If a leading expert writes an op-ed in a national news magazine contradicting the conventional wisdom of the "lapdog media", will a liberal read it?
I'd say there's a 70 percent chance that won't happen, at least as long as the subject is global warming. Richard S. Lindzen, a well-respected and widely published professor of meteorology at MIT just published a very clear-headed and sober editorial in this week's Newsweek. (Update: Lindzen's article appears only in Newsweek's international editions and on their web site. U.S. subscribers won't see it in the issue that arrives in their mailboxes.) It got picked up by Drudge and a number of right-leaning blogs but as of this posting, has not been written about by any popular left-wing blogs.
So for those lefties who are stopping by, allow me to reprint some key grafs from Lindzen's piece:
Recently many people have said that the earth is facing a crisis
requiring urgent action. This statement has nothing to do with science.
There is no compelling evidence that the warming trend we've seen will
amount to anything close to catastrophe. What most commentators—and
many scientists—seem to miss is that the only thing we can say with
certainly about climate is that it changes. The earth is always warming
or cooling by as much as a few tenths of a degree a year; periods of
constant average temperatures are rare. Looking back on the earth's
climate history, it's apparent that there's no such thing as an optimal
temperature—a climate at which everything is just right. The current
alarm rests on the false assumption not only that we live in a perfect
world, temperaturewise, but also that our warming forecasts for the
year 2040 are somehow more reliable than the weatherman's forecast for
next week. [...]
Indeed, one overlooked mystery is why
temperatures are not already higher. Various models predict that a
doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere will raise the world's average
temperature by as little as 1.5 degrees Celsius or as much as 4.5
degrees. The important thing about doubled CO2 (or any other greenhouse
gas) is its "forcing"—its contribution to warming. At present, the
greenhouse forcing is already about three-quarters of what one would
get from a doubling of CO2. But average temperatures rose only about
0.6 degrees since the beginning of the industrial era, and the change
hasn't been uniform—warming has largely occurred during the periods
from 1919 to 1940 and from 1976 to 1998, with cooling in between.
Researchers have been unable to explain this discrepancy.
claim to have simulated the warming and cooling that occurred before
1976 by choosing among various guesses as to what effect poorly
observed volcanoes and unmeasured output from the sun have had. These
factors, they claim, don't explain the warming of about 0.4 degrees C
between 1976 and 1998. Climate modelers assume the cause must be
greenhouse-gas emissions because they have no other explanation. This
is a poor substitute for evidence, and simulation hardly constitutes
explanation. Ten years ago climate modelers also couldn't account for
the warming that occurred from about 1050 to 1300. They tried to
expunge the medieval warm period from the observational record—an
effort that is now generally discredited. The models have also severely
underestimated short-term variability El Niño and the Intraseasonal
Oscillation. Such phenomena illustrate the ability of the complex and
turbulent climate system to vary significantly with no external cause
whatever, and to do so over many years, even centuries.
Update 11:48. As of this writing, no top lefty blog has linked in.