The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has weighed in on Portrait of the Artist as an Aggrieved Mann. Anne Jolis, editorial page writer for WSJ Europe, reviews Mann’s latest opus [h/t Paul Matthews]. Some excerpts:
“The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars” argues that global temperatures have risen in conjunction with our use of fossil fuels.
Michael Mann [...] has become one of the loudest advocates of the anti-carbon agenda, energetically blogging and tweeting about the need for urgent U.S. emissions reduction and global cap-and-trade. It’s not surprising that he is also a prime target for global-warming skeptics, who argue that establishing statistically significant temperature trends from proxy data is tricky and that Mr. Mann’s certainties involve, at best, debatable speculations and questionable math.
“The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars” is the story of both Mr. Mann and his graph. But rather than a chronicle of research and discovery, it’s a score-settling with anyone who has ever doubted his integrity or work: free-market think tanks, industrialists, “scientists for hire,” “the corruptive influence of industry,” the “uninformed” media and public. So, a long list.
In his book, Mr. Mann dubs [Climategate] the unauthorized release of his emails a “crime” and claims that the ensuing “witch hunt” constituted “the most malicious” of “attack after vitriolic attack against us” by the “corporate-funded denial machine.”
Yet for all his caviling about “smear campaigns,” “conspiracy theorists” and “character assassination,” Mr. Mann is happy to employ similar tactics against his opponents. Patrick Michaels, former president of the American Association of State Climatologists and a past program chair of the American Meteorological Society’s Committee on Applied Climatology, is introduced as “a prominent climate change contrarian at the University of Virginia primarily known for his advocacy for the fossil fuel industry.” (Nowhere does Mr. Mann explain why a scientist might be more easily corrupted by a check from, say, a coal company than by one from a politically controlled institution.)
Just this February, Mr. Mann took to the Daily Kos to praise the theft of internal documents from the free-market Heartland Institute for offering “a peek behind the curtain of industry-funded climate change denial.” It was revelatory, but not in the way he thought. Hours after Mr. Mann posted his online musings, the much-decorated hydroclimatologist Peter Gleick (2003 MacArthur fellow, adviser to the EPA and, until recently, chairman of the American Geophysical Union’s task force on scientific ethics) confessed to the Heartland theft.
Mr. Mann closes “The Hockey Stick” with a passionate call for more scientists to join him “on the front lines of the climate wars.” “Scientific truth alone,” Mr. Mann writes, “is not enough to carry the day in the court of public opinion.” It would be “irresponsible,” he says, “for us to silently stand by while industry-funded climate change deniers succeed in confusing and distracting the public and dissuading our policy makers from taking appropriate actions.” These are unfortunate conclusions for a scientist-turned-climate-warrior whose greatest weakness has always been a low estimation of the public intellect. [emphases added -hro]
Bingo, Ms. Jolis.
UPDATE: 03/18/2012 04:44 PM PDT Reader, Alexjc38 has shared his transcript of the above WSJ interview with Anne Jolis https://sites.google.com/site/mytranscriptbox/home/20120314_ws
Alex notes in his comment on this transcript:
Best quote, IMO: “he seems to not understand that… reasonable layman minds can grasp all this, and understand the science as it stands, and simply disagree with Mr Mann…”
I agree … One should never underestimate Mann’s vanity and follies!