Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Climate of Fear

The Wall Street Journal carried a very interesting article the other day, entitled Climate of Fear: Global-warming alarmists intimidate dissenting scientists into silence. It's written by Richard Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT. If I read Prof. Lindzen correctly, the equation is something like this: money + fear = climate alarmism.

I won't attempt to justify these claims in a blog post, but one of my laments about the contemporary state of the church is a general lack of logical rigor and knowledge of economics, even among many of its leaders.

For example, Prof. Lindzen cites three claims with widespread scientific support: (1) "Global temperature has risen about a degree since the late 19th century"; (2) "levels of CO2 in the atmosphere have increased by about 30% over the same period"; (3) and "CO2 should contribute to future warming." But then many--inside and outside the church--jump to the conclusions that (4) there is cause for alarm, and (5) man is responsible for the small amoung of warming of the earth. Premises 4 and 5 don't follow from 1-3. And according to Prof. Lindzen, premises 4 and 5 simply aren't true.