Climategate 3.0: Mann tries intimidating Wall Street Journal editorial writer with tough talk and Media Matters

In response to a polite media inquiry from Wall Street journal editorial writer Anne Jolis, Mann rages, in part, “Misrepresenting the work of scientists is a serious offense” — and then cc’s his response to Media Matters, Joe Romm and other allies in the warmest-media industrial complex.

The e-mail exchange is below.

###

from: Michael Mann
subject: Re: From the Wall Street Journal:
to: Anne Jolis , Joe Romm ,
Media Matters Erikka Knuti , DarkSydOTheMoon@aol.com,
Dan Vergano , Bud Ward ,
george@monbiot.info, AJ Walzer , “Paul D. Thacker”
, Chris Mooney
Ms. Jolis,
I’ve taken the liberty of copying this exchange to a few others who might be
interested in
it, within the broader context of issues related to the history of biased
reporting on
climate change at the Wall Street Journal Europe,
Yours,
Mike Mann
On Oct 23, 2009, at 12:42 PM, Michael Mann wrote:
Ms. Jolis,
I am traveling through this weekend and have only brief email access, so can
only respond
w/ a very short email to your inquiry.
I’m sad to report that the tone of your questions suggests a highly
distorted,
contrarian-driven view of the entirety of our science. The premise of
essentially everyone
of your questions is wrong, and is contradicted by assessments such as the
IPCC report,
reports by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, etc. The National Academy
of Science
report (more info below) reported in 2006 that “The basic conclusion of Mann
et al. (1998,
1999) was that the late 20th century warmth in the Northern Hemisphere was
unprecedented
during at least the last 1,000 years. This conclusion has subsequently been
supported by an
array of evidence…”. The conclusions in the most recent 2007 IPCC Fourth
Assessment
report have been significantly strengthened relative to what was originally
concluded in
our work from the 1990s or in the IPCC 2001 Third Assessment Report,
something that of
course should have been expected given the numerous additional studies that
have since been
done that all point in the same direction. The conclusion that large-scale
recent warmth
likely exceeds the range seen in past centuries has been extended from the
past 1000 years
in the TAR, to the past 1300 years in the current report, and the confidence
in this
conclusion has been upped from likely in the Third Assessment Report to very
likely in the
current report for the past half millennium.
Since then, the conclusions have been further strengthened by other work,
including work by
us. Please see e.g. the reporting by the BBC:
[1]http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8236797.stm
[2]http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7592575.stm
You don’t seem to be aware of the fact that our original “Hockey Stick”
reconstruction
didn’t even use the “Yamal” data. It seems you have uncritically accepted
nearly every
specious contrarian claim and innuendo against me, my colleagues, and the
science of
climate change itself. Furthermore, I doubt that the various authors you cite
as critics,
such as Pollack and Smerdon, would in any way agree w/ your assessment of
this work.
Misrepresenting the work of scientists is a serious offense, and would work
to further
besmirch the reputation of the Wall Street Journal, which is strongly been
called into
question in the past with regard to the treatment of climate change.
I’ve copied my response to a number of others who might wish to comment
further, as I will
be unavailable to speak with you until next week.
I’ve pasted below various summaries by mainstream news venues which reported
a couple years
ago that the National Academy of Sciences, in the words of Nature “Affirmed
The Hockey
Stick” below this message.
In addition, here are a few links you might want to read to better
familiarize yourself
with what the science actually states with regard to the issues raised in
your inquiry
below:
[3]http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/09/hey-ya-mal/
[4]http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/02/the-ipcc-fourthassessment-
summary
-for-policy-makers/
[5]http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/06/national-academiessynthesis-
repor
t/
[6]http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/10/hockey-sticks-round-
27/
[7]http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/05/new-analysisreproduces-
graph-of-l
ate-20th-century-temperature-rise/
[8]http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/02/dummies-guide-tothe-
latest-hockey
-stick-controversy/
[9]http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/02/a-new-take-on-anold-
millennium/
Finally, let me suggest, under the assumption that your intent is indeed to
report the
reality of our current scientific understanding, rather than contrarian
politically-motivated spin, that any legitimate journalistic inquiry into
the current
state of the science, and the extent to which uncertainties and controversy
have been
overstated and misrepresented in the public discourse, would probably choose
to focus on
the issues raised here:
[10]http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/10/climate-cover-up-abrief-
review/
Yours,
Mike Mann
___________________NEWS CLIPS ON ACADEMY REPORT_____________________
from BBC (6/23/06 “Backing for ‘Hockey Stick’ graph”)
The Earth was hotter in the late 20th Century than it had been in the last
400 or possibly
1,000 years, a report requested by the US Congress concludes. It backs some
of the key
findings of the original study that gave rise to the iconic “hockey stick”
graph.)
from New York Times (Andy Revkin, 6/22/06 “Science Panel Packs Study on
Warming Climate”):
At a news conference at the headquarters of the National Academies, several
members of the
panel reviewing the study said they saw no sign that its authors had
intentionally chosen
data sets or methods to get a desired result.
“I saw nothing that spoke to me of any manipulation,” said one member, Peter
Bloomfield, a
statistics professor at [11]North Carolina State University. He added that
his impression
was the study was “an honest attempt to construct a data analysis procedure.
Boston Globe (Beth Daley, 6/22/06 “Report backs global warming claims”):
Our conclusion is that this recent period of warming is likely the warmest in
a
(millennium), said John Wallace, one of the 12 members on the panel and
professor of
atmospheric science at the University of Washington.
Los Angeles Times (Thomas H. Maugh II and Karen Kaplan, “U.S. Panel Backs
Data on Global
Warming”):
After a comprehensive review of climate change data, the nation’s preeminent
scientific
body found that average temperatures on Earth had risen by about 1 degree
over the last
century, a development that “is unprecedented for the last 400 years and
potentially the
last several millennia.”
and
The panel affirmed that proxy measurements made over the last 150 years
correlated well
with actual measurements during that period, lending credence to the proxy
data for earlier
times.
It concluded that, “with a high level of confidence,” global temperatures
during the last
century were higher than at any time since 1600.
Although the report did not place numerical values on that confidence level,
committee
member and statistician Peter Bloomfield of North Carolina State University
said the panel
was about 95% sure of the conclusion.
The committee supported Mann’s other conclusions, but said they were not as
definitive. For
example, the report said the panel was “less confident” that the 20th century
was the
warmest century since 1000, largely because of the scarcity of data from
before 1600.
Bloomfield said the committee was about 67% confident of the validity of that
finding the
same degree of confidence Mann and his colleagues had placed in their initial
report.
Associated Press (syndicate with 100s of newspapers accross the U.S. (John
Heilprin,
6/22/06 “The Earth is the hottest it has been in at least 400 years, perhaps
even longer”):
The National Academy scientists concluded that the Mann-Bradley-Hughes
research from the
late 1990s was “likely” to be true, said John “Mike” Wallace, an atmospheric
sciences
professor at the University of Washington and a panel member. The conclusions
from the ’90s
research “are very close to being right” and are supported by even more
recent data,
Wallace said.
and
Overall, the panel agreed that the warming in the last few decades of the
20th century was
unprecedented over the last 1,000 years, though relatively warm conditions
persisted around
the year 1000, followed by a “Little Ice Age” from about 1500 to 1850.
Washington Post (Juliet Eilperin, 6/23/06 “Study Confirms Past Few Decades
Warmest on
Record”):
Panel member Kurt M. Cuffey, a geography professor at the University of
California at
Berkeley, said at a news briefing that the report “essentially validated” the
conclusions
Mann reported in 1998 and 1999 using temperature records. The panel also
estimated there is
a roughly 67 percent chance that Mann is right in saying the past 25 years
were the warmest
in a 1,000 years.
Nature (Geoff Brumfield, 6/28/06 “Academy affirms hockey-stick graph”)
“We roughly agree with the substance of their findings,” says Gerald North,
the committee’s
chair and a climate scientist at Texas A&M University in College Station. In
particular, he
says, the committee has a “high level of confidence” that the second half of
the twentieth
century was warmer than any other period in the past four centuries. But, he
adds, claims
for the earlier period covered by the study, from AD 900 to 1600, are less
certain. This
earlier period is particularly important because global-warming sceptics
claim that the
current warming trend is a rebound from a ‘little ice age’ around 1600.
Overall, the
committee thought the temperature reconstructions from that era had only a
two-to-one
chance of being right.
and
says Peter Bloomfield, a statistician at North Carolina State University in
Raleigh, who
was involved in the latest report. “This study was the first of its kind, and
they had to
make choices at various stages about how the data were processed,” he says,
adding that he
“would not be embarrassed” to have been involved in the work.
New Scientist (Roxanne Khamsi, 6/23/06, “US report backs study on global
warming”):
It was really the first analysis of its type, panel member Kurt Cuffey of the
University of
California, Berkeley, US, said at a news conference on Thursday.
He added that it was the first time anyone has done such a large-scale and
continual
analysis of temperature over time. So its not surprising that they could have
probably done
some detailed aspects of it better.
But it was a remarkable contribution and gave birth to a debate thats
ongoing, thats
teaching us a lot about how climate has changed.
Science (Richard Kerr, June 30, 2006, “Yes, Its been Getting Warmer in Here
Since the CO2
Begain to Rise”):
In addition, none of the three committee members at the press briefing–
North, Bloomfield,
and paleoclimatologist Kurt Cuffey of the University of California, Berkeley-
-had found any
hint of scientific impropriety. “I certainly did not see anything
inappropriate,” said
North. “Maybe things could have been done better, but after all, it was the
first analysis
of its kind.”

On Oct 23, 2009, at 10:41 AM, Jolis, Anne wrote:
Dear Dr. Mann,
My name is Anne Jolis, and I’m with the Wall Street Journal Europe, based in
London. I’m
working on a piece about climate change, and specifically the growing
questions that people
outside the field have about the methods and processes used by climatologists
and other
climate-change scientists – and, necessarily, about the conclusions that
result. The idea
came from the recent controversy that has arisen once again over Steve
McIntyre, the
publication of the full Yamal data used in Keith Briffa’s work. This of
course raises
questions among climate scientistis, and observers, about whether the socalled
“hockey
stick” graph of global temperatures , as produced by Dr. Briffa and
originally by
yourself, was drawn from narrow data which, and then when broadened to
include a wider
range of available dendroclimatological data, seems to show no important
spike in global
temperatures in the last 100 year . I realize this is not exactly the silverbullet
to
anthropogenic global warming that some would like to read into it, but it
seems to me that
it does underscore some of the issues in climate science. Specifically, the
publication of
the data, and the earlier controversy over your work, seems to illustrate
that best
practices and reliable methods of data collection remain far from
established, and that
much of what is presented as scientific fact is really more of a value
judgment based on
select data. Would you agree?
I’d love to get some insight from you for my article. I’ll be filing this
weekend, but I
can call you any time it’s convenient for you on Friday – just let me know
the best time
and number. Please note that if we do speak on the phone, I will email you
with any quotes
or paraphrases that I would like to attribute to you, before publication, so
as to secure
your approval and confirm the accuracy of what I’m attributing to you.
Additionally, if
you’d like to correspond via email, that’s fine too. I’ve listed below some
of the
questions and assumptions I’m working on – if, in lieu of a phone call, you’d
like to
answer and/or respond to these, as well as share any other thoughts you have
on these
issues, I’d be most grateful. Feel welcome to reply at length!
I thank you in advance for your time and attention, and look forward to any
of your
comments.
All the best,
Anne Jolis
Mobile: +44 799 079 3569
– Given that methods in climate science are still being refined, do you
agree with policy
makers’ and advocates’ use of data such as your own? Do you feel it is
accurately
represented to laymans, and that the inherent uncertainties present in the
data are
appropriately underscored? As a citizen, do you feel there is enough
certainty in the
conclusions of, for instance, the latest IPCC report, to introduce new
economic
regulations? Why or why not?
-What methods do you feel are the most accurate for predicting future climate
change, for
evaluatinag the causes of climate change and for predicting whether or what
man can do to
try to control or mitigate climate change in the future in the future? Why
do you feel
these methods are the most accurate? Do you feel they’re given enough weight
in the current
debate?
-What is your opinion of the value of Steve McIntyre’s work? Clearly he is
not a
professional scientist, but do you feel there is nonetheless a place for his
“auditing” in
the climate science community? Why or why not?
-Do you think McIntyre’s work and findings are likely to change the way
leading climate
scientists operate? Do you think his recent campaign to get Dr. Keith Briffa
to publish
the Yamal data he used is likely to make climate scientists more forthcoming
with their
data? Do you think his work will make scientists, policymakers and advocates
any more
exacting about the uncertainties in their procedures, methods and conclusions
when they
present scientific data?
-How would you respond to the critique that, as a key part of the review
processes of
publications in the field of climate science, as something of a “gatekeeper,”
you have
rejected and otherwise sought to suppress work that contradicted your work.
Is this fair?
Why or why not? How would you characterize your selection process for work
that is worthy
of publication?
-Do you stand by your original “hockey stick” graf, even after the
publication of borehole
data from Henry Pollack and Jason Smerdon that seems to contradict your
conclusions? Or
work published in 2005 by Hans von Storch that seems to indicate that the
predictive
capabilities of the method you used in your original “hockey stick” would not
be able to
predict current temperatures?

Michael E. Mann
Professor
Director, Earth System Science Center (ESSC)
Department of Meteorology Phone: (814) 863-4075
503 Walker Building FAX: (814) 865-3663
The Pennsylvania State University email: [12]mann@psu.edu
University Park, PA 16802-5013
website: [13]http://www.meteo.psu.edu/~mann/Mann/index.html
“Dire Predictions” book site:
[14]http://www.essc.psu.edu/essc_web/news/DirePredictions/index.html

Michael E. Mann
Professor
Director, Earth System Science Center (ESSC)
Department of Meteorology Phone: (814) 863-4075
503 Walker Building FAX: (814) 865-3663
The Pennsylvania State University email: [15]mann@psu.edu
University Park, PA 16802-5013
website: [16]http://www.meteo.psu.edu/~mann/Mann/index.html
“Dire Predictions” book site:
[17]http://www.essc.psu.edu/essc_web/news/DirePredictions/index.html

12 thoughts on “Climategate 3.0: Mann tries intimidating Wall Street Journal editorial writer with tough talk and Media Matters”

  1. That cut and paste of the exchange is almost unreadable. All those extra line feeds are like adding in nonsense punctuation..

    “DR” Mann does seem obsessed with the idea that if you disagree with him you are evil. His style of argument seems yo require you immediately agree as he only uses sources that agree with him and doesn’t actualy address the counter arguments.

  2. How can they claim to follow the Scientific methods – how can they come to a agreement of consensus approval if they do not have the base data sets to even evaluate the estimates – they should use the same model on the Stock market – making forward predictions based upon past performance?

    Does that method then not require a stable global system from year to year and century to century? Volcanoes, under sea vents expanding to create new currents – all would change the wind directions and even blocking the sun light by some large percentage. They are GRANT MONEY chasers – will deliver the desired GUESSTIMATES AS FACT FOR MONEY? No results no new government – Environmentalist – UN money for new data sets.

  3. If he wasn’t so insecure, he wouldn’t point to so many other “authorities”. He’s a wimpy nerd (or nerdy wimp)

  4. What a f**king D*CK!

    This man is having some serious grandious ego issues.

    (sorry for language, but it’s my feeling about this joke of a man)

  5. It would appear that Mann is very seriously deluded, a degree of delusion verging on clinical insanity.
    Seriously, it seems that the Mann is certifiable.

  6. but it seems to me that it does underscore some of the issues in climate science. Specifically, the publication of the data, and the earlier controversy over your work, seems to illustrate that best practices and reliable methods of data collection remain far from established, and that much of what is presented as scientific fact is really more of a value judgment based on select data. Would you agree?

    To Mike, that must have been like a 2X4 across the noggin. I bet his ear is still ringing.

  7. Mann actually think he is in a scientific class and any mention of his glorious work demands a response by the law.

    This is insanity. I will write more on wuwt.

  8. “Misrepresenting the work of scientists is a serious offense..”

    Yes “Dr.” Mann, “professor” – Misrepresenting science is a serious offence, so stop it!

  9. The statement that the observation of current and localized historical temperatures is a straw man – for it is surly not SCIENCE. Watch predict guess does not equal a proof of anything except desire for more Grant Money . .

Comments are closed.