My new book is officially released on Tuesday, which means if you pre-order it on Kindle before the big day it will magically be waiting for you on your thingummajig before you even wake up in the morning. How cool is that? On the more mundane hard-copy front, we're already burning through the third printing. I'll be doing a little bit of light book-plugging through the week starting north of the border with the legendary Tommy Schnurmacher on 800 CJAD in Montreal on Monday, and south of the border with Sean Hannity on Fox News on Tuesday. Look for full details in our On the Air box at top right.
I wrote the book because climate mullah Michael E Mann attempted to sue me into silence, and it's necessary to let like-minded bullies know that that doesn't work. So my personal favorite quote on the book so far comes from Laura Rosen Cohen at Canada's Rebel Media in a piece on how fighting back works:
So, let's get to Episode 3 of my trend - Mark Steyn's new book: A Disgrace to the Profession:The World's Scientists - In Their Own Words - OnMichael E Mann, His Hockey Stick And Their Damage To Science, Volume One.
This is a must-read for many reasons.
First of all, it is an entire book of pushback. An entire book.
It's not punching back twice as hard, or even thrice as hard.
It's punching back something like eleventy bazillion gazillion times as hard.
It's probably the longest, funniest, most savvily organized and meticulous "screw you" in the history of Western literature. It's probably a new genre. I don't know of any precedent for a literary vehicle of this kind.
Instead of waiting for the opportunity to flush more of his hard-earned money down the toilet, waiting for the sclerotic US justice system and Michael Mann to crush him into pulp, using their process as punishment, Steyn has gone on the offensive.
It would have been easy to write a book in which I gleefully insult Michael E Mann's hockey stick and the rest of his science for 300 pages. But, given that his entire case rests on an appeal to authority (including false appeals to authority, like his fraudulent claim to be a Nobel Laureate), I decided to take him at his word and find out what other authorities - other scientists, bigshots with letters after their names, like PhD and FRS and whatnot - thought of his act. So, just to clarify that money quote, it's not just me saying "Screw you!" to Mann, but lots of other people, too. At Watts Up With That, the most widely-read climate website in the world, the petrophysicist Andy May has written a detailed review of the book and its scientific arguments:
Mark Steyn has written a wonderful new book on Dr. Michael Mann's hockey stick and the controversy surrounding it. It is difficult to overstate the significance or impact of Mann's Hockey Stick... The Hockey Stick appeared in Figure 1 of the Summary for Policymakers of the third IPCC Assessment Report (called "TAR" published in 2001) and it was prominently displayed in Al Gore's movie "An Inconvenient Truth." As the book clearly shows, both the graph and the movie have been thoroughly discredited by hundreds of scientists who have attempted and failed to reproduce Michael Mann's hockey stick using his data and other proxy data...
Steyn's book documents the problems with the hockey stick, its use by the IPCC without proper peer review or validation, and the attempt to cover up its problems. It does this artfully using the words of the scientists, both "alarmists" and "deniers" and those in between. The list of quoted scientists is huge and includes Mann's co-authors and others who supported him even after the paper and his hockey stick were shown to be wrong and perhaps, fraudulent...
As you can see in the book many prominent scientists in the IPCC knew the hockey stick was "crap" to quote Professor Simon Tett, Chair of Earth System Dynamics, University of Edinburgh... And they knew it as early as 2001, but no one said anything.
Andy May concludes:
This is an outstanding and important book and I highly recommend it.
Do read the full review. It lays out the full impact of what he calls "this appalling chapter in the history of science".
Duane Hershberger also likes the book:
Highly recommended: Mark Steyn's "A Disgrace to the Profession"... It's an exposé of, arguably, the biggest scientific fraud since Piltdown; and, indisputably, the most consequential.
Using the words of scientists who strongly believe AGW is true and of those who are more skeptical, it lays out a convincing case that there are differences of opinion among scientists on AGW, if not so much about Michael Mann.
If you (mistakenly) conflate Mann's agenda with the discipline of climate science, you will like the book still less than even Mann's "allies" like him. That doesn't mean you shouldn't read it: If you are concerned about erosion of public support for "doing something" about AGW, you should read it so you can help climate science regain a modicum of respectability. As long as Mann is left to hijack the discussion, threaten the careers of distinguished scientists and subvert the peer review process, it is unlikely reasonable people will find any common ground on the topic.
Mann has been able to force the entire discipline of climate science into a corner where failure to defend his work is equated with failure to defend, in Mann's words, "the cause." A strange way for a scientist to think. If there is a single principle that distinguishes science from religion it is that scientific theories are falsifiable. Mann is pushing the religion of Mann, not the science of climate study.
The damage to science itself is profound. The damage to freedom of speech is, perhaps, even worse.
Duane Hershberger recommends that you should read "A Disgrace to the Profession" "whatever your position on AGW". I hope that happens, and look forward to hearing what supporters of the AGW thesis have to say about it.
However, to say something about "A Disgrace to the Profession" you do have to read it - and so far I'm being subjected to endless posts from "science journalist" David Appell attempting to demolish the book without even picking it up. His original excuse was that he was too impoverished to afford even a steeply discounted copy from Amazon, but since then several readers, wearying of his increasingly inept shots in the dark, have offered to buy the book for him - only for him to refuse their kind offers. Appell has now moved on to picking fights with the scientists quoted in it, starting ill-advisedly with Oxford physicist Jonathan Jones:
In the wake of Mark Steyn's book on Michael Mann, Appell has written to Jonathan Jones enquiring about the latter's comments on the Hockey Stick and the results have been written up in a blog post here. It's hilarious.
For example, Jones observes that bristlecones are not reliable temperature proxies and that principal components analysis requires data to be centred, before following up with similar scientific objections to a couple of other papers that Appell has cited in support of Mann. Appell's response to all of these objections is, in total:
'This is clearly just a lot of hand-waving.'
Read the rest of it too. The guy is away with the fairies.
But Mr Appell does illustrate how far the see-no-evil monkeys are invested in their magical fairyland. After a decade and a half flying high on Mann's wretched stick, he simply cannot face the thought of conceding that this was, to reprise Andy May, an "appalling chapter in the history of science".
"A Disgrace to a Profession" is available, personally autographed by yours truly, exclusively from SteynOnline. But it's also in print and eBook at Amazon US and worldwide. Hope you can join me somewhere along the plug circuit during the coming week.
~There are other ways to support Mark's side in the upcoming Mann vs Steyn trial of the century, if you're so inclined:
You can buy a gift certificate starting at $25 (and soaring way up from there), for yourself or your friends and family. The gift certificates have no expiration date, so if, in ten years' time, your favorite nephew has a sudden burning desire for $100 worth of Mark's disco CD, it'll still be valid. On the other hand, if you want to buy a certificate and sit on it until Mark wins the case, that works, too.
The gift certificates are available online here. Alternatively, US and Canadian customers can make a telephone purchase by calling (866) 799-4500 toll free from 8am to 3pm Eastern time on weekdays.