Monday, October 04, 2010

BBC interviews Nobel prize winner Lindzen about being a denier

It's a Nobel prize week, so I will deliberately insert the inventor's name to many postings.

The BBC has interviewed "Nobel winner Richard Lindzen on being a climate change denier, and why office plants rock" (it's their description!):
Our Planet (audio)
At the very beginning, Lindzen corrects the host that he is no "skeptic": a "denier" (or "realist") is actually more accurate. Lindzen's impressive list of publications is mentioned, among many other things. It's the kind of a BBC program that would be unthinkable just a year ago.

Something has obviously changed about the forces that determine what is thinkable and what is unthinkable at BBC - and elsewhere. Don't get me wrong: the previously unthinkable program was still hosted by the same kind of an unthinking host who would present the thinkable programs for the unthinking audiences years ago, too. ;-)

Hat tip: Willie Soon

The BBC program recalls some history of the car industry and the theory of the greenhouse effect. Richard's publications, jobs, and awards are mentioned. Dick explains that the word "skeptic" is misleading because the word assumes that there is some pre-existing case for something that could be believed in, and the skeptics don't believe it. However, there is no case for a climate threat.

Needless to say, the host gets a bit combative and mentions that there are "tens of thousands" of scientists who predict a climate threat. (I am not sure where he got this particular meaningless number from.) Many of them even possess a box with a red button, he tells Richard in between the lines, but please feel no pressure. ;-)

Dick answers that a few years ago, no sane person would say such a silly thing as that there were tens of thousands of people who predict a climate threat. It's a small, small field. The host says that there are many of them now. Dick explains that they grew out of the emotions and most of them are not climate scientists and have no understanding of the atmospheric dynamics. Many of them study cockroaches and their friends and they have added the "impact of AGW" to their research, Richard explains to the stunned host who clearly has no idea about the real world.

The BBC play some statements by a high-positioned nutcase who states that AGW is the most carefully studied piece of science - ever. Lindzen says that it's nonsense and the person has a vested interest to say such things. (Can you imagine: the most studied pieces of science? AGW is among the most vague, uncertain, and skewed by systematic errors portions of science ever published.) The host - who was clearly asked by a boss to record the first sensible program about the climate in his life - becomes emotional and asks Why would Lindzen "believe" that it is biased. Well, Lindzen actually knows it - rather than believes it - because he has participated in this process. He gives an example (but it may have been cut).

(A meaningless mixture of weather and biodiesel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia follows. A new frog species is found in Borneo, too. When the original host returns, they argue whether houseplants are good or not. The arguments in both directions looked very superficial to me. These people offering their superstitions about houseplants are the typical representatives of those tens of thousands of people who are supposed to beat Lindzen.)

At 21:30, they return to Lindzen. A convoluted question leads Lindzen to explain that the precautionary principle is just an absurd formula for selective stasis. They discuss what you should do if a majority recommends you that you should insure your house against something. Richard gives an example where it would be preposterous to insure the house. The host agrees. But of course, he doesn't want to agree with the big picture.

Dick laughs when the host respectfully mentions the name of a crackpot, Nicholas Stern. Lindzen explains that Stern's report is wrong at pretty much every level. He says that the carbon markets will swallow tens of trillions of dollars and it will be pointless. However, for the large banks, it will be nice. A listener asks where Richard's funding comes from. The answer is that it was always the U.S. government, of course: DOE, NASA, NSF, and so on.

The host is able to figure out that the question comes with the "implication" that Richard is paid by the evil oil industry. How did he find the implication in the question? It's clearly not included in the question. However, the host is obviously right because he could have guessed that the listener was as brainwashed by the environmentalist smear campaigns addressed to morons as the host himself. Richard, who mentions that some people also say that he is funded by the tobacco industry, says that the only money from the oil industry he has ever received was a lecture fee he shared with 3 environmentalists.

Another question is what would convince Lindzen that "it" is real. Lindzen says he already knows "it" is real - it is just small and unable to grow to anything that matters, relatively to the normal sources of local variability. The third question was rephrased into a polite language: it asked whether Lindzen worries that he is letting down (or scr*wing or worse) future generations. Lindzen can't worry because the proposed policies are "pain without gain" even if you believe in catastrophic warming. However, there's also overwhelming evidence that the sensitivity is much lower than the figure declared by the institutions.

Nice talking to you.

La Nina has strengthened again

For a month, the ENSO ONI 3.4 index has been around -1.5 or -1.6 °C. However, the latest weekly report that was just released shows that the anomaly has gotten even more pronounced. It is currently at -1.8 °C.

If this index stays nearly constant for 3 months or becomes even more negative, the ongoing La Nina episode will be the strongest one at least since 1988.

Osama bin Laden names himself the leader of the AGW movement

Osama bin Laden has been changing his main focus in the recent tapes. He has already made some hints about the global climate disruption previously. But in the newest tape released on October 1st, he became the most prominent figure to call for action on climate change. He is ahead of both Al Zawahiri and Al Gore who are #2 and #3, respectively.

It seems likely that Osama is reading The Silent Spring by Rachel Carson under a fluorescent light bulb in his hole., a leading environmentalist website, has already named Osama their prophet because he is able to make genuine prophesies - e.g. that CO2 damages Pakistan - out of his cave. Tree huggers dot com also subscribe to the following previous statement of their new leader:
"However, George Bush junior, preceded by Congress, dismissed the agreement to placate giant corporations."
Well, indeed, you couldn't distinguish Obama from any other garden-variety leftist comrade, could you?

Bin Laden has also called for the aid to Pakistan to be increased after the floods. In comparison with the majestic SUV of the American infidel, Allah is such a tiny puppet who simply can't cope with the American CO2 in the atmosphere and protect the Mohammedans in Pakistan, bin Laden suggested when he called for more compassion.
"The huge climate change is affecting our (Islamic) nation and is causing great catastrophes throughout the Islamic world," he says in the tape.

"It is not sufficient anymore to maintain the same relief efforts as previously, as it has become crucial to deliver tents, food and medicine."

[From The Guardian.]
Osama has also advocated the creation of an international organization that would be supervising the redistribution of wealth justified by selected weather events. Because he has spent too many years in a hole, he's apparently unaware that such an organization already exists. It's called the IPCC. After the expected removal of Patchy, Osama may become the new boss of the IPCC. He has already reduced the mankind's carbon footprint by 6,000 human footprints or so (recall that an average human has approximately 2 footprints).

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