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More emails

Chris Horner has just had another batch of emails released to him, this time from the University of Arizona, where Hockey Team members Overpeck and Hughes are based. It's early days on the analysis of the content, but one message was sufficiently amusing for him to forward it to me.

Remember this picture?

This is Sir John Houghton launching the Report of WG1 for the IPCC Third Assessment, with the Hockey Stick the centrepiece of the event. Mann has previously been rather critical of the IPCC's use of his work in this way.

I always thought it was somewhat misplaced to make it a central icon of the climate change debate," he said.

However, the new email disclosures show that it wasn't always this way. When the BBC report in which the image appeared was published, Mann wrote to his coauthors to tell them about it:

I thought you might be interested in this, from today's BBC: 1130000/1130501.stm
Not to slight Sir John(!), but its actually the chart in the background I'm referring to :)

Malcolm Hughes sent a joking reply:

Highly cool! - pity about the ugly old guy in front! Cheers, Malcolm

To which Mann responded:

Hey, that's Sir John you're talking about! And a fellow brit, no less! I thought it was pretty cool too. I'd like to know what he was saying about the chart!

I guess what initially appears "cool" might turn out, with the benefit of hindsight, to be, well, uncool.

Email scans

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Reader Comments (11)

Mann: "I'd like to know what he was saying about the chart!"

Let me guess: "The chart behind me, which was created by one of the best and brightest minds in Climate Science community, proves beyond all doubt that the recent warming is unprecedented and that it is due to anthropogenic CO2 emmissions and that if we don't do something about it we're all going to fry or drown, whichever comes sooner" or words to that effect.

Aug 24, 2012 at 4:38 PM | Unregistered CommentersHx

I was privileged to attend a service at Great Malvern Priory a few months ago where that great and saintly man, committed Christian and [snip - venting], Sir John Houghton preached on 'Christianity and Global Warming'.
Showing his slides of Bangladesh and rising sea levels he explained that the number of 'climate refugees' would be between 10 million and a half the world's population, but at least 150 million by 2050.
More topically, he was asked by one of the adoring Christian faithful, what project he would support if still in that office. He replied 'the Severn Barrage' but admitted he had no idea what was involved.
A man that well informed should be advising 'Dave' on this.

Aug 24, 2012 at 4:58 PM | Unregistered Commentertoad

[Response to snip]

Aug 24, 2012 at 6:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterJ Bowers

Also with Overpeck at U of Arizona is Diana Liverman, from Oxford Environmental Change Institute: (2008)
Diana Liverman of Oxford University has been recruited to co-direct the institute with Jonathan Overpeck, UA professor of geosciences and atmospheric sciences. Overpeck has been director of UA's Institute for the Study of Planet Earth, which will be replaced by the new institute.

Interesting glimpse of the mind set in this article from 2004:

"Diana Liverman joined Oxford University as the director of the Environmental Change Institute and professor of environmental science in the School of Geography and Environment after more than 20 years as a climate researcher in the USA. She served on several national and international committees including chairing the national research council's (NRC) committee on the human dimensions of global environmental change and acting as a scientific advisor to the Inter-American institute for global change research."

Aug 24, 2012 at 6:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterDennisA

Scientists never have an ego, until you tell them they're famous.
See: Southpark, S7 E1, "Cancelled"

Aug 24, 2012 at 6:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterJeremy

Wasn't Jonathan Overpeck identified as the originator of the idea that 'We've got to get rid of the Mediaeval Warm Period' ?

Aug 24, 2012 at 7:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterA Lovell

That's a great touch Andrew.

I thought it was pretty cool too.

Didn't he just. And won't it come back to haunt him. And Sir John. And all the hangers-on.

Aug 24, 2012 at 8:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Of course the narrative of being a working scientist who was shyly and blinkingly thrust upon the stage as a reluctant messiah is very important to maintain and demands that the early history is consistent. ;)

Remember the “Serengeti strategy” cuts two ways - it is an overt appeal to the groomed unthinking Facebook fans to see him as a martyr and an also an underlying message to his peers saying “You’ll get it next” to anyone who may be tempted to let him get “eaten”.

The whole antler butting of these legal missives flying to and fro is fascinating (mixed metaphors with Serengeti? Ah! Who Cares?)

Aug 24, 2012 at 9:31 PM | Registered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

Sir John, [and UK readers] now probably appreciate that the graph behind him was simply a ruse to "Shanghai" the climate-debate.

Aug 24, 2012 at 9:47 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

It is as though these promoters of AGW think like people in a pre-internet age and are oblivious to the concept of "what has been seen on the internet (and by default, emails) cannot be unseen".

You'd guess that not long after the release of ClimateGate 1 in 2009, Mann would have learned not to contradict what he said earlier.

Aug 25, 2012 at 12:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterRussell C

The glory which is built upon a lie soon becomes a most unpleasant incumbrance. How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and how hard it is to undo that work again! - Mark Twain

Aug 26, 2012 at 7:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterJeff Norman

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