Been away too long! Quite a few things have been going on, will try to get caught up with them.
I’ve been following the Mann / Steyn war pretty much since it began. The most recent twist is that Steyn, proving that Mann should really have listened to me when he had the chance, has put out a new book, “A Disgrace To The Profession”: The World’s Scientists – in their own words – on Michael E. Mann.
I’m eagerly awaiting my copy. The book – which consists of comments by various leading climate scientists on what they think of Mann and his ludicrous stick – dovetails nicely with my own intellectual path on this subject.
I first got into the subject of Mann and the Stick when it was being loudly trumpeted that Mann’s hockey stick had been proved by National Academy of Sciences. Looking at what the Academy actually reported, this turned out to be misleading. The Academy clearned Mann of deliberate falsification, but concluded the stick was a pretty shaky piece of science. Mann seemed to agree.
Then came the beginning of the Steyn lawsuit. I was torn. On the one hand, I have a lot of respect for Steyn; on the other hand, I hated – still hate – seeing accusations of scientific dishonesty made lightly. I was also utterly unimpressed by Mann lying about his Nobel prize.
Then I found out about his habit of bullying other researchers, and generally being a megalomaniacal windbag, and was serially dishonest about, e.g., whether he’d been exonerated by different groups. Even so, I was not willing to accuse Mann of scientific dishonesty.
Then I found out what some other scientists were saying…
Things like this, for example, from David Rind:
Concerning the hockey stick: what Mike Mann continually fails to understand, and no amount of references will solve, is that there is practically no reliable tropical data for most of the time period, and without knowing the tropical sensitivity, we have no way of knowing how cold (or warm) the globe actually got. I’ve made the comment to Mike several times, but it doesn’t seem to get across.
Oh, but it does, it does… When pressed on the subject by the National Academy, in public, Mann couldn’t get it quickly enough:
Mann says that he is “very happy” with the committee’s findings, and agrees with the core assertion that more must be done to reduce uncertainties in earlier periods. “We have very little long-term information on the Southern Hemisphere and large parts of the ocean,
This is just so typical of a bully. Vicious and bluff when he can get away with it, obsequeous and grovelling when he can’t.
So, looking back over the last several years, it’s interesting the way my attitudes have shifted. Initially I thought that this whole thing would be a discredit to climate science and wished that Mann hadn’t started it. Now, I think that Mann’s public humiliation and discredit is probably one of the best things that can happen for the field, and that Steyn deserves credit for making it happen.
Some time ago, a commentator here summarized my position as believing that global warming is real and manmade and thinking that Mann is a fraud, and added that this must be unique. I agreed. I wouldn’t now – not because my position has changed, but because it appears that I’m in a much larger group than anyone has suspected.
Is this, perhaps, the reason not a single amicus brief was field on Mann’s behalf? Perhaps a field that he has abused can’t wait to be rid of him.
Of course, not everyone sees it that way. David Appell, who sometimes pop up on this blog to say something silly before sloping off, had the following to say:
We’re supposed to think that a blogger known mostly for his Islamophobia somehow disproved and dismissed all the independent mathematical work by Ammann and Wahl, Tingley and Huybers (and again in 2013), Marcott et al, and PAGES 2k — the latter a huge, comprehensive paper written by over six dozen scientists?
David should really not try that crap as long as I’m around. As I went into some detail, the PAGES2K reconstruction looks little-to-nothing like the hockey stick. That is especially true if you look at the individual, continental, reconstruction on which it is based:
Also, please let me repost the consensus reproduction of climate proxies, which includes the work that Mann does when he can be held to account by competent scientists:
Appell also writes as follows:
As I wrote, the hockey stick result is obvious, since it’s based on some simple observations and simple physics
Really? Simple observations and simple physics are all that it takes to perfectly understand an entire planet, with all of its complex systems and feedbacks, across thousands of years?
This is just plain piffle. There wouldn’t routinely be papers in Science and Nature on the subject if it was simple.
This sort of shady half-truth and intellectual intimidation is Mann’s legacy. Steyn deserves full credit if, even unintentionally, he provides the explosion that brings all this down.