Thanks for following me all this time. Lindzen is a researcher of atmospheric physics at MIT. He basically applies complex mathematical equations (via computer modelling [vs direct observation]) and makes inferences about the earth’s atmosphere.
His focus is atmospheric tides, which are similar to oceanic tides. Pretty interesting for about 5 minutes.
Lindzen is often portrayed as a climate denier, but this is not true. He regularly states that humans do affect long term temperatures by emitting carbon.
The main reason he’s called a denier is because he disagrees with the projected impacts from the well known science, models, and consensus. He thinks the impacts are overstated. He provides no evidence for this. His argument is strange, and journalists do not know how to parse his position. This is why Lindzen gets so much play - he has an obtuse argument sandwiched between big words.
He basically argues that since scientists cannot predict the future of climate with 100% accuracy, he will not predict the future ever, and therefore no one else should either. Sort of like saying we know snake venom is dangerous. But since we cannot predict what it will do to you with 100% certainty, we should not worry about it. It’s a very strange argument to make.
As far as I can tell, he has not explained or published his evidence for his argument. So, no one in the field of climate change takes him seriously. He’s great at PR though (thus his appearance on Head-to-Head). Also, journalists are (generally) very stupid when it comes to math and science. So, he takes advantage of this.
.@Reuters jumps PNAS embargo & utterly botches story on new @PIK_climate study of sea level rise per degree warming.
Story headline: “Models point to rapid sea-level rise from climate change”
Paper title (italics added): “The multi-millennial sea-level commitment of global warming”
Paper: “[W]e are committed to a sea-level rise of about 2.3 meters [per 1ºC] within the next 2000 years.”
At least Reuters got in a solid quote from lead author Anders Levermann that makes the right point on the right time scale:
"Continuous sea-level rise is something we cannot avoid unless global temperatures go down again," Levermann said. “Our results indicate that major adaptation at our coastlines will be necessary. It’s likely that some currently populated regions can’t be protected in the long run."
Things I learned in journalism: 1) Journalists do not understand anything with numbers and 2) Journalists do not understand science. The effects: No one knows why the Dow Jones is up/down for the day nor do they know if caffeine is good/bad for you.
Looks to be the same principle here: Reporter skims a report, snags a few quotes from author interview, and runs the piece by their editors. Editors have no clue about science (nor how to fact check it), and kick it out with polished sentences.