Christopher Booker: Bengtsson just a ‘repentant sinner.’ Real climate heroes are original skeptics like Lindzen, Singer who braved derision
You must not challenge our consensus, say the warmists
The climate sceptics have certainly got pretty excited over Dr Lennart Bengtsson – scarcely a household name but someone they can describe as “a leading climate scientist”. He is the former head of two prestigious European meteorological institutes, and a keen “climate modeller”, who recently defected from the international global-warming establishment to join the advisers of Lord Lawson’s Global Warming Policy Foundation. Then last week he had to resign because of “McCarthy”-style pressure from his old warmist colleagues, so intense that he feared for his health. And now he has made front-page news by revealing that a paper he co–authored, claiming that official global warming claims have been exaggerated, was rejected by a leading climate science journal because it would have given ammunition to the “climate deniers”.
All this has produced a storm of counter-protest from the sceptics, claiming that it shows how absurdly intolerant the warmists have become in their desperation to protect their beloved “consensus”. It is true that Lennart was once a cheerleader for their orthodoxy. And it is true that he has recently shown scientific honesty in his growing disenchantment with climate models programmed to assume that rising CO2 levels must inevitably lead to disastrous warming.
But the fact is that it has long been obvious to any dispassionate observer that, as global temperatures have so dismally failed to rise as they predicted, those computer models on which the whole theory rested were hopelessly flawed. Equally, it has long been clear, as we saw with “Climategate”, that the orthodox establishment will stop at nothing to protect its deluded belief system from criticism.
There must always be joy over any sinner who repenteth. But the real honour should go to those proper scientists such as Dr Richard Lindzen, who for years courted derision by pointing out that the emperor had no clothes, because they never lost their grasp on what genuine science is all about. As I once tried to reassure another of them, Dr Fred Singer, when he was in an unusually gloomy mood, “we have two invincible allies in this fight – one is nature, the other is truth”. In fact, the ridiculous hounding of Dr Lennart is only another tiny symptom of how those two allies are slowly winning the day.