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Meanwhile, Oxford physicist and Guardian science writer David Robert Grimes comes up with a scientific explanation as to why people who disagree with him disagree with him:
It should be no surprise that the voters and politicians opposed to climate change tend to be of a conservative bent, keen to support free-market ideology. This is part of a phenomenon known as motivated reasoning, where instead of evidence being evaluated critically, it is deliberately interpreted in such a way as to reaffirm a pre-existing belief, demanding impossibly stringent examination of unwelcome evidence while accepting uncritically even the flimsiest information that suits one's needs.
But enough about you; let's talk about me. I'm grateful to Bob, a longtime contributor to Mark's Mailbox, for drawing my attention to that Guardian column. He adds:
Glad the irrational basis for skepticism has been cleared up. Finally. And to think, here I thought it was "motivation" to weigh facts and evidence! Sheesh.
Which reminds me of Prince Charles' latest nod in the direction of true scientific inquiry. It's not what Charles says, which, as in this case, always leans toward rational inquiry. It's the place he's visiting in the picture: Maesyronnen Chapel in Wales. Turns out, the chapel was used by a sect called Noncomformists--more "motivated reasoning," no doubt--who secretly held services in a nearby barn for a few decades in the 1600s until the Act of Toleration allowed them to hold services in the chapel proper.
Flash forward to the First Church of Settled Science, circa 2014. Ya got a problem, we ain't got no Act of Toleration. So lose the "motivated reasoning" and find a pew.
Indeed. The First Church of Settled Science has declared that the Doctrine of Alarmism cannot be refuted: Whatever happens - hot, cold, the 16-year warming "pause" (as it's now discreetly known) - all is proof of "climate change" - or, as David Robert Grimes would say, all "is deliberately interpreted in such a way as to reaffirm a pre-existing belief" that is the only belief you're allowed to hold. In Michael E Mann's recent New York Times op-ed, he borrowed, revealingly enough, the watchword of the post-9/11 security state - "If you see something, say something" - and attempted to pass it off as a call for chaps like him to go bare-knuckled into the ring of public discourse. But his first paragraph betrays that his understanding of the phrase is no different from Homeland Security's; it's a form of policing:
A fringe minority of our populace clings to an irrational rejection of well-established science. This virulent strain of anti-science infects the halls of Congress, the pages of leading newspapers and what we see on TV, leading to the appearance of a debate where none should exist.
"A debate where none should exist". Why shouldn't it exist? And, if it's "infected" the national legislature of the global superpower and leading media outlets, what makes it the view of "a fringe minority" other than that you label it as such? Why does Mann's definition of "anti-science" now embrace not just know-nothing blowhards like yours truly but also scientists such as Judith Curry, Richard Muller, Richard Lindzen, etc? Garth Paltridge was Australia's chief atmospheric research scientist but because he disagrees with Big Climate alarmism, a man who has devoted his life to science is suddenly "anti-science"? And to enforcers like Dr Mann this is all so obvious that no debate "should exist" - or be permitted to exist.
You should always listen carefully when someone is telling you to shut up - whether it's the Organization for Islamic Co-Operation demanding an international law against "blasphemy", or Michael Mann demanding that his own cult can likewise not be questioned.
If you want a quick prĂ©cis of where this intolerance and insecurity have led Dr Mann, read Larry Bell's piece in Forbes on "Global Warming's Tree-Ring Circus" - which very phrase Mann is suing me over. Mr Bell lays out how seriously Cardinal Hockey-Stick takes his peculiar and unscientific belief that no debate can be permitted:
After presenting these unwelcome results [of tree rings showing supposed temperature decline after 1961] to Mann and others, Briffa was reportedly put under pressure to recalculate them. He did, and the decline became even greater. As recorded in ClimateGate e-mails, this presented what Mann referred to as a "conundrum" in that the late 20th century decline indicated by Briffa would be perceived by IPCC as "diluting the message", that there was a "problem", and that it posed a "potential distraction/detraction".
Gosh, where's David Robert Grimes when you need him? It sounds like - what's the phrase? - "instead of evidence being evaluated critically, it is deliberately interpreted in such a way as to reaffirm a pre-existing belief, demanding impossibly stringent examination of unwelcome evidence while accepting uncritically even the flimsiest information that suits one's needs." "Motivated reasoning" up the wazoo:
Mann went on to say that the warming skeptics would have a "field day" if Briffa's declining temperature reconstruction was shown, and that he would "hate to be the one" to give them "fodder".
So he didn't.
Of particular interest was a request from Phil Jones asking Mann to delete e-mail records being sought under the UK's Freedom of Information Act and to get a colleague, Eugene Wahl, to do the same. Mann had then replied: "I'll contact Gene about this ASAP".
PSU investigators never chose to interview Wahl who later testified to a federal inspector general that he did receive Mann's message and complied with the deletions. Since there are no records to prove otherwise, everyone is asked to take Mann's word that he didn't do the same.
When Penn State "investigated" Michael Mann, they did so by interviewing him for a grand total of two hours. When Dr Mann is deposed for the forthcoming trial, it will be for rather longer. Likewise, when he takes the witness stand.
Meanwhile, as we scope out our monkey trial, your ongoing support is most gratefully received.
BONUS! Viscount Monckton thinks the Prince of Wales' sneer at "deniers" renders him unfit to be a constitutional monarch, and invites him to contemplate "the idea of debating on equal terms with your fellow countrymen". As appalling as such a notion would be to His Royal Highness, it would be even more so to Dr Mann.