I'm in Sweden for a couple of days, threading my way between the "refugees" at the railway station. More on that anon. Nonetheless, a prudent man does not neglect book-plugging duties for long. So I see Lynne Cohen has a review of my new tome:
Michael Mann needs no introduction. He is the Yale-and-Berkley-educated physicist and mathematician, now a climatologist at Penn State University. He is also the inventor/creator/discoverer of the (in)famous hockey stick graph, what Steyn calls "the single most influential graph in climate science. It leapt from the pages of a scientific journal to the posters and slides of the transnational summits, to official government pamphlets selling the Kyoto Protocol, to a starring role on the big screen in an Oscar winning movie [An Inconvenient Truth], to the classrooms of every schoolhouse in the western world." Also, a version of the hockey stick featured prominently in the influential United Nation's 2001 Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
The hockey stick graph purports to demonstrate that, for about 900 years -- represented by the long handle lying flat -- the world experienced almost no climate variation. Then, the blade of the stick shoots straight up for about 120 years, from the start of the industrial revolution... The only problem is, the hockey stick has been almost completely discredited, which is the fundamental point of Steyn's book.
To educate readers, Steyn quotes about 150 Ph.D. scientists from every corner of the earth. He even uses the statements of a few liberal scientists who actually believe in MMGW, but who have no trouble denouncing the hockey stick... Several of the hockey stick's most obvious problems are easy to grasp. The 900-year long handle completely ignores two indisputable eras, the Medieval Warm Period, from about 950 to 1250 A.D. and the later Little Ice Age from 1300 to 1850. For proxy measures, Mann and his team used only a few trees, including one California bristlecone pine, which is certainly old, but whose rings cannot determine climate. As stated by Dr. Jeffrey Foss, author of the 2009 book Beyond Environmentalism: A philosophy of Nature: "tree rings are not a reliable proxy for temperature." After more critical analysis, Foss concluded, succinctly: "wrong tree, wrong proxy, wrong location, wrong method."
You will love the 12 chapter titles, written in Steyn's proverbial acerbic inflection, among them: "Mann is an island," "Mann of the hour," "Mann o'war," "Mann overboard," and my personal favorite, "Mann boobs."
Last week, en passant, my old boss Conrad Black revealed himself as among the increasing number of people (I'm not sure whether it's yet a 97 per cent consensus, but it will be one day) who regard Michael E Mann's hockey stick as "an infamous fraud". Mann responded:
#ClimateChange denial, thy name is convicted & imprisoned felon, #ConradBlack
It seems that #ConradBlack is the best #climatechange #denial has to offer these days.
Notice that once again Doctor Fraudpants is doing his le climat, c'est moi routine. Conrad isn't "denying" anything: he's simply stating that Mann's hockey stick is a worthless piece of garbage. And, if Conrad is "the best #climatechange #denial has to offer", that's still better than the people Mann is reduced to citing as his supporters - such as the no-name sock-puppet he enthusiastically links to as part of his creepy misogynistic obsession with Dr Judith Curry.
But, no disrespect, when it comes to dismissing Michael E Mann and his science as a worthless piece of garbage, Conrad in fact isn't the best - or at least the most qualified - on offer. Thousands of eminent scientists around the world dismiss Mann and his science as a worthless piece of garbage, which is why "A Disgrace to the Profession": The World's Scientists - in their Own Words - on Michael E Mann, his Hockey Stick, and their Damage to Science is marked "Volume One". That said, Conrad provides a trenchant prĂ©cis of both my book and the state of play legally:
Rotten though the American legal system is, and despite the fact that most of these organizations do not agree with Steyn's views on climate change (nor necessarily with Mann's either), amicus curiae briefs supporting Mark's position have been filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, the Reporters' Committee for Press Freedom, the American Society of Newspaper Editors, the Associations of American Publishers and of Alternative News Media (e.g. Village Voice), NBC Universal, Bloomberg, Time, USA Today, the Washington Post, and many other publications and groups. All condemn Mann's tactics as an assault on the free press.
As Steyn acknowledged in a blog of June 8, 2015, "I won't deny that there are days when I wished I didn't have my head in some interminable brief and could be working on my next book, or album, or on the lam holed up in a Swiss clinic awaiting the removal of my facial-construction bandages and the delivery of my new Azerbaijani passport. But the moment passes, and I can assure you I'll see this thing through â€” and I'll win." I know the feeling, aggravated as it generally is by the ambivalence of counsel about everything except collecting their foaming and proliferating invoices.
All supporters of freedom of expression, including those more alarmed at the current state of the climate than Steyn and I are (though we both are certainly concerned), should hope that he does persevere and does win. And those cajoled or dragooned into Naomi Klein's Marxist-led Leap coalition should be aware of the flimsy basis of their purported belief that the hockey stick will pastoralize and dematerialize the pecuniary society of thousands of years. Shame on Michael Mann and shame on those responsible for the tenebrous legal jungle in which he hides, and which is strangling the Sweet Land of Liberty.
But what I especially liked was Conrad's invitation to the "discredited harpy" Mann to bring it on:
Mann has sued Steyn (disclosure: a good friend of many years) for defaming him, although the civil tort of defamation, as a practical matter, has not existed in the United States since the New York Times v. Sullivan case in 1964, which required proof of intent to defame in the case of a public figure. Mark didn't write much more scornfully about Mann's scientific impersonation of Rocket Richard and Wayne Gretzky than I did, so let me be clear that in these matters Michael Mann is a sleazy charlatan, and he is welcome to try the same legal trick on me, in Canada, where there is a civil legal sanction against defamation, for which, as for much else in this country, I am grateful.
Over to you, Mikey!
Aside from Miss Cohen and Lord Black, there are other raves over at Amazon Canada:
A stunning eye opener into the closed club of climate science. Extraordinarily well researched... It should be required reading for anyone who thinks they know the current state of climate research and the so-called "settled science."
And at Amazon UK:
One after the other, eminent scientists with qualifications and distinctions far superior to those claimed by Mann, set out what is wrong with Mann's work, and why they reject it...
The book is well put together and easy to read, despite the technicalities it deals with - and it sets the scene for what promised to be a fascinating case when it finally comes to court. Which it probably will, because even if Mann withdraws his suit, Steyn has said he will pursue his counter-suit.
Steyn's followers should hold him to it, because this is now an important civil-liberties issue. And if free speech is something you care about, you should certainly read this book.
And at Amazon Australia:
Great book. I knew Mann's Hockey Stick was rubbish, but didn't realise how his own team mates were admitting it was rubbish to each other while going along with it in public. What a scam.
Funny and well written.
And finally at Amazon US:
Steyn to Mann: Take this stick and shove it (Volume 1).
"A Disgrace to the Profession" is still big on the Climatology Hit Parade, and is generously discounted at Amazon. And, if you need it in the next 90 seconds, it can be yours anywhere on the planet via Kindle or Nook.
~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.