On Tuesday, a public-radio environmental-news show called Allegheny Front - presumably one of those "front groups" Michael E Mann is always going on about - hosted an ask-Dr-Mann-anything Twitter conversation with the Supreme Climate Ayatollah himself. Jennifer Szweda Jordan, host and managing editor, got things going with a tough question for Dr Mann:
.@MichaelEMann As a dad, how do you talk to your child/ren about climate change? #AFClimate @AFClimate
As the comments below Ms Szweda Jordan's question and Dr Mann's response suggest, this kind of fatuous pap has few takers these days. Unfortunately, it's the only question Michael Mann knows how to answer, so shortly thereafter he began his usual frantic blocking of any Tweeter minded to disagree with him. On the other hand, he did make a joke. After complaints from the climate crowd about hostile questions, Kevin Clark Tweeted:
"@ACurtright: An unfortunate amount of empty tweeting going on. @MichaelEMann then pls sign off #afclimate" THE WHOLE SUNJECT IS EMPTY
To which Dr Mann amusingly responded:
@KevinCl00772814 @ACurtright "Sunject"? Is that a new form of solar-based transportation fuel. Like the out-of-the-box thinking! #AFClimate
Which got a laugh from KH:
@MichaelEMann @KevinCl00772814 @ACurtright OMG, did you guys all see how he made fun of a typo?? AHAHAHAHAH! He's the best!!
He'll be here all millennium, folks! It's Open Mike Night. Not to be confused with Open Up Your Data, Mike night, coming soon to a District of Columbia courtroom near you.
~Along the way, someone asked why Mann kept passing himself off as a Nobel Prize winner, to which the tireless Jennifer Szweda Jordan scoffed:
Is there perhaps a more reputable source than a "one man global content provider"?
So we sent along a link to Charles Cooke's phone call to the Nobel Institute, who said of Mann:
No, no. He has never won the Nobel prize.
But Ms Szweda Jordan complained about the audio quality of the telephone call, so we sent along a link to a statement by Geir Lundestad, Director of the Nobel Institute in Oslo:
Michael Mann has never been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
After which Jennifer Szweda Jordan ceased her scoffing, and made no further comment on Mann's false claim to be a Nobel Laureate - a claim that far too many of her public radio colleagues have fallen for and recycled. I certainly wouldn't expect Ms Szweda Jordan to cease scoffing at a "one man global content provider", but it would be nice if she were to take a similarly scofftastic attitude to the easily checkable hooey peddled by the likes of Michael Mann, instead of asking him questions like how he talks to his French poodle about the dangers of climate change. In the specific case of the fake Nobel, I think she owes her listeners a clarification.
Misrepresentation of credentials is a serious fraud in science and academia, but the Nobel Fauxreate stuff has been essential to Mann's promotion of himself in recent years. Take away the self-conferred Nobel and you're left with a one-stick pony whose principal if not sole contribution to science has been assailed by many of the most respected scientists on earth. That's why turning Al Gore and the IPCC's 2007 Nobel Peace Prize into his Nobel Peace Prize was so necessary to Mann. By 2007, even the IPCC had backed off the hockey stick. Appropriating their prize was Mann's way of maintaining his prestige even as his slapdash science became an embarrassment (as we'll come to below). You'll notice, too, as in that public radio headline, how easily that "Nobel Peace Prize-winning scientist" elides into "Nobel Prize-winning scientist", as if Mann is up there in the same pantheon as Einstein, Rutherford and the Curies.
Jennifer Szweda Johnson seems like a sincere and thoughtful person. She should reflect how damaging it is to real science to collude in Dr Mann's serial misrepresentation of himself.
~As several scientists have said to me, as we go about talking to potential witnesses for the trial, the real scandal of Mann's hockey stick is not the blade but the shaft. In Orwell's words, he who controls the present controls the past, and he who controls the past controls the future. In that sense, the hockey stick is a classically Orwellian act: cooling the past to make the present and future appear even hotter. That's easy to do with the year 1300, but lately there's been some evidence to suggest that, because the actual climate has spent the entire 21st century refusing to follow the alarmist models and broil the planet, NOAA and NASA have had to resort to cooling the recent past - ie, not the pre-thermometer millennium-old past but the weather-station recorded-temperature living-memory past. Judith Curry has a shrewd piece on the matter, along with a follow-up that includes this definitive response from the NCDC:
Our algorithm is working as designed.
~A few days ago, apropos the IRS and other scandals, I explained why I'm having to fund my pushback against Dr Mann the way I am. Joseph Dooley has some thoughts of his own on that, but he ends by quoting this statement from 1999:
"In the U.S. there has been little temperature change in the past 50 years, the time of rapidly increasing greenhouse gases — in fact, there was a slight cooling throughout much of the country." –James Hansen, NASA climatologist, 1999
That statement is no longer operative. NASA has spent much of the 21st century chilling the first two-thirds of the 20th century.
~There's been a flurry of new commentary on the Mann vs Steyn case in recent days. Jay Ambrose devoted his syndicated column to it, so it may well have shown up in your daily paper, with local editing variations: In The Columbus Dispatch he refers to me as "Mark Steyn, an unbelievably talented and thoughtful writer", but in The Tallahassee Democrat I am reduced to merely "Mark Steyn, a talented and thoughtful writer". No doubt some paper somewhere has trimmed it to "Mark Steyn, an unbelievable writer". At any rate, Mr Ambrose says:
[Mann] himself has been fiercely antagonistic toward scientists on different pages, referring to the exceptional Judith Curry of the Georgia Institute of Technology as a "serial climate misinformer."
You would think someone dishing it out that way could take it, but a chief thrust of the Mann suit is that Steyn, in a blog for National Review, used the word fraudulent to describe some of Mann's work. There are lots of researchers backing Mann up, one judge says, as if that legitimizes the suit. There are also researchers who seriously question his work, and the law says the suit can go on only if Steyn was in doubt. Why would anyone assume he was?
The "one judge" Mr Ambrose mentions is one Natalia Combs-Greene, an incompetent jurist who has since departed from the case. Judge Combs-Greene took at face value Mann's fraudulent claims to have been exonerated by many eminent bodies on both sides of the Atlantic, claims he will not be able to support at trial. Indeed, it is striking how few of his fellow scientists are willing to defend Mann. Nevertheless, over at The Daily Kos one excitable blogger cites Mr Ambrose's column as evidence of how even my defenders understand how thin my case is:
Ultimately, though, Ambrose damns Steyn while defending him by pointing out that "a significant number of researchers have agreed with [Mann's] results." So even someone defending the right to claim that the hockey stick graph is fraudulent admits to scientific consensus on the issue. That can't bode well for Steyn.
Oh, I don't know. As to the "scientific consensus", Mann and his hockey stick have been called "scanty", "sloppy", "sh*tty", "rubbish", "a disgrace to the profession", "dubious", "invalidated" and "just bad science" by his fellow scientists, including the climatologist who came up with the term "global warming" back in the Seventies. I'm confident that, when we come to court, there'll be at least as many eminent scientists on my side of the witness list as on Michael E Mann's.
Undeterred, in The Washington Monthly D R Tucker takes The Daily Kos' analysis of Jay Ambrose's column and extrapolates further. The Republican Party will have no credibility until it disowns me:
You can't help wondering if Levin and his fellow "Room to Grow" contributors avoided the climate issue because they didn't want to be rhetorically whipped by the likes of Steyn... Unfortunately, by refusing to confront the irrational voices on the right regarding this issue, the "Room to Grow" folks expose themselves as little more than timid talkers.
When the "Room to Grow" contributors are truly willing to challenge the Mark Steyns of the world and defend courageous scientists like Michael Mann, then we'll know that they can be taken seriously.
D R Tucker is a devoted Mann-child who shares his master's terror of dissenting voices and blocks those he disapproves of from reTweeting his Tweets lest they attract adverse comment. So I can't send him a Tweet asking him this: Why should Republicans or anybody else "defend courageous scientists like Michael Mann" when so few of his fellow scientists are willing to defend him?
Here, for example, is a gentleman called John Maxstadt writing to the letters page of The Laredo Morning Times:
But Steyn has no scientific credentials of any kind, and the basis for his accusation of fraud is that he doesn't like Mann's scientific conclusions.
Science is a matter of fact, not a matter of opinion.
It is not an open marketplace where one person's interpretation is as good as another's.
In science, you have to back your claims with facts, as Mann has done and Steyn has not done.
This is the only argument that Mann's defenders have - a classic appeal to authority: he's a scientist, and you're not. In that case, where are the scientists prepared to defend Mann's integrity? Why does an "appeal to authority" have to rely on John Maxstadt and D R Tucker?
Here's the problem for the likes of Mr Maxstadt and Ms Szweda Johnson:
To believe that Mann is right, you have to believe that the developer of the first satellite global temperature record, and the winner of the International Meetings on Statistical Climatology achievement award, and the co-editor of The Encyclopedia of Atmospheric Sciences, and the co-editor of Forecast Verification: A Practitioner's Guide in Atmospheric Science, and the co-founder of the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project, and a member of the UN Secretary-General's High Level Group on Sustainable Energy, and the Professor of Meteorology at the Meteorological Institute of Berlin Free University, and the Professor of Climate and Culture at King's College, London, and the Professor of the Economics of Climate Change at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and the former president of the Royal Statistical Society, and the former director of research at the Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute, and the director of the Center for Climatic Research at the University of Delaware, and three professors at the Department of Geology and Geophysics at the University of Utah, and the scientist at Columbia's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory who coined the term "global warming", and dozens more are all wrong, every single one of them. Mann is right and they're all wrong.
Whereas to believe that Mann is a "scanty" "sloppy" and "sh*tty" self-inflating purveyor of "rubbish", only Mann has to be wrong.
~If you'd like to support Mark's pushback against Dr Mann by buying his free-speech book or our Steyn vs the Stick exclusive trial merchandise or a SteynOnline gift certificate, which can be redeemed for Mark's new book later this year, please visit the Steyn store.