Leading Global Warming Skeptic Lindzen: Time to Abandon the 'Skeptic' Label

If you listened to Barack Obama back during the 2008 presidential campaign, you may recall him explaining that words matter. According to leading climate scientist and M.I.T. professor Richard Lindzen, there is a good bit of wisdom in that, as it pertains to the debate about global warming.

Lindzen, speaking at the Heartland Institute’s International Conference on Climate Change on May 17 in Chicago, explained that by assuming the “skeptic” label, the anti-global warming alarmist movement implies the theory is plausible. And according to the M.I.T. professor, it isn’t.

“One suggestion I’d make is we stop accepting the term ‘skeptic,’” Lindzen said. “As far as I can tell, skepticism involves doubts about a plausible proposition. I think current global warming alarm does not represent a plausible proposition.”

Lindzen told the audience the alarmists have simply failed to prove their case.

“For 20 years –more than 20 years unfortunately, 22 by now, since ’88 – of repetition, escalation of claims does not make it more plausible. “Quite the contrary,” he continued. “I would suggest the failure to prove the case of 20 years makes the case even less plausible, as does the evidence of ClimateGate and other instances.”

And Lindzen ruled out the possibility the imminent destruction as a result of any potential climate catastrophe.

“In the meantime, while I avoid making forecasts for tenths of a degree change in global average temperature model, I’m quite willing to state that unprecedented climate catastrophes are not on the horizon, though in several thousand years, we may return to an ice age.”