Tag Archives: Michael Mann

Found In Translation: internat’l reax to the Hughes et al. Shenanigans paper (in press)

Begging your indulgence of my freshman German and schoolgirl French, let me belatedly give you a taste of what a couple of foreign outlets have to say about the upcoming blockbuster HBM’15.

First but not least, though: our thanks to ever-perceptive reader Sarmange for the observation that,

The Hockey stick is evidently a basic form in Nature (the magazine and the universe alike), like spirals, the golden section, all the geometric figures you can get from the conic sections, like circles, parabolas and hyperbolas…

masthead Le-Monde-newspaper-logoIn what is being called the last nail in the coffin of global-warming incredulisme, a new study purports to find a roughly hockey-stick-shaped temperature signal without using any fraud.

News of the finding comes as a relief to Dr Michael Mann, whose much maligned 1998 hockey stick—the original and best—has come in for much maligning by the forces of denialisme over the years. He is currently being dragged through multiple countries’ legal systems by climate defamers, an ordeal to which he would much prefer a quick, out-of-court dénouement.

“Litigation is a waste of time I should be spending on frontier science. At this point I’d settle for a sincere, soul-searching apology from the Canadian race,” says Mann.

“Not for my sake, so much as for the benefit of the people watching them apologise to me,” adds the renowned tree physiologist [sic], who considers the public to be “the real victims” of the damage America’s northern neighbour has done to his good name.

In a notoriously contentious science, one thing’s for sure: the new article will leave négateurs of the Earth’s climate no room to manoeuvre.

Accusations of paranoia and secretiveness—probably orchestrated by industry-linked attack blogs—have forced Mann to retreat behind the siege mentality of a recluse. His contact with the public is now limited to the occasional Tweet per day, a full-page letter to the New York Times when absolutely necessary, guest spots on American raconteur Bill Maher’s show, a bestselling book about himself and of course scientific pressers like today’s, which couldn’t be avoided.

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Hockey Stick exonerated. Again.

As you probably know, leading scientist Malcolm Hughes held a press conference today to announce a game-changing result in paleoclimatology.

Flanked by coauthors Ray Bradley and Michael Mann, Hughes said that thanks to new, better data, they’d finally succeeded in approximating a ‘hockey stick’ curve without the use of cheating—putting paid at last to denialist claims that the iconic temperature-reconstruction is somehow ‘fraudulent.’

Hughes et al. have written up their findings in HBM2015, due out next month. Here’s what the lesser outlets are saying about it.

masthead NYTThe instantly-recognizable “hockey stick” graph made its debut in MBH’98, a seminal article by scientists Michael Mann, Raymond Bradley and Malcolm Hughes that’s been plagued by suspicions of monkey business ever since it was published last century.

That accusation, according to the authors of a new study, “is irrelevant.”

It turns out jiggery-pokery isn’t necessary. Even without it, you can still get “essentially” the correct, hoccobacilliform curve for historic temperatures, explained Dr Malcolm Hughes at a media conference today. That’s the take-home conclusion of a paper Hughes authored with colleagues Ray Bradley and Michael Mann, which goes to print next month under the title Millennial Climate Reconstructions are Robust to the Addition or Removal of Shenanigans.

After eliminating any disreputable or disingenuous steps involved in producing the original graph, said the authors, they found it was still possible to get “just about as good a hockey-stickish result as most recent studies”—and all without straying an inch from accepted climatological practices.

The finding is just the latest in almost two decades of independent vindications of the work of Mann, Bradley and Hughes in 1998.

Lead author Hughes said he hopes the new facts will silence once and for all the ‘skeptics’ who allege—vocally if not outright vehemently—that the disturbing diagram presented in MBH’98 is necessarily the product of sleight of hand.

But one coauthor, Dr Mann, failed to share his optimism. He interrupted Dr Hughes to say that in his experience deniers, as they’re technically known, seldom learn from their mistakes. A roomful of journalists tittered in sympathy.

Today’s revelation won’t be official until it comes out in the November issue of Sap, a journal widely regarded as the Bible of dendroclimatology. But because of the extraordinary public interest in the findings—a function of the sheer urgency of the climate issue in general—the researchers decided it would be unethical to wait. This morning’s event was their way of giving the world as much notice as possible, as far away as possible from the noisy scrutiny of self-appointed critics.

Science-by-press-release is frowned on in normal fields of inquiry, but such are the existential ramifications of global warming theory—and the toxic counterarguments of its doubters—that the practice has increasingly become a necessary evil for climate scientists.

Which doesn’t mean they have to like it. Hughes, Bradley and Mann weren’t entirely comfortable with today’s publicity, and it showed. Throughout their remarks they had the resentful, almost haughty bearing of pure intellectuals dragged into the political spotlight against their will. We’d rather be in the lab—said their petulant mien—enriching human knowledge by discovering the next killer argument against hockey-stick denial.

Dr Raymond

One of the two non-lead authors of HBM2015; likely Raymond S. “Ray” Bradley, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Geosciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

masthead nature copyHockey sticks seem to be popping up everywhere!

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A prestige press classic: Science historian Fred Pearce on the unhidden story of the ‘decline’

From a story by Fred Pearce—Dendroclimatologists blame industrial emissions for the sudden inability of dendroclimatology to measure the sudden climate change dendroclimatologists blame on industrial emissions—which  first appeared in the science pages of The Guardian:

No man’s proxy

But why the decline? What was behind this sudden, obviously unprecedented, divergence?

Using common sense, Mann, Jones and colleagues worked it out:

Things are going fine, botanically, for thousands of years. Then one day during the Kennedy administration, a new chemical (its precise identity still subject to debate) emitted by the pollution industry makes previously-compliant bristlecone pines fly into a tantrum and reject the science of bristlecone pines. The irritated individuals—some of the oldest living life forms on Earth—dedicate themselves, from the organelle level up, to a vendetta against peer-reviewed botany that continues to this day.

To hell with the literature on growth rings, MXD and the “proper” way to respond when the temperature changes, they thought. They were here, keeping their ghostly vigil over the American desert, when Moses first experienced the thrill of taking a life, and they were sick of letting ivory-tower dendro geeks 1% their age say when to decline, incline, submit or deviate.

After all, this wasn’t the Middle Ages anymore.

They were no man’s proxy. They had too much self-respect.

bristlecone 9

Twisted science: Bristlecone pines are “straight like denier logic,” quips Dr Michael E. Mann, whose PhD in physics enables him to extract “rings” from these miracles of evolution.

News of the physiological mutiny spread throughout the brotherhood of bristlecones like a shot (at least by Ent standards), thanks to the well-known, centuries-old, mainstream science of ‘teleconnection.’ Don’t be misled by the New Agey voodoo-science name: ‘teleconnection’ is no figment of Dr Mann’s imagination, no pseudoscientific deus ex machina born of a perfect storm of ambition, career panic and unscrupulousness. Far from it. You’ll find ‘teleconnection,’ of trees, in the index of any decent college-level Intro to Biology.

The long march through the literature: First steps

Eager to share this explanation with their colleagues—and subject it to the scrutiny of peer-reviewed scientific examination on the off chance that there was a minor flaw somewhere in their thinking—Mann and his collaborators had soon submitted a paper about the divergence.

Alas, replied the editors of prestige glossies like Nature, Science and the trade rag Sap, the thesis was too self-explanatorily true for its own good. An arboreal Internet; a xerosphere convulsed by trophic revolt; an unknown industrial byproduct that continues to sicken the oldest living species on Earth, and the government that allows it to happen? Yes, yes, all eminently plausible.

But where’s the hook? There doesn’t seem enough “new” here to justify a whole paper. Perhaps it’s more of a letters-to-the-editor job, they suggest.

That’s what Mann, Jones and subauthors try next. But it’s like flaying a baby. Their baby. They’d have to find thousands of words of fat to trim—and Mann isn’t in the habit of writing fat. Every word had a job. It was there for a reason: to feed its family. Michael Mann can’t stand to put a single hard-working American word out on the street, and he’ll be damned if he’ll do it to thousands.

This excerpt was reprinted with the author’s protest. —BK

World-class Facility Will Study How Climate Denier Thinks

“Read my lips,” climatologist Michael Mann asked a standing-room-only audience at Australia’s University of Sydney today.

He’d had us at hello, but the reverent hush of the Arrhenian Auditorium now became pin-drop silence.

“Real scientists don’t hide things,” said Mann at last, demonstrating in just five words why he’s now the hottest ticket in the rarefied, and lucrative, world of after-dinner climate-war rhetoric.

748640main_L050713_michael_mann_1000bIt was an Enlightenment cri de coeur that not only left a lump in every throat, but might have been the official theme of the day’s proceedings. We had come here from all walks of academia, every imaginable postdoctoral discipline and at least three ethnicities, but would leave inflamed by a single truth: that an existential struggle is playing out in real time, a civil war between science and unreason, glasnost and obscurantism, epistemology and agnotology, expediency and truth.

Dr Mann, who lists his area of expertise as science, was the guest of honor at today’s no-expenses-spared opening of the Wei-Hock Soon Studies Institute. The University of Sydney hopes the $20m centre will become a global hub for the investigation of the politics, ethics, philosophy, finances and activities of the eponymous climate contrarian.

Mr Soon—better known by the nom de guerre ‘Willie’—is defined by Wikipedia as “an American solar physics ‘expert’ who vociferously and often vocally disagrees with what mainstream climate science says about the science of our climate, has never been shy about his personal partisan politics, yet seems to be rather less forthcoming when it comes to the question of who pays him, how much they pay him, and what conclusions they pay him to reach.”

Read the full article by becoming a CN Inner Circle member. No need to give your credit card details—simply pass a battery of ideological litmus tests.

Michael Mann survives vicious subway attack

Both sides of the climate debate have condemned an attack on Dr Michael E Mann that took place last night as the scientist returned from court to his Wash., DC hotel.

Fellow Metro passengers described the assault on Mann and his work as savage, unprovoked and “ignoring multiple lines of evidence.”

Security camera footage obtained by Climate Nuremberg shows two men approach Dr Mann and strike up a conversation in bad faith. The video reveals the sickening moment when their Gish gallop of disingenuous talking-points finally overpowers the scientist’s objections.

The men wear baseball caps, blocking the camera’s view of their faces, but Dr Mann has said they were “flawed” in appearance.

Police believe the assault on his science was motivated by an inability to accept its implications.

They have praised the scientist as a “dream victim/witness” for the detailed description he gave of his assailants’ conservative politics, which “really narrows down the suspect pool in a liberal community like [Washington, DC].”

Arrests are expected soon.

Dr Mann reportedly blames himself for using the Washington Metro, a partially underground rail network, during a well-known Subterranean War On Science. Although Mann’s university provides academics with taxi vouchers for travel to and from scheduled court appearances, the respected paleoclimatologist is famous for preferring low-emission public transport whenever possible.

Hate to be a grammar Nazi, but…

Guess what else denier Mark Steyn denies? Semantics, apparently:

I know, I know: Steyn didn’t write this himself.

Oh and, as they say: Retweeting Is Not Endorsement. But let’s ignore that (because everyone knows it’s bullshit).

It’s bad enough to compare a Nobel-Prize-winning scientist metaphorically to some animal on the Serengeti. I’m sure Dr Mann would never do that to his critics—and certainly not to himself.

But if you insist on zoomorphisms, you could at least consult a reputable dictionary.

The phrase is, “lies in the weeds.” It’s an intransitive verb. Not “lays in the weeds!”

The word is LIES. He LIES.

Sheesh. (And Steyn is supposed to be a wordsmith.) Mann lies.