New Lindzen video

A new YouTube video by Richard Lindzen has appeared, called

Climate Change: What Do Scientists Say?

It’s only 5 minutes long, which I think is about the right length for this kind of thing, and has some quite professional-looking graphics. Despite only being up since Monday, it seems to have had over 270,000 views and 2000 comments. It’s also at the Prager website, where it’s had over a million views, and there’s a transcript available there.

Lindzen talks about three groups of people: firstly the IPCC scientists; secondly sceptical scientists, such as himself, “who don’t see this as an especially serious problem”, saying that there are many influences and that these are poorly understood. He also highlights areas of agreement between these two groups of scientists, such as the difficulty of making long-term predictions.

His third group consists of the politicians, environmentalists and the media, who are responsible for the fact that so many people are “worried, indeed panic-stricken”. Global warming alarmism provides these people with what they want, he says, such as confirmation of the “near-religious devotion” of the environmentalists, and the doomsday scenario headlines for the media.

He also talks of how scientists (here I would say academics generally) have “jumped on the bandwagon” publishing papers blaming global warming for everything, and the “crony capitalists” who are cashing in on government subsidies.

(HT Radical Rodent and Josh)


* Geoff points out in a comment below that there is a more detailed paper by Lindzen, Global warming and the irrelevance of science, that gives more detail on these points. It’s based on a talk he gave last August. It ends with “If we do nothing to stop this insanity, science will rightly be regarded as just another racket”, which is interesting in the light of all the recent articles about the problems with science.

* There are several more videos at the Prager site, by Alex Epstein, Patrick Moore and Bjorn Lomborg.


  1. Another excellent, calm, and lucid contribution from Richard Lindzen. One of the annoyances for me of the absurd hoo-hah over our CO2 emissions is that the furore has surely disturbed and distracted such a man from his scholarly studies, and no doubt reduced the tranquillity of his retirement. I think he is the most distinguished, most scientific, most civil of all the primary scientists who have dedicated their careers to atmospheric physics. He is both erudite and calm. I can think of no one remotely as able and as civil on the ‘other side’. But then, I cannot think of anyone admirable at all on that side. They have been irresponsible and/or hot-headed, and too many have been willing accomplices in the scientific, political, financial, and emotional shenanigans of this shameful period in the history of science.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Is Lindzen religious too? I know Spencer is, but Lindzen? People could look up Denis Prager, founder of PragerU for some background of this strange bedfellow:

    Funny that Lindzen’s graph of temperature doesn’t inclue early months of 2016 – probably cos it would go beyond the top of the y axis. Why is that, I wonder?


  3. I have two minor criticisms-
    1 He says “International” which should be “Intergovernmental” in IPCC.
    2 He says there are 3 groups. I can regard myself as in group 2 “made up of scientists who don’t see this as an especially serious problem”, but most of the amateur sceptics such as my co-conspirators here don’t fit into any of his groups.

    Overall though I think it’s a good 5-minute summary.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. One can extrapolate from Lindzen’s talk that the root cause of global warming is money. Yes, I think I can safely postulate that: “Money causes global warming.” Money is the ‘forcing component’ which dominates the whole scenario. Take away the grant monies distributed by the government entities and green organizations as well as the lobbyist monies and political contributions from the green energy companies and investors, and the whole IPCC movement collapses. No money = no food at the global warming trough, and the field of Climatology would be non-existent.

    Years ago I was taught:
    1) If you don’t understand something, think money.
    2) After pondering awhile, if you still don’t understand something, think money.
    3) Then, as a last resort, think sex and money.
    (Perhaps Pachauri’s motivation falls into the latter category.)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I agree with both your criticisms Paul. The talk would have been a little more pleasing if he had acknowledged a tiny but lively Group 4, of sceptical commentators, including a few journalists and I think a few environmentalists as well, who are somewhat dismayed by the success of Groups 1 and 3, and genuinely and generally unconvinced by their arguments, and shocked by some of their methods. The astonishing success of Groups 1 and 3 has led to widespread actions by people who seem generally and genuinely convinced that there is a major crisis underway. In some cases the belief is in some variant of ‘biggest crisis ever’. Thus politicians, schoolteachers, sustainability/climate consultants in all sorts of areas, UN body after UN body, local government bodies, trades unions, and even private companies can readily be found pursuing actions based upon this belief which they are imposing on others. I can readily see why Lindzen might overlook the likes of us amidst all of that.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I thought I was going to faint until I found Raff’s comment. Right on, brother! Denying the last few months is the smoking gun! You have given all these guys bloody noses, as always.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. It may well be that, of those who identify as “skeptics”, non-scientists outnumber scientists. He lumped you all in together as group 2, “skeptics” with the pretence that all “skeptics” are scientists. That seems to be the distorted message he wants to send. And that he can’t bear to show 2016 temperatures on his graph makes it look even more of a joke.

    It is odd that Lindzen chose to associate himself with PragerU. Maybe he doesn’t care about his own reputation any more, being emeritus, or maybe he is a also a religious nut. But Prager seems like a fruitcake (apparently thinks gay marriage is a major threat to the US).


  8. I think his grouping needs a bit more thought. He is overly generous to Group 1 by stating that no climate scientist associates the burning of fossil fuels with catastrophe. There are many scientists who contribute and who have contributed to the IPCC who have published research which effectively points to catastrophic consequences of man-made global warming. It’s not just alarmists in Group 3 who are responsible for propagating catastrophism. Group 2 I think should be reserved for professional scientists in climate related fields who are openly sceptical of the theory that fossil fuel burning is significantly altering our climate to the point where urgent emissions reductions are required. A Group 4 should include the vocal community of AGW/CAGW sceptics, many of whom are trained in engineering and scientific disciplines, but who are not professionals in fields closely related to climatology and meteorology. A Group 5 perhaps is also needed for those professional scientists whose expertise is in fields far removed from climatology and meteorology but who nevertheless assume the mantle of ‘climate scientist’ in the public eye and who generally advocate for action on climate change or at least present it as a pressing problem.


  9. Very Interesting video Mr. Lindzen.

    Yes, climate has always changed, but it adapts to what is happening in the world. Our actions force the change. Our climate is changing at a much faster rate than in the past.
    97% of climate experts agree human actions are the cause of climate change.

    Yes, we do need CO2 to survive, but an increase of greenhouse gas has been confirmed by empirical evidence. Too much warming effects agriculture negatively and also our health.

    You mentioned that CO2 levels have increased since the 1960’s. CO2 levels has been increasing since the start of the industrial revolution when coal mining and burning increased. Did you know most of the worlds CO2 comes from the Northern hemisphere where the major industrial regions are located?

    I wonder in your ‘groups’ where the regular Joe falls. It is not just scientists, media, politicians, and environmental activists that have an interest in climate change. People like me, a hard working citizen and student, are also concerned.


  10. Lindzen’s Groups 1 & 3 in the video are simplified derivations that arise from his lengthy treatise: “Climate Science: Is it currently designed to answer questions?” If you really want to pursue in depth the thoughts and conclusions of Lindzen on the evolution of the Global-Warming-Science movement, then you should read this paper:

    Click to access 0809.3762.pdf

    IMO, he is the most prominent and respected ‘skeptic’ scientist on the scene. I am disappointed at the video because he comes across as somewhat flat and detached. I once watched him live at a global warming debate in front of a largely pro-AGW academic audience, and not only was he fiery and authoritative, he commanded such a knowledge of the subject matter that the opposition could only muster the meekest of rebuttals.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m trying to post on here but it’s not working. Can anyone add a post? Lets see if this works

    [First posts automatically go into moderation. You’re out and up – Geoff]


  12. Not “scientists” ..but “people behaving scientifically”
    It’s not a bad video.
    It’s slick PR, which is rare from the skeptics, cos it’s the GreenBlob that has all the money, not us.
    – It’s more of a “get you thinking entry point” ..rather than genuine Lindzen
    He’s reading a script he didn’t write, but approves of
    Paul Matthews is right about the errors : The International instead of Intergovernmental in the graphics is bad. (Possibly the graphics guy screwed it up first so Lindzen had to play along)

    Yes the groups are a bit wrong.
    Scientists are not a special group of men. You don’t judge a man by the T-shirt he wears, but rather his actions.
    Something is not science cos it’s done by a scientist. That is the fallacy of argument from authority.
    Something is science cos it’s done scientifically.
    So it should not be “scientists” it should be “scientific people”
    Many scientists don’t seem to behave scientifically, whereas many laymen do behave scientifically.

    Group 3 : The Bad Guys behaving unscientifically : GreenBlob, NGO’s, politicians, hedgefunds, climate/activist scientists, hanger-on scientists, media
    Group 2 : The ” scientific people”, comprising : scientists, laymen, any org behaving scientiifcally

    Group 1 is difficult to properly define : The people who produce IPCC reports
    maybe “People within the heavily political IPCC framework trying to be scientific”, (cos we know that the IPCC working groups have let unqualified scientists write stuff before)
    ..and how to deal with overlap ? like Spencer, Christy. Lindzen, Curry all participated in the IPCC.
    There’s IPCC output, there’s people who look at it scientifically, and there’s people who unscientifically exploit it …End of my ideas for now


  13. I am shifting towards seeing those three groups as the primary players. We sceptics who are not professional scientists are secondary to Group 2, and many of us have scientific or other technical backgrounds. For example I have a degree in physics, a masters degree in atmospheric physics, and a masters degree in applied statistics.

    Lindzen points to areas of agreement between Groups 1 and 2, and rather generously (I think) claims that even Group 1 does not believe in the C of CAGW. I wonder if it might be fairer to say ‘no longer believe’ because it became increasingly absurd? Anyways, somehow CAGW was coined and bruited abroad, and I daresay Group 3 carries most of the blame for that. It served their purposes well enough, but now no longer seems to appear explicitly in their cries of alarm, where ‘climate change’ or ‘climate disruption’ or ‘climate extremes’ are perhaps far more widely to be seen. The great political and financial successes of this Group have earned them their place in Lindzen’s trio.

    We sceptics have not had anything like that success. We support Group 2, and Group 2 has not made much headway. But it has made some, and, as Lindzen hints, time and what we have seen of Mother Nature are on our side.


  14. Stew:
    ‘Many scientists don’t seem to behave scientifically….’

    I believe Aristotle called that the Fallacy of Spending Too Much Time In Climate Threads.

    You might need to get out more, buddy.:-) There are untold quantities of good scientists who are too busy advancing human knowledge to know who Michael Mann or the IPCC are.

    ‘So it should not be “scientists” it should be “scientific people”’

    Right, but I thought Lindzen


    scientific people when he said ‘scientists.’ Did he really commit the fallacy of judging a man by his lab coat, or was he using ‘scientist’ as shorthand for ‘adherent to the scientific method’? (Not a rhetorical question—I’ll have to watch it again to check my recollection.)

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I am having a problem highlighting any text or clicking any links at the first line of text under the header. This has happened on multiple pages. Any suggestions?


  16. While I don’t agree with everything Lindzen says (especially the orbital forcing implication), I agree with the main points he has, especially the point about how the media, activists, and politicians spin the truth for their agenda, which is the real tragedy here. It’s also kind of funny to read some comments, which try to link Lindzen to fossil fuels (of course). 🙂


  17. “JAIME JESSOP: A Group 4 should include the vocal community of AGW/CAGW sceptics, many of whom are trained in engineering and scientific disciplines, but who are not professionals in fields closely related to climatology and meteorology.”

    Exactly. Their training and experience allows them to more quickly identify a scientific fraud when they see it. Or even just a scientific claim that may not be premeditated fraud, but is still a claim built on sand. These competent people from diverse fields are, IMO, the real driving force of sustained competent scepticism. And they vastly outnumber the genuinely professional climate scientists by a lot more than, say, a 97:3 ratio.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. John,
    I would not be dismayed about the ‘political and financial success’ enjoyed by Group I. It is temporary. “Science in the service of politics” is subject to political winds which are well known to be highly variable and unpredictable. As long as one’s masters are in power, there will be ample food at the trough, but when the winds change direction, be prepared to run or starve.
    Currently there are warning signs that the prevailing political climate for CAGW scientists in the US is about to reverse direction. What might these signs be? 1) Global warming does not make it into the top 20 regarding the voting public’s policy priorities (2015 Pew Report); 2) Current public approval of Congress as doing a good or excellent job = 11% (2016 Rasmussen poll); 3) Only 6% of Americans have a great deal of trust in the media (the usual outlet for the Green Movement); 4) Rumors abound that blackouts will be coming to California this summer because of Green policies; 5) Con Edison just filed for bankruptcy, while Solyndra and some of the other solar bankruptcy scandals are still fresh in the public’s mind; 6) Peabody Energy, the largest private sector coal company in the world just filed for bankruptcy (because of EPA mandates emanating from the Democratic Party); 7) Meanwhile electricity prices are going up because of Green costs and subsidies, while >90 million Americans are unemployed. Now combine this atmosphere with the widespread public knowledge of ClimateGate, and how do you think Climate scientists currently are regarded by the public?
    The two leading Republican Presidential contenders, Trump and Cruz, will pull the rug out from under Group I if elected…no bones about it. If I currently worked for the EPA or NOAA, I would be very worried, and I personally would not own stock in either windmills or bird fryers.


  19. Dave L (1:02 am), thank you for the optimism! Occasioned in part by the hopefully widespread recognition of the suffering and losses due to blunders alluded to in your 4, 5, 6, and 7. Some CO2 Agitators have longed for disasters to help convert we benighted ones, but the disasters they themselves have aided and abetted keep appearing instead. It would be a wonderful thing if your forthcoming election leads to more rational policies in the climate-linked areas.


  20. I mean your reply to my comments about scientists.

    #2 When i look at Lindzen’s report he doesn’t label the groups as “scientists”, narratives

    – “The first I would term the IPCC Working Group I narrative.”
    – “The second narrative is that of what are referred to as ‘sceptics.’ To an extent not generally recognised, there is considerable overlap with the first narrative. ”
    – The third narrative is that of the political promoters of climate alarm, including many of the environmental NGOs, and most of the mass media. The promoters of this narrative also include many of the contributors to Working Group II (impacts) and Working Group III (mitigation) of the IPCC.”


  21. What’s that your saying Brad ?
    ..That’s you’ll probably soon make a new post, dissecting that report and explaining it to us thickos
    Sounds Great


  22. Dr. Bickmore,
    I found your post interesting, and would like to say a few things about it.
    Firstly, I too found some things disingenuous in the video, especially the part about the various climate drivers of the earth.
    Secondly, I appreciate the way you talked about proving things in science and evidence, as you made some of the points I was trying to make about evidence on another thread.
    I don’t think the size of each group of scientists matters that much in regards to who’s right, (but I think there are more groups of scientists than just 2, see Richard Muller’s commentary here), but I do think that there are more scientists who would agree that natural variability has played some significant role in 20th century climate change than just 3%. Also, as regards to CO2 being the “control knob” on temperature, I find two peer-reviewed papers very interesting. First is Hansen et al. 2000 (Global warming in the twenty-first century: An alternative scenario) and second is Roe 2006 (In defense of Milankovitch). The first argues that other GHGs than those produced by fossil fuels were the cause of recent warming and the second argues that in the ice ages, CO2 played only a secondary role (I know that it’s not all climate changes, just the ice ages.) Also, solar activity, according to some, (ACRIM and Pinker et al. 2005, Do Satellites Detect Trends in Surface Solar Radiation?) solar activity has increased (but I don’t think it caused very much, if any of the post-1970 warming) recently, and that doesn’t even talk about other natural climate forcings that could’ve played a role in causing our recent climate change. Recent climate change may also not be unique in its rapidity of change. See Bluemle et al. 1999 (Rate and Magnitude of Past Global Climate Changes). I do agree with Lindzen in that it’s very important that the third group get their message right, and they have not. I wholeheartedly agree with you when you said:

    Wait! Up until this point, Lindzen never specified that the scientists he was talking about were “climate physicists.” Certainly climate physicists like himself are important players, but many others, including ecologists, biologists, chemical oceanographers, agricultural scientists, doctors, economists, geographers, and so on, are clearly needed to assess how the projected climate changes would affect anything people care about. But Prof. Lindzen wants to exclude all these others, and only allow climate physicists, who can say something about the probability of different changes in temperature and precipitation patterns under different scenarios, in the discussion. In other words, we can argue about how much the temperature will rise if we burn so many billion tons of coal, but we aren’t allowed to discuss how such changes would affect people and ecosystems.

    Scientists from many, many disciplines should work on this discipline because it’s so multidisciplinary. Notwithstanding his claims in this video, I think his work on negative feedbacks is interesting (though I don’t think ECS is nearly that low) and that more research on stuff like that should be done. But, unfortunately, as you point out, much of what he says doesn’t include inconvenient information that would invalidate his arguments, and that goes for both sides of this debate, unfortunately.


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