When Science Isn’t Convenient

In OpinionJournal[*1] , the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT, Richard Lindzen[*2] , wonders . . .

how can a barely discernible, one-degree increase in the recorded global mean temperature since the late 19th century possibly gain public acceptance as the source of recent weather catastrophes? And how can it translate into unlikely claims about future catastrophes?

The answer has much to do with misunderstanding the science of climate, plus a willingness to debase climate science into a triangle of alarmism. Ambiguous scientific statements about climate are hyped by those with a vested interest in alarm, thus raising the political stakes for policy makers who provide funds for more science research to feed more alarm to increase the political stakes. After all, who puts money into science–whether for AIDS, or space, or climate–where there is nothing really alarming? Indeed, the success of climate alarmism can be counted in the increased federal spending on climate research from a few hundred million dollars pre-1990 to $1.7 billion today. It can also be seen in heightened spending on solar, wind, hydrogen, ethanol and clean coal technologies, as well as on other energy-investment decisions.

When somebody tells you that no serious scientist in the field has doubts about Mankind’s negative impact on global warning, they are, to be blunt, lying.

Unless you don’t consider a full professor at an endowed chair at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a list of publications as long as your arm[*3] to be a serious scientist in the field.

Informed debate is what science is all about.  Too bad one side of this argument wants to shut the other side down.  Take a guess as to which side is which.