Tom McLaughlin

A former history teacher, Tom is a columnist who lives in Lovell, Maine. His column is published in Maine and New Hampshire newspapers and on numerous web sites. Email:

Monday, May 09, 2016

Stick It, Mike

It doesn’t take much to annoy the “Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Studies” as Micheal Mann refers to himself. I mentioned him and his dubious hockey stick graph in only one paragraph of my column published two weeks ago, but Mann responded angrily in a long letter to the editor in The Conway Daily Sun, one of the papers in which it ran.
Mann might be realizing the thin ice he’s standing on has nothing to do with global warming. It’s cracking under his feet because scientists are not coming forth to assist him with amicus briefs in the court case he brought against Mark Steyn. Mann accused Steyn of  “defamation of a Nobel prize recipient,” which Mann falsely claimed he was. He had to modify that wording when the Nobel Committee declared he never received one. Mann is learning that Steyn, when he refused to withdraw his charge that Mann’s graph was a fraud, wants his day in court. I think he also realizes that Steyn will take him apart.
When I first saw the hockey stick graph, it took me less than a minute to know it was BS. Picture a hockey stick laying horizontally with the blade sticking up in the air to your right. The “shaft” of Mann’s hockey stick purports to show a fairly stable temperature for 900 years — until the 20th century when the “blade” shot up, ostensibly because of fossil fuels burned by expanding industries beginning in 1900. Though I took a course in meteorology and climatology in college, I do not claim to be an expert. History is my subject.
L'Anse Au Meadows

As a boy I was fascinated by stories of pre-Columbian discoveries of North America. I was ten in 1961 when I learned about Norwegian archaeologist Helge Ingstad's discovery of the Viking settlement at Newfoundland’s L’Anse Au Meadows. Viking voyages to North America had been described in Icelandic Sagas from the period of 1000 AD during what is now called the “medieval warming period.” Back then, historians called it “the little climate optimum.” In the sagas, Viking voyagers described shorelines of today’s Canadian maritime provinces that didn’t make sense until researchers realized that ocean levels were higher when the Vikings sailed by them a thousand years ago due to melting of the ice caps. The shaft of Mann’s hockey stick graph ignores all this. By showing a straight line where he should show a significant bump, Mann totally ignored the medieval warming period.
I also knew the Viking Greenland settlement was abandoned when the climate turned cold during the “Little Ice Age” a few centuries later, but this centuries-long period isn’t depicted in the straight shaft of Mann’s ridiculous hockey stick either. Those two anomalies were all I needed to understand that the “distinguished professor” of atmospheric studies was peddling academic and scientific BS.
Seldom do I respond to letters to the editor. An editor advised me twenty years ago to trust my readers. “They’ve read what you wrote and they’ve read the responses. Trust them to make up their own minds.” It was good advice, and I’ve followed it closely ever since. The only exception I’ve made is when the facts I offered are questioned. Then, as now, I’ll respond with evidence. Also, I’ll admit, Mann’s hubris is too rich to ignore.
On Twitter, Mann claimed he “disabused” me as a denier. The word means to “persuade someone that a belief or idea is mistaken,” and the purpose of this column is to disabuse readers of that tweet that I’m persuaded of any such thing. Anthropogenic climate change has been invented by the left. They hope that by propagating that narrative, they can justify taking over what Vladimir Lenin referred to as “The Commanding Heights” of the economy, which they have proceeded to do under the Obama Administration. While climate certainly affects humans, the evidence for humans affecting climate is thin or none no matter what the “distinguished professor” may claim. Mann’s hockey stick graph is all about political propaganda, not science.
Mann and his devoted followers seem to exemplify what the 18th century British scientist Joseph Priestly wrote: “A philosopher who has long been attached to his favorite hypothesis, and especially if he have (sic) distinguished himself by his ingenuity in discovering or pursuing it, will not, sometimes, be convinced of its falsity by the plainest evidence of fact. Thus, both himself and his followers are put upon false pursuits and seem determined to warp the whole course of nature to suit their manner of conceiving its operations.”
My hope is to watch the trial during which I expect Mark Steyn to make a fool of him and his hockey stick, and thereby render him forever the extinguished professor of atmospheric studies.

Labels: , , , ,


OpenID bc64a9f8-765e-11e3-8683-000bcdcb2996 said...

"The extinguished professor of atmospheric studies."
OK, I see what you did there. That was pretty good.
Don't forget to include the folks who blindly defended his Academic credentials via the "NEW" Scientific method.
Now, WHY was I paying for the construction "administration", and "decommissioning" of a nuclear energy reactor that was NEVER put "on line", through my electric bill?
Why is Yucca Mountain deemed "unsuitable" for waste disposal AFTER it's design, engineering, and construction, by "experts"?
Why is coal/petroleum the unwanted red headed stepchild of folks DEMANDING electric cars, and astonishingly inefficient and expensive solar/wind generation, DESPITE the astonishing expense of clean(er) coal, platinum converters, and gasoline (now known as "fuel") adulterated with corn squeezins that would be better suited for "art" openings, Live theater intermissions, cheep "beer and shot" (*sigh* and pickled eggs)joints in walking distance from actual manufacturing factories, and "Book Club" meetings?
Because "science"?
Again, in an homage to Atlas Shrugged, "Who IS Lord (Christopher) Monckton?"

5/10/16, 8:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The term hockey stick was actually not even coined by Mann, but by the climatologist Jerry D. Mahlman. For mor factual information just check out Wikipedia:

More than two dozen reconstructions, using various statistical methods and combinations of proxy records, have supported the broad consensus shown in the original 1998 hockey-stick graph, with variations in how flat the pre-20th century "shaft" appears.[12][13] The 2007 IPCC Fourth Assessment Report cited 14 reconstructions, 10 of which covered 1,000 years or longer, to support its strengthened conclusion that it was likely that Northern Hemisphere temperatures during the 20th century were the highest in at least the past 1,300 years.[14] Over a dozen subsequent reconstructions, including Mann et al. 2008 and PAGES 2k Consortium 2013, have supported these general conclusions

A 2010 opinion piece by David Frank, Jan Esper, Eduardo Zorita and Rob Wilson (Frank et al. 2010) noted that by then over two dozen large-scale climate reconstructions had been published, showing a broad consensus that there had been exceptional 20th century warming after earlier climatic phases, notably the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age. There were still issues of large-scale natural variability to be resolved, especially for the lowest frequency variations, and they called for further research to improve expert assessment of proxies and to develop reconstruction methods explicitly allowing for structural uncertainties in the process.[13]

New studies using different methods continued to extend the period covered by reconstructions. Ljungqvist's 2,000 year extratropical Northern Hemisphere reconstruction generally agreed well with Mann et al. 2008, though it used different methods and covered a different area.[212] Studies by Christiansen and Ljungqvist investigated previous underestimation of low-frequency variability, and reaffirmed Mann et al.'s conclusions about the Little Ice Age and the Medieval Warm Period.[213] as did Ljungqvist et al. 2012 which used a larger network of proxies than previous studies. Marcott et al. 2013 used seafloor and lake bed sediment proxies to reconstruct global temperatures over the past 11,300 years, the last 1,000 years of which confirmed the original MBH99 hockey stick graph.[214]

5/10/16, 9:50 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

I'll stay out of this climate change conspiracy theory nonsense. I have learned from talking with Sandy Hook nuts that there is no reasoning with conspiracy people - "The world's scientists are all tricking us- Aaaaahhhhh"

5/10/16, 12:21 PM  
OpenID bc64a9f8-765e-11e3-8683-000bcdcb2996 said...

I wonder if "WIKI" has covered the truth from 1980 (or so...)
I wonder if "WIKI" has anything ELSE concerning criticism, and subsequent criticism of reproductability of Mann's frequently challenged thesis, using various statistical methods, and combinations of proxy records,
in lieu of Mr. Mann's refusal to "show your work".
PRO TIP: Careful in citing "Wiki" as PROOF of ANYTHING even remotely controversial! You might just get what you asked for.

Serendipity? Could our host be part of the vast right wing/climate denial conspiracy,
along with with Granite Grok et alia? (see, I put it in the form of a question, so it's IMMUNE from criticism!)

5/10/16, 1:05 PM  
OpenID bc64a9f8-765e-11e3-8683-000bcdcb2996 said...

Also via. Granite Grok

"The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) prevailed in a Virginia Freedom of Information Act (VFOIA) lawsuit against George Mason University (GMU). The VFOIA request sought public records showing how the “RICO-20” group of academics, using public funding, organized their call for a federal racketeering investigation of “corporations and other entities” who disagreed with them on climate policy.

The judge ruled for CEI on all counts in an April 22 ruling in Christopher Horner and CEI v. George Mason University that the court released today. The ruling concluded that by leaving it to faculty who simply told the school’s FOIA officer they had no responsive records, GMU failed to conduct an adequate search; the judge also ruled that documents including emails from GMU Professor Ed Maibach must be released to CEI."

Oddly, this is what happens when you refuse to show your "work", and let it drag
to the courts.
Anthro Global Warming....Secure Private servers...Title IX/"Family"/"Civil" court defense "discovery".....whatever!
I suspect there will be a sternly...STERNLY worded letter at stake for the "academics", as consequences.

5/15/16, 4:11 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home