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Larry King: Richard Lindzen vs Bill Nye



This show from February 2007 is kind of amusing. Larry King has invited Prof Richard Lindzen (MIT), Julian Morris, the boss of the IPN think tank, together with two representatives of the scientific consensus. The contrast between their approaches couldn't be more striking.

Lindzen analyzes the forces that actually drive various phenomena such as the Gulf stream (winds that are inseparable from the rotation of Earth and that dominate heat transport) or storms (the temperature difference between the equator and poles that is predicted to shrink). He views alarmism as a children's game in which children hidden in the dark closet are trying to scare each other as much as they can.

Julian Morris discusses the economic impact of various changes of the climate rationally, as an economist. He compares the wealth of the future generations in poor nations with the riches of the present generation in rich nations: the first group will be wealthier. He argues that they will have enough resources to adapt to any change except for a global collapse.




On the other hand, there is an "alternative scientist" named Bill Nye on the show who "calculates", among other things, that the textbook material Lindzen explains is superseded by "consensus scientists" whose voice is exactly 100,000 times more powerful. Not bad. Well, an encouraging first step for the alarmists would be to win at least one debate with the skeptics i.e. to get above 50%. :-)

Heartland launched a campaign promoting the Lord Monckton vs Al Gore debate
Nye repeats some of the most meaningless alarmist news from tabloids, including the termination of the Gulf Stream (something that is clearly not happening, as observations show).

It is very obvious that Bill Nye's knowledge about these issues is equivalent to a very rough & incomplete reading of the summary of policymakers of the IPCC AR4 report (plus a few sentences from Al Gore's movie) which is itself already very naive and oversimplified. You can see how incredibly proud Nye is that he can pronounce "thermohaline" and how patiently he describes one of the most advanced parts of his knowledge, namely the motivation for the term "greenhouse gas", to the spectators for whom his superficial account is still too deep (Al Gore is showing the same patience - they're targeting people with IQ about 75.)

Heidi Cullen, if it's her, reminds me of some of those attractive but very limited women - poultry brains as we would call them - who would be enthusiastically parroting a standardized sequence of communist dogmas during the socialist era in Czechoslovakia. Cullen flatly states that Morris' analysis of priorities is just "false", without offering a glimpse of a justification of her statement. Unless you think that the general and silly religious comment "the environment is where we live so it must always be the #1 priority" is counted as a justification, of course.

If you listen to the show, Cullen and Nye have almost nothing to say besides childish prayers to the greatness of the IPCC Summary Holy Scripture and some confusion spread by certain journalists: it's literally about five ideological sentences that they are able to say about the climate. They're just copying this silliness from each other and there is no one among them who could explain others that the emperor is a socialist without clothes. Everyone talks about consensus but in this consensus, there is almost no one who has some idea what's actually going on - but surely, such a person must exist in between the 2499 other bureaucrats and scientists, must it not? 2499 is such a high number, almost like 10^{350}. With a high number, one doesn't need any arguments, they clearly seem to think. If we triple the funding for these people, this certainty will surely triple, too, won't it?
Incidentally, Mars warmed up by 0.65 degrees Celsius between 1975 and 2000, four times faster than Earth, see Nature or this blog.

How easy it is suddenly to construct models showing that the significant climate change on Mars is natural - as long as it is away from what they consider the center of the Cosmos, namely Earth, where even a much smaller warming surely can't be natural because this is where God, Gaia, and Al Gore have headquarters. ;-)

In fact, their model is 25 times better than needed because it predicts a 0.65 C warming of Mars per year, not per 25 years as observed. ;-) But it's hard to hide their satisfaction with their great work.
At the very end, Nye indirectly asks Lindzen whether he is a heretic i.e. whether he believes that the climate change and/or a two-Fahrenheit-degree change is not a problem. As Lindzen answers that it is not a problem, you can see Nye getting angry. These people are religious zealots.

And that's the memo.

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reader A friend said...

Thank you so much for your comments on Amazon about the book "The Trouble With Physics". I am just starting school and I'm starting it because I'm in love with string theory, quantum physics and chaos theory. If there weren't new discoveries to be made we would all just live happily ever after but reading the other peoples' comments in favor of the book was quite discouraging for me.

Thank you :)