Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Hansen in Edinburgh: We are losing

Lindzen over Hansen
James Hansen is in Edinburgh.  He is quoted as saying that climate scientists (like him) are losing the public debate.  This report in The Telegraph gives details from an interview with him including this comment:
"There is a huge gap between the public's understanding of the situation and the scientific understanding. If the public doesn't understand, it is not going to happen. Political leaders are not independent of public opinion."
Professor Hansen is overstating his case. He should be saying that some scientists are losing the debate.  There are many climate scientists on the other side who do not agree with his alarmist view of the empirical data.  One example (of many) is Professor Richard Lindzen of Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  Earlier this year he said:
Hansen after Lindzen
"The fact that the developed world went into hysterics over changes in global mean temperature of a few tenths of a degree will astound future generations.  Such hysteria simply represents the scientific illiteracy of much of the public, the susceptibility of the public to the substitution of repetition for truth, and the exploitation of those weaknesses by politicians, environmental promoters, and, after 20 years of drum beating, by many others as well." Source.
I will report later on Professor Hansen's speech and events in Edinburgh City Chambers at the award ceremony.

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