Bill Frezza interviews Richard Lindzen on Real Clear Radio Hour on February 12, 2016. Atmospheric physicist and MIT Professor Emeritus Richard Lindzen was the lead author of the “Physical Climate Processes and Feedbacks” chapter of the IPCC Third Assessment Report. Lindzen attributes climate hype to politics, money, and propaganda particularly taking issue with the “97% consensus” claim that is being used to stifle debate and demonize skeptics.
Lindzen: Every model used by the UN from 1978 to the present is overestimating the observed change in temperature.
Q: Has any IPCC model every successfully and accurately predicted the future?
Lindzen: How much warming do you expect for a doubling of carbon dioxide? Doubling is chosen for a very good reason. The dependence of the greenhouse gas effects what is called logarithmic. Which means if you double CO2 from 280 to 560[ppm], you would get the same thing you as you would get from doubling from 560 to 1120. It’s a diminishing return thing.
Q: There seems to be some controversy over whether there has been a pause in global warming over the last 18 years. You can see reports from both sides of that argument that seem to bear no relation to each other. What’s your view on that?
Lindzen: …no obvious trend for at least 18 years…
Q: So did 97% of scientists really agree that catastrophic global warming is inevitable if we don’t radically reduce global carbon dioxide emissions?
Lindzen: Of course not.
Q: But that seems to be the narrative.
Lindzen: I know, and it was the narrative from the beginning. In 1988, when there was the Senate hearing where Jim Hansen made some vague remarks, Newsweek ran a cover saying all scientists agree. Now they never really tell you exactly what they agreed on. So all scientists agree that it’s probably warmer now than it was at the end of the Little Ice Age. Almost all Scientists agree that adding CO2 should give you some warming though it might be very little, but it is propagandists who translate that into ‘it is dangerou, we must reduce CO2 etc.’ That doesn’t even come from the IPCC scientific assessment.
Lindzen: If you can make an ambiguous remark, and you have people who will amplify it— ‘they said it not me’—and the response of the political system is to increase your funding, what’s not to like?