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Mann Q&A

There is a live Q&A with Michael Mann this afternoon (GMT) at the Guardian website. Details here.

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Reader Comments (47)

Ooh, your Grace, I do hope you will be asking some questions. I could thumb through my copy of HSI and construct a few but you must have the killers at the front of your mind.

God, I hope McIntyre has a few lined up - short centring, correlation coefficients etc.

I'm sure there are a few arboreal issues worth getting a steer on too.

Feb 28, 2012 at 8:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterGixxerboy

It's only a short time , but we could have considerable amusement posing, \"Questions Which Will Not Be Put To Professor Mann By Guardian Moderators\". Anything on Ethics or FOIA, for a start.

Feb 28, 2012 at 8:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterGrumpy Old Man

As I'm currently pre-moderated pout of existance again.. (trying to put a response on the Garvey article, in response to R Betts)

what is the point.. Maybe J Jones can ask Mann about 'Hide the Decline'

Feb 28, 2012 at 8:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

So do they do a \"smug\" version of a chat smiley?.... with a beard?

Feb 28, 2012 at 8:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterJiminy Cricket

Maybe we can have an inverse \"swear\" box. We count every time he mentions \"big oil\", \"vested interests\", \"attack on science\", \"deniers\", \"conspiracy\"...

Feb 28, 2012 at 9:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterJiminy Cricket

This is just a commercial book launch.

Mann is just trying to cash in on his notoriety before it all comes crashing down, he looses his job and any chance of a future career.

You've got to feel sorry for the guy. They were ploughing a lonely furrow when they developed this \"science\" - they made mistakes - as anyone did, but because they didn't have the skill or general scientific support from the community to put the lying-genie back in the box, now the genie runs the show. The genie is climate science.

And now they are looking for a scape goat.

Feb 28, 2012 at 9:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterMike Haseler

Suspect it will be a sham - after all it is what they do best. And the warmists are certainly being caught out at almost every turn.

Stunned at the impact of fakegate - they now try to attack sites such as this and WUMT - Hats off to Watts for the way he is dealing with WC of Stoat and Wiki manipulation fame.

Polite, correct and a firm explanation of why WC's behaviour is not acceptable. Leaves us in no doubt..

Makes WC look very silly indeed - especially considering his history.

Sadly I suspect Mann will this afternoon have more \"minders\" than your average \"celeb\" such that we will simply see a regurgitation of the same old same old.

Feb 28, 2012 at 9:11 AM | Unregistered CommenterDoug UK

@ Mike Haseler Feb 28, 2012 at 9:07 AM

This is just a commercial book launch.
You've got to feel sorry for the guy.

Indeed. I've heard rumours to the effect that consideration is being given to changing the title of his latest opus to Portrait of the Artist as an Aggrieved Mann ;-)

Feb 28, 2012 at 9:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterHilary Ostrov

Tanks for putting this up Bish. An early morning Skype with my daughter toady let her know that if she ever tried to give me another link to the Guardian again......there would be nothing left in the will for her! Just more of Manns book tour!

Feb 28, 2012 at 9:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterPete H

Please excuse the shpelling....The meds a not working to well today!

Feb 28, 2012 at 9:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterPete H

Have the climate-comrades been plotting coordinated PR? Here is the same sort of thing in Australia: I think it is because they cannot, and will not 'do debates', and who can blame them since they are so liable to lose them every time. Yet they want to be seen in the public square.

As for the Guardian, imagine Pravda in the 1930s hosting a Q&A on the glories of the revolution so far and of the need to trust the great leader as he battles with the forces of darkness. What are the chances of a sharp question getting through? Actually, come to think of it, Stalin used to pretend to drop his guard from time and go liberal (old sense of the word) merely in order to flush out those foolish enough to speak their mind. Within months, they'd be in the gulag or worse, and he'd get back to dictating suitably reinforced in his belief in and fear of hidden conspiracies.

Thank goodness the greenies have not got to that level of power quite yet, and it is more a question of playing games with the po-faced (that's how I see them anyway) moderators - the Guardian's gang of trusties defending their vulnerable readers from contrary information and views of the wrong kind. And while they can't, yet, do as old Joe did, they can at least keep their 'moderated' material for the writers to cast an eye over as a sort of early-warning system for showstoppers and gamechangers. Then they can modify their shows and their games just enough to keep them on the road a little longer, because, after all, they are never in doubt, just often wrong in 'presentation' - so in their hearts they think more and better PR is all they really need.

Not my cup to tea.

Feb 28, 2012 at 9:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Shade

'of' tea

Pesky little editing window. You need a photographic memory of the preview pane.

Feb 28, 2012 at 9:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Shade

\"Please excuse the shpelling\"

That's a relief. I thought for a moment that you'd called your daughter Toady...

Feb 28, 2012 at 9:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

Hey Bish - what's with the \\backslashes\\ when we type quotation marks..?

Feb 28, 2012 at 9:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

Don't know. I've put in a support ticket.

Feb 28, 2012 at 9:43 AM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill
Careful now. You are dealing with a 'battle-hardened climate ninja'.
Feb 28, 2012 at 10:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterA Lovell
There is a sudden rash of global warming stories in the \"inherently pro-sceptic\" media (ho-ho). Is it because of the Rio \"Give Us Money\" Summit or is it to distract us from the hilarious japes of \"high profile climate scientist\" Peter Gleick?
This comment comes with free backslashes
Feb 28, 2012 at 10:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterBuffy Minton
Dear Dr Mann,

Congrats on your book. I agree that we are all zebras now.

Who do you think penned the best review for your book?

I am leaning towards Peter Gleick's review. What do you think?
Feb 28, 2012 at 10:39 AM | Unregistered CommentersHx
Your Grace

Could you please make more comments available for each page? 40 comments for each page isn't enough anymore.

I know it was only two years ago that you increased comments per page from 20 to 40 but now 40 is only half annoying as 20.

How about a \"view all\" button so we don't have to keep flicking the pages?
Feb 28, 2012 at 10:49 AM | Unregistered CommentersHx
I'm interested to know how he manged to fund ELEVEN years of soapdodging workshyness after leaving school - his academic record is insane - it includes TWO MFails before his department wanted rid of him/parental funds ran dry and gifted him his PhD and, as if by magic, his lead IPCC authorship in 1988.

Battle hardened climate ninja or Mummy's boy? You decide.

I have.
Feb 28, 2012 at 10:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterSayNoToFearmongers
sHx: How about a view-all button so we don't have to keep flicking the pages?


[HTML tags seem to be broken also.]
Feb 28, 2012 at 10:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterJane Coles
Dr Mann,

Your hockey stick relied on tree ring cores as proxies. Many of these proxies were chopped and changed over the period of the chart. Yet you had total confidence that what they were telling you was a true picture. Until, that is, you arrived at the late 20th Century.

Question: Why did you need to keep changing your proxies and the methods of calculating their trends?
And: Why, if the proxies were considered such good indicators of temperature, did you need to add empirical temperature measurements to the end of the 20th Century?
Feb 28, 2012 at 11:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterSnotrocket

I don't think you have the criticisms of the HS quite right.
Feb 28, 2012 at 11:07 AM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill
Dr Mann

Please outline the experiments that have been undertaken to confirm that trees in general, and the specific ones you selected in particular, make god proxies for temperature. Please also explain what corrections are made (and how) for all the other environmental variables that can influnce the growth of a tree.

Finally, please explain the physical mechanism you propose for 'teleconnections'. And the experiments that you propose to conduct to demonstrate that your mechanism exists and is effective in reality.
Feb 28, 2012 at 11:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder
Only one question for Micky Mann - Why?
Feb 28, 2012 at 11:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterOld Goat
Dear Dr.Mann, could you send me a copy of your latest book with your autograph?

And while we are there, could you pls write a short note, something like \"From an intellectual point of view, these contrarians are pathetic, because there’s no scientific validity to their arguments whatsoever\".

Thank you!
Feb 28, 2012 at 11:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterHoi Polloi
<blockquote>This is just a commercial book launch.</blockquote>

Another hockey stick - Manns earnings since this whole nonsense started
Feb 28, 2012 at 11:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterMangoChutney
@Barry Woods Perhaps it is IT problems you're having. Have Grauniad CiF actually told you your're being pre-modded ?
Feb 28, 2012 at 12:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterHengist McStone
How about:

Given that the NAS panel stated that Bristlecone Pines are an inappropriate proxy - when will you being issuing a correction? And will you be removing the upside down Tilljander series and issuing another correction? (there was another paper issued by a different team who removed this particular proxy from their reconstruction - cannot remember the name though)
Feb 28, 2012 at 12:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Cowper
Dear Dr Mann,

\"Congrats on your book. I agree that we are all zebras now.

Who do you think penned the best review for your book?

I am leaning towards Peter Gleick's review. What do you think?
Feb 28, 2012 at 10:39 AM | Unregistered CommentersHx\"

Oh! please! - do tell me that Gleick has an \"endorsement\" on the cover of Mann's book. ;0)

That would be just too delicious for words!!
Feb 28, 2012 at 12:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterDoug UK
Bish: \\\"I don't think you have the criticisms of the HS quite right\\\"

I'd really appreciate your time if you could tell me where my understanding is in error - unless it's my poor use of the language. My understanding of the use of proxies and the different methods of calculating their data is partly from CA and HSI, as is my understanding of the 'Hide the Decline': the use of thermometer records grafted on to what would have been a declining proxie series.
Feb 28, 2012 at 1:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterSnotrocket
We know from Phil Jones in 0752.txt that \"UEA is not promoting this dataset (CRUTEM) as a suitable basis for making billion-dollar decisions\". I wonder if Dr. Mann would certify his work as suitable for making billion dollar decisions?
Feb 28, 2012 at 1:29 PM | Unregistered Commentermt
Questions may be submitted from 10:45am to 11:00am EST today. I will be otherwise engaged, but here's a query related to use of the Tiljander data series.

Link for the text of 'The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the front lines' --

Link for 'fail to contribute meaningful information' --

Prof Mann,

On page 190, you write, '[Stephen McIntyre and Ross McKittrick] submitted a short letter to the editor of PNAS claiming that our reconstruction used 'upside down proxy data' (footnote 52). That was nonsensical, as we pointed out in our response, (53) one of our methods didn’t assume any orientation, while the other used an objective procedure for determining it (54).'

The implementation in Mann et al (2008, PNAS) of both the CPS and the EIV methods absolutely require that all proxies must be directly calibrated to the instrumental temperature record, 1850-1995. Yet from 1720 on, the varved sediments from Lake Korttajarvi are contaminated by local, non-climate-related activities such as farming and roadbuilding. By the late 19th century, the contamination is so severe that any climate-related signals are entirely lost. Mia Tiljander and her coauthors warned of this problem, a warning that you and your co-authors considered, then disregarded.

In retrospect, do you agree that the 'Tiljander proxies' cannot be calibrated to the instrumental record? Do you agree that once use of the Tiljander proxies is disallowed, that the non-tree-ring proxies used in Mann08 and Mann09 (Science) clearly fail to contribute meaningful information to the temperature reconstructions presented in these papers?
Feb 28, 2012 at 2:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterAMac
Mike H

>You've got to feel sorry for the guy.

I’m finding it pretty hard. He’s been dining out on the same piece of dodgy research for a decade, with no hint of any apology or self-doubt when presented with critical evidence, and has obstructed every attempt to examine his methods. I have no sympathy for him whatever.
Feb 28, 2012 at 3:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P
I think the questions will have to be simple and direct. How about \"did you ask Eugene Wahl to delete any emails?\"
Feb 28, 2012 at 3:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P
I've just had a look, and it seems that the best way past the mods is to start with 'I just love your book'. Then perhaps follow with 'did you write all of it yourself?'
Feb 28, 2012 at 3:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P
I only just made it to the bottom of the page, if he's going to continue in this vein on his whirlwind book tour, I suggest going long on bucket futures.
Feb 28, 2012 at 6:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterFrosty
Mann answered questions from 3.42 to 5.10pm. Just one and a half hours to counter hordes of multi billion dollar fossil fuel-funded deniers. Here’s my best-of:

3.42pm thanks so much Mortice. Its my pleasure to field questions from folks about the book and related topics. Your question ... is a great one, and its something I explore particularly in the epilogue of the book

3:52PM thanks Sychronized for the question, its a good one. I recount in my book the process by which I gradually recognized that many of those who were criticizing my co-authors and me were not engaged in good faith scientific debate..

4:15PM thanks LiamDuff, this is a question I've pondered quite a bit, and talk about at some length in the book.

4:21PM Well, I think we need to teach students by not just throwing facts at them (as we all too often tend to do), but also by educating them about the process of science ... I talk about this quite a bit in the book.

5:01PM Thanks for the question. Indeed, much of my recent work has focused on the lessons we can learn from the natural climate changes of the past millennium....In the book, I talk about ... how the "Hockey Stick" was really almost a distraction from the more fundamental science questions that drove our research on paleoclimate in the first place, more than a decade ago.

5:10PM Well folks, hard to believe it is over. So many very good questions (albeit a few odd ones too), and I'm sorry I couldn't give justice to all of the deserving questions and commentary. Please do consider reading the book, where I go into great detail on a number of the matters raised in the discussion.
It is in stock at Amazon in the U.S. as well as the U.K.
Feb 28, 2012 at 7:06 PM | Unregistered Commentergeoffchambers
I tried to follow the questions and Michael Mann's responses. He did not answer any of the tough questions. One question was posed as to whether he had tried to get Steve McIntyre investigated for connections with the fossil fuel industry. He said he never had. A little latter the same person pointed to the Climategate emails that proved he had spoken to people about doing it. The original question and all questions referencing the CRU emails seem to have been air brushed from history along with Mann's weasily response. The record of this discussion should not be trusted.
Feb 28, 2012 at 7:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterBernie

lapogus asked:

Did you go ahead and hire a private investigator to try to find something on Steve McIntyre? (as revealed in the Climategate2 emails)

michaelemann replied:

well, there is no email that demonstrate me attempting to hire a private investigator, and obviously therefore I did no such thing. Thanks for your question!

I'm having difficulty mastering Blackian and Mannian logic here. I think I can conclude that (at least around the time of CG1/2) whenever he hired a private investigator, he would email the particpants in the CG1/2 emails to let them know.
Feb 28, 2012 at 8:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterDr Slop
I'm going to frame this

28 February 2012 4:47PM

Given that the term "denier" has obvious holocaust denial connotations, do you think that your use of that word is:
1. unacceptable for a scientist to use
2. one that could incite certain elements to violence against people who question the concensus
Or do you consider it a reasonable term?

28 February 2012 5:06PM

Frankly, I think those who complain about this are often just producing crocodiles tears. As someone who lost relatives to the religious persecution of the jewish people, I would be as sensitive to anyone if I really though the use of the term has anything whatsoever do do with the holocaust. I find that argument quite disingenuous if not downright dishonest. For those who are denying mainstream science, the logical thing to call them is "deniers". they are certainly not "skeptics" and even "contrarian" doesn't always fit the bill. Given that some of the fiercest of our detractors have proudly declared themselves deniers (one such individual even wrote a book "The Deniers") I find that this argument has no currency at all. I suspect its often used as a somewhat disingenuous ploy to get journalists and other commentators to grant the highly undeserved term of "skeptic" to those who are nothing of the sort.

And finally, Michael closed the discussion:
Feb 28, 2012 at 8:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterMorph
Dr Slop:
Thanks. Is the interchange still up on the site. If so, I must have missed and I need to amend my comment.
Feb 28, 2012 at 8:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterBernie
Mann is on point for cAGW now that Hansen isn't mentioned as much and I think he's a survivor.

I predict he's going to be one of the first major names to jump ship, either this year or next he's going to publish something that finds a strong MWP or similar, just so he turn round and plead "honest scientist". He can't wait too long to do it though, otherwise it won't seem credible.

The Guardian comments will be fun that day.
Feb 28, 2012 at 9:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterChu
Bernie - just for the record, my second question about Rob Wilson's email to CRU colleagues (4241.txt, in which Rob describes how he managed to create a hockeystick with random data) was not deleted, but Mann did not respond to it. My third question/comment (1680.txt, which included the text from email from Mann to Phil Jones about getting an investigative journalist onto McIntyre) initially passed the mods but was then deleted.
Feb 28, 2012 at 11:03 PM | Unregistered Commenterlapogus
I should have said, I got mixed up when writing the first question and wrote 'private investigator' when it should have been 'investigative journalist'. His response was still rather odd.
Feb 28, 2012 at 11:10 PM | Unregistered Commenterlapogus
Did anyone ask a question about Mann's continuing silence on the content of the HSI?
Feb 29, 2012 at 1:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger
If you're wandering whether Mann talked about the Gleick affair, no, he hasn't said a beep in the Guardian Q&A. Nevermind that he 'tweeted furiously' when the story first broke.

@Doug UK
Gleick has a five-star review of Mann's book at but unfortunately not a blurb the cover. Not sure if he is read the book though since you can't trust Gleick about these things.

The Heartland strategy memo that Gleick faked is a far superior review of the Mann and his book, IMHO.

@Bishop Hill
Thanks for the 25 per cent increase to comments per page. It's barely keeping pace with the inflation. :D
Feb 29, 2012 at 2:49 AM | Unregistered CommentersHx

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