Tuesday, August 16, 2022
HomeMiddle ColumnMIT Climate Scientist Dr. Richard Lindzen urges Trump: “Cut the funding of climate...

MIT Climate Scientist Dr. Richard Lindzen urges Trump: “Cut the funding of climate science by 80% to 90% until the field cleans up’



MIT’s Dr. Lindzen in WSJ: ‘The Political Assault on Climate Skeptics’ – ‘Billions of dollars have been poured into studies supporting climate alarm…even as the case for climate alarm is disintegrating’


Richard Lindzen, the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at MIT and a member of the National Academy of Sciences who has long questioned climate change orthodoxy, is skeptical that a sunnier outlook is upon us.

“I actually doubt that,” he said. Even if some of the roughly $2.5 billion in taxpayer dollars currently spent on climate research across 13 different federal agencies now shifts to scientists less invested in the calamitous narrative, Lindzen believes groupthink has so corrupted the field that funding should be sharply curtailed rather than redirected.

“They should probably cut the funding by 80 to 90 percent until the field cleans up,” he said. “Climate science has been set back two generations, and they have destroyed its intellectual foundations.”

The field is cluttered with entrenched figures who must toe the established line, he said, pointing to a recent congressional report that found the Obama administration got a top Department of Energy scientist fired and generally intimidated the staff to conform with its politicized position on climate change.

“Remember this was a tiny field, a backwater, and then suddenly you increased the funding to billions and everyone got into it,” Lindzen said. “Even in 1990 no one at MIT called themselves a ‘climate scientist,’ and then all of a sudden everyone was. They only entered it because of the bucks; they realized it was a gravy train. You have to get it back to the people who only care about the science.”


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MIT Climate Scientist Dr. Richard Lindzen: ‘Are we seeing anything sufficiently unusual to warrant concern and the answer to this is unambiguously no’

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Watch: MIT’s Dr. Richard Lindzen on Fox News: ‘The whole thing is fairly absurd’ – ‘We are demonizing a chemical — a molecule essential to life – CO2’

MIT’s Dr. Lindzen in WSJ: ‘The Political Assault on Climate Skeptics’ – ‘Billions of dollars have been poured into studies supporting climate alarm…even as the case for climate alarm is disintegrating’

MIT’s Dr. Lindzen in WSJ: ‘The Political Assault on Climate Skeptics’ – ‘Billions of dollars have been poured into studies supporting climate alarm…even as the case for climate alarm is disintegrating’


  1. Let us salute Prof Lindzen for his integrity, his strength and his courage. He hung on to high scientific standards when at times it must have seemed like all around him were selling their souls for the sake of headlines, grants, and the hollow prestige growing out of the suddenly politicised field of climate science.

      • Holy moly! I didn’t know Lindzen was funded by the federal government. Can you show proof of that?
        If Lindzen did get “gravy train” funding from the “eager businesses” called the federal government, how much did he get in comparison to Michael Mann’s approximate $6 million in government grants? .

    • The money funding dishonest “science” isn’t coming from fossil fuel companies, but from the government, who want to panic us into allowing them to regulate everything. They will have you living in mud huts and eating insects (just two of the actual recommendations to combat global whatever that have been seriously proposed) if you fall for it.

    • Ceist asks, “When will Lindzen start being a scientist with integrity instead of a dishonest paid shill for big oil and coal?”

      Perhaps you could refer us to a credible source (not an alarmist web site) which supports your statement?

  2. By now Lindzen has probably spent as much time coasting on his modest scientific reputation as a contrarian and gadfly for hire (‘tobacco doesn’t cause lung cancer’) than he spent conducting research into climate.

    He also retired three years ago and is no longer Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology.

  3. I see that the resident warmists heads are exploding. Rather than taking on the topic of discussion, we get the usual adhominum attacks. I find these attacks are getting more and more desperate. Quite entertaining to watch.

    • So Lindzen’s claim that all these climate researchers only started doing it for the money is not an ad hominem?

      Never mind the fact that the average climate researcher doesn’t exactly make tons of money. They get a regular researcher’s salary. Lindzen, on the other hand, gets handouts from the oil industri for speaking on their behalf. He accuses regular scientists of jumping on a gravy train, but the only gravy train is the one he’s on himself. It’s hypocritical of him.

  4. Is Lindzen really retired? Or is he trying to provoke attention to sell books or secure funding? Don’t understand him… is he conducting any valid research now or only writing critiques about others? He appears to be doing what he says he anhors in others.

  5. “Remember this was a tiny field, a backwater, and then suddenly you increased the funding to billions and everyone got into it,” Lindzen said. “Even in 1990 no one at MIT called themselves a ‘climate scientist,’ and then all of a sudden everyone was. They only entered it because of the bucks; they realized it was a gravy train. You have to get it back to the people who only care about the science.”

    This doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. A regular scientist within the climate field doesn’t exactly make a killing. He gets about an average scientist’s pay, which is a decent salary but not exactly what you would go for if you were looking for a “gravy train”.

    On the other hand, Lindzen has found himself an awesome gravy train: Getting paid by the oil industry to speak to their advantage in public.

    So if there is a gravy train it certainly isn’t a boring old job doing actual science. It’s an exciting job getting paid big money to attack colleagues, which is what Lindzen is doing.

    Seems rather hypocritical of him.

    • The profession of science is poorly understood by the general public. For most researchers, the aim is
      not to become wealthy personally. That is not the “gravy” of which Lindzen speaks.

      The key to practicing science in the current environment is to obtain funding to support one’s work, travel to conferences, bring in collaborators, take sabbaticals, support graduate students, maintain “institutes or centers”, etc. Whether in a teaching or research facility the fiscal reality is much the same. The availability of research funding is the key determinant of whether one can work in a field of one’s choosing (as well as be seen by one’s peers as a “star” in the field.). Let’s compare climate science to relativity (including cosmology, field theory, black holes, etc.).

      The available funding for relativity research is essentially whatever is available in the National Science Foundation Physics Division budget, which can be found at


      In 2016 that budget totaled $277M. Now the Physics Division supports a variety of programs as described at


      Scanning the areas, one sees perhaps three or four areas in which a researcher in relativity might apply (allowing for both experimental and theoretical work) out of a total of perhaps 30 areas. So let’s estimate the available funding at 1/10 of $277M or about $28M. (This is actually a bit high.) There are somewhere between 100 and 200 universities in the U.S. that have graduate relativity programs, let’s assume the lower number of 100. Some of them have perhaps a half dozen relativity faculty, some perhaps only 1. Let’s assume an average of 2 faculty, each wishing to support one graduate student. That means there needs to be funding to support about 200 faculty with about 200 graduate students. (This excludes other needs, such as supporting visiting professors, conferences, etc.). A typical grant to support a faculty member plus grad student is in the $150K ball park. (Some may be more, some less, depending especially on whether experimental facilities are involved.) At $150K a pop, $28M annually supports about 187 faculty and grad student pairs, less than the estimate of 200 needing support. That makes the field very competitive. Many who wish to continue studies in the field find they cannot get support and wind up going into other fields or business. In other words, there is no “gravy train” for relativity.

      Most other specialized areas of the hard sciences of physics, chemistry, or biology have similar economics and competitive backgrounds.

      Now compare that to the federal budget for climate change research at


      where the 2016 budget was $2.6 B, that’s a big “B” not an “M”. At $150K a pop, that supports about 17,000 faculty plus grad students. Lots more grad students per faculty, lots more faculty, lots more slack for travel,
      conferences, visiting professors, building of “insititutes” etc. etc. The field can be much less competitive, with much more room for workers to obtain funding and continue to work in the field, about 2 orders of magnitude more gravy than relativity.

    • Will you please provide your source of information respective of Lindzen’s “getting paid by the oil industry.” How much did he receive…Did he receive oil money personally, or did the institution he is/was with receive monies. Did Lindzen receive more or less oil money than Michael Mann? How much did Michael Mann receive from government grants? Did taxpayers know government was giving their money to Mann? How much money did Lindzen receive in government grants?
      I like to research. Your answers would be helpful. Thank you.

      • Lindzen has taken money from the usual suspects; Peabody, Western Fuels, Exxon, etc.. Google is your friend. Search enough, and you will find that many years ago, has was one of those who took tobacco money and denied the connection between smoking and lung cancer. So much of his climate work has been debunked or discredited, one wonders why anybody would pay him to do anything. He has been coasting for a long time.

        • Simple way to clear this up? Demand a public debate between Richard Lindzen (and of course MIT and its recipient foundations) and Michael Mann (and of course Penn State and its recipient foundations). While an independent audit of MIT and Penn St. foundations ensue, Lindzen and Mann could agree to a televised debate. Let’s agree to demand the debate!

  6. It seems that, driven by the need to continually support the Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming thesis climate scientists are examining the temperature record at altogether too fine a scale, month by month, year by year. Viewing the Holocene interglacial at a broader scale is much more fruitful, on a century by century and even on a millennial perspective.

    Our current, warm, congenial Holocene interglacial has been the enabler of mankind’s civilisation for the last 10,000 years, spanning from mankind’s earliest farming to recent technology.

    However Ice Core records show:

    • the last millennium 1000AD – 2000AD has been the coldest millennium of the entire Holocene interglacial.

    • each of the notable high points in the Holocene temperature record, (Holocene Climate Optimum – Minoan – Roman – Medieval – Modern), have been progressively colder than the previous high point.

    • for its first 7-8000 years the early Holocene, including its high point known as the “climate optimum”, have had virtually flat temperatures, an average drop of only ~0.007 °C per millennium.

    • but the more recent Holocene, since a “tipping point” at ~1000BC, 3000 years ago, has seen a temperature loss at about 20 times that earlier rate at about 0.14 °C per millennium.

    • the Holocene interglacial is already 10 – 11,000 years old and judging from the length of previous interglacials, the Holocene epoch should be drawing to its close: in this century, the next century or this millennium.

    • the slight beneficial warming at the end of the 20th century to the Modern high point has been transmuted into the “Great Man-made Global Warming Scare / Climate Change”.

    • the recent warming since the end of the Little Ice Age, (Black death, French revolution, etc) has been wholly beneficial

    • eventually this late 20th century minor temperature excursion will come to be seen as just noise in the system in the longer term progress of comparatively rapid cooling over the last 3000+ years.

    • other published Ice Core records exhibit the same pattern of a prolonged relatively stable early Holocene period followed by a subsequent much more rapid decline in the more recent past.

    As global temperatures have already been showing stagnation or cooling over the last eighteen years or more and the sunspot record is diminishing substantially, the world should now fear the real and detrimental effects of global cooling, rather than being hysterical about limited, beneficial or now non-existent further warming.

    A tipping point towards cooling and the end of the Holocene interglacial occurred about 3000 years ago.

    This point is more fully illustrated here:


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