A Rhetorical Analysis Of Richard Lindzen’s The World Should Not Waste Resources On Fighting Global Warming

1231 words - 5 pages

In his piece on climate change, Richard Lindzen addresses his stance on the heated debate of global warming. He claims that there is, in fact, no ongoing catastrophic temperature increase. Lindzen, a Professor of Meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a recipient of the Jule Charney award from the American Meteorological Society (Richard Lindzen), believes that the earth goes through natural phases of warming and cooling. In this piece, he examines why he believes people have a false conception of Earth’s climate shifts.

Lindzen begins his piece by asserting that there isn't, and never will be, static, unchanging climates on planets with fluid envelopes. Throughout this article, he ponders why there has been an increase in alarm over climate change in the past few years. At the beginning of the article, he states that the increase in alarm is because the public has become scientifically illiterate, which, in turn, makes them more susceptible to being taken advantage of by people of higher status. He continues on by saying that the panic over climate change is falsely placed and that the climate is and has constantly been changing over time. He gives supportive examples of this through climate changing events that have occurred throughout the centuries. Also, according to Lindzen, findings on climate change are problematic because they are based on computer models. He claims that the data conflicts with the models, and that scientists “correct” the data to agree with the models, which points to some level of corruption in climate science. Although Lindzen does give reasons that he believes climate change may be over exaggerated, he keeps going back to another reason. Throughout the article, he indirectly refers to the American public as gullible, and as stated earlier, scientifically illiterate. Examples of this is when he talks about catastrophes that were predicted but never occurred, such as the global cooling in the 1970s, widespread famine in the 1980s, and the well-known Year 2000 computer bug, or Y2K. Lindzen believes that climate change is purely political, and that the media and policy makers manipulate science and scientists to produce work for their own agenda.

In the opening paragraph of Lindzen’s article, he says outright that the panic associated with climate change is unwarranted. He explains why he feels this way in an almost paranoid and conspiracy theorist manner. He claims that “Such hysteria simply represents the scientific illiteracy of much of the public, the susceptibility of the public to the substitution of repetition for truth, and the exploitation of these weaknesses by politicians, environmental promoters, and, after 20 years of media drum beating, many others as well.”
This statement may interest a limited number of people, but it attacks the majority of his audience, the general public. He doesn’t spark the reader’s interest, and he may have irritated some readers as well, or...

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