Doomed Planet

What a Piece of Work is Mann

The year 2020 has hardly started and already Michael “HockeyStick” Mann has won an award.[i] It’s from the 13,000-member American Meteorological Society (AMS), headed by president Dr Jenni Evans of Penn State University. Mann has accreted more medals than a North Korean general, so he may be a bit blasé about this latest honor. The token award hardly compares with the $US100,000 he got with his Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement last year.

About 55 other parties also won AMS awards for 2020. For example, one award was for research into aircraft turbulence and another for “development of meteorological standards for the nuclear industry”.

Mann, who works at Penn State University, was honored in the category of story books for school kids.  He co-authored “The TANTRUM that SAVED the WORLD”,  with Australian-born illustrator Megan Herbert, who once helped TV scripting of Neighbours. Their target market starts with four-year-olds and goes all the way up to eight-year-olds. The AMS claims the book “engages readers with empathy and compassion and empowers them to help save animals and people from the threat of climate change.” In other words,  by dimming lights and riding bikes, local kids can cancel out China’s planned addition of one coal-fired power plant per fortnight during the next decade.

Mann has expertise on tantrums. In 2012 he accused his climate foes of defaming a Nobel Laureate (himself), overlooking that he wasn’t a Nobel Peace Prize winner, let alone a Nobel Laureate.[ii]

The Tantrum book, published in late 2017, pre-dates little Greta Thunberg’s rise to guru-hood among climate alarmists. Yet its narrative arc is just like Greta’s. It features a young “Sophia”, whose home is besieged by animal and human climate refugees, led by a polar bear (you guessed it) who has run out of ice floes, a Kiribati family whose house has wound up underwater (as if), and a Syrian farmer who is an alleged victim not of ISIS head-loppers and girl-slavers but of  global warming. Sophia is drawn several times with a scowl only Greta Thunberg can match. And she has Greta’s ability to be venerated by adults for no discernible reason.

The clever animals paint posters in her house amid climate refugees, one wearing a hijab. The refugees wave slogans: “There is no Planet B” and  “Protect What You Love”. For some reason a climate-fleeing Bengal tiger is treated as dangerous but the polar bear isn’t.  Sophia’s revelation, in dismal doggerel, runs:

How would she feel if her land were depleted?
      Her food disappeared? Her home overheated?
            And what was to say that she wouldn’t be next?
                  She’d already noticed weird weather effects

So she leads a convoy to protest at City Hall about CO2 emissions. City bigwigs ignore her until she “kicks off a tantrum to save the whole world”, wielding her banner “Action Now!” Millions take up her message worldwide:

And there was Sophia, a MINIATURE furore,
Telling the multitudes how they could do more.
Cooperative action could turn this high tide.
They had strength in numbers and right on their side.

Co-author Megan Herbert mentions turning her research “into sparkling prose” but the above quatrains have the sparkle of a dead warthog.

The book’s last panel shows Sophia being put through on the phone to a US President (not, I assume, President Trump), much like Greta browbeats UN and EC leaders. The end-notes (described as “meticulously researched and peer-reviewed”) are a litany of porkies, ranging from the grand dying-polar-bear fiction to a claim that the Syrian civil war, allegedly caused by global warming, has led to “millions of climate refugees seeking safety elsewhere.” [iii]

The Tantrum book’s morass of pap and crap has hauled in further prizes and citations. The book’s blurb boasts that last year it won a  Moonbeam Award for “exemplary children’s books”. I checked this with some difficulty. It turns out that the Moonbeam mob crowned no fewer than 159 kids’ books and e-books with prizes. Mann’s  effort featured 116th on the list. It came in third with a Bronze Medal in the Environmental Issues category,  behind a book about a jaguar (Gold) and a seal (Silver). Other winning Moonbeam books included “F is for Feminist” which won gold in the category Mind-Body-Spirit/Self Esteem. Written “for feminists of all ages” , the cover depicts a feminist who is aged about four.

Mann has lately been on sabbatical in Australia, of all places. A fortnight ago Reuters quoted him thus:

“It is conceivable that much of Australia simply becomes too hot and dry for human habitation,” said Mann.

“In that case, yes, unfortunately we could well see Australians join the ranks of the world’s climate refugees.”

Climate refugees, or environmental migrants, are people forced to abandon their homes due to change in climate patterns or extreme weather events.

 “It’s possible to grow the economy, create jobs, and preserve the environment at the same time. These are things that all Australians could embrace,” Mann said.

They just need a government that’s willing to act on their behalf rather than on behalf of a handful of coal barons.

As blogger Eric Worrall points out, Australia’s climate refugees have actually been southerners fleeing to sunny Queensland to escape their grey skies and obscene power bills.

Mann’s further absurdities include the assertion that beyond a mere 0.5degC more warming

things start to look quite bad on planet Earth. We bid goodbye to the world’s coral reefs, see massive inundation of many of our most populated coastal cities displacing millions, and must withstand ever more extreme and damaging superstorms, floods, droughts, heat waves and wildfires.

To avert this Brueghel-like hell-scene nothing less than a “world-war type mobilization” will suffice to combat fossil fuels, he opined last July. Two months later he was challenged (with five other colleagues) to a New York debate with three sceptic scientists David Legates, Willie Soon and Patrick Michaels. His response:

All of the noise right now from the climate change denial machine, the bots & trolls, the calls for fake “debates,” etc. Ignore it all. Deniers are desperate for oxygen in a mainstream media environment that is thankfully is no longer giving it to them. Report. block. Don’t engage.[iv]

Mann makes about 500 media appearances a year, spouting guff like that. (His opposite numbers on the sceptic side would be lucky to get ten chances a year to inject some sanity). Mann’s media fame then translates into prizes, medals and awards for climate communication.[v] In 2018, Mann won  the Climate Communication Prize from the American Geophysical Union (a token $US1000), which mentioned his Tantrum book among the accolades. The prize started in 2011 to promote “the importance of promoting scientific literacy, clarity of message, and efforts to foster respect and understanding of science-based values as they relate to the implications of climate change.”

Earlier in 2018, he won the $US5000 Public Engagement with Science Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, and in 2017 he collected the $US15,000 Stephen H. Schneider Award for Outstanding Climate Science Communication. And there was another award from the Geoscience Teachers’ Association.

Mann likes to be portrayed as a plucky underdog battling detractors financed by “coal barons” and suchlike. He has bravely testified to Congress, “knowing that such appearances will bring him under withering, partisan-fuelled attacks.” (Sceptic scientists like Judith Curry and Roy Spencer give testimony there without preening as martyrs). Mann’s AGU citation called him

an unflinching and courageous defender of the principles of free and open scientific investigation and the urgency of combating misinformation with the scientific facts of climate change. He has done so at great personal cost, persevering through terrifying death threats, organized smear campaigns, and protracted lawsuits.

Wait! Stop it there! The reality is that the well-funded Mann himself launched the “protracted lawsuits” against critics Dr Tim Ball and Mark Steyn and National Review nine years ago. Mann ever since has bounced the cases around the North American legal system at million-dollar legal costs and untold stress to Ball and Steyn. Ball last year finally won in court when Mann missed deadlines for promised production of his climate data. The case against Steyn (who is counter-suing) lingers unresolved.  It’s all looking similar to the Jarndyce & Jarndyce lawsuit in Dickens’ Bleak House.

Mann likes to claim his critics are paid liars or worse. When he tried this on conservative columnist Andrew Bolt in 2014, Bolt threatened to sue and Mann made a grudging backdown. Undeterred, Mann last October tweeted that another of his critics, statistician Steve McIntyre, was “a professional liar/denier-for-hire” and Mann again had to immediately tone down  the libellous imputations through another tweet.

Whatever other praise Mann might merit,  if any, it’s not for defending “free and open” scientific debate on climate. In advocacy against fossil fuel emissions, Mann stands at the pinnacle, worldwide. Warmists should remember, you are judged by the company you keep.

Tony Thomas’s hilarious history, The West: An insider’s tale – A romping reporter in Perth’s innocent ’60s is available from Boffins Books, Perth, the Royal WA Historical Society (Nedlands) and online here


[i] Mann’s now-disparaged “Hockey Stick” reconstruction of 1000-year past temperatures gave the warming scare a kick-along in the IPCC 2001 report. Mann’s graph also managed to erase the Medieval Warming and the recent Little Ice Age. Steyn published a  book, “A Disgrace to the Profession” , comprising nothing but rejections of Mann’s research and methods by Mann’s own warmist colleagues.

[ii] Mann in 2012 filed suit against conservative columnist Mark Steyn and others. “It is one thing to engage in discussion about debatable topics,” Mann’s attorneys wrote in his complaint. “It is quite another to attempt to discredit consistently validated scientific research through the professional and personal defamation of a Nobel prize recipient.”

[iii] “With the polar bear’s survival at risk as a result of climate change, it was declared a threatened species by the US  in 2008…We can still save the polar bear  if we reduce our use of fossil fuels sufficiently.” The reality is that polar bear populations have quadrupled since 2011 notwithstanding rising emissions.

[iv] Mann did take part in a climate debate a year earlier, at the University of Charleston.

[v] The mutual back-scratching involved with climate prizes is documented here

15 thoughts on “What a Piece of Work is Mann

  • padraic says:

    My grandparents lived through WW1 and the Spanish ‘flu. Both sets of grandparents lost two children each through infectious diseases because sulfa drugs and antibiotics were not invented. They then raised the remaining children in the Great Depression – bread and golden syrup and bread and dripping featured high on the menu, supplemented by the fowl yard and veggie garden. Then their kids went through WW2 – malaria, scurvy, beri-beri, diarrhoea, dodging bullets in New Guinea for the men, and food rationing at home and scarcity of things we take for granted today for the women who took over men’s jobs while they were away, plus having to put up with communist wharfies sabotaging the war effort and today our main concern is the weather. You could almost say we have made it, if that’s all we have to worry about, particularly if the weather problems are theoretical claims for future weather activities.

  • Doubting Thomas says:

    And even the weather would not be problem but for blatant liars and corrupt “scientists” and politicians. Everyone old enough to have grandparents such as yours and mine has seen it all before, padraic, including conmen who, as did Chico Marx, ask “who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?”

  • mags of Queensland says:

    I’m with padraic. Kids today don’t know they are alive if they live in western democracies. The new religion of “” climate change ” appeals to those who have nothing better to do than rail against anything that might take a little research to get the facts. Mankind is nothing if not adaptable and when and if the climate changes as much as the so called experts say no doubt the adaptatiions will be in place.

  • Tony Thomas says:

    A friend Dennis Ambler advises me,
    “Mann is on the advisory board of an Extinction Rebellion linkled group:
    “The Climate Mobilization” is a group set up by Extinction Rebellion’s ‘Director of Fundraising’, Margaret Klein Salamon. On the advisory board is Michael Mann and long time activists such as Gustav Speth, founder of the massively wealthy and influential US NGO’s, World Resources Institute and Natural Resources Defense Council. He is also a former UN Development Programme Director.”

  • padraic says:

    I checked out the hotlink and my conclusion was that they should get real jobs. It’s pretty obvious that the growth industry these days is applying for and obtaining taxpayer dollar funded research grants for those studying at the Faculty of Inconsequential Studies.

  • T B LYNCH says:

    Physics is sufficient to explain the weather on Venus, which has 200,000 times as much CO2 @ as Earth and a gas [supercritical liquid really] solid interface temerature of 400 Celsius.
    Biology is the reason, and the only reason Earth differs from Venus.
    There were three critical INDEPENDENT tipping points in Earths weather history, and they all happened 3 billion years ago: the time for panic has long since passed.
    [1] primordial life forms emerged in hydrothermal vents, making a living deriving 1/10 volt from inorganic molecules
    [2] one special day an entrepreneurial life form invented an antenna to harvest 2 volts from sunlight, and escaped to the surface
    [3] a daughter life form invented RUBISCO to store the electricity as O2 and CH2O [sugar, coal etc]: this had the side effect of depleting Earths atmosphere of 99.9995% of the CO2 that is still on Venus
    RUBISCO, designed on Earth, for Earth, is tuned to 0.5% CO2, twelve times the present starvation level of 0.04% [technically its Michaelis constant]
    the Romans started getting CO2 back up to normal when they started roasting CaCO3 [limestone] and invented cement
    right now the Chinese and Indians are doing the job of getting CO2 up to normal.

  • DG says:

    Graph temperatures in degrees Kelvin (temperatures, not the tendentious over-exaggerated ‘anomalies’ from a carefully selected baseline average), and its not a hockey stick. More like the edge of a cricket bat: horizontal.

  • Alice Thermopolis says:

    At least Professor Mann doesn’t have to promote climate change toothpaste anymore. I assume he’s still using it.

    Toothpaste, n., 1. A paste used for cleaning the teeth, esp. one promoting anxiety about truth decay. Apply with a trowel and rinse twice with noble-cause mouthwash. 2. An anti-apathy personal hygiene product with UH-OH formula, launched at The Barking Dog, Maryland, on 15 October, 2017. (Devil’s Dictionary of Climate Change, Lexicon, 2018)

  • Ian MacDougall says:

    “Whatever other praise Mann might merit, if any, it’s not for defending “free and open” scientific debate on climate. In advocacy against fossil fuel emissions, Mann stands at the pinnacle, worldwide. Warmists should remember, you are judged by the company you keep.”
    Ah well, Tony, I prefer Mann with all his alleged faults over the Ostrich School of Climatology and its backers in the fossil carbon industry. When the “company you keep” is the coal barons, the stink soon rises to High Heaven. Particularly since the SE Australian fires, which have shifted thinking en masse in Australia, to the point where even Scummo finds himself making ambiguous noises that can be interpreted as a rephrasing of the old maxim: “any port in a storm.”

  • Lewis P Buckingham says:

    ‘ I prefer Mann with all his alleged faults over the Ostrich School of Climatology’
    The problem for me has always been ‘Who does one believe?’
    I have moved from believer to skeptic to heretic.
    Just over ten years ago I was working on how to save coral islands, with an acquaintance chemist, from rising seas by precipitation of calcium carbonate and building up the islands.
    Then I found out they do that naturally anyway.
    Corals seek sunlight and oxygen and build as the sea rises.
    I had been scammed.
    The ‘catastrophe’ narrative began to be questioned each time it emerged.
    My latest hypotheses is that CO2 is suppressing droughts in Australia.
    Now that really is heresy.
    The problem for me is that there is no trend in droughts in Australia.
    That’s the data.
    Yet anthropogenic CO2 has been rising fast since 1950, some 70 years, yet there is no trend.
    Now the time elapsed to find a climatic trend is some multiple of at least 20 years.
    So if the trend line for droughts is stable, and CO2 is rising, then the trend line for drought should have to rise, markedly, according to the CO2 hypotheses.
    But it has not.
    In fact we may not be able to discern an effect until 2030 or 2040 according to Australian scientists.
    They believe CO2 is a driver of drought.
    A testable hypotheses, but ,again,a long time to wait.
    Why not look back on the last 70 years?
    So the best fit is that in a warming world, with rising CO2 and no trend for drought, the CO2 must either be suppressing drought caused by heat, or not be a factor.
    Otherwise drought should have clearly worsened over the last 70 years.
    So there it is.
    The ‘conversation’ has decided to stop wasting its time on deniers.
    However debate is alive and well in non university funded avenues.
    Michael Mann has been extensively discussed.
    This makes sanguine reading.
    There is more to this than coal.

  • Alice Thermopolis says:

    Agreed. No need to wait “until 2030 or 2040 according to Australian scientists.”
    For there is another “testable hypothesis’: that atmospheric CO2 drives the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), and hence our heatwaves and droughts.However, BOM and international agency data show there is no such causal link.

    See AFR Letter to Editor, 28 January, 2020: “Beware the climate waffle as bushfires rage.”

    “On December 26, your journalist Bo Seo quoted Wenju Cai in “For hope on drought and fire, look to the Indian Ocean.” Dr Cai is a CSIRO expert on the Indian Ocean Dipole.

    “The connection [of the IOD] to bushfire conditions is very strong. They are much more strongly connected to IOD than to El Nino,” Dr Cai reportedly said.

    Let us assume Dr Cai is right and that the positive Indian Ocean Dipole (pIOD) is the “main driver” of Australia’s heatwaves and droughts.

    If so – and if CO2 is a significant causal factor here – then the Bureau of Meteorology’s dataset should show evidence of the impact of increasing CO2 emissions over the past half century on IOD type, frequency or intensity. However, there is no evidence in the BOM data supporting such an association.

    There is, therefore, no causal relationship between observed IOD behaviour (type, frequency, intensity) over the past half century and the 27per cent increase in global atmospheric “carbon” (dioxide) emissions — from 317ppm to 403ppm — over the same period.

    Carbon dioxide emissions – whether national, regional or global — therefore do not determine Australia’s bushfire vulnerability. IOD behaviour is random or pseudo-cyclical, unpredictable and driven by natural climate variability, not a consequence of so-called human-induced “climate change”.” [link behind paywall]

  • talldad says:

    Mann makes about 500 media appearances a year, spouting guff like that.

    That’s an average of two appearances per working day! Add to that his penchant for lawfare plus his involvement in other groups advocating the destruction of the industrial base of the West, and one wonders how many hours he has in his day.

    How does Penn State reconcile all that with his terms of employment there? Where does he find the time to fulfil his teaching obligations?

  • Doubting Thomas says:

    I think his connection with Penn State is secure while he continues to attract money. That seems to be the main point of the whole industry. For anyone who has followed closely the global warming/climate change/climate emergency hysteria since Al Gore drew the world’s attention to Mann’s “hockey stick”, the wonder is that he’s got away with this utterly discredited scam for so long. Of course, it is the corrupt media that have abetted this blatant rort, and the BBC and their ABC leading the way.
    Unfortunately, like our gullible resident True Believer, so many politicians and other influential people now have so much of their egos invested in the scam that we are unlikely to see the culprits punished for the ridiculous damage they are doing to the environment and our children’s futures. Pity. I’d personally like to see Michael Mann, Al Gore and Rajendra Pachauri suspended from the arms of a wind turbine and left to rot. It’s far too light a penalty for their crimes against humanity.

  • Alice Thermopolis says:

    DT: “the wonder is that he’s got away with this utterly discredited scam for so long. Of course, it is the corrupt media that have abetted this blatant rort, and the BBC and their ABC leading the way.”

    That he has done so is: a measure of how corrupt “consensus climate science” itself has become over the past two decades or so. Papers are written by teams of seldom less than a baker’s dozen. No-one ever seems to call out or question any of their peers or pals, at least in the public domain. They all use variations of the same computer models and data sets, with “warming” baked in, and so on.

    Even worse, the “climate science community” – inspired by Greta, XR, etc. -, is now high on the narcotic of our age, “celebrity”. Most of its members abandoned genuine objectivity long ago and have become brazen propagandists like Mann.

    The beauty of pseudoscience is that it never allows itself to be subject to falsification. Any and everything that happens today is due to “climate change”. How long before the CC bogeyman is proposed as – if not the cause of China’s corona virus – then “linked’ to it in some arcane way?

    Call me a cynic, but if you follow the money it all leads back to the IPCC, conveniently located in the UN WMO building in Geneva, the epicentre of global climate alarmism, and the UN itself, now controlled by developing countries and so-called small island state determined to monetize weather – now repackaged as “extreme weather events” – and hence baying ever louder for “climate reparations” and so on, with the West’s useful idiots only to happy to join the “climate emergency” chorus.

    Note too how quickly the Australian Academy of Science – supremely confident it knows the Truth about “Climate change” – tweeted away on Monday this week when Jim Molan apparently made a faux pas: “Hi @JimMolan. We have a Q&A that explains the #science of #climatechange in clear & easy-to-understand language and which aims to address confusion created by contradictory information in the public domain. Read it here: … @QandA #QandA @hamishNews #auspol”
    And so on and so forth.

  • Doubting Thomas says:

    Alice, a friend of mine was for some years before his retirement the senior administrative officer at the Academy of Science. Right in the middle of the Climategate scandal, he told me that the Academy, individually and collectively, were true believers. Tunnel vision.

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