We recently posted in our "Reply to article" section Global warming alarmists can't stand the heat by Peter J. Havanac, Meteorologist.
, the following is a reply from Michael E. Mann!!
Here's the context surrounding a flawed 2003 research paper.
By MICHAEL E. MANN
In "Warming alarmists can't stand the heat" (July 26), the Star Tribune allowed Peter J. Havanac to do a grave disservice to its readers by making false statements about me and other climate scientists.
Havanac repeated false allegations (based on illegally hacked e-mails) of supposed scientific misconduct by scientists at the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia (for example, the supposed destruction of e-mails) that have now been rejected as false by three separate investigations in the U.K. A similar investigation by my university has exonerated me of any of the wrongdoing alleged by climate-change deniers like Havanac. Unfortunately, these exonerations cannot stop individuals like Havanac from repeating the false allegations. Only the possession of decency can do that.
Havanac parroted the false claim that I sought to "undermine" a journal that "contradicted views held by ... global-warming alarmists." His claim was based on a thorough misrepresentation of a single example: a deeply flawed paper published in 2003 by the journal Climate Research. That paper, by Willie Soon and Sallie Baliunas, claimed that recent warming is not unusual.
I did in fact have concerns about the paper and the process that led to its publication. As the Wall Street Journal reported ("Global warming skeptics are facing storm clouds," July 31, 2003), this fossil-fuel-industry-funded study was heavily criticized by a large number of other scientists. The editor-in-chief of Climate Research, Hans Von Storch, found that the paper "was flawed" and "shouldn't have been published."
Other editors at Climate Research (see "Storm brews over global warming," Chronicle of Higher Education, Sept. 5, 2003) felt that the editor who had handled the Soon and Baliunas paper had been gaming the system to allow through substandard papers simply because they expressed a contrarian viewpoint regarding climate change. Ultimately, both Von Storch and half of the editorial board quit in protest over the apparent corruption of the peer review process at the journal.
Havanac objects to the term "climate-change denier" to describe him and his fellow travelers. Perhaps he prefers to think of himself as a "skeptic" instead? Well, skepticism is a good thing in science. But when it is applied in only one direction (that is, to reject all evidence of climate change while uncritically accepting transparently flawed arguments against it), it is not skepticism at all, but indeed, denial.
Readers interested in the truth behind the science, rather than the falsehoods and smears perpetuated by people like Havanac, should consult the scientist-run website realclimate.org or scientifically based books on the topic like my "Dire Predictions: Understanding Global Warming."
If it ironic that Havanac accuses climate scientists of dishonesty. It is those who spread false information about science and scientists -- whether knowingly, or by simply uncritically parroting the disinformation of others -- who do the greatest harm to the public discourse on vital issues such as climate change.
Michael E. Mann is a professor of meteorology at Penn State University and is director of the Penn State Earth System Science Center.
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