At the outset of all of this – the Mann-Steyn argument – I was clear to specify that while I have suspicions about Mann’s accuracy, I do not have grounds to charge him with scientific fraud – with wilful dishonesty, in other words. This has annoyed some people in the dextrosphere, but I stand by that – I don’t get to choose when to apply the basic rules of scientific ethics, and I have to defend him from that charge until I have good evidence…
…but there is no reason for me to defend him on absolutely anything else. I had a bad impression of the guy from the start, but really, what has come to light is that we are dealing with a fabricating, megalomanical, bullying windbag. Beginning with his very peculiar insistence that he is a Nobel Laureate (as I pointed out, even if he had got the peace prize, it wouldn’t be anything to be proud of), the digging done by Mark Steyn and Stephen McIntyre has revealed that this guy plays fast and loose when it comes to his publicity.
In the original Nature report, I mentioned that the panel had grave concerns about Mann’s graph, but didn’t think it was fraudulent – and reporting that the report was an endorsement of the stick is disingenuous. It gets much, much worse. It turns out that almost all of the time when Mann is claiming to have been exonerated by a given investigative body, nothing of the sort has taken place.
Example 1: He claims to have been exonerated by the Oxburgh panel; actually the President of the Royal Statistical Society slammed slammed Mann for exaggerating the effects he found. The panel only investigated and exonerated the CRU – not Michael Mann.
Example 2: The Muir Russell inquiry, again, looked only at the CRU scientist and Mann cooked the quote and pretended that he was exonerated.
Example 3: The UK’s House of Commons did not say that ‘criticisms of the CRU ‘ were misplaced, nor did they exonerate Mann, and specifically upbraided him for not providing his data.
On that note, let me say that Mann’s willful hiding of his data and calculations is an absolute disgrace. I have every scrap of data I have ever used on a couple of external hard drives, and in a set of laboratory books. If anyone ever wants any of it, they just need to ask. That is why it is called “evidence”. You are supposed to be able to show it.
There is more, a lot more.
Given all this, Mann’s his Mau-Mauing of journals, his repeated sliming and smearing of other scientists, such as Lomborg and Judith Curry, and even the aforementioned President of the Royal Statistical Society – it really is quite astounding. And, as I have also pointed out, Lomborg isn’t guilty of any sort of misrepresentation like this. As I said, if Mann likes to dish it out, he should learn to take it.
So, while I am obliged to defend him from the charge of fraud, I don’t have to defend this case. There is no way that any layperson, looking at a record like this, could not have reasonable grounds to think that Mann’s distortions extended into his scientific work. I also am not obliged to hope that Steyn’s countersue fails; indeed, I hope that Mann is taken for the full $20 million, given the sort of stunts he has been pulling on fellow scientists.
And, yes, it is fellow scientists. Climate science watch is desperately trying to polish this turd:
The obsession among contrarians and denialists with trying to overthrow climate science by discrediting seminal early paleoclimate research by Mann and his colleagues in the 1990s is about politics, not science.
Sorry, that won’t fly. First of all, you can be a legitimate scientists, who thinks AGW is real, who cares about the fact, and go so far as to organize round tables on how to deal with it and still be slimed by Mann. Second, for a chap as political as Mann to start complaining about politics is really too much. Third, you can accept global warming and work to stop it and still think Mann is sloppy and unethical.
There is one final thing that has come to light – the concern of the CRU that Mann was pushing their conclusions well beyond what they knew was right. That is a very telling comment.
But let me stress that none of this disproves the idea of man made global warming.
Why do I say this? Because there are many other temperature reconstructions that show an uptick in temperature in our age. I haven’t found any that are as dramatic as Mann’s – telling in combination with the above quote – but they still show this. Mann may be proved to be full of shit, but that doesn’t say anything about the work of Darrell Kaufman, Gabriel Hegerl, Anders Moberg, Ming Tan, A.E. Bjune, Frederik Charpentier, or J. Overpeck, just to grab some random top-notch first authors together.
Perhaps Mann being tossed overboard is just the thing that climate science needs.