Tuesday, March 17, 2015

#3 Government is driving AGW - Dissecting Dr Lindzen's intrinsic obtuseness

 This is the third part (link to part one, part two) of my review of an interview by Alex Epstein with Professor Richard Lindzen.  I've taken the time and trouble to transcribe much of it in order to focus on Lindzen's bizarre version of reality and to juxtapose it against history and the known science.  

In this installment we consider Alex and Lindzen's conviction that climate science is all a government plot of some kind.  Oh yeah, to rob us of our freedoms.  As if the developing AGW driven climate change we've allowed isn't going to radically curtail freedoms we take for granted today, over this next couple decades.  


Power Hour: Questioning Climate Science with Dr. Richard Lindzen 
October 22, 2012 | Alex Epstein
Richard Lindzen joins Alex Epstein to talk about perspectives on climate change:
  • Questions about climate
  • “Balance” in nature
  • The goals of environmentalists
1:45  Alex:  Whenever I read one of his (R.L.) papers I get almost emotional just by the level of clarity and diligence and utter lack of any kind of appeal to authority. ...
3:05  Lindzen: What bothers me about this issue is the intrinsic obtuseness of the questions. ...

15:30  Alex:  What set the direction of climate science in the past before this whole government hierarchy?
~ ~ ~ 
CC:  Originally?   
How about curiosity to understand why we had ice ages and tropical hot house ages on this planet through deep time.  

There was also the obvious purely utilitarian desire, if not need, to understand what drives global weather patterns {wasn't there professor?}  

Focusing on some vague "government hierarchy" is a game of fabricating political enemies. 
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
15:40  Lindzen:  "Oh, you know, there were problems that had come up.  Probably the most interesting problem was the ice age cycle, you had theories there and they were argued and tested.  There was the climate program of the 70s.  Ah as the paleo records become clearer. The Eocene was a fascinating climate period and people were trying to understand that.
~ ~ ~ 
What bothers me about Lindzen's calculated obtuseness is that he never acknowledges the pivotal role weather plays in our lives.  

Isn't it self-evident that, of course, many people, for many reasons, needed to learn as much as possible about weather?
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Lindzen: I mean it was very much a matter of, here are things that we see, how did that happen, how did it work.
~ ~ ~ 
Student's and scientist's desire to learn and understand remains as strong and passionate as ever!  But, you'd have to actually listen to them to know that.

I'd suggest the critically huge change over the past half century has been, our citizen's no longer demand honesty from information sources, and the Republican/libertarian PR machine has fully embraced repetition of lies, stonewalling and rejection of learning as a political strategy. 
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Lindzen: ... Then today's climate, why does it have the structure that it does.  What determined temperature difference between equator and poles, why do we have the intensity of storms at present.  So it was serious questions that should be considered an important part of the climate though, oddly enough few of those ever made it into the IPCC.  
~ ~ ~ 
Professor Lindzen sure loves his cheap shots, but again it's political rhetoric, not substance.  For the curious here's the IPCC's chapter headings for Working Group One's fact filled summation of the current state of scientific understanding.

Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis

  1. Introduction - 
  2. Observations: Atmosphere and Surface 
  3. Observations: Ocean
  4. Observations: Cryosphere 
  5. Information from Paleoclimate Archives
  6. Carbon and Other Biogeochemical Cycles 
  7. Clouds and Aerosols
  8. Anthropogenic and Natural Radiative Forcing
  9. Evaluation of Climate Models
  10. Detection and Attribution of Climate Change: from Global to Regional
  11. Near-term Climate Change: Projections and Predictability
  12. Long-term Climate Change: Projections, Commitments and Irreversibility
  13. Sea Level Change
  14. Climate Phenomena and their Relevance for Future Regional Climate Change
If you have the time and educational background, or curiosity, check out the details:

~ ~ ~
Regarding atmospheric structure and temperature differences between poles and equator, many many people are studying that in depth.  Here's but one example, but it is a worthy one. Tom Henry does a nice job of explaining the jet stream's influence on weather while revealing that contention and healthy constructive debate is alive and well within the scientific community - in this case the disagreements between Drs. Hoerling and Francis and the jet stream and efforts towards resolving the riddle.
- - -
Climate change role in cold snap triggers debate
Hypothesis centers on massive loss of Arctic ice
By Tom Henry | Blade Staff Writer

Nothing new
Arctic sea ice
Young research
Sorting things out
Another view
- - -
Jennifer Francis - Understanding the Jetstream

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
18:15 Alex:  What kind of innovation has been stalled? 
Lindzen:  Well yea, you're no longer asking questions of, how does this work, I mean I could give lots of examples it, but you know they'd even be technical,
~ ~ ~ 
I dare professor Lindzen to show us some examples, so far he's been all trash talk and no substance.  

How about the potential innovations that four decades of Lindzen and pals planning and successfully executing dirty tricks dedicated to denying climate science findings destroyed ???


In their new book, Merchants of Doubt, historians Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway explain how a loose–knit group of high-level scientists, with extensive political connections, ran effective campaigns to mislead the public and deny well-established scientific knowledge over four decades. 
In seven compelling chapters addressing tobacco, acid rain, the ozone hole, global warming, and DDT, Oreskes and Conway roll back the rug on this dark corner of the American scientific community, showing how the ideology of free market fundamentalism, aided by a too-compliant media, has skewed public understanding of some of the most pressing issues of our era.  
“A well-documented, pulls-no-punches account of how science works and how political motives can hijack the process by which scientific information is disseminated to the public.”—Kirkus Reviews

Now a documentary

Here's a talk Dr. Oreskes gave a few years back:

 UCTV - Perspectives on Ocean Science:
The American Denial of Global Warming
Naomi Oreskes  |  Dec 20, 2007

- - -

Not Just the Koch Brothers: New Drexel Study Reveals Funders Behind the Climate Change Denial Effort
By: Alex McKechnie | December 20, 2013
A new study conducted by Drexel University environmental sociologist Robert J. Brulle, PhD, exposes the organizational underpinnings and funding behind the powerful climate change countermovement. This study marks the first peer-reviewed, comprehensive analysis ever conducted of the sources of funding that maintain the denial effort. 
- - -
Deeper Ties to Corporate Cash for Doubtful Climate Researcher
By Justin Gillis and John Schwartz | FEB. 21, 2015
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Lindzen:  but you know with climate there are many causes of climate change but the focus and the funding is to associate it with greenhouse gases. This is very simplistic
~ ~ ~ 
Like a good Republican/libertarian lawyer: 
"That smoking gun is an incense holder" 
But professor, the slug in the body speaks for itself.
Scripps Institution of Oceanography - CO2 FAQ
- - -
How do we know more CO2 is causing warming?
- - -
How do we know that recent CO2 increases are due to human activities?
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Lindzen: and if you do that, for instance you could never explain the ice age cycles.
~ ~ ~
Professor Lindzen continues spouting science fiction.  

For a clearer understanding of CO2's substantial roll in deep climate, including the coming and going of Ice Ages:

In Deep Time (the last 2 billion years)
Ice Ages and Hot Spells
- - -
Carbon stored deep in Antarctic waters ended the last ice age
February 11, 2015
- - -
Climate modelling and deep-time climate change
R. Caballero and P. Lynch
School of Mathematical Sciences, University College Dublin, Ireland
- - -
The scientific community's focus on CO2 is driven by it's overwhelming importance in regulating our global heat and moisture distribution engine - and because of the tremendous amounts of it we are injecting into our thin atmosphere:
"Volcanic Versus Anthropogenic Carbon Dioxide" by Terrance Gerlach of the U.S. Geological Survey appearing in this week's issue of Eos, from the American Geophysical Union: 
"... The published projected anthropogenic CO2 emission rate for 2010 is about 35 billion metric tons per year.Gerlach's calculations suggest present-day annual anthropogenic CO2 emissions may exceed the CO2 output of one or more supereruptions per year. ..." after year, after year (think Yellowstone Caldera)
- - -
Here's some history:
Past Climate Cycles: Ice Age Speculations 
To understand climate change, the obvious first step would be to explain the colossal coming and going of ice ages. Scientists devised ingenious techniques to recover evidence from the distant past, first from deposits left on land, then also from sea floor sediments, and then still better by drilling deep into ice. 
These paleoclimatologists succeeded brilliantly, discovering a strangely regular pattern of glacial cycles. The pattern pointed to a surprising answer, so precise that some ventured to predict future changes. The timing of the cycles was apparently set by minor changes in sunlight caused by slow variations of the Earth's orbit. Just how that could regulate the ice ages remained uncertain, for the climate system turned out to be dauntingly complex. 
In particular, it turned out that"greenhouse" gases like carbon dioxide played a surprisingly powerful role in governing global climate. One lesson was clear: the system is delicately poised, so that a little stimulus might drive a great change. ...
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
19:00  Lindzen: On the other hand in the thirties, Milankovitch gave a perfectly good theory, that now seems to be absolutely correct.  It depended on how the orbital variations of the Earth that caused the Arctic summers to change and the main factor in the growth of ice sheets.  
~ ~ ~
This is silly. "perfectly good theory", "absolutely correct" what's that mean?  Given Lindzen's obtuse utterances it's impossible to say.  

One thing that is for sure, Milankovitch cycles are for real, but any hypothesis suggesting that Milankovitch cycles are the complete answer to Earth's climate fluctuations is disqualified by the following graph.  Earth's orbital and rotational oscillations are very steady.  Obviously there is more involved here than Lindzen's simplistic suggestion that M. cycle's are thee explanation to climate change.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Lindzen: If you took the view of CO2 there'd be no seasonal effect.  You'd have no way of creating this, and indeed it doesn't.
~ ~ ~ 
Nonsense.  "no seasonal effect" here again the good professor's obtuseness make it impossible to know what he's talking about?  

Does Lindzen think the Milankovitch cycles supply's Earth's axis?  Or, does he think the Milankovitch cycle supply's Earth's seasons?  Why would CO2 eliminate seasons?  What's going on?

What professor Lindzen won't tell you is that ancient Ice Age cycles can't be explained without including CO2 along with Milankovitch cycles, and to a lesser extent various other mechanisms, all of which have been studied by climatologists.  

To imply scientists ignore alternate potential causation processes is another example of malicious slander. 
- - -
Carbon stored deep in Antarctic waters ended the last ice age
February 11 2015
"It’s well known that carbon in the atmosphere is causing global warming. What is less well known, outside of scientific circles at least, is the role oceans have to play in this. Our seas contain 60 times more carbon than the atmosphere, and they can release it at sufficiently rapid rates to cause dramatic changes in the climate. In fact, as we describe in research published in Nature, CO2 released by the oceans brought about the end of the last ice age. ..."
- - -
Lindzen and his fellows never supply any potential competing geophysical mechanisms.  Well there was Lindzen's own "Iris Effect" - but it has been invalided both by various physics arguments and observations.

April 8, 2012 Dana Nuccitelli 
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
20:00 Alex: "Before the fall... I mean before the 60s and 70s."
~ ~ ~
A tad paranoid are we Alex?  

Wasn't America something about being the New World and a Melting Pot of peoples and traditions.  Respecting and learning from diversity - the escape from Old World tribalism and totalitarian sentiments and all that?  

What happened?  Why this obsession with turning people into enemies?
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Lindzen: Yea, you know, I mean, ah, as I point out in the twenty years, even thirty years after WWII they were very small bureaucracies, there was no inquisition and anyone who had any track record of discovery tended to be supported
~ ~ ~
"inquisition"  That's rich.  Does he have any examples?  

On the other hand, there certainly are plenty of examples of dirty tricks happening to main stream scientists who attempt to inform the public about their findings
- - -
The ‘Green Dragon’ Slayers: How the Religious Right and the Corporate Right are Joining Forces to Fight Environmental Protection
- - -
Cuccinelli's Attack on Climate Science Continues
—By Kate Sheppard  | Oct. 5, 2010
- - -
"Dark Money" Funds Climate Change Denial Effort
December 23, 2013 |By Douglas Fischer and The Daily Climate
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
20:40 Lindzen:  It's only when you started developing gigantic programs and expanding the bureaucracies at NASA and NSF and so on.  It became important for proposals to fit into niches. 
~ ~ ~
Talk is cheap, Lindzen never comes up with particulars, all he has is self-certain aspersions.  

To understand why we got here, we need to learn about the history.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Timeline: The Modern Environmental Movement
- - -
by John Mason | 7, 2013
- - -
A brief history of climate change
BBC NEWS |  September 20, 2013
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
25:30 Lindzen's back at WWII... concentrations camps... enforced conformity... Soviet Union... Lysenko... 
~ ~ ~
And this garbage Lindzen considers talking about climate science???  Contemptible. 

But okay, wanna talk dirty tricks and dishonest manipulation.  How about this?

Not Just the Koch Brothers: New Drexel Study Reveals Funders Behind the Climate Change Denial Effort 
By: Alex McKechnie  |  December 20, 2013 
Brulle, a professor of sociology and environmental science in Drexel’s College of Arts and Sciences, conducted the study during a year-long fellowship at Stanford University’s Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. The study was published today in Climatic Change, one of the top 10 climate science journals in the world.   (The full paper is available here.)
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
26:15  Alex:  Was there ever this kind of public declaration that was constructive?
~ ~ ~
This is very strange.  Alex seems to believe the physics of greenhouse gases are some "public declaration" akin to a politician's resolution.  So sadly mistaken, it's rock solid physical fact.

Why does CO2 get most of the attention when there are so many other heat-trapping gases (greenhouse gases)?
- - -
The Discovery of Global Warming   
The Carbon Dioxide Greenhouse Effect
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Lindzen:  You know, I think with Eugenics it was.  You know, eugenics is the environmentalism of the first third of the twentieth century.  And it was all the fashionable people Margaret Sanger to George Bernard Shaw endorsed it as their badge of being with it with science. ...
~ ~ ~
If you can't challenge them with facts, baffle 'em with bull shit.  Environmentalism is an outgrowth of Eugenics, indeed, how low can he go.

It would never occur to the old professor (or his Republican/libertarian tribe) that some people appreciate that we depend on the good health of our Earth's biosphere for our own good health and happiness.

{But, then I'm learning to appreciate the Republican/libertarian crowd is committed to a system dependent on consuming every last natural resource as fast as possible - so the Earth itself has become their enemy and our planet's future condition is of no concern to them.}
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
28:20 Alex: Isn't there also a fairly high price to pay to the extend you have an establishment and you publicly speak out against it your making a calculation that your willing to lose your job.
~ ~ ~
Yea, let's see some examples!  

Let's look at the quality of the science these alleged persecuted scientists presented.  

Please notice not a word about the demonstrable persecution of main stream scientists.

There's a new documentary detailing some of these dirty tricks that folks like Lindzen and his Republican Libertarian enablers have committed against serious honorable professional scientists doing their jobs:

“Merchants of Doubt”: 
Meet the sleazy spin doctors who will stop at nothing to obscure the truth
- - -

- - -
Climate change deniers using dirty tricks from 'Tobacco Wars', expert says
July 4, 2013 | SAGE Publications | ScienceDaily
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Lindzen: Well no, I think, in some cases that's the case.  but in general the only ones I know who have lost their jobs is state climatologists.  Where this is a political job and the governor can get rid of them.  Academia tenure protects some of us.  I would say for younger faculty they understand can't take a position on this if they want to be promoted... 
Lindzen (back to today) ... younger people know they can't take a stand on this, or they won't get promoted... won't be able to publish... won't be able to get grants... if the play ball they'll get grants and published... that'll give them a promotion.
~ ~ ~
Professor Lindzen never produces any examples, instead it's a thing he's convinced himself of and that we are supposed to accept on his authority - It's telling that he never presents any supporting facts in an objective manner.

And why won't the good professor object to this miscarriage of democracy?

Silencing the Scientists: 
the Rise of Right-wing Populism
2011•03•02 Clive Hamilton Australian National University
~ ~ ~
I wish Republican/libertarians were capable of a little self-skepticism.  

For instance, imagine all those thousands of scientists from different specialities and countries around the world actually being honorable, competent, professionals working at refining their craft as well as possible.  

Imagine the science they are producing is consistent and valid and worth your consideration.  

Imagine objectively learning about our global heat and moisture distribution engine.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
29:40  Alex: If we look at this whole system of climate science today, how much of a difference does a given administration have in shaping the developments for the next four years, in terms of the scientific field?... 

30:10  Lindzen:  John Holdron is a fanatic on the subject and he is the science tzar, ah, I'm sure he has played a major roll in getting all these scientific societies that have no relevant to climate whatever, to sign on and say they agree.  I don't  think you would have that under a different administration.
~ ~ ~
The professor Linzen's fanatic side is coming through - Holdren must have failed his right wing litmus test, so he must be demonized.  Why totally ignore Dr. Holdren's long distinguished scientific background?

A look at the man's background and credentials makes clear he is not some wild eyed fanatic. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Holdren
- - -
Director John P. Holdren Nominated as Science Advisor by President-Elect Barack Obama
- - -
Watch Obama’s Top Science Advisor Repeatedly Shut Down Climate Deniers At House Climate Hearing  |  By Emily Atkin | September 18, 2014
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
34:05  Alex:  The issue of these False dichotomies?  And these ridiculous over simplifications of what people agree to.  So what are the core things that have been established in this field?
~ ~ ~ 
Climate change: How do we know?
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Lindzen:  Oh I would say that there is general agreement, for instance, that global mean temperature has gone up a few tenth of a degree since the little ice age, there is nothing remarkable about that ...
~ ~ ~
Only if you ignore all the evidence Mr. Lindzen!
- - -
As the Earth moved out of ice ages over the past million years, the global temperature rose a total of 4 to 7 degrees Celsius over about 5,000 years. In the past century alone, the temperature has climbed 0.7 degrees Celsius, roughly ten times faster than the average rate of ice-age-recovery warming.
- - -
The IPCC Explains... Why Climate Change Today is Unusual - IPCC FAQ 6.2
- - -
2014 Officially Hottest Year on Record
- - -
State of the Climate
The State of the Climate is a collection of monthly summaries recapping climate-related occurrences on both a global and national scale.
- - -
Lindzen:  There's no real argument, that if you add CO2 gases to the system, it should get warmer, rather than cooler.  The real question was how much.  That remains, you know, a hotly contested issue.  If it's within the range of a few tenths of a degree which all the present data suggest it is, it's no big deal.
~ ~ ~
For someone of professor Lindzen's education to pretend that it's not significant is nothing less than sociopathic.
- - -

Climate modelling and deep-time climate change
R. Caballero and P. Lynch
School of Mathematical Sciences, University College Dublin, Ireland
- - -
The current and future consequences of global change
- - -
"Averaged over all land and ocean surfaces, temperatures warmed roughly 1.53°F (0.85ºC) from 1880 to 2012"
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
36:00 Lindzen:    On the other hand, it reminds me very much of, kind of, how should I put it, in the 17th century, Holland, was extremely prosperous country.  But whenever a whale beached on the coast, which was not a terribly unusual occurrence.  National days of fasting and mourning were declared, because it was considered a message from god that they were not behaving properly.
~ ~ ~
Boy oh boy, talk about an emotional appeal to ignorance.  Once again relying on slander to fill in for scientific facts.

The consequences of climate change are already here.

Accelerating sea level rise and increased coastal flooding
Longer and more damaging wildfire seasons
More frequent and intense heat waves
Widespread forest death in the Northern Hemisphere Mountains
Costly and growing health impacts
An increase in extreme weather events
Heavier precipitation and flooding
More severe droughts in some areas
Increased pressure on groundwater supplies
Growing risks to our electricity supply
Changing seasons
Melting ice
Disruptions to food supplies
Destruction of coral reefs
Plant and animal range shifts
The potential for abrupt climate change
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Lindzen:  Now here you have something perfectly natural,
~ ~ ~ 
Oh please, it is perfectly manmade!   
But, you'd have to be willing to honestly look at the full spectrum of evidence to understand that.

Empirical evidence that humans are causing global warming
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Lindzen:  so far and they are saying, well we have to do something.  Then the proposed things, if you do the arithmetic would have no impact on this no matter what you think.  It's almost symbolic, but you know like ah the Aztec sacrificing human beings, it has great implications (giggles) for those human beings.    
~ ~ ~
It would be nice if a professor who spends so much time giving out advice, could get his head out of his ancient fantasizing and into the here and now.

For instance what's wrong with spending treasure and effort to better understand how our planet functions?  Why not have these agencies expand as their tasks increase?

We need to start learning about and discussing the science itself, rather than squandering everyone's precious time/energy on illusions and empty self-destructive distractions.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I would like to suggest this example of what a scientist sounds like - as opposed to professor Lindzen's obtuse malicious deceitfulness.

Blogging about events that contribute to the Earth's climate.

Check it out:
The Milankovitch Cycles

A brief introduction to aerosols..

4.5 Billion Years of the Earth’s Temperature

An Update To The Milankovitch Cycles

The North Atlantic Oscillation

ENSO Explained

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