Last year I wrote in Canada's National Post:
Dr Mann, whatever his other gifts, is an inveterate name-caller. Consider his recent Guardian column defending his "hockey stick" from the bad case of brewer's droop it's acquired over the last 15 years of non-warming: Bjorn Lomborg, a Danish professor named (unlike Mann) by Foreign Policy as one of the "Top 100 Global Thinkers", is dismissed as "career fossil fuel industry apologist Bjorn Lomborg"; Judith Curry, a member of the National Research Council's climate research committee, winner of awards from the American Meteorological Society, and co-editor of the Encyclopedia of Atmospheric Sciences, is billed by Dr Mann as "serial climate disinformer Judith Curry..."
Today Dr Curry, chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology, acknowledges something really quite extraordinary:
With regards to climate science, IMO the key issue regarding academic freedom is this: no scientist should have to fall on their sword to follow the science where they see it leading or to challenge the consensus. I've fallen on my dagger (not the full sword), in that my challenge to the consensus has precluded any further professional recognition and a career as a university administrator. That said, I have tenure, and am senior enough to be able retire if things genuinely were to get awful for me. I am very very worried about younger scientists, and I hear from a number of them that have these concerns.
So do I. There is, in fact, a pervasive climate of fear about what will happen if one "challenges the consensus". Meanwhile, the Big Climate enforcers - including the special interests funding Mann's quintet of white-shoe lawyers - are going to extraordinary lengths to insulate that "consensus":
Tenure is an amazing privilege for academics. And now we see in the Mann/UVa case, that the establishment academics are worried about fear of embarrassment by public disclosure and fear that those who dislike their findings will conduct invasive fishing expeditions in search of a pretext to discredit them. Come on, big boy pants please. We are talking about publicly funded research, and a primary concern is supposed to be avoiding embarrassing the scientists?
And here, courtesy of Dr Curry, is our Thought for the Day:
For the past decade, scientists have come to the defense of Michael Mann, somehow thinking that defending Michael Mann is fighting against the 'war on science' and is standing up for academic freedom. It's time to let Michael Mann sink or swim on his own. Michael Mann is having all these problems because he chooses to try to muzzle people that are critical of Mann's science, critical of Mann's professional and personal behavior, and critical of Mann's behavior as revealed in the climategate emails. All this has nothing to do with defending climate science or academic freedom.
The climate science field, and the broader community of academics, have received an enormous black eye as a result of defending the hockey stick and his behavior.
When I went to war against Canada's disgusting "human rights" commissions in 2008, I was astonished to discover, very quickly, that the outrageous censorship law, Section 13, was in effect a personal law for one man. As I testified at the Parliament of Canada:
Section 13 is deeply destructive. There are some 33 million people in Canada, yet as Ezra pointed out, one individual citizen has his name on every Section 13 prosecution since 2002. I'm sure some of you are familiar with Matthew Hopkins, who in 1645 appointed himself England's Witchfinder General and went around the country hunting down witches and turning them in for the price of one pound per witch. In 2002 Richard Warman appointed himself Canada's Hatefinder General and went around the Internet hunting down so-called haters and turning them in for lucrative tax-free sums amounting to many thousands of dollars. Hatefinder Warman and his enablers at the Commission abused the extremely narrow constitutional approval given to Section 13 by the Supreme Court in the Taylor decision and instead turned it into a personal inquisition for himself and his pals.
Abolish Section 13, and life in Canada would be affected not one jot.... Its effect is entirely irrelevant to the Queen's Peace.
Parliament took my advice and abolished Section 13, and, although Richard Warman is still around, he now has to be a serial litigant and Internet dress-up Nazi on his own dime. Now it's dÃ©jÃ vu all over again: Michael Mann turns out to be the Richard Warman of climate science, a man who believes l'Ã©tat du climat, c'est moi; a man who has appointed himself Denierfinder-General with the powers to determine whether Judith Curry is an "#antiscience" witch or not. In my responses to his discovery requests a week or so back, I politely pointed out that Dr Mann is not sole proprietor of Global Warming, Inc and that (anticipating Dr Curry) this case is only about him, his stick and his corrupt employer.
It's clear that many scientists and statisticians are not comfortable defending the hockey stick, as one can well understand. But they seem to think they have to do so in order to defend "science". They don't. Richard Muller and others are right about that. Just as Canada's self-appointed Hatefinder-General was entirely irrelevant to the Queen's Peace, so the planet's self-appointed Denierfinder-General is entirely irrelevant to the cause of science. Let Michael Mann speak for Michael Mann, and scientists speak for science, wherever (as Judith Curry says) it leads them.
Read Dr Curry's whole piece, and ponder the world Mann hath made. Global Warman.