Lindzengate – an update report
Members of my immediate family have contacted me asking me to explain exactly what I was asking Professor Lindzen and whether I have had any response. This is what I told them:
No news is bad news.
Although some will no doubt say that my first 1800-word email was out-of-order; and never going to receive a response from a busy man, I did get a response – warning me not to publish my email! A warning I have ignored because it was mere bluster and intimidation.
However, I have since apologised for any contentious accusations I may have made, but I have still had no substantive response to any of my questions, even those in my third email to Lindzen; which I believe demand responses to which the whole World is entitled.
In between these two emails, was my second very brief email containing 17 simple statements (i.e. effectively rhetorical questions). However, Lindzen has not responded – and cannot respond – to this because to do so he would have to reveal to the World that he is in a prison of denial from which death will probably be his only escape. For the avoidance of doubt, this is not a death threat by me against him – it is merely a statement of my belief that even if he is now reprimanded for repeated poor practice – he will never recant from what I believe to be his ideologically-driven need to deny (human responsibility for) the reality of all our environmental problems. A blogosphere friend of mine, Owlbrudder, has now demonstrated what I mean by all of this by replying to my 17 statements – affirming the validity of each and every one of them.
Lindzen’s entire thesis depends on one thing.
To make things as clear as possible for you, Lindzen’s entire conspiracy theory stands or falls on his belief that he is right and everyone else is wrong. He has repeatedly asserted that climate sensitivity is very low (i.e. 1 Celsius eventual temperature rise for a doubling of atmospheric CO2); whereas the genuine consensus view is that climate sensitivity is somewhere in excess of 2.5 Celsius. Many climate scientists believe climate sensitivity could be as high as 4 Celsius and also that it is non-linear (i.e. as it warms up, less marginal CO2 change is required to achieve same temperature change => runaway greenhouse effect => Venus no.2 in 500 years).
At very least, if Lindzen is wrong about current climate sensitivity – and runaway greenhouse effect is avoided – when the Earth’s temperature eventually stabilises (i.e. decades after we stop increasing atmosheric CO2) it will be two-and-a-half times hotter than Lindzen thinks.
I just hope that you do not now dismiss me and the vast majority of the World’s climate scientists as environmental “alarmists” because, if you do, the Merchants of Doubt have won and we are all stuffed….
UPDATE (0915 hrs GMT 9 March 2012): I believe all the comments (to-date) are worth reading, but make sure you do not miss the video of the Q&A session of the Meeting (as posted here by its organisers) and my response…