Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Yale computer science professor David Gelernter ’76 — a potential science advisor to President Donald Trump — told the News he does not believe in man-made climate change in an interview Tuesday afternoon.

“For human beings to change the climate of the planet is a monstrously enormous undertaking,” Gelernter said. “I haven’t seen convincing evidence of it.”

Gelernter had previously expressed skepticism about the reality of man-made climate change in a 2012 book, writing that President Barack Obama was unaware of “gathering scientific doubt” about the causes of climate change.

But in his interview with the News, Gelernter went one step further, arguing that the warming of the planet is likely the result of natural “oscillations” in the Earth’s temperature.

“We’re in Connecticut, so we know about the ice age. The Earth’s climate oscillates, there’s no way to stop it,” he said. “My first supposition is that if it’s getting warmer, then it’s a natural oscillation.”

Gelernter met with Trump in Manhattan on Jan. 16, causing him to miss the first meeting of his course “The User Interface.” On Tuesday, he declined to specify the precise subject of the conversation with Trump, saying only that it was a “broad-ranging” discussion covering a number of different topics.

“No one’s offered me a job, nothing is official,” Gelernter said. “If I were Trump, I would have a billion more things to think about than who my science advisor is. I’m not looking for anything to happen terribly fast.”

Gelernter added that Trump seemed intelligent, thoughtful and well-versed in the issues under discussion.

“He took long thoughtful pauses, and had clearly thought about a lot of different things. He was very sharp and very, very smart,” he said.

In the 1980s and ’90s, Gelernter helped pioneer the field of parallel computing, a type of computation in which multiple processes are executed at the same time, and invented an influential programming language. He is also the author of several books, including the 2012 book “America-Lite: How Imperial Academia Dismantled Our Culture (and Ushered in the Obamacrats),” which argues that liberal academics have caused the erosion of traditional American values.

In 1993, he was nearly killed by the Unabomber after the notorious anarchist sent a mail bomb to his Yale office.

Although his views on climate change are out of step with the overwhelming scientific consensus, Gelernter would not be the only climate skeptic in the Trump administration. During the presidential campaign, Trump criticized the science of human-caused climate change as a hoax and nominated a vehement climate-change denier, Oklahoma attorney general Scott Pruitt, to lead the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Washington Post was the first to report that Gelernter was a candidate for the science advisor position, in an article last Wednesday.

Traditionally, the science advisor provides input to the president on issues related to science and technology and serves as the director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, collaborating on scientific matters with government agencies and the private sector.

In many ways, Gelernter would represent a significant departure from past science advisors. He does not belong to any major scientific organizations such as the National Academy and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Gelertner would also be the first computer scientist to hold the position. Four of the last five scientists to officially serve in the role have been physicists.

“That was a bit of surprise … I don’t think I would have come up with [Gelernter]’s name,” said William Gropp, a parallel computing expert at the University of Illinois. “I would’ve looked at somebody who was still somewhat active in the community as a whole and was participating more on a policy level” in organizations such as the National Science Foundation or the Department of Energy.

According to Gropp, who overlapped with Gelernter at Yale in the 1980s, Gelernter has not contributed significantly to computer science in recent years. Gropp said Gelernter made important contributions to the field early in his career, but that his work tailed off after the Unabomber attack.

“His name just doesn’t come up when we’re talking about people who are currently advancing the field,” Gropp said. “He built an interesting, elegant system for programming parallel computers. … But since then he really has not been a major player, certainly in parallel computing, and I don’t really see much sign of significant work in other areas of computing.”

Over the past two decades, Gelernter — whose bachelor’s degree is in modern Hebrew literature — has written books on a wide range of topics, from his experiences with the Unabomber to the history of the 1939 World’s Fair. In 2015, Gelernter published “The Tides of Mind,” which explored the field of artificial intelligence and human consciousness through the prism of great authors like Ernest Hemingway and William Shakespeare.

In his interview with the News, Gelernter described his work on artificial intelligence as his most important scientific contribution, and cited positive reviews of “The Tides of Mind” in the Chicago Tribune and The Wall Street Journal.

The conservative essayist Joseph Bottum, a friend of Gelernter who has edited some of his work, said Gelernter’s scientific and literary achievements make him “as complete an intellectual as we have in the United States.”

“He’s widely knowledgeable about science in general, an expert about a particular branch of science and technology, and yet at the same time a man who is learned and humane in the arts and in theology,” said Bottum, a member of the National Council for the Arts.

Still, in recent years, Gelernter has been fiercely critical of the liberal academic elite, leading the Post to describe him as “fiercely anti-intellectual” in its article last week. In his interview with the News, Gelernter called the Post’s coverage “infantile” and “clumsy.”

“They made fools of themselves,” he said. “They make the whole press look bad. I side with the press, but that sort of thing makes me squirm.”

At Yale, many students got their first taste of Gelernter’s political views when he appeared on Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor” last October, and labeled the University “an intellectual ghetto” dominated by supporters of Hillary Clinton LAW ’73.

Still, on Tuesday, his class “The User Interface” in the Arthur K. Watson Center was packed with students, some of whom had to huddle in the aisles after the seats were filled. Two students walking out of the class called Gelernter “brilliant,” if a little “old-fashioned in his thinking.”

“Certainly, he may be different from a lot of people at Yale,” one student said. “But he’s a very smart person.”

  • Holly Rushmeier

    Among Dr. Gelernter’s more recent accomplishments his Mirror Worlds technology, that later one way or another found its way into Apple’s products should be mentioned. I am surprised people have already forgotten the Apple case:

    • concerned

      Not relevant to current politics. The book was written in 1992. Mirror Worlds had fancy lawyers but Apple mastered the technology and did a work-around. Why not?

  • Johnny Thorne

    A real scientist is always skeptical of the herd mentality. A real scientist demands accurate data, not man made fudging of the facts.

  • ldffly

    This man is a serious thinker; a thinker clearly not given to the logomachy of postmodernism and deconstruction. The “anti intellectual” appellation indicates only that the current press can’t distinguish criticism of today’s university establishment from hatred of ideas and those who use ideas. Gelernter is a critic and a perceptive one at that. He is no hater of those who use ideas. If Yale were ever to lose him, it would be a loss greater than the loss of Chauncey and Gregg.

    • StupidNet

      Apparently, he’s “deliberately uninformed” which makes him a lousy choice, end of story. But he parrots Trumps position on climate change, now isn’t that convenient? Both are dead wrong.

  • Chrisjamin Z Mcahashi found a clip of gelernter talking about our solar system

  • Nancy Morris

    Gelernter = Galileo?

    Trump, Yale and the nation would be very fortunate to have Gelernter advising the president on scientific matters. The United States is famously fortunate to have had great leaders in times of crisis: Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt. Gelernter’s appointment would fall into a kind of scientific parallel to that pattern. Lord knows the country’s scientific apparatus needs adult supervision after eight years of federal scientific kindergarten.

    Just for starters: Would Gelernter be willing to advocate federal support for desperately needed fearless and unpoliticized research in the ways sex and gender influence an individual’s mathematical and analytic thinking abilities? Go with God!

    • Hieronymus Machine

      “Eppur si muove.”

    • je2016

      Um, this comparison is wrong.

      Galileo was indeed persecuted, for a time, for disagreeing with consensus. But he based his disagreement on new evidence he discovered using new tools. The “climate change skeptics” do not actually have alternative evidence (nothing like G’s telescope). They just adhere to tendentious interpretations of words like “theory.” They resemble the people who say evolution is just a “theory.” It is true that the scientific method as argued by Popper et al says that all theories are a null hypothesis, and that all we can do is fail to reject, not confirm.

      But this leaves us with a problem. Every day we fly on airplanes based on “theories” that have not been proven — just not rejected. Why do we trust the airplanes, and not the climate science that says, so far as we can tell, that we are ruining the planet? I suspect it’s because we like what the airplanes can do for us, and some of us do not want to have to adjust our lives to avoid ruining the planet.

      • Nancy Morris

        Um, your reply is wrong.

        Critics of climate change theory and hysteria have plenty of evidence to support their arguments. Denial of that basic fact and the corresponding legitimate scientific debate by believers in current orthodoxy is pernicious, and the relentless politicization of science that characterized the Obama administration in this area is even more pernicious.

        Examples and evidence abound. For example, claims that 2016 was “the hottest year on record” are drawing sharp criticism from scientists who say it reflects how global warming has become more social crusade than evidence-based science.

        “The Obama administration relentlessly politicized science and it aggressively pushed a campaign about that politicized science,” said Steven E. Koonin, who served as under secretary for science in Obama’s Department of Energy from 2009 to 2011.

        Koonin, a theoretical physicist at New York University who once worked for energy giant BP, also blamed a “happily complicit” media for trumpeting the now-departed Obama administration’s dubious claim.

        In mid-January the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued a report declaring that “the globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces for 2016 was the highest among all years since record-keeping began in 1880.” NOAA fixed the 2016 increase at 0.04 degrees Celsius. The British Met Office reported an even lower rise, of 0.01C.

        Both increases are well within the margin of error for such calculations, approximately 0.1 degrees, and therefore are dismissed by many scientists as meaningless.

        Richard Lindzen, a meteorology professor at MIT and one of the world’s foremost skeptics that global warming represents an existential threat.

        “It’s typical misleading nonsense,” Lindzen said in an e-mail. “We’re talking about less than a tenth of degree with an uncertainty of about a quarter of a degree. Moreover, such small fluctuations – even if real – don’t change the fact that the trend for the past 20 years has been much less than models have predicted.” Contrary to your uninformed argument, Lindzen’s argument is totally supported by reliable evidence.

        Koonin suggested a headline that read, “Global Temperatures Up 0.0X for 2016; Within Margin of Error for Last N Years.” Rather than exclaim “Sea Levels Highest on Record,” Koonin said, the press releases could encourage, and perhaps media outlets accept, one that reads, “Sea Level Rose 0.1 Inches Last Year, Consistent With Century-Long Trend.”

        • Ralphiec88

          The claim that poticization of science “characterized the Obama administration” is simply remarkable. Anyone who watches FOX regularly saw an constant stream of pseudoscience and obvious fallacies presented in highly charged language. Any number of like-minded outlets have made uncomfortable facts out to be politically biased. In the previous decade, FOX and right wing pundits tried to discredit the fact of warming itself, before that became utterly untenable. There’s a reason so many on the right line up against climate science, and it’s not Obama.

          • Nancy Morris

            Excuse me if I missed it, but I didn’t actually see anything in your post that constitutes evidence or rational argument against the attestation that “the Obama administration relentlessly politicized science and it aggressively pushed a campaign about that politicized science,” of Steven E. Koonin, who served as under secretary for science in Obama’s Department of Energy from 2009 to 2011. Kooning is in a position to know of what he speaks. Your post is more along the lines of a schoolyard retort like “but, teacher, he does it, too.” What is “simply remarkable” here is that anyone would descend into such intellectual bankruptcy of his own volition.

            Nor did I notice a groat countering the observations of MIT meteorology professor Richard Lindzen that the 2016-as-hottest-year public relations effort is “typical misleading nonsense. We’re talking about less than a tenth of degree with an uncertainty of about a quarter of a degree. Moreover, such small fluctuations – even if real – don’t change the fact that the trend for the past 20 years has been much less than models have predicted.”

            There is a big scientific debate going on that you refuse to hear or understand, but Gelernter does. He is a serious scientist. There are almost no certainties in that debate, and definitely not the ones the most active AGW proponents are advancing as such. You won’t listen to the science. You won’t listen to the scientists. What would change your mind?

            The U.N. models advancing the AGW argument predicted that California would inevitably become wetter in the process. Then California had a typical but longish drought. AGW hysterics scrambled to describe it as an atypical “mega drought.” Obama visited the state more than once and intoned that scientists had established that the drought was caused by AGW. The science was settled. Get to work on it! Governor Brown said the same kind of things. Neither Democrat addressed the fact that the U.N. models predicted the reverse. The state government pronounced the need for a complete change of life, statewide, to address the permanent drought, because the science was settled and the scientists had spoken. No effort was made to addressed the fact that the U.N. models predicted the state would get constantly wetter. A cottage industry emerged among the AGW-believing climate scientists -including those at elite institutions like Stanford – to amend the U.N. models to “post-dict” the drought. The New York Times ran articles reporting the “new learning” that the drought would likely never end. All-knowing scientists and media hacks notified the state that the rains of El Niño were gone, and the current La Niña would further dry out the state. The Washington Post intoned that no relief from the drought was in sight at the very moment meteorologists were finding an atmospheric river closing on the California coast. No, no, no. The science was settled! Details like rivers in the air would not be allowed to disrupt THE NARRATIVE.

            Now, three weeks later, California’s Sierra Nevada snowpack in the mountain region reached 173 percent of average for the date, the highest in 22 years. More precipitation is expected. There are various technical reasons why the drought is not officially over. The reservoirs cannot be completely filled because the rainy season isn’t over, and filling them would impair flood control capabilities, for example. So one must wait until next month. But the drought really is over for purposes of AGW alarmism and hysteria. The amended models that settled the science and predicted a drought without end now are to be tossed down the memory hole, leaving but a funerary trace of themselves in the New York Times archives. The big snow pack is now evidence the first U.N. models were right all along. Always were. The facts of AGW and its indisputable consequences are verified once again. The science is settled!

            The mass of overstated, putative AGW certainties isn’t science, it’s a cargo cult.

          • Ralphiec88

            You’re responding to points I never made. Probably because the point I made is irrefutable.

          • Nancy Morris

            O, yes, you are a real fountainhead of the irrefutable. That must be it.

  • carmellasoprano

    This ugly monster is a disgrace to the university. He was a good programmer when he was growing up, quickly became radicalized, went crazy when attacked by the unabomber, and now probably masturbates to pictures of Kellyanne Conway (assuming he still has a working hand). Probably having him working in the White House would be more fitting than working here.

    • StupidNet

      If you got that comment approved by the moderators here, I can hope mine do too – and mine aren’t even funny!

    • Man with Axe

      I applaud your ability to make rational and persuasive arguments. Were you on your high school debate team?

    • Nancy Morris

      This is satire, right?

  • cwat

    Wow, not sure whether to comment on the fact that a Yale Professor is a climate denier, or defend the long-proven scientific consensus that man-made CO2 emissions lead to warming temperatures and extreme changes in climate? I am shocked that a (computer) science professor at Yale would feel morally sound in rejecting the science that 97% of climate scientists have agreed upon for decades. Any geology or climate science course you take at Yale will acknowledge the debunked studies that attempt to disprove man-made climate change, and teach its students how to support and defend climate science. Yes there are natural oscillations in temperature over geological time scales and yes the planet goes through natural cycles called the “Milankovitch Cycles” which do impact temperature and climate. However man-made global warming is a result of increased greenhouse gasses and the greenhouse effect, which happen regardless of planetary orbit/position and temperature oscillations. The fact is that temperature is increasing at an alarming and entirely unnatural rate. We’re not facing simple oscillations right now. We are entirely able to measure the amount of CO2 in our atmosphere and we are well above 400 ppm at this moment. We are also able to measure average temperature changes and we are already at an increase of 0.8 deg celsius. We know the Greenhouse Gas Effect means that GHG’s like CO2 and CH4 trap heat in our atmosphere. Unless Prof. Galernter disagrees with the Greenhouse Gas Effect (which is like disagreeing with the science of respiration or photosynthesis) I don’t know how he could argue that our spewing of CO2 into the atmosphere since industrialization has no impact on global temperatures. I would recommend contacting any climate scientist at Yale if you want more specific points as to why man-made climate change is indeed occurring. Though you could also look at any national or global organization, like NASA or the United Nations or the US Military who acknowledge the reality of this science and are taking steps to mitigate it and adapt already and decide which “science” is legitimate.

    • yaleyeah

      The 97% of scientists hoax is even bigger than the climate change hoax!

    • jonhartzsr

      Only a willfully ignorant person would put out that widely discredited “97%” figure any longer. Your whole argument is now suspect.

      • StupidNet

        Prove it – because you cannot. The 97% figure has been well established and adopted – and tested as FACT. Your pathetic efforts to claim it has been ‘discredited’ are factually baseless. You are simply a liar.

      • StupidNet
        • yaleyeah

          Astro physicists repeatedly warning about a looming mini ice age. Sorry, 97% is BS! This is REAL science not manipulated data and computer simulations.

          • Joey

            No, we didn’t. Quit lying about my field.

          • StupidNet

            NASA 97% Scientific Consensus Warming Is Human Caused – Multiple sources cited.
            The 97 Percent Scientific Consensus on Climate Change Is Wrong—It’s Even Higher
            Consensus on consensus: a synthesis of consensus estimates on human-caused global warming

          • yaleyeah

            When you will lose your job at NASA if you buck the consensus, it’s rather easy to get a consensus. Lennart Benngston is the father of modern climate modeling, and he has emphatically stated the models cannot be validated. His punishment for speaking this truth publicly was to have his papers rejected from being published and direct threats on his life. You really have no idea what this is all about, do you? It’s now gone completely fascist. Dissent is now allowed.

    • StupidNet

      Steven Chu (Secretary of Energy under the Obama Adminstration) and a physicist, has stated we are almost at 500ppm NOW on combined greenhouse gas emission effects and will exceed 600ppm. Chu has a number of Youtube videos to check this out.

    • 100wattlightbulb

      Hard to take anything that begins with WOW, seriously.

  • yaleyeah

    I categorically deny that progressive Democrats are going to drop the temperature of this planet with a $ 1 trillion tax hike on the middle class. Feel free to try and prove me wrong.

    • ShadrachSmith

      The AGW theory, the earth’s solar radiation budget is controlled by 0.04% of the earth’s atmosphere is absurd on it’s face. Biggest scam in history.

      • Joey

        You don’t seem to understand anything about science.

    • Ralphiec88

      I categorically deny that Republicans are going to drop the temperature of this planet by singing “Kumbaya” on the House floor until it snows in Orlando. Prove me wrong!
      What, that’s a straw man?

  • Sara Drake

    Everybody spouts about climate change but few understand the complexity of it. It covers multiple disciplines (dozens) from energy to population to metrology to meterology to politics to history to physics to …. Having indicated the expanse of the problem, then how does one define the approaches and procedures for addressing it: resource conservation, alternative energy, reduced consumption, population control, a global network of measurement sites to identify “hotspots” and a multitude of others. Next comes the issue of cooperation: it is matter of the cooperative nations being the ones onboard and the least cooperative nations being the greatest polluters and acting as hold-offs. People set targets, but they don’t define strategies and priorities and conduct public information campaigns at the grassroots level. So the overall picture is that of an attempt to harness the issues but a muddle when it comes to problem-solving. I see no reason to attack Gelernter or any other person who has ideas and opinions. I certainly wouldn’t take any advice from the people commenting below who limit their input to venting instead of working on the problems involved. Where are the interdisciplinary on-campus research projects, pilot projects, etc. involving the community, grass roots information outreach programs??? Apply your wasted energy to those kinds of things and make a contribution instead.

  • College Meltdown

    Anti-intellectualism and the growth of student alt-right groups like Turning Point USA are part of the US College Meltdown. Yale will get richer and more powerful. Flagship Universities will also fare well. But HBCUs, community colleges, small private colleges, and lesser public colleges will suffer.

  • jonhartzsr

    If Yale was a real university looking for truths, this writer would know that Gelertner is not so “out of step” as he thinks. Science is not a “belief” system, nor a popularity contest. The “97%” canard has been widely discredited. The scientific method is one of highly controlled rigorous skepticism, and every theory is subject to change base on empirical evidence. Three elements are required for this hoax to be true: 1) it is happening. (Not for 20 years). 2)It will end in global disaster. (No evidence of this) 3) Man is the cause. (Not proven). Attacking those who disagree over the evidence and lack of it is also not science. LIke abortionists, warmist-alarmists are the Neo-Luddites of our time.

  • Guy

    He clearly should be dragged from his office and burned at the stake in the middle of Cross Campus for having the audacity to deny the True Faith!

    • ShadrachSmith

      Give him the Christakis treatment? Yale students are good at that.

  • terryhughes

    Gelernter’s appointment (if it happens) should be
    considered along with the fact that Steven Colloton LAW ’88 is on a list of 21 possible Supreme Court nominees selected by President-elect Donald Trump to fill the vacant seat of Justice Antonin Scalia. If Colloton is chosen, the three most conservative Justices will from Yale.

    And then there will be Gelernter.

    And Wilbur Ross.


  • StupidNet

    “For human beings to change the climate of the planet is a monstrously enormous undertaking,” Gelernter said. “I haven’t seen convincing evidence of it.”

    Gelernter is enormously stupid.

    I’m computer science professional myself (retired). To deny climate change by man is simply to deny the actual known facts.

  • morsestudent1

    His class was objectively the worst I’ve ever taken at Yale.

    • Tattycoram


  • Man with Axe

    The authors and some of the commenters discredit themselves by using the term “denier” to refer to someone who is skeptical of some supposed “consensus” of other scientists.

    This term, which seems reasonable to use regarding people who dispute historical events, reeks of anti-intellectualism when applied to deciding what theory best explains the known scientific evidence, or the validity of that evidence, or of the validity of predictions spewed out by computer models regarding what will happen to the world’s climate 100 years out.

    This week it was reported by all the mainstream press that 2016 was the hottest year on record, beating the record set the previous year. I read half a dozen stories, in the NYT, the WSJ, USA Today, NPR, to name a few, and none mentioned how much hotter it was. I was struck by the absence of the most important datum. How much hotter is it getting? After a difficult search I was able to track down some contradictory numbers from NASA, NOAA, and the British Met. The last of these reported a difference of 1/100 of a degree hotter than 2015. Oh, the horror. Beyond that, they also reported they were only 62% certain that a record had been set at all.

    They also reported that the sea level is rising between 1/12 and 1/8 of an inch each year. I sort of noticed that change when I was at the beach this year.

    I don’t know about you, but with the climate changing at this rate I’m not buying any green bananas.

    • Joey

      You do know that 16 of the 17 hottest years on record have been since 2000, right?

      It’s scientific fact. Therefore, rejecting is denial. Quit trying to change the definitions of words.

      • Man with Axe

        You can’t “deny” predictions of the future. They are not facts.

        Assuming, arguendo, your hottest years on record, that is not conclusive proof that man has caused all that much of the warming, that it will continue to warm, that warming is bad for the world, that we can stop it from happening, that stopping it is worth the cost, and so on.

        You can use the term “denier” to denigrate people who disagree with you. I’ll call you a climate hysteric. Now we’re even.

        Just for fun, can you tell me how much hotter it was in 2016 than it was in 2015? And if you can even find that datum, can you tell me how certain they are that it even was hotter? Clue: It’s not much more than 50%.

        • Joey

          Climate change has already happened in the past. It is happening now. It is likely to happen in the future. You’re not just denying future predictions when denying climate change. You’re denying the present and the recent past.

          And no, just using the fact that the hottest years on record were in the last few years is not proof that man caused it, but you’re ignoring the vast, VAST body of evidence that man IS the cause. Nothing else makes up for it, not changes in solar activity, not volcanic activity, nothing else. Only when you add in the human contributions can you match fact.

          As for your last point, that just shows that you clearly don’t understand how statistics and certainty work in science.

          • Man with Axe

            What climate change has happened in the past? Are you referring to the melting of the glaciers? The little ice age? The Medieval Warming period? The rise in global temperatures of one degree since the advent of the industrial revolution? The lack of any strong hurricanes to his the US since Katrina? The virtually imperceptible rise in sea level of 1/8 inch per year? Are these the changes that drive this hysteria?

            I notice you paid no attention to these points I made in my previous comment: “that is not conclusive proof that.. it will continue to warm, that warming is bad for the world, that we can stop it from happening, that stopping it is worth the cost, and so on.”

            I’m curious to hear what someone who does understand statistics would say to these points.

          • dankd

            That you should go read the IPCC AR5 reports, and then come back and argue. Yes, we know human activity is causing the present warming, yes we know that continued emissions of greenhouse gases will result in continued warming, yes we know that we can slow and eventually stop those emissions without hurting our economy, yes we know that the costs of inaction outweigh the costs of action. All these conclusions have been made in public in heavily documented sources. You don’t get to argue against them until you read them and know what you’re talking about. It will take you a few months if you care enough to actually understand the arguments.

          • Man with Axe

            You keep using the phrase, “yes we know…” I don’t think it means what you think it means.

            You make the mistake of thinking you, or the IPCC, “know” what will happen in the future. They do not. You think that the IPCC has accurately counted the costs and benefits of trying to mitigate climate change. Only an extreme ideologue would think that these numbers are beyond reasoned debate by people, including economists, scientists, and others, who disagree with the IPCC’s view of things. What, for example, is the cost of reducing emissions to pre-21st century levels, or the cost of the various ill effects of rising sea levels? Are you saying that the IPCC actually knows these costs? Or might they be off by a trillion here or a trillion there? And if so, does it matter?

            You also assume that I haven’t read the IPCC report. I have read the Summary for Policymakers. It has not persuaded me that you are right. How could it, when you presume to know the unknowable?

  • bean spout

    Science is skepticism, not belief subject to the heresy of “denial.” So to be skeptical of the claims of the climate change crowd (consisting mostly of social scientists and grant racketeers) is scientific. Not “denial.”

    • Joey

      I wonder if he’s “skeptical” of a round Earth too.

    • Bruce

      Skeptical fits with an open mind. Ignoring data is denial.

  • mkb1929

    If appointed, ’twill be sad for science, for the nation, for the globe, and for Yale. The guy is a screwball.

    • Nancy Morris

      Newton and Einstein were both screwballs by the standards of most of their contemporaries.

      • dankd

        Newton and Einstein were both very highly regarded as scientists by their peers. They were both also difficult personalities, especially Newton, but no one doubted their brilliance or the importance of their scientific contributions. Gelernter, on the other hand, is mouthing off on climate science without any real understanding of the subject.

        • Nancy Morris

          It is still the case that Newton and Einstein were both screwballs by the standards of mosti of their contemporaries, and your musings are not to the contrary.

          • Ralphiec88

            You don’t have to be Einstein to know that not every screwball is a genius.

          • Nancy Morris

            Which may be why nobody has said that.

          • Ralphiec88

            Please. The only “evidence” you offered was the claim that two geniuses were seen as screwballs in their time. That’s the fallacy of faulty generalization. Or perhaps you’re going with the playground “dictionary” argument: “na na I didn’t say the words”. Either way it doesn’t wash.

          • Nancy Morris

            Ah, nobody said one has to be Einstein to know that not every screwball is a genius, by any reasonable construction. You are off on some strange frolic of your own.

  • Ellen D.

    Gelernter had previously expressed skepticism about the reality of man-made climate change in a 2012 book, writing that President Barack Obama was unaware of “gathering scientific doubt” about the causes of climate change.

    Oh I’m quite sure that President Barack Obama was quite aware of the gathering fossil-fuel-industry-funded rightwing backlash masquerading as scientific doubt.

  • Ralphiec88

    Galernter’s long since relegated himself to a bit part in his field, controversy is all he’s got.

    • Kira

      An ad hominem attack. You should learn to not be afraid of reason and the exchange of ideas. If you were to, you would not have to attack the person instead of his ideas and you would not have to use words like this article uses such as “denier” to protect you from reason. Short of that though, I think you need a safe space.

      • Ralphiec88

        Perhaps. But while controversy is clear, it’s hard to find reason and exchange of ideas in Gelernter’s claims such as “an increasing Jewish presence at top colleges” resulting in “a more thrusting, belligerent tone”.

  • Kira

    Oh no! Not a “denier” – burn him at the stake, lest a snowflake melt under the heresy of a reasoned engagement!

    • Kerryman

      Snowflake. Telltale!!! Here’s a novel approach: for safety sake, let’s err on the side of an abundance of concern for our planet and act as if global climate change is caused, in part, by man/womankind (it’s Yale). The friggin’ Antarctic shelf is breaking of a humongous chunk soon and then what?

  • je2016

    Can someone tell me more about this world-wide conspiracy to show there is climate change when the brave minority of scientists know it is wrong?

    — This consensus existed before the Obama administration. Were previous administrations also in on the conspiracy?

    — Scientists in other countries, even those with a big interest in using fossil fuels, also share the consensus view. How does this work? A naive person would think that China has a reason to use all their coal, and ways of making their scientists comply with official doctrine.

    — Does the conspiracy meet in person, or does it organize on the inter-webs?

    — What would be the reasons for pushing this conspiracy: who benefits from the measures needed to reduce the effects of human activities so much they would bribe the vast majority of scientists to say things that are not true?

    • yaleyeah

      Good questions — simple answer. Globalists want a global EU type government. To get there you’ve got to get the entire planet to buy in, and that means supporting a global tax. This would NEVER be supported in the West, so you have to come up with a reason to collect said tax. Climate change — yep! Now, you can collect $ 1 trillion from US taxpayers, transfer it to an unelected, totally unaccountable global body, and just imagine the corruption that will unleash. What could go wrong? The scam is so obvious.

      Look at what happened to Lennart Benngston after he openly stated the climate models cannot be validated. He was one of the most respected climate scientists in the world and a pioneer in a lot of the modeling. Suddenly treated like a pariah and openly stated he had been threatened with his life. This is how you get a consensus. You brutally crush dissent. Does that sound like real science to you?

  • maastricht

    The current rate of change in global temperature is strong evidence against Gelernter’s theory.

  • yaleyeah

    Well, it looks like NOAA has been caught red-handed cooking the data on climate change. Evidence of the deliberate hoax that this whole thing is.

  • jim_robert

    Oh yeah. A little more FACT for the BIG GREEN MONEY science deniers:

    Farley Mowat, the noted Canadian leftist and Greenpeace activist, wrote in his book West Viking (written while we were still in the global cooling scare) that there were probably at least dwarf forests growing in Greenland when the Vikings arrived in 985 AD and the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History reports “… Erik the Red discovered two areas of southwest Greenland which were suitable for farming, with grasslands and small stands of alder and birch.” You will note that it is too cold today for any type of forests to grow in Greenland, and there is zero ability to farm, unless modern technologies are utilized – and even then, crop selection is very minimal. Mowat also reported the Arctic pack ice was much less in that Viking discovery era than today. Dr. Fred Singer writes that when the Vikings first settled Greenland, they grew vegetables, and it was warm enough to allow the population to grow to 3,000 people and by 1100 AD the place was thriving enough that they had their own bishop and twelve churches. Nature reported in a 2010 article that clamshell studies also confirm Norse records. Meanwhile, the Archeological Survey of Canada has also noted around “A.D. 1000, a warmer climate resulted in the tree line advancing 100 kilometres north of its present position.”

    Indeed, when I was visiting Iceland at Skaftafell Nat’l Park two years ago, Icelandic historians know from extant deeds – and have put in the displays at the park – that somewhere around FORTY old Viking era farms are currently buried under the Vatnajokull glacier system (the largest in the world outside of Greenland and Antarctica). In other words, it was simply much warmer in the Icelandic settlement era than it is today. We are routinely informed of the melting of Greenland glaciers today at lower altitudes, but demonstrably there are at bare minimum low altitude glaciers in roughly the same geographic area that had seen more melting and more pronounced glacial recession one thousand years ago than we see today. Al Gore may want to visit Skaftafell National Park in Iceland on one of his many jet-setting, carbon burning trips to check the facts himself. More evidence: There are records of grape growing occurring in places in northern Europe back during this optimum where they can’t grow today. Gregory McNamee, in the Weather Guide Calendar (Accord Publishing, 2002) noted that wine connoisseurs might have gone to England for fine vintages (can’t grow fine vintage grapes there today!), that heat loving trees like beeches carpeted Europe far into Scandinavia, and Viking ships crossed iceberg free oceans to ice free harbors in Iceland…”. Art Horn writes that “In the winter of 1249 it was so warm in England that people did not need winter clothes. They walked about in summer dress. It was so warm people thought the seasons had changed. There was no frost in England the entire winter. Can you imagine what NOAA would say if that happened next year? “ On the other side of the world, research by Panin and Nefedov in 2010, where they analyzed rivers and lakes in the Upper Volga and Upper Zapadnaya Dvina areas in Russia, also found evidence of a Medieval climatic optimum in that part of the world Even worse for the warmers, recent research has found evidence for the Medieval Climatic Optimum in the central Peruvian Andes – see, southern South America, see, China, see,, where the author XJ Zhou notes “temperatures in the Medieval Warm Period are comparable to those in the current warm period over China,” and Antarctica, Li, Y., Cole-Dai, J. and Zhou, L. 2009. Glaciochemical evidence in an East Antarctica ice core of a recent (AD 1450-1850) neoglacial episode. Journal of Geophysical Research 114: 10.1029/2008JD011091 (summarized at Amazingly, there is even clear evidence of the LIA and MWP in Antarctica- see as well as Western Canada, as illustrated by the picture of a
    Picea glauca (white spruce) stump on the Tuktoyaktuk Peninsula in tundra,
    some 100km north of the current treeline. Photo by Professor Ritchie (University of Toronto). Radiocarbon date was 4940 ±140 years Before Present (BP), and was featured in Hubert Lamb’s classic work Climate, Present, Past and Future. See for this picture, as well as other AGW info.

    Similarly, two recent papers, reported by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, one in Earth-Science Reviews and the other is in Chinese Science Bulletin, reported studies of “key chemical contents in micro-drilled giant clams shells and coral samples to demonstrate that in the South China Sea the warm period of the Middle Ages was warmer than the present. The scientists examined surveys of the ratio of strontium to calcium content and heavy oxygen isotopes, both are sensitive recorders of sea surface temperatures past and present. The aragonite bicarbonate of the Tridacna gigas clam-shell is so fine-grained that daily growth-lines are exposed by micro-drilling with an exceptionally fine drill-bit, allowing an exceptionally detailed time-series of sea-temperature changes to be compiled – a feat of detection worthy of Sherlock Holmes himself. By using overlaps between successive generations of giant clams and corals, the three scientists – Hong Yan of the Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Willie Soon of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and Yuhong Wang of Fudan University, Shanghai – reconstructed a record of sea-surface temperature changes going back 2500 years. The Roman and Mediaeval Warm Periods both showed up prominently in the western Pacific and East Asia. Sea surface temperatures varied considerably over the 2500-year period.”

    Dr. Soon concludes :” “The UN’s climate panel should never have trusted the claim that the medieval warm period was mainly a European phenomenon. It was clearly warm in South China Sea, too.”
    Another study, by earth sciences professor Zunli Lu (formerly of Oxford, now at Syracuse Univ.), studied samples of crystal called ikaite, which forms in cold water, and will melt at room temperature. Samples were taken by Lu and colleagues, examined for variation caused by temperature fluctuations during formation, and dated. The result? Lu writes: “This ikaite record qualitatively supports that both the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age extended to the Antarctic Peninsula.” What does this mean? It means that the MWP was not simply a localized event in northern Europe, or even the northern hemisphere. And if it was as warm 1,000 years ago as now all over the world, Al Gore is simply wrong. Study summary by the UK Register at
    In a study by Kobashi, et al, entitled Summit Surface Snow Temperatures of Greenland, found at, there is further corroboration of Dr. Tim Ball’s contention that the MWP was real. In sum, this study illustrated that: “Greenland surface snow temperature variability over the past 4000 years at the GISP2 site (near the Summit of the Greenland ice sheet) with a new method that utilizes argon and nitrogen isotopic ratios from occluded air bubbles. In so doing, the eight researchers report that the average Greenland snow temperature over the past 4000 years was -30.7°C, while the current decadal (2001-2010) surface temperature at the Greenland Summit is -29.9°C, which they say is as warm as it was there in the 1930s-1940s. And they add that “there was another similarly warm period (-29.7°C) in the 1140s (Medieval Warm Period), indicating that the present decade is not outside the envelope of variability of the last 1000 years.” Even more telling, prior to the last millennium they report “there were 72 decades warmer than the present one, in which mean temperatures were 1.0 to 1.5°C warmer.” In fact, they found that “during two intervals (~1300 BP and ~3360 BP) centennial average temperatures were nearly 1.0°C warmer (-28.9°C) than the present decade.”

    • Kerryman

      Any questions?

  • Kerryman

    How about that huge chunk of the Antartic Ice Shelf about to break off? Yeah, we are in trouble and people who think like Gelernter are part of the problem. I think you have to have your head buried in the ground to not recognize that man has a part in climate change, or else, you just want to be obstinate and different.

    • yaleyeah

      Because of underwater geothermal activity. Other parts of Antarctica are adding ice and have been since the 80’s

  • yaleyeah

    For those who said it was fake news — it is not. A high level whistleblower has come forward and admitted the Obama admin lied about climate change. Obama should be tried and jailed for this.