Richard Lindzen is 71. His career as professor of meteorology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology is winding down. The rumpled, bearded, soft-spoken scientist no longer teaches regular classes and looks forward to a quiet retirement a year from now, perhaps at his second home, in Paris.
“Quiet” is not a word you could apply to his career. In the 1970s, he developed a mathematical analysis that disproved much of the accepted scientific theories about how “tides” in the Earth’s atmosphere move heat around the planet. For that, he won a number of prestigious awards and was invited to become a member of the National Academy of Sciences at the tender age of 37.
In the 1990s, when a group of climate scientists using computer-driven climate models and environmental groups asserted that climate change caused by man-made greenhouse gases would dangerously warm the Earth, Lindzen set out to disprove them. He lost that battle. The message of the computer modelers is now the prevailing wisdom of the National Academy and other distinguished scientific bodies around the world. (more…)