Source: http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2016/12/31/mit-climate-scientist-dr-richard-lindzen-urges-trump-cut-the-funding-of-climate-science-by-80-to-90-until-the-field-cleans-up/

Via Twitter via ClimateDepot (hold your nose) we come to RealClear Investigations which quotes Lindzen as saying, inter alia, They should probably cut the funding by 80 to 90 percent until the field cleans up… Climate science has been set back two generations, and they have destroyed its intellectual foundations.” This is classic crusty old boy down the club stuff: it was all better when he were a lad, and so on. Just to remind you, I declared Lindzen emeritus in 2011, but he only became a shark-jumper in 2013. Although now I look he was pretty wacky even back in 2005 (older readers may remember 2005). There’s also a piece in which I side-swipe his work: his contribution and status is often over-stated.

The rest of the article appears to be a not very interesting collection of quotes from the usual suspects about what Trump might do. But my eye was caught by Nevertheless, new organizations like the CO2 Coalition, founded in 2015, suggest the debate is more evenly matched intellectually than is commonly portrayed. In addition to Happer, the CO2 Coalition’s initial members include scholars with ties to world-class institutions like MIT… The language here is characteristically evasive, as it so often is when talking about the “skeptic” bench, in order to hide the thinness of the lineup. “with ties to” is weak, and none of them are named. So I pop across to co2coalition.org and am greeted by a picture of happy smiling people eating lard and the words “CARBON DIOXIDE IS ESSENTIAL FOR LIFE Learn the facts about the vital role that CO2 plays in our environment” which doesn’t sound very new; I’m sure I’ve heard that message before, but it is too dull to be worth looking up1. Anyway, the question was, “who are these bozos?” and the answer is, of course, the standard set: one or two you’ve heard of before and a pile of non-entities.

The ones you’ve heard of are the afore-mentioned Lindzen, Roy “sad lonely and wrong” Spencer – probably now the most credible one such an organisation could hope for, and probably the only one left still doing science. Otherwise its Happer, Idso, Michaels… and then tails off into blanks. Just where is Trump going to get all the hordes that the denialists are hoping will flood in? Perhaps that’s why Lindzen is so keen to cut the numbers: somehow the absence of anyone with any credibility on the “skeptic” side has to be hidden.

Oh yes: and Happy New Year to you all. My resolution for the New Year is to be more positive, friendly, and welcoming. But then again, that was my resolution last year too.

Refs

* Gina Miller vs the Sec of State on the need to have the spineless Commons vote on article 50. Spoiler alert: may contain boredom and closely reasoned analysis.

Notes

1. desmogblog.com/co2-coalition has some useful history: “established in 2015 from the remains of the now-defunct George C. Marshall Institute” and appears to have rather the same views as CO2 science.