Thanks to Michael Mann's response, a newspaper censors a letter to the editor ex post facto

UPDATES below – some confusion afoot by differing newspaper versions has been discovered. The print version appears to be online.

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Letters to the editor are one of the oldest free speech venues for public opinion in the United States. They go back to the times of the revolutionary war. The Chicago Tribune aptly calls Letters to the Editor “Voice of the people“.

This morning my interest in a letter to the editor was piqued when I read at Tom Nelson’s website, this headline: Remember when it was really important to leave Michael Mann alone to concentrate on his climate hoax research? Now he’s got time to write a rant for the Vail Daily

Dr. Michael Mann’s letter to the editor, a response to a previous letter by Dr. Martin Hertzberg, at the Vail Daily is online here. Excerpts:

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.”

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.”

So I wanted to see what got Dr. Mann into such a tizzy, because sentences like the ones quoted in the paragraphs above are all over the Internet, especially after Climategate broke. I wanted to see the full context in Dr. Hertzberg’s letter.

So I Googled the offending phrase Dr. Mann cites, and got this result:

Imagine my shock when I discovered that the Google link goes nowhere. Dr. Hertzberg’s letter has been deleted from the newspaper.

Wow.

Dr. Hertzberg’s letter appeared on Friday, September 30th, and Dr. Mann’s letter appeared the next day, quite a turnaround:

One wonders if the address given for Dr. Mann is a typo, or a geographic misrepresentation to help get the letter published. Either way, the Vail Daily editor looks pretty darn sloppy since this appears in the last line of Dr. Mann’s letter:

Michael E. Mann is a professor in the Department of Meterology at Penn State University and director of Penn State Earth System Science Center.

Dr. Hertzberg does in fact live near Vail, in Copper Mountain, CO. and he would presumably be served by the newspaper of record for that area, which is why the letter appeared in that newspaper. As far as we know, Dr. Mann does not live in Vail or nearby.

The policy and online form for submission and publication of Letters to the Editor at the Vail Daily is worth noting:

Letter to the Editor

Guidelines

Before you use the online form below to submit a letter or guest column to the editor, please read the guidelines below.

The decision to print any submission is completely at the discretion of the Vail Daily editor. Letters and columns must include the author’s name, hometown, affiliation (if any) and phone number (for verification of authorship only). Form letters and letters considered libelous, obscene or in bad taste will not be printed. Anonymous letters will not be printed. The Vail Daily reserves the right to edit all letters. Because of space constraints, please limit your letters to 500 words. Thank you/kudos letters are limited to 150 words and letters containing long lists of names will not be printed.

So, apparently, the letter from Dr. Hertzberg passed the newspaper’s tests for “letters considered libelous, obscene or in bad taste” and was in fact printed, but when Dr. Mann sends a rebuttal, all of the sudden Dr. Hertzberg’s letter no longer passes those tests? I suspect that maybe Dr. Mann may have offered some legalese in some form to go with that letter, and the editor caved to censorship demands rather than upholding free speech.

The Wikipedia definition for freedom of speech:

Freedom of speech is the freedom to speak freely without censorship. The term freedom of expression is sometimes used synonymously, but includes any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used. In practice, the right to freedom of speech is not absolute in any country and the right is commonly subject to limitations, such as on libel, slander, obscenity, incitement to commit a crime, etc.

It may be possible that libel was committed by Dr. Hertzberg (whose credential Dr. Mann doesn’t even acknowledge in his rebuttal letter), but without the original letter from Dr. Hertzberg, how would any independent observer be able to judge?

And, in choosing the headline for the rebuttal: Vail Valley Voices: Global warming denier’s claims are falsehoods did the Vail Daily in turn libel Dr. Hertzberg by labeling him a “global warming denier”?

Clearly then, this is a matter best settled by the courts.

I encourage Dr. Mann to file a lawsuit, so that we can finally get complete discovery (something not done by the “independent reviews” Dr. Mann cites frequently) and find out once and for all if Dr. Mann’s work holds up when all of the data, math, methods, and correspondence are laid bare for scrutiny.

Likewise, Dr. Hertzberg may have a court case for denial of free speech, along with libel by the use of “global warming denier”.

The questions of “who libeled who?”, and “was free speech denied?”, can only be answered in a court of law.

UPDATE: As we all know from vast experience, the Internet has a memory. I’ve discovered what appears to be Dr. Hertzberg’s letter to the editor on a website called “pastebin” which you can see and read here. Dr. Hertzberg’s letter was apparently a response to a previous letter, five days earlier:

Since I am a long-time denier of human-caused global warming and have been described as an “inaccurate” and “irresponsible” “fool” by Scott Glasser’s commentary in Monday’s Vail Daily, I feel compelled to respond.

Since Dr. Hertzberg describes himself as a “doubter” (in the original I saw) it seems the bias of the Vail Daily editor in choosing “denier” for the headline was in fact an editorial decision.

I wonder how long the letter will exist on “pastebin”.

UPDATE#2: It appears that at the same time as I was writing this essay, the Vail Daily decided to reinstate the letter from Dr. Hertzberg. Note the out of sequence date at time for the title:

From this page: http://www.vaildaily.com/SECTION/&profile=1065

Before I made this story I did quite a bit of checking, and the removal was also noted by other websites, for example:

Rabbet Run: Ethon flew in from Colorado with news from one of the bunnies. It appears that the Vail Valley Daily had published a now defunct letter from one Dr. Martin Hertzberg, who appears to live thereabouts. The article which, as the saying goes is no longer to be found, must have been a doozy,

And I looked for it myself by searching the Vail Daily website. I could not find it. For example, it does not show up in search:

http://apps.vaildaily.com/utils/search/index.php?SearchCategory=%25&IncludeNoDateArt=1&daterange=19980101%2C20111002&crit=hertzberg

UPDATE3: The plot thickens. It appears the restored version on Vail Daily here:

http://www.vaildaily.com/article/20110930/EDITS/111009984/1021&parentprofile=1065

Is missing some key sentences found in the version on pastebin here:

http://pastebin.com/L288rdZ7

The name of Dr. Mann has been scrubbed from the letter as are the sentences Dr. Mann objected to in his rebuttal letter.

There’s no mention of this edit in the restored version of the letter. It is still dated Sept 30th. Perhaps Dr. Hertzberg was told to revise it?

Now he claims he’s a “denier” where before he says doubter? Strange things going on.

UPDATE4: Larry (Hotrod) points out in comments that the original print version is still archived by the newspaper here.

UPDATE5: It appears we are witnessing the real time editing of this article in online archives. The original with the phrases Dr. Mannobjected to are disappearing from the main web page and archives and are being replaced with edited versions.

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Karl Maki

Hertzberg’s letter is available as a link under “Related Articles” under the Mann piece: http://www.vaildaily.com/article/20110930/EDITS/111009984/1021&parentprofile=1065
REPLY: Interesting, you are correct, that links works. Perhaps it has been put back. Before I made this story I did quite a bit of checking, and the removal was also noted by other websites, for example:
Rabbet Run: Ethon flew in from Colorado with news from one of the bunnies. It appears that the Vail Valley Daily had published a now defunct letter from one Dr. Martin Hertzberg, who appears to live thereabouts. The article which, as the saying goes is no longer to be found, must have been a doozy,
And I looked for it myself by searching the Vail Daily website. I could not find it. For example, it does not show up in search:
http://apps.vaildaily.com/utils/search/index.php?SearchCategory=%25&IncludeNoDateArt=1&daterange=19980101%2C20111002&crit=hertzberg
Perhaps it has been moved, reindexed, and/or restored. Clearly though at one point it has gone missing.
Follow up: it appears that as I was writing my essay, they put it back, note the out of sequence date:

From this page: http://www.vaildaily.com/SECTION/&profile=1065
– Anthony

pk

oooooh gremlins.
c

Mike Bromley the Canucklehead

I guess the Vail Daily Blab wanted to beat the Wayback Machine.

R. Shearer

At least Mann acknowledges that it may have been warmer 1ooo years ago. This certainly is not supportive of the ideology he promotes.

Robert Clemenzi

GIYF (Google is your friend)
the original article

bikermailman

Down the Memory Hole, Winston! For those who are curious where that term came from, it’s from Orwell’s 1984. What he meant if for was a warning, not a playbook!

Letter still exists in their archive.
http://vaildaily.co.newsmemory.com/
Look for edition 9/30/2011 and pages A4-A5, and A6-A7
You can download and print as PDF
Larry

Resourceguy

There is a strange kind of cycle in scientific bias and the defense of dominant theories that purport to be beyond rational debate. WUWT needs to add a science history reference page on the defunct ether theory of physics to layout the progression of that earlier drama before Einstein added the final nail to the coffin.

No the tree rings didn’t show a decline without the fake computer algorithm. When you take into account the equally fake infilling of 95% of the data, hacking off and replacing of the Schweingruber MXD series (hide the decline), combined with Luterbacher – trees with instrumental data pasted on, and an apparently random pre-selection process then you get a flattish line all the way through that is not distinguishable from noise.

Barbara Skolaut

“Imagine my shock”
Uh-huh. ;-p

Doug in Seattle

Karl, the link you provide appears to be from another letter by MH.

Eric

Hmmm..Hertzberg’s article doesnt mention Mann at all? Is there another article or is Mann so used to refuting all criticism of his work that he reads it into everything?

tom T

This is not that surprising. I have had several letters to the editor published By The Stowe [Vt] Reporter. The ones on global warming were followed by editor notes that pointed readers to web sites that support the AGW claims. When I wrote to them refuting their sources they refuse to publish those letters. It was rare for them to publish editor note and I never saw them publish one under a liberal letter.

Mike Bromley the Canucklehead

Karl Maki says:
October 2, 2011 at 11:11 am
The letter as archived has the Mann bits removed, when compared to the Pastebin version.

Interstellar Bill

Once the Con Man has been running it long enough,
he has pretty much made himself forget it’s actually a Con,
so well-practiced it has become over the decades.
When presented with factual counter-arguments that expose the Con,
he replies with exaggerated indignation and over-the-top vitriol,
the mark of the fully Self-Deceived. (Normal people stay calm.)
And the Marxists accuse us of False Consciousness (!),
which by the way is nothing-but a dressed-up neologism for ‘Self-Deception’,
something that’s been discussed by philosophers for millenia.

Eric

Interesting…the article linked in the 1st comment is missing the sentences regarding Mann…but the next article linked has them….

Doug in Seattle

Robert’s link is the same as Karl’s. That letter to the editor has no mention at of Mann. If that is the letter to the editor that Mann is referring to, then I guess Mann must be sending out form letters that just assume than anyone speaking out against the meme must be targeting him..

TomRude

Mann O Mann:
“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).”
That’s why he links to … the New York Times, not the proceedings.
“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.”
The Caspar Jesus paper? LOL

Fred from Canuckistan

Mann’s desperation knows no depths.

Louis

@Karl Maki, the Hertzberg letter you link to does not mention Mann’s tree-rings or have any of the quotes mentioned in this article. Did Mann misquote him? Or is it a different letter than the one in question?

geronimo

Mann has threatened legal action and the editor, unaware of the issues, M&M, Wegman and the climategate emails has, as the Brits would say, “bottled it” and withdrawn the article (To bottle – not have the courage to go forward).

PaulH

I am certainly no fan of Mr. Mann and his fellow travellers, but one has to be very careful when using terms like “fraudulent”. Fraud has a rather exact legal definition, and if you start using such terms you are bound to raise someone’s hackles.
Having said that, I cannot find the passage that Mr. Mann complains about (“it was fabricated from carefully selected tree-ring measurements with a phony computer program”) in Dr. Hertzberg’s letter. I wonder if Mr. Mann was replying to a different letter to the editor, one that only he can see? ;->

Betapug

Scott Glasser, MD. wrote on 12 September:
“I am merely an amateur. Now imagine how the world’s climatologists and researchers observe our environment. These are the brains that determine how fast the tectonic plates move and predict the path of hurricanes. They invent the machines that NASA shoots into space to rendezvous with small objects moving at thousands of miles an hour millions of miles away, and they dig the ice cores to study what the environment was like 800,000 years ago.”……
“Lastly this: While I truly appreciate the Vail Daily’s wonderful policy of publishing so many of our letters, I take issue with its continued policy of placing the comments of certain extremist individuals under large boldface type — headlining their often hateful, implausible statements and thereby falsely lending added credence to their rantings. It is unfair and irresponsible. The issues we face are daunting and important. Can we please level the playing field?”
Vail Valley Voices replied:
Dear Readers,
We’ve received your feedback, and are evaluating the options available for a different commenting system. One thing’s sure, the old system won’t return as it was. We still have lots of ways to share your opinion, including Letters to the Editor. Thanks for bearing with us.
Thank you!

This appears to be Dr Hertzberg’s original letter to the editor:

Vail Valley Voices: More hot air than science in global-warming theory
Martin Hertzberg
Vail, CO, Colorado
“Cherish your doubts, for doubt is the handmaiden of truth” — Robert Weston.
Since I am a long-time denier of human-caused global warming and have been described as an “inaccurate” and “irresponsible” “fool” by Scott Glasser’s commentary in Monday’s Vail Daily, I feel compelled to respond.
I am a research scientist who also served as a meteorologist for the U.S. Navy. I am also a lifelong progressive Democrat.
For the 25 years that I have been studying the theory that human emission of carbon dioxide is causing global warming and climate change, it has never ceased to amaze me how many otherwise intelligent people, including our president, have been taken in by that scam.
There is a simple way to tell the difference between scientists and propagandists. If scientists have a theory, they search diligently for data that might actually contradict their theory so that they test it rigorously or refine it. If propagandists have a theory, they carefully select only the data that might agree with their theory and dutifully ignore any data that might contradict it.
The anecdotal drivel cited in the Glasser article regarding atmospheric carbon dioxide, average global temperatures, ice area coverage and rate of sea-level rise was carefully cherry picked or is totally false.
For the totality of the available data for the past several decades, go to http://www.climate4you.com. The data show nothing remarkable — just the normal variability in all those weather-related parameters.
Knowledgeable scientists, including the more than 30,000 such as myself who have signed the Oregon Petition, know that changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide do not correlate with human emission of carbon dioxide, that human emission is a trivial fraction of sources and sinks of carbon dioxide, that the oceans contain about 50 times more dissolved carbon dioxide than is present in the atmosphere, that recycling of carbon dioxide from the tropical oceans where it is emitted to the arctic oceans where it is absorbed is orders of magnitude more significant than human emissions, and that the carbonate-bicarbonate buffer in the oceans makes their acidity (actually their alkaline pH) virtually insensitive to changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide.
The data for the glacial coolings and interglacial warmings for the past 500,000 years always show that temperature changes precede atmospheric carbon-dioxide changes by about 1,000 years. That indicates that temperature changes are driving carbon-dioxide changes and not the reverse as the Gore-Hansen-IPCC clique claims. As oceans warm for whatever reason, they emit carbon dioxide, and as they cool they absorb carbon dioxide.
The carbon-dioxide “greenhouse effect” argument on which the fearmongering hysteria is based is actually devoid of physical reality. The notion that the colder atmosphere above can reradiate its absorbed infrared energy to heat the warmer earth below violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics. For details, see “Slaying the Sky Dragon: Death of the Greenhouse Gas Theory,” co-authored by myself and several other scientists, which was published earlier this year by Stairway Press.
In any case, if one compares the effect of water in all of its forms (polar ice, snow cover, oceans, clouds, water vapor in the atmosphere) with that of human emission of carbon dioxide, the carbon-dioxide emission is about as significant as a few farts in a hurricane.
Glasser, who calls me a fool, really tips his hand by defending the notoriously fraudulent “hockey stick” curve of Professor Mann. That curve has the shape of a hockey stick, flat for the past 1,000 years with a sharp rise during the past few decades. It was fabricated from carefully selected tree-ring measurements with a phony computer program.
Every knowledgeable climatologist knows that tree rings are unreliable proxies for temperature because they are also sensitive to moisture, sunlight, pests, competition from adjacent trees, etc. Furthermore, 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.
Knowledgeable climatologists knew that the Medieval Warm Period, when the Vikings settled Greenland and grapes grew in northern England, was much warmer than today and that its presence in all regions of the world was overwhelming. Similarly for the Roman Warm Period that preceded it and for a whole series of natural warmings and coolings until one gets back to the big one: the interglacial cooling of about 20,000 years ago.
And that all happened without any significant human emission of carbon dioxide.
The conclusions being promulgated by the scientifically illiterate diplomats who control the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are fraudulent concoctions that have already been denounced by many of its scientific members.
Those diplomats, like the bureaucrats at the Environmental Protection Agency, have huge egos and a lust for power. That is far more important to them than the triviality of scientific truth. Once committed to one side of such an issue,
they will rarely admit that they have made a mistake. Once having invested their political capital and our economic resources to start the huge, massive inertia wheel turning, it takes too much courage, energy and loss of face to stop it.
That was the case with the war in Vietnam and currently with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The conclusions of the IPCC need to be repudiated lest they continue to discredit the United Nations’ legitimate functions: its programs to improve the standard of living of the underdeveloped nations, its programs to combat hunger and poverty, its support of the conventions against genocide and torture, and its support of the International Criminal Court’s prosecution of war criminals.
Dr. Martin Hertzberg writes from Copper Mountain.

REPLY: This doesn’t match the one on pastebin, this appears to be a revised version – Anthony

Mike

Here is a link to the letter Martin Hertzberg was replying to.
http://www.vaildaily.com/article/20110926/EDITS/110929906
Fools deny global warming
Scott Glasser
Vail, CO, Colorado
Glasser’s letter is quite good and at no point does he call anyone a fool. My guess the copy editor chose that title for Glasser’s letter. If so the editor of the Vail Daily deserves to be rebuked for this. I think this is what inflamed Hertzberg and possibly caused him to cross the. In stating that Mann used fabricated data rather than stating he disagreed with Mann’s interpretation of the data, Hertzberg made a libellous statement. One no to my knowledge has claimed the tree ring data was fake.
REPLY: It is standard practice for editors to choose titles and headlines. Sometimes they are taken from the story/letter context, sometimes not – Anthony

The following is in the letter in the archives and I believe is the segment Mann is complaining about:

Glasser, who calls me a fool, really tips
his hand by defending the notoriously
fraudulent “hockey stick” curve of Professor
Mann. That curve has the shape
of a hockey stick, flat for the past 1,000
years with a sharp rise during the past
few decades. It was fabricated from
carefully selected tree-ring measurements
with a phony computer program.
Every knowledgeable climatologist
knows that tree rings are unreliable proxies for temperature
because they are also sensitive to moisture,
sunlight, pests, competition from adjacent
trees, etc. Furthermore, 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.

The letter by Hertzberg is responding to a previous letter by Glasser which included comments about Mann’s research.
Larry

pokerguy

All well and good. And certainly pathetic they’d remove the letter. But before making him some sort of poster child for rationality and healthy skepticism, consider this from his letter:
“The carbon-dioxide “greenhouse effect” argument on which the fearmongering hysteria is based is actually devoid of physical reality. The notion that the colder atmosphere above can reradiate its absorbed infrared energy to heat the warmer earth below violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics. For details, see “Slaying the Sky Dragon: Death of the Greenhouse Gas Theory,” co-authored by myself and several other scientists, which was published earlier this year by Stairway Press.”
This really does strike me as a form of denial.

crosspatch

This is not uncommon. Newspapers have been editing / deleting content for years since they have gone to more online content. I have been complaining about this for years. Historians in the future will not be able to trust archives from this period because they can be changed / added / deleted at any time.
But if you really think about it, practices like this started with Benjamin Franklin who fabricated “letters” to the editor, engaged in slanting the perception of opinion by printing real letters having the desired position and not printing letters having a the opposite position or only printing those letters most extreme to make that position unsavory to most average folks.
Manipulation of the media is an old American tradition. The problem comes because many expect the press to be “fair” or “objective”. That has never been the case. A paper pushes the political agenda of its publisher. The difference is that in the past we had more newspapers, and so more positions, from which to choose. These days most towns are one-paper towns.

bikermailman

Pastebin is showing ‘denier’ now. Methinks there may be something rotten in the state of Colorado!

Dr. Mann should demand a debate with his detractors. He should challenge the “deniers” to get on a stage with him in front of TV cameras and look at all the data! Why would he not want to do so?

John M

Gosh, and I thought I was being facetious when I wrote this in response to “Dr. Mark Harrigan (physicist)”

Next step, we ban all Letters to the Editor in all newspapers. Wait, better yet, we let the likes of “Dr Mark Harrigan (phsyicist)” peer review all letters first to determine if the submitter is entitled to use the word “science”.

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/09/30/congratulations-to-alan-carlin-on-vindication/#comment-757216
These guys move fast!

Kev-in-Uk

confused? I am!
can anyone contact this Martin Hertzberg and get HIS version?

“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”
This is from MMs letter.
This is news to me, can anyone confirm that there is any truth in this statement.
Brilliant letter by Dr Hertzberg, I especilly liked his “hurricane” simile .

JJ

Points to the importance of maintaining verifyable, untouchable archives of all of the claims and predictions of the ‘consensus’. In the age of near totality digital media, history can be changed to fit the needs of the present.

P Walker

Apparently Dr, Hertzberg is an outspoken skeptic and has quarreled with the likes of Monbiot and the RC boys over the last few years . Here’s a link to some of his work :
http://650list.blogspot.com/2009/02/dr-martin-hertzberg.html
Keep after them , Doc .

Caleb

Mann is just crabby because there was a forecast for the earliest measurable fall of snow ever, in the hills of PA. (It happened, according to Bastardi’s early reports.) He’s probably afraid to look out the window up at the hills.
Start of Psalm 121:
“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills:
From whence cometh mine help.
My help cometh even from the Lord:
Who hath made heaven and earth.
He will not suffer thy foot to be moved:
And he that keepeth thee will not sleep.
Behold, he that keepeth Israel:
Shall neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord himself is thy keeper:
The Lord is thy defence upon thy right hand;
So that the sun shall not burn thee by day…”
I’ll bet Mann just hates that psalm.

kim;)

“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 Mr Briffa’s data is where?

CRS, Dr.P.H.

If there was intent by someone at the Vail newspaper to bury this, well, Anthony, you certainly ensured that this got international coverage! Excellent job, you can always toss “assignments” to your readers to do the web searching.
“Cherish your doubts, for doubt is the handmaiden of truth” — Robert Weston
Indeed!!

DirkH

From Dr. Hertzberg’s letter:
“Knowledgeable climatologists knew that the Medieval Warm Period, when the Vikings settled Greenland and grapes grew in northern England, was much warmer than today and that its presence in all regions of the world was overwhelming.”
There’s a new paper about a peat bog temperature reconstruction out that confirms this.
http://notrickszone.com/2011/10/02/german-peat-bog-temperature-reconstruction-shows-strong-central-european-variations/

A Bear

I don’t think the free speech argument works in this case. The US Constitution is pretty clear when it comes to free speech. “Congress shall make no law…” Freedom of speech basically only applies in a public area. The government and the police can’t prevent you from speaking your mind in a public place. However, a private corporation like this newspaper can do what they did. They are perfectly within their rights.
Now if Congress would pass a law against Dr Hertzberg writing his letter, or the authorities would prosecute him for it, that would be a violation of free speech. In a private environment this doesn’t apply.
I remember, a few years back, there was an actual lawsuit over this and the ruling was as I just stated. The same applies to every single forum, chat, message board, etc online. There is no freedom of speech as guaranted by the Constitution, simply because these places are private and not under governmental control.
Is what the paper did outrageous? Absolutely. But it doesn’t violate free speech. If Dr Hertzberg would post it in his own newspaper, no problems, but he doesn’t own this one. They can do whatever they want. That’s how it is.

Martin Brumby

Smokey says: October 2, 2011 at 11:42 am
“This appears to be Dr Hertzberg’s original letter to the editor…….”
Seems quite mild and rather diplomatic to me.
Hertzberg comes across as knowledgable, honest and rational.
I’d like to hear what he REALLY thinks of the egregious Meltdown Mann…..

pesadia,
That really is an absurd claim by Michael Mann. In fact, Nature was forced to issue a Correction to MBH98. And the “recent warmth” is well within the parameters of the Holocene. Nothing unusual is occurring. The less than one degree temperature change over the past century and a half is routine and ordinary.
There have been large temperature fluctuations in the past, when CO2 remained under 300 ppm – some as large as 15°C. The current global temperature is extremely benign. As usual, Michael Mann deliberately misrepresents the situation, and he continues to do so.

P Walker

I’d like to know how Mann finds these things . Does he have his own version of Attack Watch ? BTW , WUWT got a big heads up at American Thinker today .

kim

School for Journalists.
==========

LevelGaze

@Pokerguy
“This really does strike me as a form of denial.”
You think so? You should read Postma and Nahle, among others.

Mike

@ Mike, October 2, 2011 at 11:44 am
“REPLY: It is standard practice for editors to choose titles and headlines. Sometimes they are taken from the story/letter context, sometimes not – Anthony”
True. But it is wrong to chose an offensive headline for letter that does not engage in name calling. Hertzber specifically said Glasser called him a “fool”. Hertzber, like many other people, does not realize what you say – though you ‘d think he would since he writes letter to the editor. I think the editor should be rebuked for choosing such an offensive headline.

John M

kim;) says:
October 2, 2011 at 12:04 pm
(Quoting Mann)

“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.”

Who ever accused Keith Briffa and Michael Mann of being the same scientist? Or of even being a slightly different scientist?
Also, why is Mann’s address given as Vale CO? Is that how he spent some of those stimulus funds he received?

Kev-in-Uk

anyone done any screen captures of ‘originals’?

Seems to me they are really worried about the Slaying the Sky Dragon team