Michael Mann spoke at EnviroDay at the University of Virginia about — “one-sided skepticism”?
The Daily Progress reports,
…“The University of Virginia took a very brave stance against this yet again obvious effort to intimidate scientists,” Mann said during his talk.
He praised those who had come to his defense.
“The best way that I can get back at my detractors is by being the most effective advocate that I can be,” he said.
The university has been closed-mouthed about the issue pending the Supreme Court’s decision. When the case was heard earlier this month, the university released a statement that read in part, “It would be inappropriate for the University to speculate on the outcome of today’s arguments.”
Mann said in an interview after his speech that he expects there to be some manner of attacks against him “forever.”
“I think that a lot of us are worried that these attacks will have the impact of perhaps dissuading young scientists,” Mann said in the interview.
Mann was critical of skeptics, whom he referred to as “deniers” and “contrarians.”
“One-sided skepticism is no skepticism at all,” he said during the talk.
Mann did say that some advocates of the notion that global climate change is a problem have overstepped, linking specific occurrences to climate change in ways that the data doesn’t support. He compared climate change’s relationship to specific calamities to tobacco’s relationship to cancer: It can’t be proved that smoking caused a specific person’s cancer, but it can be shown that smoking increases the risk of cancer.
The debate our society should be having, Mann said, is not whether climate change exists, but how to address it.
Professor James Galloway, in his introduction of Mann, said climate scientists must figure out how such change works, what exactly is changing, why it’s changing and what the course of those changes will be, among other things.
Mann is perhaps best known for being one of the authors of the “hockey stick” graph, which shows global temperatures rising sharply in the modern era. Mann insisted that the graph is one of many pieces of evidence for global climate change, but said the graph has become a flashpoint after it was used in a report on the issue.
“I’m honored that they think that” the graph is the key evidence behind the theory of global climate change, Mann said.
Mann also decried what he called the “scientization of politics.”
Mann was speaking in front of a clearly friendly audience.
When he showed a photograph of Sarah Palin on the projector, the audience started laughing before he said anything.
Mann called for reductions in carbon emissions, saying that it was a matter of what sort of world will be left to future generations.
“Too often it isn’t framed as the ethical issue it is,” he said.