As our global-warming discussions here at TheCarConnectionBlog get seriously heated up, it’s worth clocking the opinion of a scientist given voice in this week’s issue of Newsweek, who says global-warming hysterics are in the wrong.
Richard S. Lindzen, who is billed as a government-funded (not energy-industry-funded) scholar and the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, gives much food for thought on the topic of global warming. Lindzen mocks the end of the debate over global warming and sets right into the hysteria with both hands: global warming is likely happening and greenhouse emissions are likely, in part, helping it along.
But Lindzen dismisses any notion that we’re headed for a catastrophe requiring Jake Gyllenhaal or Jerry Bruckheimer to elucidate. “The earth is always warming or cooling by as much as a few tenths of a degree a year; periods of constant average temperatures are rare,” Lindzen says. “The current alarm rests on the false assumption not only that we live in a perfect world, temperaturewise, but also that our warming forecasts for the year 2040 are somehow more reliable than the weatherman's forecast for next week.”
His most important point—after dissembling models that show seas rising—is that temperatures should have risen much more dramatically if global warming from CO2 was really the only mechanism at work. “Average temperatures rose only about 0.6 degrees since the beginning of the industrial era, and the change hasn't been uniform—warming has largely occurred during the periods from 1919 to 1940 and from 1976 to 1998, with cooling in between. Researchers have been unable to explain this discrepancy,” he points out.
It’s compelling reading, particularly for the hysterics.