Monday, June 17, 2013
Here it is Father’s Day 2013 and the U-B letters page is once again partially consumed by one of our Valley’s most prolific letter writers.
We’ve read his letters time and again advancing the theme that “climate change is a hoax.” Sunday’s letter is possibly his most focused yet, as half of the letter is devoted to one scientist who he refers to as a “real” scientist — Richard S. Lindzen Ph.D.
I decided to look on Wikipedia and review its broad-based, open coverage of this “real” scientist.
There is a lot to read, and it’s crystal clear Richard S. Lindzen Ph.D is less than “one of the most distinguished climate scientists in the world” as suggested by our local anti-climate change devotee/writer.
Three Wikipedia references (taken directly as printed) about Richard S. Lindzen, Ph.D, stand out:
1) Lindzen has been characterized as a contrarian, in relation to climate change and other issues. Lindzen’s graduate students describe him as “fiercely intelligent, with a deep contrarian streak.”
2) The April 30, 2012, New York Times article included the comments of several other experts. Christopher S. Bretherton, an atmospheric researcher at the University of Washington, said Lindzen is “feeding upon an audience that wants to hear a certain message, and wants to hear it put forth by people with enough scientific reputation that it can be sustained for a while, even if it’s wrong science. I don’t think it’s intellectually honest at all.”
Kerry A. Emanuel, another MIT scientist, said of Lindzen’s views “Even if there were no political implications, it just seems deeply unprofessional and irresponsible to look at this and say, ‘We’re sure it’s not a problem.’ It’s a special kind of risk, because it’s a risk to the collective civilization.”
3) An April 30, 2012, New York Times article by Justin Gillis said that “at gatherings of climate change skeptics ... Dr. Lindzen has been treated as a star”, but that in the view of “the scientific majority ... he has gone beyond any reasonable reading of the evidence to provide a dangerous alibi for inaction.”
I am writing this response because I worry about those readers who want to believe everything they read without doing their own “due diligence” regarding fact checking.
While curiously obsessed people work overtime debating life and death issues as if it’s a game of right vs wrong, the rest of us are struggling to survive the stark realities that surround us all 24/7/365.