Bolin produced over a 160 publications/books, of which some 45 are considered "Key Publications."  But Lindzen brands Bolin with the stain of being a manipulative politician and untrustworthy.

How does Lindzen justify his slander?  
Just who is the manipulative character here? 
Can Lindzen explain why he thinks such a knowingly inaccurate portrayal is fair-play? 
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2:40  "...once the (society driven global warming) issue emerged in the public arena, this was about nineteen eighties, late eighties..." 
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Interestingly, I learned a great deal about (the then) current climatological understanding and concerns about society's injection of greenhouse gases, being documented way back in high school science classes and I graduated in 1973.  

In fact, the first public awareness came as early as July 1959 in a Scientific American article titled: "Carbon Dioxide and Climate" : 
"A current theory postulates that carbon dioxide regulates the temperature of the earth. This raises an interesting question: How do Man's activities influence the climate of the future?"By Gilbert N. Plass
What purpose is there in claiming public awareness only started in the 1980s, coincident with the rise of right wing think tanks and their politically motivated attack on science.

By the 1980s the Keeling Curve
had over two decades worth of meat behind it, but Lindzen with his superior "authority on everything" air, ignores all of that.  Why?  And why do people who know better go along with such misrepresentation?  

Take a look at this timeline of the development of climate change science: 
The Discovery of Global Warming     
Timeline (Milestones)Here are gathered in chronological sequence the most important events in the history of climate change science. (For a narrative see the Introduction: summary history.) This list of milestones includes major influences external to the science itself.  Following it is a list of other external influences.

In order for Lindzen to convince his audience to believe "society driven global warming" is all some contrived conspiracy he must leave out volumes of other information.

Lindzen is basically claiming that hundreds then thousands of humans who love learning about our planet so much they, individually, committed themselves to serious educational careers, then to full time careers as scientists observing and learning about Earth are frauds and liars.

If all this fraud is so rampant, where are the examples? 

Global Warming: What We Knew in 82

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2:50 Within the nineties two institutions were formed that are very interesting..."These institutions (The Tyndall Centre and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research) epitomize the exploitation of the climate issue"
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These are incredible claims, can we first consider Lindzen's a priori assumption.  Without offering any evidence he has labeled both Centers as disreputable, if not villainous... groups to be despised and rejected.  

What irony listening to Professor Dr. Lindzen's attacking the notion of "appealing to authority" of groups of hundreds and thousands of independent scientific minds, while he is placing himself on quite the authoritarian pedestal with his litany of absolutist pronouncements.
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3:00  "... very very interesting and has been they're worth probably looking at in their own right in the lecture, they have an interlocking directorate. They really are functioning as one institution. One is in England the Tyndall Center for Climate Studies and it's at the University of East Anglia.  And the other is the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany outside of Berlin. The latter is headed by Hans Joachim Schnellnhuber... English is headed by Michael Hulme.
3:35 These institutions epitomize the exploitation of this issue.
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What's going on here?
With one rhetorical brush stroke Lindzen condemns these organizations?

But, when I looked at the two websites and their personnel pages, I don't see any overlap.  It's almost as though Lindzen's criterial for condemnation is, if they take global warming seriously and if they ever cooperated with each other they are suspect and open to any insinuation no matter how unsupported.

Why does Lindzen seem to resent such efforts to study and understand our climate - what's up with him only seeing sinister conspiracy where other have genuine curiosity? 
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3:50  "... recently Hulme came out with a book, a rather remarkable book, it's called "Why We Disagree About Climate Change."  Now within this book he readily acknowledges that the science is uncertain - but he concludes that this doesn't matter given the importance of possible impacts . . ."
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Here is one of the most insidious misdirections of the entire global warming debate.
Lindzen is telling us, there is uncertainty, so... forget about it, full speed ahead. 

It's as if Lindzen want's us to believe we should question IF the pot of water on the red hot stove will boil. - Why? - Because we can't predict the exact coordinates and sizes of the first convection flows and bubble formations?  It's crazy-making at it most cynical.
~ ~ ~

Or to say it less sarcastically:

Of course, there are uncertainties.
There is no Earth Science without uncertainties.

The whole process of science is about gathering all the data you can, separating the grain (of useful knowledge) from the chaff, learn from it then keep on observing and learning.

Uncertainly does not equal not knowing !

It's a fraud to suggest that uncertainties are all we should focus on.  That's not science, that's agenda driven power politics divorced from our planet's geophysical realities.

There has never been a perfect science paper.
There is never certain knowledge about the future - 
we don't even know for certain if the sun is coming up tomorrow morning.

We can only be certain that once it has happened, it is too late to do anything about it.
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5:10  "... as always in propaganda repetition is an important tool
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The previous couple minutes are a medley of cherry picking whatevers, taken out of context to weave a prosecutor's one-sided story.

Also please notice Lindzen still hasn't gotten around to discussing actual climate.
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5:18  one could always referred to Joseph Goebbels famous remark, but I prefer Lewis Carroll... 
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Boy, Oh boy, now he brings on the NAZI's and then the gratuitous crowd pleasing ridicule.  This is not the stuff of a serious examination, it's political theater.
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6:10  Create a concept and reality leaves the room.
~ ~ ~ 
Yea, sort of like Lindzen painting his "conceptual picture" of a Global Conspiracy of coordinated deceit among climatologists around the globe to take away our economic freedoms.
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6:10  "In the case of global warming, the concept appears to be that CO2 is increasing, that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, where greenhouse gas is analogized to a blanket, who's addition should lead to some warming, and that there has been some warming.  
Whence "follows" the illogical conclusion that CO2 has caused the warming, and that the warming will be dangerous." 
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Sounds, sort of like another appeal to his own authority - or is it an appeal to ignorance?  All it take to dispute the claim: "the illogical conclusion that CO2 has caused the warming" is a little good faith research.
Greenhouse Effect - Mechanism and Radiative Forcing 
Open Source Systems, Science, Solutions - Greenhouse Gases/Effect 
MITnews: "Explained: Radiative forcing" 
~~~How do we know more CO2 is causing warming?


Direct radiative forcing by carbon dioxide

Also see

Video 2 Lambert discussing radiative forcing.wmv
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{At 6:30 Lindzen denies that} "warming will be dangerous."
~ ~ ~

Why doesn't the information within the following selection make any impression?
Climate science statement from the Met Office, NERC and the Royal Society24 November 2009 
"As three of the UK's leading scientific organisations involving most of the UK scientists working on climate change, we cannot emphasise enough the body of scientific evidence that underpins the call for action now, and we reinforce our commitment to ensuring that world leaders continue to have access to the best possible science. "
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Where does that leave us?  Lindzen's claiming we have no global warming problem, but then there is all this science that he chooses to ignore.  Why?

By Climate Guest Blogger on May 22, 2010 
Environment New Jersey: Reasearch & Policy Center
Climate change and the oceans
Framing the way to relate climate extremes to climate change
Climatic ChangeNovember 2012, Volume 115, Issue 2, pp 283-290, 
For current events and a record of the past decades:
State of the Climate - Global Summary Information -
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6:35 "... the co-optation of science turns out to be an easy matter..."6:45 "... personally have noticed, you know clearly in nazi Germany fascist Italian academics were the first to support anything that was demanded of them ..."
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Resorting to the NAZI's again.

Now here's some critical thinking in action: 
In the middle of WWII, Italian academics ~ that didn't escape ~ did whatever they were told. ~ incidentally, with a gun literally pointed at their heads ~ 
ergo today's climatologists are pimps.

Talk about Conspiracy Ideation big time.  It's like a page out of

"MOTIVATED REJECTION OF SCIENCE"NASA faked the moon landing—Therefore (Climate) Science is a Hoax:  
An Anatomy of the Motivated Rejection of Science

Needless to say, this is political theater, not science or any attempt at good-faith learning.
Here's a dose of real science

It's Not About The Hockey Stick

Dr. Richard Alley (5:39 minutes)
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7:00  "... Dwight David Eisenhower understood this..."
~ ~ ~ 

Now Lindzen brings up Eisenhower's farewell speech with its prophetic warming about the Military Industrial Complex with it mega-projects becoming ever more dependent on bigger and bigger scientific and industrial commitments - overtaking our government and leading our nation into endless counter-productive foreign interventions and wars.

But through rhetorical jujitsu and the authority invested in Dr. Lindzen by his fans, he has now made Earth Scientist's the guilty party.

And this he calls critical thinking.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
7:40 "...prospect of domination of the nation scholars by federal employment project allocations and the power of money is ever-present.."
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Good warning, that was left unheeded - and now Lindzen's turns Eisenhower's warming into a pile of slander against climatologist; not with evidence but by the authority vested in him by his compliant audience. 
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8:00 "... of late holes are showing in both the UK and the US.  That substantial majorities no longer regard global warming as serious..."

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This seems profoundly dishonest statement in light of the following information:

Scientific opinion on climate change " 
As of 2007, when the American Association of Petroleum Geologists released a revised statement,[108] no scientific body of national or international standing rejected the findings of human-induced effects on climate change.[10][11]"
Expert credibility in climate change 
And the latest of a string of studies: 
Is there a scientific consensus on global warming?
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At 8 and 9 minutes Lindzen's pulls out the communists and then more anecdotes and quotes of other's opinions - still nothing about actual climate science.

This next thing is very smooth, Lindzen plays factions.
Emotions always override rational knowledge, and Lindzen plays this game to the T.
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10:20  ...they tend to take global warming seriously according to Brooks not only on the merits but the belief that conservatives cannot continue to insult the sensibilitiesof the educated class and the entire east and west coasts.  This really the situation.
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This is political theater, not a discussion about society driven global warming.

There's no one who seems to escape his censure, in fact Lindzen's sounding like someone with an ax to grind and not someone who can dispassionately explain our climate.
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11:15 "... this is the famous temperature chart..."
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Here Lindzen hides important information from his audience:

For one, that this surface temperature data excludes large portions of polar regions where the most extreme surface warming has being seen.

Furthermore, the ocean's heat content should not be ignored.  For a more serious examination of the science rather than personal opinions please look at this:

Did global warming stop in 1998, 1995, 2002, 2007, 2010?

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17:00 "... what about arctic ice..."19:20 "... you know we're talking about negligibility's..."
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Lindzen assures us that nothing unusual is happening in the Arctic.
His lecture was in 2009, and subsequent experience shows him wrong and reveals we do indeed have much to worry about - here's an update:

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Arctic Sea Ice Collapse 1979-2012 (PIOMAS)
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Notice Lindzen ignores the fact that melting summer ice has morphed ever greater portions of the Arctic ice cap into an energy absorption medium; adding yet more heat to our oceans; and bringing a few dangerous tipping points into play.

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Also  notice the graph Lindzen's using is for "Area" not a hint about the significance, or condition, of ice thickness.
This makes a big difference because it's the thinning of multiyear ice that is creating big concerns, since thinner ice is more vulnerable to break up.  As we've seen this year.


Disappearing Arctic Sea Ice - Melting Polar Ice Cap | Earth Science Footage
2:25 minutes
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Melting Sea Ice in the Arctic -

Five Myths About Arctic Sea Ice

Published on Mar 25, 2013

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