Another one bites the dust

After tthe sad fate of Dr* Bob, it would seem that now Lindzen is officially Emeritus. But remember folks, I was there first.

I’m curious as to when this happened. Cato claimed him in August 2013 – perhaps then? No, it was earlier: May 2013. If you look at his wiki page you won’t find the E-word anywhere. Perhaps someone should update it?

The article I started with invites you to meet Richard Lindzen, the Alfred P. Sloan professor of meteorology at MIT but this is clearly wrong: he’s no longer a prof at MIT, he’s an E-prof. So he can’t be the APS prof. He could be the APS E-prof, but he isn’t. Cato gets it right: Emeritus Professor of Meteorology at MIT, where he was the Alfred P. Sloan Professor.

From the article we find stuff like Lindzen has made the strange journey from being a pioneer in his field and eventual IPCC coauthor to an outlier in the discipline but that’s not really true. L did a few big things related to atmospheric dynamics: atmospheric tides, QBO – read his wiki page for details – this was all great work, no doubt about it. But after, say, 1972 he’s done very little. And the early work, sort-of, was a bit dead-endish. Atmospheric tides: great. But it doesn’t lead anywhere. Gravity waves feeding QBO was good, and gravity waves are certainly relevant to present-day GCMs and climate work, and QBO is still an active area, but L’s stuff was all a bit to one side; calling him a pioneer is odd; he’s been off-mainstream for 40 or more years (also the article’s description of his involvement with the IPCC is deceptive; it suggests more involvement than occurred). In fact, as he pretty well says in the article, L is more of a dynamic meteorologist than a climatologist; insofar as those distinctions mean much.

Comments

  1. #1 Chris Snow
    Totnes
    2014/01/04

    This, along with the demise of “Dr” Bob, confirms a pet theory of mine that AGW scepticism will die of natural causes in about 20 years time. I first became aware of this following one of those open letters to a newspaper, so beloved of sceptics (it saves them the bother of doing any research after all). After checking the biographies of the 16 signatories, I reckoned that, as far as I could tell, their average age was well over 70 and that it’s fairly likely that in 20 years time, Nir Shaviv will be writing to the Wall Street Journal on his own.

    [20 years is a a long time. I expect the implosion much earlier. The level of anti-science and introspection at WUWT etc can't go much higher, but nor can it stay still -W]

  2. #2 guthrie
    2014/01/04

    So we can change the old comment about opposition to new scientific theories being about the social knowledge and perception of them, not that of actual scientists carrying out cutting edge research.

  3. #3 mio
    2014/01/05

    most mathematical model of complex system fail to make accurate predictions

    [Without defining "most", "complex" or "accurate" that's meaningless -W]

  4. #4 Eli Rabett
    http://rabett.blogspot.com
    2014/01/05

    Atmospheric tides = Stadium waves

    [Tut. They are more like anti-stadium waves. SW are vast collections of phenomena linked by no clear dynamics. AT are simple phenomena with precisely understood dynamics -W]

  5. #5 chek
    2014/01/05

    I was just thinking that The Mysterious Case of Visceral Denier Hatred For the Voyage of the MV Akademik Shokalskiy appears to have the dynamics of a stadium wave sweeping the denier world.

  6. #6 John Mashey
    2014/01/05

    re: age
    Seep.12 of PDF @ APS petition.That was organized by Fred Singer, Will Happer, etc to get the American Physical Society to undo its position statement on climate change.

    Of 119 signers for whom I have reasonable birth estiamtes:
    192x: 26
    193x: 31
    194x: 45
    I.e., 102 of 119 (86%) were born before 1950, about 2X percentage of APS membership.

  7. #7 Russell
    2014/01/05

    As Dick sails into the sunset, Wiliam might turn his attention to the nonsense being said about the ‘ ship of fools’ in the Antarctic.

    The Spectator, still reflecting the Lawson’s editorship, is trying to equate bad ice navigation with worse climate modeling.

    Some sober comments might be in order

    [I haven't bothered much about that. I don't even know if it was a pile of journos off for a jolly, or just a few journos on an otherwise sensible trip -W]

  8. #8 John Mashey
    2014/01/05

    In some sense (both atmospheric physicists,dynamics, tides, QBO, etc) Lindzen “pioneered the wayt” for Murry Salby, but at least he didn’t sneak a bunch of nonsense into an otherwise-credible book. Stoat readers may be amused by my review of Salby’s 2012 book via CUP., Among other things, he relies on Lindzen and Choi (2009), which even Lindzen later admitted had “”some stupid mistakes”.

    That was among the 13 bad arguments that have been cataloged @ Skeptical Science.

  9. #9 Nick Barnes
    2014/01/05

    “one funeral at a time”.

  10. #10 Eli Rabett
    http://rabett.blogspot.com
    2014/01/06

    [The level of anti-science and introspection at WUWT etc can't go much higher, but nor can it stay still ]

    Depends on the percentage of his income Willard Tony is generating from WUWT. The general pattern of the long con is that to maintain inflow crazy increases.

  11. #11 Brian Schmidt
    2014/01/06

    The level of scientific support for creationism is a fraction of the 3% that climate denial gets, and it’s still a strong political force. I think the collapse of scientific support from 3% to 0.3% will help, but it’s not enough.

  12. #12 cynicus
    2014/01/06

    Does being old automatically makes one wiser?

  13. #13 John Mashey
    2014/01/06

    WMC: ‘[20 years is a a long time. I expect the implosion much earlier. The level of anti-science and *introspection* at WUWT etc can't go much higher, but nor can it stay still -W]‘

    I disagree with part of this, or maybe this is s UK/US difference in connotations of the word “introspection.” I admit I have only studied carefully a few posts at WUWT, but I was unable to find the slightest hint of introspection with the common meaning. It is possible that any such get moderated away by Watts or Stealey, of course.

    Unless, of course, by introspection one means echo-chamber groupthink of the highest level. :-)

    [Your last line is right; there really isn't a correct word, but introspection is definitely wrong -W]

  14. #14 Mal Adapted
    2014/01/07

    “introspection”: how about “insularity”?

  15. #15 John Mashey
    2014/01/08

    Possession by Morton’s Demon, here here tends to eliminate introspection, almost like anti-matter matter, except in this case, there is an infinite supply of the former.

    Also, a few of those Demons don’t just bar facts, but actively roam around cherry-picking what they like.

  16. #16 JBL
    2014/01/08

    Brian Schmidt, but the basis for creationism is much deeper-seated than the basis for climate change. Rejecting creationism generally requires the adherent to reject an entire world-view; one can reject climate denialism and still keep the ideology that led one their in the first place.

  17. #17 David Sanger
    2014/01/13

    Whereas the creationists come from fundamentalist religious origins, the anti-climate change lobby seems to have much more specifically political roots (e.g. Frank Lunz.

    Consequently, they are likely to gradually evolve their message from “it isn’t happening” to “don’t tell us what to do.”

  18. #18 David Sanger
    2014/01/13

    “He received the Jule Charney award for “highly significant research” in the atmospheric sciences from the American Meteorological Society and the Distinguished Engineering Achievement Award from the Engineer’s Council in 2009.” Cato

    One could be forgiven for not noticing that the Charney award was way back in 1985.

  19. #19 Mal Adapted
    2014/01/13

    Whereas the creationists come from fundamentalist religious origins, the anti-climate change lobby seems to have much more specifically political roots (e.g. Frank Lunz.

    Not to absolve Frank Luntz and his employers, but AGW denial is an easy sell if you’re an evangelical Christian:

    http://www.cornwallalliance.org/articles/read/an-evangelical-declaration-on-global-warming/

    One thing should be clear: if Science is a way of trying not to fool yourself, then by signing the Cornwall Declaration you’re announcing your willingness to be fooled. Roy Spencer, John Christy and the other signatories with scientific credentials have thereby disqualified themselves as skeptics.

    [RS appears quite happy to re-nail his colours to the mast: http://www.drroyspencer.com/2014/01/science-and-religion-do-your-own-damn-google-search/ -W]

  20. #20 pough
    2014/01/14

    I think I’m going to use RS’s “The scientific evidence is increasingly supporting this position” in everything I write from now on. It’s so easy to say, so very compelling, and so not needing any references to back it up. Apparently.

    Previously, I had only seen it written by creationists and anti-vaccine folks. When someone like RS says it the statement transforms from bogus to Truth with a capital T. The scientific evidence is increasingly supporting this position.

  21. #21 Mal Adapted
    2014/01/14

    William: “[RS appears quite happy to re-nail his colours to the mast: http://www.drroyspencer.com/2014/01/science-and-religion-do-your-own-damn-google-search/ -W]”

    Fascinating. Spencer says:

    [Ethan Epstein of the Weekly Standard] incorrectly assumes that I support the wording of all of the positions of the Cornwall Alliance, as stated in their Cornwall Declaration. But the Director of the Cornwall Alliance knows I don’t. We’ve discussed it.

    The “Cornwall Declaration” he links to is not the one on Global Warming, and while it’s widely believed he’s a signatory to that, I haven’t been able to verify it conclusively. If he has signed it, though, he can’t really repudiate the key articles:

    WHAT WE BELIEVE

    We believe Earth and its ecosystems—created by God’s intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence —are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting, admirably suited for human flourishing, and displaying His glory. Earth’s climate system is no exception. Recent global warming is one of many natural cycles of warming and cooling in geologic history.

    WHAT WE DENY

    We deny that Earth and its ecosystems are the fragile and unstable products of chance, and particularly that Earth’s climate system is vulnerable to dangerous alteration because of minuscule changes in atmospheric chemistry. Recent warming was neither abnormally large nor abnormally rapid. There is no convincing scientific evidence that human contribution to greenhouse gases is causing dangerous global warming.

    He believes his god wouldn’t allow global warming, so there’s no scientific evidence that will convince him it’s happening. So much the worse for Science.

  22. #22 And Then There's Physics
    2014/01/15

    Well, the Cornwall Alliance seems to be claiming that he is a signatory. I guess that isn’t conclusive, but is rather suggestive.

    http://www.cornwallalliance.org/blog/item/prominent-signers-of-an-evangelical-declaration-on-global-warming/

  23. #23 Mal Adapted
    2014/01/15

    Ah! I missed that page. Thanks, ATTP. I had previously stated that Richard Lindzen was a signer, but wasn’t able to confirm it, so I had to retract. I can now brand Spencer as a signer without fear of being corrected 8^)!

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