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Michael Mann’s delusional fever

November 29, 2013
Michael Mann's fevered dream

Michael Mann’s fevered dream

Ever read the New York Times?  Wadda ya think, does it veer persistantly to the left?  Is the Pope Catholic?

Well, Michael Mann has been huffing and puffing at the Huffington Post that the New York Times has strayed from his approved dogmatism concerning global warming.  They dared to run an opinion piece by Richard Muller.

Richard Muller lives happily on the alarmist side of the road, but on occasion he lets his toes cross the dividing line, so that he can claim some credit for being open-minded.

In a recent op-ed he must have touched one of Mann’s extremely frayed nerves when he said…

“I worried that the famous “hockey stick” graph plotted by three American climatologists in the late 1990s portrayed the global warming curve with too much certainty and inappropriate simplicity.”

Ouch.  This was simply Muller’s demure way of stating the obvious. Of course, the main “American climatologist” who made this graph of “inappropriate simplicity” is none other than Michael Mann.  Muller’s soft punch of a statement seems to have left a big bruise on Mann’s sensitive ego.

Mann thinks The New York Times never should have let Muller engage in this attack on his crowning achievement.  But then the Times went even further and let the apostate spread even more heresy in a second op-ed about tornadoes.  Muller wrote

Despite the recent spate of deadly twisters, including those that tore through the Midwest over the weekend, the scientific evidence shows that strong to violent tornadoes have actually been decreasing for the past 58 years, and it is possible that the explanation lies with global warming…

I am not talking about global warming per se, which I am convinced is real and caused by man-made emissions of greenhouse gases. But not everything attributed to global warming has a scientific basis…

So let’s consider only the most violent tornadoes, the ones in categories EF3 to EF5…

NOAA… shows that the number of these storms has been significantly decreasing over the past 58 years, from over 50 per year in the first half to under 40 per year in the second. The statistical significance of this decrease is extremely high: well above 99 percent confidence.

How dare Muller display such an attitude!

Mann is especially incensed that Muller quoted from an earlier HuffPost article which said…

Michael Mann, a climatologist who directs the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University, agreed that it’s too early to tell.  “If one factor is likely to be favorable and the other is a wild card, it’s still more likely that the product of the two factors will be favorable,” said Mann. “Thus, if you’re a betting person — or the insurance or reinsurance industry, for that matter — you’d probably go with a prediction of greater frequency and intensity of tornadoes as a result of human-caused climate change.”

But Muller wrote

Michael E. Mann, a prominent climatologist, was only slightly more cautious. He said, “If you’re a betting person — or the insurance or reinsurance industry, for that matter — you’d probably go with a prediction of greater frequency and intensity of tornadoes as a result of human-caused climate change.”

Mann called this innocent contraction “sleight of hand.”  Touchy, touchy.

Mann uses his mighty reasoning powers to discern a conspiracy.  You can’t be too careful when even your friends are out to get you.  He warns us that this is ultimately the work of the Koch brothers, just like every other vile conspiracy against the goodness and light of global warming alarmism and the left in general.  (It used to be Dick Cheney and Halliburton, but I guess they must have passed the world control levers over to the Koch brothers.)  You see, Richard Muller now controls the New York Times, and the Koch brothers control Richard Muller.

Mann wraps his tin foil a little tighter and lectures…

The New York Times does a disservice to its readers when it buys into the contrived narrative of the “honest broker”–Muller as the self-styled white knight who must ride in to rescue scientific truth from a corrupt and misguided community of scientists. Especially when that white knight is in fact sitting atop a Trojan Horse–a vehicle for the delivery of disinformation, denial, and systematic downplaying of what might very well be the greatest threat we have yet faced as a civilization, the threat of human-caused climate change.

Shame on you New York Times. You owe us better than this.

You can get the full temperature of Mann’s paranoid delusional fever at his Huffington Post’s article, Something Is Rotten at the New York Times.

One comment

  1. In The Road Less Traveled, psychiatrist Scotty Peck defined mental health as dedication to reality. A mentally healthy person is a person who tries very hard to understand the world clearly. He is willing, even anxious, to revise his internal “map” of reality, when new information conflicts with previously held opinions.

    Michael Mann is not healthy. His scientific opinions have become his ideology, perhaps even his god. It is beyond his ability to say, “I think I was wrong” or “my opinion has changed.”

    When Mann encounters new information that conflicts with his old opinions, he does not consider revising his opinions. He reacts as if he has been slapped. He becomes angry and abusive, treating the information as religious heresy, and attacking its source. He issues a فتوى (fatwah): the heresy must be suppressed, and the blasphemer punished.

    Unfortunately, Mann’s disorder is common, on both sides of the climate debate. Too many scientists, both climate alarmists and climate skeptics, are emotionally incapable of “looking at clouds [or any other topic in the climate debate] from both sides now.”

    I suspect Mann disordered zealotry is also reinforced by avarice. His climate religion has made him wealthy, famous and important, so any challenge to its doctrines threatens not only his ego, but also his wallet. Information that conflicts with his opinions is an insult to his god, but it is also a burglar in his palace, stealing his treasure, and it deserves to be shot on sight.

    Michael Mann’s illness makes him particularly unqualified to work as a scientist. He is incapable of following the scientific method; it’s last step is insurmountable to him.

    Mann practices what Physicist Richard Feynman called “cargo cult science.” He wrote:

    There is one feature I notice that is generally missing in cargo cult science. That is the idea that we all hope you have learned in studying science in school–we never say explicitly what this is, but just hope that you catch on by all the examples of scientific investigation. It is interesting, therefore, to bring it out now and speak of it explicitly. It’s a kind of scientific integrity, a principle of scientific thought that corresponds to a kind of utter honesty–a kind of leaning over backwards. For example, if you’re doing an experiment, you should report everything that you think might make it invalid–not only what you think is right about it: other causes that could possibly explain your results; and things you thought of that you’ve eliminated by some other experiment, and how they worked–to make sure the other fellow can tell they have been eliminated.

    Details that could throw doubt on your interpretation must be given, if you know them. You must do the best you can–if you know anything at all wrong, or possibly wrong–to explain it. If you make a theory, for example, and advertise it, or put it out, then you must also put down all the facts that disagree with it, as well as those that agree with it. There is also a more subtle problem. When you have put a lot of ideas together to make an elaborate theory, you want to make sure, when explaining what it fits, that those things it fits are not just the things that gave you the idea for the theory; but that the finished theory makes something else come out right, in addition.

    In summary, the idea is to give all of the information to help others to judge the value of your contribution; not just the information that leads to judgement in one particular direction or another.

    The easiest way to explain this idea is to contrast it, for example, with advertising. Last night I heard that Wesson oil doesn’t soak through food. Well, that’s true. It’s not dishonest; but the thing I’m talking about is not just a matter of not being dishonest; it’s a matter of scientific integrity, which is another level. The fact that should be added to that advertising statement is that no oils soak through food, if operated at a certain temperature. If operated at another temperature, they all will–including Wesson oil. So it’s the implication which has been conveyed, not the fact, which is true, and the difference is what we have to deal with.

    We’ve learned from experience that the truth will come out. Other experimenters will repeat your experiment and find out whether you were wrong or right. Nature’s phenomena will agree or they’ll disagree with your theory. And, although you may gain some temporary fame and excitement, you will not gain a good reputation as a scientist if you haven’t tried to be very careful in this kind of work. And it’s this type of integrity, this kind of care not to fool yourself, that is missing to a large extent in much of the research in cargo cult science.



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