Reply to article: Vail Valley Voices: Global warming denier's claims are falsehoods
by Michael E. Mann
When Scott Glasser's comment of 9/26/11 referred to me indirectly as an “inaccurate” and “irresponsible” “fool” for challenging the theory that human carbon dioxide emission was causing “global warming / climate change”, I felt compelled to respond. My 9/30/11 comment cited the facts and the data that supported my challenge to the theory. In that article, Glasser defended what has been come to be known as the Mann “hockey stick” curve. I responded in my article with the well documented criticism of it from a large number of scientists who carefully reviewed his claims. Also, the so-called “climategate” e-mails revealed an appalling lack of scientific integrity and manipulations by a cabal of advocates of that theory. Mann responded on 10/1/11 accusing me of “false and defamatory statements” packed with “lies and distortions”; of “lying to the public about science”; of a “string of lies tied together”. He stated my “lies are pernicious” and that I am a “charleton”.
In his response, Mann uses an ad-hominem overkill accusing me of lies and lying some six times! Methinks he doth protest too much.
When I am engaged in a scientific dispute with an adversary, and that opponent instead of citing the facts or the data that might support his argument, instead directs an intense barrage of ad-hominem slurs toward me, I am fully confident that I am winning the argument.
My response now is to cite the data. The IPCC report of 1990 prior to Mann's publication of his “hockey stick” showed a Medieval Warm Period considerably warmer than today with its peak temperature in about 1250 AD. That was followed by a Little Ice Age considerably colder than today with its coldest average temperature in about 1700. Mann's “hockey stick” curve shows a flat line temperature during those same periods. It finally got rid of the embarrassing Medieval Warm Period that the “climategate” cabal hated so much because it showed a higher temperature than today at a time when the human emission of carbon dioxide was trivial. The more recent and reliable reconstruction for the same time period using 18 other different temperature proxies that are much more reliable than tree rings, reaffirm the 1990 IPCC report. The pesky Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age that Mann obliterated with his “hockey stick” are still there!
For a detailed look at that data and much more, go to www.youtube.com and enter “climategate” and “hertzberg” in the search column. For a more detailed discussion of the “hide the decline” issue, go to Prof. Richard Muller's talk on the subject at http://youtube.com/watch?v=8BQpciw8suk.
In any case, don't take the word of someone like me who Mann characterized as a “charleton”. Here is the much earlier opinion of a distinguished Australian scientist, John Daly:
“The evidence is overwhelming from all corners of the world, the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age clearly show up in a variety of proxy indicators, proxies more representative of temperature than inadequate tree ring data.
“What is disquieting about the hockey stick is not its original publication. As with any paper, it would sink into oblivion if found to be flawed. Rather it was the reaction of the greenhouse industry to it - the chorus of approval, the complete lack of critical evaluation of the theory, the blind acceptance of evidence that was so flimsy. The industry embraced the theory for one reason and one reason only - it told them exactly what they wanted to hear.”
Not long after those comments were written, John Daly died. In one of the climategate e-mails, his death is mentioned as a kind of fortunate occurrence, some “cheering news” that removed one of their adversaries.
So much for scientific integrity!
Dr. Martin Hertzberg
Ph. D. Stanford, 1959
Vail Valley Voices: Global warming denier's claims are falsehoods
by Michael E. Mann, Vail, CO, Colorado
An individual named Martin Hertzberg did a grave disservice to your readers by making false and defamatory statements about me and my climate scientist colleagues in his recent commentary in your paper.
It's hard to imagine anyone packing more lies and distortions into a single commentary. Mr. Hertzberg uses libelous language in characterizing the so-called “hockey stick” -- work of my own published more than a decade ago showing that recent warming is unusual over at least the past 1,000 years -- as “fraudulent,” and claiming that it “it was fabricated from carefully selected tree-ring measurements with a phony computer program.”
These are just lies, regurgitation of dishonest smears that have been manufactured by fossil fuel industry-funded climate change deniers, and those who do their bidding by lying to the public about the science.
The highest scientific body in the nation, the National Academy of Sciences affirmed my research findings in an exhaustive independent review published in June 2006 (see e.g. “Science Panel Backs Study on Warming Climate,” New York Times, June 22, 2006, among many others).
Dozens of independent groups of scientists have independently reproduced and confirmed our findings, and more recent work by several groups shows that recent warmth is unusual over an even longer time frame.
Mr. Hertzberg then continues the smear by lying again about my work, claiming that “when those same tree-ring data actually showed a decline in temperature for the past several decades, Mann and his co-authors simply ‘hid the decline' by grafting direct measurements (inadequately corrected for the urban heat island and other effects) to his flat tree-ring line.”
That is, once again, a string of lies tied together. This statement falsely equates my work, which was not based on tree rings but rather a diverse network of different types of “proxy” climate data, with tree-ring work by an entirely different scientist, Keith Briffa of the University of East Anglia.
And it is is a highly dishonest characterization of his Briffa's work, as well, since the “decline” was a well-known problem with those particular data that Briffa was the first to describe and attempt to deal with, in the scientific literature.
Mr. Hertzberg's lies are pernicious. Their intent appears to be to do convince you that there is no harm in our continued unfettered release of carbon into the atmosphere.
It is not only us, but our children and grandchildren who will suffer the consequences of devastating changes in our environment in the years and decades to come if we listen to charlatans like Mr. Hertzberg.
Readers interested in the truth behind the science, rather than the falsehoods and smears perpetuated by people like Mr. Hertzberg, should consult the scientist-run website www.realclimate.org and www.skepticalscience.com, or scientifically-based books on the topic like my “Dire Predictions: Understanding Global Warming.”
Michael E. Mann is a professor in the Department of Meterology at Penn State University and director of Penn State Earth System Science Center.
See also: Dr. Martin Hertzberg responds to Dr. Michael Mann