Category Archives: Michael E. Mann

Penn State clears Michael Mann of all charges… now, will Climategate please go away?

Further proof – if it was needed – that Climategate was a faux scandal.

Penn State clears Mann of any charges of misconduct:

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pennsylvania, July 1, 2010 (ENS) – A Pennsylvania State University investigative committee today cleared a well-known Penn State climate scientist of research misconduct, in connection with pilfered e-mails about global warming called Climategate.

Penn State meteorology professor Michael Mann has been cleared of any wrongdoing, according to the report resulting from the four-month long internal investigation that was released today.

Mann was under investigation for allegations of research impropriety that surfaced last year after thousands of stolen e-mails were published online.

With the Sunday Times retracting the article that kicked off “Amazongate”, it looks like another one of the claims of the deniers has no basis in fact.

According to the 19 page report there is “no substance” to the claims that Mann acted in anything but a professional manner.

To quote the report on the value of Mann’s work:

“Dr. Mann’s record of publication in peer reviewed scientific journals offers compelling evidence that his scientific work is highly regarded by his peers, thus offering de facto evidence of his adherence to established standards and practices regarding the reporting of research. To date, Dr. Mann is the lead author of39 scientific publications and he is listed as co-author on an additional 55 pUblications. The majority of these publications appeared in the most highly respected scientific journals, i.e., journals that have the most rigorous editorial and peer reviews in the field. In practical terms, this means that literally dozens of the most highly qualified scientists in the world scrutinized and examined every detail of the scientific work done by Dr. Mann and his colleagues and judged it to meet the high standards necessary for publication…”

Of course, the deniers will mutter about “conspiracies” and the University “protecting its own”.

In order for Mann to be wrong the entire scientific community has to be on the scam, the peer-review process corrupted and governments, the UN, IPCC and universities also have to be in on the conspiracy.

This is what is called a “cascading conspiracy”.

In order to justify one claim of a conspiracy, further allegations of other conspiracies also need to be made to the point of absurdity.

Now, will Climategate please go away?

“And yet it moves…”: climatologist Michael Mann targeted by Virginia’s conservative Attorney General

The war on science continues...

Further evidence that the conservative side of politics is not afraid to intimidate scientists can be seen in recent developments in the US.

Virginia’s Republican Attorney General, Ken Cuccinelli, attempts to intimidate climatologist Michael Mann (continually in the sights of deniers for his “hockey stick graph”) by raising the spectre of possible charges of “fraud”:

“No one can accuse Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli of shying from controversy. In his first four months in office, Cuccinelli directed public universities to remove sexual orientation from their anti-discrimination policies, attacked the Environmental Protection Agency, and filed a lawsuit challenging federal health care reform. Now, it appears, he may be preparing a legal assault on an embattled proponent of global warming theory who used to teach at the University of Virginia, Michael Mann.

In papers sent to UVA April 23, Cuccinelli’s office commands the university to produce a sweeping swath of documents relating to Mann’s receipt of nearly half a million dollars in state grant-funded climate research conducted while Mann— now director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State— was at UVA between 1999 and 2005.

If Cuccinelli succeeds in finding a smoking gun like the purloined emails that led to the international scandal dubbed Climategate, Cuccinelli could seek the return of all the research money, legal fees, and trebled damages…”

The denial movement is rubbing it’s hands with glee, oblivious to the irony that they charge others with politicising the science. Mann, Jones and the CRU have already been cleared by multiple inquiries.

Why this continued attack?

Continue reading

Mann: scientists need “help” combating the “climate denial industry”

One of the many podcasts I listen to is Point of inquiry, the “radio show” for the Centre for Inquiry a US based humanist/sceptical think tank. For years they have been producing brilliant podcasts exploring the evolution debate, philosophy, science, pseudo science and scepticism. Anyone with an interest in science or scepticism should add this one to their library of podcasts.

Recently host Chris Mooney had noted climatologist Michael Mann appear on the show to talk about the “unprecedented attacks” on climate science and scientists. Mann, to those not already familiar with him, is the scientist whose research produced the famous “hockey stick” graph demonstrating the reaility of global warming.

These are dark times not only for climate scientists but science as a whole. The effectiveness of the denial industry can’t be denied. Public opinion is shifting in the wrong direction. Since November 2009 deniers have been able to capitalise on the CRU stolen emails, minor errors in the IPCC report and receive an unprecedented free pass in the general media.

Several things in the interview with Mann are worth noting, as he directly answers some of the more absurd charges thrown at him personally and at climate science generally;

  • The abuse of the stolen CRU emails and how they where effectively quote mined to call into question the motives of scientists 
  • The effectiveness of denial industry in harnessing the power of “new media” through blogs and online forums
  • How the use of the term “trick” in one of the CRU emails was a commonly used term by scientists to describe a clever approach to problem solving, however this was cynically used by the deniers to imply deliberate deceit

Mann admits scientists need help

Mann also admits that scientists underestimated just how ferocious the attacks on science would be. Scientists are woefully ill-equipped to fight the hordes of PR professionals, lawyers and lobbyists employed by the denial industry. According to Mann they have had “decades” to perfect their machinary, while the scientists themselves lack the resources, time and ability to “fight” them in the political arena.

In Mann’s words scientists are “cub scouts” going up against “marines”.

Guess who will win?

Scientists, according to Mann, are trained to do one thing: science. They where naïve in believing that simply presenting the “facts” would convince most people that global warming was happening.

What was needed, in Mann’s opinion, was help from policy makers, NGO’s and concerned individuals in blunting their attacks.

I couldn’t agree more.

Climategate follow up: Mann cleared of wrong doing

It should be noted that following the release of the CRU emails into the public domain, Mann’s employer the University of Pennsylvania conducted an investigation into charges of manipulating data and fabricating evidence. Suffice to say, there was no evidence for this, despite the shrill claims from sceptics.

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