… Michael Mann is a witch.
The Washington Post today editorialized that the Virginia attorney general is on a witch hunt. [Click for Cuccinelli's new investigative demand to the University of Virginia.] But even the Post is not too thrillled with Mann’s work, labeling it “not unacceptably poor.” At least now we’re all only debating how “poor” Mann’s hockey stick is.
The Post tries to exonerate Mann by claiming that he was cleared by the National Academy of Sciences and his employer, Penn State. Neither claim is true.
First, while the post refers to the prestigious National Academy of Sciences, it was actually a panel of the non-prestigious, for-hire National Research Council that actually reviewed Mann’s work. Below is the NRC’s conclusion about the hockey stick:
In response to a request from Congress, this report assesses the state of scientific efforts to reconstruct surface temperature records for the Earth over approximately the last 2,000 years and the implications of these efforts for our understanding of global climate change. Because widespread, reliable temperature records are only available for the last 150 years or so, scientists estimate temperatures in the more distant past by analyzing “proxy evidence,” which includes tree rings, corals, ocean and lake sediments, cave deposits, ice cores, boreholes, and glaciers. Starting in the late 1990s, scientists began using
sophisticated methods to combine proxy evidence from many different locations in an effort to estimate surface temperature changes during the last few hundred to few thousand years. This report concludes that large-scale surface temperature reconstructions are important tools in our understanding of global climate change that allows us to say, with a high level of confidence, that global mean surface temperature
was higher during the last few decades of the 20th century than during any comparable period during the preceding four centuries. Less confidence can be placed in large-scale surface temperature reconstructions for the period from A.D. 900 to 1600, although available proxy evidence indicates that temperatures at many, but not all, individual locations were higher during the past 25 years than during any period of comparable length since A.D. 900. Very little confidence can be assigned to statements concerning the hemispheric mean or global mean surface temperature prior to about A.D. 900, primarily because of the scarcity of precisely dated proxy evidence. [Emphasis added]
No part of that conclusion, of course, exonerates Mann or his hockey stick. Where in that conclusion, for example, does it say that the hockey stick appropriately deleted the Medieval Optimum or the Little Ice Age? Where in that conclusion does it say that Mann appropriately grafted late-20th century thermometer data onto the tree ring data (while deleting tree ring data not favorable to his case for warming) to give the impression of dramatic, manmade warming during the 20th century? For more on Mann and his hockey stick, check out JunkScience.com’s “Michael Mann: Defamed or defined by ‘Hide the decline’?“
As to Penn State’s “investigation” into Mann’s hijinks, click here to read about that whitewash.
By labeling Cuccinelli’s request for data from a state university a “witch hunt,” the Post is trying to liken the Virginia AG to Sen. Joe McCarthy. In that case, I’m all for such witch hunts, because Sen. McCarthy was correct. The U.S. Government was chock full of Soviet agents, communists, fellow travelers and other security risks during the mid-20th century. These “witches” did real damage to the U.S. and other nations around the world. Similarly, Mann and his ilk have done real damage to science and our educational system, while helping to advance the misanthropic “progressive” (read Marxist-socialist/neo-communist) political agenda.
The Red Menace is back — although it never really went away in the first place. We should all hope that Cuccinelli has the same fortitude, persistence and resilience as McCarthy.
[Note: Readers interested in Joe McCarthy and the supposed communist "witch hunts" should read M. Stanton Evans' shocker "Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America's Enemies." What you'll learn is that "McCarthyism" isn't what Joe McCarthy did to others; it;'s what the communists and their enablers did to him. Ann Coulter called Evans' book "The greatest book since the Bible." At this point in our nation's history, though, I disagree. "Blacklisted by History" is the greatest book ever.]