by Judith Curry
Lindzen has responded to Hoskins et al.
On a previous thread, we discussed Lindzen’s presentation to the House of Commons [here and here], and then discussed the critique by Hoskins et al. [here]. Lindzen has prepared response, posted at GWPF [here]. Some excerpts:
On February 22, 2012, I gave a lecture at the House of Commons explaining the nature of the arguments for climate alarm, and offering my reasons for regarding the concern as being unjustifiably exaggerated. The slides of this lecture were widely circulated. Not surprisingly, the lecture led to a variety of complaints from those supporting alarm. The most thoughtful of these (by Hoskins, Mitchell, Palmer, Shine and Wolff) was a detailed critique posted at the website of the Grantham Institute that Hoskins heads. While there was a considerable amount of agreement between the critics and myself, the overall tenor of the critique suggested that I was presenting a misleading position. The following is my response to this critique. Since both the critique and my lecture focused on the science, the discussion is, of necessity, technical. Moreover, there are distinct limits to what can be covered in a one hour lecture. The following provides more detail than could be included in the lecture.
The critique by Hoskins et al. of a lecture that I recently gave seems to be primarily a statement of subjective disagreement, though it has important errors, and is highly misleading. The critics are, for the most part, scientists for whom I have considerable respect. The following response to their critique will, I hope, be considered to be part of a constructive exchange. Such constructive exchanges are new in the field of global warming, and, perhaps, represent a return to the normal process of scientific discourse.
[read the GWPF paper for the meat of the technical arguments]
In their concluding comments, the critics accuse me of doing a disservice to the scientific method. I would suggest that in questioning the views of the critics and subjecting them to specific tests, I am holding to the scientific method, while they, in exploiting speculations to support the possibility of large climate change, are subverting the method. As one begins to develop more careful tests, there is, contrary to the claims of the critics, ample reason to cast doubt on the likelihood of large risk. While the critics do not wish to comment on policy, they do a disservice to both science and the society upon whose support they depend, when they fail to explain the true basis for their assertions.
Judge Judy’s update: On the previous thread, here was my judgment:
With regards to the Hoskins et al. article. There were weaknesses in Lindzen’s argument, and even some bonafide errors. I agree with Hoskins et al. that Lindzen’s high level of certainty that climate sensitivity is 1C is unjustified. That said, I didn’t find the Hoskins et al. rebuttal to be all that effective. So points go to Hoskins et al. on this one, but far from a knockout.
Lindzen got some points back with his response. He scores a zillion points with me for this statement:
Such constructive exchanges are new in the field of global warming, and, perhaps, represent a return to the normal process of scientific discourse.
On a recent thread, a number of people have pointed to the letter from 49 former NASA astronauts, scientists, engineers to the NASA administrator. I find these kinds of letters signed by groups of people to be boring and meaningless (meaningful only in the context of the sociology of the debate and what certain people think is a useful strategy).
“NASA sponsors research into many areas of cutting-edge scientific inquiry, including the relationship between carbon dioxide and climate. As an agency, NASA does not draw conclusions and issue ‘claims’ about research findings. We support open scientific inquiry and discussion.
“Our Earth science programs provide many unique space-based observations and research capabilities to the scientific community to inform investigations into climate change, and many NASA scientists are actively involved in these investigations, bringing their expertise to bear on the interpretation of this information. We encourage our scientists to subject these results and interpretations to scrutiny by the scientific community through the peer-review process. After these studies have met the appropriate standards of scientific peer-review, we strongly encourage scientists to communicate these results to the public.
“If the authors of this letter disagree with specific scientific conclusions made public by NASA scientists, we encourage them to join the debate in the scientific literature or public forums rather than restrict any discourse.”
A good statement from Abdalati, but not all that relevant to the complaints made by the 49. This is picked up in a post WUWT entitled NASA Chief Scientist Waleed Abdalati is Clueless About What James Hansen is Doing With His Position at GISS.