LindzenRahmstorfDebate

LindzenRahmstorfDebate - A n Exchange on Climate Science...

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The book finally appeared as Global Warming: Looking Beyond Kyoto , edited by 1 Ernesto Zedillo, and published by the Brookings Institution Press and the Center for the Study of Globalization at Yale. The papers by me and Rahmstorf form Chapters 2 and 3 respectively. An Exchange on Climate Science and Alarm Introduction On October 21-22, 2005, the Yale Center for Globalization held a conference on “Global Climate Policy After 2012". Speakers holding a variety of views addressed the conference, but, as usual, there was little time for actual debate. It was understood that the papers presented at the conference would be published, but, for reasons that I am not privy to, the publication was delayed for over two years . During this interval, papers were, apparently modified, and, in 1 particular, the paper by Rahmstorf was turned into a specific attack on my paper. This would not have bothered me, per se. However, the changes were made without informing me, and no opportunity was offered me to defend myself. This is rather unusual – at least outside the topic of climate change. Under the circumstances, I am making available my paper, Rahmstorf’s paper, and my response. In point of fact, the combination of these three documents will, I hope, better convey the nature of the debate that exists on the matter of the science behind global warming alarm. As one will quickly realize, the debate is peculiar in that my paper was devoted to noting the disconnect between global warming, per se, and alarm, while Rahmstorf’s was largely devoted to global warming itself, a matter concerning which there is substantial agreement. The difference is already evident in the titles of the two papers. Mine was “Is Global Warming Alarm Founded on Fact?” while Rahmstorf’s was “Anthropogenic Climate Change: Revisiting the Facts.” Although, Rahmstorf specifically attacks my paper, his own does go beyond this to make many unjustifiable claims and arguments. I should add that time has not permitted me to fully address all the peculiar and unjustified claims in Rahmstorf’s paper. I mention this only because, I would not want the reader to assume that failure to mention constitutes assent. Richard S. Lindzen March 2, 2008
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F or the sensitive reader or listener, the language used in connection with the issue of “global warming” must frequently sound strange. Weather and cli- mate catastrophes of all sorts are claimed to be the inevitable result of global warming, and global warming is uniquely associated with man’s activities. The reality of the threat of global warming is frequently attested to by reference to a scientific consensus. According to Tony Blair, “The overwhelming view of experts is that climate change, to a greater or lesser extent, is man-made and, without action, will get worse.” 1 Elizabeth Kolbert, in The New Yorker, says, “All that the theory of global warming says is that if you increase the concentra- tion of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, you will also increase the Earth’s average temperature. It is indisputable that we have increased greenhouse gas
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LindzenRahmstorfDebate - A n Exchange on Climate Science...

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