Done a little bit more reading on the background of this, and, for all the trouble it will cause, I am suddenly glad that Mann is opening the lion cage without realising that he’s the one in the circus.
I didn’t pay much attention to that “climategate” business – my attitude was that of Dr. Plait, “the chaps have been cleared, end of story”. However, I came across the following post on Wikipedia, about the stunt that Mann pulled when one paper was published that said that the current decade was not unusually warm.
From the email leak, we find Mann saying:
“I think we have to stop considering ‘Climate Research’ as a legitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal.”
Asked about this, he made this worse:
we shouldn’t be publishing in a journal that’s activist.
Wait – one paper, one, makes this journal “activist”? I restate what I said in the previous post: one paper means nothing. Mann says that this paper is “laughable”; well, by all means go ahead and publish a paper ripping it apart. Nothing wrong with that; all part of science. As I’ve outlined previously, many times a flawed piece of initial research ends up giving rise
But this sort of shit is not. This is exactly the kind of bullshit that is not supposed to be part of science. We settle things through data and reason and data and experiments and data, data, data. Not through this sort of political claptrap.
This stuff makes me want to spit nails. Science is the one area in which we should be free of this.
And since “activist” is a term Mann can’t exactly disavow, he might want to consider this: throwing a titanic tantrum because of one paper, not even in that major a journal, that disagrees – well, how do you think that looks? Do you think that, just possibly, it plays into every stereotype of a close minded cabal, crushing anyone who dissents from the accepted order?
The hell with it and the hell with him. He’s not just dug his own pit, he’s constructed his own Circus Maximus. Unleash the wild beasts, and I hope they’re hungry.