In today’s The-Scientist pity-me piece, Michael Mann goes out of his way to assert is an “accidental” public figure. Why?
He and/or his lawyer may feel that his status as “public figure” will have adverse implications in the libel suit he filed against Mark Steyn and the Competitive Enterprise Institute.
But Michael Mann has been a voluntary public figure since at least 1998. He first volunteered to be a public figure as early as April 22, 1998 when he appeared on NBC Nightly News to discuss his hokey stick study.
You can’t promote yourself and your work in the media and them claim “my critics turned me into a public figure.”
Nice try Mikey.
Here’s the transcript from the NBC appearance:
TOM BROKAW, anchor:
NBC NEWS IN DEPTH tonight, does it seem it’s been warmer than usual where you live? Well, it’s not your imagination. Scientists have figured out ways to trace climate changes over hundreds of years now, and their findings are out tonight. The world, in fact, is getting warmer. Our IN DEPTH report now from NBC’s chief science correspondent Robert Bazell:
ROBERT BAZELL reporting:
Terrible storms, floods, heat waves: Is something unnatural really happening to our weather? The answer is yes. The study out today examines detailed records of the earth’s climate for 600 years.
Dr. MICHAEL MANN (University of Massachusetts): The unusual warmth of the 20th century, and the 1990s in particular, which have been an especially warm decade, are unprecedented over a much longer period of time then we previously have been able to establish.
BAZELL: How do they know? Dr. Michael Mann and his team analyze human historical records–tree rings, glaciers, and all sorts of other evidence from as far back as the year 1400. Their conclusion: The earth has never been as warm as it is now. The reason: We burn things. And everything we burn from a match, to gasoline for cars, to coal for plants that generate electricity, pours the invisible gas carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, where it traps the sun’s heat, the greenhouse effect.
Dr. MANN: This very unprecedented warmth of the 20th century had a–had a–had a very close relationship with the increase in greenhouse gases during the past century.
BAZELL: And the problem is only getting worse. A Department of Energy report out today says greenhouse gas emissions will rise by as much as 80 percent in the next 20 years. So there seems to be little question that the earth will continue to get warmer, probably a lot warmer. But what does that mean for this environment that we all live in? Most scientists agree that oceans will keep rising, and that a warmer atmosphere will hold more water and dump more moisture in storms in both winter and summer, and those storms will get more and more severe all over the world. Of course, no single weather event can be linked to global warming, and no one can say exactly what change will strike what part of the earth.
Dr. STEVEN SCHNEIDER (Stanford University): We’re performing an experiment in this lab. It’s a lab, however, that happens to be earth. And it’s not made up of–you know, of glass and wires; it’s made up of soils and animals and insects and us.
BAZELL: Scientists say some parts of the world could actually end up much better off with more water for farming and less need for heating fuel. Other places could face sustained heat and drought. The only certainty is a rapidly changing climate. Robert Bazell, NBC News, New York.
BROKAW: The study was released today, not coincidentally, to coincide with Earth Day, which President Clinton and Vice President Gore marked by visiting the Appalachian Trail–a section of it in West Virginia. And on other side of the country, 3,000 Los Angeles schoolchildren hit the beaches to pick up litter. They’re expected to haul away several tons of it.
When we come back, are you on overload? Our special series, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. How to balance your job and your life.
Later, the legend of the USS Indianapolis. How one young boy is attempting to correct history, teaching everyone a lesson about justice.