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« Delusional Davey | Main | British Banana Republic »

Mann's green lizards

Michael Mann has a splendidly bonkers article in the Huffington Post, hammering on the theme that he is being got at by green lizards from Alpha Centauri.

Or something like that.

The Kochs, Scaifes & others have used their billions to construct a vast "Potemkin Village" (in the words of science historian Naomi Oreskes) of denialism, by funding groups like "Americans For Prosperity", the "Heartland Institute", the "Competitive Enterprise Institute" and a whole cadre of other front groups, organizations, and hired guns implicated in the campaign to discredit climate science and climate scientists. I should know since, as I describe in my book The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars, I found myself at the center of that campaign more than a decade ago because of my scientific work establishing the unprecedented nature of recent global warming.

You wonder whether more level-headed upholders of the global consensus are at all embarrassed by this sort of thing. The "big oil conspiracy" theory of global warming scepticism seems to thrive among people like Mann, seemingly requiring absolutely no evidence to sustain it. The left-wing media seems to lap it up without question. But is the tale of sceptics feeding off Exxon's millions any more credible than green lizards from Alpha Centauri taking over Michael Mann's brain?

Like him or not, Mann is a figurehead for the "community"; you would have thought that they would want someone less obviously weird to be getting all the headlines and putting their case.

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Reader Comments (43)


I recommend this site to Mr Mann. There is help out there Michael.....You do not have to suffer this alone.

Jun 10, 2014 at 9:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterIvor Ward

And yet, strangely, his current adversary, Mark Steyn, is funded by voluntary contribution, while Mann's green chums have bottomless pockets. He could teach hubris to Tony Blair...

Jun 10, 2014 at 9:55 AM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Himmler was seriously weird too. Happily the analogy doesn't need to extend that closely in the future. But to ask what we might do differently, that the opponents of such paranoid individuals in the 20s and 30s missed, is for me neither boring nor automatically superfluous.

Jun 10, 2014 at 9:56 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Has anyone got a handkerchief? This Nobel prize winning pillar of science has been greatly wronged and I really don't think I can take too much more of it.

Jun 10, 2014 at 9:56 AM | Registered CommenterGrantB

Fiction for climate change. This is exactly what Dame Sling asked.

Jun 10, 2014 at 10:03 AM | Registered Commenteromnologos

For some strange reason his ripping yarns conjure up visions of Gilderoy Lockhart in harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

Jun 10, 2014 at 10:06 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

The moment he tells the truth, his oh so carefully fashioned hermetically sealed little world, implodes. So, it has got to be a plot everywhere is infamy. All the while the pump sucks, going out, is the air of credibility and as the air moves, publicity dying, all that is left, is the vacuum of silence.

Jun 10, 2014 at 10:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

It really is a rollicking read.

What I find truly loopy is that Mann doesn't just claim that there is a "massive fossil fuel funded dsinfonrmation campaign". He insists that this is the source of scepticism itself.

The fallacy in Krugman's thesis, in my view, is that the ideological divide that exists with regard to climate change is somehow independent of the massively-funded disinformation campaign. It isn't.

There you have it. The majority of people here who think they are evaluating information and data and reaching their own independent views are tragically deluded.

Jun 10, 2014 at 10:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeckko

Billionaire KOCH brothers spend money criticising Climate Change alarmism = EVIL

Billionaire SOROS spends money promoting Climate Change alarmism = ANGEL

Jun 10, 2014 at 10:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterStuck-Record

Surely one for Josh...
...Carry on Mann

Jun 10, 2014 at 11:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterDave Salt

Tycoon Robert Wilson gives away $800 million fortune before jumping to death

Climate alarmism promotion in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Jun 10, 2014 at 11:11 AM | Unregistered CommenterMedia Hoar

Thanks, jamesp:

"He could teach hubris to Tony Blair..."

I love that!
But I doubt it's true.

Jun 10, 2014 at 11:11 AM | Unregistered CommenterLevelGaze

There is a survey of the "Dark Money" that funds "deniers":

As far as I know there is no comparable study showing where the other side get their money from. That sounds like a job for Your Grace!

There are also sites like Sourcewatch that detail the contributions of the Koch brothers etc:

The warmists can't see anything unless it is pushed under their nose by a like-minded person so it is no wonder they have that view. It does not take much research to reveal that the total Koch contribution to date would not have funded a single Copenhagen climate meeting.

That highlights another problem with the average warmie, they have no idea of numbers. I am sure that is why the actual value for climate sensitivity does not concern them.

Jun 10, 2014 at 11:13 AM | Unregistered Commentergraphicconception

Delusional. Bunker mentality? Is this the realization that he is going to loose?

Jun 10, 2014 at 11:18 AM | Unregistered CommenterSteve

He is a true Manniac, putting out Mannure dressed up as political insight and science, hopelessly homogenized.
If his scientific work is based on the same level of analysis- and increasingly that appears to be exactly the case- then the remaining question is how did so many other seemingly smart people end up following him over the cliff?

Jun 10, 2014 at 11:24 AM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Didn't the pretend sceptic Richard Muller get funding from the Koch Brothers?

The problem with Michael Mann is that he has the mentallity and ability of a 10 year old. His contribution to science is non-existent, so his tantrums will get worse and he becomes just another nonentity.

Jun 10, 2014 at 11:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterCharmingQuark

"The "big oil conspiracy" theory of global warming scepticism ...requiring absolutely no evidence to sustain it."

Well, it is part of climate "science" anyway

Jun 10, 2014 at 12:11 PM | Registered Commenterdavidchappell

I don't read any of Mann's crap. Life is too short.

Jun 10, 2014 at 12:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh

Projection is common among Mann's type of personality.

Jun 10, 2014 at 12:23 PM | Unregistered Commenterac1

A comment after the HuffPo article leads to a study by a sociologist now at DrexelU "published in Climatic Change, one of the top 10 climate science journals in the world" which reveals that "Despite extensive data compilation and analyses, only a fraction of the hundreds of millions in contributions to climate change denying organizations can be specifically accounted for from public records. Approximately 75% of the income of these organizations comes from unidentifiable sources."
So that's why I haven't been able to get any funding ...

Jun 10, 2014 at 12:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterSkeptical Chymist

Cimate scietivists like Mann have discredited climate science all by themselves without any help from the 'vast Potemkin Village of denialism' they imagine works against them.

Jun 10, 2014 at 1:17 PM | Unregistered Commenterjaffa

I don't think "Mann's green chums have bottomless pockets". There was funding when the opponents were easy to intimidate and the game was fun, but it's a different situation now, and I'm not just talking about Steyn's countersuit where large sums could vector in the opposite direction. Their opponents were not supposed to fight back--or even be able to afford to.

Jun 10, 2014 at 1:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterKen Coffman

Here's a sample of funding for Climate alarmism (from the NAS):

"The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) comprises thirteen federal research agencies. It has received approximately $2.5 billion in federal funding each year for the last three years, which it then distributes to its constituent agencies."

Jun 10, 2014 at 1:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterRon C.

And the money keeps on coming, despite criticisms:

"According to the 2010 Climate Assessment Report that the U.S. submitted to the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change), the USGCRP projects were “extensively reviewed by scientists, federal agency officials, stakeholders, and the general public.” But, as detailed in another ITSSD publication (and summarized by NAS), the peer review processes were compromised, flawed, not transparent, and potentially biased—despite the fact that federal laws and regulations require the EPA to back its findings with rigorous, peer-reviewed science."

"Nevertheless, the federal government continues to fund these research projects, and Congress in the fiscal year 2015 Appropriations bill (H.R. 4660) approved funding increases for NSF ($233 million increase), NASA ($250 million increase), and NOAA ($10.5 million increase)."

Jun 10, 2014 at 2:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterRon C.

Ken C

'Bottomless' is perhaps not the word, but they are certainly deeper than Steyn's. Of course, some of Mann's supporters may be having second thoughts by now, in which case Steyn will have already done us a service.

Jun 10, 2014 at 2:07 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp


"I doubt it's true."

It's hard to imagine, I grant you, but it must be a close run thing!

Jun 10, 2014 at 2:08 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

"vast "Potemkin Village""

Potemkin Town? Potemkin Unitary Authority maybe?

Jun 10, 2014 at 2:18 PM | Unregistered Commenteramoorhouse

Michael Mann is to climate "science" what Tony Benn was to British politics.

Jun 10, 2014 at 2:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterTom Forrester-Paton

Dr. Mann's irrational and fact-free accusation does show us how far removed he is from the real. He is implying very strongly that Spencer, Curry, Lindzen, Tol, and so many other accomplished acadmeics are corrupt mercenaries, sold to the highest bidder. It is not uncommon for extremsits to project their motives and actions on to others. Mann is nothing if not extremist. Dr. Mann's pathological rant is perhaps offering more insights than he intended.

Jun 10, 2014 at 3:16 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

US Federal Climate Change Expenditures 2013 : $22 Billion.

Jun 10, 2014 at 4:09 PM | Unregistered Commenterclimatebeagle

Thin skin, massive ego and little actual ability , what a combination we have with Mann

Jun 10, 2014 at 6:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterKNR

Jun 10, 2014 at 9:55 AM | jamesp

James, if I didn't know better I'd say this makes the "reluctant public idiot" a "Mark-ed Mann."

Jun 10, 2014 at 6:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterReed Coray

Be careful, Your Grace. If Mann wins his legal case against Mark Steyn he might start looking for more people to sue!

Jun 10, 2014 at 10:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

For the first time in my life, I own a show tune. This Steyn guy is a kick. Listening to him belt out a show tune with tongue firmly in accompanied by some babe with a really great voice is opening up whole new vistas for me. He don't need no stinking big Eco to fund his psychosis. He's way more fun than the Mann.

Jun 10, 2014 at 10:21 PM | Unregistered Commenterlcs

Many people in climate start with blogs and end up writing books or papers. Mann is headed in the opposite direction.

Jun 11, 2014 at 3:25 AM | Registered Commentershub

Mann in the HuffPo?! How the mighty little Mann has fallen, eh?!

At one time he could snap his pudgy little fingers and get an Op Ed piece in the far more respectable (and probably paying even!) Washington Post (e.g. 2010 when, as a novice, I had noted he flogged his schtick there).

I cannot remember off-hand whether or not Mann ever succeeded in landing an opus in the oh-so-prestiigious New York Times; although I suspect he may well have done so in his "glory" days (i.e. long before my entry onto this particular battlefield!)

Considering that in this particular piece of creative writing** he's sorta disputing the NYT's (equally execrable) Paul Krugman, is it not in the least bit odd that the NYT did not give Mann equal time and space to air his "views"?!

**Didn't Mann take a "sabbatical" a few years ago? ... Perhaps he used (at least some of) the time to take some courses at UEA's Creative Writing school!

His latest book which, as I've previously observed, would have been more accurately entitled Portrait of the Artist as an Aggrieved Man: A Novel, certainly suggests that - if nothing else - he may well have been extremely influenced by such a course, does it not?!

Although I must confess that with 18.2K tweets since 2011 to his "credit", I very much doubt that I (with my piddly 1,843 tweets within more or less the same time-frame - or, at least, so twitter tells me) will ever be able to match him.

Not that I would ever aspire to do so ;-)

P.S. @Shub +10

Jun 11, 2014 at 7:37 AM | Registered CommenterHilary Ostrov

Hilary: I was going to mention how it rested on and resisted Krugman's NYT piece too, which distanced itself from the fossil-fuel-funded nonsense at least. It's a good point that Mann is forced to make his critique in a lesser journal - though the online-only HuffPo is the way web gurus like Marc Andreessen say every such brand must go very soon or die, so that could change. What's also notable is that Krugman did an exceptionally nasty hit piece on Roger Pielke Jr not long before this one. Good to see he's got some blowback on that. But why such a warped focus on climate from the Nobel-winning economist? (And I was always told his stuff on clustering was indeed good, long ago.)

Jun 11, 2014 at 8:33 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Talk of Mann's demise are premature. Mann's view of unquestionable climate catastrophe- essentially the view of Mr. Obama and his science adviser Holdren- is the basis of US policy, UK policy and that of many other nations.
The damage Mann has done in his spectacular career is far from finished.
Mann's destruction of the public square with his torrent of ad homs, defamation, personal attacks on colleagues, reliance on suing opponents over trivial matters, intimidation of publications, "co-ordination" of stories, silencing of critics, etc. etc. etc. is hard to over state.

Jun 11, 2014 at 12:42 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

What's so odd about the "big oil" conspiracy is that it defies all economic logic. Certainly green restrictive policy including AGW policy has only increased the basic profits of any who so happen to have been established in such a commodity industry. The entire "green energy" sector is deeply invested in a high price of basic energy not a lower one. If you wanted to be logical about a conspiracy theory you might argue "big oil" is the secret supporter of climate change policy and green restrictions of oil expansion and development. It certainly favors established interests at the expense of emerging exploration and new supply that would lower over all prices.

Greens argue for higher energy pricing all the time and they have succeeded yet they disown the benefits that they have passed on to their imagined enemies. Is this just general economic cluelessness and why isn't this point hammered home more often?

This is a new vs. old Coke outcome, I don't think "big oil" is this conspiratorial or smart but clearly over time any business benefits from a higher price based on scarcity, artificially imposed such as it is by green culture. Greens should be forced to accept the costs they have passed on to the entire market place and consumers.

Jun 11, 2014 at 8:27 PM | Unregistered Commentercwon14

Mann should check who his big friend Dana Nuccitelli works for : Tetra Tech living of Big Oil assistance. Simply check his LinkedIn profile.

Jun 12, 2014 at 6:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterAntonyIndia

Antony: Yes, Nuccitelli is BOBC - Big Oil, Big Climate. cwon14 is right that the combination should not surprise us, even if it can be explained best (or at least mostly) not as conspiracy but common interest.

And hunter is right too I fear:

Talk of Mann's demise are premature. Mann's view of unquestionable climate catastrophe- essentially the view of Mr. Obama and his science adviser Holdren- is the basis of US policy, UK policy and that of many other nations.
The damage Mann has done in his spectacular career is far from finished.
Mann's destruction of the public square with his torrent of ad homs, defamation, personal attacks on colleagues, reliance on suing opponents over trivial matters, intimidation of publications, "co-ordination" of stories, silencing of critics, etc. etc. etc. is hard to over state.

I felt this needed saying when I read CharmingQuark (and some other commentators) two days ago:

The problem with Michael Mann is that he has the mentallity and ability of a 10 year old. His contribution to science is non-existent, so his tantrums will get worse and he becomes just another nonentity.

I don't disagree about the tantrums but Mann is young - still under fifty - and his journey to becoming a nonentity could take in a great deal of destruction, because of his desire for power, those encouraging him in that (from above as well as below, in my view) and the very bad habits hunter's described.

Jun 12, 2014 at 11:06 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Is Michael Mann 'going all in' ?
- The poker analogy is appropriate. If someone thinks they are about to lose a libel case, then they have nothing to lose by ramping it up and being even more deceptive.
.. If they felt they were about to win a libel case then surely they would actually be careful to stick well within the truth.

(.. is really endemic on the CAGW-side.
It's like they are all pot-committed, going all-in, there is no turning back ...
Mar 6, 2012 at 5:18 PM | Unregistered Commenter Jonas N )

Jun 12, 2014 at 12:54 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

stewgreen: I'm not sure the poker analogy is the only one or that I know the game well enough to evaluate if Jonas and you have chosen the right scenario within it. (Where's Mrs David Mitchell when I need her?) But I take your point about the imminent (or much more protracted) legal encounter with the National Review and its columnist. I think we can be hopeful on that but it would be unwise, emotionally, to bank all our Steyns. Interesting times, as the Chinese have surely wished for us on many occasions since the dark days of the Opium Wars.

Jun 12, 2014 at 2:01 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

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