I don’t want us to make too much of the individual behind the brief confession we’re about to dissect, because if it wasn’t him leading Team Irrationality, it would be somebody else. We’re much more interested in how such individuals come to prominence in a society that claims to love Science will all its heart and mind.
The person is Michael Mann, of “hockey stick” fame. He has an article in the American Physical Society’s newsletter, which is ostensibly in praise of physicist Leo Szilard, who is, of course, worthy of praise.
The article is “Reflections on Leo Szilard, The Fragility of Truth and the Role of the Scientist in the Public Sphere”. The first paragraph is sort of about Szilard, but by the third, which starts “I’m proud to have started out in the same sub-field as Szilard”, it becomes all about Mann, his favorite subject.
Mann created out of statistics (that dismal field) a “hockey stick”, which purported to show a shocking increase in temperature man had, somehow, in all recorded history, missed. And which was blamed on global warming, now called “climate crisis.” The figure was poor science and silly. It is has been dissected, exposed, flayed, examined critically and ridiculed so often, most notably by Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick (and here), that there is no point in doing so again. Indeed, two weeks back we tried to show the difficulties in reconstructing past temperatures: it’s ain’t easy, and there are massive uncertainties still unaccounted for.
At any rate, the stick confirmed the worst fears of a certain group of scientists (and of course politicians, activists, and others) who wanted their worst fears confirmed, and their desires caused Mann to become a celebrity. He is everywhere by the powerful lauded, pampered, promoted, awarded, rewarded, and sought after. He is in the media often: you have surely seen him.
But he has enemies! He sees himself beset by evil forces, cabals who work in darkness and whose only purpose, we gather, is to say Mann is not wonderful.
Despite the bruising battles as I’ve sought to defend the science of climate change—including my own work—from attacks by vested interests aiming to discredit it, I consider myself privileged to have found myself in a position to influence the public discourse over the greatest challenge we face as a civilization.
We must step up and do battle in what is a genuinely Tolkienesque [?] assault on science, reason, and fact-based discourse…
Our ongoing reliance on fossil fuels is in fact at the root of the twin battles we are fighting right now. A battle, on the one hand, to defend western democracy itself– from a brutal, barbarous assault by an authoritarian petrostate. And on the other hand, a battle to avert catastrophic climate change, while there is still time. These battles have been made all the more challenging by rampant disinformation that has flooded our online information ecosystem with falsehoods and outright lies.
He uses battle or battles eight times in his short article, attack four. And he uses unprecedented—that which is without precedent; i.e. that which is previously unknown—three times:
…we deal simultaneously with the threats of an unprecedented pandemic…
…how to deal with an unprecedented pandemic…
…we appear now to be moving past outright denial of the basic science as the evidence becomes plain to the person on the street in the form of unprecedented heat waves, droughts, wildfires, floods and superstorms….
Now the only thing unprecedented about this pandemic, for pandemics have always been with us, and many have been far, far worse, is that it was almost certainly created by Science through ineptness and hubris. This is surely not in Science’s favor.
And there just are no—as in none; zero; nada—“unprecedented” heat waves, droughts, wildfires, floods or superstorms. This, too, has been demonstrated time and again. Of course, while these things do not exist in Reality, they do exist inside models. These “unprecedented” disasters are promised to us by models. They will happen soon, any day! Models say so. Science says so.
So much the worse for Science.
Yet the most important phrase Mann used is the existential climate crisis. Existential crisis, that which threatens our very existence. Nothing, by definition, could be more serious.
Therefore, I suggest we pass a new Mann Act. Ban all products from the “authoritarian petrostate” immediately. Mann says we have “the technology” now to do so “in the form of renewable energy, storage technology, and efficiency and conservation measures.”
If global cooling a.k.a. global warming a.k.a. climate change a.k.a. climate crisis really were an existential crisis, then we have no choice. We must. And, Mann says, we can.
That banning fossil fuels is absurd is part of its charm. If the “solution” to the “climate crisis” could be implemented, really implemented once and for all, as he says is easy, then, of course, it would be. It isn’t implemented, because it can’t be. But that it can’t be serves as a forever foil, an enemy on which Mann (or whoever would take Mann’s place) can focus—by sounding like that guy at the end of the bar who is sure oil companies are hiding engines that run on water.
If the solutions he says exists, and which are that obvious, really were implemented, Mann would be out of a job. His celebrity would fade. He would become unimportant. Which, to him, is an intolerable existential crisis.
Full disclosure: my total lifetime monies and all other consideration given to me from oil companies and their affiliates is $0. Now ask Mann how much he has got in government grants to push a line beloved by government.
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Perhaps an honorable man, after bringing a suit against Dr. Tim Ball in British Columbia, then losing the so-called “Science Trial of the Century”; with the court ordering reimbursement of Ball’s legal costs, would step out of the arena and quietly fade away. Said Dr. Ball:
“The court threw out Mann’s case because he failed to provide any evidence to support his claims. The specific data he claims he presented was not presented. The court also agreed with us that Mann had had from 2011 to make his case and failed to do so. In fact, we had a trial date scheduled for February 20, 2017 but Mann postponed the trial and we heard nothing from him since.” [Dr Tim Ball, Sept 06, 2019].
Obviously reeling from such injustice, Mann brings lawsuits against the National Review and the Competitive Enterprise Institute in the DC Superior Court. He proceeds to lose both of these. As Mark Steyn writes of Mann:
“You’re Once, Twice, Three Times a Loser…”
Tisk tisk. Like a bad rash, Mann just keeps coming back.
No diesel, no modern global technological society.
End of story.
“…rampant disinformation that has flooded our online information ecosystem with falsehoods and outright lies.”
Admit Nothing. Deny Everything. Make Counter-accusations. (ANDEMCA) is the tactical fallback response passed down from Mann’s operational forebears. When you hear ANDEMCA, you can be certain you’re dealing with Willing Accomplices.
Mann lives in constant fear that his co-conspirators will go “Project Veritas” on him. All that’s required is one whistleblower (grad student who did Mann’s “data” for him, maybe?) to share details of the massive fraud that Mann has perpetrated over the years. There’s a pot of gold at the end of that rainbow, waiting for the whistleblower. Once fraud is proven, the whistleblower would share in a big chunk of the federal funds clawed back from the grants awarded to Mann.
Where’s Project Veritas when you really need them?
We do have a propulsion system that may not run on water but does only emit water. Hydrogen. It is the future of the automotive industry. Electricity is not cheap, or convenient, or particularly easy to implement. Whereas hydrogen uses the same sort of delivery system and infrastructure as gasoline. Lots needs to be done but in the end electricity is Betamax! James May has a video of a Honda which uses hydrogen and hydrogen stations.
The Science is now at the point in which gamblers find themselves when they are taking out their fourth mortgage in order to quadruple down on their “sure bet”. As you said, reality is slowly reasserting itself, leading to super comical results – you got European prime ministers asking residents to turn down the air conditioning and passing a decarbonization agenda for 2055, and restarting coal fired power plants to deal with the “Putin price hikes” at the same time.
Briggs: “The first paragraph is sort of about Szilard, but by the third, which starts “I’m proud to have started out in the same sub-field as Szilard”, it becomes all about Mann, his favorite subject.”
That is pretty funny. General Mann — Napolemann — has a war to wage. “Szilard” is an anagram of “lizards”, and Szilard famously spilled the beans when he admitted Hungarian Jews were space aliens from Mars. (We’re having some fun with conspiracy here.) And when you look at a photo of Michael Mann, well, stick a shtreimel on his kopf and you’ve got the Rabbi of Kosherberg,; disputatious, combative, fanatical, and nutty as marzipan. Space-alien-shape-shifting Martian lizard confirmed.
Mann says we have “the technology” now to do so “in the form of renewable energy, storage technology, and efficiency and conservation measures.” – Nope, all lies. Otherwise, it would not be mandatory. This is the aspect of a denialist, not the one that shows the nakedness of the emperor. This man should go to prison.
@Plantagenet: “Electricity is not cheap, or convenient, or particularly easy to implement. ”
You said it. On top of this imagine a world where all automobiles are electric. This would be a complete global catastrophe; each battery reportedly requires the excavation of 500,000 lbs of raw earth and about 40 percent (at least) of generated electricity is lost in the transmission network, before it could reach the recharging point.
Save the planet. Yeah, right. Centralized electricity production combined with electric automobiles would the most inefficient and wasteful use of raw material that science has ever devised. We are being led by idiots from a golden future to the stone age and they are too stupid to comprehend it.
Our current crop of elites are Idiocrats. That is the problem. All those $billions at their fingertips but the moment they step outside their narrow financial world, they are as stupid as a bucket of bricks – all the more dangerous because they think they are Gods.
You mean we don’t have secret machines that can run on water? Dang
>> If the “solution” to the “climate crisis” could be implemented, really implemented once and for all, as he says is easy, then, of course, it would be. It isn’t implemented, because it can’t be.
Yes – but as we’ve seen in Sri Lanka they will try to devestating results. We’re seeing that in the United States where despite having ample oil for hundreds of years we are rushing headlong into an EV future without thinking for a second how that electricity will be supplied nor how the battery tech will be sourced. And the results are real pain.
I believe it is time we went nuclear on tye climate cult. We should drop the asteroid onto these THE SCIENCEs ™. We must summon a battalion of goalies to check their hockey sticks into the sidelines where they might hopefully be benched permanently. We need to put Mann, on ice, as it were…
Ah, Robin–Thanks for the Mark Steyn link. I’d lost track of whatever became of the lawsuit of Mann vs the World, its interminable length was, well, seemingly never-ending.
How the Great Reset made its way from conspiracy theory into Trudeau’s briefing notes
“…unprecedented heat waves, droughts, wildfires, floods and superstorms….”
Even if this stuff were true, and it isn’t, it’s funny that the climateheads always cite them as proof of climate change, but if you point out an uncharacteristically severe cold storm as a sign that maybe it’s not warming they’re quick to scream “that’s weather, stupid, not climate!” The hypocrisy, or cluelessness, or whatever, is astounding.
The liar Mann, and his hockey stick hoax, have been proven to be ridiculous for years. Why does anyone listen to him anymore?
The sealing challenges for the smallest, lightest element alone are an absolute nightmare.
re: “We do have a propulsion system that may not run on water but does only emit water. Hydrogen. It is the future of the automotive industry. ”
Nope. NOT a primary energy system. Hydrogen must be derived from something else, using an energy consuming process to do so …
HOWEVER, Hydrogen has been harnessed in a process by the company below, releasing 200x the energy obtained by simply ‘combusting’ (combining, burning, etc.) Hydrogen with Oxygen … so this puts Hydrogen into the arena of being a primary energy source (like, oil.)
See https://brilliantlightpower.com/news/ for more info.
I love the portrayal of Mann in “Interstellar”
How much of a tosser do you have to be to name an ‘Act’ after yourself?