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Richard Lindzen was an atmospheric physicist at MIT until May 2013; as expected, he is now a "Distinguished Senior Fellow" at the Cato Institute. He is also affiliated with the
industry shill front group Heartland Institute.
Lindzen has had a long career in climatology and worked on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report. However, he became infamously embarrassing for MIT over the last decade as a member of the Bjørn Lomborg "It's not that bad!" school of global warming. Though Lindzen fully accepts anthropogenic global warming, he claims that predictions made by other climatologists' models are "alarmist" and that temperatures will increase by less than one degree Celsius. He maintains this position even though the one degree barrier has already been broken. Managing to incorrectly predict the past is, in a bizarre way, quite an impressive feat for any scientist.
Lindzen is probably the one most responsible for the denialist talking point about models not taking clouds into account. The Lindzen-Choi paper is the most often cited, but it's been trashed by other scientists for poor methodology and overstating its conclusions. Naturally, Lindzen's skepticism has attracted funding from fossil fuel interests and he's worked on projects underwritten by Exxon and OPEC. He is trotted out by deniers as "proof" that "real scientists disagree" about global warming and that there is no scientific consensus, even though he does accept the theory (just not most of the predictions made by the IPCC). His op-eds in popular media have increasingly fallen back on refuted denier talking points as well. This makes him a massive enabler.
In the 90's, Dick reportedly charged "$2,500 a day for his 'consulting services'".
Speaking of 90s, Dick often scoffs at Cook's famous 97% consensus statistic. Didn't anyone tell him to speak for himself?
Some other stuff he's been wrong about:
- Claiming that the link between smoking and lung cancer is "weak."
- Satellite measurements showing no warming.
- Decrease in water vapor would allow carbon dioxide to escape from the atmosphere. (He has since accepted this as refuted and calls it an "old view.")
- Solar and volcanic forcings were severely downplayed to fudge data.
- Misrepresenting the link between warming and hurricanes.
Dick is also a card-carrying member of the CO2 is Green crowd, saying: "controlling carbon is a bureaucrat's dream. If you control carbon, you control life." Can never have too much of a good thing, right? Right?
The Nutty Professor
While Lindzen was once merely 'skeptical' of the anthropogenic GHG effect's results, he appears to have become increasingly unhinged with age. Despite once considering those who dispute the anthropic GHG effect 'nutty', Dick wrote in the wingnut publication Merion West in April 2017, attempting to discredit basically all widely accepted tenets of climate science. Not too different from his usual WSJ ramblings. Too bad he forgot to disclose his thoughtful gifts from Peabody. Lindzen’s move towards outright wingnuttery also includes shacking up with Dennis Prager's “Prager University” (PragerU) YouTube channel for a 2016 climate change denial video.
- The Great Global Warming Swindle, in which he appears
- Judith Curry
- Wall Street Journal, for which he regularly writes
- Lindzen's faculty page
- "Lindzen Illusions" #1-7, Skeptical Science
- Logical Science profile of Lindzen
- Lindzen vs. Bill Nye
- Real Climate: Climate Reporting in Physics World, Adventures on the East Side, Lindzen in Newsweek
- Climate Misinformer: Richard Lindzen This cites a list of cases where it is claimed Lindzen did bad science.
- Faculty News: Dick Lindzen Retires, MIT
- MIT Professor, Prominent Climate Scientist Richard Lindzen Joins Cato
- Essay for the Global Warming Policy FoundationGlobal Warming Policy Foundation
- Lindzen and Choi Unraveled, Real Climate
- Climate Sensitivity, Skeptical Science
- Lindzen fact sheet on ExxonSecrets
- His Heartland Page
- The Truth About Global Warming, Newsweek
- Et tu, LT?, Real Climate
- The Contrarian, Seed Magazine
- Lindzen's HoL Testimony, Real Climate
- Lindzen keeps it complicated, DeSmogBlog