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Mann goes atomic

Another day, another Michael Mann interview. This is very much in the vein of other recent Mann appeareances, with much griping over "deniers" and whatnot.

It is odd to see all these "journals" - WaPo, New Scientist, and now the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists - come running when Mann has a message to convey.

(H/T Shub in the comments)

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Reader Comments (42)

I smell a coordinated PR effort with pre-arranged questions and answers.

Nov 6, 2010 at 7:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterBernie

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists? Hmmmm, seems an odd vehicle. Last seen as the wacky publication on "Have I got News for you" perhaps?

Nov 6, 2010 at 7:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterArgusfreak

Just wait 'til he sees the M4GW skit!
Drummer's a bit familiar-looking!

Nov 6, 2010 at 8:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterAdam Gallon

It is an ancient Warmist,
And he stoppeth one of three.
'By thy long grey beard and glittering eye,
Now wherefore stopp'st thou me?

Ah ! well a-day ! what evil looks
Had I from old and young !
Instead of the cross, the Hockey Stick
About my neck was hung.

Nov 6, 2010 at 8:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

Thanks for posting this. It was a very interesting and informative interview. For the who do not know, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists was started by some of the scientists who worked on the atomic bomb who became concerned about the potential destruction of an atomic war during the Cold War. It has always been very highly regarded as the conscience of the scientific community.

Nov 6, 2010 at 9:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike

Or as most people are heard to utter on encountering Mann:

Hold-off, unhand me goatee-bearded loon!

Nov 6, 2010 at 9:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterZT

When you plug this search into Google:

+mann +"gaming the system to allow through substandard"

... you will get 89 hits on this phrase going back to July 2010 (or 14 when Google duplicates are removed). This exact phrase appears verbatim in a variety of publications.

Somehow it looks questionable that Mann actually "talked to the BAS about the current state of climate-change science," as BAS states in the lead to the interview.

Nov 6, 2010 at 9:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterGarry

Mac, you ancient mariner............

Just smashing!

Peter Walsh

Nov 6, 2010 at 9:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterRETEPHSLAW

All these interviews with Mann, but not one single word about him retracting his cretinous `scientific' papers.

Nov 6, 2010 at 10:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterRobinson

Have the good citizens of Atomic Scientists read the analyses of Prof Claes Johnson and Prof Nicol?
Both have also commented on the relative ignorance of modern physicists regarding radiative physics and

Nov 6, 2010 at 10:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterG.Watkins

Wow Gary! If it is on the internet at least ten times it must be a true fact! Is that what you call the scientific method? Perhaps it is the "cretinous loon" version of the scientific method.

Nov 6, 2010 at 10:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike

And who could not agree with this from Michael Mann "They [the media] shouldn’t simply act as stenographers for carefully choreographed smear campaigns." Hear, hear!

I guess Gary just rumbled that one.

Nov 6, 2010 at 10:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterJosh

"Mann talked to the BAS about the current state of climate-change science—and the embattled state of science communication."

Science communication for the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists is not embattled, it is extraordinary. So much so that as "Mann talked" he managed to put in five active hyprlinks as he did so. I doubt very much if even Sir Tim Berners-Lee could do that.

Nov 6, 2010 at 11:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterGrantB


Nov 6, 2010 at 11:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterGrantB

Michael Mann in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists:

I’ve been the subject of attacks by climate change deniers for more than a decade now, because of the prominent role that the “hockey stick” temperature reconstruction has played in the public discourse on climate change. This doesn’t mean that I’m numb to the outrageous attacks against me and other climate scientists. But I’m not surprised by anything anymore. There is nothing, it would seem, that the climate change denial industry isn’t willing to do in their attempts to thwart policy action to combat human-caused climate change. While the attacks have been tough to deal with at times, I’ve had a huge amount of support from my colleagues, other scientists, and ordinary citizens who have come out of the woodwork just to thank me for my contributions.

Michael Mann in Britannica Blog

I’ve been the subject of attacks by climate-change deniers for more than a decade now, because of the prominent role that the “hockey stick” temperature reconstruction has played in the public discourse on climate change. This doesn’t mean that I’m numb to the outrageous attacks against me and other climate scientists. But I’m not surprised by anything anymore. There is nothing, it would seem, that that the climate-change denial industry isn’t willing to do in their attempts to thwart policy action to combat human-caused climate change. While the attacks have been tough to deal with at times, I’ve had a huge amount of support from my colleagues, other scientists, and ordinary citizens who have come out of the woodwork just to thank me for my contributions.

Nov 6, 2010 at 11:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub


Nov 6, 2010 at 11:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterPharos


Since, in the academic world, I am assured that it is entirely possible to plagiarise oneself...however wacky an idea that may seem to normal sane and intelligent beings...does this not mean that Mann is guilty of it in spades?

Or is he just too idle to bother doing any actual thinking for an interview?

Nov 6, 2010 at 11:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

Methinks Mann doth protest too much...

Nov 6, 2010 at 11:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh

I was wondering why the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists were running a puff piece on Mann, until I looked into the history of their Doomsday Clock, and found that a couple of years ago they added climate change to their definition of midnight.

I suppose it all agrees with Mann's presumption that climate change represents an extinction threat. When I read that, I knew that he had gone off the deep end. Until then, I thought that he was just a researcher who had gotten a little too wrapped up in his paleoclimate reconstructions to realize their limitations.

Going back to the interview, notice that Mann did not respond to the question about temperature trajectory. And fielded no questions about the reliability of his own work. And even in the policy area, didn't get asked any questions about the objections to cap-and-trade even from many of the strong-AGW persuasion. As I said, a puff piece.

Nov 7, 2010 at 12:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterHaroldW

Thank you Shub - another nice example of Climatology Plagiarism!

Despite the dubious norms of climatology, passing off the same chunk of text in multiple venues, is bad form, as all students and journalists know.

Nov 7, 2010 at 12:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterZT

Those nuts with the Doomsday Clock (it became nutty when climate change was added as a criterion, if not before) had the late, not so great Stephen Schneider talk at their last clock change. It's not surprising they would give Mann a forum to spout his nonsense.

Nov 7, 2010 at 12:27 AM | Unregistered Commentermovielib

It has been my impression over the years that the Bulletin and its sponsors had swung pretty far to the

Nov 7, 2010 at 12:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterphilH

The Brittanica blog question was well-constructed.

"You personally faced charges of data tampering and deviating from the accepted practices of your field as a result of the release of the e-mails from CRU. Although you were fully exonerated, what effect did the investigation have on how you think climate science should be conducted?"

To which Mann gave the utterly useless answer of his (copy-pasted) personal opinion on current events. The Atomic Scientists' question had a more personal angle, to which Mann, gave the same answer (!). He must be copy-pasting and emailing.

I found something mind-boggling, and strange here

One scientist, Michael Mann, carved out a reputation by introducing the “hockey stick” index – how climate change can be measured by the rings in ancient trees, like the bands on a hockey stick – and claimed that the 1990s was the warmest decade of the century. He had been summoned before a US Congressional committee and forced to produce every shred of evidence, like some lowly criminal. He was so traumatised by this vendetta that his marriage broke up.

Nov 7, 2010 at 2:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterShub

Shub - that is truly a peculiar piece.

"Climate change is highly political," Pearce observed. "The shock troops of the fossil fuel industry are getting worried. They are conducting witch-hunts; they are unpleasant people. They are causing health problems for climate scientists."

Apparently this dates from 2005, the pre-climategate era, a certain stage in our understanding of climatological matters. At this point, for example, the fact that the Himalayas would be gone in 30 years had only relatively recently been proven through the irreducible fact that Pearce himself had interviewed someone that said that this was the case, and the resulting reporting had been printed in the New Scientist.

Nov 7, 2010 at 2:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterZT

Shub - think Mann has a little pull-ring on his back with a string attached?

Nov 7, 2010 at 3:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterJEM

Another article stuffed with copy and paste from the Mann again. Perhaps journalists are just running out of new news worth publishing and have to fill the gaps with repeats.

Nov 7, 2010 at 7:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterMartyn

I said before that it (Mann) is like a record with the needle stuck in the groove. Persecution complex anyone?

Nov 7, 2010 at 7:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

"...He was so traumatised by this vendetta that his marriage broke up..."

Seems to catching amongst the AGW community - remember Gore?

Nov 7, 2010 at 9:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterNatsman

And here was Judith the other day protesting on his behalf saying he was to young to fight the IPCC politics. Now I find out that facing the Congrssional Committee broke up his marriage.

I am beginning to feel sorry the guy.....then again, he insults us almost daily these days so......

Nov 7, 2010 at 10:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterPete Hayes

The upside down mann is digging his own grave. The more he shouts and foams at the mouth, the more people are going to scrutinize his work and realize that his work is bunkum.

Look at what is happening to Al Gore and Rajendra Pachauri now. Everytime they open their mouths, they only make themselves bigger fools and everyone is starting to realize what hypocrites they are.

So yeah, I hope the upside down mann continues to write lots more articles on climate 'deniers', after the US midterm elections clearly showed what the American middle class thinks about global warming.

Give a fool enough rope and...

Nov 7, 2010 at 11:11 AM | Unregistered CommenterZander K.

One holds out hope that sometime between Jan 2011 and Dec 2013, one of the House committees will get Mann, Jones, Hanson another shot at raising their right hand and restating how they got to the hockey rink. For Hanson, all of GISS is Federally funded. For Mann, huge amounts of his funds come via the US taxpayer. Their choices are quite stark: testify before Congress, refuse and face prosecution or take the 5th. It won't be at all like whitewashes of the UK system.

Nov 7, 2010 at 12:33 PM | Unregistered Commentercedarhill

" When a wise man is advised of his errors, he will reflect on and improve his conduct. When his misconduct is pointed out, a foolish man will not only disregard the advice but rather repeat the same error" Buddha

Ring any bells with anyone.

Nov 7, 2010 at 2:27 PM | Unregistered Commenterpesadia


Oh no, it won't be like the UK at all. Here's Dr Mann in his October 8, 2010 WaPo editorial:

"Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has threatened that, if he becomes chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, he will launch what would be a hostile investigation of climate science. The focus would be on e-mails stolen from scientists at the University of East Anglia in Britain last fall that climate-change deniers have falsely claimed demonstrate wrongdoing by scientists, including me. Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) may do the same if he takes over a committee on climate change and energy security."

He's in for a seriously rough ride, and he knows it.

Nov 7, 2010 at 2:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Cut & Paste - a common theme amongst the Team - that is how the Hockey Stick was created - Cut & Paste.

Nov 7, 2010 at 2:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

Just gotta love Mike Mann's thanatotic obsession.

Nov 7, 2010 at 5:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

BBD - while I'm quite certainly hoping that Issa among others bring a pump truck and some Lysol to the honey-hut that is climate science, it's those in federal employment and particularly those in policy positions (or who want to believe that they are) who have been dodging their own agencies' rules and procedures to push the carbon-regulation line that need the most vigorous brushing.

I'd like to think that Hansen finds GISS red-penciled completely out of the next budget.

The miscreants at the EPA are already starting to flee -

Nov 7, 2010 at 6:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterJEM


Thanks for the link. I had no idea that Heizerling had gone back to what must be a lovely job as a law professor at Georgetown University (I'm a Brit - I try to keep up with US affairs, but not always successfully).

I note from the article you link that her appointment was not confirmed by the Senate and that she was in fact on a two year leave of absence granted by her clearly very understanding employers.

All very interesting.

Nov 7, 2010 at 7:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

When Mann falls there will be a lot in at the kill , some of whom you may be surprised to see.

Nov 7, 2010 at 7:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterKnR


I believe that the Fall Of Man has already been foretold in the bible somewhere. Much wailing and gnashing of teeth is to be involved. But I don't think it covered redemption and salvation through drumming with M4GW.......maybe I just have an outdated edition.

Nov 7, 2010 at 9:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

Latimer - I don't think you'll find it in any one of the more recent English translations. Muir Russell got to James I.

Nov 7, 2010 at 11:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterJEM

Latimer --
I think the relevant citation is from Genesis:

The LORD God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may use tree rings freely; but from the tree of the bristlecone pines you shall not use rings, for in the day that you extrapolate from it you will surely get a hockey stick.”

Or something like that. And it involved a snake, too. My memory isn't that good these days.

Nov 8, 2010 at 5:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterHaroldW

History of Henry V

Act II, Scene 2

Southampton. A council-chamber.


To mark the full-fraught man and best indued
With some suspicion. I will weep for thee;
For this revolt of thine, methinks, is like
Another fall of mann. Their faults are open:
Arrest them to the answer of the law;
And God acquit them of their practises!

Nov 9, 2010 at 12:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterDocMartyn

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