Climate Science and Poker
WC notes that Richard S. Lindzen, a professor of meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is once again trumpeting his unproven cloud theories as the solution to climate change. It’s Dr. Lindzen’s view that clouds will save us, that as CO2 from the unrelenting burning of fossil fuels continues to heat the atmosphere, changes in cloud patterns will ensue and reduce solar input, preventing significant warming. There’s just one problem with Dr. Lindzen’s theories.
The theories aren’t supported by any science.
Dr. Lindzen’s published works have been thorough refuted by mainstream climate scientists. Even Dr. Lindzen admits his analyses have been proven wrong.
That doesn’t stop Dr. Lindzen from having rock star treatment from the usual crowd of global warming deniers. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R, Calif) and Sen. James Inhofe (R, OK) are big fans. But in the words of Christopher S. Bretherton, an atmospheric researcher at the University of Washington, “Lindzen is feeding upon an audience that wants to hear a certain message, and wants to hear it put forth by people with enough scientific reputation that it can be sustained for a while, even if it’s wrong science. I don’t think it’s intellectually honest at all.”
Delicately put, Dr. Bretherton. WC will be more blunt: it’s pandering. If Dr. Lindzen were to change his position, he wouldn’t get standing ovations from The Heartland Institute.
But let’s try and put this in terms that even Sen. Inhofe can understand. Let’s assume you are in a poker game, and the pot is $1 million. Assume the odds are 97% that if you take the next card, you will bust your straight and lose the pot. Do you take the card?
Because 97% of climate scientists – not scientists, climate scientists – believe that anthropogenic CO2 and methane are creating a climate crisis. They don’t think that some unspecified, unproven mechanism is going to rescue humanity from the problem it is creating. In fact, the consensus among scientists, who admit that cloud atmospherics are incompletely understood, is that clouds are likely to be climate-neutral, at best.
So Dr. Lindzen, Rep. Rorabacher, Sen. Inhofe and the cheering crowds at the fake “climate conferences” like Heartland Institute’s are betting the future of the planet that the 97% consensus are wrong.
By the way, WC’s poker metaphor is slightly misleading in at least two senses. The odds of drawing to an inside straight are about 9%. Just 3% of climate scientists disbelieve in global warming. And the “pot” in this case is trillions of dollars, millions of lives, thousands of species and the health of the planet.
Oh, and you have no choice about whether you are going to play.