Lindzen dismisses Hansen’s defamations

Tobacco/cancer comment mere malicious slur

Answers his critic as a true gentleman

See UPDATE below

I was disturbed about the comments I posted last night from a member of ‘Slick’ Hansen’s audience in Massey the previous evening. In an astonishing, unprovoked outburst, Hansen suddenly turned on the absent Dr Dick Lindzen, besmirching his character with outright lies. After trying to verify Hansen’s claim that Dr Lindzen doesn’t believe smoking causes cancer, I sent Lindzen the following email.

Dick’s reply is most thoughtfully written and I commend it for your consideration. As an outstanding example of fine thinking under personal pressure it’s a pleasure to publish it. Jim Hansen should be ashamed of himself for repeating misleading slurs and outright lies. I’m certainly ashamed of him.

Jim Hansen arrested

Here’s my email to Dick:

Dear Dr Lindzen,

Please forgive this rude question, but I wish to defend your reputation.

Dr Jim Hansen is visiting here in New Zealand and was reported last night to have referred at a public meeting to your good self, but in a disparaging way. He said, among other comments, that you had never accepted that [smoking] tobacco causes cancer, so obviously your judgement cannot be trusted. You can see my post about this on the Climate Conversation Group site at

Thing is, I tried for two hours this morning to verify the tobacco comment, but had to give up. I remember reading a refutation from you of this and perhaps other allegations but cannot remember where.

Would you mind, please, commenting on this or sending a reference I can use in your defence? I consider it important to defend our leading sceptical scientists in public forums, because arguments for reason must not fail.

Thank you.

Best regards,

Dr Richard Lindzen

Richard Treadgold
Climate Conversation Group

Dr Lindzen replies

For the record:

1. I have always noted, having read the literature on the matter, that there was a reasonable case for the role of cigarette smoking in lung cancer, but that the case was not so strong that one should rule that any questions were out of order. I think that the precedent of establishing a complex statistical finding as dogma is a bad one. Among other things, it has led to the much, much weaker case against second hand smoke also being treated as dogma. Similarly, in the case of alleged dangerous anthropogenic warming, the status of dogma is being sought without any verifiable evidence.

2. I have never stated anything in Wall Street Journal Op Eds that I did not support in my discussions with colleagues.

3. In his book, Hansen goes so far as to claim that I testified on behalf of the tobacco industry. This claim is absurd.

I might add that I looked into the possibility of legal redress after Hansen published his book, and learned that I had neither the money nor the time to pursue such a remedy. Incidentally, it should be noted that promoting alarm has proven to be very lucrative. Jim has collected millions and recognition hardly commensurate with his scientific achievements. In that connection, I would be curious as to how much Jim received for his appearances in New Zealand. I suspect that it would be much more than anyone presenting a more rational assessment would receive.

Best wishes,


Publish far and wide

Dick says this is “for the record,” so his comments can be published by anyone, anywhere. Please help with distributing them to those you know who are interested.

There are two strands to this controversy, both of them important. On the one hand we have an innocent scientist expressing an honest opinion whose motives are being impugned without cause — or rather, not without cause, but in the service of malice. On the other hand we have an activist scientist acting within and outside the law to denigrate, besmirch or otherwise silence his opposition, simply because that opposition is capable of demolishing the platform of his activism.

These tactics reveal the qualities of Hansen the activist scientist and it paints a nasty picture. Reasonable people will prefer the company of those who don’t besmirch their opponents but instead attend to what they say.

Has anyone discovered the fee Hansen receives for his visit here?


I posted a remark on Jim Hansen’s visit Facebook page as follows:

Jim made unprovoked and defamatory remarks at Massey about Dick Lindzen. Dick has replied to these in very polite terms, and the public now deserves to hear from Jim Hansen either an explanation for his surprising fabrications or an apology. Jim’s reported remarks are disgraceful by any standards and place the probity of his climate activism under a cloud. A full description is at the Climate Conversation site.

That was posted about 2:30 pm; at 3:30 pm there’s no response except the comment here from Nandor. Hmm, Tanczos?


It’s passed 5:30 pm, over three hours it’s been, and nobody has replied or complained about my criticism of Hansen. His Facebook visit page isn’t very popular.

Views: 1280

25 Thoughts on “Lindzen dismisses Hansen’s defamations

  1. Andy on 15/05/2011 at 2:20 pm said:

    Maybe someone should give this email to James Hansen, or to one of his entourage.
    Incidentally, Nancy Oreskes of “Merchants of Doubt” fame is also in Auckland.

    It was her that made similar claims against Fred Singer.

    • If anyone has contact details for Jim or his hosts, I will send an email.

    • Andy on 15/05/2011 at 2:39 pm said:

      There’s a Facebook page

      You can “Like” this page and then post links to it.

    • Great, thanks Andy. My comment and link have been sitting there for about 20 minutes and still haven’t been removed or commented on. Terrific!

    • Andy on 15/05/2011 at 3:19 pm said:

      Should stir up the hornets nest…

    • Richard C (NZ) on 15/05/2011 at 10:03 pm said:

      Direct from the hornets nest:-

      “For a little amusement, Facebook users might want to check out the tour Facebook page, where a couple of NZ’s more incorrigible denialists — Steve Wrathall and Andy Scrace — have taken it upon themselves to post stupid comments.”

      “incorrigible denialist” – a badge of honour Andy, wear it with pride.

    • Andy on 15/05/2011 at 11:14 pm said:

      Ouch, I have been outed..

      I was once accused of being a “professional denier”. Naturally, I denied it.

    • Andy on 17/05/2011 at 5:02 pm said:

      No responses to our post Richard. In fact, no responses to any post that questions “The Faith”
      The Facebook page now has the appearance of a cult following, with packed-out venues being reported around the country.

    • So I see. But I won’t post anything else there; being in the company of a professional denier makes me uneasy…

    • Andy on 17/05/2011 at 5:38 pm said:

      I don’t blame you Richard. I can assure you that I am a very scary guy. Young children burst into tears when they see me and people cross the road to avoid eye contact.

      That’s the price I guess.

    • Andy on 17/05/2011 at 9:55 pm said:

      But wait there’s more..

      For those of you in Auckland, here’s a great way to spend your weekend in the company of like minded committed folk.

      Festival for the Planet – A People’s Assembly on Climate Change

      featuring… James E Hansen

      A great lineup including Jim Salinger,
      Nandor Tanczos, and a wide range of speakers representing indigenous cultures!

      Now we are not into polemic as Nandor suggests. We only study boring old science papers. I expect these will be lacking at this exciting event, but then we know we need to take action NOW to tackle climate change for the sake of the children and the grandchildren.

      So come on pilgrims (*), get on down and show your support!

      (*) a phrase seen on the Facebook page promoting this event

    • Richard C (NZ) on 18/05/2011 at 8:23 pm said:

      Sorry, can’t make it. May 21 is the end of the world.

    • Roger Gower on 19/05/2011 at 2:46 pm said:

      Rick Boven at the New Zealand Institute may have a contact. He was aware Hansen was coming because he told me about the vist.

  2. G.S. Williams on 15/05/2011 at 9:54 pm said:

    I’m a little off the main topic,but I attended Little Jim’s talk at Auck Uni and heard just more of the “same old”. He didn’t impress me at all. It is so apparent that he can only denigrate all those who oppose him, it’s a pity.
    If Dr James Hansen was as good a scientist as he is supposed to be, he would not need to denigrate anyone.

    mind you, he is a Alarmist, after all.

  3. Alexander K on 16/05/2011 at 3:49 am said:

    It may have something to do with being in posession of a free bus pass due to my age , but the very idea of wading through the endless inanities of facebook (and Twitter) ensures that I will never be a member of those or similar organisation. But good on you blokes for using any medium available to inform the egregious Hansen that many people around the world know he is a serial liar and a dishonest alarmist. His work leaves a trail over ever-cooler historic temperatures moving ever downward in attempts to create the impression that temperatures are currently THE WARMEST EVER. He may have been an excellent scientist once, but that time is long ago and far away, as is the case in many fairy stories.

    • Andy on 16/05/2011 at 12:02 pm said:

      Alexander K – here is one for you

      “The Twitter Song”

      Very astute observations in there..

    • Alexander K on 17/05/2011 at 1:02 am said:

      Thanks, Andy. I loved the song and really enjoyed the singer’s excellent voice and guitar playing, plus the backing of multiple voices. The lyrics encapsulate my thoughts quite nicely – who on earth needs hundreds of pretend-friends and to know what I did in me holidays, or on a dead Saturday morning? Quite unlike the awful Warmist rap song from Australia, which to me, seemed like a capping week student ‘rag’, designed to tick as many offence boxes as possible.
      Richard Courtenay’s shot at Hansen is excellent, but the awful Hansen seems to be bulletproof..

  4. Andy on 16/05/2011 at 2:39 pm said:

    There’s a another Facebook page you might be interested in –
    “Fire James Hansen”


    James Hansen has violated

    1. NASA’s ethical laws (Misuse of Position)

    2. The Hatch Act (Political Activities of Federal Employees)

    3. Title 18 of the US Code (including Chapter 29: Elections and Political Activities)


    List of breaches

    James Hansen uses NASA stationery to intimidate school textbook publisher Houghton Mifflin Company. (Read the letter)

    James Hansen appeared on the front page of the Greenpeace website to incite civil disobedience. (View the youtube video: “A Call to Action on Global Warming”)

    James Hansen appeared in a British courtroom as an “expert witness” to argue six climate activists had a “lawful excuse” to cause £35000 damage to an E.ON coal-fired powerstation.

    In the UK Guardian James Hansen abused holocaust imagery to promote his political cause. (“The trains carrying coal to power plants are death trains. Coal-fired power plants are factories of death.”)

    James Hansen, in testimony to US Congress, called for the heads of oil companies to be put on trial for “crimes against humanity”.

    James Hansen has been linked to the billion dollar carbon trading industry. (A Lehman Brothers report “The Business of Climate Change II” acknowledged his assistance).


    We believe, whatever our theoretical views on climate change (and we don’t all agree!), politics must be kept out of science.

    James Hansen’s former NASA supervisor Dr John Theon told a Senate committee James Hansen was “never muzzled”, has “embarrassed NASA” and that his climate models are “useless”. It’s time for NASA to act.

    James Hansen is a not fit for purpose, and should be removed from office, we need to show a high number of FaceBook users that support this motion.

  5. Andy on 18/05/2011 at 11:20 am said:

    Ken Shock has been doing a good job spamming the Hansen Facebook page with sceptic links.

  6. The tobacco smoking issue has become a favorite tool for discrediting climate skeptics. See this article from skeptic Dr. Fred Singer:

  7. will gray on 28/05/2011 at 4:11 pm said:

    this is the one stop page for ‘paint it RED Jimmy’

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  11. Publius on 18/05/2022 at 2:53 am said:

    I agree it is unwise for any scientist or teacher to become an activist. Emotional bias obscures knowledge.

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