Skip to comments.Meteorologist Likens Fear of Global Warming to 'Religious Belief'
Posted on 12/02/2004 3:19:38 AM PST by kattracks
Washington (CNSNews.com) - An MIT meteorologist Wednesday dismissed alarmist fears about human induced global warming as nothing more than 'religious beliefs.'
"Do you believe in global warming? That is a religious question. So is the second part: Are you a skeptic or a believer?" said Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Richard Lindzen, in a speech to about 100 people at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
"Essentially if whatever you are told is alleged to be supported by 'all scientists,' you don't have to understand [the issue] anymore. You simply go back to treating it as a matter of religious belief," Lindzen said. His speech was titled, "Climate Alarmism: The Misuse of 'Science'" and was sponsored by the free market George C. Marshall Institute. Lindzen is a professor at MIT's Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences.
Once a person becomes a believer of global warming, "you never have to defend this belief except to claim that you are supported by all scientists -- except for a handful of corrupted heretics," Lindzen added.
According to Lindzen, climate "alarmists" have been trying to push the idea that there is scientific consensus on dire climate change.
"With respect to science, the assumption behind the [alarmist] consensus is science is the source of authority and that authority increases with the number of scientists [who agree.] But science is not primarily a source of authority. It is a particularly effective approach of inquiry and analysis. Skepticism is essential to science -- consensus is foreign," Lindzen said.
Alarmist predictions of more hurricanes, the catastrophic rise in sea levels, the melting of the global poles and even the plunge into another ice age are not scientifically supported, Lindzen said.
"It leads to a situation where advocates want us to be afraid, when there is no basis for alarm. In response to the fear, they want us to do what they want," Lindzen said.
Recent reports of a melting polar ice cap were dismissed by Lindzen as an example of the media taking advantage of the public's "scientific illiteracy."
"The thing you have to remember about the Arctic is that it is an extremely variable part of the world," Lindzen said. "Although there is melting going [on] now, there has been a lot of melting that went on in the 30s and then there was freezing. So by isolating a section ... they are essentially taking people's ignorance of the past," he added.
'Repetition makes people believe'
The climate change debate has become corrupted by politics, the media and money, according to Lindzen.
"It's a sad story, where you have scientists making meaningless or ambiguous statements [about climate change]. They are then taken by advocates to the media who translate the statements into alarmist declarations. You then have politicians who respond to all of this by giving scientists more money," Lindzen said.
"Agreement on anything is taken to infer agreement on everything. So if you make a statement that you agree that CO2 (carbon dioxide) is a greenhouse gas, you agree that the world is coming to an end," he added.
"There can be little doubt that the language used to convey alarm has been sloppy at best," Lindzen said, citing Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbles and his famous observation that even a lie will be believed if enough people repeat it. "There is little question that repetition makes people believe things [for] which there may be no basis," Lindzen said.
He believes the key to improving the science of climate change lies in altering the way scientists are funded.
'Alarm is the aim'
"The research and support for research depends on the alarm," Lindzen told CNSNews.com
following his speech. "The research itself often is very good, but by the time it gets through the filter of environmental advocates and the press innocent things begin to sound just as though they are the end of the world.
"The argument is no longer what models are correct -- they are not -- but rather whether their results are at all possible. One can rarely prove something to be impossible," he explained.
Lindzen said scientists must be allowed to conclude that 'we don't have a problem." And if the answer turns out to be 'we don't have a problem,' we have to figure out a better reward than cutting off people's funding. It's as simple as that," he said.
The only consensus that Lindzen said exists on the issue of climate change is the impact of the Kyoto Protocol, the international treaty to limit greenhouse gases, which the U.S. does not support.
Kyoto itself will have no discernible effect on global warming regardless of what one believes about climate change," Lindzen said.
"Claims to the contrary generally assume Kyoto is only the beginning of an ever more restrictive regime. However this is hardly ever mentioned," he added.
The Kyoto Protocol, which Russia recently ratified, aims to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases to 1990 levels by the year 2010. But Lindzen claims global warming proponents ultimately want to see a 60 to 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gasses from the 1990 levels. Such reductions would be economically disastrous, he said.
"If you are hearing Kyoto will cost billions and trillions," then a further reduction will ultimately result in "a shutdown" of the economy, Lindzen said.
See Related Article:
John McCain's 'Global Warming' Hearings Blasted by Climatologist -- 11/19/2004
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Evolution is based on observed facts which would make it a scientific theory rather than a religion.
Are you saying the good doctor (Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Richard Lindzen) is wrong?
Based on your post you are.
Exactly what I was thinking when I read this article. But the aim of the religion of evolution is much larger and more dangerous to the planet than the global warming crock. Many are the same bozos believing both.
I've said the same thing for several years. A meteorologist I am not.
You left something very important in that statement. Evolution is based on a complete misinterpretation of observed facts. Which makes it a crock, just like global warming.
Don't forget the abortion enthusiasts, whose religion teaches them that a new human being is created when, POOF!, a pregnant woman decides not to kill her pre-born baby. There is no science whatsoever to support the POOF Theory but they believe it with a passion.
Re Creationists: If the term simply means a belief that God created the heavens and the earth, then I'm a Creationist. If it means that God created the heavens and the earth pretty much the way we see it today but only 4500 years ago, then I am not.
What I choose to believe: God created the heavens and the earth many millions of years ago. The things studied in sciences that we call physics, chemistry, biology, geology, etc., is HOW He did it.
Actually global warming is NOT based on any facts, only computer models. Computer models are like novels. They can say anything that you want them to say. In fact I would go so far as to say that global warming belongs in the science fiction category. Evolution is based on fossil records, and fossils are pretty obvious facts.
If you would like to amuse God, tell him of your plans.
"Evolution is based on fossil records, and fossils are pretty obvious facts."
NO it is not, because if it were only about "fossils" evidence, then E's would have to conclude that there is a reason for the missing LINK they continue to espouse.
Now science does in fact tell us that this earth's age is completely unknown and there is no specific evidence to tell us exactly how many millions of years ago it was created.
If the E's were really after truth and not a blind ideology, then they would take the time to learn exactly what was penned in the original Hebrew before man monkeyed around with the translation of the original language.
The Bible does not say the earth is 6000 years old, it is a tradition of man that says that the Bible says that.
The example of anthropogenic global warming is quite instructive: even though it is a plainly a proper scientific theory in Popper's sense--it is easily falsifiable by numerous conceivable observations, indeed has been falsified by data pointed to in the article--it has become what might be called 'sociologically unfalsifiable'. Its adherents won't accept as valid any countervailing evidence and vilify critics.
Whatever its merits as science, the neo-Darwinian concensus, has become 'sociologically unfalsifiable' because it now functions as an atheistic creation myth for radical secularists. "Evolution zealots" are those for whom it has become such a dogma, not those who simply believe it is the best currently available account of the origin of biological diversity: folks like Dawkins who attacked Gould for applying dynamical systems theory to evolutionary biology because it removed the gradualist element, or like those who disrupt talks about reverse transciptase because the existence of such enzymes unseats the uni-directional connection between DNA and RNA.
Except for the contradictory "facts" that appear every few days and are conveniently ignored or twisted to fit the "theory". Every time they find a new species that doesn't fit the Lucy time line, they throw it out as an aberration. That makes it a little hard to consider it science.
I too think that the global warming models are bunk, but not for the reasons you propose. There are many settings in which accurate models exist at large scale, but not at smaller scale: For instance modelling sand being dumped onto a pile. On a long time scale and in terms of coarse measurments (the average diameter and height of the pile) a model of the pile as a continuously growning cone (familiar from freshman calculus texts) is completely predictive. In detail, however, even over short times, the granular pile is not well-modeled by the continuous model (we've all seen sand build up in a spot, then suddenly make a land-slide on one side of the pile), and indeed the behavior of such measurements as height above a particular point, cross-sectional measurement along a given line, are all competely unpredictable by any known model.
Oh did I step on some creationist toes? What contradictory facts every few days? I don't know of anything in the fossil record that doesn't fit evolution. If you have some every few days, you should have hundreds of verifiable fossils that disprove evolution. I doubt that you do, (and please don't point me to some creationist web site) You're grasping at straws to discredit the theory that best fits the facts - evolution.
with all due respect, your statements are completely false. And at this point I modify my rule of not arguing with drunks and idiots because they are irrational to add creationists to the aforementioned categories. Believe what you want, but don't try and justify it on the evidence because there ain't any.
Uhh no it isn't. It's based on computer models. Satellite data show no global warming. The temperature curves that purport to show global warming have been doctored only to show those segments that fit the (false) hypothesis.
"I don't know of anything in the fossil record that doesn't fit evolution"
Which fossils fit evolution? All the sea creature fossils at the top of some mountains? All the dinosaur fossils jumbled together in heaps as though buried quickly in a mudslide? Creatures don't die and normally get fossilized, it requires something to happen quickly to preserve the creature especially those in the sea.
Also about the age of the fossils. How is that determined? The age of the rocks or layers they are found in? How are ages of the rocks and layers determined? The age of the fossils found in them? It seems circular to me.
What about Carbon dating? I believe that assumes the loss of carbon has been consistent over time. I remember visiting Liberty University where they have some dinosaur bones on display. I believe it was a T-Rex but I could be wrong. The display told how they sent the bones to 2 different carbon dating services but did not tell them what the bones were from. They were told it was 6000 and 10000 years old. Once the carbon dating services were told it was dinosaur bone they demanded to recalc the date because they would have dated it differently if they had known it was dinosaur bone. I may have some of the story wrong because it was a while ago but I thought it was interesting.
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