Sometimes I read something that is so ridiculous I just know people are going to believe it merely because they figure no one would say something that stupid if it wasn't true. Well, yes there are people that would say something stupid and Richard Lindzen is just such a person. Take a look at the latest example of this:
Just a quick note before we start - According to the MIT webpage, Lindzen is an emeritus professor, meaning he is no longer an active professor there. He is, in fact, working at the Cato Institute, a well-known front for the fossil fuel industry and one of the organizations I refer to as The Three Stooges. That means we are being subjected to deception right from the beginning of this article.
One quick question: If the denier position is so scientifically sound, why do they have to resort to deception so often? Just asking.
So, what did this "top MIT climate scientist" have to say about it?
Lindzen said Sanders’s amendment to a bill that approves the Keystone XL pipeline an “attempt to hijack science for political purposes.”As you probably know, the U.S. Senate voted on three amendments to the Keystone pipeline bill. These amendments addressed the issue of climate change and humanity's role in causing it. The amendments were, in fact, completely political, but were certainly not ludicrous. They were much more productive than the Republican's "I'm not a scientist but I'm going to proceed to prove I'm a jackass anyway," statement. For one thing, it got even the fossil fuel king, Inhofe from Oklahoma, to admit climate change is not a hoax. Yes, he tried to weasel his way out of that statement, but it is now on record that climate change is not a hoax.
“Climate change is of course real; change being the normal state of affairs in climate,” Lindzen told Climate Depot. “Climate change has caused catastrophic problems on occasion throughout the earth’s history. While man may have contributed somewhat to climate change in recent years, his contribution to the above is highly questionable, and continues to be debated.”
“In the case of Bernie Sanders, a socialist, he is undoubtedly dreaming about nationalizing the energy industry,” Lindzen said. “For the U.S. Senate to accept guidance from Sanders’ bizarre dreams is ludicrous.”
The purpose of the amendments was to put it right out there, once and for all, just which senators support the science and which ones reject it. That is not a ludicrous thing to do and, in my opinion, was very successful. That is my opinion. Here is another.
Lindzen is also wrong in his statement this was done to hijack science for political purposes. Lindzen knows all about hijacking science and has been guilty of it for years, including lying about the funding he has received from the fossil fuel industry for decades until he was caught red-handed. You would think someone like that would know all about hijacking science, but apparently not. This Senate vote was an attempt to make the science the whole issue and to subvert the whims of Mr. Lindzen's employers. The same ones that provide Inhofe's political funding.
Why does fossil fuel industry want to keep the science out of government decision-making? Simple. It will cost them money. Instead, they want the rest of us to carry the expense. Lindzen has been a major player in this effort with his research into finding feedback mechanisms. Strangely, all of his research only finds negative feedback mechanisms with the claim that this will cancel out any manmade effects. Not so strangely, all of his research has been found to be invalid. That is what happens when you go in to find a preconceived conclusion. Of course, it helps to get paid for it all by the people that benefit from the bad research.
So, this was not a case of hijacking science for political purposes - it was an attempt to put valid science into the political decision making process and to exclude the pseudoscience of people like Lindzen.
But, that wasn't enough for him. He had to state this was all a part of a plot for the government to nationalize the energy industry. Where is the evidence for such a claim (and, I don't mean the tin-hat bloggers). Where is the real evidence to show the government wants to nationalize anything at all, not to mention something as massive as the energy industry, the third largest industry in the U.S. Talking about alarmist claims. Why is it alarmist for scientists to warn about the effects of real climate change, but it isn't alarmist for Mr. Lindzen to accuse the government of conspiring to take over such a massive industry? It was not only alarmist on Mr. Lindzen's behalf, but irresponsible as well. But, that is what he gets paid to do.
At the same time, this article failed to mention a statement made by a reputable scientist, Nobel Prize winning Mario Molina. It wouldn't look very good for Lindzen if Dr. Molina's statement was included. For instance, Lindzen states the issue is still in debate. It isn't. Dr. Molina states,
There has been a very well financed public relations campaign by some interest groups to question climate change science. And they have succeeded quite well—in response to these efforts the media very often still communicates the idea that there are two sides to this question, that there are some scientists who think that it’s a serious problem but other scientists think that it’s still debatable whether society has to do anything about it. And it’s a myth: There are surveys that show 97 percent consensus among informed scientists who have published on climate change issues.
The basic science is very well established; it is well understood that global warming is due to greenhouse gases. What is uncertain is projections about specifics in the next few decades, by how much will the climate change. And that’s why we focus on communicating the concept of risk: It is not necessary to have absolute certainty about the dangers that society will face in order to take action.
You wear seatbelts in your car not because you’re certain that you’re going to have a crash but because there’s a possibility. You build houses likely to withstand an earthquake not because you’re certain that there will be an earthquake but because there might be one. These examples involve probabilities that are much smaller than the probabilities that climate change will have very serious impacts. So it’s totally unacceptable for society not to act.
Oops. Mr. Lindzen got even another claim wrong.
Like I said, Lindzen's statement is so ridiculous I'm afraid there are people that will actually believe it. More the pity.