Buy

Books
Click images for more details

Support

 

Twitter
Recent comments
Recent posts
Currently discussing
Links

A few sites I've stumbled across recently....

Powered by Squarespace
« Ending the IPCC | Main | More links »
Tuesday
Feb282012

Mann in Time

Time magazine has a rather toe-curling profile of Michael Mann, although there is considerable discussion of the Gleick affair too, including this:

Scientists are held — and hold themselves to — a higher standard than political groups like the Heartland Institute. That's one of the reasons scientists are trusted by a larger share of the public than most other authority figures — especially politicians. But that trust is fragile, and if scientists stoop to some of the same tactics the other side employs — as Gleick did against Heartland — they risk winning a battle at the cost of losing the climate war. As the British climatologist Richard Betts tweeted yesterday: "If people don't trust climate scientists then all the activism counts for nothing."

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

Reader Comments (37)

Great find Bish. That's the author, Bryan Walsh, speaking, not Michael Mann. But it sure is interesting how Richard Betts has 'hit the big time' through the Gleick affair - by saying the obviously true but previously almost unsayable. More kudos, Richard.
Feb 28, 2012 at 2:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake
\"Scientists are held — and hold themselves to — a higher standard than political groups like the Heartland Institute.\"

Given the peer review his work has been held to and his behaviour, I rather think the opposite is true.
Feb 28, 2012 at 2:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterAndy
Oh I did not realize it was not the Mann, please ignore .
Feb 28, 2012 at 2:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterAndy
I'm also thinking of Richard's <a href=\\\"http://www.guardian.co.uk/discussion/comment-permalink/14877411\\\">response</a> yesterday to Garvey in The Guardian. 191 recommends and rightly so.
Feb 28, 2012 at 2:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake
'...if scientists stoop to some of the same tactics the other side employs — as Gleick did against Heartland...'

I wasn't aware any prominent sceptics have been accused of forgery and deception?
Feb 28, 2012 at 2:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterJudge
Society can only hope we reach a day where scientists raise their level of morals and ethics to those of the other side. If scientists stoop any lower than Mann has already, they will find themselves alone in the basement.
Feb 28, 2012 at 2:52 PM | Unregistered Commenterstan
<i>\"...if scientists stoop to some of the same tactics the other side employs — as Gleick did against Heartland — they risk winning a battle at the cost of losing the climate war.\"</i>

Exactly when did \"the other side\" employ \"the same tactics\"? The Climategate leaks are still under investigation, and lawful whistleblowing cannot be ruled out. OTOH, Dr. Gleick has admitted acts of identity theft and wire fraud? And the evidence suggests that he may have faked a document, and committed libel as well.

TIME is \"stooping\" to their usual tactics of sloppy research and poor journalism.
Feb 28, 2012 at 2:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Maloney
Richard Betts seems to have the Right Stuff.

Could he be tempted into stating falsifiability criteria for the AGW hypothesis? The question, \"What would it take for you to concede\" seems to turn climatologists into the Terry Gilliam jailer character in Life of Brian, wagging the finger to either side and chuckling darkly as if to say, \"Now, you won't get me on THAT one!\"
Feb 28, 2012 at 3:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrent Hargreaves
When Hansen gets himself arrested at political rallies and Mann talks about the need to defeat Republicans in elections, they are presenting themselves as political activists and therefore need to be treated with a great deal of skepticism.
Feb 28, 2012 at 3:25 PM | Unregistered Commentermpaul
@stan

Basement? Magma chamber springs to mind.

And what are these tactics that the 'other side' adopts? Don't they understand that lying liars like Gleick are fundamentally dishonest and their assertions can't be trusted?
Feb 28, 2012 at 3:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterSayNoToFearmongers
\"Activism\" by whom though is the pertinent issue though, apropos Richard Betts.


I would contend that activism itself conducted by scientists marks the end of trust in scientists.
Feb 28, 2012 at 3:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterGeckko
Forget it, Jake - It's Climateville.
Feb 28, 2012 at 3:54 PM | Unregistered Commentermojo
@Jack Maloney ... And the evidence suggests that he may have faked a document, and committed libel as well.

Yes, Gleick was in the frame well before his (strategic?) confession for the rather striking match between the faked memo and his own style of writing.

Convincing proof that he was the author of the faked memo would raise the cast his ilk in an even more unfavourable light.
Feb 28, 2012 at 4:02 PM | Unregistered Commenterinteresting, but ....
Quote, \"As the British climatologist Richard Betts tweeted yesterday: \"If people don't trust climate scientists then all the activism counts for nothing.\"

I have three questions;

1. What has activism got to do with the pursuit of science?

2. Why does climate science in particular need activists?

3. Surely the trust in science is not the same as trusting a particular group of scientists?
Feb 28, 2012 at 4:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac
Quote, \"if scientists stoop to some of the same tactics the other side employs\"

We already know the degree of stooping certain scientists stoop too, but what are these tactics that sceptics employ?
Feb 28, 2012 at 4:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac
Quote, \"A Climate Warrior Puts it All On the Line — Including His Life\"

You have to laugh, in fact that Time headline raised an immediate chuckle.

To paraphrase Marx , \"From the moment I picked your article up until I laid it down, I was convulsed with laughter. Someday I intend reading it.\" - Groucho Marx that is.
Feb 28, 2012 at 4:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac
Mann is being given a great deal of rope.
Feb 28, 2012 at 5:39 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter
Mann's hockey stick was essential for the survival of the CAGW scare. This was because until 1997, everything was hunky dory. Arrhenius had postulated using Tyndall's observations that the warming power of CO2 drove the end of ice ages, the earth was warming, apparently as CO2 rose and the Vostok ice cores apparently showed CO2 rose at the same time as T at the end of ice ages.

However, in 1997 higher resolution ice core analysis showed that CO2 rose 600 years after T at the end of the last ice age. To keep the CAGW narrative in play, 'The Team' needed an explanation of the amplification of delta tsi from Milankovitch AND to purport that CO2 climate sensitivity could be calibrated from post industrial warming, the MWP had to be buried in the straight handle of the hockey stick.

The rest of the scam is, as they say, history.......
Feb 28, 2012 at 5:44 PM | Unregistered Commentermydogsgotnonose
Walsh is making amends after he wrote a few articles critical of the cause. Revkin operates under the same MO, witness his interview with Gavin of late. These journos need to fawn over the team in order to avoid the big freeze out. That is simply how the game is played by these blokes.
Feb 28, 2012 at 7:27 PM | Unregistered Commenterfigurdit
I see he's majoring on the "death threats" again.

This is the most repetitive and threadbare of the alarmist folk tales.

The "climate scientist death threat" campaigns in Australia and the US both exhibited just two rambling, unpleasant, letters from the same well known green-ink nutcase in Seattle - who was smart enough to keep on the right side of the law by calling for his victims to be "tried and executed" (i.e. not threatening them).

As far as I'm aware - no other climate scientist has ever been able to produce a "death threat" sufficient to trigger a police investigation. If Mann/Jones/Emmanuel etc etc have inboxes brimming with real "death threats" why have we never seen one.

It's not as if they're normally bashful with alarmist PR.
Feb 28, 2012 at 8:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterFoxgoose
Prof Betts in Time magazine? Chatting with the Pussycat Dolls? Who says science is dull? Wonder if Prof Cox's agent is getting nervous :)
Feb 28, 2012 at 8:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterAtomic Hairdryer
When did 'activism' become a part of science? Scientists should report their findings without bias. Activism is for those in the political arena, not science.
Feb 28, 2012 at 8:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterIrony Tag
This is the caricature of scientist as objective expert in white gown (test tube in hand of course) Bereft of opinion, political perspectives and other complex and at times contradictory qualities possessed of mortals. A peculiar point of view enjoyed by many secularists and similar to the 20th century view of priests, except in that case the gown was mainly black.
Feb 28, 2012 at 9:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterWill Nitschke
@Foxgoose,

*If* they exist then in all probability they're faked. We've seen how alarmists do this kind of thing.
Feb 28, 2012 at 9:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterSayNoToFearmongers
Mann did a live Q&A at the Guardian this afternoon:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2012/feb/27/michael-mann-climate-change-live-q-and-a

I posted a few questions. He maintained that McIntyre's analysis of his hockey stick was refuted:

"Hmm. You really need to read the book, since I discuss this in some detail. That claim is been refuted in a number of actual studies in the peer-reviewed literature, by folks like Von Storch, Huybers, Wahl & Ammann, etc. McIntyre engaged in some rather dubious cherry-picking to falsely make this claim. Among other things, he sorted through thousands of random series to eventually find some that had the shape he was looking for. There is a good discussion at the site "DeepClimate".
Feb 28, 2012 at 9:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterRobinson
Oi Nitshcke, get with the times - us scientists are never seen on TV with test tubes - it's the multiple micropipette look* for any kind of credibility. Haven't you noticed?

*Patronising BBC News library SCIENCE shots even when discussing astrophysics... something ELSE to be angry about...
Feb 28, 2012 at 9:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterSayNoToFearmongers
Where do skeptics stoop to such levels? Ever? I'd like to know.
Feb 28, 2012 at 9:31 PM | Unregistered Commenterben
SayNoToFearmongers @9.17

You mean that Bunsen and Beaker were not real scientists after all?

I can't bear it!
Feb 28, 2012 at 9:39 PM | Unregistered CommentermikemUK
Mann doesn't know Pacific institute is a political group who's stated goal is to change policy?

If his take on reality is so flawed, then no wonder he frequently spout gibberish about some mega big oil conspiracy out to get him. :p

I trully don't understand why he continues to use outdated tactics, like from 1968. Might it be that it is big green oil that pays his PR people… :-()
Feb 28, 2012 at 11:42 PM | Unregistered Commenter1DandyTroll
Feb 28, 2012 at 9:12 PM | Robinson
===========================

Mann is in an advanced state of denial ... his pals who attempted refute have had their rears well kicked by McIntyre et al. Rather than reading only his own, Mann should thoroughly read the work of opposing views in order to get a worldly view of the real science.
Feb 28, 2012 at 11:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterStreetcred
Feb 28, 2012 at 4:44 PM | Mac

"1. What has activism got to do with the pursuit of science?"

Nothing, except that activists often like to refer to scientific evidence to justify their course. (Of course unfortunately they sometime ignore it too - eg: Greenpeace don't seem to want scientific evidence to actually be built up regarding the GM debate - they trash test crops which prevents scientific study.)

"2. Why does climate science in particular need activists?"

It doesn't!

"3. Surely the trust in science is not the same as trusting a particular group of scientists?"

True, although if a field of science it being carried out by a group who as a whole are not trusted then it's hard to see how the findings of that field could be trusted. Hence the importance of climate scientists maintaining / rebuilding trust.

That tweet was sent as part of a long conversation with someone who thought more scientists should become activists. I disagreed.
Feb 29, 2012 at 1:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Betts
Richard Betts,

your comment raises an interesting question. Many scientists, such as yourself, participate in public discussion on issues of the moment. The question this raises is, where does one draw the line between such participation and activism?

Probably a thread hijack, but worthy of discussion.
Feb 29, 2012 at 1:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlex Heyworth
<i>"...if a field of science it being carried out by a group who as a whole are not trusted then it's hard to see how the findings of that field could be trusted. Hence the importance of climate scientists maintaining / rebuilding trust."</i>

Well, they might start by practicing real science. Instead of, 1] holding that very selective "peer review" insures the given truth of whatever is reviewed; 2] not releasing their "materials and methods" which <i>are</i> their science; and 3] not being bothered when <i>none</i> of the relevant predictions from their "hypotheses" eventuate in the real, empirical world.
Feb 29, 2012 at 1:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterJPeden
Richard Bettts

Well said.

As for Alex's question, I hope there is no implication that your engagement constitutes 'activism'. Rather, it represents an openness to discuss and explain things. You've also clearly seen and reported that sceptics are far from homogenous.
Feb 29, 2012 at 2:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterGixxerboy
"Oi Nitshcke, get with the times - us scientists are never seen on TV with test tubes - it's the multiple micropipette look* for any kind of credibility. Haven't you noticed?"

Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What's Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;

Also you spelt my name wrong.
Feb 29, 2012 at 2:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterWill Nitschke
I like the comment about the U of Virginia Cuccinelli (sp?) going nowhere. It has gone nowhere because Mann and the University have fought it every step of the way.

Al Capone: do we say he did no wrong because, in the beginning, he fought the legal steps to bring him to justice?

We want our heroes. We perhaps need our heroes. Our heroes are ourselves on our best days. As a skeptic I am one of those that is chopping away at the pedestal on which Mann, among others, stands. Of course I/we are not appreciated, but once that pedestal falls wait to see where Mann ends up. We also hate our fallen heroes. They remind us of ourselves most days, and that is unacceptable.
Feb 29, 2012 at 5:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterDoug Proctor

In case readers here might be interested, after receiving my copy of Michael Mann's new book a few weeks ago, I began writing a "running commentary" on Lucia's Blackboard. It turned out to be rather lengthy, and since it was spread across numerous comments in a lengthy thread, it was inconvenient to read. Because of that, I decided to create a document which combined many of the issues I raised into a single spot. A discussion of my efforts began with this comment on Judith Curry's blog, and you can find a link to my original commentary in it.

I also provided a link to the full document in a response. Mind you, I ultimately decided to avoid covering technical issues in that document to make it simpler for the average reader. This means many issues don't get covered (though a number of them can be found in my original commentary).

Even so, I think the document provides insight on the quality of Mann's book, and I figure people here might be interested in it.

Mar 4, 2012 at 7:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterBrandon Shollenberger

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>