An Open Letter to Dr. Michael Mann

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

Dear Dr. Mann:

I just read your piece in the Washington Post.

First, let me say that I disagree entirely with Cuccinelli’s legalistic approach. It doesn’t seem like the right way to achieve the desired result, that of shining the merciless light of publicity on your actions.

Figure 1. The Merciless Light of Publicity

On the other hand, your opinion piece published in the Washington Post contains a number of omissions, misrepresentations, exaggerations, and misstatements of fact.

[As a digression, for those who don’t know who Dr. Michael Mann is, he is the man who wrote the paper that established the “Hockey Stick” as the icon of misguided climate science. He then used his position on the IPCC to promote his own work, and suppressed contrary views. In one swipe he threw out all evidence that there were warmer periods in the past. No Medieval Warm Period. No Little Ice Age. Here’s that famous and most bogus of graphs, which has been reproduced hundreds of thousands of times …

Figure 2. The “Hockeystick” graph.

Unfortunately, his math was wrong, and the method he used mines for “hockey stick” shapes and will pull them out of random data, so the graph turned out to be both meaningless and totally misleading. End of digression]

So without further ado, Dr. Mann, here are my comments on your opinion piece. I have put your entire article from the Washington Post, without deletions, in bold italic.

Get the anti-science bent out of politics

As a scientist, I shouldn’t have a stake in the upcoming midterm elections, but unfortunately, it seems that I — and indeed all my fellow climate scientists — do.

If this is a surprise to you, it should not be, and not just for climate scientists. Cast your mind back President Eisenhower’s farewell speech in 1960, wherein he said (emphasis mine):

Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers. The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present — and is gravely to be regarded.

Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.

You are funded by the government, and are a salaried member of that scientific-technological elite that Eisenhower warned us about. Why on earth would you think that you would not have a stake in the election? The problem is the opposite – you have far too large a stake in the election, since climate science funding comes solely because the government is willing to back your ideas. As a result, a change in administrations might dry up your funding. You have a huge stake in the elections, and it is curious you want to claim otherwise. You are fighting like mad to keep the funding coming, so don’t pretend that you “shouldn’t have a stake” in the elections.

And regarding the elections, you have a huge political problem. Your science is so shabby and weak, and your claims are so apocalyptic, shrill, and far-fetched, that the people are no longer buying your line of patter. Climate change is at the very bottom of things that the electorate thinks are important … which seems to drive you guys nuts. Because of this, you and other climate scientists like Jim Hansen have become political activists, fighting like crazy to make sure the right people are elected to keep the money spigots turned wide open … just like Eisenhower warned.

So please, spare us the vapors about scientists having a stake in politics. You are in it up to your ears.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has threatened that, if he becomes chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, he will launch what would be a hostile investigation of climate science. The focus would be on e-mails stolen from scientists at the University of East Anglia in Britain last fall that climate-change deniers have falsely claimed demonstrate wrongdoing by scientists, including me. Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) may do the same if he takes over a committee on climate change and energy security.

Deniers? Anyone who is still using that emotion-laden, infantile term is deliberately being antagonistic. In any case, we have very real reasons to suspect you of wrongdoing. You don’t exactly show so well in things like the Climategate emails … see below.

My employer, Penn State University, exonerated me after a thorough investigation of my e-mails in the East Anglia archive. Five independent investigations in Britain and the United States, and a thorough recent review by the Environmental Protection Agency, also have cleared the scientists of accusations of impropriety.

Forgive my bluntness, but that is absolute hogwash. Hand-picked groups of your myopic friends have gotten together, consulted the auguries, studiously looked away, and declared you and Phil and Gene and the rest to be pure as the driven snow. But not one of the “thorough investigations” has spoken to one single person other than you and your friends and supporters. How thorough is a “thorough investigation” that only interviews your friends? “Exonerated”? Don’t make me laugh. You haven’t even been investigated, much less exonerated.

Nonetheless, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is investigating my previous employer, the University of Virginia, based on the stolen e-mails. A judge rejected his initial subpoena, finding that Cuccinelli had failed to provide objective evidence of wrongdoing. Undeterred, Cuccinelli appealed the decision to the Virginia Supreme Court and this week issued a new civil subpoena.

What could Issa, Sensenbrenner and Cuccinelli possibly think they might uncover now, a year after the e-mails were published?

Well, they might uncover the truth contained in the emails that haven’t been published. For example, you stand accused of conspiring to delete emails that showed you and your friends trying to prevent IPCC Review Comments from being made public.

Did you delete those emails? We may never know, since your good buddies in the “thorough investigation” DIDN’T EVEN LOOK TO SEE IF THE ACCUSATION WAS TRUE. They never looked through either your emails, or the CRU emails, to see if you had deleted emails as you were asked to do by Phil Jones. They never looked for your answer to Gene.

As you may not want to recall, in the Climategate emails, Phil wrote to you about the AR4 review emails, as follows:

Phil Jones wrote:


Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4? Keith will do likewise. He’s not in at the moment – minor family crisis.

Can you also email Gene [Wahl] and get him to do the same?  I don’t have his new email address.

We will be getting Caspar to do likewise.

I see that CA claim they discovered the 1945 problem in the Nature paper!!



Those emails, Dr. Mann, were the subject of a Freedom of Information Act request. You replied:

Hi Phil,

laughable that CA would claim to have discovered the problem. They would have run off to the Wall Street Journal for an exclusive were that to have been true.

I’ll contact Gene [Wahl] about this ASAP. His new email is:

talk to you later,


Now you may have a reasonable innocuous explanation for that interchange. I don’t see one. I see Phil advising you to break the law and delete emails that were the subject of an FOI request, and you saying “I’ll contact Gene about this ASAP”. When your friends were doing their “thorough investigation”, it is curious that they NEVER ASKED TO SEE the other emails in the chain. Like for example the email you said you would send to Gene to tell him to delete the emails. Did you send it?

And did you delete your emails? The “thorough investigation” never investigated that either, they didn’t even try to answer that important question.

So please don’t give us your sanctimonious posing as though you were shown to be innocent. The “thorough investigations” run by your friends have not determined your innocence, or the lack thereof – since they haven’t even tried to look at the evidence, how could they determine anything? So the jury is still out on the question.

But the facts we do have do not look good for you in the slightest.

If you had any actual evidence that you were innocent, I’m sure you would have given it to the investigators … funny how none of the five investigations have come up with a single fact or email or document to exonerate you in this question. As far as we know, you didn’t write back to Phil later and say something like “I can’t delete emails, that would be unethical and possibly illegal”. You wrote back to say that you would pass on the email deletion order to Gene … and you want us to believe that your hands are clean? Sorry, my friend, I’m like the Red Queen, I can believe six impossible things before breakfast, but that one is just too big to swallow.

The truth is that they don’t expect to uncover anything. Instead, they want to continue a 20-year assault on climate research, questioning basic science and promoting doubt where there is none.

The truth is, your objections have nothing to do with climate research. You are simply worried what an inquiry might find out, otherwise the idea of an investigation wouldn’t bother you a bit. But since all the indications are that you and others conspired to subvert the IPCC process , and then conspired (as shown in the Climategate emails) to cover it up, I can understand your all-pervading unease …

Cuccinelli, in fact, rests his case largely on discredited claims that Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.) made during hearings in 2005 at which he attacked me and my fellow researchers. Then-Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R-N.Y.) had the courage and character to challenge Barton’s attacks. We need more political leaders like him today.

Discredited claims? A bit more specificity would go a long way here, although I don’t expect it of you. What claims were “discredited”? As a close observer at the time, I did not see that a single claim against you was “discredited”. Quite the opposite, several of your claims were discredited, and McIntyre’s claims were totally upheld.

We have lived through the pseudo-science that questioned the link between smoking cigarettes and lung cancer, and the false claims questioning the science of acid rain and the hole in the ozone layer. The same dynamics and many of the same players are still hard at work, questioning the reality of climate change.

I’m not sure what your point is here. You seem to be saying that there have been false claims made by shady scientists in the past, and so that makes you right. How does that work again?

The basic physics and chemistry of how carbon dioxide and other human-produced greenhouse gases trap heat in the lower atmosphere have been understood for nearly two centuries. Overloading the atmosphere with carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels is heating the planet, shrinking the Arctic ice cap, melting glaciers and raising sea levels. It is leading to more widespread drought, more frequent heat waves and more powerful hurricanes. Even without my work, or that of the entire sub-field of studying past climates, scientists are in broad agreement on the reality of these changes and their near-certain link to human activity.

Scientists are in broad agreement that the earth has been slowly warming for about three centuries. We don’t know why, which should give us a clue about the depth of our understanding of the climate.

More to the point, there is no agreement about such basic, rudimentary, fundamental, all-important questions as the sign and size of the cloud feedbacks. A change of 2% in cloud cover would wipe out any CO2 effect. Since we don’t understand the clouds, that most basic and critically important part of climate science, the idea that we understand why the earth is currently warming, or the idea that we can forecast climate a hundred years in advance, is hubris of the first order. We don’t know why it warmed in Medieval times. We don’t know why it warmed in Roman times. We don’t know why it has warmed since the “Little Ice Age”. We don’t understand the climate, and you folks’ claims that you do understand it well enough to make century-long forecasts just makes rational, reasonable people point and laugh.

Burying our heads in the sand would leave future generations at the mercy of potentially dangerous changes in our climate. The only sure way to mitigate these threats is to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions dramatically over the next few decades. But even if we don’t reduce emissions, the reality of adapting to climate change will require responses from government at all levels.

And you know this how? You guys have got some serious coconuts, to think that you can predict what kind of “potentially dangerous changes in our climate” will be the lot of people living a hundred years from now. Let me say it again. There is no agreement on the SIGN, much less the size, of cloud feedback. And if you don’t understand cloud feedback, you don’t understand the climate well enough to forecast it for a decade, much less for a century.

Next, you say “even if we don’t reduce emissions” as though there is a cost-effective way to reduce temperature through emission cuts. The Kyoto Protocol (if its adherents had been able to fulfill their targets, which they didn’t) was estimated by its proponents to have the potential to cool the earth by six hundredths of a degree by 2050. The EPA just estimated that their current plan of regulating CO2 as a “dangerous pollutant” will cool the earth by somewhere around three hundredths of a degree by 2030. Those are the estimates of the proponents of the plans, opponents say less.

So you are pushing us to spend billions and billions of dollars and radically reshaping the global economy, and all for a trivial, unmeasurably small reward of a few hundredths of a degree … and then you think people who are against your cockamamie ideas are “anti-science”??? Where is the science in spending billions and billions of dollars for a possible, not guaranteed but only possible, temperature reduction so small we can’t even detect it? That’s so dumb and so far from science that I can’t begin to characterize it.

Challenges to policy proposals for how to deal with this problem should be welcome — indeed, a good-faith debate is essential for wise public policymaking.

But the attacks against the science must stop. They are not good-faith questioning of scientific research. They are anti-science.

The questions that you have been asked from the beginning have been the most fundamental of good-faith questions. We simply asked you to show us your data and your work. We requested you to abide by the most bozo requirements of the scientific method. Show us your data, show us your work, the same thing my high school science teacher taught me.

But no, in February of ’05 you went to the Wall Street Journal to make the extraordinary claim:

Giving them [McIntyre and McKitrick] the algorithm would be giving in to the intimidation tactics that these people are engaged in

For you to claim that such basic scientific questions were not in good faith, for you to say that merely (and politely) asking you to show your work is “intimidation”, is the opposite of science. For you to refuse to respond to those requests stops science in its tracks. We just wanted to see how you had come up with such an unusual and unexpected result as your total eradication of the Medieval Warm Period from the landscape. (It turned out that when you were finally forced to reveal your methods, your novel result could be seen to came from a stupid mathematical error combined with using bristlecone pines, known to be an invalid temperature proxy. That made your work meaningless and misleading … but I digress.)

How can I assure young researchers in climate science that if they make a breakthrough in our understanding about how human activity is altering our climate that they, too, will not be dragged through a show trial at a congressional hearing?

How can you assure them? It’s very simple. Dr. Mann, do you think you were picked at random to testify at a Congressional hearing? If you want to assure young researchers that they will not be dragged in front of Congress, tell them not to do the things you have done.

Tell them not to hide adverse results in a folder marked “BACKTO_1400-CENSORED“. Tell them not to make stupid mathematical mistakes and then refuse to show their work. Tell them not to hang around with people who delete emails that are the subject of a Freedom of Information act. Tell them not to subvert the IPCC process to advance their point of view.

And above all, tell them to be open about their data and their work. Why is it so hard for you to understand and practice this most basic of scientific tenets, total transparency and openness? You got hauled before Congress, not because of your scientific views, but because you tried to con people with your bogus math and bad proxies. And when we didn’t buy it, when we asked how you got your results, you refused to explain your methods, claiming it was “intimidation” to even ask, so we should just take it on faith that you were right …

Tell your students that scientists who do those things may have to face either the consequences, or Congress, or both …

America has led the world in science for decades. It has benefited our culture, our economy and our understanding of the world.

My fellow scientists and I must be ready to stand up to blatant abuse from politicians who seek to mislead and distract the public. They are hurting American science. And their failure to accept the reality of climate change will hurt our children and grandchildren, too.

My friend, the problem is not blatant abuse from politicians. The problem is your blatant abuse of the scientific method. If you and other climate scientists stopped trying to scare us with your doomsday fantasies, if you and other climate scientists were honest and open and forthright about what we do understand and what we don’t understand, if you and other climate scientists fully disclosed your data and your methods, if you and other climate scientists stopped trying to subvert the IPCC into serving as your propaganda mouthpiece, we could have a rational discussion.

But you are like a junkie who jumps up and down and screams “Police abuse” every time the cops question him. Asking you scientific questions is not abuse, Dr. Mann, no matter how many times you try to claim it is. And your investigations are the just rewards of your own anti-scientific and unethical actions. As my momma used to say, “Scorch around, and you’ll get burnt.”

Now, if you’d care to disagree with any of the things that I have said above, I am certain that Anthony Watts would be more than happy to publish your reply. So the opportunity is yours to make your case about the math, and the bristlecones, and the IPCC AR4 review comments, and all the rest. Heck, publish your emails that show that you didn’t conspire with Wahl and Amman and Jones to delete emails regarding what you had done to subvert AR4 … I offer you the chance to set the record straight.

My conclusions? I strongly support the fullest further investigation of the Climategate scandals, and your own role in them. Not via the legal system like Cuccinelli, however. I want an independent, outside scientific/academic investigation that talks to both your friends and those who disagree with your actions and claims. I want to bring in full sunlight, and put this matter to rest. I would like to know if you did delete the emails, and if you asked your pal Gene to do the same … you know, the stuff your precious “thorough investigations” never investigated in the slightest.

And as a result, it is perfectly clear to me why you have gone to the Washington Post to complain about the possibility that people might find out exactly what you did and didn’t do. And I have to say, I sympathize with you in that regard.

Because from the looks of things, if I were you … I wouldn’t want someone bringing in the sunlight so folks could find out what went on, either.


Willis Eschenbach

Independent Climate Researcher


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Fool me once

I’m unfamiliar with Willis Eschenbach’s extensive publication record in climate science?


Nice letter Willis as always an interesting post from you.
Unfortunately what we’ve got here is failure to communicate. Some Menn you just can’t reach.

Patrick Davis

Interesting read, and again, sadly, we’ll not see this downunder in MSM. But, OUCH!! That’s gotta hurt! *thumbs up*

Jack Savage

Here come da Judge!


Wow! Great post, Willis. Plenty thanks!

Peter Miller

Well written.
Same old story – con artists like Mann do not like being caught out. When they are, they turn the air blue with their shrill protests of injured innocence.
I always think it amazing that even with the annual backing of hundreds of millions of dollars, the purveyors of bad science are losing the argument in the court of public opinion. One day, even the goofiest of our politicians may catch on they are being conned by Mann and his cronies.


Perhaps a little too abrasive, for public consumption? You cannot take the moral high ground about arrogance, by being arrogant yourself. Stick to the facts.
In my estimation, any letter to the media, should be a little more moderate in tone and little less colloquial in language.

Huub Bakker

That would be Cuccinelli, Willis, not Cuchinelli.
[Typo fixed, thanx. ~dbs, mod.]

Very well said, Willis … thank you!
Should we now cue sounds of deafening silence from Mann, as occurred when he was given the opportunity to explain himself at the Daily Caller?


@Fool me once: I’m unfamiliar with Willis Eschenbach’s extensive publication record in climate science?
What’s that got to do with it?
Willis is writing about the Scientific Method, openness and honesty. I have no publications in climate science either – mine are all in my own branch of physics – but I’m still perfectly capable of spotting bad attitude and dishonesty in other branches of science.


Well spoken.
A true scientist would welcome questions. They love the opportunity to blab about what interests them. All too often they work long hours, facing total indifference from the layman.
Dr. Mann, and Dr. Hanson as well, have not welcomed questions, other than the softballs they receive at Real Climate. In fact they have encouraged a hostility towards even the most innocent questioner. I know this because I myself was originally an innocent questioner, and was accused of astonishing things for simply wondering.
I remember my original question had to do with something I read on-line in the Toronto Star, around August 8, 2007. It introduced me to a site called Climate Audit, and had to do with Hansen readjusting adjusted adjustments.
When I asked a few simple questions I was immediately called a denier and a “Ditto-head.” I had no idea what a “Ditto-head” was, and had to look it up to find out a “Ditto-head” was a listener to Rush Limbaugh. (Apparently Mr. Limbaugh mentioned the Climate Audit site on his show, which resulted in such a flood of people at the Climate Audit site that the site actually crashed for a while.)
Being attacked in this manner made me furious. I wrote my congressman. I demanded hearings.
I was told, back in 2007, that I was too hot-headed. I was asked to be patient. It was explained to me that Dr. Mann and Dr. Hansen were scientists, and that scientists tend to have their heads in the clouds. Their desks are messy, and they need help finding papers. So I calmed down a bit and attempted to be patient.
Now it is more than three years later, and they still haven’t answered the questions. Instead they continue to attack the questioners. That is all Dr. Mann’s editorial boils down to: An attack on questioners.
Obviously his desk is very, very messy. He simply can’t be bothered to clean it up and locate the answers. Therefore it will take drastic action to force him to shape up his act:
Congressional hearings.

Golf Charley

October 2010 has not been a great month for the AGW theorists so far. Hopefully, it will get worse.
Is this an opportunity for Dr Mann to take Willis to court, so he can defend himself and the science he invented, or would that risk more truth coming out into the sunlight?

The Kyoto Protocol (if its adherents had been able to fulfil their targets, which they didn’t) was estimated by its proponents to have the potential to cool the earth by six hundredths of a degree by 2050. The EPA just estimated that their current plan of regulating CO2 as a “dangerous pollutant” will cool the earth by somewhere around three hundredths of a degree by 2030.

Willis, do you have references for the above?


At some point Mr Mann must of realised that his work would not hold up to the scientific method, it is how long and what he did once he realised his work was incorrect that intrests me, did he go to his colleagues and try and get his work corrected or just cover up his mistakes?


Regardless of his publication record can we assume you have no problem with the substance of what he says? I assume that since, if you were disputing any of it I’m sure you would have the garce and courtesy to engage in a discussion of the potiojns in dispute.
Failing that, nowt like a quick ad-hom to start the day.

Excellent as always, Willis. You have a talent for getting to the basic issues.
To put these questions to rest, all Michael Mann has to do is cooperate with the peoples’ elected representative. What does he have to hide?
Answer: plenty.
Fool me once says:
“I’m unfamiliar with Willis Eschenbach’s extensive publication record in climate science?”
That can be remedied.Willis Eschenbach has been published and peer reviewed. And you?
Don’t be fooled twice by Michael Mann: do a search of the WUWT archives. Get up to speed on this subject. In the process, you will arrive at the inescapable conclusion that Michael Mann is a scientific charlatan; an Elmer Gantry trying to convince an increasingly skeptical public that he has secret knowledge about how to make it rain.
But that putative ‘secret knowledge’ was paid for by the taxpaying public. It is their property. So produce it, Michael Mann, and see if it withstands the Scientific Method. [snip]

John Whitman

Very good.

Ken Hall

“Fool me once says:
October 11, 2010 at 2:27 am
I’m unfamiliar with Willis Eschenbach’s extensive publication record in climate science?”
So what? You do not have to be a farmer to recognise Bullsh[snip].
The very first thing I was taught in my first science class at school was the essential tenets of the “scientific method” Anyone who fails to ensure that ALL of the scientific method is followed is NOT a scientist. Michael Mann has failed to implement the scientific method and falls far short of what is required to consider oneself a scientist. When one alters raw data, fails to provide evidence in support of one’s conclusions, when one conspires to hide data, in support of a theorem, instead of putting that theorem out for all to attack and for it to stand or fail on its own merits, then one ceases to be a scientist and becomes an advocate.
When one states that to question the science is not science, then one does NOT understand the scientific method AT ALL and fails even at science101.
Micheal Mann practices anti-science, not his detractors.
And IF you seem to think that you must have scientific credentials to be adequately qualified to “question the science” then I refer you to Dr Lewis who resigned as a Fellow of the APS due to their corrupt, political and uncritical acceptance of the anti-science of Michael Mann and his acolytes in what Dr Lewis describes as “he greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist.”
Dr Hal Lewis’ credentials as a scientist of the highest regard and achievement are far more impressive than Michael Mann’s. When it comes to (What my American cousins quaintly refer to as) a “pissing contest” with regards to scientific achievement, Dr Lewis wins hands down!

Willis, you have a gift for making forthright, clear and unequivocal statements. Right on the button.
@ foolmeonce – I am not a scientist of any kind, but I kinda like hearing the science of anything explained. Willis does that superbly in various fora, enjoys replying to intelligent questions and engaging in discussion; your point was?

Cassandra King

Mann is a very frightened man indeed, the sands of time are running out for him and he knows it.
The reckoning is coming, the phrase ‘be sure your sins will find you out’ is very apt in this case and the many others to come.
The refuge of this particular scoundrel is to call into question the motivations of his accusers and to present himself as a persecuted individual being hounded by politically motivated enemies, he wishes to defend himself by slandering his accusers hoping that by politicising his case he will find political allies.
Come November we will know if sanity will be restored to the home and base of liberty, come that day we will see a reckoning and the bringing to justice of those who so degraded science and dragged its reputation through the mud of self interest and selfish self promotion.

Ken Hall

Michael Mann declares, “But the attacks against the science must stop.”
That is the most anti-science statement I have ever seen.

Patrick Davis

“Alexander K says:
October 11, 2010 at 3:28 am”
Great post, and I am not bagging you at all, but, BUT, one does not need to be a scientists to read a thermometer and track trends. One very well may need to be a “scientist” to read a GCM however, programed with “assumptions”. Fact over fiction IMO.

Anthony, Willis suggests that you would be willing to publish a reply from Michael Mann to this paper. I am sure you would be, but it would be nice to see your assurance of this.
[Reply: Anthony has consistently offered article space to public figures who support the AGW hypothesis. For some reason they rarely accept his generous offer. I can assure you that an article contributed by Michael Mann would be posted on this site. ~dbs, mod.]


Excellent read, a bit heavy on tone if i may say so Mr Eschenbach, but a good read nonetheless.
I often try to get these points across on the Richard Black blog over at the old BBC, however at times it is like banging my head against a brick wall.
Science without openess and honesty is not science. Simple as that.
Let’s hope you get a reply, it would be facinating to see if he can address any of these qualms (and i for one won’t give him a hostile reception if he takes the time to respond, i’ll just address any points he makes on the merit of those points).

My favourite wiggles in the Hockeystick are those around 1200 and 1600 AD, which invite us to believe that the climatic conditions in those two periods were different only by a trice. But viewing the whole stick was a delicious breakthrough for me. Up till then, as a flaky humanities type who has trouble counting change and making tomato stakes stay upright, I had that inferiority thing happening in the company of tech people. No more!
For to give even a moment’s credence to that diagram is to be:
a) utterly ignorant of the human past
b) dumber than doggy-do

stephen richards

Antonis Christofides says:
October 11, 2010 at 2:55 am
You don’t references. Do the calculations from Mann’s and Hansen’s work.

Mikey's Mum

Dear Mr. Eschenbach,
I do wish you would stop picking on Mikey. He is a good boy who works hard and would never do anything wrong. I have talked to him about this and he says a bigger, older boy from another school called Phil made him do it. He met him on the internet I think. I hope this clears the matter up.
Yours, Mikey’s Mum

Fool me one more time

“Fool me once says:
October 11, 2010 at 2:27 am
I’m unfamiliar with Willis Eschenbach’s extensive publication record in climate science?”
Indeed, for example “Science relies on continued questioning and challenging of ideas. To manage and quality-control this marketplace of ideas, science has developed the peer-review process. When a new hypothesis or finding is published in a scientific journal, other scientists will take it seriously because it has been through the peer-review process, whereas an article that has not been peer-reviewed, such as an opinion piece in a newspaper, has no particular scientific credibility.”
Which is fine….just fine. Note it doesn’t matter who publishes it. That’s irrelevant. All that matters is that it is published. Irrelevant is who.

Willis Eschenbach

Antonis Christofides says:
October 11, 2010 at 2:55 am

The Kyoto Protocol (if its adherents had been able to fulfil their targets, which they didn’t) was estimated by its proponents to have the potential to cool the earth by six hundredths of a degree by 2050. The EPA just estimated that their current plan of regulating CO2 as a “dangerous pollutant” will cool the earth by somewhere around three hundredths of a degree by 2030.

Willis, do you have references for the above?

Of course, but it might take me a minute. Hang on … OK, the first number is from the work of Tom Wigley at NCAR, a supporter of Kyoto.
The second was very recent, wait a minute … found it, it’s here.


Good post Willis, it certainly is frustrating trying to tease any real science from Mann and his kind.
I’d also like to see the quote from the EPA that estimates the temp reduction of 0.03 degrees C in the next 30 years, has anyone got a link?
If this is true we really are dealing with utter absurdities and flushing countless billions down the plug hole for a zero return.


I nominate Hal Lewis to head this independent, outside scientific/academic investigation that Willis suggests in his conclusions. That would be both enlightening and entertaining, to say the least!
(Maybe we can start a petition here at WUWT?)

Good to see you back, Willis.
From time to time we all need to be reminded of the core issues at the heart of the matter. This does that very well.

Lawrie Ayres

Nice letter. Although from down under I look forward to your Mid Terms. If the Representatives you refer to do not hold comprehensive hearings they will be no better than the current crop of AGW adherents in Congress.
We are under attack from the PM and her Green cohort in their obscene haste to put “a price on carbon”. Their terminology indicates their lack of knowledge of good old CO2. To be kind I could say ” forgive them for they know not what they do”. The trouble is they know exactly what they are doing; being dishonest with the public. Dishonesty seems to be the warmers stock in trade.

In one swipe he threw out all evidence that there were warmer periods in the past.
This video may help those who don’t understand:

So please, spare us the vapors about scientists having a stake in politics. You are in it up to your ears.
I think they’re in it over their heads.


Hmm Willis, you have demonstrated very clearly that Mann’s letter is just hot air. As hot air is his favourite research topic and the trace gas CO2 is his favourite subject, is it not time we had a name for that compound in that context? I would suggest mann gas as the common noun as in laughing gas, swamp gas etc. but concede that there may be a more appropriate moniker: anyone?

The focus would be on e-mails stolen from scientists at the University of East Anglia
We don’t know if they were stolen.That’s another misrepresentation.


“…My fellow scientists and I must be ready to stand up to blatant abuse from politicians who seek to mislead and distract the public…”
Au contraire. Big Science is now an interest group no different than Big Dairy, Big Drug, or Big Oil. It recieves very generous tax exempt subsidies and grants that not constitute billions of dollars each year. Big Science (or Big Climate), like other interest groups, seeks to mold public opinion, steer public policy, and influence political outcomes. Welcome to the Big Leagues. Get used to the political witch hunts, political grandstanding, and Beltway Dramas that can make or break careers.
Dr Mann, the days of play acting the innocent victim are over. Grow up.

Not via the legal system like Cuccinelli, however. I want an independent, outside scientific/academic investigation that talks to both your friends and those who disagree with your actions and claims. I want to bring in full sunlight, and put this matter to rest.
An ‘outside’ investigation like that will need funding. Where would the money come from?

Alex Heyworth

Michael Mann doesn’t have any fellow scientists.



John McManus

When I read all the emais in question, I was left wondering what all the fuss was about.
About a thousand emails from a period of years were distributed. Such a tiny number of emails means that most of the communication was missing.
No matter how the emails were liberated, it is obvious that individual communications were picked. Because no other reason can exist but an attempt to harm the CRU, it follows that the most damaging emails were released.
Here is the problem with the above entry. The emails released are devoid of evidence of wrongdoing. While condemming Mann roundly, WE admitts that there is no evidence that Mann or Jones deleted any emails. The email release can only have been an appempt to damage the reputation of Dr. Jones et al. If any evidence of wrongdoing had existed in the files, it would have been searched, selected and released. Your letter calls for the conviction of someone with no evidence. How unamerican.
Through the many enquiries that have universally exonerated Johnes, Mann et al from these fabricated charges, email archives were requested, produced and read. They are none of my business, being private, so I don’t expect to have access but I am glad they formed part of the investigations. Knowing they were examined makes the findings of the many investigations stronger.


Eschenbach: “First, let me say that I disagree entirely with Cuccinelli’s legalistic approach.”
So what.
I’m a long time Virginia resident and taxpayer and I most certainly do agree with Cuccinelli’s “legalistic approach,” esp. given that he is the Commonwealth’s Attorney General, and hence the “legalistic approach” is the only tool at his disposal to investigate the frauds and potential frauds detailed in the your (Eschenbach’s) post above.
It is slightly ironic and amusing that three prominent skeptics – Montford, Macintyre, and Eschenbach – seem to eschew Cuccinelli on purely political grounds (Macintyre’s previous screed on the topic can only be called “a rant”) and do not seem to recognize the propriety of a state attorney general investigating the potential misuse of taxpayer funds.
Yet all three of these critics continue to expose and to publish (as above) these most egregious of scientific frauds upon the public, with Mann as a chief perpetrator.
You might just as well call Cuccinelli “a denier” and be done with the political charade.

The Washington Post closed the online comments on Dr. Mann’s article a few hours ago. The warmists were getting their nates handed to ’em.
Unfortunately, there is no way in which “an independent, outside scientific/academic investigation that talks to both [Dr. Mann’s] friends and those who disagree with [Dr. Mann’s] actions and claims” could possibly be productive.
The instant Michael Mann and/or any of his “friends” went on-record as having done what they did, criminal charges and civil lawsuits would come down upon them like an avalanche. At the very least we have indications of peculation and conspiracy, and in the line of tort law there are not only actionable cases for real but also punitive – especially punitive! – damages.
I could not possibly imagine Dr. Mann getting legal counsel about his personal conduct in the course of such “an independent, outside scientific/academic investigation” except an admonition to “Shut your festering gob and say absolutely NOTHING, you bloody fool!

John Murray

Mr Eschenbach,
“First, let me say that I disagree entirely with Cuccinelli’s legalistic approach. It doesn’t seem like the right way to achieve the desired result, that of shining the merciless light of publicity on your actions.”

Willis’s breakdown of Mann’s article confirms that Mann is one of the quintessential characters in this play – if you understand him you understand a lot of what is going on. It pays to give close attention to Mann, for he is an allegory, he is Everyman. Consider…
Mann suggests that he made a breakthrough in our understanding about how human activity is altering our climate. Now, imagine how he might consider his work (given as credible) could be seen as making such a breakthrough.
Consider also how he talks of us deniers, that our failure to accept the reality of climate change will hurt our children and grandchildren, too. In the AGW rhetoric ‘reality’ is often used in this way: we are not failing to accept the evidence etc, but failing to accept the ‘reality’ of a projection of the future — which can only ever be imagined.
This is so much like Savonarola: When the French first crossed the Alps into Italy, heading for Florence, he preached for urgent reform, for piety and against vanities, so as to prevent inevitable catastrophe. Mann’s work can only show that the world has warmed (that the French have invaded Italy) and might continue to warm (and might sack Florence) but not the causation (that it is due to our vanities).
How it is that the likes of Savonarola and Mann succeeded (for a time) to capture the hearts and minds of so many intelligent folk, this is one of the great question of history. But what we do know is that in both these allegories, reason departed early in Act I.


If Hal Lewis were to write an article detailing what he’d need for government standard report on the current state of climate science and its bang for tax-payer bucks, and Anthony published here, then surely the parallel research power of the visitors here would gather it in no time?


Fool me once says:
October 11, 2010 at 2:27 am
I’m unfamiliar with Willis Eschenbach’s extensive publication record in climate science?
Its that very atitude that got us to this point, by restricting published work to ‘The Team’ they froze out any other views and published rubbish, Jones admitted was never asked for any of his data/workings by reviewers of his papers, he even admitted he published papers before he had collated all the data and then lost it.

UK Sceptic

Willis shoots! He scores!