30 August 2006

"MIT's Inconvenient Scientist"

In the Boston Globe today:

Speech codes are rare in the industrialized, Western democracies. In Germany and Austria, for instance, it is forbidden to proselytize Nazi ideology or trivialize the Holocaust. Given those countries' recent histories, that is a restraint on free expression we can live with.

More curious are our own taboos on the subject of global warming. I sat in a roomful of journalists 10 years ago while Stanford climatologist Stephen Schneider lectured us on a big problem in our profession: soliciting opposing points of view. In the debate over climate change, Schneider said, there simply was no legitimate opposing view to the scientific consensus that man - made carbon emissions drive global warming. To suggest or report otherwise, he said, was irresponsible.


Here's the kind of information the ``scientific consensus" types don't want you to read. MIT's Alfred P. Sloan professor of meteorology Richard Lindzen recently complained about the ``shrill alarmism" of Gore's movie ``An Inconvenient Truth." Lindzen acknowledges that global warming is real, and he acknowledges that increased carbon emissions might be causing the warming -- but they also might not.

Read the whole thing... it won't convince anybody one way or the other on the question of global warming, but if nothing else it might raise some doubts in folks who are fanatically dedicated to one argument or the other. It really supports the idea I've had for quite some time, that CO2 emissions probably do contribute to climate change, but it's hard to tell the extent of their effect on the environment. Basically, the uncertainty in the climatological measurements is such that at one end of the spectrum, fossil fuels will kill the earth, but at the other, they're all but completely innocuous. Fits right in with the 'one can make statistics say just about anything one wants' idea.

(H/T: Power Line)

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