Saturday, November 17, 2007

Global Warming: The Origin and Nature of the Alleged Scientific Consensus

This 1992 article from Richard Lindzen provides an interesting "historical" perpective on global warming hysteria.

By early 1989, however, the popular media in Europe and the United States were declaring that "all scientists'' agreed that warming was real and catastrophic in its potential.
In the spring of 1989 I was an invited participant at a global warming symposium at Tufts University. I was the only scientist among a panel of environmentalists. There were strident calls for immediate action and ample expressions of impatience with science. Claudine Schneider, then a congressman from Rhode Island, acknowledged that "scientists may disagree, but we can hear Mother Earth, and she is crying.'' It seemed clear to me that a very dangerous situation was arising, and the danger was not of "global warming'' itself.

In the spring of 1989 I prepared a critique of global warming, which I submitted to Science, a magazine of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The paper was rejected without review as being of no interest to the readership. I then submitted the paper to the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, where it was accepted after review, rereviewed, and reaccepted--an unusual procedure to say the least. In the meantime, the paper was attacked in Science before it had even been published. The paper circulated for about six months as samizdat. It was delivered at a Humboldt conference at M.I.T. and reprinted in the Frankfurter Allgemeine.

In the meantime, the global warming circus was in full swing. Meetings were going on nonstop. One of the more striking of those meetings was hosted in the summer of 1989 by Robert Redford at his ranch in Sundance, Utah. Redford proclaimed that it was time to stop research and begin acting. I suppose that that was a reasonable suggestion for an actor to make, but it is also indicative of the overall attitude toward science. Barbara Streisand personally undertook to support the research of Michael Oppenheimer at the Environmental Defense Fund, although he is primarily an advocate and not a climatologist. Meryl Streep made an appeal on public television to stop warming. A bill was even prepared to guarantee Americans a stable climate.

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