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.