There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.

Mark Twain


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Science in the Service of Politics

Prof. Richard Lindzen, MIT

On November 26, 2008, the United Kingdom became the first nation to set legally binding carbon budgets when they passed the Climate Change Act. This is not a carbon credit system, that is, cap and trade, which is already operative in the European Union and dragging down their economies. This is a foolhardy plan to forcibly reduce carbon emissions, primarily energy, by 80 % of its 1990 value by the year, 2050. Already, following a particularly cold winter, the cost of energy has energized an effort to Repeal the Climate Change Act. In a presentation before Parliament on February 22, 2012, climate scientist and MIT professor Richard Lindzen debunked the climate models used by the UN by simply considering the science or lack thereof produced by these climate alarmists.

The carbon budgets instituted by the Department of Energy and Climate Change in the UK follow a path to reduce carbon emissions by 34% (in million tons of CO2 equivalent) in 2020 and by 80% by 2050. Of course, energy used in making and transporting imported products isn’t counted, so the UK is losing jobs to overseas manufacturers. And the allowable carbon credits that can be purchased to keep business running are legally limited well below those allowed by the EU program. And solar energy is losing steam, even in that bastion of solar subsidies, Germany. So what to make of the poor law which will cost each British household more than many have?

Into this muddle steps an American climate scientist, Richard Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In his presentation, he summarized the situation succinctly:

Stated briefly, I will simply try to clarify what the debate over climate change is really about. It most certainly is not about whether climate is changing: it always is. It is not about whether CO2 is increasing: it clearly is. It is not about whether the increase in CO2, by itself, will lead to some warming: it should. The debate is simply over the matter of how much warming the increase in CO2 can lead to, and the connection of such warming to the innumerable claimed catastrophes. The evidence is that the increase in CO2 will lead to very little warming, and that the connection of this minimal warming (or even significant warming) to the purported catastrophes is also minimal. The arguments on which the catastrophic claims are made are extremely weak – and commonly acknowledged as such. They are sometimes overtly dishonest.

And, oh yes, the earth hasn’t been warming for the last 15 years!


Of course, the mainline British press (BBC and The Guardian) ignored this statement; it doesn’t fit with their political view of science. The only apparent coverage came in the Telegraph. The newspapers in the U.S. have been similarly struck dumb (New York Times, Washington Post, etc.).

In a previous statement to the Committee on Economic Affairs, Lindzen was questioned closely about the difference of opinion among scientists on the subjects of global warming and climate change. He responded that scientists can frequently give statements that are purposely ambiguous, and can be interpreted strongly by the political listener: science in the service of politics. In the subject of money given to scientists working in alarmism, he said:

In Europe, the Laboratory for Dynamic Meteorology’s climate modelling effort exists because of global warming. At the Max-Planck Gesellschaft, their climate modelling effort exists because of global warming. The Hadley Centre exists because of global warming. The only place in the world where there were efforts before global warming was the US, but even in the US the first President Bush responded to the alarmism with two billion dollars a year for research. I do not think you are going to see much objection to the alarmism…

The discussion then turned to the overall expenditure on global warming alarmism, because the parliamentarians were concerned with cost of looking into the science. Lindzen responded,

I have realized, over the last 20 years and in dealing with public officials and ordinary people, that the last thing in the world they want to do is dig into science, to deal with mathematics, read this. If they can avoid that by spending a trillion dollars, they will do it. … I think at least 25 billion, 30 billion at the research end, but then there is probably a smaller but not insignificant amount surrounding. By now I figure that well over 10,000 diplomats and bureaucrats are working on negotiating the various things and analyzing them and working out the economics, and so on, so it is a growth industry, but I do not think it is terribly productive.

Have you read the science summary in the Lindzen presentation included here? Can you imagine how much money was lost to the mistakes in handling cloud formation in climate models? Do you understand that NASA has modified historical data to emphasize global warming? Do you want the economic catastrophe in the UK to be repeated here, only by regulation through the EPA?



1 comment to Science in the Service of Politics

  • klem

    On Delingpoles website he quoted this guy Richard North, “no matter what the “science” reveals and how much it is debunked, there will always be another line of attack from the sustainability playbook to further the political – and economic corporatist – agenda. On that front is where the battle needs to be fought, not in the theatre of carbon dioxide emissions, raw and adjusted data or fractions of a degree of temperature change.”

    Exactly the same sentiment is reflected in a report by Dennis Ambler. “Whilst the continual scientific rebuttals of the climate reports produced by the IPCC may make many people think that this charade cannot continue much longer, behind the scenes it is quite irrelevant, he writes. The long-term process marches relentlessly on as if there had never been any challenges at all.”

    “the global warming scare – the biggest and most expensive outbreak of mass hysteria in history – has enabled some very bad people to do some very wrong things in the name of “saving the planet for future generations”.

    Read Delingpole

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