Every now and again I drop over to News Corp climate science denialist Andrew Bolt’s blog just to check that he’s still doing the stuff he’s always done, like misrepresenting climate science and giving his readers and followers bum information.
The answer is still yes, although Bolt’s post from a few days ago caught my eye for another reason.
The host of Sky’s Bolt Report pointed his readers to a lecture by Richard Lindzen. Bolt has a picture. Here’s how it looked.
The first thing to say about this is the dude in the picture is not Richard Lindzen.
You might think Bolt would have seen the mistake, given that he describes Lindzen as “one of the world’s most famous climate scientists.”
Sure, Lindzen is well known among climate circles, but not for the quality of his work but for his long-running opposition to any action to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
As fellow Guardian climate blogger Dana Nuccitelli has written, Lindzen has been wrong “about nearly every major climate argument he’s made over the past two decades.”
“Lindzen is arguably the climate scientist who’s been the wrongest, longest,” adds Nuccitelli, before then detailing the wrongness.
For years Bolt has been trying to tell his readers that Lindzen is top drawer. In 2013, Lindzen was “arguably the world’s most prominent climate scientist.” Yeh. Nah.
Lindzen did for many years work at MIT, but he retired in 2013 but still holds an “emeritus” title there.
These days, he’s a senior fellow at the Cato Institute – one of those US conservative “think tanks” that are part of the machinery of organised climate science denial in the United States.
In February Lindzen wrote an open letter to US President Donald Trump, signed by the usual laundry list of non-experts and climate science deniers. The signers want Trump to pull out of the international UN climate deal signed by almost 200 countries in Paris.
The letter claimed the impact of increasing CO2 was benign, and that adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere would be a benefit to the planet.
Every major scientific academy around the world disagrees, but you’d imagine this might not matter so much to some of the fossil fuel funders of the Cato Institute, or to the petrochemical billionaire Koch brothers that also pump millions into the institute.
The actual climate experts at MIT who actively research the issue also wrote to Trump, pointing out that Lindzen was very much in the minority.
“The risks to the Earth system associated with increasing levels of carbon dioxide are almost universally agreed by climate scientists to be real ones. These include, but are not limited to, sea level rise, ocean acidification, and increases in extreme flooding and droughts, all with serious consequences for mankind.”
Anyway, unlike the Lindzen lecture, the actual speech pictured by Bolt featuring Richard Alley is well worth a watch. Alley’s a fun speaker. There’s even a song at the end.