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Mann makes friends

New York Times blogger Nate Silver has a book on forecasting riding high in the Amazon US charts at the moment. The Signal and the Noise is a survey of forecasting, and looks to be thoroughly entertaining. I've asked the publisher for a review copy.

Unfortunately, Silver has stumbled into the murky world of climate prediction, and has incurred the wrath of Michael E Mann, who has printed a lengthy critique at Think Progress. It's a lot milder than your normal Mannian critique, but includes many of the normal tactics. His invoking Silver's training at the University of Chicago as a cause for concern almost defies belief:

Nate Silver was trained in the Chicago school of Economics, famously characterized by its philosophy of free market fundamentalism. In addition to courses from Milton Friedman, Nate might very well have taken a course from University of Chicago economist Steven Levitt, known largely for his provocative 2005 book Freakonomics and its even more audacious 2009 sequel Super Freakonomics.

Silver sounds deeply frustrated, saying that Mann's piece is not a fair critique of what he wrote. I guess he should have read The Hockey Stick Illusion before deciding that Mann was the go-to guy.

The Signal and the Noise can be bought at Amazon US. It will be published in the UK in a couple of days, but they are letting you preorder the Kindle version.

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    yeah, just thought you might want to know that your blog is out of wack when I watch it on my iphone. Im not sure if it has something to do with my phones browser or your website? just saying

Reader Comments (95)

I wonder how much of it Mann has actually read. According to Silver, Mann "attributes me as endorsing a number of premises that the book actually refutes".

Sep 25, 2012 at 8:40 AM | Registered Commenterjamesp

It's very possible that Silver once saw a copy of Mein Kampf on the shelf at the Library in Colorado Uni, therefore he is a National Socialist and confirmed denier of Mannian climate change.


Ivor Ward

Sep 25, 2012 at 8:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterDisko Troop

Oh, you beat me to it, Jamesp ... I was going to say that! Although this is typical Mannian behaviour, is it not? Upside down Tiljanders, claiming "victory" from the jaws of a resoundingly lost argument, exoneration of that which was never investigated ... the list is almost endless.

Saw this same strut-piece from Mann earlier on the PuffPo. He seems to get more verbose and less impressive by the day. Not sure what he'd do without his frequently recycled factoids from the fear factory!

Silver most certainly should have read The Hockey Stick Illusion rather than wasting time with Michael <I see you, I sue you> Mann.

Sep 25, 2012 at 9:00 AM | Registered CommenterHilary Ostrov

Mann's 'critique' is actually quite funny. He accuses Silver of not understanding Climate Science (only the priests can, apparently) and repeating tropes that have been 'disproved' in the past.

Here's a few:
– Gavin Schmidt is agressive and won't put his money where his mouth is.
– Arctic sea ice isn't melting faster than ever (bad day to publish that one , Mike)
– Al Gore's AIT wasn't full of errors and is 'mostly right'.
– There is a large, well-funded international PR lobby promoting the CAGW position.
– No significant warming since 1998.
– James Hansen's 1988 predictions were WAAAY off beam.

Interestingly, Mike isn't in full attack-dog mode. He's being fantastically rude, patronising and offensive, of course, nut you can see he thinks he's trying to be charming and seduce Silver back to the orthodox position. Silver's book is being widely read and praised. It's a measure of Mann's fear that this chapter will be taken seriously.

If Silver fails to respond and argues his position we will see the knives come out. Be interesting to see if the rest of the team fall in behind Mike on this.

As it's on ThinkProgress, here's an example of the Thinking Progressive readership from the comments below his piece.

"He sounds like a prototypical Chicago University libertarian Rightwing droog. I cannot imagine this type producing anything but denialist sullage, as their hideous and omnicidal religion of untrammeled greed means far more to them than the survival of humanity. We are talking of dead, dead, souls."</>


Sep 25, 2012 at 9:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterStuck-record

Let's face the author met Mann and by all accounts had a pleasant time and treated Mann with respect and gave him a chance at one on one persuassion but still was not persuaded to make a book that pleased Mann 100%.

About J. Scott Armstrong one of Nate Silver's alternate sources Mann says:

A simple check of either SourceWatch or fossil fuel industry watchdog ExxonSecrets, reveals that Armstrong is a well-known climate change denier...

As if that meant anything!? So Mann responds by smearing his source and the author in the most infantile, unsubstantial and unpleasant way possible under the cover of phoney more in sorrow than anger, I like the young tyke bull.

I have never actually seen or met anyone so intellectually damaged as this in the real world. How does it arise? They just seem to be in movies.

Genuinely bemused.

Sep 25, 2012 at 9:11 AM | Registered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

Oh yeah, heh, I'm ordering the book too ;)

Sep 25, 2012 at 9:17 AM | Registered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

I think it was first published at fluffington post.

Silver responds on twitter:
"Deeply frustrated to see @MichaelEMann's critique of my book. It's not a fair representation of what I wrote.
Mann attributes me as endorsing a number of premises that the book actually refutes.
e.g. the book is very careful to describe differences between prediction of physical systems and prediction in fields like economics.
I hope that it's possible to say climate prediction is a "complicated" subject WITHOUT falling into the false equivalence trap.
Good thing about a book is that you can walk through the evidence WITH the reader, rather than commanding them how to think about it.
But that strategy fails, I suppose, if reviewers stop reading half-way through it. "

Mann, as ever, seems to be engaged in a climate sceptic recruitment drive. Lets hope he succeeds in converting Silver.

Sep 25, 2012 at 9:17 AM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

One of my top 5 favourite episodes of Columbo.


Mid 1980s Antony Andrews riding high after the sucess of Brideshead playing a usual slightly Camp Swarve Englishman conning the US goverment out off research grants.
At the very end you see how Uri Geller ,Derring Brown etc all do the Telepathic Remote Sensing trick

Sep 25, 2012 at 9:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterJamspid

It's an incredibly funny review. Me, me, me.

He published it on Huff Po here, one can only think that such a review about the latest wunderkind in forecasting and predictions must make Mann look very odd to someone not familiar with the climate wars.

Keith Kloor tweeted beautifully: '‏@keithkloor If you are someone who gets to write unedited columns at popular sites, then you have no one to save you from yourself. That's unfortunate.'

There are so many favourite bits, the free-market economics, the fossil-fuels, the brilliant bit where he got the unabomber and Heartland secretly infiltrating schools with fossil fuel propaganda into a book review, but the best bit knowing his usual style is where he really goes off-piste:

'And so it was on a crisp early November day that Nate arrived at my office in the Walker Building of the Penn State campus. We exchanged pleasantries and proceeded to engage in a vigorous, in-depth discussion of everything from climate models and global warming to the role of scientific uncertainty, and the campaign by industry front groups to discredit climate science (something that is the focus of my own book). As I saw Nate off, I insisted he sample the Penn State Creamery’s famous ice cream before leaving town. I tweeted excitedly about my meeting with him, and by the end of the day Nate had even added me to his relatively short list of twitter followees. Certain our discussion had been productive and informative, I awaited Nate’s book with great anticipation.'

Mann's tweets are also hilarious:

'Michael E. Mann @Ravens_Curse @fivethirtyeight Yes--I'm completely with you on that. That was my point. Two people can disagree w/out being disagreeable.'

Sep 25, 2012 at 9:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoddy Campbell

Interesting that the supporting comments on the Mann piece focus much more on Silver's supposed motivations and training than on the substance of what he said.

Seems to me that much of the alarmist discourse has been reduced to increasingly feeble and futile attempts to hurl abuse at those 'asking the difficult questions;..rather than trying to address the questions themselves.

Compared with three or four years ago when I first started taking an interest in matters climatical there is a perceptible change in the vim and vigour of the alarmist side. The swagger has gone. They used to believe that history was on their side and that their victory was inevitable. People no longer believe in the old myth 'Trust Us, We're Climate Scientists'

But now I just sense that they are fighting only because they know no other way. They have no new ideas, They see the tide of worldwide political opinion swinging ever further from their grasp.

And there are no bright spots on their horizon. No rallying points to look forward new vigorous leader to give them hope. Hansen is 71, Romm is 52. Mann is younger at 46 and a very divisive figure.
In UK at least one generation has had a complete school education laced with dire warnings of imminent climate-generated apocalypse. But the young people show no more enthusiasm for 'climate action' than the old. There are few, if any 20 and 30 something climate activists. It is a dying business to be in.

We've heard a lot recently about the 'Arctic Death Spiral'. Which may or may not be occurring as forecast. But the alarmist death spiral...

No action, No people, No hope, No chance!

is even more interesting.

Sep 25, 2012 at 9:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

"might very well have taken a course": by golly, the swine!

Sep 25, 2012 at 9:56 AM | Unregistered Commenterdearieme

Mann really is a piece of work , what stands out is not the way he views AGW sceptics but the way he treats others on the Team should they dare to challenge him by offering a different opinion or not praise him enough for his own tastes .

I have long held the view that when he falls we will surprised to see who lines up to kick him on the way down.

Sep 25, 2012 at 10:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterKnR

climate predictions complicated?

today, in a Fairfax newspaper:

25 Sept: SMH: Reuters: Chance of El Nino’s return ebbs, BoM says
Tropical Pacific Ocean temperatures indicating the onset of an El Nino have eased over the last two weeks, reducing the chance of the weather event emerging, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology said today…
Pacific Ocean temperatures had cooled in the last fortnight, while other indicators remained in neutral territory, it said…

yesterday, in a Fairfax newspaper:

24 Sept: Brisbane Times: Daniel Hurst: Situation normal: outlook makes Wivenhoe release unlikely
Brisbane’s Wivenhoe Dam is unlikely to be drawn down to 75 per cent capacity as a precaution for the wet season, after the Newman government received an expert briefing that widespread flooding was unlikely this summer.
According to a Bureau of Meteorology briefing to the state cabinet today, southeast Queensland has a 50 per cent chance of exceeding the median rainfall from October to December…
Global conditions indicated neutral conditions, bordering on El Nino. This contrasts with La Nina conditions when widespread flooding is more likely...

Sep 25, 2012 at 10:29 AM | Unregistered Commenterpat

btw the Wivenhoe Dam is precisely the dam at the centre of flooding in the Brisbane region last year:

lengthy, but worth reading all:

25 Sept: Australian: The Great Wivenhoe Debacle
by Hedley Thomas
IT should be no easy feat to turn the serious, damning, evidence-based
findings of a $15 million royal commission-style inquiry — one that nailed
an egregious cover-up – into a glowing endorsement barely six months later.
But that is precisely what a group of US engineers, asked to review the
performance of another group of engineers – those in control of Wivenhoe
Dam’s massive releases of water in January last year, water that became most
of the Brisbane River flood – have managed to achieve…
The US engineers omitted the official adverse findings of the inquiry,
airbrushed out of existence despite being published in more than 100 pages
of the final report.
When the US engineers received the Newman government’s precise terms of
reference for their review, they expressly excluded the findings of
Queensland’s $15 million public inquiry.
The contradictions in these documents are plentiful and they could not be
more stark. They make a mockery of the taxpayer-funded processes and fuel
the concerns of flood victims and their lawyers. With potentially billions
of dollars at stake, only a prolonged court case before a senior judge may
resolve the issues…

25 Sept: Courier Mail: Michael Madigan: Multi-billion dollar lawsuit in wake
of report backing Wivenhoe Dam flood engineers
The weather bureau says widespread floods probably won’t occur because the
La Nina weather pattern that brought heavy downpours in recent years has
finally broken up…
Maurice Blackburn Lawyers says the number of people with a “complaint” was
now approaching 5000 and yesterday’s report was immaterial to their case,
which is that the dam was filled with too much water before operators went
into a panic and emptied it.
Maurice Blackburn principal Damian Scattini said international experts were
preparing their own reports on the flood event.
“This (American report) has no bearing on what we are doing,” Mr Scattini

Sep 25, 2012 at 10:32 AM | Unregistered Commenterpat

@ Roddy Campbell

We exchanged pleasantries and proceeded to engage in a vigorous, in-depth discussion of everything from climate models and global warming to the role of scientific uncertainty, and the campaign by industry front groups to discredit climate science

This remark seems to me to be strong evidence from the horse's mouth that Mann is completely clinically mad.

Sep 25, 2012 at 10:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterJustice4Rinka

Nate Silver was trained in the Chicago school of Economics, famously characterized by its philosophy of free market fundamentalism. In addition to courses from Milton Friedman, Nate might very well have taken a course from University of Chicago economist Steven Levitt...

A commenter at Puffpost notes, briefly:-

Milton Friedman retired from the U of Chicago in 1977, a year before Nate was born.

Mann is clearly maintaining his unparalleled reputation for the quality of his data.

Sep 25, 2012 at 10:42 AM | Registered CommenterFoxgoose

It seesm clear that Prof Mann has an extremely high opinion of himself and his work, and at the same time has difficulty in persuading others of either.

The Climategate Revelations exposed considerable reservations on the part of his co-workers at the coal face of alarm (e.g.,,

This latest fuss arises because he also failed to impress the author Nate Silver.

The words of the poet, somewhat out of the original context, come to mind:

O wad some Power the gift tae gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!
It wad frae mony a blunder free us,
An foolish notion:
What airs in dress an gait wad lea'e us,
An ev'n devotion!

The end of 'To A Louse', by Robert Burns.

Sep 25, 2012 at 10:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Shade

@ Latimer

there is a perceptible change in the vim and vigour of the alarmist side. The swagger has gone.

Two developments seem to me to lie in wait for climate psyentists over time.

One is that their loony religious beliefs will be comprehensively debunked by events.

The other is that the taxes for which they've campaigned will nevertheless remain in place and will become ever more onerous.

This is a nasty double whammy. They haven't had to care about all the people they're killing because they have always been able to claim to have been the mere messenger.

Once it gets out that they made the message up, yet the taxes aren't being repealed, they'll be both intellectually discredited and widely reviled.

I'm not surprised the swagger has gone.

I've said it before and I'll say it again - finding a warmist in 2046 will be like finding a Nazi in 1946, and for the same reasons.

Sep 25, 2012 at 10:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterJustice4Rinka

Foxgoose, that's very unfair, using hard data like the retirement date of Friedman and the year Silver was born to try and imply that there is something wrong in our hero's narrative. Don't you know that when treated with enough Mannian statistics the correlations become so strong that not only the MWP disappears but Nate in his diapers takes personal lessons from Milton leading to his becoming (sad though it is for Mann to report this, having shared his best ice cream with his bestest ever friend) a disgusting fossil-fuel-funded denialist shill.

How people like you come up with such bias is beyond me.

Sep 25, 2012 at 11:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Sorry O/T

All greatness is always of its time.Films .Cultures. Music Science Sports.
And Technology off course.Skeptic dont mean Ludditte.
If i a Budget 98 percent Efficient Solar Panel excisted with a 4 month Fuel Cell Battery backup that can drive a Tumble Dryer and a Power Shower and an Emersion heater ,free electricity every year we would all have them on our roofs tommorow.

A reasonable priced 120 mph top speed for a track day at Brands Hatch with a 10 000 mile range 4 hour Super Turbo Recharge Fuel Cell with every Annual service and a Curtescy .Car .5 door NCAP with Alloys Airbags ( bit past my Boy Racer 18 inch Subs and a banging sound system )
Imagine an Electric Car you dont plug in or fill up ,thats keeps going and can go fast.
Never see the inside of a petrol station ever again.

Serious point argument ,is it Economic and Socal or Enviromental Concerns needs driving Research and Innovation.

Sep 25, 2012 at 11:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterJamspid

If you include a few outliers I'm sure you can get statistical proof Friedman was still teaching last week.

Sep 25, 2012 at 11:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterStuck-record

The day that a socialist stops emoting about mankind and begins to care for man, is the day he will cease to be a socialist. It's more or less a case of them rediscovering the old aphorism : look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves. But of course, socialism is a belief-system based on hatred.

Sep 25, 2012 at 11:10 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohn in cheshire

Foxgoose, Teleconnnections. If they work in paleoclimatology they surely must work in economics. But now they not only work in space, but time as well.

Sep 25, 2012 at 11:19 AM | Registered Commenterjferguson

Let good old Mann continue, people start to get bored of the emperor strutting around the streets in no clothes and just go back to their day job.

He can go back to that part of society that is becoming increasingly irrelevant, academia.

Sep 25, 2012 at 11:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterShevva

We've learned something from the review. We knew Mann can't do science. We now know he can't do stats.

Sep 25, 2012 at 11:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterAC1

socialism is a belief-system based on hatred

Lead by total bastards like Nelson Mandela.

Have you noticed that people on this site are much taken with quoting the warnings of George Orwell. He wasn't right wing, you know.

And I really, really struggle to believe that Helen Keller based her life around hatred.

IMO you saying that the belief system of close on half the world is "based on hatred" shows that you are doing the actual hating, based on your personal political preference.

Grow up! Not every Socialist is a prick. Not every right winger is basically decent.

Sep 25, 2012 at 11:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterMooloo

While it is true that not every socialist is a prick, it is true that socialism is a belief-system based on hatred. It can be mutually exclusive.

Any system that talks about 'the big picture', 'mankind', etc reduces to the same.

Sep 25, 2012 at 11:52 AM | Registered Commentershub

John Shade
I'm hoping that's more of a To a Mouse "Best laid schemes" situation.


Sep 25, 2012 at 11:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS


I think that John Shade was rather hoping to draw Mann's attention to the wise words of Rabbie Burns.

In that context 'To a Louse' seems to be right on the money.

Sep 25, 2012 at 12:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

Sep 25, 2012 at 11:52 AM | shub
"... it is true that socialism is a belief-system based on hatred."

You said that in a serious way so I have to ask.

Is this assertion solely based on a claim that socialism must "hate" its antithesis? Or is there some better evidence?

If only the former then it seems far too woolly and generalised a claim to make. It could be used to characterise any system of political thought.

I do know I used to be a socialist and wasn't drawn to it by "hatred" of anything, even Tories. If this underlying malignant hatred can have failed to have gripped me then I am not going to believe it is a general truth base on this er, rather hateful generalisation. ;)

Sep 25, 2012 at 12:06 PM | Registered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

Well said Leopard. The moment I read this post I assumed 'john in cheshire' was trying to sow division, to take this thread off track when it was doing real damage to a truly hateful 'climate consensus' that defines honest critics as akin to holocaust deniers.

I don't hold strongly to this conspiracist view but the simplicity of it helps me to work out what the right thing is for me to do - don't take part in taking the thread off track. Maybe I blew that this time! But the simplicity of the conspiracist view, if held lightly, is sometimes a strong point.

As you were :)

Sep 25, 2012 at 12:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

@Foxgoose, you are clearly funded by industrial organisations opposed to climate science, otherwise you would not have suppressed all mention of Friedman's Adjusted Retirement Date and Silver's Adjusted Birth Date.

Sep 25, 2012 at 12:33 PM | Unregistered Commenterdearieme

Mann ain't gonna win the popularity stakes, that's fer sure.

Sep 25, 2012 at 12:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterBeth Cooper


"hideous and omnicidal religion of untrammeled greed"

That sounds a lot more like a description of AGW alarmism than "denialist sullage" to me.

Sep 25, 2012 at 12:58 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

According to a Bureau of Meteorology briefing to the state cabinet today, southeast Queensland has a 50 per cent chance of exceeding the median rainfall from October to December…

Why bother with the BoM when you could have asked a six-year-old child and got the same answer but without the fancy verbiage --- "Don't know."

Sep 25, 2012 at 1:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford

In typical Mannure fashion, Dr. Mann hopes to cover everything in his prolific output and hope to just cover up any arguments he may vaguely not approve of.

Sep 25, 2012 at 1:43 PM | Unregistered Commenterlurker, passing through laughing

Just read through the comments at Huffington Post. I hope Silver responds to Mann's review.

The rabbit hole goes deep indeed!

Sep 25, 2012 at 2:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterSankara

What a gem of an article. It reads like an extended Private Eye parody. I've never heard of Nate Silver, but will now be tempted to read his book. I think this can only evnetually really damage Mann. Its relished by his fans (as seen in the comments), but anyone truly open-minded on the AGW debate will only get a bad taste from it.

And very rich to hear Mann going on about being 'outside your field' given that his most high profile work is most dependent on application of statistics rather than anything specifically 'climate science'.

Sep 25, 2012 at 2:29 PM | Unregistered Commenteroakwood

Latimer wrote -- "Interesting that the supporting comments on the Mann piece focus much more on Silver's supposed motivations and training than on the substance of what he said.

Seems to me that much of the alarmist discourse has been reduced to increasingly feeble and futile attempts to hurl abuse at those 'asking the difficult questions;..rather than trying to address the questions themselves."

In the US (at least), global warming is all about politics, first and foremost. You can't even begin to try to understand Mann and people like him without the politics. Charles Krauthammer -- "To understand American politics, you must understand this fundamental law: Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservatives are evil.

If you have read stuff Mann has written and said in the past (e.g. his defamation of Lawrence Solomon), he often focuses on the evil political motivations he attributes to anyone who opposes him. And wasn't it one of his co-authors who wrote an email back claiming that fascists had taken over the US (Bush was elected president).

I suspect for Mann and his friends, the goal of defeating evil conservatives politically is ten times more important than the goal of getting the science right. But I realize I might be underestimating the importance of political victory to them.

Sep 25, 2012 at 2:45 PM | Unregistered Commenterstan

Mann's diatribe is simply hilarious and embarrassing to "the cause". Joe Romm approves though.... The party-line enforcers have not learned anything about good behavior in public. Appropriate tweet from Pielke, Jr:

Roger Pielke Jr. ‏@RogerPielkeJr
Hey @fivethirtyeight welcome 2 the climate wars;-) Mann's excessive attack: … If you're not 100% with us you're the enemy

One hopes that Nate Silver and people who follow his work may notice with disdain the Mannian approach to public and scientific dialogue.

Sep 25, 2012 at 3:04 PM | Registered CommenterSkiphil

Like Sankara, I've spent some time in the Huffington comments. Many of the ardent fans of Mann are struggling with the fact that Nate is also widely thought to be a good egg. It's impossible to do justice to the contortions they come up but I think these two comments on the 'denialist meme' are worth noting:

Mann himself:

I could detail the numerous other problems with the chapter (and no — there aren't really 538 of them; I confess to having taken some "poetic license" with the title of this commentary). But the real point is that this book was a lost opportunity when it comes to the topic of climate change. Nate could have applied his considerable acumen and insight to shed light on this important topic. But the result was instead a very mixed bag of otherwise useful commentary marred by needless misconceptions and inappropriately laundered denialist memes.

So there's an appropriate way to launder a denialist meme? Anyway, this gets commenter bseigneur thinking:

Maybe the problem is that when a denialist meme, a lie knowingly put forward by an interested propagandist, is heard by a wishful but uninformed person, it transforms into legitimate laymen's skepticism. Thus reckless anti-civilization propagandists continually seed popular skepticism.

So there's a denialist meme from reckless anti-civilization propagandists that transforms itself somehow into legitimate laymen's skepticism.

I know it's tempting to laugh but I like this guy bseigneur because in his heart of hearts he knows that some skepticism is legitimate - and he's on the way to thinking that Nate is in this category.

There's this deep disconnect between the conspiracy theory, believing that every 'denialist meme' - that seeks for example, like McIntyre, simply to ask questions about something like the Hockey Stick - has to originate from reckless anti-civilization propagandists and yet that despite this there is something called legitimate laymen's skepticism. Can't you feel the tension in this poor guy's mind?

We all no doubt need to get out more but if only this guy could meet some of us down the pub, from all kinds of political persuasions or none, and realise that denialist memes have nothing to do with it. Ahhh, the pub. I think I digress :)

Sep 25, 2012 at 3:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

That Mr. Mann would criticize the Free Market, in whatever form, does not surprise me. To him, the free market is a one way street to his coffers from the government. Not a market and certainly not free.

Sep 25, 2012 at 3:34 PM | Unregistered Commenterdfbaskwill

Latimer Alder
I was thinking of Burns also, To a Mouse on Turning Her Nest Up With The Plough November 1785 has wise words about plans and schemes:

But Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft agley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!

Still thou are blest, compared wi' me!
The present only toucheth thee:
But och! I backward cast my e'e,
On prospects drear!
An' forward, tho' I canna see,
I guess an' fear!

I'd particularly like the "grief and pain" bit for Mann!


Sep 25, 2012 at 3:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Sep 25, 2012 at 9:25 AM | Roddy Campbell wrote:

'Michael E. Mann @Ravens_Curse @fivethirtyeight Yes--I'm completely with you on that. That was my point. Two people can disagree w/out being disagreeable.'

Not if one of the two people is Michael (I see you, I sue you) Mann.

Sep 25, 2012 at 4:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterReed Coray

At the very end you see how Uri Geller ,Derring [sic] Brown etc all do the Telepathic Remote Sensing trick
Sep 25, 2012 at 9:19 AM

It's only fair to emphasize that Derren Brown always points out that he has no "psychic" abilities and has on numerous occasions duplicated (and bettered) the effects of fake psychics and mediums in programmes like Seance and Messiah while insisting there was nothing paranormal about what he did.

On the other hand the litigious Mr Geller...

My lawyer leaps on me and wrestles me away from the keyboardddddddddddd

Sep 25, 2012 at 5:06 PM | Unregistered Commenterartwest


OT, but I agree entirely about Derren Brown. If only his skills were transferable to judges and others charged with making clear-headed decisions.

The less said about Uri Geller, the better.

Sep 25, 2012 at 5:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

I notice that the Freaknomics guys are hosting a Q&A for Nate Silver on this page

A section of Signal about weather prediction was recently excerpted in the Times Magazine. Relatedly, his chapter called ”A Climate of Healthy Skepticism” has already been attacked by the climate scientist Michael Mann. Given the stakes, emotions, and general unpredictability that surround climate change, I am guessing Silver will collect a few more such darts. (Yeah, we’ve been there.)

In the meantime, he has agreed to field questions about his new book from Freakonomics readers. So feel free to post your questions in the comments section below, and we’ll post his replies in short course.

Sep 25, 2012 at 6:02 PM | Registered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

Marxism is based not on hate, but on narcissism. The economy must be run, not by a distributed calculation by those involved, but by ME!

It's akin to faith in creationism as you need a "god" to produce complexity and match demand and supply.

Class war marxism is the main stream version and that definitely has a large serving of hate. It's why it was so easy to go from international socialism to national socialism. It's the same thing with a different group to loot and murder.

Sep 25, 2012 at 6:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterAC1

Lest the Bishop's innocence of formal education in these matters continue to plague his polemic success, perhaps he should avail himself of the texbook and online course offered by that good and great Chicago School climatologist, Prof. Raymond Pierrehumbert

Published by the Cambridge University Press, it can be viewed at :

It requires no more familiarity with the calculus than the peer reiewed works of Milton Friedman, which I also heartily recommend .

Sep 25, 2012 at 7:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterRussell

How people like you come up with such bias is beyond me.
Sep 25, 2012 at 11:01 AM Richard Drake


Sep 25, 2012 at 7:42 PM | Registered CommenterFoxgoose

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