A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).



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Lindzen on why the educated elites are so vulnerable to being fooled

So smart and yet so stupid

Global Warming for the Two Cultures by Richard Lindzen

Prof Richard Lindzen, a giant of the skeptical debate delivered the 2018 Annual GWPF lecture this week talking about two cultures of two different educated elites. Those at the higher intellectual level may be more prone to groupthink than ordinary folk…

The two different kinds of elites and a vast gap between them

Lindzen quotes C.P.Snow who was both a scientist and a writer and who lived in both elite worlds — the scientific and the arts.

C.P. Snow felt only 1 in 10 of the most highly educated in the western world had even a basic grip on physics:

A good many times I have been present at gatherings of people who, by the standards of the traditional culture, are thought highly educated and who have with considerable gusto been expressing their incredulity at the illiteracy of scientists. Once or twice I have been provoked and have asked the company how many of them could describe the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The response was cold: it was also negative. Yet I was asking something which is the scientific equivalent of: Have [...]

Not a 100% believer? Even borderline climate apostates like Pielke must be punished in the witchhunt

The witchhunt over tenuous connections to fossil fuel funding wants to do a lot more than just silence a few people. The aim is to maintain the global chill over all of academia. That’s why it’s so important we support the individuals under fire, and don’t give in.

Congratulations to Richard Lindzen, John Christy, Judith Curry, Steven Hayward, Roger Pielke, David Legates, and Robert Balling. All of them have been named to be investigated and lined up for character assassination like Willie Soon. Obviously they are effective and convincing speakers, and a threat to the climate-industry.

Stephen Hayward is flattered, and mocks the critics: “Are You Now or Have You Ever Been a Climate Skeptic?”

“Let’s start by axing a simple question: If I say “two plus two equals four,” does the truth of that proposition depend on whether I’ve received a grant from the Charles G. Koch Foundation? Apparently it does for Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), the ranking member of the House Committee on Natural Resources. He has sent letters to seven universities targeting seven academics who, according to the Democratic spokesman for the committee, were chosen because they seem “to have the most impact on policy in the [...]

Models get the core assumptions wrong– – the hot spot is missing

This is part of a series that Tony Cox and I are doing that references the most important points and papers, as a definitive resource about the evidence. The missing hotspot is not just another flaw in the theory, it proves the models are wrong: not just “unverified”, not just “uncertain”, but failed. Apologies to those who feel I harp on about this! This is a condensed review, squishing years of a scientific battleground down to it’s bare bones… — Jo

It is not well known that even the IPCC agrees that the direct effects of CO2 will only increase world temperatures by 1.2°C. All of the projections above that (3.3°C , 6°C etc) come from model projections based on assumptions of what water vapor and clouds will do (these are the feedback effects of the original 1.2°C).[i] Are the feedbacks correct?

If the IPCC models are right about the feedbacks, we would see a hot spot 10km above the tropics. The theory is that with more heat, more water will evaporate and rise, keeping relative humidity constant at all heights in the troposphere. The point has been conclusively tested with 28 million weather balloons since 1959.[ii]



Satellites show a warmer Earth is releasing extra energy to space

(I’m revisiting older important papers and setting up resource pages, largely thanks to Tony Cox’s prodding. In this post I found it interesting that Lindzen’s work, which was so controversial because it proved the IPCC is wrong, was in many ways merely confirming earlier results. — Jo) Guest Post: Tony Cox and Jo Nova Satellite measurements agree with the ocean heat content measurements. As the Earth warms, more radiation escapes to space.

If feedbacks are positive (as the IPCC estimates), then as the Earth warms the amount of energy being radiated to space will shrink (thus warming the Earth even further). If feedbacks are negative, as the Earth warms more energy will radiate away.

Multiple studies show that feedbacks are negative.

Lindzen and Choi analyzed short periods of warming looking for changes in the outgoing long-wave radiation leaving from the top of the atmosphere. The satellite observations show, repeatedly, that as the Earth warms, the climate system shifts and lets more of the infra red or long-wave energy out to space.[1],[2] It’s like a safety release valve. This means that the system has negative feedbacks (like almost all known long-lived or stable natural systems). The changes dampen the effects of [...]

When top scientists take 2 years to publish, it’s time to give up on old “Peer” review

Ladies and Gentlemen this is the front line trench of modern science. If climate science is so important, and there is no time to waste, why does the system try so hard to discourage dissent (because they don’t want to find the truth, only the “correct” answer)?

This paper by Lindzen and Choi was submitted and rejected by GRL in 2009, then rejected twice more by PNAS. (And in part because it needed to meet impossible standards. In the end, it was supposed to include “the kitchen sink” but fit into a sandwich bag — see below). The paper could have been out for discussion in 2009, and while it has improved upon revision, was it worth the two year wait? Those gains could have been made in two months (or two weeks) online.

Even the reviewers understand how significant these results would be if they are right. One admits the new paper shows the models don’t match the observations.

Science needs free and open criticism, and competing theories. If Lindzen’s analysis is revolutionary, but potential wrong, is it so bad to publish those results? He is one of the most eminent researchers in the [...]

Robyn Williams shreds the tenets of science

Robyn Williams presenting at the Prime Ministers Awards 2006

As I keep repeating, there’s only ONE thing that makes science different to religion, and that’s evidence. Robyn Williams is the most lauded commentator on science in Australian (read the rave here, he was the first and only journalist to be elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science; a professor at two universities, and received 5 honorary doctorates) yet despite the accolades he mistakenly hails the opinions of paid PR hacks above evidence and reason, and hallows the Blacklist of Approved Climate Sorcerers, sorry, Scientists as if it holds the key to the question of climate sensitivity of a trace gas. (How many “scientists” do you need to warm a planet? Answer: Whatever $79 billion can buy.)

This odd juxtaposition of discussing modern science with neolithic reasoning is unfortunately de rigeur, such is the abysmal state of my profession, known (misleadingly in this case) as science communication. These same commentators who complain about “the people who confuse the public”, don’t seem to realize they’re the ones who lead the pack. They break laws of reason known for two thousands years, destroy the central tenets of science, and conflate [...]