Thursday, March 09, 2017

The climate lynch mob at MIT

Last week, Charles Murray, a prominent sociologist known for his analyses of the IQ distributions (he co-wrote "The Bell Curve" with a Harvard colleague) was planning to give a talk at the Middlebury College in Vermont.

This 43-minute-long video shows what happened. Before his speech was supposed to begin, several officials were explaining how important it was for the university to listen and participate in peaceful discussions, even about unpopular views.

It didn't help. Around 19:10 in the video, after Murray articulated his first sentence, a mob composed of young people began to chant and do mess – the last 25 minutes in the video – and prevented Murray from saying anything. They were chanting all those primitive far left extremist slogans which were not only offensive but also proved that the young people didn't have a clue what Murray's work is all about. So the lecture was cancelled. The professor Ms Allison Stanger who accompanied Murray was physically attacked and had to be hospitalized, despite two big bodyguards who generally tried to protect these two.

Jay Parini and other professors at that college realize that some basic rules of Free Speech 101 were grossly neglected. However, the wild young people keep on calling themselves "college students" and they are basically dictating the atmosphere – and what is possible and what is impossible – on that college.

I am sorry but the officials at that college should dismiss these students. The fact that it hasn't taken place indicates that the college president is either incompetent or a coward. These young people are obviously not intelligent, disciplined, and ethical enough to be college students. We often talk about the decreasing standards of the college education but sometimes this deterioration shows up clearly in front of our eyes.

A zoo would be a much more appropriate place to keep these young people than a college. Let me emphasize that I recommend this habitat to the participants of that protest regardless of their race, gender, or ethnic background.

Sadly, not just gangs of politically radicalized young people may be described as marginally brain-dead inhabitants of the U.S. universities these days. Whole faculties sometimes behave in nearly equivalent ways.

Two weeks ago, Richard Lindzen – a retired MIT professor of atmospheric physics – penned a letter to Donald Trump that urged him to withdraw from the UNFCCC, a U.N. climate body politically directing the jihad against climate change. The petition mentioned the ecological importance of CO2 and the economic importance of the fossil fuels, especially for poorer people in the whole world.

The signatories were collected by invitation only in order to be qualified in some way and I am honored that despite my different-than-atmospheric background, I could have been included among the 300 signatories.

Note that the petition hasn't attacked anyone at all – although there could be many people who would naturally deserve it. Unfortunately, a "counter-letter" authored by Lindzen's MIT climate colleagues was different in character. Their letter started as follows:
Dear Mr. President:
You can see that the first word, "Dear", is also the first big lie of the letter. Almost none of the signatories hold the U.S. president dear. In the letter, they point out that none of them agrees with Lindzen, and there are lots of bureaucrats at AGU and AMS and elsewhere who claimed that the sky is falling and who are numerous enough to trample Lindzen (and even Trump) to death.

(When trying to bully people by these references to "authorities", they forgot to mention that the U.S. EPA believes that CO2 isn't the primary contributor to global warming. Oops. And the Clean Power Plan is gone without any replacement. Oops, I did it again.)

22 signatories of this "counter-letter" include full professors such as Susan Solomon, emeritus profesors such as Carl Judas Wunsch, and associate and assistant professors. If you look at the official list of faculty at that MIT Program in Atmospheres, Oceans, and Climate, you will see that there are 32 people in total. So the 22 signatories of the counter-letter are a majority, 22/32 = 0.6875 if you need to know. (Yes, 68.75% is less than 97%.) 9 out of the 10 folks who are not signed were almost certainly under big pressure to join as well. Dick still has an office at the MIT – but so do the other 9 non-signatories. It may be nontrivial for all these 10 people to walk in the infinite corridor where 68.75% of the people belong to the lynch mob.

Needless to say, the fact that 10 members of the faculty at that program refused to sign wasn't mentioned by anybody, surely not by the left-wing press that promoted the counter-letter. Another "detail" that no one mentioned is that none of these people is impartial. Some of them were really hired in recent years with the very political goal in mind to strengthen the climate hysteria. Others had done some work independent of the climate hysteria but their funding in recent years increasingly depended on the hysteria. If you average over all climatology groups, you may see that 80-90 percent of the money they are collectively receiving depends on the sustainability of the climate panic.

Years ago (and even months ago), insane alarmism was backed up by the most powerful politicians in the U.S. Things have changed, somewhat, and these people may simply be afraid of their looming unemployment, homeless status, or – more modestly – significantly lowered grants. Just like the large number of these real or would-be climate scientists (22 at MIT) who contribute to the ludicrous fearmongering about the carbon dioxide and the climate was a political construct (politicians were mass-hiring people willing to say similar absurd things), their starvation may be a political construct of the coming months and years. And some of them just don't want to starve.

It's ludicrous for them to pretend that they are giving an independent testimony about some external problems. They're not witnesses. Obviously, they are the defendants now.

They are denying this fact – and their extreme left-wing comrades in the media are denying, too. The economically troubled left-wing U.K. daily, The Independent, published a story about the counter-letter today. In other words, it's a hit piece on Lindzen. It's pretty much equivalent to the yesterday's story by David Abel in The Boston Globe, a left-wing daily published in Boston. I will focus on Abel's text.

Those of us who have read the communist propaganda press (and those of us who are somewhat familiar with 100 Authors Against Einstein) recognize the style. The first paragraph of the story says:
MIT professor Richard Lindzen’s contrarian views have lent the appearance of credibility to those who deny human activity is causing the planet to warm, but have caused deep angst among his colleagues at the university’s vaunted program in atmospheres, oceans, and climate.
You know, a fair journalist could just describe the facts about this disagreement between two groups of people and allow the reader to figure out what to think. But David Abel did something completely different. He wants to be sure that you know whom you should root for. In every fourth word, he struggles to push the reader's opinion in a particular ideologically preferred direction.

So Dick's views are "contrarian", his credibility is just "apparent", and the people who agree with him "deny" something while the lynch mob that disagrees with him define the "vaunted" program and our letter has caused "deep angst" among them. There are just so many unacceptable distortions in this paragraph that when you read this text by David Abel, you start to understand why David Cain had to do what he did. I hope that the TRF readers have been readers of the Bible, too, at least once. ;-)

Sorry but Dick's views aren't contrarian – they're really the mainstream these days. The MIT program is less vaunted than most other scholarly programs in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the anti-Lindzen letter was only signed by 69% of the faculty, anyway.

Aside from describing some basics of this disagreement, Abel quotes an anonymous colleague of Lindzen who said that "Lindzen's intellectual dishonesty has tarred their program". This cowardly stabbing from the back is obviously silly because Dick is the most honest atmospheric physicist in Massachusetts, to say the least, and he has also attracted many more donations for the MIT than his average colleague. It's also laughable to make a big deal of Dick's receiving some "thousands" of dollars linked to fossil fuel companies. I have visited Dick's house and I can assure you that "thousands of dollars" are negligible relatively to his net worth and wouldn't affect his research even if they were paid for his research – and they were not. Most of the money that Lindzen has received were the scholarly funds from the usual government-linked sources.

But I exploded in laughter when I read:
In an interview, Kerry Emanuel, an MIT professor of atmospheric science and one of the signatories of the letter, called Lindzen’s missive an effort at “stabbing the consensus on climate change in the back.”
LOL. So poor Mr Consensus on Climate Change was stabbed in the back. That must be classified as homicide in the People's Republic of Cambridge. The reality is that the consensus – bullying by mobs and references to formidable groups of politicians and mostly stupid people from 200 countries who have signed the Paris Agreement etc. – has absolutely no right to exist in science. It has to be stabbed in the back, in the belly, in the face, shot dead, and it has to be gassed, too. Moreover, a 69% support by the members of the MIT atmospheric program for a letter shouldn't be called a "consensus".

As Einstein said, if there were an argument against relativity (or Lindzen's insights), one person – and not 100 authors – would be enough. 22 signatories and officials from 200 UNFCCC countries aren't needed – and they aren't helpful.

A question is whether people like Abel could have been stabbed in the back by Cain and as I have already mentioned, I am open-minded about that question.

Abel also offers you some of the usual kitschy metaphors you must have heard 97 times. Your child may be sick and 97 out of 100 physicians tell you that your kid has cancer and you have to put it down by gradually increasing carbon taxes while 3 of 100 tell you not to do anything. Whom will you listen to? A nice "argument" but only for retarded kids.

I am telling you, Kerry Emanuel and other 21 members of the MIT climate lynch mob. You are violating the rules of decent interactions between the scientists. It is getting out of control, many people are watching what's happening, and because of your similarity to the immature leftists at the Middlebury College I have started with, the opinion is strengthening that the problem of your presence at scholarly institutions deserves a vigorous solution.

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