Richard S. Lindzen
Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, MIT. Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
On February 22, 2012, I gave a lecture at the House of Commons explaining the nature of the arguments for climate alarm, and offering my reasons for regarding the concern as being unjustifiably exaggerated. The slides of this lecture were widely circulated. Not surprisingly, the lecture led to a variety of complaints from those supporting alarm. The most thoughtful of these (by Hoskins, Mitchell, Palmer, Shine and Wolff) was a detailed critique posted at the website of the Grantham Institute that Hoskins heads. While there was a considerable amount of agreement between the critics and myself, the overall tenor of the critique suggested that I was presenting a misleading position. The following is my response to this critique. Since both the critique and my lecture focused on the science, the discussion is, of necessity, technical. Moreover, there are distinct limits to what can be covered in a one hour lecture. The following provides more detail than could be included in the lecture.
The critique by Hoskins et al. of a lecture that I recently gave seems to be primarily a statement of subjective disagreement, though it has important errors, and is highly misleading. The critics are, for the most part, scientists for whom I have considerable respect. The following response to their critique will, I hope, be considered to be part of a constructive exchange. Such constructive exchanges are new in the field of global warming, and, perhaps, represent a return to the normal process of scientific discourse.