What a piece of work is Mann

Highly recommended: Mark Steyn’s “A Disgrace to the Profession“, to anyone interested in the genesis of Michael Mann’s Hokey Stick. Steyn’s book is not an attack on the idea of AGW, it’s an exposé of, arguably, the biggest scientific fraud since Piltdown; and, indisputably, the most consequential.

Using the words of scientists who strongly believe AGW is true and of those who are more skeptical, it lays out a convincing case that there are differences of opinion among scientists on AGW, if not so much about Michael Mann.

If you (mistakenly) conflate Mann’s agenda with the discipline of climate science, you will like the book still less than even Mann’s “allies” like him. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t read it: If you are concerned about erosion of public support for “doing something” about AGW, you should read it so you can help climate science regain a modicum of respectability. As long as Mann is left to hijack the discussion, threaten the careers of distinguished scientists and subvert the peer review process, it is unlikely reasonable people will find any common ground on the topic.

Mann has been able to force the entire discipline of climate science into a corner where failure to defend his work is equated with failure to defend, in Mann’s words, “the cause.” A strange way for a scientist to think. If there is a single principle that distinguishes science from religion it is that scientific theories are falsifiable. Mann is pushing the religion of Mann, not the science of climate study.

The damage to science itself is profound. The damage to freedom of speech is, perhaps, even worse – which is how Steyn got involved in a lawsuit. And came to write this book. The First Amendment is as much subject to Mann’s attack as is the scientific method.

I consider myself well informed on the AGW debate, but I learned quite a bit from this book. You probably will too. This book does not deny AGW, it denies Michael Mann’s devious, unprincipled, ad-hominem attacks on those who dare ask a single question.

We’re being asked to restructure the world economy because of a drawing based on misrepresentation, willful hyperbole and astounding arrogance. You should read “A Disgrace to the Profession” in order to understand what that means, whatever your position on AGW. You should buy “A Disgrace to the Profession” (also at Amazon) because doing so helps defend free speech. Even if Mann were right, it is long past time his bullying lawfare was stopped.

There is a balanced disturbance in The Farce

STUDY BLAMES GLOBAL WARMING FOR 75 PERCENT OF VERY HOT DAYS

But, fear not, this is balanced by the studies telling us the dreaded POLAR VORTEX is also caused by Global Warming.

Since we have not experienced any catastrophic anthropogenic global warming in almost 2 decades, it’s working out.

The settled scientific consensus

Summary of IPCC AR5 Summary: One man’s best estimate is that same man’s refusal to believe his own data. Emphasis mine:

No best estimate for equilibrium climate sensitivity can now be given because of a lack of agreement on values across assessed lines of evidence and studies. (page 11)

Translation: Our climate models have failed to even approximate the key element for which they were designed.

It is extremely likely that more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was caused by the anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas concentrations and other anthropogenic forcings together. The best estimate of the human induced contribution to warming is similar to the observed warming over this period. (page 12)

Translation: In spite of the failure of our models, our best estimate (we’re 95% confident) is that humanity is going to fry if we don’t spend trillions to stop this horrible catastrophe. Stop Keystone, destroy the coal industry, increase “green” subsidies and fund my study, or we all die.

Heads being filled with slimy mush

John Horgan, @johnhorgan at the Scientific American @sciam blog, poses a moral question regarding Dr. Peter Gleick’s recent ethical lapse:
Should Global-Warming Activists Lie to Defend Their Cause?

When, if ever, is lying justified? I talked about this conundrum this week in a freshmen humanities class, in which we were reading Immanuel Kant on morality. Kant proposed that we judge the rightness or wrongness of an act, such as breaking a promise, by considering what happens if everyone does it. If you don’t want to live in a world in which everyone routinely breaks promises, then you shouldn’t do so.

That’s a fine principle, in the abstract, but my students and I agreed that in certain situations lying is excusable. Shouldn’t you lie if your girlfriend asks you if you like her new haircut? If your boss, who’s a vindictive bastard, asks your opinion of his new business plan? What about lying in order to reveal a plot that you believe imperils all of humanity?

That brings me to the latest scandal to emerge from the debate over global warming…

Let’s examine the three questions to which Mr. Horgan and his freshman humanities students agreed it was OK to lie:

1- Shouldn’t you lie if your girlfriend asks you if you like her new haircut?
No, you shouldn’t lie. She’ll keep getting it cut in ways you don’t like, making her less attractive to you.  That wasn’t her objective. 

2- If your boss, who’s a vindictive bastard, asks your opinion of his new business plan?
No, you shouldn’t lie. He’ll think he has a good plan (the author appears to assume it’s not).  Toadyism might be his preference, but maybe he is just vindictive, not stupid. In any case, your lie will probably damage you and everyone else in the organization.

3- What about lying in order to reveal a plot that you believe imperils all of humanity?
Yes, you should lie. You and everyone else will die if you don’t. Revealing a plot that imperils all of humanity (Wink, wink. Nod, nod: What Gleick did.) assumes that you lie by telling the would-be humanicidal maniacs that “I promise never to reveal your plot to kill everyone in the world.”

But this hypothetical is not like the others: You lie to reveal, not conceal; And you lie about an existential threat. And it’s the wrong lie. In the case at hand, Gleick’s, your lie would have to be phrased, “I promise not to fabricate evidence that you have a plot to kill everybody.”

Mr. Horgan is obfuscating his way into an alternate reality where Peter Gleick lied for our sins.  Woe, woe to science when this slippery conflation of ethical situations is its defense of the unethical behavior of the former Chairman of the Ethics Committee Task Force for the American Geophysical Union. 

Woe to freshman humanities students who have such an instructor.

Finally, the fact that the headline can even pass editorial muster is telling.  They couldn’t get to, “Are scientists still scientists when they fabricate evidence to protect a cultish mythology pet theory?”

Disgusting

@powerlineblog notes that an invitation to an exercise in exchanging ideas is likely what set Dr. Peter Gleick on his reputational suicide mission.

This guy was chairman of a scientific ethics committee. He was a honcho in the climate Chicken Little industry. His behavior is that of a religious cultist with an IQ of 75, except the Kool-Aid killed only his conscience. He is the True Believer writ larger, and yet even smaller, than Eric Hoffer could have imagined.

Intellectually degenerate. Morally bankrupt. Despicable, mendacious and proud. If science comes to be disrespected, it will be cretins of this sort who should be held responsible. He damages us all. And he is typical of his ilk.

While we’re on the topic, it is worth reading this reality based presentation at the Ludwig von Mises Institute. The climate models are wrong, and the modelers know it. They’ve got nothing left, except character assassination. And they aren’t good at that, either.